Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Hug a Cat

Have you hugged your cat today, or as in my case your cat hugs you. Yes, today was the first productive day this week and there I was on my computer and Paddy decided to comfort me by giving me a hug. Yes I really need this hug as I am not on the edge of the abyss anymore Toto, I am free falling.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Fairies and Woodpeckers

Yesterday and today have been rather hard on me and this stress is taking its toll. I arrived back from Pretoria yesterday late morning, tired, hot and bothered only to find the fibre is down since this morning and no one has an answer to when it will be back. Mid afternoon, an SMS arrives from Vumatel to inform us that it would take 10 to 14 hours to rectify as they have to wait for City Power to make the area safe. So what happened to their SLA of 7 hours to repair any damage to the line, uhmmm, Vumatel is like all the others.

Anyway 14 hours came and went, and this morning still no firbe. No fibre means no internet, no work. So I started preparing to go out and work at a place with internet when I got the message that my mom took a turn for the worse. From the sounds of the messages I got, her heart faded, and with hardly any blood pressure, the medical team injected adrenaline and her heart went in the opposite. It is not well.

The fibre finally came back and I started working to get my mind off all my stress but after an hour the power tripped. A whole section of our suburb was out, expecting it to be restored quickly, we were mistaken as we were kept in the dark on what was going on, excuse my pun but it was only about 3ish in the afternoon that we found out that they found the fault and power will be restored between 20h00 to 21h00 as they have to repair a faulty cable. Shortly after 21h00, we received another message that they still working frantically to restore power and it should be back up at 23h00.

In the meanwhile I received a message from my sister that mom is stable. A second vascular operation was scheduled for tomorrow but that has now been postponed until further tests on my mom’s heart can be run. I went to bed.

At about 22h22 I woke to find the lights back on. Yay, so now I can post a photo that I took earlier of the Fairy Iris or Dietes grandiforia, which is flowering in my garden at the moment. I enjoy my garden which calms me a bit, although wine did help this evening. Anyways my garden is a beautiful attraction to butterflies and bees, with plenty of sunbirds and as of this evening a Cardinal Woodpecker came a knocking.

Monday, 15 January 2018

New Wheels

It is another sweltering day and I had to take Matthew to Pretoria as he starts his Maths course at the Belgium Campus today. He had to be there before 8am and although schools haven’t started, we didn’t take any chances with the traffic so we left just after 5am.

It was an early start and after dropping off Matthew, I went to the hospital to check up on my mom who is having a vascular operation today, and of course to check out her new wheels.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Bestie Braai

It is stinking hot. We were supposed to go to the Botanical Gardens this afternoon but I am afraid the heat just kept us in the shade. Nou gaan ons braai, now what other way is there than to have a braai to finish off the weekend with your best friend.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Tritonoa Nelsonii

Late afternoon, after Robbie got back from Pretoria, we took the dogs for a walk along the ridge line so he could take in the beautiful views. Leaving the Protea trees we came across a small dainty orange flower, the Tritonoa Nelsonii amongst the rocky outcrops but due to the breezy conditions I struggled to get the flower in focus but everything else is, you get the idea. Nearby there was this thorny leaf plant snuggled in between the rocks.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Robbie’s Visit

My best friend since High School, Robbie, phoned me a few weeks back letting me know that he is coming up to Johannesburg, well the main reason is that he met someone online and they are meeting up for the first time in Pretoria tomorrow. Yay, it is about time you find someone special Robbie.

Mixing business with pleasure, Robbie took the opportunity to see a few suppliers while he is up here and arrived at my home after getting a little lost just before the sun set. Anyways it is good to have him over the weekend as we have a lot of catching up to do, well since last year December when I was down in Natal.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Lemon Meringue Pie or Key Lime Pie

It is the last full day mom is with us and we ended up at some Turkish restaurant which happened to serve a South African favourite, Lemon Meringue Pie. This bought up a time long question I have wanted to answer, which is the best Lemon Meringue Pie or Key Lime Pie, but never got round to tasting a Key Lime Pie so I am starting to wonder if this question would ever be answered in an unbiased way.

So these are my questions...

  1. Who makes the best Lemon Meringue Pie?
  2. Where can I get a good Key Lime Pie so that I can use for a taste experiment? 
I am based in Johannesburg, so I can't get to any exotic places where some of you live unless you can courier a pie to me. Anyways I love a good lemon meringue pie but can't wait to experience why some make a big fuss over key lime pie.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Relaxing by the Pool

Yesterday afternoon a storm was blown in due to the tropical storm off the Indian Ocean and colder air was sucked in from the south. It is a relief that that colder air sweeped away the heat wave. This morning we woke up to an overcast misty day but thankfully the sun broke through late in the afternoon, just enough for my mom to warm herself on the deck by the pool.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Backyard Tourists

With my mom staying with us for the week, it is have been left up to me to look entertain as Lynda is back at work. Oh well our first stop is the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens just below us. We took an easy stroll up to the waterfall and on the way back we stopped for a nice light lunch at the tea garden halfway. Ahhh being tourists in my own backyard.

