Thursday, 31 May 2012

Winter Warmth

Winters in Johannesburg are beautiful, with its warm days and chilling nights. When I arrive back home after a long day at work behind the computer, my Italian Greyhounds, Whippet and I get settled down for the cold night ahead. While my children are eating their supper, I switch on the gas heater and then prepare my supper. With my dinner on the go, I went to check up on my children and I found Skye, Jade and Patch enjoying the warmth of the heater with Maxy, I am not sure why but he was on patrol outside.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Amma, ammi, em, ma, maa, mam, mama, maman, mami, mamma, mammy, mata, mom, momma, mommy, mother, mum, mummy, oma and ummi, are many words used for mothers. Excuse me if I missed a few but I am sure my readers will come up with many more. Anyway why this post? Well this past Saturday my mother rushed up from Nelspruit to admit my step dad into hospital at Montana to see a vascular surgeon. And while he is in hospital my mother is staying with her brother-in-law.

Pretoria is becoming very confusing place with all the latest street name changes to people I don't even know. They are not even famous, just some friends of the cronies in local government. I wonder how Tshwane municipality can afford all this with them being so close to bankruptcy. Well my mom was getting so hopelessly lost and she urgently called out for help this morning as she didn't know how to get back to the hospital. So up I rushed to Pretoria to help. You know men never ask for directions, we just find our way. It was a brief visit and so far it looks like today's surgery was successful.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

A Tree

I loved you: and, it may be, from my soul
The former love has never gone away,
But let it not recall to you my dole;
I wish not sadden you in any way.

As the winter veld fires rage outside my cottage, I wonder at the sprawl of trees that stand in the path of the flames. And of the trees that have become the city of Johannesburg. It is known to be the largest urban forest in the world. Interesting fact that has become. I have heard it said in learned corridors that the micro climate of Johannesburg is changing due to its large amount of trees. We are starting to see bird species not normally found here and not to forget bush babies.

I loved you silently, without hope, fully,
In diffidence, in jealousy, in pain;
I loved you so tenderly and truly,
As let you else be loved by any man.

It seems I am still in that place with bad company. I took this photograph this evening with my cellphone and used one of the phone's filters to get the effect while taking the shot. It is of a steel tree about a metre in height hanging on the wall of Gary and Tracy's home in Riverclub. This poem by Pushkin is one of my favourite poems along with the Stolen Child by Yeats which part is quoted yesterday.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Blurred Reality

Alone, seul, de manière objective: il n'y a personne d'autre. Sigh! The line between being alone and lonely is starting to blur. Here I sit in front of this computer screen, the dogs cuddled up under the blankets while the heater wards off the chill of winter's bite. And Olga is no-where to be found. Using my favourite Afrikaans word, die beeldradio is playing in the background just so I can hear human voices.

Loneliness breaks the spirit and as I type these words, my step father lies alone in a hospital bed about a hundred kilometers away waiting for life saving surgery. And here I sit on a cold winter's night. Someone once wrote that in cities no one is quiet but many are lonely; in the country, people are quiet but few are lonely. Now has anyone seen my Olga? I think I am in bad company.

God, I am lonely and he answers you may feel lonely but it doesn't mean that you are alone. Don't worry about me, tomorrow I will put on my mask with its big smile and step out into the world where I will feel right as rain.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand.
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

I Love Egypt

This morning I joined a group of Vesparados for breakfast at Sofia Café in Greenside. It is here met the Vesparados Charl and Sandesh on their Vespa Sprints. We had an awesome morning sitting in the winter sun at Sofia enjoying a Vespa breakfast and coffee.

I found these two Vesparados interesting; Sandesh with his head scarf and blue tooth ear piece on his black Vespa Sprint covered with stickers including I Love Egypt and I Love JHB. And then there is Charl wearing his brown leather jacket on his beat up but perfectly original silver Vespa Sprint. The Vesparados, a tough bunch of Vespa lovers.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


With not much to do this weekend, I started my day by taking my Sophia, Vespa into Fourways to visit Scoots for a nice cup of mocha. While chilling at Scoots in the winter sun, Thabang here was lovingly cleaning a newly restored Vespa PX. Isn’t she a beauty?

