Monday, 18 November 2013

World Day Of Remembrance For Traffic Victims

Yesterday was World Remembrance Day For Traffic Victims. Lets have roads that are safe for all. There are so many unnecessary deaths, which could be avoided if everyday people - mothers; fathers; sisters; grandmothers; brothers; grandfathers just observed the rules of the road.

I still stand by my belief that you have more chance of dying on the roads in South Africa than through crime, yet people are always on about the high crime rate and corruption. Yes crime is bad and I am not in any way saying that the murder rate in the country can be ignored. What I am saying is that everyday people who believe that they are law abiding citizens can make a difference to the unnecessary carnage and deaths on our roads. Next time you discuss the high crime rate and corruption in the country, ask yourself if you broke any laws. If you ran a red light/stop street. People say speeding does not kill - people who speed usually cannot stop in time when the lights change to red, so they run a red light and could very well kill an innocent road user.

Overtaking on a white solid line; doing illegal U-Turns KILL; talking on your mobile phone. Next time you are driving, look around you will be amazed at who is actually breaking the rules of the road. We are all quick to blame the mini-bus taxis, but they are not the only ones who are a law unto themselves. Usually those that moan and complain the most about crime; corruption and mini-bus taxis are the ones who break the rules of the road all the time. There is no such a thing as a minor traffic offence. Those minor traffic offences kill and it is premeditated. You know when you run a red light that there is a possibility that you can kill someone, just like the person who breaks into your house to steal, that probably has no intention to kill you, but does because something goes wrong and he grabs a knife or a gun. The only difference is your choice of weapon - your vehicle, which is a very powerful weapon. The choice you make when driving destroys lives. It is not an accident when you disregard the rules of the road and kill or maim someone. Just like the innocent person involved in the collision is not a road statistic, they are human beings with dreams and goals and lives and families. Just like our Clinty and his life ended, because of a total disrespect of a life and you can read about his tragic death over here.

 Clinty not a day goes by that you are not remembered and loved and missed. Our lives were destroyed the day you died. The day someone decided to commit a "minor" traffic offence and a woman who called herself a doctor was more interested in chatting to her husband on the phone and packing up to go home than saving a life - your life - our angel.


I love you will all my heart Clinty and words will never describe the pain your death has caused.

And It Just Gets Worse - Not For Sensitive Readers

Mark and Chad don't get the whole "Everything happens at once - what more could go wrong" vibe that I have going on at the moment. For me it seems like a curse or bad spell has been put on us. So whoever did it (the curse/spell) hope you happy it is working :-y. If life at work is not hectic and stressful enough, our landlord is doing major renovations to the front of our building, so we are subjected to dust; noise; more dust and did I mention noise from about 10 Jack Hammers hammering away all day almost everyday. He is building 3 floors of offices and revamping the shop and front area. Whether the area we are in needs a major office block is up for serious debate. Our premises are in the middle of a boomed off residential area. Not a gated community/complex as such. A residential suburb that has security booms at each entrance to combat crime, whether it does or doesn't combat crime is also up for serious debate, but what it does imply is that the residents in that area are not that keen on turning their leafy suburb into a place of work or business hub for outsiders.

