Thursday, 30 April 2015

Youth has No Age

This morning the weather was once again beautiful and we decided to have a hike and picnic lunch at Kaapsehoop up against the escarpment overlooking the Barberton crater.

Matthew and I were last here about two years ago taking our Italian Greyhounds for a walk. his time we were joined by my sister Theresa, her husband Hans, and their two children Daniellê and Jaen. Well you know Matthew and I by now so Theresa is the one in the Youth has No Age t-shirt, Hans the Zombie through the hole, Daniellê with the dog called Fudge and Jaen in the green, grey and white striped t-shirt.

My only gripe of the day, is while on our hike we saw signs of litter, cigarette stompies, chip packets, and sweet wrappers littered around this beautiful place. Normally it is so peaceful here amongst the rock formations but we could hear dogs barking all the way from the Kaapsehoop village. Not cool peoples, not cool.

The wild flowers and stunning rock formations were still a draw card for Kaapsehoop, along with the views and wild horses. By the end of our hike, all we needed to do was to put our feet up and relax while the picnic lunch was served.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Elephant Black Powder

Arriving in the Slowveldt yesterday we were made aware that this used to be the frontier, where gold was found in dem hills. We spent the night at my parents place aka Matthew's grand parents, out in the forests covered hills surrounding Sabie.

Sitting with my feet up, expecting a prospector pulling a mule to come trudging past, as I eye out a tin of Elephant Black Powder on the shelf while sipping my sweet coffee with one eye closed. Black Powder, suitable for muskets, pistols, and shotguns.

My mom started baking bread at five this morning, and had a huge loaf packed and ready for Matthew and I as we started loading my Vespa for Day Two of our road trip. Uhmmm the hot fresh bread smelled delish and we struggled to hold ourselves back.

While packing the Vespa, we noticed that Scarlet, the name we call my red Vespa GTS 300ie Super, decided to become a male with a name change from Vespa to Vesp. Vesp means wasp in Italian and Vespa is the feminine version of Vesp. Oh dear we must have lost the "a" along the way yesterday. Scarlet must have thought that she now has a pair of manly bits after that long ride yesterday and doesn't need a feminine name. How about Scarface?

We left my folks and wound down along a scenic route towards Nelspruit through forest covered hills and windy mountain passes. We finally reached my sister's place by mid day where she had lunch ready for us. Matthew was only glad to be out of the saddle and with his cousins for a while.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Father and Son Road Trip

One of the best things I can recommend is a Father and Son Road Trip, and we decided for the road trip is to head out to the Mpumalanga Escarpment aka the Slowveldt on my trusty Vespa.

It was a slow start as halfway to pick up Matthew, I realised that I left his helmet behind which delayed us by one and a half hours. But the weather was good with clear skies as we headed east towards the country on a open road.

To miss the Tollgate which costs the same as a tank of fuel, we turned off at Witbank and went on the back route through to Middleburg where we stopped for lunch. On the route between Middleburg and the Carolina turnoff the tar road turned into gravel with bits of tar giving us a hint what it used to be.

Going was slow and the blue skies started to form fluffy popcorn clouds which raised a bit of concern as I didn't want to be caught out in the open country in a raging thunderstorm. One consolation was that we came across a huge signboard warning of endangered Grass Owls in the road. What? After our trip we researched this never heard of Grass Owl which turned out to look similar to the Barn Owl to our untrained eyes. More research revealed that the farmers grain trucks drop corn along the bad roads which attract the rodents which in turn attract the owls who wait for the rodents to come out into the open road for an easy dinner, hence the warning sign.

After that bumpy section, we were happy to reach the freeway again even though it was for the short stretch to the Belfast turnoff. With the blue skies behind us, it started to get cloudy as we headed through Dullstroom to Lydenburg and by the time we reached Lydenburg there was a large ominous looking black cloud building up over Long Tom Pass. What to do, stay over in Lydenburg or take a chance? I have been on this pass in thick mist, thunderstorms, hailstorms and in snowstorms, this pass knows how give the worst to weary travelers.

Matthew and I, decided to take the change on the going over the pass and we were glad that we did as the trip over the pass was awesome. The weather always threatened but allowed us over safely with spectacular views and cloud formations along with misty areas just to give us the hint of what this pass can dish out.

Arriving at Sabie we were greeted with a carpet of leaves, broken branches, and a devastated landscape. We found out that the day before at about 3pm, a massive storm came over the pass with hailstones between the size of golf balls and tennis balls. And I was very thankful to God, that we didn't ride out the day before which was an option open to us.

