Seems like I am out of the loop when it comes to the village, suppose that’s what happens if you have only been back to your old haunting ground once in 2 years. Even the old mates are quieter than normal (hint hint, Mark, Jeanelle and Natalie). Most of the info I get from the village now is via the good old Facebook.
Seems that on Saturday (17/3/2012 the black and white residents of Clarens and Kgubetswana held a march against Corruption and it did not turn into a “municipality office burning, rocks on the road and causing mayhem” type of march. The mayor and officials of the Clarens municipality were however nowhere to be seen to receive the memorandum from the disgruntled residents (both black and white) and taped it to the municipal office front doors. Seems that they all (the municipal officials) forgot that someone had died and they had to attend the” Fooneral” For more background info about the March in March and the reasons why you can go to www.clarensmarches.co.za
On Sunday afternoon rode to Mossel bay to attend a moderators course. Took me just over an hour to ride from home to Storms river Bridge and the Petroport there but it took me another 3 to do the 200 kms to Hartenbos (7kms from Mossel bay).....”Why” I hear you say, well that’s because in the Western Cape they have great roads (not a pothole to be seen) but they have decided that 120kms per hour is just too fast to trust road users with, so the speed limit goes 120 to 100 to 60 to 80 then Back to 60 and then 100 (you get the picture) there are more signs with cameras on in that part of the Western Cape than the whole of the Eastern cape. It actually drives me Frikken crazy and with the Triumph needing a new air filter it does not like low revs at low speeds.
Riding at such low speeds you tend to take more notice of the surroundings and I have to say I think I may just be a closet COMMUNIST, Yep you heard right a Commie............again I hear the ‘why” question, well its simple................I have worked hard all my life and still work hard yet I cannot afford a 3 story holiday home on the coast, I will never ever be able to own a Porsche 4 x 4. So perhaps communist is too harsh a word, but I am certainly in favour of the rich and those from overseas who come here and live in Luxury on a few R (due to the exchange rate) as well as ex pats working out of the country, earning big loot (getting paid in Dollars or Pounds) and getting to pay no tax due to loopholes in the law getting taxed more than the normal working Joe.
Perhaps SA should introduce tax bands that see us not submitting tax returns anymore but say have people earning certain R to be taxed a certain % this will probably allow the government to drop the tax % but even better allow those people checking tax returns to go into the field and catch the tax cheats, especially business’s that are not always “fanatical about being honest” and to spend time working out how much money is not being paid into the tax coffers from those thieving Taxi operators............................”Ok now I feel better” well that’s until the petrol price goes up by 50 – 60cents per litre next week.
The Moderators course had my 2 brain cells arm wrestling as to which one would do all the work, OMG it was hard and here I would like to use a phrase uttered by Murtoch of the Lethal Weapon genre “ I am getting too old for this shit”. After writing the exam for 3 and a half hours on Tuesday, I headed my way home.............again soooooooooooo frustrating that only 56 kms of the 200km trip between Mossel Bay and Storms River is at 120 (40kms from MB to George and a few kms between George and The Crags and 12 kms before Storms river) it took 2 and a half hours to do 200kms and that’s with me doing 140 plus between MB and George and the other 16kms of 120 speed limit. (that’s an average of 75 kms per hour)...................I can walk faster than that. With the roads in very good condition I think like Ryan said its about fining people, to make a vehicle do 60kms per hour down a hill is not about safety it’s to trap them. The 165 kms home from Storms river took me 75 minutes (that includes about 9kms of peak hour traffic) that translates to double to the speed I was doing in the Western Cape.
Hartenbos is a holiday destination about 7 kms from Mossel Bay and is predominantly Afrikaans with the ATK (Afrikaans, something something) having a huge camp ground and chalets, gets really really busy in Summer. Hartenbos must have the smallest put put course in the world with the one hole measuring a massive 6 foot long................really strange, but then again it does have a laundry museum (yes a laundry Museum) it must have the women visitors clamouring at the door to get in...............”Not”
On Thursday I did training in an area called Helenvale, a poor coloured area of Port Elizabeth........what an experience. I met the gent that is in charge of the project (they are turning areas into parks for the kids so they have a place (a safe place to play) which is a great project he took me deeper and deeper into what the yanks would call “‘Indian territory” where gangs with the name 16 Dogs, the Shootas, Upstand Dogs, The Paparazzi’s and Blou Boemelaars ply their trade..................Nervous?, Yeah.
We stopped on Uranus street (yes its true) on a empty piece of ground with a solitary basketball net in the middle, standing around it about 70 people, my first thought was ‘Ok so I am going to be training under a Basketball net” and the second thought was “I only brought 25 learners manuals because I had been told that there would be 24 people” Mceleni the organiser told me that the venue they had wanted to use was now not available and that I should follow him to an alternate venue. So people piled on the bakkie (safety concern) and we headed off deeper into gangland, the houses became shacks and the streets became dirtier (as if that was possible) and full of children (more like street urchins) playing games.
We eventually get to a large shack (much fancier than the rest) that turned out to be the New Life Penticost Assembly Church. So after setting up (thankfully I took a Data Projector, extension cord and a multi plug) we got the day started talking about the Occupational Health and Safety Act and what duties their employer as well as they the employees had to fulfil. I had to prop the Data projector up (well keep it straight as the church floor was seriously sloped) with a bible..............”hey it worked”
At Lunch time (every man for themselves) disappeared for an hour, so I decided to go and see if I could find lunch so I wandered the streets and have to say had an amazing hour, I spoke to the kids and watched them as they raced homemade go carts against each other down a large hill, watched kids fly homemade kites (when did you last see a kid fly a kite ?) I saw a group of kids using an old double mattress as a trampoline and they were good, doing back flips and everything, they were being kids and all around them poverty and rubbish abounded. Then it hit me that they did not know they were poor, they were being kids and like when I was a kid they were enjoying being on school holidays.