The Building
They basically broke down the whole front area and left us, the flat above and another business above us and next to the flat. That is the door we have to get through every morning, before we can unlock the gates to the workshop. So many clients think we are doing the revamp, because we used to have shares in the building a long time ago. No we are not that crazy to take on a project of that magnitude, that may or may not bring business to the area. So with all the building going on, Mark said to me on Monday morning "funny we have not heard from those two with the remote (you can read about it over here) I told him not to worry we will - we haven't heard the last of them. It was not even 10 minutes later and the phone rang. It was the thief and his con artist girlfriend. For the purposes of this blog and everywhere else that is what they will be referred to. The thief all friendly tells me that they did not find their remote, so they will take Mark up on his offer to get them a new remote. Like hell they were going to find the remote they never had one in the first place. You drive a 1999 scrap car and know exactly how much a remote will cost at the agents. Anyway I said to him - the thief that they must bring the car in and Mark will look into it. Hundreds of calls later and it was decided that they would bring the car in on Friday. The day carried on with its usual hell. Fetched Chad from school, dropped him off at home to lie on the couch all day study. Back to work. That night we arrived home at around 6. Sheila's room was all closed up, which was strange in this heat. Chad was not sure where she was and thought she was sleeping. I thought wow nice life, you sleeping and I must come home at 6 and cook. OK, I don't really mind, because if her work is done then she can do what she likes, if I ask her to cook then she works until I get home. I had just asked her to peel potatoes and cut them for chips, which she did, but only a handful so I was annoyed. Mark took Chad to gym, I made supper then called her to ask why she made so few chips. She looked strange and I asked if she was sick. She said her eye was sore and tried to show me, but I did not want to go too close, in case it was conjunctivitis. I told her to go to the clinic in the morning and gave her panado, which was all I had for pain. On Tuesday morning as I was leaving for work, I went passed her room and she was sitting on her bed crying in pain. I asked what was wring and she said her eye was sore. I was like (to myself) "really - I know pink eye is sore - but to cry about it" I asked if she wanted me to take her to the doctor. I made an appointment at my doctor for 11.30, dropped her off, went home to tidy the house and hang up the washing. In the meantime Chad finished school, I went and fetched him. He finished school like an hour earlier than he was supposed to. This is at a school that wants to ban cellphones completely, because children do not need phones at school. What did we do when there were no mobile phones is their argument. Well we do have them now and life has changed. When most public schools are using iPads in class a private school wants to totally ban mobile phones. Back to Sheila. An hour later I phone her to see what is happening and she tells me she is in with the doctor then phones me and says she is done. I meet her at the pharmacy and check the invoice - she has Herpes Zoster, which can be sexually transmitted disease or adult chicken pox - shingles. The pharmacist tells me chicken pox is going around. So last week it was a staff member with TB and this week shingles/chicken pox. The tablets and ointment the doctor prescribed would have cost over R1500.00 and I told her to rather go to the hospital to get the medicine.
Broken Wash Line
She went and fetched her stuff from our house and went home to her sister, who was going to take her to hospital. She ended up only going to the hospital late at night. They gave her medicine and sent her home. That afternoon it poured with rain, one massive storm and Chad phoned me to tell me he was sopping wet because he brought the washing in off the line, whilst it was pouring with rain. I was really angry with him. He threw the clean washing, which was now rain soaked and just needed to be rinsed again, onto the dirty office now store room/budgie room floor. The floor was soaked the washing was soaked, the clothes he had on was soaked. The dog's beds were soaked. He left those out too. I was really angry with him and Mark who was happy to go off to gym and not help me cook or tidy up the mess. I was angry with Chad, because instead of even studying, he lay watching TV all day and could have brought in the washing for me and the dog's beds before it rained. Again words were said that cannot be unsaid ever, when we said over here that it mustn't happen again, but it keeps happening.

Old Rusted Broken Wash Line
 One good thing that came of all this, is that I got a new washing line. Who gets excited about a washing line - well if yours looked like this you would too. Besides I get a bit OCD about hanging up washing and I know it is hard to believe considering what ours looks like, but I do go from moments of OCD to burying my head in the sand with most things in life. With the water logged towels and linen putting strain on the old rusted washing line, it finally gave in. Just in time because it was due for re-stringing AGAIN. Mark asked why the wash line broke - "Ahem - Have a look at it"

New Wash Line

I am sure it is as old as the house and our house is old. I was not going to let an inanimate object add to my stress and after a quick search, thanks to Google, I phoned the first company I found Factory Direct Wash Lines. I sent an email with my address and the specs of the wash line I wanted, received a quote accepted the quote and the next morning they came and installed it and removed the other one. Mark always said there must be a business opportunity in re-stringing wash lines, well this company does it too. I don't know why I battled before.

The only hassle was that Chad had to be at school at 11.30 to do his CAT exam, so I had to quickly drop him off at school and come back as they were finishing off. Then back to work then off again to fetch Chad from school. His exam that should have finished at 3 or 3.30 finished at 2. What was that about mobile phones not being necessary at school????

A Very Ill Sheila
I sent Sheila the photo from this post  and asked her how she was feeling and told her to get better soon, because her dog was missing her. A few hours later her sister sent me this photo of her and probably thought that I believed she was not very sick and wanted her to come back to work. I won't lie, I do want her back. I hate doing housework and working all day and coming home to clean and cook and iron and hang up washing and fold it an and and. Yes I know I am not the only one who has to do it and people older than me, busier than me, probably sicker than me, maybe even disabled people all do their own housework. Well sorry to say I hate it and I do not know why anyone would chose to do their own housework over employing someone. Besides resting and relaxing when you are not at work, you are giving someone a job and ultimately feeding another family. No I am not ashamed or embarrassed to say that I hate housework and will rather pay someone to do it. If it is sheer laziness, then so be it. Sheila is now in hospital, after getting that photo we persuaded her sisters to take her back to hospital and get her admitted. They phoned an ambulance. Apparently if you go by ambulance you get admitted. Such is life in South Africa - one of the things that don't make me proudly South African. I spoke to her on Friday and she sounded much better and even laughed about Jingles looking for her. She knows how much Jingles loves her. She is on a drip and said she was no longer in pain. Tomorrow she is being transferred to another hospital to check her eyes.

