Posted in Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Moaning Monday!

Moaning Monday seems to be catching.  First it was Rambler, then Shayne and now I just can’t help myself. 

I am absolutely livid!!!  I think that MOAN might be a bit of an understatement.  It might just turn into a full on rant. 

I was in a rather good mood this morning, weird considering it was Monday.  But still I was happy.  Then I went popped out of the office after lunch and was hit by chaos!!!!! 

Now, I am not against strikes or people’s right to strike or protest.  But there is striking and there is vandalism and there is a chasm in between.  They are not one and the same and because you are striking or protesting DOES NOT give you the right to violate our city. 

There is a countrywide municipal strike on at the moment which started today and some of the Port Elizabeth municipal workers went on a protest march along Rink Street and Cape Road.  Still all very well and fine, however on their way they ripped open every single rubbish bag they could find, they broke every glass bottle – smashing them onto the roads or pavements, they overturned every rubbish bin, breaking the ones they could and they up rooted the flowers and plants in the planters in the middle of the roads and caused damage to the concrete retainers for the planters.  The place looks disgusting and for what?  What do you think you have gained by doing this?  Yes, our city now looks like a mess and yes, it will probably stay that way till you come back to work.  But who do you think will need to clean it up – you!  Clever, very clever! 

You have now lost my sympathy.

Posted in Ordinarylife, Politics

Elections have been cancelled!

Or at least they are if the news report on SABS 3 last night was anything to go by!


They were doing a piece about Jacob Zuma, but then when are they not doing a piece about him…..  The term they used to describe ole’ JayZee was “the President in Waiting, Jacob Zuma”


Now, I am sorry but as accurate as that maybe surely it is a bit presumptuous???  The elections are on the 22 April as far as I am aware and up until that point the possibility remains that he might (ha, ha) get out voted.


What are they saying?  That we do not need to go and vote because the President has already been decided?  Or that our votes won’t count for anything anyway? 


This term for some reason really annoyed me. 

Posted in Ordinarylife, Politics, South Africa

Simon says…..

It is not often that I write about stuff in the news or politics.  Something really has to get me all hot under the collar….. and now something has!


South Africa denied the Dalai Lama a visa to enter South Africa.  He was invited to be a guest speaker at a peace conference on ways to use football in the lead up to the 2010 World cup to help combat racism and xenophobia.  Ok, granted, I am not that sure what the Dalai Lama knows about football but to deny him a visa because “it is not in the best interests of the county”??? That I seriously don’t get.


What?? Is he a hardened criminal, has he committed atrocities to human kind, is he a known terrorist?  Oh, wait – no, if he was any one of the above he probably would have had no problem in getting a visa.  Mugabe is in and out all the time.  Is it because it might upset our “new best friend” the Chinese?? Yip, that is probably more likely…


I am saddened by our government’s stand – or none stand – on this issue!


HERE is a link to a report on this.






Posted in Ironman, Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Training, Women, Work

I may be an Ironman but I DON’T do Ironing!

So another day of taxi strikes – and it has finally impacted on my life!  I had to hang out my own washing….. Oh the horrors!  And it does not stop there, I had to pack away my own dishes, make my own bed and clean the house…..  You know, all the stuff that people generally have to do when they don’t live in South Africa! 


South African Mini Bus Taxis
South African Mini Bus Taxis

The taxi drivers, operators, owners and anyone else involved with the taxis in Port Elizabeth have called another strike.  They are unhappy with the transport plans the municipality has drawn up for the 2010 Soccer World Cup?   The busses are also not running – out of fear for the safety of the bus drivers or damage to the busses.


By and large these strikes don’t generally affect me, but this time it has gone too far…  They are trying to cause maximum disruption so the strike was unannounced till the last minute so a lot of commuters where unable to get to work yesterday.  The lady who cleans my house included.

