Wednesday, 30 June 2010

French, Italians, English and Portuguese

What is happening to the European teams in the soccer world cup? First it was the France and then soon afterwards the Italy fell followed by England; now it is the turn of Portugal. At least my friends Frank (Portuguese) and Maurizio (Italian) are still smiling and have to choose other teams to support. Frank is going with Brazil and Maurizio the Netherlands. Frank had painted his bike in the Portuguese flag while Maurizio had the whole sides of his car done in the Italian flag. I wonder if they will do their vehicles in the the new colours.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

New Series

It was much quieter at Metrorail today with all the Managers in Pretoria. I actually managed to get some work done. Today I decided to start a series of close ups. The couple of previous ones inspired me so here is Refiloe.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Busy Monday

Mondays never felt this busy before. I have been at it since arriving at Metrorail this morning until working out in the late afternoon. The only change I came up for air was when I realized that I still needed to take a photo for the day. Seeing the students together gave me an opportunity to take one of Mashudu.I only managed to peek a view of the the Netherlands sneaking through to the quarter finals of the world cup.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


With so many upsets in this World Cup, I am not sure who to support, not that I like soccer anyway. I spoke to Joe, my Italian friend shown here, about his team and all he can say is they deserve to go back home.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Who’s looking at Orion?

After spending the morning at the shops Anthony, my brother invited us over to their place in Willow Glen, Pretoria for a braai. So off we went visiting. In today's photo is Anthony, Lynette, Orion and Matthew.

Friday, 25 June 2010


Steven King once wrote that you can't deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favourite chair and stays as long as it wants. While Refiloe's son shows us in today's photo that it is not a laugh but merely a loud smile.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Tunnel Rats

Twenty members of the Joburg Photowalkers group got together for a guided tour of the Gautrain's Rosebank Station and part of the tunnel which are still under construction. Thanks for Maritha and Dawie for organizing for us; we had a great time crawling around in the dust tunnels and snapping away at anything that moved.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Rear Tyre

Sophia went in late this afternoon for a new rear tyre and will only come out tomorrow. Sniff Sniff. I thought that the flat tyre on Monday was fixed but sadly Sophia needed a new tyre. There was no Michelin available in her size but they found some Chinese make in Jet Park. The Michelin lasted 8 months, let see how long this one will last.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Jimmy and Theo

It has just been a normal day here a Metrorail with most of the talk is weather France will play well tonight against South Africa after what has been coming out the French change room. Anyway I have lost hope in soccer and FIFA with all the acting that has been going on. Here is Jimmy and Theo still hold a little hope for Bafana but we will see if the vuvuzelas will be blaring tomorrow or remain silent.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Cosa Nostra

The Mafia are back in town now that Italy draw with New Zealand but Portugal brought some pride back into the European teams this afternoon. Sophia's rear tyre was flat this morning and I did not notice it until I was some way down the road. I am sure the Mafia did not get into my garage over the weekend. I better question Daleen about it.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Who’s your Daddy?

This was a status of a good friend of mine on Facebook today, who's your Daddy? I liked it so much that I had to use it in my title. Today is father's day, something I don't really enjoy because I didn't have a great time being a son. Anyway Matthew makes it all up for me as I try to be a good dad to him. I was spoiled by both Carol and Matthew on this Father's Day, thank you. It was also good to see friends this morning at BBC. I had a good chat with my American friend Clay about the soccer and I dig it that he loves rugby more. Anyway what is with all this acting by the European and South American soccer teams? Why should a person be penalized because of how good the opposite number can act? There should be some sort of TMO (Television Match Official)were this despicable diving is stamped out. If the person is injured like he is acting then he should be sent off the field to recover for 10mins, that should put a stop to diving. I now think soccer is for the boys and rugby for the men. Too much soccer is not good for me. Back to BBC. Here are two of my friends Angie and Pauline with baby Carlie at BBC this morning.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Knee Recovery

Yesterday my right knee was so sore that I thought it was gout but it was nowhere near my toes. My right foot wouldn't warm up which let me to worry about circulation. Anyway it turned out to be an old injury from my horse riding days a long time ago that was now playing up due to the brutal cold. This morning my knee was fine except for a bit of tenderness that only a walk in the park with the dogs could fix. Matthew and Justin caught up on been separated for over a week and I battled to tear them off the computer for a few seconds for this photo.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Warming Up

The poor visitors to South Africa must wonder if this is Africa because we in a very cold winter with temperatures dropping to -10.5C in the Free State. Don't worry it is forecast to warm up a tad this weekend. The Park and Ride the Trains for free to the soccer games have been a roaring success. There is no more parking at Park Station so come early.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Where have the Vuvuzelas gone?