Then when you dealing with stuff that matters and is serious,you have to still deal with people like the thief and his con artist girlfriend. Again we arrived at work to find their scrap 1999 car parked in front of our gate. Again she came breezing in all friendly later on in the morning ans showed me some video on her phone of her indicators that were not working after Gavin fixed them and to collect her remote that we DID NOT lose, which I told the thief. I am sorry but I cannot fake smile and be friendly to liars and thieves. Yes if we did something wrong I will apologize and Mark always guarantees his work, but don't blatantly lie and imply that we are thieves, when you know you are lying. Mark or Gavin paid R65.00 to program a remote that Gavin had for her central locking. Believe it or not she is an optometrist, I feel sorry for the Ophthalmic practice she works for and the patients that go there. The more I think about them the more she reminds me of the murdering bitch who caused Clint's death. You can read about her over here I will never forget that bitch's face ( I don't swear on my blog, not because I am a prude - I can swear as much as the next person, I just don't think it is appropriate to use bad language on a blog - but there is no other word I can use for that murdering bitch). The con artist girlfriend sounds like her looks like her and has the same morals as her. I cannot get it out of my mind that she is a younger version of the murdering bitch. I just get this very strong feeling that we have not seen the end of them. Gavin felt the same way when they left. Even Mark is in agreement that we do not want their business. They must never come back there. You know that bad feeling you get at times when you meet someone. A feeling that does not make sense, but you cannot shake it off. That is them. You know you can wrap trash up in gold and precious stones, but it is still trash. Don't judge a book by its cover, because it can be all pretty on the outside but the contents are still full of filth and trash.

Then to top it all. It was so hot on Friday, it was such a stressful week, we were feeling drained so I bought us Lucozade and Enerjelly sweets and I broke a tooth eating the sweets. They were not hard sweets, more like wine gums - not even as hard. I managed to get a dental appointment for Saturday morning. She tried to build up the tooth, without a crown and it just broke right off when I was eating hake for dinner. She has gone away for a week and now I will probably end up getting an abscess. I thought it was too good to be true. A painless visit to the dentist, quick - fixed and done. No lies there was no pain. Now this.

What a week and what a weekend. Cleaning in this heat was no fun. This morning after I hung up the washing it was so hot and my Galaxy tab was on and I looked at the weather on the screen and it was 9 deg or something like that and I thought this can never be right it is too hot to be 9 deg. I had been checking the weather all this week and only today did I notice that the last time it was updated was on the 29 September 2013. What an idiot. This was the weather at 10:15 this morning.

It was really hot this weekend and the other good thing is that I am still walking on the treadmill. Not everyday - I missed a couple of days, but made up for them today. If you can make up for missed days. I walked 3 times - morning noon and night each time for 35 minutes and fast enough to walk 3 km's, level one. Lets hope it speeds up my metabolism.

So I end this post with a feeling of doom and gloom; of something bad that is going to happen. Be it the irritation of the thief and his con artist girlfriend; my tooth that broke that is going to give me problems or some other business related issue that I am getting a bad omen feeling about.

Jittery Jingles

Jingles, our Jack Russel is the strangest little dog ever. She is always shivering, shaking and growling. She is a scaredy cat of note. Her first defense is attack, whether it warrants attacking or not. She has to be buried in blankets, even on the hottest of nights. Be it her own or ours, she burrows down until she overheats and pants and pants and has to be rescued from deep down under the blankets. She has to be covered, but when I go to wrap her up in her blankets she bites and attacks like I am hurting her. She cries and moans in her sleep most nights and we have to call to her to quieten her. The other morning whilst I was performing my morning ritual of doing washing and packing the dish washer, making lunches etc, I heard this tick tick noise over and over. I looked around the kitchen wandering what was making the noise. It was Jingles shivering and shaking in the kitchen to such an extent that her claws were tapping on the tiles making the same noise that she makes when she runs up and down. Don't ask me why, there was absolutely no reason why she should have been so scared.

Jittery Jingles

We always think she has been like this forever, but she hasn't. She was the naughtiest puppy ever. I had a Maltese Cross, called Dusty who was 15 years old when we bought Jingles and as old as Dusty was he loved to go for long walks and Jingles used to run after him and grab onto his fur and just hang on for dear life. We had to detach her from poor old Dusty all the time, in case she hurt him. Dusty became her fluffy toy, not only on walks, but whenever she had the urge to play. We bought her for Chad, because Pluto hated Chad and being a small dog Chad always wanted to carry him around, until he bit Chad almost in his eye. It wasn't a bad bite, but we had to put an end to Chad carrying him and bugging him before it ended badly. Our neighbor had bought a little Jack Russel and Chad loved playing with the puppy through the gate and the puppy loved Chad. We searched high and low for a Jack Russel, went to look at a couple of them, was advised not to get a male, because they dig and run in the streets; jump walls and if you sterilize them, they lose their personalities. Besides, Pluto was a male, so was Rambo and Dusty. Too many males and Pluto was the dominant male. We eventually found Jingles and no we did not dock her tail and ears. That was already done when we bought her. I think these days it is illegal to dock tails and ears. I wouldn't know, because it is not something I would do, but we were not going to turn our backs on her. There was instant chemistry between her and us. Out of all the puppies, she chose us.

