Category Archives: HUMOUR

ANOTHER USE FOR THAT FEATHER DUSTER


 

20180112_102042 (2)Whilst pounding away on the treadmill at the gym today, my gaze roaming idly over the car park, I spotted a middle-aged man, dressed in his gym kit, meticulously dusting down his car with a feather duster. Well, I thought, here’s a conscientious citizen who isn‘t wasting precious water during our drought crisis , by washing his car. He’s dusting it instead. Good for him! And let me add, the car was a modest 4-door family sedan, not a fancy Porsche or anything.

Another worthy citizen’s large, white sedan was parked in my neighbour’s driveway this week, and the dust begrimed passenger door was decorated with a finger-drawn large daisy and the words : I’m a water warrior! Yes you are, dear citizen, please keep up the good work.

If you don’t own a feather duster, and you live in the Western Cape, I suggest you dash out and buy one now. Furthermore, they are an excellent tool for trapping large spiders and shaking them away outside the house. Apparently the spiders’ hairy legs (shudder) get all tangled up in the feathers.

You never knew feather dusters were such a multi-purpose tool, did you?

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under DAILY LIFE IN CAPE TOWN, HUMOUR

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG? THAT IS THE QUESTION


Catching up on my WordPress Reader I found a number of Bloggers reviewing their 2017 blogging year. At one end of the spectrum was the unbelievably dedicated, productive Alec Nevala-Lee who revealed he has written a 1 000 word blog post every day of this year. Respect, Alec! How did he do it? We all know perfectly well how he did it. He single mindedly sat down and applied himself until his daily piece was written. This, mark you in addition to his work as a novelist and freelance writer.

 
At the other end of the spectrum I read a post by 746 Books in which Kathy confesses that 2017 was not a productive blogging year for her. She said it had been difficult to carve out time for writing on her blog, and that her reading (she’s a bookworm, like me) progress had been unsatisfactory. She wondered whether she should stop blogging altogether? These salutary thoughts on her 4th Blogoversary.

 
I know how she feels. Whilst I am not in her league when it comes to compulsive book buying, it is a factor in my life. Let’s face it, I’m more of a reader than I’m a writer. Then I read Ann V Klotz post titled Writing is Everything. Do I feel that way? No, I don’t, but part of me wishes I did. The title is a little misleading, in that she details the myriad events that keep her from the keyboard. I know the feeling well!

 
I am experiencing December fatigue after a busy year. The end of November and beginning of December are always hectic in South Africa. On 16 December the entire country pretty much shuts down – industry, the building trade, anything that is not retail or hospitality related. Try getting anything done between now and 08 January 2018. Fuggedabtoutit, as the Americans say. So the build up to 16 December is frantic. Everyone trying to get projects completed before shut-down. Social clubs and organisations cramming in their year-end staff parties/thank-you ceremonies/ etc. By December 16th the nation is in a soggy heap, ready to go on holiday and start (or continue) partying.

 
Do I feel like blogging? Not really. Hopefully by January 2018 I will have rested and recovered, enjoyed a relaxing Christmas Family Visit in Durban, and be ready to resume my blogging . Meanwhile: Wishing all a peaceful Festive Season with your families and friends, and a happy, healthy New Year.
Over and Out.

 
Oooops, no, not quite. My alter-ego and companion Chocolat has a few scornful final words to add to my post: She says: My Personal Assistant should do as I do . Life really is so simple : find a comfy, sandy spot under the shady karee tree, and relax. Saunter indoors for a cooling sip of water and then continue napping on the PA’s feather duvet. What’s all the fuss about?

100_0044

 

 

 

6 Comments

Filed under HUMOUR, WRITING

INBOX AT ZERO ?


*(JAP Just a Paragraph: when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph; random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)

 

images

Inspired by a recent blog post on Medium D, I have been wading through the undergrowth in my Inbox, wielding my machete ruthlessly. I’ve had to Empty Deleted Items twice, and still the contents remain at over 100. Sigh. I wonder if you feel as overwhelmed by the flood of incoming mail as I do? I suppose the answer is to attend to each mail instantly or at least within 8 hours. But because my mail is not routed via my cellphone, this means I must be at home, seated at my desktop PC and prepared to spend time dealing with the InBox. According to the Medium D writer (didn’t note his name – sorry chap!)he had actually reduced his InBox to pristine white zero status. Hmm. Did he have his fingers crossed when he typed this statement? Is it even possible? He probably spends every waking hour glued to his screen. I wonder how long it stayed that way? Any suggestions?

