Monday, 31 March 2014

BM's, Landy's And V-Town

So we did honour Earth Hour last night - not quite totally the whole hour, but close enough. Chad and Mark came home literally as I pressed publish on my Earth Hour Post. Ten minutes later and it was the start of Earth Hour. We started off by switching off all the lights - Mark will do anything to save on the electricity bill. He has this obsession - not entirely the right word, but he believes that our electricity bill is R4000.00 a month and every month he pays that amount. Our bill is very high, for only 3 people in the house, 4 counting Sheila and some months it is R4000.00, but on average it is about R3000.00 and we are always in credit, which is a good thing, but Mark still pays R40000.00, even if they owe us R5000.00. He is OCD about it. I digress, well he was pleased to have the lights off, So we had everything off except our TV and Internet connection. Chad cheated and downloaded something onto his I-Pod and then he switched everything off. We sat in the dark, heads down on our Phones/IPods/Tabs. We decided not to turn on the solar, because it was such a waste. Our electrical points were turned off from 20h45 to 21h35 and our lights from 20h30 to 21h35. The hour went by so quickly and made me realise that the reason why we complain when it is load shedding or just a power cut it because it was not a choice. Forced power cuts opposed to power cuts by choice, turns us into angry rebels, so maybe we should have Earth Hour once a month, instead of once a year. Sadly our neighbourhood was well lit up and I think we were the only ones to honour Earth Hour.

Image Source

Now for the topic of today's post - a bit cryptic I might add, but certainly not if you live with someone who buys cars like other men buy gadgets or home improvement tools and he sells them or gets bored with them just as fast. Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of driving our Landrover all the way from Vereeniging home - yes you need to pack a lunch box when you go there, it is that far. Mark went to fetch his latest acquisition.

Mark's Latest Acquisition

 It is a really good looking car, but I am not sure that I like it or "feel' it - as in "I love this car - don't ever sell it". I certainly do not believe a car defines a person or determines your status in life. I am not into big fancy German cars and I totally dislike Golf's and Polo's; Fords and Toyota's. I did love the black Merc Mark had, but he soldit,  because I would not drive it and it just stayed in the carport, gathering dust and high insurance premiums. I am guessing that this car will be doing much the same. Mark wants me to sell my Getz and drive the BM'. No Thanks, I love my Getz - I don't need a fast and fancy car. Either the BM will join the project cars and just park at home or his Mazda Bakkie. He was going to trade it in on the BMW, but decided to rather keep it, because it is a really nice vehicle, especially if we go anywhere with the dogs.

Hyundai Getz

My Getz
Mark has all these project cars going on at the moment, like Chad's racing Uno. Why on earth Chad wanted an Uno, only he will know. Apparently it is a Turbo Uno and extremely fast and powerful. Just those two words put me totally off. I keep teasing Chad about his Uno saying it is not a very manly car. (Apologies for the sexist comment - it is just a joke.) Chad keeps convincing me otherwise. Right now all their projects have been forgotten - they have something new on their minds.

Time To Go Topless
This whole episode meant I had to drive all the way from Vereeniging, which is about 90 km's away all on my own in the Landrover. My car was lent to a customer - we won't even go down that road and Mark's bakkie (pickup truck) is at the panel beater fixing the hail damage from last year. I realised that the Landrover is getting really old and tired. Trying to keep up with all the cars and keep up with Mark, took a huge toll on the poor thing. The only reason why we still have it, is because Clint loved it and always said that we must never sell it. We hardly drive it and it stands for years on end and I keep thinking maybe it is time to sell it.

 Driving all that way on my own filled my mind with all sorts of memories. When I got home I just sobbed and cried uncontrollably. I missed Clint so much. The trip was also so stressful trying to keep up with Mark so I that I didn't get lost. Chad kinda believes that I can't drive and was shocked that I did keep up with them. I hate driving and always say I can't drive, just because I don't want to drive. I have always hated driving, but more so now. Driving this huge big heavy tank, that reminds me of a Rhino; with all the blind spots and stickers, with all the memories of holidays and life before death hit us so badly, just finished me emotionally.

Clinty GP
There is just so much heart and soul in that big old tank and that heart and soul was all Clinty. As much as it would be practical to sell it, I just can't.

