Category Archives: #justwriting

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

 

#justwriting

The days go past so fast, melding one into the other. Before long it’s time for dinner, relaxing into the evening before slumber beckons like the call of a siren. It’s almost that time again now. The sun has set leaving behind grey wisps of cloud and cooling breeze. It’s time for a new day.

 

20 Inspirational Prompts For Your Next Awesome Blog Post

If you’re like me and sometimes feel uninspired that no topic comes to mind then this list is for you. I hope 😉

I have a few resources I consult that give me interesting writing prompts. Today none satisfy so I’ve decided to be on the other side – the prompt provider.

Here’s 20 to inspire you.

  1. Start your blog post with “It’s such a noisy, selfish and frustrating world!” Go!
  2. What is your must-have packing item for travelling?
  3. 5-star hotel or RV camper and why?
  4. What was your favourite childhood game?
  5. What are the things you do to keep busy when it’s cold out/snowing outside?
  6. Mauritius or Iceland holiday, and why?
  7. Are you a cat person or a dog person or both?
  8. What’s your favourite TED Talk?
  9. What is your favourite quote?
  10. What has been the most satisfying detour you’ve ever taken?
  11. Have you ever been on the road less travelled?
  12. Are you a DIY’er? Post a pic of a DIY project you’re ok showing the blogosphere.
  13. Have you ever left a message in a bottle?
  14. Have you ever found a message in a bottle?
  15. What is your super power (we all have one don’t we…)?
  16. Do you still write longhand or have you migrated to typing your thoughts?
  17. When was the last time you ticked off every single item on your “to do” list? What happened to make it possible?
  18. How many languages do you speak?
  19. Do you have a favourite board game? Tell us about it.
  20. When was the last time you went to a ball?

Over to you.

Feel free to link to this post.

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Who’s The Natty One Then?

Welcome to this stream of consciousness. Natty is WordPress’s word of the day and the obvious association I make has to do with clothes. More specifically, the wearer of clothes as in, “He is a natty dresser.”

I’ve just finished a syndicate assignment for Social Entrepreneurship where the enterprise we used was a fashion incubator so I am making another connection with natty. Let’s see where all these strands are going.

I’ve noticed a trend with regards to consultancies providing services to social enterprises in South Africa – there are those that are incubators and others that are accelerators. I don’t think it’s a linear process because not every new start-up needs help incubating – the business experience of the founders has a lot to do with this. Acceleration on the other hand provides advice on taking an existing organisation and helping it to achieve more. I am on board with the idea of incubation. I am a bit more sceptical about the whole idea of acceleration.

Acceleration reminds me of the zippy rental I drove for a week and a bit while my car was being fixed. Now that  have my car back, it didn’t feel as zippy as the little one. But it did feel solid, hugging the corners as I accelerated out them.

My head is swimming with gross profit margins, ROI and net working capital ratios. You got it – it’s assignment time again – another one.  Due tomorrow night. Numbers is not my forte – but those ratios are rather natty aren’t they? Especially if a natty social entrepreneur uses them to make an impact of society.

Natty.

Featured image created with Canva.