Thursday, May 31, 2007

For those who are/were confused...

by my last Scottish posting, here's another, but with subtitles...

If any of you are contemplating going “North o’ The Border” to visit please bear in mind that the Scots language can be a trifle difficult to understand.

The Glasgow, or more properly "Glesca", dialect is known to be extremely concise,as so much can be said in so few words.

Consider for example, this exchange between a car-driver,and the police officer who pulled him over. Interpretation is provided inside the brackets.

Police officer: Yaw rite? (are you feeling ill?)

Driver: 'maw rite. (No. I'm feeling exceptionally well, thank you)

Police officer: Yeshoor? (are you entirely certain of that fact?)

Driver: Aye. (yes)

Police officer: Zisyoors? (are you the registered owner of this vehicle?)

Driver: Zwitmine? (which vehicle are you referring to?)

Police officer: Ris caur (The automobile in which you are presently seated)

Driver: Sibrurn laws (Actually, it belongs to my sister's husband)

Police officer: Wers heeren? (Can you tell me where he can be located ?)

Driver: 'Raboozers. (He is a guest of the local hostelry.)

Police officer: Yebeen garglin'. (Have you partaken of any alcholic beverages, in the recent past?)

Driver: Jissa cupple. (I have consumed only one or two small cocktails, prior to dinner.)

Police officer: Yur stoatin'. (It is my considered opinion that you are considerably under the influence of alcohol.)

Driver: Naw'mno' (I beg to differ.)

Police officer: Ye urstoatin'. (I believe that my initial observation is correct, and that you are being somewhat deceitful.)

Driver: Umnoe. (I swear that I am being entirely truthful.)

Police officer: Geezyer licence. (Would you be kind enough to allow me to inspect your drivers licence?.)

Driver: 'Vno goatwan. (I am not in possession of such a document.)

Police officer: Geroot racaur (Kindly remove yourself from the automobile.)

Driver: Whiffur? (By what legal right do you make this request?.)

Police officer: 'Mapolis. (I am a member of the local police constabulary.)

Driver: Ommigoad (I call upon the Supreme Being, witness this moment of extreme duress.)

Polce officer: Geroot Ren. (Will you now please extricate yourself from your position behind the steering wheel.)

Driver: Awrite, 'mcomin' (I am proceeding to do so with all possible speed.)

Police officer: Blawris up. (Are you familiar with the breathalyser test?.)

Driver: 'Mgonny Besik. (I believe that I am about to be violently ill.)

Police officer: No oanme Yurno. (Please exercise a great deal of caution as to the direction your involuntary emission takes.)

Driver: 'Mawrite Noo (Having ridden my digestive tract of an accumulation of nausea-inducing substances, I now feel better.)

Police officer: Getna Paddywagon. (Please be kind enough to accept a short ride in the >humble vehicle provided for my use by the local police.)

Driver: Wer Wigaun? (May I be so forward as to make an enquiry as to our ultimate destination ?)

Police officer: Ra Jile. (To my headquarters,where you will be incarcerated.)

Driver: Ohmigoad, ra wife'll murder me. (Once again I call upon the Supreme Being to witness this unfortunate turn of events. Incidentally, I must inform you that my spouse will take my life,illegally.)

Police officer: Getna Wagon. (May I offer you my assistance in climbing into the back of my vehicle.)

Driver: Aw, Neveragain. Ratsit furme. (I have now learned a valuable lesson,and I hereby declare total abstinence from all alcoholic beverages hence forth.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Had a crash this morning...

I hit a car up the backside.

The guy got out and he was a dwarf.

He said "I'm not happy".

I said "well which one are you then"??

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

So, finally I have my chat...

with the Dark Prince, and it's all systems go for me to join the global team.

He denies that he told them I would be available at the end of Q3 (end September) and says that he's already agreed that I'll be available at the end of June and that the billing agreement has been set up, ready for signature.

Having heard that, I got hold of the guys in Europe and advised them of the situation, to which I heard "That's great, pack your passport. You'll be off to Russia as soon as it's done then."

Russia?? I expected to be travelling to Europe, but Russia is good too.


What to do, what to do, what to do...

On Wednesday morning, the right lovely Steph goes off to Millstream, in Dullstroom, to spend a couple of days chilling with her aunt.

