Friday, 31 January 2014

Empty Bed

The birth of the Bionic Catwoman started with the placement of titanium inside an ordinary cat woman but this afternoon I found an empty bed in Room 9 of the Orchid Ward of Sunninghill Hospital. You can't keep a good cat woman down.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Bionic Cat Woman

This afternoon, Lynda started her transformation into the Bionic Cat Woman with the first piece of titanium going into her shoulder.

Last week Thursday Lynda arriving at work, tripped on the uneven surface of Danfoss' parking lot and broke her clavicle (collarbone) and cracked a rib. She was in a lot of pain and was taken to Sunninghill Hospital. It was a clean break and the two pieces of her collar bone were positioned nicely for healing but by Wednesday, the broken pieces had moved and was setting unevenly. Now Lynda’s clavicle needed a metal plate to hold it in the correct position.

So Lynda was booked into Sunninghill Hospital this morning for the repair of her clavicle fracture and went into theatre late in the afternoon. The surgery went well and she is expected to be discharged tomorrow as she starts her process of become the Bionic Cat Woman.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Orthopaedic Disarray

This afternoon Lynda had to go and get her shoulder checked out by the orthopaedic surgeon to see if her collar bone was healing correctly. Sadly like many doctors, he had no respect for his patient's time and had one of the worse time keeping I have ever seen. Just under two hours of waiting past the scheduled appointment was not a pretty sight. This one man sitting next to me fell asleep, along with his heavy breathing came what sounded like grunts and what could be called snores.

There was these box of toys in the waiting room, which put a new meaning of throwing my toys out of the cot. This orthopaedic surgeon is out of medical aid rates which means he can charge whatever he wants but that doesn't mean he has the right to keep us waiting till the cows come home, like forever. I believe that there must be a way to penalise the doctors were it hurts, their pockets for wasting patient’s valuable time over their bad time keeping.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Starry Starry Bokeh

Our Home Circle group started up this evening with another awesome dinner at the Sims. I took this photograph of one of the starry candle holders on the patio table. It gave this exquisite bokeh affect. For those who don't know what bokeh means, it is a word derived from the Japanese word "boke" which means blur. In photography, bokeh is the way a camera lens renders points of light out of focus that is pleasing to the eye.

Although this year has started as a blur and way down in the dumps, it can't get worse, now can it? This is the start of the year getting better and pleasing to me.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Cyber Curries

The rain has set in and after a long Monday at work, I didn't feel like cooking. The rain means curry, and the best place for curry is Cyber Curries which can be found at the Buzz Centre in Fourways. It is not much of a place to look at but I am only there to pick up my mild beef curry on the way home. One way to tell if a restaurant makes a good authentic curry, is if the local Indian community buys from it, and they sure do from Cyber Curries.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

I am the Night

Matthew is not feeling well, but he still wanted to go to church. Well it may sound very religious but he enjoys meeting up with others at the youth centre. Now I did forget the name of this person who was chalking up a batman on the green wall but as he says, he is the night, and my memories are going.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

David and Emperors

This evening, we went and saw a Dutch superstar, Herman van Veen, well only for the Dutch that is. Anyway, it was a lovely break from our Northern suburbs of Johannesburg, going east to Emperor's Palace to be entertained by song, mimes, sketches, and what every else you may call Herman's gigs on stage. At some stages, I was concerned that Herman would suffer a heart attack but Edith Leerkens, Willem Wits, and Dave Wismeijer, kept the pace on an even trim.

The evening started bringing back good thoughts of the time I spent in Netherlands, and of my family living in the Bible belt. Matthew still has fond memories of the two of us cycling around. Back to earth, strolling around the edges of the casinos, smoking rooms, we came upon the food court of Emperors, we there is this large replica of the David statue in the middle of a fountain. Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Assassin’s Creed

Ahoy, me hearties, the weekend is upon us once again. Now don’t we all look excited, no? Matthew 'n his scurvy scallywags, love Assassin's Creed and enjoy having a grand great adventuaarrr on dem high seas, swinging a cutlass under the Black Flag of the skull.