Now with sore bums at the end of Day One of this Father and Son Road Trip, we sit with feet up in this beautiful place called the slowveldt.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Freedom Day Reflections

Where were you on this day 21 years ago? Can you remember? Most South Africans can as this is Freedom Day where there were long queues of people waiting to cast their first democratic votes. I remember exactly where I was, in Durban.

Reflecting back on the 21 years, what has changed? Oh there goes the power yet again. For 21 years Eskom has been struggling with aging power stations and have nothing to show for the 21 years. They even had to take out two moth balled power stations dating back to the 1960s just to try keep up with their bad planning and little maintenance. Oh well the money had to go to pay the corporate bonuses.

On this Freedom Day, I come across the coal fired Pretoria West Power station sitting idle doing nothing, it was a perfect photograph for my Freedom Day. Reflecting on the 21 years we have come since the first democratic elections, I am excited and yet why am I so sad at the same time? We have done many things right along this journey but at the same time things have fallen apart due to corruption and greed of a few. The poor grow poorer and the rich richer in this new South Africa of ours.

Okay I am getting off the topic of today, doing some research, I found that there are talks to get this over 50 year old power station back up and running again especially for the peak periods when load shedding has become a norm. So as it may look tranquil now, this old lady may come to our rescue and rescue we need indeed.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

After Bath Nap

The long weekend has turned out to be beautiful and warm. Perfect time to wash the cats. Here is tiny Princess who is having an afternoon nap after her shock of a bath. How could we do such a thing to poor kitty tats?

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Pom Pom

Dear readers, it is not often you come across a beautiful Chinese Crested dog, especially little Pom Pom, shown here with his mohawk.

Although he wasn’t looking his best, as the poor little boy had to come see the Vet because he had a chest cold with a stuffy noise. Hopefully nothing that an anti-biotic can’t fix.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Rainy Friday

Wow, the weather was way out for today. With no rain predicted I took the Vespa into work and oh boy did it rain. By afternoon the skies got heavy with pregnant clouds and soon the heavens opened up to torrential rain. Thank goodness the heavy part had blown over about the time it was for me to head home.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Oh Mary-Anne

Well now, oh Mary Anne, she rode on her horse from Polo into the positive energy of Sunworx Solar as the Brand Development and Marketing lady. With all the darkness around us, Sunworx Photovoltaic Systems is a company well placed to provide home and business with light energy.

Oh bring out the lightsabers, today Mary-Anne spent the day with us, getting to know us, the crazy ones, here at eKayaMedia and of course making sure that we are on track with all our Sunworx work.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Hot Chocolate

Winter is coming, or so they keep saying but nothing comes. Here in South Africa, the air is starting to chill ever so closer to zero. We winterised the animals’ sleeping areas and have even thrown on a thicker winter duvets onto the beds.

This morning the New Media team managed to twist my arm and convince me that the smell of fresh percolated coffee would help get our Wednesday Catch-up meeting running more smoothly on this cool morning. So we ended up at the Mugg & Bean at President Hyper mall in Krugersdorp for our meeting.

And now for the hot chocolate which not surprising was the drink of choice for our meeting this morning. So here is hot chocolate Noma wondering which hot chocolate she should try next, Chocolate Chai, Red Velvet Chocolate, or the White Chocolate drinks. It was a hard choice but she chose the Chocolate Chai.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Walk Towards the Light

People say that no matter what you are going through is this life on earth, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may seem hard to get to but we can do it if we just keep on walking towards the light. My problem with this is that nearly always the light turns out to be an oncoming train.

Run Forest, Run!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Young Abraham Lincoln

"The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on its accuracy" – Abraham Lincoln, 1862. Well this quote nails it on its head, ooh there is just one small problem. 1862 and internet in the same sentence. I came across this very problem during the xenophobic crisis that we are having currently in South Africa. One of the photos that started circulating this week as to show what was happening was taken by Jon Hrusa. Those who regularly follow my blog would know that I attended Jon’s funeral way back in 2011 and I am sure in spirit he would be ashamed of what was happening. Okay although I am appalled to hear what is happening, I also want you to be 100% sure that the news or image you are sharing on social is correct and current. We can’t have any falseness mixing in with the truth because that just dilutes what is happening.

Even today, the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is trying to spin doctor himself out of not saying that all foreigners must leave South Africa and thereby exciting the masses to afrophobia. He said like a true politician that his words were taken out of context. All I see is a leader who dares not apologise for the mistakes he made.

Here is Jacques from the signage team, looking like our very own Abraham Lincoln, hence I opened with his not so his quote. So I will end with one of his truly famous ones "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time" and no this not a young Abraham Lincoln nor a doppelgänger but Jacques.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Beware of Smurfs

Dear Enlightened aka Frogs,

Please be aware of trying to capture a Resistance member to indoctrinate them to your foul ways. Yes although smurfs as they are more commonly called, are normally cute and cuddly, they are known to retaliate if they feel threatened.