Friday, 25 May 2012

Venetian Blinds

Friday has come around once again and it has been an interesting week with the move and all. With a bumpy start, things are slowly getting back to normality at the office. Today the new venetian blinds went up as the next jigsaw piece fits into place.

Strange but I haven't got much planned for this weekend. Nevertheless that is just me, so let us all enjoy it however we can.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

National Positions

Some order is starting to take shape at the new National Positions' offices in Houghton Estate. I am trying to keep ahead of my workload in the trying conditions but hopefully it won't be for long and we will be running smoothly again. Here is a photograph of the new offices from outside. Inside there is plenty space compared with the old offices.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Steel Studio

The bite of winter sure makes it tough to get started in the mornings. Today was a little easier because I had a meeting at Steel Studio and it is slightly later than my normal starting time which meant sleeping in, while only a little. Steel Studio is one of the top if not the best stainless steel and glass balustrade, and staircase manufacturers in South Africa. By mid morning it was back to National Positions which was still settling down after the big move yesterday. It is still a long way to go until we are back up and running at a hundred percent, hopefully by next week. So say we all.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Wet Paint

The day of the big move arrived with a lorry from Reliable Removals pulling next to National Positions' offices in Astrotech just after lunch time. The labourers from Reliable Removals made short work of loading all out stuff.

Arriving at the new offices, we found the painters still finishing off the interior walls so while the lorry waited to be unloaded; we all got stuck in cleaning up a space for our stuff making sure we didn't touch the wet paint. Here is a photograph of our CEO Richard vacuuming the carpets. Not soon after the lorry was unloaded the pizza and beers arrived. Thank goodness because I was starting to get a headache from the wet paint fumes.

Monday, 21 May 2012


Today winter has really hit Johannesburg. Maybe it is so freezing because it is our last full day at Astrotech in Kilarney. The big move happens tomorrow as our company moves a few suburbs north towards Melrose. I haven’t been to the new offices but I believe that it is much larger.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Who am I?

Whoever this is thinks he is the quizwizz in our weekly Pub Quiz held on a Sunday evening at Brazenhead pub in Fourways. Well this incognito person with his Kilkenny, I suppose is the brainy in our team also known as the No Clue Team. Our team is the third team of the Johannesburg Book & Movie Club and like the name we have no general knowledge clue on what is going on but we have fun. Our No Clue Team normally tends to come stone last but this time we did fairly well and came second to last, maybe that is thanks to Richard know way more than us. But next time the other teams are going down. We have a plan, I think, well I have no clue what it is until we come up with a uhmm plan.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Thinking Pets

This is my second lesson at Thinking Pets and Skye has already a groupie following. One fan even came just to watch Skye learn at Thinking Pets, Training Excellence. Last week our first lesson was mastering the clicker which even today I was absent mindedly forgetting but Skye learned that liver bread is just soooooo tasty.

Today Skye did very well with his STAY while I took two steps away from him all the while Matthew was snapping away like a Pro Photographer.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Dankie Vrouekeur

Weekend has arrived with Matthew in tow. I have just arrived home from picking him up in the East Rand and now Matthew is plonked in front of the television with Jade while I sit like I do all day at work in front of the computer.

Just heard from a work colleague from my Metrorail days that my successful complaint in October 2008 to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) about a billboard advertisement was mentioned in an Afrikaans magazine, die Vrouekeur. This week's edition of Vrouekeur magazine mentioned the Rocky Condoms advertisement that was withdrawn because of the wrong impression it gave the public. At least after four years someone remembered my good works. Noddy Badge for me.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Metal Cross Vehicle Makeover Clinic

Today I became legal. When I was a school kid I did my driver's learner licence test for both a motorcycle and car but only did my car driver's licence and sadly allowed my bike learners to expire not thinking that I would ever need it again.