But first a little homework says the Captain Black Beard, aka Dad, "all hands on deck, aaaaarrrgggghhhh!"

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Not a Happy Camper

What a day which started with our borehole flooded by storm water and now just brown sandy water is coming out of the taps. Later in the morning, Lynda tripped and fell. She was in so much pain and ended up at Sunninghill Hospital.

X-rays showed a broken collar bone and a cracked rib, not a happy camper. Lynda did a proper job on herself and there is still a chance that the doctors may have put in a metal plate, but for now they trying to see if it would heal correctly. My cute puppy that is made from kittens was in pain and that makes me sad. This year has not improved yet, from the bottom where it started from.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Confused Putty Tat

This putty tat, who hitched a ride under a pantechnicon trailer, was rescued by Lynda's son, Dael, down in Durban. He started life as Chase but then he found his way to our home and he was discovered the he was a she and her name was changed to Monkey due to her love of climbing everything and was often found in the rafters. Monkey’s name was shortened to Minky which was a more elegant name for our princess.

Now you too will be a confused as a putty tat if your named was changed so often or you started as a he only to find yourself a she. Now I am starting to wonder if Minky thinks that she is a dog. Here she is with Podge. I tat I taw a puddytat. I tat I taw another puddytat. I did, I did! I taw two puddytats. Have you two puddytats met?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Work Happens

In the so called naughty corner, work continues to happen even though the atmosphere in the office has become very heavy and not very satisfying. Well that is how things go sometimes, I have to just hold my chin up and take one step forward at a time.

The only thing keeping me going is the great grace that placed me here for a reason and I am still breathing.

Here is Bakang, Noma, Litha and Marco all little busy bees. Work Happens!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Joke of the Day

Riding home along the side roads, bi-passing all the eToll Payways, I came across this billboard which was a slap in the face of taxpaying road users. It was on the section where a side road crosses over one of the eToll's Payway. Yes, this is the gift from the African National Congress, aka ANC, where Sanral and their notorious eToll system rob from the already stressed out taxpayer to line the ANC’s own pockets.

Now while the ANC thinks they are getting South Africa moving forward, but the joke is the Gauteng road uses are sitting still in traffic. A better life for the rich, says the ANC, for they can still afford giving the ANC money to drive on the elite payways which we all already paid for.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Preach it Taxi Driver

In South Africa, the public transport is unreliable, unsafe and in most cases non-existent. Well that is if you don't count the mini bus taxi industry. Born out of the Apartheid South Africa, mini bus taxis have become a law unto themselves. They force their own way through the traffic, impervious to the law and other road uses. I don't have much of a problem with the taxis while on my Vespa, as they are courteous to me and even give way. Maybe they love what a Vespa can do in the clogged up traffic and even envy me as I zip through like butter, or maybe, just maybe, I look rather big and intimidating on my small black Vespa.

After church this morning, I came across this local preacher who was at the same time a taxi driver. Talk about a captive audience. Now that reminds me, have you heard the story about the Preacher and the Taxi Driver?

No? Okay then, this Preacher dies and finds himself at the Pearly Gates. After standing before St Peter for quite some time while the gate keeper battled to find the Preacher's name in the big book, this Taxi Driver strolls casually up. St Peter seeing the Taxi Driver, smiles with recognition. He quickly stops what he was doing and quickly ushers the Taxi Driver through the Pearly Gates to the bewilderment of the Preacher.

After picking up his jaw off the ground, the Preacher asks St Peter "Why? Why? Why did you let that Taxi driver through without even blinking your eye, yet you have kept me waiting so long here? Surely I, a Preacher have way more rights to enter into the Kingdom than that unlawful Taxi Driver". "Well", said St Peter, "let me see, oh yes, now tell Mr Preacher, when you preach every Sunday, how many of your congregants nod off to sleep? And when you pray, don't you hear some of your congregants even snoring from the back?" Unable to answer St Peter, the Preacher simply looked down at his feet, wishing the cloud that he was standing on, just open up and swallow him whole.