Looks Like A Smiley Face
All these fast and powerful good looking cars cannot compare to the Landrover - they have no heart and soul. Seriously the Landy is going to have to retire to a Museum to our back yard and just stay there forever in Memory of Clint.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Earth Hour; Load Shedding Or Just No Power

Walk down the street to the sweet sound of drone of generators for days on end and you know you are living in South Africa. We have been so fortunate that we have not had to go through that at home, but last year at work we did not have power for three days AND we worked in a residential area. How people cope at home without power, I could just not imagine. What about babies? Generators and solar power can help to a certain extent, but what about those who don't have or can't afford generators.The power cut was due to a major strike in the country. I am all about better pay and work conditions, but don't destroy the country and economy and lives to prove a point to bosses and government. We had a generator so we were only affected by the constant loud drone of the generator and strangely we had no internet during those three days. It was either extremely slow or non existent and I remember having to send an urgent email, an invoice, otherwise we would not get paid, the usual story of we always come here and will pay when we get home, which never materializes, then we are the bad ones for daring to ask for payment. Anyway so I had to send this email and although home was only 10 minutes away, with no traffic lights working it would have taken much longer, so I put my laptop in the boot of my car,  opened and connected to our sharelink, also in the boot. I could not leave it on the seat, in case of a smash and grab, so in the boot it went and off I went and my invoice was sent before getting home. The trials and tribulations of living in South Africa, but at least we are creative and make a plan ;-).

Laptop & Sharelink in boot searching for network 5 Sep 2013

No Network Signal

That was the only time we were affected by power cuts for so many days, but it happens all the time in suburbs all over South Africa. I hate getting on the band wagon of the negativity in South Africa,but it is a fact that we have a power crises. I moved to Weltevreden Park at the end of 1984, from Durban, yep 30 years ago  and what I remember of those days were the power cuts we had and it was always at dinner time, or I should say when we were making dinner. It was also often enough to remember and not just once in a blue moon, so how wonderful was it "back in the day". Never mind the fact that most of the South African population had no electricity and no running water, there are still too many without electricity, but a huge amount of the population do now have electricity and now we all face power cuts and load shedding not only the whites and the privileged few like in the past. So do we have an excuse to not honour Earth Day, because we have so many power cuts or is Earth Day more than just switching off lights. We have Solar Power, so would using that count as honouring Earth Day, or would it be cheating and just hypocritical considering that the Solar Power uses a car battery for power and we all know the lead in car batteries is so bad for the environment.

Solar Powered Lights

Our solar powered lights are pretty bright, in fact they are much brighter than our actual lights. Our house has the worst lighting ever. With all the rain over the past month, in fact months, our roof started leaking and one day, I came home from work to fetch something and I walked out the dining room into the passage and not even two minutes later back into the dining room and the Solar Light came loose and is now hanging from the cord. It looks terrible and now that the rain has stopped  is no longer that all day relentless rain, we have to get the roof fixed and the ceiling and light fitting. On Friday it was the pool pump. We had to fix that first, because there was a leak by the pump and all the water was pouring out the pump. With all the rain we had the pool should have been overflowing, but it was getting lower and lower until we discovered where the leak was. It was such a waste of water, because we lost a huge amount, even with keeping the pump off - and now have a green dirty pool, full of worms.

Thanks To The Rain A Broken Solar Light Fitting

Back to Earth Hour, which will be in exactly 10 minutes, will we be honouring it. I am not too sure, Mark and Chad are out and I am not too keen on sitting in the dark on my own and if they were here would we be honouring the whole idea of Earth Hour, by saving electricity and getting back to honouring communication and each other. Blackouts years ago was a time to chat and play games by candle light. Our game was General Knowledge and it was a real "Ah no" moment, because the lights came on and we were still playing and then it was back to TV. Since the invention of smart phones, what will really changes during Earth Hour, other than saving electricity. We will all still have our heads down in a world of technology, grunting at each other, more interested in someone's Face Book Status;  Tweet; BBM or Whats App etc than those around us. We certainly won't be honouring quiet conversation and family time.