Front page today
Front page today


And then last night they extended the strike for another couple of days – holy crap, no Hazel!!!!  What am I going to do – I have no clothes left to train in.  Looks like I am going to have to get busy – I do draw the line at ironing though!

Posted in Crime, Cycling, Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth, Running, Training

False sense of security

Every day there are stories in our papers about crime.  Most of the time you read it, think it is shocking and then go onto the next story, but sometimes there is a story that you read that really hits close to home.


Yesterday on the front page of our local paper was one of those stories.  This woman was running in a relay race (each leg 10km) when she was attacked, stabbed 3 times and robbed off her running shoes and watch!  In the middle of the RACE, with people close by!  Did I mention while running the RACE!!!!!  The audacity and cheek!  It was not as if the race was at night, it was not as if she was the only one around for miles, she had just been handed the baton about 800m back!


I suppose the reason this has hit close to home is because you seem to think you are some how safer while racing.  No of course she would not have run along that road on her own, but you kind of feel protected in an organized event.  You feel safer when there are people around!  We live in one of the safer cities in South Africa, but when you hear of things like this you wonder?


It is very sad when stuff like this happens (or any attacks), it is sad when the last question your husband or boyfriend asks you when you go out running or cycling is if you have your pepper spray with you, it is very sad when pepper spray is a “great” birthday gift!  But what good would the pepper spray actually do, are we just lulling ourselves into a false sense of security.  I mean the story about crime in the local paper today – 3 security guards attacked and seriously injured! 

Posted in Humour, Ordinarylife, Politics

Oops, was that Live?


There are some things that you just have to watch a couple of times.  I am not sure if it because you feel their pain and embarrasement, or you are just glad it is not you. But to have this happen on LIVE TV is not a good way to start your day. 

I know it is not nice, but I have laughing ever since I watched this.

Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Politics, Tenants, Women

Then again maybe I am

Are you a feminist – or do you think you would have been if necessary?


I don’t think I am, but then I guess I should thank all the people that came before me and fought for stuff that I now take for granted. 


However!!!  There are some things that really annoy me.  My hackles rise and I just get generally pissed off.  It is when I am not taken seriously or my decision does not seem to count (or I am asked to make tea at work – but that’s another story).


Lately both occasions have happened in regards to my rental property.  Once, before I was married and then again this week.


LONG before my husband and I met I bought a house and walled piece of land with a couple of garages on it.  I have always rented these out.  A couple of years ago, when I was showing somebody the garages to rent out the man said to me.  “I think you should first discuss this with your husband, you can’t just let out a man’s garage”.  Mmmmmm, lets think about this shall we??????  No!!!  Well I don’t think the poor man knew what hit him, but lets just say it was a barrage of statements along the lines of “If I had a man in my life, which I thankfully don’t if you are anything to go by……” and “I don’t need to discuss this with anyone” and then “Women can own property without the permission of a man…..” and well lets just say he did not get the garage, and left with his ears ringing.


Then this week – and I think I handled it slightly better this time – I need some maintenance work done on the houses.  I showed the builder round and he said, “I will send you a quote so that you and your husband can discuss it”.  Now yes, I agree, that some things might need to be discussed, but not this.  My house, my money, my decision!  I just said to him, “yes, please fax it through to me and I’ll make a decision”. 


So, no I am not a feminist, but believe me if I did not feel that I had equal rights I probably would fight very hard for them.  But then again, maybe considering yesterday’s post, it is another title that I don’t feel happy being defined by.

Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth

What is their future?

Ok, once I got started on the Blog Action Day post I thought of something else that has really been bugging me lately.  I was going to put it on the same post, but thought it would get too long. 


I have been looking around and have seen so many street children.  And I know that I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg here.  There are so many more out there, in areas that I don’t visit, in the other cities and in little towns all across our country.  Then there are also the kids from child headed households.  There are the kids who are at home looking after their dying parents.