I'll be joining them at the weekend for a bit of single malt scotch and some trout hunting, but until then it'll be just me, Bastard and the two bitches at home.

So...what do I do on Wednesday and Thursday nights...?

Any suggestions, anyone? Drinking suggestions accepted for consideration too...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Anyone else want to meet the Pope?

We might as well all go, as I see that the unfortunate parents of Madeleine McCann are meeting His Nibs in the next couple of days for a prayer session in support of bringing their daughter back.

I feel for them as much as the next person does as it can't be easy losing a child especially not in circumstances such as theirs.

The problem I have with it is that there are so many missing children around the world, why should the man in the pointy hat single them out for preferential treatment? Why not have a prayer session in support of all the missing kids?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I've thought long and hard...

about what to post regarding last night's Action Snooker night. Problem is, a lot of it is a blur right now. But let me see what I can remember...

I got to the Club at about 5:30pm after sitting in traffic for an hour (I had a presentation that went on until 16h30 so I left just in time for the gridlock) and on the road Fishman phones to find out if I'm lost as I'd said to him I'd be there around 5pm. Then he rubbed it in by saying "Ok, I'll drink your beer for you". Nice...

Luckily I'd printed off the directions to the club otherwise I'd have got totally fuckin' lost in "All Bert On". It's one of those towns that, through the expansion of Joburg, has literally been swallowed into the city and the street system is totally fucked up (unless, of course, you know where you're going having been there before, which I hadn't). Anyway, I wasn't too long in finding the Club and was soon standing in front of the man known to the world as "Meerkat".

Fishman introduced us and we got chatting as soon as there was a draught in front of me, which was followed very soon with the first "Jager-bomb". An evil drink, it's the equivalent of the old "depth charge" but this has a shot glass of Jagermeister in a scotch glass surrounded by an energy drink, take your pick of them but Red Bull is the one most commonly used. Needless to say, it's taken in in one swift gulp, a sugar rush of note. What an introduction, and I could feel my liver already cringing in fear, trying to bite its way out of my back.

We must have sat at the bar for a good hour or so, chatting about a variety of topics, accompanied by a couple of draughts, with Fishman moving onto the Capn's Organ sooner than expected. I know there's plenty of funny tales to tell cos we had some good laughs, but for the life of me, I can't remember a single one. I did, however, find out where the name "Meerkat" came from. Actually, it's not a nickname, it's his REAL name.

Just kidding...

The nickname came from the sad security situation we have in this country of having to look all about and around you when leaving your car or home. As a real Meerkat does, when he comes out of his den he looks up at the sky to see if there are any hawks about, likewise, he looks around to see if there are any jackals that might want to eat him. In doing this, the Meerkat strains his neck out to make himself as tall as possible, to see as far as possible. So the nickname came from the habit of looking around while leaving home, looking for papvreters(c) who might want to repatriate some of his possessions.

We decided we better get into the snooker room and do what we'd gone to the club for, aside from swilling drinks. A couple of games later, on the full size table, and we'd decided we'd had enough exercise for one night. Back out into the bar area, and another of the Jager-bombs appears in front of me...{groan}... From that point on, I knew it was going to be a rough night.

Sometime around 9pm, just before the club closed the bar (some vague explanation had been given earlier but I think they were afraid of us), some of Meerkat and Fishman's other club mates join us and together we all agree to head off to a watering hole called "The Winning Post". Now the name might make you think that it has something to do with horse racing, but aside from the old betting post mounted in the middle of the room, the place has as much to do with the ponies as deep sea fishing does.

The place is virtually empty, aside from a couple of yokels who you can see frequent the place on Wednesday's for their favourite past time...KARAOKE!! Everyone in our group gets another Jager-bomb thrust upon them by the ever-persuasive Meerkat and then we sit down and proceed to kill off a couple of bottles of the Capn's Organ. I have absolutely no idea how many I had, only that it was plenty.

During some of the karaoke numbers, a few of the locals get on the floor to participate in their second favourite past time...Langarm Dans (known to some as Windsurfing, due to the position of the arms looking like the shape of a windsurfer's sail). It's a sport in these parts. Personally I've never got the hang of it, as most of my partners have shorter arms than me which would make us look like one of the ropes had come off the sail.

I watch this lot with some amusement, but some of them are actually quite good at it. Some of the karaoke participants, on the other hand, are not, but we have loads of laughs and the evening is great fun.

