Tag Archives: loadshedding and going off-the-grid

Load shedding complaining

We were without power for most of the weekend – so I haven’t blogged since Friday. Allow me here some load shedding complaining. We had load shedding early on Saturday morning and imagine our initial surprise, and then disappointment when the power did not come back on as it should have at the end of the period.

The load shedding created an electrical fault somewhere in the system feeding our neighbourhood which, like most places in South Africa, suffer from lack of regular maintenance. It took the municipality the whole day to find and fix the fault. The repair lasted a mere 3 or 4 hours. At 23h45 the lights went off again. I double-checked the load shedding schedule and no, we weren’t due for more until the next afternoon.

In the morning our councillor sent a message confirming another fault – this one more widespread: a few neighbourhoods were affected. As evening rolled in, I began getting rather annoyed with the whole situation. Monday being a working day I began to worry about how I was going to work. Thankfully I didn’t have training today, but I did have a whole lot of meetings.

Our neighbourhood came back on in the evening. We were the second last area to come online. The final area came online this morning only. It must’ve been a complex fault.

We actually have inverters and deep-cycle batteries, but our system is only as good as the battery capacity that we have. So we had to prioritise – keeping the deep freezer with food going, or work. So I chose the food. We don’t yet have a method to charge the batteries without Eskom power. That is the next iteration of the system – a generator or solar cells to charge the batteries.

I feel grateful that the food didn’t spoil and I was able to work today. 

I will be coming by to visit your coffee shares this week and I’ll look forward to participating again next week.

PS: I took a break from typing this post to water my veggie garden. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was kneeling on the ground, hands in the soil removing the weeds. The patch is beautifully weeded and the soil turned, ready for the next batch of veggie planting.

It is almost 8 pm here in South Africa, and it’s time for shower and dinner. Have an amazing week! Keep safe and healthy.


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 😉