"Now you saw that that Taxi Driver", continued St Peter, "yes, that Taxi Driver, every time he drives, all his passengers are praying?"

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Stepping Stones to Past Times

When the path ahead changes from smooth to rocky, then altogether fades, we still need to put one foot ahead of the other and keep moving forward.

On this hot morning, Lynda and I went to Nicola's Nursery in Northumberland and after crossing these stepping stones found a quaint tea garden tucked away in the back. Past Times, was filled with butterflies fluttering around and had these nooks and tuck away tables. We enjoyed sitting under a leafy tree away from the bustle of life while sipping on virgin cocktails. The path seemed far away, for now, as we rested in this garden.

Interesting though it wasn't that busy but at the entrance to the tea garden was a sign that stated "Past Times. Sorry, :-( we are too busy right now. Come back in 20 mins :-)" Busy or not on this journey that we on, I think stopping at Past Times' garden is a must.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Wild Flowers

Friday has come around, not soon enough but here it is dragging along with it the weekend. Arriving home after work on a hot summer's day riding the Vespa, perfect start to the weekend except for not seeing Skye all excited from seeing me at the gate.

Walking down to where Skye is, I noticed all the wild flowers growing around where he is laying. Oranges and purples among the greens surrounding the brown dirt of Skye. I've seen the flowers before, but in the setting sun, the colours were all pulsating and vibrant. It is the end of the day, and my thoughts go to that wonderful Whippet, Skye.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Goddess Night

Tonight was Date Night, and a dinner and movie was a perfect break in this rather busy week. Goddess, the Australian musical was showing at Montecasnio so Lynda and I rushed over for our Date Night.

We enjoyed our dinner followed by a freshly quirky musical which left me wanting to bounce into dance and leave the Tuscan styled alleys alive with music, well I don’t think my moves count as dancing nor can I hold a tune.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Pumpkin Patch

This evening, trying the find the Butternut to cook became a problem when Lovely decided to sleep alongside the Butternut. After a full day's work, the days have simply become a flat out then put your feet up at the end of it days.

With the light fading fast after work, spending time with the animals have become a priority, well that is with the relaxing part included.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


It is only the second working week of the year and already I am running around headless with the amount of work piled up. Oh come, oh come Easter Holidays.

It has been a week since Skye passed on, and I have not once had time to think, nor have I had any dreams about Skye. I know that it will hit me sometime in the near future that he is not here anymore.

After work I went round to pick up Lynda from her office, and while waiting I took this photograph with my cellphone of Lynda through a glass of water, rendering her legless or is it one of those headless ghosts that carry their heads around.

Monday, 13 January 2014

And The Gates Remain Closed

For some time now, I have being trying to take a few photographs of the Croatian church of St. Jerome's Roman Catholic Church in Houghton but the large steel gates remain closed to me. St. Jerome's is just down the road where I work, and it seems that lunch times are never the right time to go. Oh well I better keep on trying to get these gates to open.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Not All What It Seems

My remaining pack of 3 Italian Greyhounds and a rescue Jack Russell, were way overdue for their walk but I am now so scared going out of our haven, in case one of my dogs pick up something. But I was torn between my grief from my loss of Skye and the ignoring the rest of my pack. Time to wake up and smell the roses, it time to walk my pack again and get a life.

Arriving at the Kingfisher Park in Fourways, I found the park in a bad state with grass so long that it I could not dare allow my pack walk there. It was getting late in the afternoon and I wasn’t in the mood to drive to Delta or Emmerentia so I eventually ended up at the Lonehill Park. I haven't been there for over 5 years because it wasn't friendly to Italian Greyhounds due to no fencing at the roads at either end and Maxy loved to just run and run. But this time I am very confident with my pack will stay close to me and listen.

