Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Proudly South African


What does this mean, you often see it, people often claim to be .........

Proudly South African. 

We wear our flag on our chest as a pin 
 and wave it at sports centres, supporting our Bokke. 

 We even wrap the flag around us and dance in the street welcoming our sports heroes home

We get together over a traditional braai and we claim only South Africans braai like this. 

All over the world, you can feel that special South African spirit, when they come together to celebrate.

But is that Proud South Africans???  Then why are they not here, why overseas? Better money? The crime here?? I have no idea and I am not going to judge them for not being here, where we need them. Need their skills that are now so in shortage, need their votes. Yes, suppose I am having a bit of a dig on our White South Africans, that have left the country, that was actually not my original intention, but it is all so interwoven in what I am trying to say here, and I will most probably be wildly unpopular yet again, in certain quarters, but so be it.

Proudly South African,"is the “buy local” campaign launched in 2001 by government, organised business, organised labour and community organisations (the constituencies represented in the National Economic Development and Labour Council – Nedlac) to boost job creation and pride in “local” by promoting South African companies and their ‘homegrown’ products and services.
Buying South African stimulates an increased demand for locally-produced products and services. This translates into the safeguarding of existing employment opportunities, economic growth, and the creation of more quality employment opportunities in our country."  

I am digressing again, but I tend to do that, when on my soap box or excited or angry about something , it gets all muddled up in my head. I really need a voice recorder, as I started this Friday early morning, just after Russell had strangely made a comment, right on the button of what I was so irritated about in the first place.

First of all, I had a nasty tin of tomatoes the other day and me being me, phoned the Consumer Line number on the tin. I told them the trouble and also stressed they should check their quality control system, whereupon I am now asked to relay some numbers on the can. While looking for that I noticed " Made in China". Now WTF is wrong with South African tomatoes ????  This is a South African  store, who makes a big hue hey in adds about Proudly South African and this is their house brand which is R 3 cheaper than the Koo and All Gold. 

Now I am angry, so I check my pantry.................well guess what, there is 2 stores to where I am not setting my foot again. Really , Mielie pips "Made in Thailand" what is wrong with our South African milie  ????? For those of you not in the know, Mielie is Maize, yellow maize pips,  sweet mielie or sweet corn also called here. 

We have thousand of acres of land that could be planted with Maize and Tomatoes , if the problem is that we do not produce enough and thousands of people out of work that could work it !!!!!

Tinned Shredded Tuna Fish , same store different brand , also cheaper by R 2-3 than John West, which is not SA anyway, but imported from England. We have Tuna here ! We have fishermen out of work, trawlers lying keel up !!!  I ask you !! 

Tinned mushrooms, bought actually to take to Zimbabwe for Michelle, "Made in China" also asparagus. I simply don't get it, I can go to Fruit and Veg City and buy mushrooms year round fresh, so why must we get tinned from China. 

I buy very little tinned or frozen foods as we can get most things fresh year round. I do buy Chinese Noodles and Soya when I want to cook a Chinese inspired meal, which is seldom, though. The kids like it, so for them at times. 

If wanting to cook an authentic Italian meal, I look for Tomatoes from Italy, they somehow taste better in the middle of our winter, but most year round we can get it all fresh , right here, grown , produced and packed in South Africa.  

Okay you get where I am coming from ??  We have a huge labour force out of work a corrupt government who is in cahoots with the Far Eastern Block. Thailand, Indonesia, China, Korea and Vietnam in particular. In 2001 , thousands of textile workers were laid off here, hundreds of factories closed, when they started bringing in Chinese clothing and fabrics. 

We have the same scenario in the Stationery business, we are in Office Supplies, so am experiencing this first hand. Several factories has closed, pencil makers, pen makers, paper suppliers, metal workings, it is cheaper to bring it in from China than making it here. To me that is not the point !!!! The quality is lousy and the control of it is bad. We sell paper folders for example, but I cannot guarantee the colour or the shade will be consistent  it varies from batch to batch, so I have attorneys and accountants who are particular about a specific shade of red or blue and what they like and I look like an idiot when I now deliver a different shade. Try to explain to them that you do not manufacture it, it does not get manufactured here anymore, you have no control over the shade, forget it. This is what they want, find it ! 

