Join the party

I see that Comedian and tax dodger Julius "You Racist and what a tool” Malema has formed his own political party called the Economic Freedom Fighters that advocates amongst other words of wisdom? or  doctrines that when “not if” …………….. “very positive is our boy Malema”  - he comes to power the first thing he will do (after having awarded himself and a few of his flunkies a number of lucrative tenders) will be to seize all land, “without compensation” as it belongs to the government  so I am assuming that  when he is President his logic will be “it’s all mine”.

In the last few days  EFF supporters have ripped up ANC T –shirts  and driven over them with cars at the University of  Doornfontein campus  and  Hundreds of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members marched to the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto on Saturday to draw "energy" for the organisation. JM said "We came here to collect the fighting's going to sustain EFF for a hundred years," The large group sang and danced (this obviously being an important part of electioneering in African politics, even Helen Zille has learned to dance)   before he addressed them, After visiting the memorial, they marched through the streets of Soweto, disrupting traffic as they made their way back to the Uncle Tom Hall where their national assembly is taking place.
As you can see from the photo the party like the colours red and yellow , that put together are seen as very aggressive as well was the use of “berets” that make them look like “ Economic Freedom Fighters”…………………..I personally feel that they will take a number of votes away from the ANC as they will get the vote of the lazy, stupid, as well as  those that feel that they have a sense of entitlement. The fact that more and more Urban black South Africans are realizing that the present ANC government is not living up to its promises or  expectations and that 2 new parties are being created I believe that we will see the ANC battle in the next elections……especially in the cities. 
The Southern Kings played the MTN Lions in PE on Friday night in the first of their 2 game relegation playoff, that will see either the Kings staying in the Super 15 competition or the MTN lions getting back into it after having been “relegated” for the Southern Kings. The Kings lost 19/26 to a 16 man team that included the Referee, yes I know what you’re thinking “it’s always the refs fault”, the excuse all supporters use when their team do not perform as they had expected.

Truth is though that the Kings this year have been at the receiving end of some harsh decisions (all SA refs) and Friday was no exception with the ref awarding 2 penalties (6 points) and a try (7 points) that when watching the TV you will see that the penalties should not have been awarded and that the last pass that led to te try was in fact forward. The Kings just 7 behind were also on attack (5 ms from the Lions line) and after an infringement in a loose maul what should have been a 5 m scrum to the Kings turned out to be a 22 m drop
out………………….So thanks Ref you where the Lions best player of the evening. .

Peypers. I really don’t see the Kings winning the second leg at Ellis park next Friday, especially with the news that star fly half Demetri Catrakillis, has a shoulder injury and with a few other key players out it looks like the next time we see Super 15 rugger in PE will be 2016. But as they say it isn’t over till the fat lady sings, let’s just hope that she has laryngitis in Joburg/Gauteng next Friday.

I was also very disappointed at the crowd support on Friday as I thought the stadium would be full or close to it, a mere 21 000 people turned up (yes I know it’s more than the Lions had come and support them  the whole of their last Super season 2012) but I felt that this was really important for us to get behind the team for this game. I also have to question those local Lions supporters that were so jubilant at the win………….you going to be driving or flying up to Gauteng to watch your team and Super 15 games for the next 3 seasons ??. Even if you are not a Kings fan to have the privilege to watch Super 15 teams with their  international players at one of the best stadiums in SA is going to be lost………………”Sad when you think of it that way”, as I don’t think some people realise what a big deal it is to have this calibre of rugby in the Bay, the work opportunities that it creates, from the cheerleaders to security staff as well as the development of Rugby in the local communities. If the Lions do win next week and regain their place in the Super 15, I for one (like their fans did to us) will be keeping a close eye on their progress and will support any team that plays against them in the competition.
The Bulls playing in the semi-final against the Jake White (SA  World cup winning coach 2007) Brumbies at Loftus managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of Victory by not taking points when on offer, the game that to and fro’d however reached farcical levels as the Blue Bulls Captain, Dewald Potgieter  decided on 3 occasions to go for the sideline instead of 3 points (penalties where in kickable positions). All 3 times the Bulls lost possession lof the ball (twice they Fkd up their lineout’s)

These decisions came back to haunt Potgieter and the Bulls fans as Brumbies Outside centre Tevita Kuridrani crossed the line with seconds of the second half to go, to beat the Bulls 26/23. The Brumbies will face the Chiefs in Hamilton next Saturday for the Super 15 Final.

This is the 3rd time a SA Franchise Captain has not taken points on offer, decided to go for the line and lost, Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield did the same thing for Province and Bulls a few years back.  

Well that’s it for this week, not really an exciting Blog this week I know, but hey they can’t all be good.


Dressed for success or “mirror mirror on the wall”.