5 Comments

Filed under COMPUTERS, HUMOUR

MY CHRISTMAS SURVIVAL STRATEGY


 

calendar-20clipart-4i954x5ie

I am re-posting my Survival Strategy as a Public Health Service to my frazzled Readers. ‘Tis the Silly Season, after all. The post originally appeared on 3 January 2017, but in the interim, my readership has changed. Have a laugh, and I hope you find some useful tips

 

I can hear my readers screaming: Gag that woman! Christmas 2017? Noooooo – we’ve just staggered away from December 2016. Please! Enough already!
Keep calm. Don’t panic. Make a nice cuppa tea and when you’re feeling calmer, continue reading. Okay. Everybody take a slow deep breath and we’ll analyze what makes (most) Festive Seasons less than ideal.

 
There’s so much to do isn’t there? The shopping, the decorations, the enormous lunch, the gifts, the hordes of relatives; the washing up; the clean-up; the family rows that sometimes last for decades. And, last but not least, Uncle George. Every family has one. I can see you nodding your heads. The awkward relative your conscience prods you to include. And then you wish you hadn’t.

 
Where to begin? Here’s my #1 tip:

 
1. Shopping: start now in January at the January Sales. I’m pretty sure every country has them. Big money-saver. Bung your bargains into a plazzie bag, write the names of the recipients on the plastic with Magic Marker, and stow in a dedicated, secret carton in your garage.
2. Failing the January Sales, make a big diary note around September to start attending monthly Craft Markets and keep a sharp eye out for Church Bazaars. You will discover unique handmade items, often at very reasonable prices.
3. Immediately after Christmas scoop up markdowns of gift wrap, tags and bags . Pop into that box in the Garage. Ka Ching! Saving money!

 
#2 tip : Decorations. Buy a Christmas wreath, attach to the front door and when somebody moans about the lack of decorations, tell them firmly that if they want more decorations, then they’d better get cracking and provide some, because this is the year you’re on strike. Trust me, the world will keep on turning without tinsel.

 
#3 tip: The Enormous Lunch. Announce around October that this is the last year you will be hosting The Christmas Lunch, and furthermore, this year, it will be a Bring & Share Banquet. Circulate the menu and insist that the diners commit , in writing, to one major item e.g. the turkey. You will provide the venue, crockery, cutlery, one edible item, plus coffee/liqueurs/choccies afterwards.
AND, the cherry on top – once assembled around the festive board, hold a lucky draw , the winner of which will be the host of next year’s Bring & Share Banquet. Propose an enthusiastic toast to the lucky winner.

 
#4 tip: Buy a dishwasher. Yes, you do need one. Don’t listen to anybody telling you they use a colossal amount of water, they don’t. Or that they will ruin the family silver : actually, yes, they will, which is why you will use perfectly good stainless steel cutlery. Ditto the same dire effects on the bone china. Take that heirloom 60 piece Royal Albert dinner service to the nearest antique shop and flog it. You have other crockery, for goodness sake. The proceeds will help pay for the dishwasher.

 
#5 tip: Secret Santa : Hold a draw around October where your Xmas Lunch guests will draw the name of one person, for whom they will bring one gift, to the value of … Fill in the magic number: not more than X. End of story. Your garage trove of gift bargains is for your nearest & dearest, or people like your hairdresser. You cannot live without a good hairdresser. So give him/her a prezzie.

 
#6 tip: Uncle George/Aunty Maud: Using part of your loot from flogging the heirloom silver and the EPNS gravy boat, cunningly book a table for the old fossil for a slap-up Christmas dinner at a local hotel. Naturally you will book taxi transport. You will of course break the good news in the form of a fictitious Raffle prize? Anonymous Benefactor? This way he/she can’t possibly totter through your front door on December 25th. Fingers crossed.

 
#7 tip: Buy a large diary now, yes, on 2 January, and map out your Defence Plan for the next Christmas jollies. Work out your strategy, diarise, execute, and relax. Oh, and a P.S. Don’t think you can get away with running your diary system on your mobile phone. Bad idea. They tend to get lost, stolen, dropped and broken. But your hardcover diary stays safely at home, and the Magic Strategy is preserved.

 
#8 tip: One last essential pointer. At the next mammoth bottle store sale, stock up on a couple of bottles of your favourite relaxant – sherry? (very seasonal), brandy? (warming and cheering) gin? (good for cooling G&Ts for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere) . Hide your haul in the Garage Box, and start medicating around 15 November. You should be in a relaxed frame of mind for the upcoming festivities.

 
Finally:   for mercy’s sakef, do not lose that Diary!