Chad used to play with her all the time. Chad was mad about wrestling and would be glued to the TV watching wrestling and during the adverts he would play this game with her and he would wear these little Noddy slippers that came past his ankles and Jingles would bite them grab them and rip them off his feet. It got so bad that he could not wear his slippers are dark socks because she would try and play their game and bite his feet. He was 6 when we bought her and they had this crazy bond. She loved Clint too and Clint was her time out buddy when she needed a break from Chad - much to Chad's annoyance I must add. Chad had pneumonia when he was in grade 1 and had to stay in bed for a week. That week Jingles dug up our garden. There were holes all over the garden, she was so frustrated, because she did not have Chad to play with. Somewhere along the line she has become this ugly nervous wreck that just growls and bites. She always bites me, but at the same time cuddles up close to me. It all changed around the time Clinty died, then Rambo died, then Spike came on the scene, then Miss Piggy. It was too much change for her. I read somewhere that when someone dies in the family, dogs loose their sense of hierarchy, something like that. I knew how badly Pluto was affected by Clint's death, I just did not realise how badly the others were affected and I think the big change with Jingles came then.

Jingles Waiting For Sheila

With all her shaky nervous disposition, she is still a very clever dog and would do very well as an only dog. She knows when we are going to bath her and the minute we run the bath water to bath them, she runs and hides away, but only when it is time to bath them. We can run the water in the bath that we use to bath the dogs at any other time and she is fine. How she knows no one will ever know. She absolutely loves Sheila and knows when Sheila is coming to work and will go crazy long before Sheila gets to work. She is probably still in the taxi and Jingles starts barking excitedly. Sheila is extremely sick at the moment, more about that in my next post. It has confused Jingles some what and on Thursday morning as I was about to leave for work, Jingles went rushing out to the gate and sat waiting for Sheila. She did not bark and get all excited, she just ran and sat looking out for her.

Jingles Not Very Happy

I called and called for her to come inside, because Chad was at home and she could be inside with him, but she refused to come in - she just sat and waited. She had to eventually move when I pulled out my car, but was unhappy about it. Nothing like Miss Piggy who after eating a pile of Bobtail Peanut Butter Biscuits in the morning she happily goes back to sleep and does not bother about the comings and goings of the household. She just goes off to dreamland and snores louder than Mark and that is saying something.

Miss Piggy In Dreamland

More about my past week a bit later.............. (in the next post)

Monday, 11 November 2013

My Week In One Word - HELL

I don't know if it is the time of the year or people just taking chances because that is who they are, but we have had a complete week of hell. I have been so close to buying a packet of cigarettes and smoking. It has been six months, but my cravings are stronger now than ever. That feeling of something missing from your life/day/meal is stronger now than one month after I gave up. The only thing that has stopped me from lighting up is the fact that I will not give that person(s) the power to make me give up my smoke free journey. As it is they have had the power to ruin my day/week, they are not going to make me quit after my six month struggle to not smoke.


Mark and I have also been fighting non stop. I am so angry with him that all I can do is fight with him. His stubbornness; stupidity and yes even selfishness to do things that just cause us stress and financial loss and worry has just come to a head now and it has come to a point where I cannot be supportive like I have in the past. He does not learn from his past mistakes and there have been many. Yes we all make mistakes and bad business decisions - once, twice maybe three times, but when you keep doing it and against the advice of others, especially your partner, then it is no longer a mistake or a bad business decision. It is stupidity and selfishness - plain and simple. It makes me so mad that we must all suffer the consequences of his selfish acts. He has now paid rent for an empty workshop for the fourth month and will be doing so for the next 12 or 14 months and when I told him he should not go into partnership with Keith, who did not have a cent to his name, Mark knew better and his stubbornness over ruled all good business sense and common sense. Now we are throwing 15K away every month, in the exact same way as if we were throwing it into the ocean and watching it swallowed up by the current. He is at the point of making another bad decision, that might look like the answer at the moment, but looking at the bigger picture it is going to be another bad move. From now on whatever bad move or stubborn decision he makes, he must sort it out himself. If you can't learn from your past mistakes, then you need to deal with any future mistakes you make on your own, just like you made them on your own.


Other than our own issues and problems we have had staff problems galore this week. It started off with one of our staff members resigning, because he has TB (Tuberculosis) and is going home to the Eastern Cape to recover. He never gave a doctor's letter or medical report, he just said he has TB. Mark seems to think he has AIDS. He was at work on Monday, phoned in sick on Tuesday, resigned by text message on Wednesday and came in on Friday to bring his overalls back - we told him to keep them. We thought he had found another job and lied about being sick, but then he came in to say goodbye and you could see he was really sick and looked gaunt and thin, he was thin before, but now even more so. When I nursed, many many years ago, Tuberculosis was a notifiable communicable disease, it seems it no longer is. No one seems to care that this man could be spreading his TB around like wild fire. It is in his lungs and is highly contagious  was highly contagious when I nursed in the 80's. Now it seems you can walk out of hospital, get in a minibus tax or two or three, go back to the rural areas and get better on your own or die at home in peace. I phoned the TB Clinics to find out if the rest of the staff and our selves should be tested and it seems that you don't have to. Well lets hope none of us have it. We have to be positive about something.