“The things you see when you don’t have a gun”, was and still is a favourite saying of my mom and the trip to London brought that saying to mind. I am not saying that there are not “strange”  people in South Africa, but London, like I am sure most Major cities in Europe, seems to attract the  vibrant and different  people.

I have to say that in general South African women are much better looking than their Pommie counterparts and if anything those ladies that were walking around where usually speaking a foreign language. In fact the way you can tell if a lady is a Pom is usually because she is wearing a tight fitting outfit or a short skirt and usually with Blonde hair (and extensions) and has an orange hue from the overdose of self tan lotion or spray on tans that are so popular in the UK, probably due to the lack of sun. Gabby also commented on how many of the girls or  women showed their stomach (and clearly many should not have)

So while you get to see some odd sights while you walk around central London and surrounds , it’s probably Cambden and the market (especially on a Sunday) that attracts the “out there”  and more “unusual” residents that the island has to offer and has the shops to cater for those “varied” tastes. Cambden is a little like “what not to wear” meets Mad Max “beyond the Thunderdome” 
We took the drive on a overcast (how strange) Sunday morning, with two cars, as the police are very strict as well as active in the UK and amber (4) is not allowed to be in a vehicle unless strapped into a European Union approved car seat, in fact up until the age of 12 a child may not be in a vehicle (unless it’s a bus, train, boat, ferry, ) and not be strapped into their own car seats, Hell in SA kids at 12 are already driving the car. While they care about the safety in a car a child can ride a bicycle on a busy street with double decker buses hurtling down the narrow roads without a helmet, but I digress.

We arrived in Cambden after a 10 minute drive but a 30 minute search for parking that is not going to cost an arm and a leg or have the vehicle/s on bricks when you get back from the market . it’s a pretty vibrant and cosmopolitan community and with a multitude of  foreign gawkers (much like us) the place was busy. We saw a cast off from the punk rock era that was looking to get people tattooed and pieced I suppose, he (as you can see a pretty good advert). as you can see he looks like a rooster. 

Doug had told us about a lady that worked at a place called Cyberdog at Cambden market itself  that had surgically enhanced her ears to look like a pixie or elf, but on previous trips he had never seen her, so it was perhaps just a local legend. On the way out of the market we passed Cyberdog, that is a double story shop that sells “alternate” clothing and rave clothing, the music is deafening and they obviously don’t believe in aircons, I think most of the people in their where like us and looking for the pixie girl or to gawp at the customers or other weird staff. We found her on the way out at the door, greeting customers and while we didn't really want to stare it was a bit difficult with her blue and yellow dreads, wearing pink hot pants with her ass hanging out (which seems to be one of the “cool” ways to dress for the people that should not this season in the UK), as well as what looked like ears that had been operated on to look like a pixie or elf, here is the photo, (not great but perhaps you can make your own mind up)   
The tube manages to attract some strange people as well, however you can’t take photos on the train, cause if your caught the “crazies” with throw you off. in Soho/Piccadilly circus there where a few unusual people, mostly like this guy at the "Cool Britania" store trying to attract foreign tourists into the store to buy buy buy, unless your SOUTH AFRICAN OF COURSE (exchange rate was 15,75 to 1) AND WE JUST LOOKED LOOKED LOOKED.

One day in a local supermarkets parking area a lady got out of a BMW 5 series and was setting up the pram for the kid when I realized that I could see her knickers thru her stockings of ski pants that are all the rage at the moment, at first I thought that perhaps she had Alzheimer’s and had forgotten to put  on a skirt or a very long top. Nope according to Doug this is a normal occurrence with Pommie women and according to Doug, I was lucky she had been wearing underwear at all, as Doug had seen a lady who was wearing the stockings but no underwear………………… "The sights you see when u don’t have a gun”. I mean don’t people look in the mirror before they go out in public ?

In London at a Tesco’s while grabbing a sandwich, Gabby pointed out to me a lady that had on the  power suit of an executive but obviously lived or at the very least spent a lot of time in Cambden as not only did she have funky hair and a number or face piercings that looked she had been the target for a pellet gun competition, she also had hoops in her ears (let me re-phrase that - her ears where the hoops) that you could have driven a new "Boris Bus" through. and while we saw  of strange characters, on a walk along the Chelsea Embankment, we got to see this gent (well it was a close vote ,but 3 or us said it was a guy and 2 said a woman and their was one abstention), make up your own mind.

I Have to say the Poms seem to be having a great run the last couple of weeks, the weather is hot, Andrew Murray won Wimbledon (although I still think he is Scottish), the British and Irish Lions beat Australia to win their 3 test match series, the Poms are giving the Aussies a cricket lesson (albeit with a number of South African assisting) and a Kenyan born, South African raised who left SA at 19 “he is now one of our own” cyclist called Chris Froome is winning the Tour de France…………………So they must be feeling invincible at the moment, “hope they don’t declare war on the Germans again” J .