Monday, 8 January 2018

My Heavy

Matthew had to go to Pretoria for a 2 week Maths course to prepare him for what lies ahead. The problem is this was not planned nor budgeted for so I had to arrange with my sister for Matthew to stay there for the 2 weeks. So off to Pretoria we drove, and the worst part is that Pretoria is at least 5° warmer than here and it is getting hotter.

It was early when we arrived, Theresa was not home yet from work but her husband Hans just arrived back from work. In Afrikaans they call my brother-in-law a swaar which directly translated means heavy. Don't know why heavy but that how it goes.

My mom is staying at my sister's place as she is up for a surgical operation but it is only scheduled for next week Monday, so Hans and I did a prisoner exchange. My mom came home with me while Matthew went straight with Jaen-Jurie to play games on the computer while we said bye to my heavy.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Sweet Nectar

It is the first Sunday of the year, and I feel excited meeting up at Centre Church in Northriding. Matthew is a little down as his old school friends have let him down, they were supposed to go to Gold Reef City but the dates had changed and were finally settled on this Sunday but at the last minute it was called off as they had no transport to meet Matthew at Gold reef City and now had planned to go out locally in Benoni too far for Matthew to join them.

Matthew keeps pestering me to take more walks into the wild outside our house. And why not, the Protea Trees are in full bloom. It is just an awesome sight, a forest of Proteas all flowering at the same time, just a few metres from your front garden with the sunbirds are taking full advantage the the sweet nectar.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Relaxing Saturday

Somebody left the oven door open and the temperatures are just climbing and climbing, surely it will break through the 40°s today. There is not much we want to do in this heat, thankfully there is a gentle breeze coming down through the valley which does help a bit.

In the insipid heat, Matthew at least finds time to catch up on some strategic videos of some of the games that he plays.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Minky asks Why

At least before we forget, Minky still needed to go the vet for her annual check-up and injections. Now Minky has never been to the Silverfields vet up the road from us and was not a happy camper arriving at a veterinary clinic that she knew no-one. We took both River Song and Minky and as expected Minky was the best behaved of the two but she did pleaded "why" when she did not recognised the faces around her.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Granny in Sunglasses

Matthew and I had to go up to Pretoria to see about a Student Loan for Matthew. And today the temperatures soared to the high 30°Cs. I think we are in for a scorching hot few days as we sweated in the heavy Pretoria heat.

When we were finally finished, I thought that we would take a turn to see my mom who is up from Sabie to see the vascular specialist. So perfect opportunity to get a photo of granny with her grandchildren minus 1. From left to right is Matthew, granny in sunglasses, Danielle, and Jaen-Jurie.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Hang Ten

With all the parties behind us, it is now to start the year off in earnest as I hang ten my toes over the abyss that I find myself at. Rosy knows just what to do in times like this, why it is a perfect time for a cat nap, don’t you think?

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Medicross Wait

What is with these doctors who don’t know how to manage time and expect their clients to wait for them when time costs money? No other profession is less caring now days as the medical. About 2 months back the staff at Health Worx in Randpark Ridge treated Lynda with such distain that I vowed that we will never go back there. And today I took Matthew to Medicross Rangeview as he needed a doctor. Let the waiting begin...

Wait, wait for just 1 doctor that is one duty. We booked an appointment for 3pm and arrived half an hour early to a nearly empty waiting room but yet we had to wait until 20 to 4 to finally see the doctor.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Blessed 2018

So the New Year has finally started, thankfully as last night was a terrible ordeal. Sometime back the City of Joburg in all their wisdom changed an all out ban of fireworks to be limited to certain days which means last night and tonight, fireworks are allowed but only between certain times and if no animals are present. The problem is that the by-laws are so vague and nearly impossible to enforce that they are a joke.

Last night, a neighbour decided to start letting off fireworks at 8pm, 2 hours before he was allowed. I sent a message to the neighbourhood WhatsApp group reminding them the by-laws and thankfully he stopped. But I had this gut feeling this wouldn’t be the end of it. And sure enough 10 minutes before the allowed time, he sent a high powered rocket across my bows.

Thankfully we had managed to coral our cats inside and locked the dogs inside their dog-house but that was enough as rocket after rocket exploded directly over our house in what seems to be a vindictive way. The cats were bouncing off the walls, they didn’t know which way to turn. I had to go outside and join the dogs inside their house to calm them down. The 2 Italian Greyhounds, Maxy and Jade, slept through the entire fireworks but it was the Podge, the Jack Russell and the pavement special Mr Wiggles who were terrified as the remains of the exploded fireworks fell onto the roof. Our new German/Belgium Shepherd puppy River Song was okay and Matthew took her out into the garden as the bangs exploded just over our heads.