Charity starts at home, I feel and we have so many unemployed people, if they all have work , they will also spend money and our economy could right itself. Since 1994, the South African Rand has constantly weakened, our inflation rate is sky high and all our costs of basic staples has rocketed as has the petrol price. Strangely though............ Clothing, Home Appliances from an iron to a fancy television has not gone up.  Recently we did a new basic price list, most of our items had not changed since 2009, the cost was the same or lower. A lot had come down. Our overheads are up though, petrol, wages, electricity , water, vehicle maintenance etc. So how can we hold the prices, we have to though as competing against the big boys, who are working on sales figures, not profit margins. 

I digress yet again..................

Now that I had that gripe, of course here comes a couple of our friends to visit, they are originally from Britain, but has lived here for years, 2 of the children are born here as well. The talk turns to Zuma and elections, don't they know , we are now on dangerous rocky ground, one of them remarks that nothing has changed the k....... are the same as always. 
M here explodes, on my soap box........... "what did you do today, to make a difference" and off we go.............why can I not just keep quiet, asks my  man later. 

I cannot understand these people , they come out here, live the good life, buy a house a car, the children go to school here, but they hold onto their British Passport for dear life. They cannot vote, as not citizens, they go HOME every year on holiday, they do not speak the language, neither Afrikaans or any of the black languages. They watch BBC news, do not know anything about what goes on in the country and is not interested either  Most food stuff is fancy imports , like we get "back home", olives, cheeses, jams and  preserves. High tea is observed every afternoon ( I laugh, I cannot help myself ) Holidays are spent in the most expensive private reserves and we do the theatre and the shows when overseas performers come out. They have no clue who is Johnny Clegg or Freshly Ground and would rather die than watch Pasella or Noot vir Noot. 

 They constantly complain about the state of affairs in South Africa. How we get ripped off with out high costs of living, the lazy natives etc. ooooops, here goes M's mouth again "if it is so bad here, why don't you go back to England"...the man reckons maybe it is time for us to break up the party.

Denmark do not allow dual citizenship! When I become a South African Citizen (have now tried for years to get accepted) I will loose all Danish privileges  mind you I cannot just move back there, no, would have to apply and am not legible for a Danish pension either, I cannot vote there either, have been away for too long, so what is the point?

 I have lived here since 1975 and am not going anywhere. I am South African and the biggest gripe I have with my British friends is that they can have both and could help make a difference, come voting day! 

You know you are going crazy when the voices in your head starts arguing, right?

This whole thing is so complex I cannot make sense of it myself, so if I made no sense to you the reader either, very understandable. 

Off my soap box, back to work I go. Things to do. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013


Please note this post was done on Friday, I forgot to press publish LOL........... so belated news whatever  *smile* Just quickly added some news about my veggie planting too. 

It has been raining all night, the sun has just come out and is spreading its rays and warmth upon my garden.Steam is rising from the thatch on the lapa, the grass, the wet bushes and every little rain puddle has steam coming out of it. 

 A very unusual early Spring rain or maybe it was meant to be snow, but we were too warm? I don't know, last year it snowed here this time and it is snowing in the Cape and Transkei and Drakensberg, so maybe we will still get it. 

In the meantime my garden seems to think Spring has arrived. 

The Hadeda Ibis is digging for worms and crickets in the sopping wet lawn,


 Cape Robin is hopping about looking for insects, 


Hopoe clambering amongst the branches of the Jacaranda trees ,  cackling like a bunch of old Zulu women. 


I was just about attacked when I came outside with no bone meal, so had to go dig some worms out of my compost heap to keep them all happy, with a promise of going to the butcher later. Managed to put a grin on the Grey Louire's beak


 with some bread mixed with peanut butter, but I think the banana was what kept the peace there in the end. 