Had training in Uitenhage from Monday to Wednesday at Transnet rail engineering and took the Harley for a little run, on the way back on Monday afternoon I must have ridden over a grandmother as by the time I got back to PE, the bike was rattling and shaking  like a MOFO? ( ask your teenager) and I realized that I had a flat tyre. To cut a long story short when I eventually got home I pulled what I thought was a small nail out only to fine it was the size of a Knitting needle (see picture), that’s why I think there may be a really pissed off Granny in the Uitenhage/Despatch area. Had the tube replaced on Saturday, so that was a job for NOSA that actually cost me  money……… …… “Suck”s.
Ex president Mandela celebrated his 95th birthday on Thursday (18th) and it would seem that he is much better with  a good chance (according to Dr’s Zuma or Mbeki) that he could be going home soon. 

The Protea’s got a comprehensive Snotklap (hiding) from the Sri Lankans on Saturday in a one day international, the Sri Lankans scored 320/5 in their 50 over’s and the Proteas managed  140 all out in 31.5 over’s …………one word “KAK”.  The Cheetahs played the Brumbies this morning (Sunday 19th) for a place in the Super 15 semi –finals and came up short losing 13/15 with the conversion of the try they scored glancing off the bar. It’s the best season the Cheetahs have had in Super Rugby so at least they have that I suppose...................All in all though a not so great weekend for SA sport.  

Well that’s about it for this week, I am presenting SAMTRAC for the next two weeks, so gonna be busy.



Trains, Planes and Automobiles.

Add boat, bicycle, bus, feet, go carts and Supercar’s to that list and that will pretty much tell you how we got around London on our recent trip. The trip started here in PE with a midday flight to Oliver Tambo airport. Here we met my mom and Niece Christine as well as Doug’s dad who popped in quickly to drop off a couple of things for Doug, but ended up having coffee and keeping us amused as only Gavin can.

The trip was “LONG” and it was with a grateful but numb ass that we landed at Heathrow, collected our luggage, packed it onto a minute luggage trolley with two front wheels that had a mind of their own and looked like I had really overstayed my welcome at the complimentary on board bar. We then breezed through the passport control  (having a Pommie passport does have its benefits) and the “nothing to declare” line of customs, where we saw no one (apparently they check u out from behind one way glass and pounce on those they feel are lying about not having anything to declare)

We walked thru a nondescript  double door and where thrust into a throng of a waiting crowd who had assembled to meet and greet loved ones, after a quick round of hugs and how was the flight it was time to battle the trolley to the cars for the 30 mile trip to Barnet (where Doug and Nicole and Amber reside).

On the Friday we headed for London and this meant a car ride to the Totteridge and Whetsone station and then a train trip to Leicester square station and a quick walk to the tourism office just off Trafalgar square to book  a trip on a open topped bus and Thames cruise. The weather was a tad cold but not altogether kak. The trip was great and we saw many things that we would come back later during our stay to see close up. The Thames cruise in particular was really lekker as the guide was both funny and informative.

We used the train/tube on a number of occasions and I have to say there is something weird about voluntary placing oneself in the bowels of London to catch a train. The trains are clean (or the ones we used where), they are on time and you don’t have to wait long to catch one. The underground map is fairly easy to follow and after a couple of trips you think of yourself as a bit of an expert
I looked up as to who designed the map and was surprised to read that it had been designed and created by a one Harry Beck in 1931 (yes 1931). Harry was a out of work draughtsman who realized that underground  it actually does not matter where you are and as long as the stations were presented in a their correct sequence you can distort the scale and it would not matter. That’s why the map of the London underground has the look of a electrical wiring system and in designing this map he created a whole new imaginary London that had little to do with what was actually above ground.

In fact you can ask someone who has not used the tube before to take the bank station tube to find their way to mansion house. They would take the central line to Liverpool street, change to a circle line heading east, travel 5 more stops and when they walk up to street level they will find that the have arrived at a location a mere 200 feet from where they had started the journey.   

The last Tuesday we where I the UK  Gabby, Doug and I decided to do a bicycle tour of London and we hired what the call “Boris Bicycles” (Boris Johnson is the current mayor of London). There are numerous “docking stations” dotted around London and for 2 pounds a day you can rent the bikes and you pay for the time you use them, it was great fun and to ride down Oxford street with a few busses behind you is a strange feeling considering in SA you would probably end up a “speed hump” we rode in Hyde park, past
Buckingham palace and back into the Piccadilly circus area.  All in all a great day.  

