Category Archives: Living in Jo’burg

How Was Your Weekend?

Mine was relaxing. We had the requisite load shedding on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday there was none. I took my niece horse riding and it was lovely out in the open spaces amongst the plots, sleepy almost. The flies were abundant though and very persistent, buzzing and landing on my forearms like ten-ton trucks on wings. They felt heavy, it must all the horse manure that they feast on… :-0

I love the wide open spaces which are so close to us in Joburg
©2019 Regina Martins

My niece has lots of work on her plate, she’s doing the International Baccalaureate (IB) and from Grade 11 it’s like a prep for ‘varsity. I don’t remember my Grade 11 or 12 being so onerous. I helped her visualise her work on a Kanban system to help her better manage it – there ‘s a wonderful sense of satisfaction when one task is moved into the “Done” column. She’s experienced it already and its motivational characteristics.

Personal Kanban to manage IB school work
©2019 Regina Martins
Post-it notes and markers, all needed to set up a Kanban system
©2019 Regina Martins

We’ve been blessed to have wonderful moderate weather in the highveld. It’s autumn and it’s still short sleeve and swimming weather. The gardens are still lush due to all the recent rains.

Our international coach camp this year is in Marrakesh. Neither Che or me have been to Morocco! I confess that it wasn’t on my list of places to visit, but now that we’re going there we’re taking the opportunity to explore. I’ve just done the bookings, flights and Airbnbs for our holiday portion after the coach camp.

So we’ll explore Marrakesh, take the train to Casablanca and explore that city. Then we’ll fly to Lisbon where we’ll spend time with family exploring there too – there is no end to my exploration of Lisbon, I love it there. Then it’s off to Istanbul to spend 3 days there before flying back home to South Africa! Now I’m looking forward to it.

Che and will use our backpacks again. This time due to time pressure we’re not doing the G-Adventures thing but crafting our own adventures. We have some research to do. I’m already following a few Marrakech and Morocco accounts on Instagram, now to follow Casablanca accounts to get an idea of what to visit.

If you have any tips for touristing in Morocco please share.

Regina

 

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

 

Weekend Coffee Share 14.10.2018

Two cups of coffee down and I’m ready to share the week’s happenings over another one with you.

Monday and Tuesday I attended training. I wasn’t feeling 100% yet from the previous week’s sinus infection but I’m glad I went because I learnt some new things. The only crappy part was the traffic. The venue location meant that I needed to go across town through the bottleneck that is the M1. On Monday I drove home the long way just to miss the M1 traffic. It was longer but faster.

I was at the same venue on Wednesday, this time I was the one delivering the training. I run a simulation to help the concepts stick and I’m always amazed at what people can build in a short space of time with just paper, scissors, and glue.

On Thursday I met with a partner to discuss our upcoming facilitation course at The Art Farm, a delightful place out in the countryside. It felt wonderful being out amongst the trees, veld and wide open spaces. We got a lot of work done.

Friday was “office” day. That is a misnomer since my office is at home but you get the idea…calls, and admin. Che and I did go out for lunch to the Two Trees bakery, quite rustic, and it was nice to not be in a mall. While there, two very strong gusts of wind drove people inside from the garden, and the ensuing dust storm decreased visibility.

The weekend has been rather dreary, rainy and overcast and cool. At least the pool is getting filled with rainwater which is free. It’s snuggle with tea and toast weather.

Oh yes, I almost forgot…Che and I finished watching Nikita and went straight to bingeing on 12 Monkeys. It’s how we decompress. It’s proving to be intriguing and we even began doing timeline drawings of the backwards and forwards so as not to miss anything.

Have a great week ahead!

Weekend Coffee Share.

Other Weekend Coffee Share posts.

Click on image to go to source.

 

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.

 

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – June 22, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in this challenge, which also happens to be my favourite of Cee’s challenges. Let’s see where Which Way is taking us today.

A grueling ferry trip across a short expanse of sea and we’re in Catembe in Maputo. The last time I was there the ferry was packed with cars, trucks, lorries, and people. A bit too crowded for me, but the day we spent in Catembe was soulful and memorable.

Pier at Catembe, Maputo, Mozambique
©2018 Regina Martins

Namibia is one of my favourite places on earth, and Swakopmund my happy place when I’m there. At the bottom end of town next to the lighthouse is a craft and curio market. Swakopmund has tar roads but the vast majority are salt roadways, like this one.

Salt roadway in Swakopmund, Namibia
©2018 Regina Martins

Musical steps at a restaurant in Joburg, they didn’t play music, but I suspect that those are song lyrics on them.

Stairway with song lyrics, Johannesburg, South Africa
©2018 Regina Martins

Entered in Cee’s Which Way Challenge.