I started to take photos and started to realise that while there was plenty of rubbish lying around most items that could be recycled had in fact been used to make the kites, the go carts, I saw fences made from a multitude of materials including old bed springs, even shacks made from bits of whatever. I stopped at a house that was doubling as a Spaza (informal shop) ordered a coke and 2 small packets of biscuits, paid the R5 and sat on a couple of old tyres watching a couple of unemployed gents (possibly gang members) due to all the tattoos etc try to start some old jalopy.
Walking back to the church I realised that while we all moan and bitch (its human nature), there are people out there that have it so much worse than you do and it takes an event like I was experiencing to realise that. The training went very well, I really love training at grassroots level as I believe it does make a difference and when at the end of the day’s session a representative of the group stood up and thanked me for coming to them to show them how to work safe and think about Health and Safety, I actually had a lump in my throat. And a tear in my eye..................I was even more relieved when I saw my scooter was still in the place I had parked it and not standing on bricks.
I have to admit that I have not been keeping a close eye on Iraq lately but was shocked at this headline that I came across on Tuesday (20/3/2012)
Baghdad – “At least 27 bombs struck cities and towns across Iraq on Tuesday, killing at least 51 people and wounding nearly 250, despite a massive security clampdown ahead of next week's Arab League summit in Baghdad. It was Iraq's bloodiest day in nearly a month, and the scale of the co-ordinated explosions in more than a dozen cities showed an apparent determination by insurgents to prove that the government cannot keep the country safe ahead of the summit”....................... Holy shit 27 bombs in one day and then I realise that they have had worse days as the report says “it was Iraqs’ bloodiest day in nearly a month”..................Glad I don’t live there, Perhaps they need a strong man back in charge, someone who will keep the different factions in check...............”Just a thought”
Facebooking about the Wales Grand Slam in the 2012 6 nations to friends and family led to chatting about the wooden spoon that has been awarded to the team that has come last since 1999 - present. A wooden spoon is a mock or real award, usually given to an individual or team which has come last in a competition, but sometimes also to runners-up. Examples range from the academic to sporting and more frivolous events. The term is of British origin and has spread to other Commonwealth countries .The wooden spoon was presented originally at the University of Cambridge as a kind of booby prize awarded by the students to the man who achieved the lowest exam marks but still earned a third-class degree (a junior optime) in the Mathematical Tripos. The term "wooden spoon" or simply "the spoon" was also applied to the recipient, and the prize became quite notorious:And while he lives, he wields the boasted prize
Whose value all can feel, the weak, the wise;
Displays in triumph his distinguish'd boon,
The solid honours of the Wooden Spoon
(Info from Wikipedia)
I have a wooden spoon, was given to me by my Pommie brother in law (yes you Doug) for always stirring about him and Nicole and Amber living on the island, it got intense at one stage so he gave me a wooden spoon. I think more because he said I was Shit stirring and not as a award of sorts.
On Friday Rob an old mate from Clarens came to say hi, he has moved to PE to open a financial office either here or E L even better than seeing him was that he brought with him presents from Clarens Brewery via Meatbomb and Natalie.......Blonde Beer for me and cider for Tania........................”mmmmmmm” Great to see Rob and look forward to going to watch Rugby etc etc together.
Saturday I worked (need the overtime) did some HIRA training at a local canopy company, always nice to do work that assists others to identify hazards in the workplace and subsequent risks that are attached. Was a great day and the ladies and gents in the class seemed to enjoy learning new things.
I always look out for unusual signs when I am out and about and this sign I saw In Mossel Bay at a butchery called “Meat and Greet”. I believe that Oupa Daan is a very popular man in that part of the world.
Mischief (that’s one of our cats) went missing for 24 hours, he went AWOL from Thursday night to Saturday morning, we were worried sick that something had happened to him, but he wandered in for breakfast as if nothing had happened. Tania reckoned that he got locked in someone’s house or garage
Super 15 news this weekend is the following The Sharks Lost as did the Cheetahs and the Lions but the Bulls Thrashed the Reds and it was the Stormers that beat the Lions. The All Blacks beat the Blitzbokke in semi finals of the Hong Kong 7’s and with luck the Proteas may win the test series 2 - 0
If any of you read last weeks BLOG you would have read about the Superdoos Cornelius Theron who has claimed to be a member of every elite unit in SA and that he fought wars such as the Liberty Life War and the Cosatu War etc etc . well when he was outed he decided to turn on SA as a country and members of the SADF especially the Reconnaissance Regiment (Recces). He has been given a serious hard time by many people but I just loved this rendition of The Green Beret by a Mr Hugh Termoshizen
Fighting soldier from the sky Cornelius Theron was “7 SAI” a man of means, just hear him say ... “I was Recce and Green Beret”
Silver wings upon his chest Wait! Make them Gold, cos he is best One hundred men should rest today Cornelius Theron has heard us pray
Trained to jerk with either hand A trained wombat, a swollen gland A man who fights by night and day to rid him of his cream ballet
Silver wings upon his chest Platinum, maybe, not second best One hundred men have heard him say He was once, mere Green Beret
Back at home a young wife slates those who served; his former “mates” He has lied (who would have guessed?) about his being OUR nation's BEST
Put slivered wings on my son's chest KFC; America's best He'll be a man if he can say “I'm unearned a Green Beret!”........................Brilliant
I Present SAMTRAC for the next 2 weeks from tomorrow, it’s the new updated SAMTRAC so lost more to ensure gets done and that the Students get taught the correct info, so 2 weeks of stress and marking homework lay ahead of me.
Well that’s it for this week
Have a great one