Doug had won a couple of tickets to a indoor karting track and he offered them to Gabby and I. so the day after having ridden bicycles we had a great 50 laps in fast moving go carts, Gabby drove really well and came 4th out of 9 racers. Having crashed a couple of times I managed a credible 2nd place , but I have to say my forearms where stiff after having to battle the tight steering  circle.  

It’s not very often that you get to visit Silverstone, especially when you live 9795 kms or 6121 miles away on another continent, Silverstone for those that may have been in a coma since 1874 is the home of British Motorsport and hosts the British GP, that took place on the 30th June this year. The F1 track is 3.660 miles (5.86kms) long and iconic names such as Hangar straight, Stowes corner or  Abbey may jog your memory as to having heard of Silverstone.

Not only did I get to visit Silverstone a mere 4 days after this year’s GP, but I did what even fewer people have done and that was drive round it, not just drive round it in a basic change the gear and do 20 miles per hour down the straight type of vehicle but in 2 iconic cars, 1 from Italy and the other from England. I drove 3 laps in a Ferrari “blow your mind 1,9 million South African Rand” F430 and another 3 laps in a Aston Martin  V8 Vantage. I have done some exciting things in my time but this has to rank up there with the most fun I have had while wearing clothes.

I drove on the International circuit (that forms part of the F1 circuit) and is 1.851 miles  (2.96kms ) in length. You have a 30 minute briefing, where they scare the living shit out of you and have you fill in a form with next of kin, coffin size etc etc. they got a tad miffed when I answered the question – emergency contact - police or ambulance, it seems most people put their spouse or a parents contact details. After the briefing we then got issued a throw away helmet liner and a really dorky open faced helmet, ( The helmet and fire retardant suit at the go carting was sexier).

Your issued with the vehicles you will drive, and then you wait for your instructor, (that’s the person you hope is going to guide you round then circuit without causing too much harm), so comfortably ensconced in the Ferrari my heart sank when a 18 year old lady popped her head in the car and said hi I am your instructor, Tania was almost peeing her pants with laughter as she said the look on my face was priceless. It’s really hard to put to words what the experience was like but after the second lap I felt like Fernando Alonso and got a couple of compliments on my driving skills from the instructor………..I have to tell you that those 3 laps went faster than a KFC family buckets at a ANC election rally. The Aston was great as well but after the Ferrari it was a little like eating hake after you have just had a plate of Tiger prawns……………………………

All in all the means of transport to get us to and back from the UK as well as those we used while there (apart for numb ass and sore legs on the plans) was fun and having the bragging rights to say I have not only been to Silverstone but driven 2 iconic cars  on the track that so many racing greats (cars and bikes) have used is a memory that will last for a long long long long long (you get the picture) time.          

Have a great week




So I have just got back from Londonium………………..London to you troglodytes that have no clue as to what I am talking about. Gotta to admit that for not “really wanting to go and giving Tania grief about it for a while” it was pretty amazing, does it mean I would go and live there?................. “mmmmmm”,  No not at the moment, but I can see why Doug and Nicky prefer it to SA, not that they don’t love SA , cause they do, but they have a pretty good life there and have no reason to come back to SA, other than to see the family more often as well as the sun.

I can hear a few of you going, “you getting soft in your old age”? - - - -  - “Nah just mellower”. So we did so much I actually don’t know where to start to be honest, so perhaps the best is to break up the trip into a few Blogs that concentrate on certain aspects or observations from the trip.

I have to say that we walked till Tania’s Shoes had a “blowout” , used the tube,  took bus rides, a cab ride,, we cruised the Thames, rode Boris bicycles down Oxford street, took car  trips,  drove go carts, Ferrari’s and an Aston Martin Vantage 8 thrown in just for good measure,  we saw soldiers with huge black hats, with polished breast plates, some on foot others riding horses and even some playing instruments. Met Madiba, I got some culture, saw how not to dress for success, was perplexed as to why I can buy a London pie in SA, but could not find a pie in London, rekindled memories of my childhood with a trip to Wembley Stadium, know where to purchase the best Wors in North London, had a pint or two in a pub or two, saw the ruins of Verulamium with a Cathedral (with the longest nave in England) named after the man that converted a few Romans to Christianity and was executed for his trouble, came face to face with a dinosaur, visited the oldest Harley Shop in Europe, wondered was the UK really in recession ?, got to drive 2 Super cars at one of the best racetracks in Europe……………… “well certainly England”, saw hundreds of cafĂ© racers at one of the worlds “iconic” breakfast run venues, realized that an ass was not meant to sit on an aircraft seat for hours at a time, now know why it’s vital you have more than 1 toilet in your home, spent some awesome time with family, had a BBQ in the back garden and got to understand why the Poms are so obsessed with Wimbledon and the weather.  
So stay tuned and all will be revealed over the next few weeks.


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