I was pleasantly surprise how beautiful it was there. My pack behaved and stayed close. One side of the lake at Lonehill Park was covered in these green hyacinth that it looked like a beautiful flat lawn to race on, so did my pack think. Each one of my pack tried to run on the water only to find themselves swimming. Here is Podge and Patch finding that the grass is not all what it seems.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Dodging the Butterflies

The annual migration of the Belenois Aurota aka Brown Veined Caper white butterflies have started with the first swarms of the season descending on Johannesburg. Driving around in the heat of the day became dodging the hundreds of white butterflies fluttering across the roads.

Trying to find one to photograph was not easy as they didn't stop for long. Here is one stopping briefly for sustenance on our lavender before fluttering off into the wind.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Matthew Grieves

Matthew has been grieving the passing of Skye, so I thought best for him to come over for the weekend and spend time with the Italian Greyhounds. It was a long ride from the East Rand to the North and here is Matthew going through the images of my tribute to Skye on Facebook called "A Life of Skye" while holding a paper cut out of Skye that he made earlier.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Lynda, Lynda, Quite Contrary

Lynda, Lynda, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With aubergines, and green peppers,
And pretty lettuce all in a row.

Our little start to a vegetable patch in the garden is starting to take shape. Not bad, little green fingers, not bad at all.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Back To Work

It is back to work I go, I owe, I owe. Yip I have being back at work now since Monday but my loss yesterday over saturated my hours with grief. When I received that phone call about 10am yesterday, I was so shocked that couldn't even talk to the vet at all. I had to walk out of my open plan office outside where the tears and howling started. Why did this have to happen? After pulling myself together, I made a few phone calls and left to fetch Skye. On the way across the city, my shock turned to anger. I wanted to blame someone. I don't have much memory of the conversations I had with the vet but I do recall something about Skye having a heart attack because of fluid around his heart. I have blamed my work, the vets, and myself. But who else can I blame other than myself?

I am trying to keep myself busy while at work but the time I spent with Skye seems the focus now. Looking through my blog post over the last few weeks, one thing is apparent, most of them are of Skye. Now I better put up another type of a back to normal post, although nothing is normal anymore without Skye.

Back at the office the content team is Delia-less, and today the team of Noma, Marco and Litha, dived straight into the deep end to strategise the few months ahead. While on the technical side, that’s me, I have been uber busy running reports which have helped me from crashing and burning into depression.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

O Siyeza Skye

Rest in Peace Skye, the most beautiful brindle and white Whippet I've ever had the honour of sharing a life with, 22 November 2011 to 7 January 2014. May you chase all those wabbits somewhere out there, run free my boy, run free till the time that I'll join you, with you by my side once again. I'll scratch the back of your neck, the place that you love me scratching. I am coming home.

As the words of one of my favourite songs, The Crossing, states, O Siyeza, we are coming, we will arrive soon. Through all the days that eat away at every breath that I take, through all the nights I've lain alone in someone else's dream. Awake all the words in truth we have spoken, that the wind has blown away. It's only you that remains with me, clear as the light of day.

O Siyeza, o siyeza, sizofika webaba noma. O siyeza, o siyeza, siyagudle lomhlaba. Siyawela lapheshaya lulezontaba ezimnyama. Lapha sobheka phansi konke ukhulupheka. We are coming, we are coming, we will arrive soon. We are coming, we are coming, we are moving across this earth. We are crossing over those dark mountains where we will lay down our troubles.

Inside of him a boy looks up to his father for a sign or an approving eye. Oh, it's funny how those once so close and now gone can still so affect our lives. Take me now, hold me close don't let go, I'm coming home.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Sad Skye, Sad Me

Yes I know that Skye has been featured often lately but these have been trying times for our little family.

Skye was admitted back into hospital today, he stopped eating and no matter what I tried, Skye simply wanted to lie down and feel sorry for himself, with his fever and really snotty nose. The vet tested Skye's blood and found that the Biliary has returned, which gives the vet something to work with as she is very concerned about Skye. X-rays found no problems in his lungs and upper respiratory system. Now we need to find what is causing Skye's nasal issues.