Happy Earth Hour 2014 - Lets Save The Earth & Not Destroy It Anymore Than We Already Have.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Once An Addict Always An Addict - Ten Months And More

I am astounded that I have managed to stay smoke free for ten months and longer - I am just as astounded that the cravings have not subsided at all. In fact the cravings are as strong as when I stopped 10 months ago. This is the longest that I have gone without a cigarette. Yes I did smoke throughout my pregnancies and no I am not proud of the fact that I could have harmed my unborn babies and I am really fortunate that no harm came to them through my smoking. Whilst I am being tarred and feathered and burnt at the stake by the lynch mob of perfect mothers and people, I will point out that if we lived in a perfect world then babies and children would not die of natural and unnatural causes, life would be fair. Point two - The fact that smoking whilst pregnant is taboo, it did not harm my children at all, but a person who was employed at a hospital as a medical doctor was the direct cause of my child's death . I bet she is an advocate of no smoking whilst pregnant; yet she blatantly ignored a dying child because she did not feel like working late that night. Point three when I was pregnant with Clint and Chad there were no smoking laws. In fact when I was pregnant with Clint, reps from smoking companies still came around and gave away cartons of cigarettes. Yes can you believe that. I worked in the medical industry - medical aid to be more specific and reps would pop around every so often and give out cartons of smokes - how cool was that - for smokers. We could smoke anywhere. When I did my nursing training in the 80"s in a private hospital, patients lay in their beds in a general ward and smoked. - Wow how life has changed. Yes, these are just excuses, addicts are very good at coming up with excuses and yes, I am an addict, addicted to cigarettes and in hindsight, I should not have smoked whilst I was pregnant.

Only after giving up smoking do you realise that it is a disgusting smelly habit, and yes smokers, we are very inconsiderate to those around us. I always thought I was a relatively considerate smoker, but actually I was not, but what really gets to me is how most smokers just don't give a dam about blowing their smoke at other people and it is thanks to them that all the smoking laws came about. I have a very small office/reception area and I cannot tell you how many men walk in here and blow their smoke into my office. The other day I told someone not to smoke in my office and he said he is not smoking whilst smoke was billowing out of his mouth all over me. Mark just quietly smiles. It makes me so mad, because I gave up smoking because I could not smoke at work in my office, when I worked from home it was fine, but by law you cannot smoke in a public place, in a building; in an office - that is the reason why I gave up smoking and I have now earned the right to say do not smoke in my office.

Sweets My New Smokes

Most days I regret giving up smoking and am always so close to starting again. The only thing that stops me from lighting up again is the smell of stale smoke. Oh my word stale smoke is so disgusting, but the smell of a freshly lit decent cigarette is so good. Yes smokers the reason why ex-smokers complain about smokers smoking around them is because that lighting up smell makes it so tempting to light up again, even after ten months and yes non smokers, believe it or not you do get decent cigarettes and disgusting cigarettes. I mainly regret giving up because of my health and the fact that I am now eating even more unhealthily than before. I live on sweets, especially Wilson's boiled sweets. I absolutely love them and I always have this disgusting film across my throat, something I cannot explain and these sweets help - but only whilst they are in my mouth.

My Sweets Always On Hand

So just like my smokes were right next to me, so are my Wilson's Sweets now. Once and addict always an addict.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Hey Guys ... And Gals, There Is A New Sushi Bar In Town.........

............ He screeched from the roof top to his friends and family.

Hadeda Calling His Family

Yes our new Koi are looking quite tempting to this fellow and his family. Last Sunday when I was sitting in Clinty's Memorial Garden; crying and missing him, this Hadeda flew towards our garden, whilst squawking and screeching excitedly to the rest of his family to join him at the new Sushi Bar in Town and then promptly landed on our roof and started eyeing me and our fish.

Eyeing Me Very Confidently 

I snuck inside to fetch my camera, my eyes awash with tears, my heart broken and aching and longing for Clint. Sometimes I think Clint sends "things" to me to stop me from going into a very deep dark pit that I cannot climb out of.  So whilst I was inside getting my camera, my Hadeda, frenemy settled on the roof to quietly observe the delightful dish of scrumptious breakfast awaiting him down below.

Checking Out The Sushi Bar

Yes, I call him my Frenemy, because I love birds, including these noisy raucous flying beasts. When Chad was little, about three years old, he used to call them his friends and would get very excited when he saw them when we were out somewhere and thought his friends had followed him. When I discovered that these pesky, but useful predators were eating my fish - had eaten all our fish, I started disliking them and shooing them from our garden. Our dogs and cat are useless, they just live in harmony with nature and only chase the neighbouring cats out of our garden. Birds can stay - including the Hadeda, who besides eating my fish, they also eat Parktown Prawns the ugliest scariest King Crickets you have ever seen. So yes they are also very welcome in the garden as well as unwelcome.