On the back of that we had another staff member who incidentally only started the other week, he worked for the guy who took over our business in Ballito and came up here after we went down to sort out the problems there. He begged and pleaded with us for a job up here, when we were down in September and before that and I told him a thousand times or more that Joburg is a harsh town to survive in if you don't know anyone. He still came up and has given us attitude ever since. Mark says he reminds him of a teenager who does not get his own way. He is only 23, but has really bad attitude and told us on Monday he is leaving and we said it is fine he can leave no one is stopping him. He just carried on giving us attitude. Phineas tried to intervene and sort it out and he gave Phineas attitude and then left, before Mark totally lost his temper. So we have one person who wants to work but can't due to ill health and one little upstart who is too lazy to work and came to Joburg thinking he will find a free pot of gold with his name on it. It was not long and he was phoning Phineas to try and get his job back, that was the next day and since then has been sending both Phineas and Mark "please call me's" a hundred times a day. The cheek of it, expecting Phineas to use his airtime, when he tried to help him he was told to basically stay out of it. That is after Phineas took him under his wing and looked out for him and gave him lifts to and from work with out charging him a cent. Then on the same day we had drama with one of Mark's so called very good customers, who I cannot stand I have never liked him and the more I get to know him, the more I despise him. He has owed us money and a huge amount since April for one of his cars and flies in and out like he owns the place. Mark always has this "good service - its a customer attitude" but sorry the customer is King until the day he tries to get out of paying or simply does not pay. Everyone who acts like they are Mark's second best friend ends up screwing him over. I keep telling him that they are not his friends, they get friendly to get out of paying. It is one thing being friendly to your customers, but as soon as the lines are blurred they end up not paying. This guy is a racist swine, one of the reasons why I don't like him. He is one of those Apartheid Mafia type who lives in the lap of luxury benefiting from the oppressed of the past regime. Well this guy came flying in like he owns the place, got all heavy and full of attitude and Mark lost it with him completely. I was shocked and had my two cents say to him too. I think he thought Mark was a pushover and softy and then saw the real Mark in action and then had a quick change of attitude and paid one of the invoices. Still owes us for another one and was shocked when he said to Mark "So don't you want my business" in other words a cheap attempt of a threat to take his business elsewhere and Mark said No I don't want your business anymore, not with your attitude about paying. What gets me is that people seem to think that because they bring us business or referrals they should get their cars done for free. Well thank you, I have been shopping at Woolworths and Pick'nPay and loads of other stores all my life, am I now going to pay less than the marked price or get a trolley load of stuff for free, because I shop there every week or twice a week. No I am not, so why would anyone think we would do business for nothing. Does our landlord give us a discount on our rent, because 15 cars out of the 20 are referrals? No so why do people expect it. Why because Mark does go the extra mile and does get too friendly with the wrong people. Don't get me wrong of course I also value clients/customers/business, but sometimes you have to let go of those that drain you and bring you down so that you can give 200% to all your other clients, instead of only 70% or 90% because you are being dragged down by that tiny percent that just wants everything for nothing. And all that happened on my sixth month anniversary of giving up cigarettes.


I do a newsletter for work, which I send out once a month during the first week of the month and have been doing it for about three years. Admittedly, there are months that I just copy and paste, but I would be lying if I said I did not put effort into it or that it was not time consuming, because the truth of the matter is that I do try make it if not interesting then informative and even though I do at times cheat and just copy and paste from previous newsletters, I do try and make it look slightly different. On Wednesday morning I received an email from one of our very good customers - aren't they all. I opened the email thinking it was a proof of payment, because one of their vehicles was at our other branch, but it wasn't a proof of payment, it was a PDF "Christmas Wishes" document - nothing wrong with that. I opened it and the first thing I saw were these little Christmas bells I use on my December newsletter and the first thing I thought was dam, now I have to Google search a new image for this December's newsletter. Then I saw they also have a quote and "Dear Valued Customer" - I don't use Client, because Customer sounds more friendly and informal, the way I like my newsletter to come across. I also do mine in email format and not PDF, so that it comes across friendly and informal. I always use Henry Ford Quotes, because a) it is relevant to our industry and b) there are so many and c) they are relevant to business. Now and again I use a quote that is appropriate to business, but not Henry Ford's because I just can't find one that I have not used before. This "Christmas Wishes" document had the following quote: "The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them." - Benjamin Jowett. This started to feel like I was reading my own newsletter. I knew I had used that quote before. I have all my newsletters saved. I used that quote in my December Newsletter!!!!!!! I also put a Happy Holidays image at the end - they had that image to!!!!!! As I read through their Christmas wishes I compared it with my December one. Who ever did it, the owner of the business, whose email address I have or his new office assistant deleted anything not relevant to their business and then used my wording for everything else. They are in the security industry and we are in the Motor Industry, who would have thought you could copy something from a different industry - they did!!! The irony of the quote seemed to wash over them too.