Meerkat, at some point, decides it's time to head off home. I don't remember what time that was. Fishman and I remain for a while but at around 12h30 or so (I think) we decide to make a run for it and leave the remaining drinkers. Someone had put a brandy and coke in front of each of us and the sip I had made me just about spew, it was so sweet compared to the Capn's.

It's fuckin' freezing outside and we hightail it for our cars, with Fishman getting off at such a speed it's like he's afraid of what's waiting for him at home or has the fear of having to buy another of those Masturbating Kits he's promoting on his blog. I crank up the heater and am soon as warm as fresh toast. The drive, thankfully, passes uneventfully and I get home and into the shower to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke from the pub. It's a horrible stink and I don't know how people can breathe it into their lungs. The couple of drags of a joint that I've had through my life have been enough to put me off it forever.

So, at around 1am, I crawl into the nice warm bed, snuggle up to the nice warm Steph and disappear into Lala Land for a few hours.

The evening, as I've already said, was great fun and I'm sure we'll be doing it again soon. As it is, we owe Meerkat a night out...he ended up buying all the drinks at the club as he gets a 15% discount using his club card and refused all efforts on our part to buy drinks. Next time it's our turn and it'll probably be at the Action Drinking arena where we sometimes play cricket too.

Fishman...dankie vir die memories. Wag 'n bietjie...wat se memories? Ek kan amper fokol van gisteraand onthou... Meerkat...dankie vir die lekker aand uit, en bly te kenne...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ok, now that Thom's gone back to the UK...

here's my Pilanesberg update. I'm in the orifice today, so I can send it without getting bumped off the network by the dumb-shit 3G connection.

We arrive at the petrol station just outside Manyane Gate at about 16h30, just in time for my boss to call me up with the following, almost verbatim "Steve, hi, Black Beauty here {name withheld to protect the not-so-innocent}. I just got off the phone with the guys in the States and I'm happy with our discussion, okay with your move, the rates and so on and what it means for us in SA, and I'd like to get it over with as soon as possible."

Dumbstruck silence on my end of the line... I can't believe how he's just said that to me. Yes, it's nice to finally know that I'll be joining the Global Consulting Team, but it would also be nice to know I actually meant something to him in the (too long) time I've worked for him, or that I might just be missed.

Apparently not, so fuck him...papvreter...

So we buy ice for the Capn's we'll have later and head in to Reception to book in. On the way, we pass Mankwe Tours (Sotho for Leopard) and ask if they do night drives, which they do, so we book, the tour starting at 17h30.

Might as well get it over with and we'll play the rest of the weekend by ear. At Reception, I get told I still owe them 800 bucks and I tell them I actually don't. If they'd be so good enough to check their records, the 800 bucks I already paid was on a special they had, for the entire weekend, including dinner, bed and breakfast for two people. Fuckall communication between the front desk and the reservations people. Anyway, they give us the key to the tent (figure that one out yourself) and we drive through, leave some stuff lying around so that no-one steals our braai (fancy half-drum job, unlike the rest who had puny little things - ours was going to rock later) and we have just enough time to go back to Mankwe Tours and have a quick beer before we leave on our night drive.

At this point, we find out we're the only two on the night drive and at 200 bucks each for a 2.5hr drive, I'm not really's becoming a rip-off. So our driver, Walter, heads out into the sunset and we're looking forward to this. It's cooling off, but still a nice enough temperature for shirt sleeves.

We see the usual suspects, a few elephants, giraffes, tsesebe, tigers, and come across a site where there's about four vehicles parked, staring at something in the near distance. Turns out, there's two lions about 200m away and everyone has their 10,000,000 candle power torches tuned into them. We're so close, and the lamps are so bright, the lions are ready to pull their sunglasses on. No wonder the poor beasts were squinting into the light...probably fucked up their night vision for a couple of nights. By the way, just kidding on the tigers...there are no tigers in Africa, apart from those in zoos.

Anyway...we sit there for a short time and decide to drive on. There's a big park out there and we'd like to see more animals. About a half hour late for the expected end of our drive, we get back to the lodge, thank Walter and say our goodbyes to him, and we're off back to camp so that I can show Thom what a REAL braai is...not one of those horrible things they have in the UK with sausages and hamburger patties and the like...a REAL FUCKIN' BRAAI with steak, wors, spicy chicken wings and lots of booze!!