So if during the game of Ingress you come across a smurf in the wild, don’t try to surprise him or her, don’t even try to corner the poor smurf rather slowly let the smurf know that you there in his space and with open hands introduce yourself when asked what type of Enlightened are you. Please don’t forget this small piece of enlightened information which one day might save your life.

So beware of smurfs as here be smurfs, yes I came across this group of smurfs, meeting at the sacred grounds of the Irene Concentration Camp Cemetery and Garden of Remembrance for a Sunday afternoon hack and braai. As you can see from the following photos compared to the first two, that smurfs if met in a non-threatening way can be quite docile and of course cute and cuddly as their name suggests.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Vespa for Sale

So finally I have arrived at the place where I need to sell my beloved Vespa ET8 150. Anastasiya started life as Sophia when I bought her way back in 2009 and with all the adventures we have been through I would love to keep her forever but sadly it is time to say good bye as I hardly ride her any more now that Scarlet my red Vespa 300 GTS Super has dominated.

I can remember both the ups and the downs of our time together and we have got the scars to prove it. In 2010 Sophia was the only Vespa 150 to take on the Mille or 1000 Miles tour to the Phalaborwa, Sabie, Hazyview, and back, all to the amazement of the 250s and 300cc Vespas.

That is when the adventure started, from the mud, to the Sani Pass Vespa Adventure. It was the open road and the spirit of adventure.

Then we hit rock bottom when Sophia engine went just over 47,000km of adventures in 2012. I then bought a brand new Vespa LX150 which was involved in an accident at 2,400km and used her to do a Dr Jekyll on Sophia and Anastasiya was born.

But our time was running short as Anastasiya and I only managed to do one more adventure after that, the almighty Baviaanskloof before she was replaced by Scarlet and is now gathering dust.

It will be sad to see her go but please remember that this Vespa for Sale comes with history.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Four in the Morning Face

Getting Lynda to the airport on time for a flight down to Durban can be stressful, but I think we aced it this morning. I suppose living around the corner for the airport does help. This weekend it is her dad’s 80th birthday party and the children are gathering. So looking at Lynda photo that I took this morning, I want to know what does your four in the morning face look like.

When the cats away, the mice come out to play, in other words, this means a boys weekend of chilling and parties. Who let the dogs out?

After dropping off Lynda, I went home and finished getting ready for work. Her flight was delayed due to a crew member had a personal issue and a replacement crew member was called for. Anyway, I watched the take-off from my back door while finishing some breakfast. Then left for work. As I sat down behind my desk, the message came through that they just landed in Durban. What? 45mins, now that is fast.

So weekend is here, and the party is just starting.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Beloved Arum Lily

Oh what could be more beautiful than finding creamy white arum lilies not too far from your office window. Along with our Proteas, Strelitzias, the Arum Lily is one of the most beautiful flowers of Southern Africa.

Uhmm beauty in the midst of ugliness all around, what kind of world do I live in? I can only answer that with a "Broken one". Clouds are returning to the clear blue winter skies with news of South African fear of other Africans spreading. Yes xenophobia, black on black racism, murder of the defenceless, greedy patriotism, call it what ever you want, afrophobia is spreading its filthy fingers though out this beloved land of ours. I look towards the hills, but whence will leadership come from? Oh cry my beloved country, cry.

I read somewhere yesterday that scientists have found out that tears have little to do with sadness. They are liquid escape pods, allowing painful images to leave the eyes. Sigh! These are painful images showing the afrophobic hate that we have here in South Africa, images which are now trending on social media. Look a policeman is smiling as two human beings burn to death. A policeman who is meant to keep the peace thinks it is very funny that someone's son/father/brother is being murdered right in front of him. At first we try whitewash the past by removing the statues, and while another statue falls, we now try erase those who are even blacker than ourselves.

South Africans, have we become the monster that once stared out from the abyss? Have we learned from the racist apartheid masters to become ourselves the biggest racists around? Tears trickle down my face as I replace the sad images inside the escape pods with images of arum lilies. Cry my beloved arum lilies, cry.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

All Quiet on the Western Front

On a beautiful pre winter’s day, load-shedding well under way here, there, and well just about everywhere in South Africa,

I sit in my very quiet office. Listen I can just hear the wind in the trees over the distant hum of the diesel generator. And that “report confined itself to the single sentence: All quiet on the Western Front.”

I had fallen forward, head lay on my desk as if I am sleeping. Listen? Listen no birds, only the wind carrying that dull hum of motor making electricity.

“We are forlorn like children, and experienced like old men, we are crude and sorrowful and superficial, I believe we are lost.” I close my eyes.

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