Part Of My News Letter

The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them." - Benjamin Jowett

Dear Valued Customer,
This is our final newsletter for 2012!!
We would like to take this opportunity to Thank You for your support over the past year.

We will be closing on the 14 December 2012 until the 7 January 2013, to give our staff a well deserved rest and time to spend with their families over the festive season. However, Mark will be available from the 17th to the 20th December for minor repairs and services.  Please note that all repairs are subject to our suppliers being open as the bulk of the Motor Industry shuts down from the 14 December until the 14 January. 

Part Of Their Newsletter - and the rest is no different

"The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them." - Benjamin Jowett
Dear Valued Customer,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over the past year.
We will be closing on the 18th December 2013 until the 6th January 2014, to give our staff a well-deserved rest and
time to spend with their families over the festive season. However, Skeleton staff will be available from the 19th to
the 24th December for minor repairs and services.
Please note that all repairs are subject to our suppliers being open as the bulk of the Electronics and building
Industry shuts down from the 13th December until the 6th January 2014.

Here I was thinking no one even read my newsletters. I am still uncertain as to whether I am shocked annoyed or flabbergasted that it did not bother them that I am on their mailing list and that I would notice the similarity my ramblings copied and pasted into a PDF document. I know you can't steal an idea, but really!!! I am going to find it extremely hard not to say anything when I do see them again, because tact is not one of my strong points.

Our week ended on another bad note. We had a new client come in for a small R500.00 job on her indicators and from the first of at least 15 calls to book the vehicle in, I sensed there was going to be a problem, for no other reason than my sixth sense and it was a problem, just like I had predicted. Firstly I think they just wanted us to tell them what was wrong so they could do the repairs themselves and when they did not get that right they came up with their next plan. We supposedly lost their remote for their central locking and alarm. An alarm that never went off once when Mark used the key to unlock the door and move the car after they parked it in front of our gate. The alarm never went off,  because it was never working. Gavin even showed them it was not working and they brushed over it with their lies and cons. She drives a 1999 car, but knew that the remote cost R1500.00 at the agents???? Yea right. It was a remote from the agents according to her and the boyfriend said they will just get a quote and we will have to pay for it and that got my back up straight away. Don't insinuate that I am a liar or a thief or anyone close to me. The remote was from the "agents", but the disconnected alarm in the car was a cheap aftermarket one. I am so tired of people who take chances and con others. Again, Mark is like "Come on Monday and I will sort it out" They are liars and cons and I don't believe that will be the end of them.


I wish it was so easy to delete people out of my life totally, but what I do know is 

And with that last quote, I wish you a good evening and hopefully the coming week will be better than the last few. I am off to walk on the treadmill now - the only good thing about this week. I have walked everyday this week, except Thursday night, I was very emotional tired and stressed, but I am making up for it tonight. I walked this morning so now will be my 7th time this week. I walk 30 minutes, but am still struggling with speed - my chest tightens, my throat closes, but everyday it gets better and better. I am hoping that my metabolism will speed up and that the walking/tight chest/wheezing will finally get all the gunk out of my lungs and I will finally see the benefits of not smoking. Apparently after you give up smoking you cough a lot and cough up phlegm - I haven't as yet. Now and again I have choking coughing fits at night, more like postnasal drip coughs, other than that I have not coughed a lot, I do have a kind of burny taste at the back of my throat, something I can't describe or explain, I also have a kind of unexplained film across my throat - whether it is real or an illusion I won't know, but it is there. 

Before I waffle on any longer - let me go change and walk.
PS - Excuse the typos of which I am sure there will be many. I have been updating this post throughout the day, whilst running a backup; copying music from my laptop onto my phone to make my treadmill walking less tedious and updating my files and pictures on Skydrive, so my laptop has been excessively overworked and exceedingly slow.......... and I am off for real now.....

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Six Months

If you had told me 6 months ago, that I would be able to go without a cigarette for 6 months, I would have told you that you were crazy. In fact when I woke up on Saturday 4 May 2013, I would never have believed that I could go without a cigarette for 6 weeks; 6 days; 6 hours even 6 minutes. There was just no way. OK there were times that I managed 2 hours in a movie or travelling, but by then I was going off my rocker. The longest I ever went without a cigarette was when I had my jaw op and was just in too much pain to go outside and have a smoke in the smoking section on the other side of the hospital.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I went straight to the bathroom to have a cigarette. It was during one of those moments when I was on a smoking guilt trip and was not going to smoke in the house anymore, which became I will only smoke by the backdoor, which became OK I will smoke everywhere except in the bedroom. I had my smoke, went to the kitchen made coffee had another smoke, made another cup of coffee had another smoke, hence the not managing 6 minutes without a cigarette.

