Thursday, 14 February 2019

Happy V's Day!

Just look at the date..... need I say more?

Valentine's Day has never loomed large on my horizon, mainly because in my life I have received precisely two cards.... one from my best friend... and one that I sent myself!! To myself!

I love the cherub's face!

To me, it's just another day with the same challenges that we faced yesterday (load shedding) and that we shall face today (load shedding) and tomorrow (guess what??)

And as I write this I am keeping one eye on the clock as we are in Stage 3 of Stage 4, and that means more off than on!!

Let me explain the stages:

Stage 1. Eskom (affectionately known as Eishkom) has to shed 1000 megawatts, so they 'share' the power that they have, and that means 1 load shed of 2 hours daily.

Stage 2. Upping the shedding, they have to shed 2000 megawatts... so 2  'outages' of 2 hours daily.

Stage 3. Yes, that means 3 x 2 hours 'outages' daily!!

Stage 4. You guessed it, 4 'shares' of 2 hours daily.

Stage 5. Now, this is the fun part.... Eishkom come to your house and blow out your candles!!!!

This is much funnier to read than to think about!!

We are teetering on the brink of a complete shutdown..... great fun. Eskom is bankrupt!  And basically it all comes down to complete incompetence and lack of skilled people at the top... they are all in Australia, Canada and wherever!! And of course the fact that millions of people do not pay , so every month the losses add up. Throw in corruption and it doesn't take a genius to see that this situation has one ending.....

We are lucky here, we can easily cope with the 'rolling blackouts' as our traffic is light, we only have 3 traffic lights in our nearest town and people here are very patient and well-behaved. Our main shopping centres have generator power. But the bigger cities are a nightmare with traffic snarls and taxis pushing and shoving and small business' struggling to keep going.

Anyway. To all of you who are celebrating Valentine's Day, I do hope that you have your special scented candles at the ready.

Not to make the meal romantic... simply so you can actually see what you are eating!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, 7 February 2019

On Line Selling!

Every year, without fail, I decide that this is the Year Of Losing Weight! And about three years ago, while I was still volunteering at the local Hospice shop, a rowing machine came through our doors.....
Once it was processed and priced, I decided that this would help me to shed those unwanted kilos and end up with biceps and thighs like Cher.....
I love rowing machines. I love the rhythm and the freedom, sliding backwards and forwards in time to whatever song is in my head at the time! Many years ago I had a very dear friend who lost a leg due to Diabetes. I took her for physical training to one of our now-retired well-known cyclists, and while she was trying to balance on a huge ball, or  fight down her fear and tackle her crutches, I would happily row in the corner until it was time to take her home.
So, I bought the rowing machine! Rob and I wrestled it into the back of the Nissan and then staggered and shuffled up the stairs once we got home, where we placed it carefully next to the window. On I hopped to try it out.... but because our floor is wooden, the machine gradually moved across the floor as I rowed! I had visions of actually rowing down the stairs and ending up on the beach, so Plan B.
Next stop... the Hardware shop where I bought some non-slip plastic and once I had cut it and placed it under the machine, it worked. It wobbled a bit but stayed in one place!
But... It hurt my knees to the point where I just could not use it!
A rather dusty rowing machine in perfect working order!

And since then it had just glared at me as it gathered dust.
So, a week or so ago, I decided that it had to go. It, and a little washing 'machine' that I bought especially for camping and never used! In fact, it has never left the house as we go camping for a few days at a time and several camp sites have washing machines anyway. I did have ideas of using it during the drought that we had last year, but I had cut down so much on the amount of weekly washing, that I decided to just use the big machine and catch the water to put on the garden. Which I did.
Brand new...

So I now had two items for sale! Out with the camera and then onto a local Facebook page that is only for items for sale. A quick write-up, description, price, pictures and contact details, posted them and waited.
And wondered whether anyone would buy them.
I could not believe it! In a few hours, both the items had been sold, collected and gone and I had the money in my hot little hand! My daughter said that it was because they were too cheap, but I reckon cheap and sold beats expensive and unsold any day.
I am now looking round the house to see what else I can sell!!
There is an exercise bike upstairs that I borrowed from my neighbour.........

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

A Garden is a Many Splendored Thing!

You may have noticed by now that I spend a lot of time in my garden either planting, clearing, planning or cursing. The cursing comes seasonally, due to wind, rain/no rain, moles or.... ants! At the moment we are prisoners in our home because of ants.... large and small but all of them biting ones! So my time is limited to filling bird baths, usually early morning or early evening, so I can dodge the nasty little critters!

But, every now and then I take my chances and actually do something constructive.

The garden in front of my boat (Maggie-May...I wrote about her) was looking extremely sad and tatty. The arctotis that had flowered so bravely for many years, was now time-expired and looking ghastly. There were also nasty thorny things appearing and so.. my next project was born!

The arctotis a few years ago looking really beautiful.

The folks behind us had a Weber standing on their veranda. This was not a new one and the last time it was used.... was in fact the very last time! The bottom had rusted so badly that it literally fell to pieces! The legs fell one way and the top fell the other and it was moved round the corner ready for the Refuse Removal chaps.

Legs one way, bottom the other!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Goodbye Blighty!

It is exactly 60 years ago... 22 January 1959..... that our family left England's shores for the shores of Darkest Africa! To Africa and adventure, and all I wanted to complete my happiness was!

My dad was a Detective with the Metropolitan Police in London, his speciality being Fingerprints. At that time, the 'colonies' were recruiting for the Rhodesian forces, and a few of the officers were in the UK looking for men with experience... and my dad was more than ready to head off into the unknown. I am not sure that my mum felt the same spirit of adventure though, but she went along with the whole idea. However, I remember my dad being disappointed that there was no place for him at the time, until a chap called Harry East (I shall never forget his name), pulled out as his wife refused to leave England, so my dad was recruited in his place!

Then came the round of vaccinations, yellow fever injections, visits to doctors and dentists to ready our bodies for the future! We walked around at school with a red ribbon tied round our jersey sleeves to warn people not to bump our small-pox vaccination, and I was terrified that my arm would in fact fall off!
The house was packed up, dad bought trunks and cases from 'Down the Cut' and some of our furniture went off to granny and Aunty Julia who lived in a tiny flat, in  one of the many Guinness Buildings, in Chelsea. I remember that we had some sad goodbyes with dad's parents, and grandad regaled us with some 'interesting' facts as he had been in South Africa with the Boer War! Mum was extremely sad to leave and I think she envied Harry East's wife for a long time.

The final goodbyes, the house was rented out and we were ready!

I remember we caught a taxi on the morning of Thursday the 22 January as we had so much luggage with us, we would have struggled on the tube from Ealing Broadway to Waterloo! I think our trunks had gone before us but I am not positive! I do remember it rained, I think it snowed a bit too, but finally we reached the Southampton docks, the Boat Train pulled right onto the dock itself... I think... and we climbed out.

And there was the beautiful lilac hull of the 'Edinburgh Castle'. Built and launched in 1947, we were the same age!

The Mailship Edinburgh Castle.