A neighbour’s dog died from result of the fireworks but with no legal avenue to pursue, a lot of neighbours are angry and disgusted with the inconsiderate fool. As a result the local councillors have started a petition to force the City of Joburg to re-introduce the blanket ban, have a more stringent penalties and a better means of prosecuting.

But that was last night and a new blessed year has started and what way to start the new year off on the right foot, is for the family came over for a 3 roast lunch and a relaxing first day around the pool.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Last Breakfast

It is the last day of 2017 and I volunteered to help out at centre Church cooking up a breakfast. Well little did Matthew know I press ganged him to join me as we cook up some bacon and egg for the last breakfast of the year. Nou gaan ons braai.

May my readers have an awesome Hogmanay and a blessed 2018.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Alsophila Dregei

I have never seen 2 grown men so excited over 2 plants since well the Joel Stransky’s drop kick ending the 1995 Rugby World Cup. I too got into the spirit and danced a little gig.

Let me start from the beginning, since we have moved here after falling in love with the spectacular views from our deck, I have been sending Andrew, the chief Horticulturist at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens just downstream from us, photos of plants found in the gorge and along the rocky edges. He has also been quick to rattle off the biological species names back to me which have been very helpful especially since I am keen to discover the extremely endangered orchids here.

Some time I go I sent him a photo of a tree fern down in the gorge that I found but after looking at my photo he responded rather flatly that it was a Cyathea Australis from Australia. He explained to me that the indigenous Alsophila Dregei is locally extinct and has last been seen here on the Witwatersrand in the early 1900s. That was until today.

Last week a naturalist posted a photo of 2 tree ferns that was taken in our gorge onto an international website suggesting that they were Alsophila Dregei. The debut started if it really was the Dregei and not the Australis. So Andrew armed with the co-ordinates found that the sighting was only a few 100m from where I live. So started the expedition down into the gorge to confirm the sighting.

Andrew along with Tony an ecologist specialising in the Roodepoort and Krugersdorp Ridge system met me at my home and we hiked down into the gorge. Andreas, chairman of the Roodekrans Community Watch, and his wife Suzanne, joined us as they hiked in from a different direction. The first tree ferns we found was the Australis species but then we found the 2 tree ferns in question and like I said early, I never saw 2 men so excited as it was a positive identification of 2 Alsophila Dregei of about 10 years old each. Extensive photos were taken of nearly everything of the fern, even a sample frond was taken to be assessed in a lab.

Andrew gave us an in situ botany lesson on the differences of the Australis to the Dregei as we felt the differences with our hands. Now I can too tell the difference and will be now looking out for more Dregei in the area.

A plant thought to be locally extinct has been rediscovered.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Hello Sweetie

Hello Sweetie, oh you are such a pretty girl. River Song at 2 months old has nearly doubled in size since she came home and she can eat, boy can she eat this bundle of German shepherd crossed with a Belgium shepherd. She is not a clumsy puppy anymore and has found her place in our pack.

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Red Chair

Christmas has come and gone for another year, and Santa’s seat is vacant while he goes and I suppose hibernates or heads for the beach. Perfect timing for me to try out the red chair in case I don’t lose any weight this coming year or my beard grows into a full Santa beard.

Uhmmm, oh well I think it is time to go on that diet that has been giving me the weebie jeebies.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Last Jedi

Uhmmm Matthew and I finally went and saw the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, and well we have mixed feelings. The movie was well done but to me it felt way too long and I was over it long before the end. Oh deary me. Beam me up Scotty before a wanna to be Jedi comes to finish me off. Anyways I am sure this new movie will inspire a whole new generation of kids to the galaxy far, far away as the latest Star Trek franchise, Discovery, is also not so good. But will the kids actually be as excited about Star Wars as we were as kids? Matthew was like sure dad. I'll go with you to watch that movie from the franchise that you adored as a kid as he rolls his eyes. He wanted to rather go watch the latest Jackie Chan movie The Foreigner. At least it has Pierce Brosnan.

It is sad to say that the best part for me was the little Oliver Twist character at the end with the broom. The Force is still alive. Goodbye Carrie Fisher. Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Day After

The weather had changed from a hot and sticky Christmas to a cool overcast day with the sun trying to break through but lost. We stayed in bed as long as we could but had to drag ourselves out as the house needed cleaning before the afternoon visitors arrived.

Yesterday we had so much food that today was decided to leave the puddings and desserts for today.