I will Out Sit You & I Will Out Stare You
I have grown so fond of the Koi we have now. The others that we bought for Clint's Memorial Garden were nice, but when we bought them I was numb and dead inside and I never really grew attached to them and slowly over the seven years, the numbness thaws a bit and you have days that are normal days and days where you sink back into that deep pit of darkness and death and grief. So now I have this love hate relationship with the Hadeda, who may or may not have eaten our other fish.

Water Spider Web
So in defense of the Hadeda, I have wondered aloud about these horrible water spiders and their webs possibly being the ones killing my fish - don't ask me how they manage to swallow the fish, but they could be to blame for killing our second last one from the first batch - Mark gets so annoyed about me trying to convince myself and who ever cares that it is the spiders doing the killing. I don't think a spider can kill this monster, but I am sure it can get caught up in the web across the pond.

Monster Ruling The Pond


 I must say fish are very stupid and no wonder they get caught by fisherman or birds or whoever it is that may catch them. When the hear/sense danger they stop dead in their tracks and do not move at all - sitting ducks fish for predators.

Hiding From Predators
 A bright idea popped in my head last Sunday and I thought I should make a Frog pond in our garden for the Hadeda's and as quickly as that thought popped in my head so did the thought of how cruel and wrong would that be, bringing frogs to the garden to be eaten by Hadedas. Although the idea of having a frog garden would be quite nice as we have no frogs in our garden and frogs would kill all the bugs and mosquitoes. It just goes to show that I am getting old - when I was young I hated frogs, bur now think that although frogs are pretty ugly and gross to touch and look at, having them in the garden is a huge asset.

Peeping Out

Is It Safe Now

I spotted this bird eating a worm bigger than our baby fish, so am now wondering if it is not another bird eating the fish, whilst Mark is slowly losing patience with me defending the Hadeda. You can only see the worm's head sticking out like a pin prick, but it was pretty big. I love my new Pentax Camera, but the shutter speed is a bit slow, so I missed the long fat juicy worm sticking out the bird's beak.

See The Worm's Head Peeping Out Of The Grass

I have to find some sort of net to cover the pond, because as if I don't have enough stress in my life, I now have to look out for the fish and make sure no predators go near them, which is becoming quite stressful. Chad and Mark think I am certifiably insane, because yesterday I told them that just getting out of bed is so stressful for me and then they saw me swatting spider webs and spiders off the pond with the pool net. So any ideas to keep my fish safe and me a little less stressed will be quite welcome.

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Monday, 17 March 2014

Seven Years And Still So Many Tears

My Darling Angel,
It is so hard to believe that it has been seven years,
And still so many tears.
The tears will never stop,
The memories will never fade.
Life will never be the same again.
I miss you more today than I did on that fateful day
I will love and miss you until the end of my life.

Your bedroom is still exactly the same,
Just filled with flowers and photos,
I know you would not approve
If you were still alive.
What boy would want his room covered in Flowers and candles and photos.
I know that you understand now
that my need to cover your room in flowers
Is so that I can try fill a void in my heart and my life that will never be filled.

Every year I say next year I will take down all the pictures of bikes and girls on your walls and pack them all away, but I just cannot bring myself to do it. Every year I say next year I will buy a plaque or tomb stone, not sure what you call it - an "In Memory Of" Stone, but I never do, because that will be accepting your death, accepting that you died and that I can never do. So we don't have a stone or a plaque, we just have a garden. I cannot bring myself to ever scatter your ashes, but keep saying next year I will, but I know I won't.

I regret not taking enough photos of you when you were older. I know you died before, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I know you died before selfies became the norm, before smart phones and media cards, but I just cannot understand why you had no photos on your phone, besides the few of your bike. I know your phone was new, I bought it for you in November, but M told me that you took photos and videos when we were on holiday in December. I have checked your phone a million and one times and there are no photos.

Your phone & wallet I will treasure for ever

So all I have today are photos of photos of when life was happy, fun and normal. Life before you died.

And all I have for today's post is photos of flowers and a heart this is filled with grief and pain and memories.

I will never conform to what society dictates and move on with my life and stop grieving for you. I will live for Chad and I will mourn for you, my precious child.

I love and miss you so much Clinty. These past seven years have been the worst and hardest most painful years of my life. I will treasure my memories of you forever.

With all my love mommy

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