I went to work - this was also during one of my "cutting down" trips and by around 11, I realized that I had almost finished the whole packet of cigarettes I had bought the night before - so much for cutting down - and that is when I decided no more. If I bought smokes and smoked I would never give up. I also decided there and then that once I had finished the Nicorettes I had bought I would not buy anymore, because I was not swapping one addiction for another.

Unless you are by nature a Triple C snacker - DO NOT give up smoking for health purposes. Carrots; Celery and  Cucumber just don't have the same satisfaction as chocolate; chips and cookies and ice cream and sweets and food and and and.......................... There is absolutely no way that junk food can be healthier than smoking. I am always looking for something to shove in my mouth. I am always looking for that "after satisfaction" after food; after coffee; after a long trip; after a movie and then there is also whilst I am reading; whilst I am drinking coffee; whilst I am working; whilst I am concentrating. Always looking for something to put n my mouth. I tried cucumber in place of chips, but oh my word, I am so sick of cucumber, I cannot face another piece, Oh why can't I get sick of chips and chocolates.

My Substitute For Smokes
 I am craving chips right now. They are the perfect substitute for smoking - that whole hand to mouth process. I must say chocolates don't taste the same anymore, but instead of being put off by the taste I go in search of a chocolate that does taste like it used to. I was not one of those people who could not smoke whilst eating chocolate. There was nothing better than having a chocolate; chips and wait for it ---- Tab and a cigarette. Now I just have the chocolate and chips, but keep having more and more because I am missing "something"

Don't ever give up smoking to have more energy. I have slept through the past 6 months and have no energy. I walked on the treadmill last night and can usually (when I smoked) do 3 km's in 15 minutes, last night I did 2 km in 30 minutes. When I did try walk faster, I was so out of breathe and my chest was so tight I thought I was having a heart attack and had to slow down to an almost stroll.

My Dusty Treadmill From Lack Of Use

I was following all the Stoptober tweets on Twitter and people were saying how "full of energy" they were after a few days. It is physiologically impossible, unless I suppose you have only been smoking for a short time, to have more energy in a few days. Smoking is a physical addiction and getting rid of all the toxins causes strain on your body so it is impossible to have so much energy after one or two days. That's why I believe so many people end up smoking again. You feel awful, stressed and tired and the cravings stay with you forever so you just start smoking again. I still have vivid dreams of smoking - the smell of a freshly lit cigarette is as real as if I am siting in a smoke shop.

Six months later and it is as if I had a smoke 6 minutes ago................

Monday, 4 November 2013

Store Bought Biscuits

Wow three posts in one day - so much for the one post a day rule!! Is there even such a rule and anyway since when do I follow silly rules. Real rules and laws yes, but silly one post a day rules - no ways. I only follow rules that have consequences that can cause  harm to myself or others.

..... And I have gone right off the topic. How cute are these doggy biscuits Mark bought on Friday night.

Bobtail Biscuits
Mark took Chad to gym, Chad has changed gyms as have all the gym bunnies  his gym friends, but that is a story for another time. So Mark took him to gym and went to the Spar next to the gym. Apparently the Spar is disgusting and their stale rolls were testament to that, but they do stock these really lovely doggy biscuits and our dogs thought they were in heaven and gobbled them up in two minutes flat. We have never seen them in any other store. Miss Piggy must have smelt the peanut butter, because whilst I was trying to take a photo of the biscuits before opening them, she was jumping up and barking and trying to get them from me. Dogs are so clever, you would swear they knew exactly what we were saying when we were gushing over the biscuits.

Iced Doggy Biscuits

As you know from this post and quite a few others, Piggy loves my home-made Peanut Butter Biscuits and I admit that I have not made them for ages. She now has to have store bought biscuits. Chad and I watch Come Dine With Me SA - hence the emphasis on Store Bought biscuits. She loves Bobtail Peanut Butter Biscuits, almost as much as my homemade ones, but the new Iced Bobtail Biscuits must top them all and all four dogs went crazy for them.

Bobtail Tasty Treats

They have a strong smell of chocolate, yet have no chocolate in them - whatever they have the dogs love them. Thanks Bobtail for letting me off the hook for not baking for my doggies - now to find them at the stores we always shop at.

4 X 4'ing At Groenkloof

A few weeks ago we went 4x4'ing at Groenkloof - on the 13 October 2013 to be exact. The 4X4 track is in a Nature Reserve in Pretoria. We saw a few buck and Zebra, but not that many animals. You can mountain bike through the reserve; hike or go on the 4X4 track. You can read more about Groenkloof Nature Reserve by clicking here

It started off by Mark driving through a river and our poor Landy getting full of stinky water, including my feet and shoes; my bag and phone and it was yuck. The next part I decided to get out the car and wait, but didn't know that it was just the start of many horrible tracks and Mark had to come back on the non 4X4 route to fetch me.