That was many moons ago and since I got Sophia we have been doing some defensive riding, well not the Search, Identify, Predict and Act as they teach you in Driving School but the Search, Identify and Avoid the Metro Cops. And we did a fairly good job at that because I felt that been licensed to drive a car should cover a bike as well. Why am I telling you this? Well I let the Poser's Scooter Club down because this afternoon I sat for my licence and passed with flying colours. Now I am licensed to ride Sophia for the next two years but why wait, I went straight from the Randburg Licence Department to the Randburg Testing Station and booked my Drivers Licence Test.

After that I headed home but got a little side tracked by stopping off at Art & Décor, and then further down the road I stopped at Metal Cross Vehicle Makeover Clinic in Fourways to see my good friend Frank who I haven't seen for yonks. As you can see in today's photo he was happy to see me too. Frank runs this awesome vehicle makeover clinic where he takes out the knocks and scratches that your car gets in its day to day life. It was a short chat as he was busy as ever then I was off again. Before finally arriving home I did a brief stop at Scoots for some hot chocolate then home.

Now I am licensed to ride so keep off the pavements.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Close Shave

While riding Sophia, my Vespa to work this morning, I had my second near miss with a pedestrian in the last three days. Both close shaves were on William Nichol Road in the Fourways area while on my way to work.

The first incident was on Monday morning opposite Monte Casino and our close shave was with this windscreen repair salesman who walks in between the standing vehicles during rush hour traffic jams looking for cracked windscreens and giving them a quote. The weekend must have been good because his mind was not on his job or about his safety as he stepped out in front of me without looking. Sophia let out a scream as her tyres locked which caused the absent minded salesman to stop dead in his tracks (excuse the pun) as Sophia and I screeched to a halt just pass where would have been.

This morning was our closest near miss to date hence the post. Just before intersection of William Nicol and Uranium Road a group of eager beaver ladies on their way to work, most likely at the Indaba Hotel, decided to jaywalk between the standing vehicles instead of crossing at the pedestrian crossing by the traffic lights. This giggling badelynge of ladies stepped out in front of us and we had no time to react as we literately brushed past them as they shrieked in terror. I stopped to see if one of the ladies I hit was okay. Luckily we all came away unscathed, although the ladies were badly shaken at least not stirred.

Anyway I couldn't wait to get back home to the safety of my dogs. Here is Maxy my Italian Greyhound and Skye my Whippet waiting for me to open up the house after arriving home. I wonder if they would understand the dangers I place myself in every time I leave the pack.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Malcolm Dog Mob

Well at my home, if my family senses that you are a dog person then you get the most awesome welcome ever. Malcolm came round this evening with a bottle of Rust en Vrede Shiraz and I had some lekker chicken curry on the go to keep the winter chill at bay. But my three Italian greyhounds and one Whippet decided that the best form of greeting is a dog mob with tons of kisses for good measure. So pile in everybody, Dog Mob! Somewhere in that jumble is Malcolm with Maxi, Jade, Patch and Skye.

Welcome to our pad, Malcolm. Hope you come back after all the love we showered on you.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Killing Heidi

Here I am listening to the Australian rock band Killing Heidi while I am processing photographs of the weekend. And what made put on this rock music you may ask, well it was the photo I took this afternoon of our new sales lady Heidi eating breakfast mid afternoon. It sort of reminded me of the Killing Heidi's Teen Angst Unrequited Love Song so on went Killing Heidi. In the words of our Heidi “I look like a drowned rat, no comment”.

Anyway after a weekend of riding my Vespa, I am feeling a little funky so I think I am going to end the evening with a little Tintarella Di Luna. Pity there is no full moon tonight as I think I am in need of a moontan.

