Friday, 27 July 2012

Games of the XXX Olympiad

As I write this, the world is counting down to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, officially known as the 'Games of the XXX Olympiad'. Taking place from 27 July to 12 August, it has cost a hefty 800 million pounds! London is the first city to host the games three times, once in 1908, then 1948 and now in 2012. Last evening we watched the the torch being carried to Hyde Park, and Rob's nephew has actually been involved! His sister's elder son Alun can be seen here holding the torch, impressive hey? The torch with runner, visited them at work.

Alun proudly holding the torch. (Thanks to Bev)

Friday, 20 July 2012

Happy Savings Month!

Do you recognise what is in this photo?

Rare? Almost extinct!

Yes, it’s that rare thing we call money!

July is National Savings Month. Can it be a year since I wrote about stokvels? I wonder how many more have been set up in the last year? And I also wonder how on earth people can afford to save when we have been shown that the cost of simply living has increased by nearly 6% this year?? And have pensions kept up with the rate? I wish! Alan Winde, the Western Cape Minister for Finance has a catchy phrase for us “Start early and save smartly!” He recommends that we try to save at least 15% of our monthly income. Yes, well.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Happy Friday the 13th!

Are you suffering from Friggatriskaidekaphobia?

The only bit of this that I could read was the phobia part at the end! I can't pronounce it, let alone spell it! But it's easy really, it is simply the fear of Friday 13! And as superstitions go, according to Tom Fernsler who is a mathematician and expert in the field of number thirteen at the University of Delaware, it is number one in America (where else really?) with approximately 17 million people believing that something really bad is going to happen to you on that day. Apart from Friday being a bad day, add the fear of number thirteen to it and there is a recipe for disaster!

Interestingly, this is the third Friday 13 this year, which is the most that can occur in a single calendar year. And for the first time since 1984, January 13, April 13 and July 13 were exactly thirteen weeks apart! That will give all the triskaidekaphobics (fear of the number thirteen) something to think about!

Now, I am not at all superstitious of either Fridays or the number thirteen. I always loved Fridays when I was teaching as it heralded in the weekend, and my mum always maintained that thirteen was her lucky number. Our house was number 213, and there were thirteen days between her and my dad's birthday. However, I never walk under ladders for fear of something falling on me, like the man on the ladder, and I would never, ever push my luck by flying on Friday 13. That is simply my phobia of flying, not my phobia of days and dates! But if I had to, I would cross my fingers and touch wood, and find a lucky rabbit's foot to carry in my pocket. (I wonder how the rabbits view that idea?)

My lucky black cat!

But, I have a black cat around who wards off evil spirits and keeps me safe. Or is it bad luck to have a black cat cross your path?

Superstitious? No, not me!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Tennis Anyone?

Ask any sport lover what event the words 'June and July' conjour up in their imagination (apart from rugby, or F1 motor racing, or golf, or the Durban July horse race), and I bet a good number will answer 'Wimbledon'! Well, that's what I think, and its my blog!

So, this weekend we settled down to watch the Finals. I must admit I lost a bit of interest once Rafael Nadal had been knocked out in the second round, an unheard-of tragedy. (I have a friend who calls him The Sleeveless One, he used to play in vest-type shirts!) I also loathe watching the females who yell like stuck pigs every time they hit the ball, Maria Sharapova has the honour (?) of holding the record for the loudest grunt at 101 decibels. Is that really necessary? When she plays another shrieker you almost have the background beat for a rap song and I am forced to mute the sound or switch off altogether. I think Monica Seles was the first to start that, no wonder someone stabbed her, he was probably deafened and desperate!

Bring back the ladies of yesteryear, Chris Evert never made a sound when she played!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Powerless....but not for long!

We have a joke here in South Africa that goes something like this:

A woman goes to answer the door and finds a hooded figure holding a scythe, on the doorstep. "Yes?" she asks. "I am the Prince of Darkness" answers the cloaked figure and the woman turns and calls to her husband, "Darling, the man from Eskom is here!"

(Eskom is our power provider! And we have Koeberg, the nuclear  power station, just down the road near Cape Town.)

Koeberg Power Station (thanks to the website)