By 2 o’clock a storm broke over Johannesburg just as I was supposed to leave to drive across town to pick up Matthew after his Christmas with his mother. As I left I saw these 2 guineafowls huddled under a tree seeking shelter from the rain.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Mixed Christmas

Christmas Day we all gathered at Robynne and Marco’s home for a Christmas lunch of mixed traditions. The normal Christmas foods that we are used to plus traditional South African braai, Madeiran Espetadas, and Durban Indian curried prawns. Ahhh these mixed families gatherings like to spice things up.

Merry Christmas everyone

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Day before Christmas

Tis was the day before Christmas, last minute shopping was franticly done and the first of the Christmas visitors arrived. No room in the inn could be cried as my brother and his wife Helene were bearing lovely gifts and who doesn’t like gifts.

It was a hot sticky type of day, thankfully Anthony and Helene brought their swimming costumes as we just had to jump into the pool, along with all the dogs. It was a good visit and we all enjoyed the day before Christmas except the shopping part.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Where’s Granny

Robynne was very busy at work as it was the last day, so Lynda and I picked up granddaughter Rebekah so that Robynne can have a chance to finish up at the office.

First we went shopping as final presents needed to be purchased, and then it was home. Thankfully as the shops were getting way too crowded for my liking. Once home I had to get Matthew back to Benoni so that he can spend Christmas with his mother, brother, sister, nieces and nephews.

And finally I got back home, Rebekah was sleeping and Lynda was busy cleaning the home of which the state had gone past the tolerable state. Then Bradley phone, he needed to be picked up. Ahhh like ships in the night, Lynda left and I well I was left with sleeping Rebekah.

Now trust Rebekah to wake up and started looking for granny. To solve the problem of no granny I picked her up and we both started looking for granny, going from room to room and finally into the garden, no granny but by this time Rebekah was having fun with granddad. Around the pool and no granny behind the tree, oh look there is a cat up the tree.

And finally back on the deck, sitting each in our own chairs, Rebekah with her juice and biscuit, and me with mine. Listening to the birds and of course the cats came closer to investigate too.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Canadian Surprise

Friends of ours, Nic, Suzanne, Nika, and Aidon, from Canada are in town for the Christmas holidays, and they came round for breakfast much to the surprise of Matthew. Oh course I kept it a secret and he was sure surprised to see his friend Aidon who he last saw way in 2008 when Matthew visited Toronto. And my Aidon has grown, he is a head taller than Matthew and Matthew is tall himself. What are they feeding him in Canada?

After breakfast we took a walk into the Protea Forest to the edge of the gorge, it was River Song’s first walk into the veldt and she enjoyed it although she did get stuck at some of the rocky bits and Aidon helped her.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Finish Now

The year must finish now. We all shopped out from too many visits to the busy malls, although Matthew and I still have to go together to get his Christmas gifts. The reason that he hasn’t gone yet is that he has been doing a holiday job at Custom Couches. Manual labour can be quite tiring but thankfully tomorrow is his last day till next year.

Rosy shown above is too pooped, as the days are getting hotter and outside Matthew is playing with the doggies which get a little ruff for little kittens.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Visiting Granny and Granddad

Robynne and Marco had to do some late night shopping as you would know Christmas is looming. What better way to shop for little one’s presents than leave Rebekah with Granny and granddad.

Rebekah just wanted to be outside this evening visiting all the animals, and many animals we have.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Gift of Giving

Okay, Matthew pointed out this Durex advert especially the next board with 2 boxes of condoms with Christmas hats. So what do condoms have to do with giving of gifts? Maybe stopping a person getting an unwanted gift? Matthew even chirped that they might be Christmas flavoured condoms. Eeuw! The gift of giving.

These sex billboards are getting out of hand, for example on the N14 near Cradlestone, there is one by the Department of health that states, "I rather give my clients pleasure than HIV". What is it we trying tell our youth? There are vibrator and condom ads on nearly every street corner and lately a new trailer trash one from Prodate that has this sexy lady in lingerie lying on a pile of cash with the tag line "Get Paid to Date". So now we have ads for escorts. Where is this going to end?

Monday, 18 December 2017

Bosasa African Global

It has been a year now; I think it is best to get rid of all my old Bosasa clothes which are just lying in my cupboard getting dust and cat hair. It was a traumatic end to the season of Bosasa or as they now call themselves African Global but God has put me onto a new course in my life.

African Global, is it only me who sees the irony of this oxymoron, African yet Global in the same breath. Well anyways, I had to do something with this pile of unwanted clothing that is branded Bosasa and what better way than to give it away to those who need it the most, especially over Christmas since they are not called Bosasa anymore. Double irony, I think the clothes should go to those who are looked after by Bosasa at the infamous Lindela Repatriation Centre.

2018 is going to be a new leaf, exciting times ahead. So out with the old and in with the new.

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