Sunday, 13 May 2012


To help Sophia get over the rejection of yesterday's abandonment by the VLV, aka Very Lame Vesparinos, I allowed Sophia to frolic with a hot blooded Spanish Contessa, two Indian Princesses and a Latin goddess this morning.

And wow the sexy but hot blooded Spanish Contessa, a 1974 Serveta Jet 200 sure threw a tantrum by not allowing Jamie to start her. She is believed to be the only one in the country and boy did she put up a fight. Eventually two LML Star Deluxe 150s, the Serveta Jet 200, a Vespa P200E and my Sophia, a Vespa ET4 150 were on our way.

The quintet of scooters headed out to Hartebeespoort for breakfast at the Upperdeck where we caused quite a stir with us arriving on five scooters among all the superbikers bringing their women out for Mothers Day. After a heart stopping Biker's Breakfast we headed down The Moot past Skeerpoort towards Hekpoort and then up towards Kromdraai through the mountain pass.

A lovely morning was had by all of us and today's photo is of Jamie riding the Spanish Contessa as I purr past on Sophia. (Photos of the weekend are posted in my Facebook album Tintarella Di Luna.

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Let my busy weekend begin. First thing was a Viva La Vespa or simply the VLV club ride to a restaurant in Ruimsig for breakfast, so an early start to Vespa in Wynburg then with over thirty Vespas we rode north out past Lanseria and along the windy roads past the Cradle of Humankind and back to Ruimsig. That was the plan but round about the Rhino Park my Sophia started sputtering.

Oh yes Sophia suffered a fuel problem and the VLV continued on with me alone at the side of a country road with no support. This has happened twice before after the last service and I suspect dirt in the tank as one of the carburetor jets got blocked. Hoping it would clear itself and I would be on my way didn’t materialize so I started fiddling with the fuel pipes from the fuel pump to the carburetor. The one I pulled out made Sophia struggle to idle but after revving the motor without this pipe connected did something and Sophia was right as rain.  But this time it was nearly lunch with breakfast long past so I headed back home as I had to take Skye dog training at one thirty.

Now the Posers, Vesparados or the Aces Scooter Clubs would have waited with me or got their hands dirty by trying to fix Sophia long side the road instead to leaving me to vend the wild off by myself. Other than getting stranded by myself while over thirty other Vespas ride on into the distance, the ride in the country did me good. Sophia loves purring along those windy country roads.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Pink Thingy

Friday at last. It has been the first normal week this month after many short weeks due to the public holidays and it is good to see the back of it. This weekend's agenda seems full but I had this evenings appointment with the breeder cancelled as he had his cell phone stolen from work and I could not phone him before going over to get one of my dogs vaccinations. I just got off the phone with him and played an order for rabies and de worming for all my dogs to be done on Sunday afternoon.

So it turns out that it is Friday alone at home. The quiet before the storm. Enjoy your weekend everyone as I leave you with a photo of the pink thingy toy whatever it is that sits on top of one of my portable drives.

Thursday, 10 May 2012


Lost? Well I am not lost. I know exactly where I am. I am here right here and that is... uhmm here. Yes I am not lost but I nearly lost my mind this evening. This is the sequence of my evening events.

I arrived home after a long day at work, mentally exhausted but relieved that the day is over. Fed the dogs and then made them comfortable for the night. Once the dogs were settled inside I secured the cottage for the evening then walked into my lounge and turned the television on for the first time since Sunday.

Now I didn't feel like cooking for one so I took out one of my emergency TV dinners for one out the freezer and popped it into the microwave. A few steps from the kitchen I found myself in my office where I switched on the computer and one of the external hard drives for storing my photographs. Remembering that I need to recharge my internet bundle I pulled out my 3G modem went back to the kitchen to put on the kettle and retrieve my dinner from the microwave, I then flopped on the couch. Yes flopped where else are you supposed to eat TV dinners? Okay to redeem myself the TV was on mute and I was answering a few text messages while eating dinner. But my tranquil dinner was interrupted when my friend Veressa phoned and we chatted for a quite while about rescued Greyhounds from the townships that were so badly mistreated. All the while my half eaten TV dinner was getting cold. I am not blaming my friend at all because I enjoyed our chat and afterwards I did try to phone another friend Ruan but got voice mail. Back to my dinner and text messages.