Leave a comment

Filed under HUMOUR

THE WORST THING ABOUT OUR WATER CRISIS (JAP)*


 

images
Do you know what I hate most about Cape Town’s water crisis? Not the two-minute-only showers, every other day. Not watching my garden dry up and wither away. Or only flushing the toilet once a day (although this runs a close second). So what else could possibly be the problem ? I hear you ask. I’ll tell you. Dishwashing. Huh? What? Dishwashing?? Yes. You see I own a dishwasher and have done for years, ever since I immigrated nearly 40 years ago. Being a single parent, working all day, maid-less for the first time in my life, and since dishwashers were on the market, it seemed the obvious solution. Which it was. Brilliant solution. But the machines use an awful lot of water, so …. Need I go any further? There! I’ve got that off my chest. I can see you shaking your collective heads as you click CLOSE. We all have our personal stumbling blocks, and this is my current one.
*(Just a Paragraph: when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph; random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)

20 Comments

Filed under DAILY LIFE IN CAPE TOWN, HUMOUR

THE PLEASURES AND PERILS OF SOLO LIVING


I’m going to start with the pleasures, before I get on to the topic of the perils. I enjoy living alone. I’ve earned it. After years of boarding school, followed by life in a girls’ hostel, then marriage and family, having my own solo space is a privilege and a joy. Plus, I’m a cranky old lady with an equally cranky old cat, so not an ideal housemate. Chocolat and I have worked out a harmonious sharing agreement. She dictates, and I salute. Works well.

One of the solo pleasures is having control of the TV remote. I never have to watch sports programmes which bore me witless and neither do I have to endure horror movies, or ultra violent crime series. And, perhaps best of all: I don’t have to endure the male habit of surfing restlessly from channel to channel, flicking endlessly from programme to programme, just when I’d started to watch and enjoy something.

Another major pleasure is being able to eat meals ad lib, ad hoc and add plenty of fruit and yoghurt, please. For one glorious week, after my younger daughter’s wedding, I ate trifle for breakfast. I left others squabbling over the left-overs from the braai*, and quietly removed the remnants of the luxury trifle. The most sinfully delicious  breakfast week ever.
Now I have to relate one of the perils of solo living, having cheered myself with happy reminiscences. Bolstered my courage, as it were.

Spiders. Big, enormous spiders. Lurking ominously on the bathroom ceiling. At nine thirty at night. I don’t do well with spiders. Little ones I bravely swoosh into an empty jar and hurl them outside into the garden. But a spider the size of a teacup saucer? Uh-uh. Not going to happen.

My knowledgeable friend tells me it must have been a rain spider. Thanks for the helpful info. That night, I neither knew nor cared. The crunch was: the spider and I could not remain under the same roof. Especially as I was preparing for bed. Can you imagine? An inquisitive spider exploring my entire house, including my bedroom ? Aaarrrggghhh.

Summoning every speck of courage, I armed myself with a broom and despatched the insect. Awful. And then I had to sleep with my bedside light switched on all night, just in case … irrational, I know. Ridiculous – I know.

I told you, I don’t like spiders. To the extent I’m not going to Google a pic to head up this post. I just can’t. Consider this a public exposure of my Achilles heel.

*braai – barbecue

10 Comments

Filed under DAILY LIFE IN CAPE TOWN, HUMOUR

*(JAP) INTERNET PASSWORDS


 

 

Whilst happily browsing in a bookstore on Saturday, and fighting the urge to buy yet another notebook, I found a spiral bound, hard-covered notebook  with the title “INTERNET PASSWORDS”.  My first reaction was: what a good idea!  All the passwords in one place, quick and easy reference. No more ratty little bits of paper.  And then I thought: Hang on a mo. If the password notebook is on your desk, or in public view, then what is to stop other people from snooping? Or – even worse –ransacking your bank account? Spending thousands on your on-line shopping sites?  Maybe not such a good idea. I wonder where you keep your passwords?  Because I have different passwords for most of my accounts, I have to write them down, that’s for sure.  And I’m not telling you where I keep them. Yes:  I confess to having  a nasty suspicious nature. Actually, the word ‘password’ is a misnomer.  Swear words usually ensue, on this topic.  Especially when trying to persuade some nitpicking electronic genie to accept your new password.  Too short.  Too long. Not enough numeric symbols. Too many alpha symbols.   **!!@#!**&%#$@!!!!**

*(Just a Paragraph:  when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph’: random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)

 

12 Comments

Filed under COMPUTERS, HUMOUR

GRANNY GOES GAMING


 

 

Proof – I really did go! Here’s the ticket stub, and the indestructible, hard to remove armband that gets you through the door.

Why? I hear you ask.I’m a self-confessed wrinkly, who doesn’t play electronic games. All true.  But I’m a dedicated fan of The Big Bang Theory  and brainwashed by the Uber Nerds, I was hoping for a Comicon style display of glorious Star Wars costumes down at the Gaming Expo. I have to say, I was disappointed. I spotted very few. What I did see was enough  PC Monitors and big screens to thrill every gamer in Cape Town. Nerdvana heaven, without a doubt.