The Track

More Of The Track

Looking Back At The Track
I hit my head, bashed my shoulders, ripped off a nail and my nails are not even long and almost poked out my eye. 4X4'ing is not for me and Mark and Chad were reminiscing about the days when Clinty was still alive and they went often and Chad was little and hated it and screamed and cried. He mostly stayed home with me and truth be told I don't think he is all that into 4 X 4'ing even now.

The Landy

Chad Checking Out The Landy

And we lost the front registration plate somewhere, which Mark only noticed a week later. I don't know what Mark was doing over here, holding his breathe - he looks weird like he is about to burst.

Mark Holding His Breathe

Father & Son Bonding Time

We reached the top and then made our way back to the finish.

Finishing The Route

The Way Back

Route Easier Than The First Couple

Looking Back

The Scenery

Almost Over

We arrived back at the picnic area, braaied some meat and had rolls and cold drinks and went home.


Meat Cooking

It turned out to be a lovely day, after the stinky water and bashed head. The braai and picnic area is really massive and nearer to the top it was crowded, but where we were it was not very crowded. It was reasonably priced, in fact it was dirt cheap, I think we paid less than R200.00 for the 4x4 route and our entrance fee and the route is quite long - I think it took about 2 hours to do it in.

It was something different to do, but not my cup of tea. I said that next time they can drop me off at the picnic area and I will read a book, whilst they do the course.

Mark's Halloween Scare

On Thursday morning I was texting Chad about his plans for the afternoon and he asked me to tell Mark to reply to his message. Mark was standing near my table, but with his back to me when I told him. He spun around with that deer caught in the headlights of a car expression on his face, took a huge breath and said all surprised and out of breath kind of "Hey this morning when I was taking Chad to school, two boys were walking down the road, dressed in black and one had a real Samurai sword" His face had this look of fear and shock and all sorts of other emotions going on at the same time. I said its Halloween and everyone must be dressing up and had a good laugh. Chad did not know that it was Halloween dress up for school and I only realized it was when Mark mentioned the Samurai Sword.

When I fetched Chad from school, he said that Mark S#@T himself when he saw this boy walking with a sword to school and asked Chad if he knew him; told Chad to stay away from him and to run as fast as he can if he came anywhere near him and even asked him if he wanted to rather go home. Chad did not even realise that it was Halloween dress up and I guess maybe was also a bit worried, because apparently the boy is a bit emo.

Jokes aside, it is very irresponsible to allow kids to bring real Samurai swords to school, its no different to allowing someone to bring a real gun to school, just because it is Halloween. All Mark could think of when he saw the boy with the sword was the boy who killed another boy at a high school about 20 km's away from us a few years ago. As the story goes he was bullied and snapped and killed his tormentor with a Samurai Sword. 99.9% of people see Halloween as a fun dress up get lots of candy go "fun" crazy kind of celebration. It is relatively new in South Africa and has absolutely no significance to us, but we copy the Americans with everything and for the past almost 20 years we have "celebrated" Halloween, but in a very small way compared to the Americans. The first time we ever did the whole Halloween thing, Clint and my niece and their friends were running around our complex with other children trick or treating. Chad was a baby and that could have been the first for everyone to celebrate Halloween and it steadily became more popular after that. However, it is that point one percent that takes it a step further and could use Halloween as a guise to kill someone at school with a sword - so no!! real Samurai Swords should not be allowed at school.

Chad is just like Clint in that he also did not dress up at school for Halloween or Valentine's day or whatever dress up day they had. ,They always "forgot". This photo below was Clint's last Halloween Day at school.

Matt Dressed Up - Clint "Forgot" To Dress Up.
I joked with Chad and said the teachers must think he is such a rebel, because on Valentine's day he wears black from head to toe and on Halloween he wore red. They would know for sure that him and Clint were brothers, because they are exactly the same in that way.

When they were little they loved Halloween and we always bought costumes and they dressed up, but because not everyone in South Africa does the whole trick and treat, some years it was rather dismal walking the streets, so we would usually go to The Brightwater Commons as they always have a big event for Halloween. Both Clint and Chad stopped going to Brightwater Commons for Halloween in high school, and Chad and I often went on our own when Clint was older, because Mark was not into it and Clint either went to friends or stayed at home with Mark.

Mark isn't against Halloween for any spiritual reason, just not his thing, but would walk the streets with the boys when they were both young. I was really shocked when a client was waiting in reception on Thursday morning, a new client and she received a phone call that her 11 year old grandson ran into a tree at school and bashed his face and she had to rush off and take him to the doctor. She was so happy, because that meant he could not go to the Halloween Celebration at The Brightwater Commons that night. Her husband is a church minister, so she is obviously a Minister's wife and said that her grandson was so excited about Halloween, but it was spiritually very wrong. I just had to roll my eyes and walk away. It is dressing up and eating loads of candy, so yes wrong for your child's teeth maybe, BUT what is very wrong is being happy that your grandson hurt himself badly enough for the school to panic and call you to come and fetch him from school.

And on that note I hope you had loads and loads of sweet sugary treats for Halloween.....

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