After dinner while still on the couch I set out to recharge my internet account. BUT this is when panic struck. I could not find my 3G modem. It should be where I normally would have put it but it wasn't. I looked in the normal places then started to get desperate. I retraced all my steps since arriving home and nada, nothing. So I made myself some coffee, dished up some yogurt and relaxed for a while on the couch hoping that the obvious will jump out and bite me but everywhere that came to mind didn't discover the lost modem. Now I was making plans how to post to my blog over the coming weekend.

After coffee and dessert, I sent a silent prayer heavenwards and started moving everything around and FOUND. The tiny 3G modem had fallen between the cushions of the couch even when I looked there earlier it was only found after prayer. What was lost is now found, sigh! Thus was my evening. Maybe I am losing my mind, well how can I lose something when I never had it to start with.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Debbie does Leo

Well, now please get your mind out of the gutter. Debbie is the cousin of a friend who joined us for dinner as she was up from Nelspruit with her puppet Leo. Debbie is a ventriloquist and her naughty puppet is a lion cub called Leo.

After dinner Debbie did the entertainment and introduced us to Leo. At first because I didn't know that Debbie still played with dolls, I wasn't sure who this Leo was that she wanted to me to meet. Leo turned out to be a comedian, go figure.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Johannesburg Photographers

This evening, I went to my first Johannesburg Photographers meeting at the Home of Photo in Brightwater Commons as our group, the Joburg Photowalkers were the guest speakers.

It was interesting as we were presenting to professional photographers who found it strange that we go shoot for ourselves and not clients. Yes the Joburg Photowalkers have become tourists in our own city and do it because we love Jozi. Hopefully at the end of the evening we will have some more photo walkers.

The quality is not good, but I have chosen this photograph of Heather of 2Summers fame and a regular Joburg Photowalker because she represented the Joburg Photowalkers exceptionally well plus I don't have many photographs of Heather.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Merrell Shoes

The first thing that I do when I arrive home is kick my shoes off and put my feet up. These boots, well Merrells in my case, are made for walking but at the end of the day I just love going bare feet. To feel the warm African soil beneath my feet and grass between my toes is what it is all about. My one friend, Gary who is a Director of an IT company, goes bare feet whenever he can. I remember Gary walked into a meeting with Microsoft without any shoes on; well he was forgiven because that day was a fundraising day where you raise awareness for those who don't own shoes by spending the entire day bare feet.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sushi Vacuum Decay and Ben 10

Wow I am feeling not so bright anymore as my son, Matthew, is starting to explain Quantum Mechanics in such a way that I can understand. You would not believe me if I said that he used Ben 10, a children's television program to explain in a child like way to his old man all about bubble universes and false vacuums along with vacuum decay. And I must state that I now have a fresh understanding positrons, electrons and vacuum decay. I double checked Matthew's theory on the internet and he is spot on with his Quantum Mechanics. Who would have thought that when a false vacuum decays it creates new bubble universes?

Maybe I am feeding Matthew too much sushi and his all time favourite sushumi as all I know about vacuums is that no-one can hear you scream.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Bad Moon Rising

Hoooooowl, the full moon sure brings out the madness in me. Tonight Matthew and I went up Northcliff Ridge to view the perigee moon rise or as it is now known as the supermoon rise. I don’t have the right lenses to photograph the moon but took a few photographs with what I had and you can see from tonight's photograph that there is a bad moon rising over Johannesburg's polluted air. As it rises higher the moon will close to about 400km from the earth plus there is promise of meteors from the dust of Halley's Comet. With the city lights and the perigee moon, I am not sure that we see many shooting stars tonight.

