Thursday, 31 January 2008

Writer's block & Eskom

All great writers suffer from writer's block at one point or another in their illustrious careers. I am no different (aside from not being a great writer, that is). My mental wheels have temporarily stopped turning, so I am stooping to posting other people's great work on my blog. This is one of my favourite South African cartoons, Madam & Eve. The authors have been one of the few groups of people managing to make money out of the powercuts (along with those selling generators, wood-fire pizza and gas cookers). Enjoy:

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Funny column

If you're South African or interested in SA affairs, you should check out David Mosely's ridiculously non-PC but hilarious column, here .

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

My Orlando photos

The horned chicken and the horned husband, as seen at Ripley's Believe it or Not

New York New York in Disney-MGM Studios

Waiting for the bus. We did lots of this.

Smoke from the fireworks on New Year's Eve at MGM.

Yours truly with the robotic 'mine! mine!' sea gulls at The Seas With Nemo entrance in Epcot.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Power cuts boost productivity... by preventing procrastination

Yikes! It has been a long while since I last blogged. Why, you may ask (or not. i suppose it depends entirely on whether or not you actually care). Well, if you're in South Africa you probably know the answer... Eskom. And for those of you who are not from this glorious land of sunny days and dark, electricity-less nights, that is not a rude Afrikaans word. Although it should be.

Eskom is our national power supplier, but they're not doing a very good job of supplying electricity to us at the moment. Not that it's their fault - they have been warning our government for years that we needed to invest money in building new capacity. But, as President Mbeki has admitted, the top dogs did not listen, and so now we are stuck with rolling blackouts everyday, usually twice a day, around the country.

All of this rambling about the uselessness of politicians and utilities is merely background to explain my latest excuse for delayed blogging... "load shedding" as Eskom calls it. This annoying and highly disruptive policy of turning off our electricity at random intervals during the day does have its plus side though... It has put an end to my procrastination. See, to make my deadlines I am forced to sit down immediately as I get into the office and do as much as possible while the PC is still on, as well as copying everything onto a USB stick to use on the laptop while the power is down and drawing up very organised 'to do' lists of people I need to call and things I need to do that don't require electricity for those two-hour sessions. When the power is off and I have no internet or email access, I simply go through my lists and feel very good at being able to tick things off.

So while Eskom's little switch-flicking games may halt the work on the Gau-Train project, lose millions of Rands for the mining companies, and generally wreak havoc and mean that nobody can get a good cuppa, at least little old me is doing just fine.

The only down side (and some will debate that this is a negative at all) is that there are long gaps between blogs.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

The first of the photos

There are many more to come (as soon as I figure out how my new camera's software works), but here is a single photo from each segment of my holiday in the meanwhile. To see all the rest, visit my Flickr page here.

The day of our first year anniversary - a "sunset" (we were around an hour early for that) horseride along Noordehoek beach. It was amazing - the day had been raining and miserable and the weather cleared to give us the perfect 2-hour window for our ride, which we followed up with dinner at the Mount Nelson Hotel (where TSC proposed to me). No photos of that as we're STILL too embarrassed to ask the waiter to take a photo of us. It's just not done at the Mt. N, dahling!

This is our nephew, Jeandre, at around 8 months. Poor boy's already had chicken pox and bronchitis, but he was all smiles when we saw him in Upington - we'd just given him the R400 teddy. He couldn't wait to unpack the bear so he could ignore it and try to climb inside its box.

Me, on the farm in Namibia, trying to look comfortable holding this little goat that was squirming like a worm on speed.

TSC and I on Christmas day, which we spent with my family near Hazyview in Mpumalanga. It was a stunning day of perfect weather, good food, lots of presents and interesting German priests.

Tamara and TSC do Disney. Dancing gingerbread men! Well, I thought it was cool.

I know I promised random observations, the usual rants and more fine writing, so those will come. Well, the rants and observations at least. Two out of three is not bad. In the meantime, just pretend to be interested in my pics, k?

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Back to business as usual

Hello infinite ether into which I cast my bitsy blogs!

I have returned. Yes, like a nasty case of the sniffles, I am unstoppable. No desert-heat Namibian farm excursion, post-holiday emptiness of pocket or bumbling US airline can keep me from bouncing back into blog-mode.

In other words, vaction's over, so it's back to work, which means it's back to procrastination. After three weeks of non-stop travelling that took me from the fairest Cape Town to most desolate Keetmanshoop in Namibia and from the luxurious Casa do Sol in Mpumalanga to the cockroach infested Howard Johnson Maingate West in Orlando, Florida, my adjective-addicted self is now plonked back in front of this unfriendly monitor... wiser, even more tired than before my holiday and ever-so-slightly less white than before.

Details, photos and meaningless observations to follow. Until then, adieu.