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 ūüôā

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 ‚Äúlake‚ÄĚ 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 ūüėČ

Regina

 

I’m Back…

The title above may seem flippant given that my absence from blogging was due to a bereavement in my close family circle. My brother-in-law passed away in December after being ill. Things¬†got chaotic after that. I’ve been off work to support my sister and niece for a month and I go back on the 28th. On Wednesday it will be a month since he passed.

Meditation has kept stress and anxiety under control, although there are times that I wake up with the hands of anxiety trying to close around my heart. Things have begun to settle after the g-force pace of change of the last 3 weeks. I’m drained physically and emotionally.¬†Homeopathics have helped, in particular, aconite and ignatia. So have walks with my niece followed by ice-cream ūüėČ

Click on image to go to source.

 

Weekend Coffee Share: The Seaside Edition

Hi everyone, it’s a late coffee today because Che and I went to the seaside and arrived this afternoon. Our flight was delayed by 1 hour – it’s becoming the norm with the particular airline I fly with and I’m becoming rather annoyed. I can count on the fingers of 1 hand the number of times I had an on-time domestic flight this year. So we arrived 1 hour later than I expected to.

I realised that this is my first and will be my only post this week. The last one was last week’s coffee share, so I have a lot to share. I will keep it short though, tweet-length with photos.

Summing up my week though, it was client, client, airplane trip, conference in Durban, conference in Durban, beach, airplane trip.

Let’s scroll through the photos I took this week…

…starting with the client, client part – working in the Joburg CBD is interesting because there are sometimes protest marches. It begins with voices raised in song, in the distance, and an inquiry “Is that a march?”; as the voices come closer, the initial inquiry is confirmed and the next question is, “Where is it?” as we look down at the roads and intersections from on high. And then we see the group of marchers. This one was a small one by comparison. It was also peaceful.

Now for the rest. Che and I attended the annual Regional Scrum Gathering in Durban. Because it was in Durban we decided to stay for the weekend and relax a bit.

Before showing you the rest, don’t you think¬†our amaryllis are flowering so beautifully…?

@2018 Regina Martins

We were welcomed back with a personal note and wine, by our Airbnb host Ruth. If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to stay in Umdloti Beach, just look for Beach Melody or Beach Music on Airbnb.

@2018 Regina Martins

We didn’t make it to the beach until Friday afternoon after the conference ended. Feeling the sand give way under my feet, supporting my steps was amazing. Can you see how happy and relaxed we look?

Saturday morning walk to see the conditions of the beach, and a coffee, we came across a wedding on the beach. It was so windy that the wedding was windswept (don’t you love the alliteration?).

And now a quick flip through the rest.

That’s all I have for you today. Thanks for stopping by, have an amazing week!

Weekend coffee share is hosted by Eclectic Ali.

More coffee shares here.

 

Weekend Coffee Share: The Christmas Decorations Edition

Hello and welcome to this edition of weekend coffee share. Let’s have a cup and a chat. Can you believe that¬†it’s November and Christmas decorations are up in the mall already. 6 weeks, or so, to Christmas.

How do I feel about this? I’m fine with it. There are some who complain about the commercialisation of Christmas and each year the decorations are up earlier and earlier. My take on this is that I can enjoy the beauty and ingenuity of the decorations and not be influenced by commercialisation. I will buy something if I want to, not because I feel compelled.

Financially things are tough at the moment in South Africa. I feel like I’m going backwards financially. My money buys less each year. My salary has remained the same for the last 2 years. I am seriously worried about my savings and retirements investments going backwards. ¬†Relocating to another country is an option but a tough decision to make.

Political shenanigans and policy uncertainty means a volatile economy, the country was downgraded to junk status a year or so ago.¬†And yet life goes on. People still buy new cars, on debt, houses, on debt. Still go to the malls, some on debt. Shops are looking for any opportunity to market and promote their products. It is in the malls’ interest to put up Christmas decorations early, because they rely rental income and people coming in to remain open.

Let’s move away from the depressing talk. This week was home, home, work, work, sales meeting, grocery shopping, spring cleaning. My study needs a good revamp and I started today by getting rid of paper-based kipple¬†I no longer need. I also have tons of stationery, most of it I got as part of conference goodie bags or from hotels where I attended training or seminars. I put all that I don’t want into a large shoe box to donate to the church and SPCA. I kept a few items in a very small box – I mean how many pens and highlighters do I need at any one time?

I’ve been spending some time by The Minimalists website, and I want to downscale. I already have on clothes and shoes and bags, and more need to go. I also came across alejandra.tv, and watched one of her videos – I want my house to be organised just like hers! She uses colour¬†to good effect. Check this video out:

Oh well that’s it for today. Because I spent the day tidying up my study our coffee is a short one. I hope you have a great week.

Read more Weekend Coffee Shares here.

 

The Wait

I’m grateful that a misunderstanding on the time for a customer meeting meant that I arrived 2 hours early rather 2 hours late. Thank goodness for coffee shops in corporates with wifi and workspaces with power points. The wait was no problem at all.

 

Social Entrepreneur, chief wide eyed in wanderer, wonderer and bottlewasher

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