As per the Disney song, somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight even if I'm hairy on the inside. So tonight under the same full moon remember the Wolfman's quote that even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Matthew, Son of Jerome

It is Friday after a very short week and my weekend with Matthew. After a busy day I drove to Benoni to fetch Matthew. As per our ritual we stop over at KFC for a Family Feast bucket and get stuck in while driving back home. This ritual has become our time where we catch up on things while eating fatty yet ever so tasty fried chicken.

Once arriving back home, Matthew first greets the dogs then relaxes in front of the TV watching recorded series on the PVR decoder. After a week studying at school I feel it is okay for him just to chill. Today's photo is of Matthew with his Doomsday Handbook in hand and glued in front of the TV at the same time. My son is growing so fast.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Transhumanism Doomsday

Well not quite yet. Matthew found this book way back in February when we browsing at Scoobs, a bookstore in Montecasino while waiting to go see the Mousetrap. The Doomsday Handbook fascinated Matthew opening up his world to 50 possible ways the world could end. Interesting this is my 1950th post on this blog which means only 50 more posts till I reach 2000.

I am getting side tracked as usual, back to the Doomsday book. Remembering that I promised Matthew that I would buy the book for him another time, so while in Exclus1ve Books buying another book, I sought out the Doomsday book for Matthew. Another thing that I remembered from that evening in Scoobs was that Matthew and I learnt a new word, and that word is Transhumanism or just H+.

Now either you scrambling to put the word Transhumanism into search parameters or you are waiting for me to tell you. Well read on, my friend...

Transhumanism, trans-human or simply abbreviated as H+ is the term for the use of emerging technologies to transcend from our current human form to the hypothetical posthuman. Is this the Doomsday for humans? To me basically it boils down to two arguments in Transhumanism, you can choose which side you are on. One side we have the Fountain of Youth and on the other, Playing God.

I hope this is a good book for Matthew, who needs to understand the dangers his forefathers, including me, has left in the world for him. As someone once said it is not the world that is in danger but we humans that live on it. "Humans have spent thousands of years building tools to make our lives better, happier and more productive. At some point, our innovation will take us beyond the natural and lead to people with capabilities so advanced that we might not define them as human." Transhumanism! Are we ready?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Willow Creek

The short three day week started today with catching up on work that got behind with all the public holidays this month. Arriving at home without taking a photograph today, I set about making supper for one and looked up and saw the perfect photo to take. So while my sticky plum chicken was reducing on the gas stove, I got my camera and snapped a photo of my shelf above the stove. My dinner of sticky plum chicken cooked with Willow Creek products found on my shelf was very scrumptious.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Sit down next to me

This afternoon, the Joburg Photowalkers did a Graffiti Photowalk but because it was Mark's 39th birthday today and he is one of the founding members so we sort of changed it to a Mark's Birthday Photowalk.

We started the Birthday Photowalk in Newtown under the bridge where quite a lot of graffiti can be found. After Newtown we moved to Braamfontein and then to Troyeville. The last time I was in Troyeville photographing the graffiti is was raining but today was just birthday perfect. By the time we had finished with all the graffiti the sun was getting low so we rushed off to the top of Langerman's Kop for an awesome sunset over Johannesburg.

Most of my photographs are posted in my Facebook album Joburg Colours but it was kind of hard to select a photo to represent today. The one I finally selected is called "Sit down next to me" taken in the park outside the Workers Museum in Newtown and named after the James' song "Sit Down". The photo is sort of represents me inside, alone on the bench with my baggage beside me, feeling unwanted and lost in this world. Resting for a while and holding onto the words "keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about".

Those who feel the breath of sadness
Sit down next to me
Those who find they're touched by madness
Sit down next to me
Those who find themselves ridiculous
Sit down next to me
Love, in fear, in hate, in tears

Oh sit down, sit down next to me.

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