The day after South Africa's tragic loss to Uruguay in the soccer world cup, the buzzing of the vuvuzelas was strangely missing. But at Metrorail, the buzz was replaced with Daleen's baby who turned up at work because of the month long school holidays also affected the crèches. Now where did I put those earplugs?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Getting some Air

Sophia and I joined Mark and Zoë at The Compound @ Daytona to watch Lyle's son Dallan doing some freestyle motocross. Sophia, my Vespa, was thrilled to be the rose among the dirt bikes. Afterwards the boys gave her a wash along with their bikes. Here is Dallan getting some air as Sophia watches.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A Cold Day in June

It was a cold day in June, just like today 34 years ago when the police open fire on protesting school children in Orlando, Soweto. Tomorrow is Youth Day, a public holiday in remembrance of this fateful day. Metrorail's Human Resources Department dressed up in their old school uniforms to commemorate that day.
Front (left to right): Ruth, Dudu and Rosinah
Middle: Agnes, Busi, Mavis, Michelle, Pulane, Emily and Vuyiswa
Back: Mosiuoa and Ayanda

Monday, 14 June 2010

Goodbye A480

My trusty little Canon A480 is now gone to where cameras go to when they die. This is the last photograph that it took before its LCD lens cracked. I am not sure what I am going to do now because I need to post a photo a day on this blog. I might have to use my Samsung Galaxy with Android or dig up my old camera which chews batteries. Malema I am in a dilemma. Bloody Agents.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Eternal Flame

The Joburg Photowalkers did Freedom Park this afternoon. Most of South African memories are laid to rest here although no SADF members, which I was once, are remembered. So those brothers in arms who died in the Bush War from 1966 to 1989 are simply forgotten. What happened to Freedom Park to be "a place which will hold our memories in incubation, allowing them to nurture a future free of bitterness, free of hatred, free of stereotypes, free of racism, and free of the destructive fury of war." Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful place but a place where only one side is allowed to grieve. You shall not be forgotten.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Teething Gautrain is still Cool

I have been on the newly launch Gautrain a number of times, my first trip being on 13 March 2010, I thought I would treat the family on a trip from Sandton to Rhodesfield and back. And I was not the only family who decided to ride the Gautrain today.

The Sandton ticket area of the Gautrain was packed to the rafters. I joined a queue to purchase our gold cards (tickets) while Carol who is disabled and cannot stand for long periods tried to find somewhere to sit. Eventually she had to ask one of the Gautrain personnel for a chair and was brought a white plastic patio chair. (Gautrain Please Note)

After about 45 minutes of standing in the queue Matthew wanted the toilet but was told that the toilets were on the other side of the barrier and needed a gold card to get in. Luckily it wasn't long after that, I made it to the front of the queue. I will pause here to ask Gautrain why do I have to purchase my three gold cards separately and not as one purchase? This would have shortened my time at the purchase point and that of the other families.

The escalators at Sandton were flying at a great speed which was a problem for Carol to get on but finally we arrived at the platform and did not have to wait very long for a train to arrive. Families with grannies and children were all excited and couldn't wait to board. Matthew managed to find seats for us but a number of people had to be sasified with standing room only. The journey itself was pleasant with our family discussing the differences between the Gautrain, Thalys and the TGV while we flew along the tracks. The main difference that we came up with was the width. The Gautrain felt much smaller and cramped than the European trains that we were used to.

Arriving at Rhodesfield in record time we disembarked and made our way off the platform to the concourse below on an escalator that was thankfully much slower. At the bottom we found many people also trying to purchase gold cards to spend a day in Sandton. The queues looked even longer than in Sandton that we decided not leave the concourse but turn around and head back to Sandton. After another short wait we were flying back.

Trying to leave Sandton Station we encountered our final hurdle. The gates wouldn't let us out because we had inefficient funds on our cards. What? We paid for a round trip to Rhodesfield and back at R52 (R21 one way plus R10 for the card). So we joined another queue of lots of frustrated families with the same problem. Here we expected to standing for an hour or more. Carol had to find a spot on the floor as there was no chairs this side. What had happened was that we should have gone out of the gates at Rhodesfield and back in but no one told us this so we were charged R100 as if we went to the airport. Majority of the commuters did just what we did and simply got off at Rhodesfield, went down to the concourse, went back up on the other side and waited for the train back. Because there was so many of us waiting in a queue to get this problem rectified, they simply let us out. A quick fix to what would have been another long wait.