I am really down about what Skye is going through.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Last Day of Summer

On the last day of the summer holidays is here and tomorrow is back to work. Skye went back for his daily visit to the vet, who is still no closer to what Skye is suffering from. Skye's fever is still in the 40s˚C and has not broken. His nose is bunged up and his is battling to breathe so much so that he doesn't want to eat on his own therefore I have to hand feed him. Last night was difficult as Skye kept pacing up and down, as he was finding it difficult to breathe lying down. He keeps rubbing his muzzle with his paws. This is a time where I wish he could just blow his nose.

The vet is very concerned because of the immune suppression medication that Skye was on, would have caused him to catch just about anything such as a fungal respiratory bug. Luckily she has allowed Skye to go home but has to go in every day for a status check and more medication.

This afternoon, we had a final braai (a South African barbeque) for the summer on my front lawn, and Skye enjoyed lying in the shade of the large tree in our garden, while I tended to the meat on the braai. Sorry Skye no steak for you, only rice and boiled chicken.

Saturday, 4 January 2014


It is the last few days till the official end of the summer holidays. It has been a tough Christmas for me and my little family but there have been sparks of blessings.

Skye is home but has to go every day to the vet as his fever hasn't broken, he has a runny nose, and the vet is hesitant to give stronger medicine as his kidneys are not strong enough from the recent bout of IMHA.

This afternoon I travelled up to Krugersdorp to visit a Concentration Camp which the British built during the Boer War. In total the British built 109 concentration camps in South Africa and over 26,000 women and children died. Just walking through the hundreds of little graves of the innocent children sure puts your life in prospective.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Contagious Yawn

Last night Skye developed a fever and had refused to eat. He has just been weaned off the immune system suppression medicine so it is not a good time for him to catch anything. Here is Patch yawning in sympathy with Skye as both walk around in the garden first thing in the morning. Excuse me; this yawning is contagious, huuuuuuuuuuuuuoooouuuaaaaaaahaaa!!! This is too early for any sensible dog to be up and about, let alone a sick one.

Anyway, our only option was to go straight to the vet. Skye's temperature was 39.4˚C, which is too high, and early signs of inter-cellular bacteria were found in his blood. The vet is not sure if possible Ehrlichiosis is causing it or if his Immune Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia, IMHA, is returning now that he has been weaned off his medicine. Bottom line, Skye's immune system is way down, so he could have picked up any bug.

They say, smooth water comes before the waterfall, but it seems like I have only gotten my head above the water when I find myself back in the rapids. Here we go once again.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Only One Glass

It was a beautiful day for a ride in the countryside on the Vespa, so Lynda and I set off. Our first stop was Muldersdrift and the Shades of Ngwenya glass factory. Now I always wanted to try my hand at glass blowing and this is something I'll need to look into. Maybe I should become an apprentice to a Glass Master, maybe. Here Lynda found the one wine glass to rule them all. It brings a new meaning to me saying, only one glass of wine.

From here we headed for the Black Horse Brewery in Magaliesburg for a halfway stop on our meander. The beer and food was enjoyable but the service left a lot to be desired although it was very busy, I’ll give them that and they did handle our issues outstandingly.

Our last stop of our ride into the country was Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij at Skeerpoort. There were not many visitors to the cheese farm, maybe because it was starting to get late in the afternoon. After our quiet pit stop, we headed home.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Tarantula Hawk

Oh my, what a start to the New Year. Seeing a Tarantula Hawk in action is a blessed start to 2014 although my friend Delia, an arachnophile, would be quite upset, but that tarantula was over 10cm in diameter. From Eagle Owls to poisonous Rinkhals snakes, now I have some of the brood of Ungoliant to deal with. I wish I knew what type of Great Spider this is, unless Delia could help.

Getting low down on the ground I tried to get into the fast action of this female Spider Wasp dragging her freshly caught dinner back to her burrow where she will lay her single egg inside this paralysed tarantula.

This is a good start to the year. Now breathe deep and take the plunge.

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