The fiscal shrike, also called the butcher bird is in with the crowd


Black headed Bulbul has joined the melee and the crested Barbet is shouting for apple, which lucky I have, together with some paw paw for the Mousebird 


and the black-bibbed barbet.  


The red-winged starling is in top of a tree waiting singing his mournfull sound of whooo woooo, simply sounds so very sad that sound. 

The Rainbird, also called the Burchells Coucal arrived and I got cross with him as I see he has raided an early nest of Cape Weaverbirds.

Lucky I had some old cheese, I rolled into a ball and stuck on a thorn in a bush for the Cape Robin, he is too shy to go fight the others, so has to be fed in a corner of the garden. A piece of apple is also welcome to him. 

The Southern Masked Weavers are already building in every single tree, competing with each other to attract the females to the prettiest sturdiest, best situated (meaning close to bird feeder) nest. 


Our little Vinkie that is now nearly 4 years old, is managing very well, as he has his own feeder by the aviary  he can take his little harem of 3 to. He has already got his Breeding plumage and is looking gorgeous, just a few weeks ago, I commented on how scruffy he was looking , then all of a sudden I couldn't tell him apart, only by the ring on his leg, now he looks fantastic. 


Extra seeds in the bowl this morning and some peanut butter bread, which he also loves, on top of the aviary, together with fresh peas, grated carrot and apple and cucumber. Spoiled little one, but he is so very special, our first rescue bird and it always manages to lift any dark mood, when I spot him. 


House Sparrow, Cape Sparrow and dark headed Sparrow,


 competing with Mourning Doves and red eyed Doves and Pigeons at the seed table. 


A couple of Red Bishops has showed up too and the Common Waxbill Finch is there with the whole flock, they only show in winter as soon as the grasses in the vlei starts having heads, they are off for natural food.  In the meantime I enjoy watching them and their antics.

The whole garden is one big sound of birdsong  all mixed and uplifting. I am so lucky in the middle of a suburb to have this Garden of Eden, where it all seems to come together to heal a troubled soul.  

Have been watching this little dove for about a week now. We saw the parents build the nest, they are Laughing Doves, the beautiful call is like a " uh huh u huu hu" They build silly in a fork of a tree and lost the one baby, this surviving one was now too big for the nest, so they must have told it to sit still on that branch and wait. They feed it in turns, we just see the little one flapping wings (holding breath, it don't fall of perch) and beak opening, zoom zoom, in they go and out again. Watching us the whole time, watching them. Just another couple of days and ready for Take Off. 



After the rains a rainbow ............. run, run, catch my pot of gold, duh, what I need money for
I got all my happiness right  here. 


It is amazing what amount of flowers, survived this winter in our gardens and brings colours and sunshine to my little place of Eden. 


The bed I planted, where we cut down the palm tree,  in May,which Russell predicted would die as he says , they are all summer flowers "ffffffffffffppppppptttttttttffffffft" See I do know something about Blommetjies and them are soo pretty. 


More pretties blooming by the patio entrance


The front of the house, also has some flowers blooming and that in middle August, late winter. This is entirely the man's project, I try not to get involved in flowers. 


and from the other side


Clivia has started flowering already, under the Delicious Monsters leaves. 


Blooms are large and healthy  looking. 


 Going in to check the vegetables, 

 carrots, leeks, celery, chinese cabbage and beetroot. 


Beans plants are high and starting to flower. I do pray we do not get frost or I could be in trouble. 



Got loads of snap peas, ready for my salad bowl, that is , if it makes it out the garden, without going into my mouth or into one of the birds beaks, they are begging when I go past with anything green in my hands. 


Celery in abundance, have been using all winter in our soups and now ready for summer salads. 


Lovely strong lettuce varieties


Strawberries has got flowers on. 


as you can see Princess Mousie and Monster Dog Kieara is never far behind, when we are doing patrols. They simply love this walking around together early in the morning and again late in the afternoon.