The gamers were there in sober blacks and greys,  throngs of spindly teens with ratty locks and deathly white complexions, clearly unaccustomed to the Great Outdoors or meat and three veg. I had to resist the maternal urge to dash up and force feed them. There were quite a number of hefty Dad-type men in attendance too, and not all of them were clutching kids by the scruff of their  hyped up necks.  Some women, but clearly on kid duty, and I spotted only one of my contemporaries. These events are not really Granny territory, but hey!  You never know until you give it a bash.

Bash being the operative word. All I could see on the mega-screens were un-ending battles with exotic creatures demolishing opponents with brilliant red starbursts. And not to forget the death-defying cars zooming through canyon-like cities. I’m not a boy. I could care less about fast cars. Give me style and padded luxury any day. James – bring round the Rolls.

 

 

 

Another reason for my attendance were the advertised Board Games. I’m looking for a particular board game and hoped to find it there, but no luck. To my astonishment I spotted big piles of boxes of Monopoly and Cluedo on the Games stands. There was merchandise to gladden every gamers’  heart: figurines, hats, costumes,  and I even spotted Harry Potter lingering over the trinkets.

 

 

The pic I missed: a 7 year old little boy, wearing a brown Jedi robe, with an enormous fluorescent green light sabre clipped to his belt. The sabre was so long, it trailed on the ground behind him. Ag shame.

Never miss an opportunity to wear your pink Princess outfit.  Despite all the sexy girls prancing round in lycra, the Pink Princess was the prettiest girl there.

 

 

Will I go to another Gaming Expo?  I very much doubt it. Unless the cast of The Big Bang Theory happen to be in attendance …

Because   my faithful photographer Nina could not accompany me , I am responsible for all the blurry, second-rate cellphone  pics – photography is  not my strong point.

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under COMPUTERS, EXPLORING CAPE TOWN, HUMOUR, TV SHOWS

*(JAP) SLOW BLOGGING


 

Today I discovered a new literary blog  on WordPress – dolcebellezza  thanks to the industrious blogger on bookertalk.wordpress.com  who is a marvellous source of info on literary topics.  Anyway, when I was reading the About  section on dolcebellezza,  she made an interesting remark on the topic of Slow Blogging, saying that having reached her 10th Blogging Anniversary (I’m impressed) she’s come to realise the  satisfaction of Slow Blogging. The capitalisation is mine, not hers. In essence it’s about  no longer being driven, or feeling you have to blog daily – or weekly – or instantly – whatever crazy targets you have set for yourself. Instead you blog whenever you have the inclination  and take time to enjoy the process. Kind of like the  Slow Food movement  I suppose? Things that take a long time to cook, whether prose or pumpkin, generally taste much nicer when you get to savour that deep flavour.

Theoretically I have a target of one blog per week, for each of my two blogs * but it doesn’t always turn out that way. Does it matter? Hell no. I blog because I enjoy it, so  less of the whip and treadmill technique can only be good news.

*(Just a Paragraph:  when I’m short of time and/or inspiration, I keep my blog ticking over with ‘just a paragraph’: random thoughts, reflections, comments, ideas … little snippets)

 

6 Comments

Filed under HUMOUR, WRITING

HARASSED BY A HADEDA


Over the last two months I’ve been harrassed by a HADEDA . I can hear my overseas readers saying: Huh? A what? Over to that fountain of knowledge, Wikipedia:

The hadeda ibis is found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa in open grasslands, savanna and wetlands, as well as urban parks, school fields, green corridors and large gardens . It has an extremely loud and distinctive “haa-haa-haa-de-dah” call—hence the name. The call is often heard when the birds are flying or are startled, or when the birds communicate socially, for example early in the morning in residential suburbs.

The bird cheekily flies onto my patio and proceeds to rootle around in my pot plants, with its long, sharp bill, hunting for what I’m not quite sure. In the process it chucks out clods of soil, but this is not the main reason for my irritation. What Wikipedia politely omits telling you is that the Hadeda is the messiest bird . It leaves huge, liquid  splotches of white and khaki  droppings whenever it visits – on the table, on the bricks – everywhere. Yuck!

I can cope with its loud raucous calls. I can live with its foraging for food in my plant pots, but using my patio as a public convenience is altogether too much.  Need I tell you it times its visits while I’m absent and Chocolat, I regret to say, hides in her Cat Cave, and does nothing to defend her territory.  Mind you, it is a very large bird. Chocolat will tackle small to medium sized birds up to and including doves, but clearly the Hadeda  is not a viable mouthful. It’s a wise cat that knows its limitations!

 

6 Comments

Filed under HUMOUR