This was to be a wonderful experience for the family but I don't think Gautrain was ready for hordes of people seeking their first ride on what had become their dream. But the dream is still alive because this is our train and we are proud of her, teething problems and all. As Matthew's T-shirt reads “Belgium is cool, I'm cool”, we say that the Gautrain is even cooler.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Bafana Bring it Home to Mama

What an edge of the seat second half of the opening game of the soccer World Cup. Just so close on a two occasions then Bafana would have won but at least at draw with Mexico isn't bad. What am I saying, what a sensational game! I think the Mexicans are busy booking into clinics to get their ears checked after submitting themselves to the vuvuzelas - PWAAARPP! PWA-PWA-PWAAARRPP!!! Here Masilo showing how it is done.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sweet Music to my ears

Wow today I was really impressed with these young musicians at Orlando. Let me start at the beginning. We went by a Business Express train to the newly revamped Orlando Station to officially handover and open it to the public. The construction work was done by this women run company and the work(wo)manship was head over heels better than the work done at Nasrec Station although Nasrec was a more technical station. Upon arriving at the station the contactors were waiting and this ragtag group of brass band musicians who joyously welcomed us. The instruments looked battered and well worn but they played so well that I was filled with joy. Jazzy and funky matching numbers were the order of the day that even I was jiving to the lively rhythms of Orlando, Soweto.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010


Today Bafana Bafana supporters came out in droves to support the South African National Soccer team. The opening ceremony is on Friday and supporting operations like Metrorail are rushing to put the finished touches onto their plans. Along with the Gautrain which opened the OR Tambo-Sandton route to the public, Google launch its street-view of 27 cities and towns in South Africa. We had fun at work looking at Google Street View. Here is Madibuseng all dressed up in her soccer supporters gear and looking great.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Tshidi and the flag

Flags are popping up everywhere, on cars, buildings and virtually on every street corner. They don't call us the rainbow nation for nothing. Even our office has been decked out and the Metrorail staff just love posing with the flags. Tshidi wanted her photograph taken with a flag and since I have been very busy to take more photos, I decided to use her in my blog.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Siemens Mobility

The Siemens Mobility Division from the UK is busy putting the final touches to Metrorail's RailCom system. It is an integrated system for controlling multiple communications into one graphical interface. Here are Graham and David from Siemens working at the Metrorail's ICT offices in Wits. Just before I go, my blog is getting large number of hits due to my post on Saturday, Gautrain after Eight, got reposted on the Gautrain history website.

Introducing Carlie

Isn't it amazing that Angie is up and about. Here she is introducing her beautiful daughter, Carlie, at 5 days old to Pauline and her daughter.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Gautrain after Eight

Gautrain's tag line is "Dreams Do Come True" and I must say that it does as once again we twitterers managed to get on the Gautrain but this time riding the lines way after the lights out time and was still out speeding along at 160kph after 11pm. Luckily we got back just before our carriages turned into pumpkins at the stroke of midnight. I don't think that the Gautrain will be allowed out again at this time. This historic event was the official launch of Gautrain operations. We first had a wonderful evening of entertainment at Gallagher Estate and after that boarded buses to take us to the depot. Once on board we sped to OR Tambo, Rhodesfield, Marlboro and Sandton Stations and cut ribbons to officially open the stations. There was a big difference between the foreign and local media with the crazy social media group. I was even interviewed by e-TV going 160kph. We had fun as you can see in today's photo is Nicole Flint, Miss South Africa 2009 aka Official_MissSA on twitter, posing with the Gautrain at OR Tambo Station. Thank you Maritha for getting the twitterati onboard

Friday, 4 June 2010

Welcome to the world II

More great news is that Gary and Angie are proud to announce the birth of their daughter Carlie. She was born on the 2 June 2010, a year and a half since Braelyn. (See my post Welcome to the world). They now have three daughters. Gary I hope that you have put that down payment on a shotgun, bro.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Counting Sleeps

It is just two more sleeps until the launch of operations of Gautrain. The closer we come to the big soccer event the more the general public are getting into the thrill of it. Flags are fluttering everywhere even our ICT office at Metrorail is filled with flags hanging from the ceilings. The soccer teams have started to arrive and the fans from this weekend. We live in interesting times. I normally post a photo of the progress of the Gautrain terminus in Braamfontein at the beginning of the month and I did a lovely early morning photo less than a week ago (Dawn of a New Age) but I thought I better do another day one.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Soccer City

Today Leon and I went to represent IT at the official opening of the new Nasrec Station just outside Soccer City. With only eight days to go, PRASA is cutting it fine. Gautrain is opening next week, also in time for the visitors but that wasn't meant to be ready until next year. Today's photo is the view from the train just before it arrives at Nasrec Station. Soccer City is impressive isn’t it?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Darlene Zschech

There I was at the start of my favourite month bopping away at a live Darlene Zschech (Hillsongs) concert in Johannesburg, South Africa. The part where my soul cried out was when the crowd soft sang Kuwe Baba ngibek' ithemba lam. Those that were there would know what I am talking about.

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