Category Archives: Johannesburg

M2, Idai, Loadshedding, Fibre, Crochet Project

Ok, well I’m finding my way back into blogging. I confess to having missed it. I checked into my WordPress reader to keep up with other bloggers but I was patchy at best.

Today is a public holiday in South Africa. Things are interesting here at the moment. Loadshedding (rolling blackouts) are back because the situation with Eskom, our state owned energy provider is crumbling under the effects of long term corruption, bad decisions and lack of maintenance. Leadership has been changed in the last six months or so, especially after our previous president stepped down. The reality is that all of our state owned enterprises are bankrupt, from our national airline to the railways to the energy provider.

Couple that with the closure of the M2 bridges which are a main arterial to cross the Johannesburg city from North to South and from East to West, and it makes getting around Joburg an adventure. It turns out that the bridges in Johannesburg have not been maintained in decades and the M2 is showing signs of structural damage making it unsafe for cars to travel along it.

I’m sorry if this post is a bit bleak and I’m giving you my fed-up rant. It is biased I know.

South Africa is a beautiful country, the weather is some of the best in the world. And South Africans take everything in their stride. We survive and in some cases thrive. Life goes on and we must move forward. I still worry though…

That’s the bleak rant. Now for some positive news. We finally got fibre. After years of battling with sub-par ADSL our online experience just got better. It took us a while to get all the configs and set up done mainly because neither me nor Che were home long enough to see things through to the end with the service provider. We eventually did, and I’m smiling 🙂

We’re having a wonderfully hot autumn – it’s 30 degrees today and has been the same since last week. Rainy season is over here in the highveld, unlike our northern neighbours of Mozambique (my homeland :-)), Zimbabwe and Malawi. Cyclone Idai made landfall in Beira a few days ago. Beira is already a city located below sea-level. With the winds and the rains, there is an inland sea stretching long distances. It’s a humanitarian crisis, with people dead, missing, or in vulnerable situations and in danger of starving before help reaches them. These are people who are still on the roofs of their homes, waiting to be rescued. Many resources have been mobilised here is South Africa to help. Have a look at this short drone footage of the damage close to the shore.

There is a huge inland lake created by the floods, ” European Space Agency images show a huge new inland “lake” measuring about 80 miles by 15 miles (125km by 25km)”

The disaster stretches to Zimbabwe and Malawi too, where people are going to be needing food aid for the next 3 months, according to the World Food Programme.

I did say I was going to write positive stuff and it quickly turned sad…

A positive note is that I’ve taken up my crochet project again – I’m crocheting (is this the right spelling?) a bed spread in bamboo yarn. It’s so soft and sustainable too. I get my yarns from Natural Yarns in Kommetjie, and use the Vinnis Colours from the Serina range. Natural Yarns in turn source their yarns from women from an economically depressed rural area of South Africa. The yarn is hand-dyed and balled, and the sale of this product has empowered and brought economic benefits to their community. The yarn is colour fast and the hand-dyed yarn gives my garment a marbled effect. I have 400 granny squares to make and I’ve completed 117! What do you think of the effect?

Well I started off this post with no specific plan…only to reconnect with you, my readers. It started off with complaining about loadshedding and the closure of the M2 in Joburg, raved about the new fibre connection we have, then took a bit of dip into the Cyclone Idai disaster and up again when I spoke about continuing with my crochet project. My crochet hook and yarn is calling me and I must end off here, this post that is longer than normal for me. If you’re reading this, thank you for making is this far. And leave me a comment 😉

Regina

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Glass

I have a new client in the Joburg CBD and I confess that the CBD is not one of my favourite places merely from a traffic point of view. On Monday Che and I got caught up in the gridlock that ensued, presumably as a result of the temporary closure of the Kazerne Bridge for repairs.

This means that a major route out of town for people living on the East Rand is closed for about 16 months. Off course people will find new routes and traffic patterns will stabilise once again.

In order to prevent a repeat of Monday Che and I agreed that I would walk up town to the Standard Bank precinct, which is on the edge of town, and get picked up there. An 8 to 10 minute walk to prevent potentially getting caught up in 90 minutes of chaos. This also provides me with the opportunity to take photos of interesting buildings.

I love the Joburg CBD for it old buildings, many built in a Classical style, others in the Art Dec style, and yet others, more modern. I took this photo of a building with the reflection of another building in its glass windows.

Reflections in the glass
©2018 Regina Martins

This post was prepared in response to Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Glass. Click on the link to see more entries in this week’s challenge.

 

Seven Days of Black & White Photos

The seven-day black & white photo challenge is doing the rounds on Facebook, and I took up the challenge. If you haven’t come across it yet, it is about posting a photo of your life each day for seven days. No photos of people. No commentary. Challenge someone new each day.

Day 1, a spring leaf…

©2017 Regina Martins

Day 2, spinach growing in our garden. I planted it last summer and it survived the winter. Tender bright green leaves are growing again.

©2017 Regina Martins

Day 3, I submitted my social entrepreneurship assignment, on time!

©2017 Regina Martins

Day 4 I was in Cape Town. Don’t you just love how neatly the luggage trolleys stack into each other?

©2017 Regina Martins

Day 5, book order arrived. I ordered it months ago and had given up on it when it arrived! Relieved and glad.

©2017 Regina Martins

Day 6, shopping at the mall. It’s located on a high and is a beautiful vantage point over the valley.

©2017 Regina Martins

Day 7, today, and the first cup of coffee I posted. Americano with cold milk. It’s so easy for me to post a cup of coffee! I held out until day 7.

©2017 Regina Martins

Did you also enter the FB challenge? Post a link to your blog post telling us all about it in the comments below.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Letter D – 4 letters words that start with D

Not your ordinary photo challenge, Cee Fun Photo Challenge is going through the alphabet. This week we’re asked to post photos the subject of which starts with the letter D and is 4 letters in length. As Cee says:

You can always use adjectives and adverbs with a specific topic just make sure you give us the word that fits the requirements of this challenge.  Feel free to use your native language as your inspiration for this challenge, just please give us the word in your language and the english translation.  Use your imagination for this theme.  The thing is to have a lot of fun with this challenge.

This week we have dawn, dusk and door.

Wintry Durban dawn:

Wintry Durban dawn
©2017 Regina Martins

I love these doors with so much unique character in Lisbon:

A door in Bairro Alto, Lisbon
©2017 Regina Martins
A door in Alfama, Lisbon
©2017 Regina Martins

And now for the pics I seem to take the most of – dusk…

Mediterranean dusk
©2017 Regina Martins
Highveld dusk
©2017 Regina
Another Highveld dusk
©2017 Regina Martins

To enter this challenge, click here.