What happens in the future?  What opportunities will these kids have when they grown up?  They will have no schooling, no education, no moral guidance.  At the moment they are begging for money.  But what about later?  People will stop giving when they no longer feel pity, when they are no longer children but just another beggar.  They will have no hope of getting a job or any means of an income.  Most of them will have no access to their records or any hope of getting an ID Book and therefore no access to social welfare or grants of any nature.  They system will have failed these children.


This scares me!!!  How would you feel if you were in this situation?  I would feel cross.  I think we are breeding a future population of very angry people.  People who have had no guidance in what is right and what is wrong.  People who see you with your mobile phone, your wallet with money in it, your fancy car, your house with a TV and an abundance of food?  Why should they feel any compassion for you?  We wonder why the value on life is so low in this country.  If you had lived on the streets and fought for every scrap you had would you value life?


I feel the crime rate, and the rate of violent crime in this country is just going to get worse!  What can we do about it?  That I don’t know, but I do know that if we don’t do something soon we are all going to drown in it. 

Posted in Family, Hobie Beach, Ordinarylife, Politics, Port Elizabeth, Shark Rock Pier, Triathlon

A Land of Contrasts

Today is Blog Action Day, and the theme is poverty. 


I have started this post so many times and then deleted what I had written.  What can I write about poverty?  Actually there are so many things I could write about it I don’t know where to start, and yet I have not experienced it personally.  I suppose the closest I came was when I was living in England and working in a factory.  I had to budget so well just to make sure I had enough money to get to work in the mornings but that is still not real poverty.  It is not the poverty that we see around us in Port Elizabeth every single day.


In South Africa there are so many contrasts.  Yes, a lot of it has to do with the past policies but not all.  We can’t blame everything on the past.  The present has to take some responsibility as well.  What about the children that are living in child headed households due to the HIV/AIDS policy and non supply of antiretroviral drugs.  The lack of housing, the greasing of certain hands, the inadequate and incorrect spending of various municipal budgets.  But on my blog I stay away from politics, so I won’t go there!


I will just write about something I saw last Sunday.  I went down to the beach to watch a triathlon.  All lined up nicely in the cordoned off transition area were these fantastic bikes.  Some of them worth much more than my car – yes I know bike envy rearing its ugly head again.  I mean if you take what the average triathlete had spent on their equipment it would have been quite a bit.  Even if you take my near the bottom of the range stuff it still adds up.  And there right next to the transition area, taking shelter against a small wall was a row of street children still sleeping under blankets, cardboard and newspapers.  The contrast was huge!  These kids have absolutely nothing.  I don’t know if I have never noticed them before because I am always taking part and so am more focused on setting up or if they are not usually there but it really upset me.  What can these kids be thinking?  Here we are laughing and sucking on our energy gels for extra sustenance.  Those gels probably had more energy in them than the foods these kids had eaten all week. 


The kids I volunteer with at the children’s home really are the lucky ones.  Even though they have probably been through things we could not even imagine they are now well cared for and protected.  There are still so many children that are in desperate need of help.

Posted in Exams, Ordinarylife, Politics, Studying, UNISA

What goes up must come down

Why is it that good news always seems to be followed by some not such good news!


Take yesterday for an example – actually wrong wording because yesterday was followed by today – and today is Friday so that is good news!


But take what happened yesterday – I PASSED my exam!  Yippee, that was the good news. The not so good news was because I managed to pass that one I had to write another one today.  This time a long questions one!  Hmmmm another exam!  At least it is over now.  I am not sure how I did on it as it needs to go to an invigilator to mark and usually takes about 6 weeks for the results to get back.


Now I just need to study for my UNISA one on the 27th and everything is done!  If I pass that one I get my degree – 8 years after starting at UNISA – 4 degree changes later!  Well let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I still need to pass it.  So for the next 3 weeks I will be studying my butt off!!!!


And then in I guess some what related news.  The good news – a bailout, the bad news…..  Well just read this article.

I found the link on The Tao of Roo’s site.  Would you be happy if this was your money???