Good Morning, so how is your day going????

Monday, 12 August 2013



The Magic of Heia Safari starts the minute you drive through the gates ....where Robert waves you through after filling out your details, with a big smile :"enjoy your day" 


Even the air out here is different.

 Clear and Fresh with blue skies and a view forever. 


Wherever you go there is a happy animal face looking at you 

The resident zebra greets you by reception, today I did not bring apples, maybe good as I see a sign saying Do Not Feed The Animals .......... though I am known to be illiterate at times, I am here to find my baby giraffe and don't need to be kicked out, before I even get started searching, so no apple today, my darlings ............... 


Warning signs, Zebra they kick .....really...??


The smile and Hello Hug from Gaby, the owner "welcome ,come sit down, have a coffee" is like coming home, after a long time away and yet nothing changes. 



We decided to go for a walk, to see the changes and also stretch our legs, looking for the little newcomer, to the giraffe family


If you want to catch a shot of an Egyptian Geese in flight, you have to shoo them, but I just sneaked up a little bit, so did not get too much wing flapping LOL


The Dam looks pretty low at the moment, waiting for our spring rains


I simply love the view and the light out here, 
never get tired of it


Towards the hills across the lower part of the lake
the fishing is also very good here, 
only catch and release though.


The legacy of Franz Richter, Gaby's father, 
The Heritage Lake


Never fail to inspire awe in me this sight 


The spill over carrying on downstream as the Crocodile River winds and flows down towards Hartebeespoort Dam. 


 Still looking for Lumina ... and I found her, in between all the thick bush at the end of the farm below the dam wall after an hours hike, I spot Big Boy , father of the family sticking out like a familiar silhouette. They have to be close by, he would be guarding his little family.


 and I was right, behind the bushes, I can just see her, she is lying down , with mother hovering
protectively over her


 I move closer, totally deaf to darling husbands call "be careful, he could charge you ..." "ppppffffttt........ not scared of my darling giraffes, they know me, just have to gauge the mood and not push myself on them ......... so I siddle up closer, carefully watching, just in case Big Boy decides I am a threat ...........


Look how well she blends in ........ Mother starts walking away from me, so I have to hurry to keep up without getting in the way, now having left husband totally behind


Following close, but not too close ..........


There she is, now you can see her better. Welcome to the world, little Lumina, may it treat you with love and freedom always.


Looks as if she is saying, there is that lady again, mommmy, she is following us, pointing that box ...


The cottage we stayed in for our Honeymoon Night, 29 May 2011, the children and friends gave us as a surprise present ........ Number 49 ....


 The view from the verandah have not changed *bliss*


The young Impala stag staring me down


The wildebees is sleeping in the afternoon sun


Zonkey got a new friend, the donkey Jack, so now she is no longer so much part of the zebra herd, which is so strange, she always used to look so sad, I thought, when I got her in amongst the zebra, now she is up by the reception, where she waits for Gaby for the feed bucket together with her new best friend. "Me is a donkey, not a zebra, zonkey" she tells me ........... she is adorable whatever she is

. IMG_6979

The young springbok having an afternoon siesta 


The wishing well ......... put some money in , maybe I can live here forever .........


Such a wonderful formation of old trees. 


It is time to go home, though I wish I could stay for just another hour, another day......


This cacti is the one that bears the fruits known as prickly pear, a delicacy that you peel very carefully
before eating


The Dark-capped Bulbul enjoying the nectar from the aloe flower. 


The warm colours of the Aloes, this time of year is so cheering, as all else is dry 

.. IMG_6957

So many different kinds, I wish I was a bit more clued up with indigenous Aloes and plants. 


 Bye bye everyone, till next time........................... the seasons change, nothing is ever quite the same out here, always something new to see and do, but some things stay the same old, the familiarity of Heia is like taking out your favourite jersey and snuggling up in front of a fire. Warms me like a home coming should ........ how I wish I could stay for ever and ever ...