The braai is lit, me throwing two bags of bosveld hardehout into the flames, enough to get a good heat for the inch-thick rump steak I brought along. Needless to say, while the fire was readying itself for the steak, we were plying ourselves with a couple of drinks. I was still on the Windhoek's and Thom was still on the girly Savannah's. Eventually the fire's ready so I throw on the spicy chicken wings and the mealies and whole potatos in foil. The wings are to sate our hunger while the veggies are cooking. More drinks...

When the veg are just about done, I scrape the coals together in the bottom of the braai, get a real heat going, and throw on the rump steak. Sizzle, fuckin' sizzle...

That done, we tuck in and the juices are just about running down Thom's chin, he's enjoying it so much, as can be seen in the photo. While eating, we crack open the bottle of Captain's Organ and by the time we're done, half of it is gone too. We sit around for a bit, enjoying the bloated feeling of having had a fine meal.

There's Impala running around the camp and Thom is determined (fuelled by the Captain, no doubt) to get close to one of these oversized goats. We sneak into the long grass in front of the tent and stand still under the trees. At one point, there's a big male Impala about 10m from us. He knows something is there but isn't sure how dangerous it is. After a few Captain's, we're about as dangerous as a soaked sponge but we stand around a while looking at the beast.

About half past one in the morning, we decide to hit the sack. Thom wants to be up early for a game drive. I like this, cos I also love driving around the park looking at the beasties. We wake around 7am, not really wanting to get up but knowing if we don't we'll probably miss the best of the game viewing for the morning.

A quick breakfast and off we go. Thom's excited as all hell as it's his first "safari" and so am I as it's been a while since I was in a game park. We see all the usual suspects including elephant, rhino (probably saw all 32 of them), all the buck species, giraffe. The only ones that are eluding us are kudu, buffalo, leopard and cheetah.

We time our exit from the park almost to perfection. The gate closes at 6pm and we drive out, tired but satisfied, at five minues to six. It's almost dark at this time of day, coming into winter (or, as Thom says, "what fuckin' winter?") and we head back to camp for a buffet dinner in the restaurant.

It's Super14 Rugby semi-finals day too, and as we could pick the games up on the radio, we didn't bother leaving the park early to watch them on TV. And a great day for SA rugby it was too. Sharks and Bulls both into the final, with a number of firsts (first home final, first having two SA teams in the final, first time a SA team (Sharks) end up on top of the league table).

We have a couple of Cap'n's while Thom makes the "ET phone home" call. He's in trouble cos he's enjoying himself (go figure) so plays the drive down a bit to try and keep the peace at home. Dinner is quite pleasant, with plenty of meat for Thom and a fresh lamb on the spit to round it off nicely. Neither of us have too many vegetables on our plates (we had enough last night) as we're guys on a road trip away from home, doing and eating the things we get shouted at for when the women are around.

After a slow, pleasant walk back to the tent through the camp, listening to the buzz caused by the rugby triumphs (and the booze swallowed during the games) we settle down to finish off the bottle of Cap'n's Organ and do so quite quickly. Thom is now fortified enough to want to get even closer to an Impala and we wind up back at the edge of the long grass again. This time though, there's a rustle not 5ft in front of us. We whisper "what the fuck" to each other and the rustling stops for a few seconds, then carries on again, moving to our left. There's a path to our left about 10m away and a movement across it catches my eye. The rustling in the grass is caused by a Pangolin, totally harmelss and quite shy, going about its business of catching insects for its dinner. We try to get up close for a better look but for a metre long beastie it disappears pretty easily and we don't see it again.

Around 22h30 or so, we call it a night and head off for a deep sleep, wakened only by th dawn light coming in through the tent screens which are permanently left open. Up at around 7am again, we do the shower thing, pack our stuff into the Ranger and head off for a huge breakfast. We planned on getting out of the park by around midday for Thom to buy some curios (read: wooden giraffe) but it doesn't end up that way.

We drive to the highest point of the park and have an absolutely fantastic view of the crater (the Pilanesberg Park is an extinct volcano crater) and are actually able to see a herd of elephant, on their ambling way to a waterhole, having a standoff with a rhino that they hadn't seen slumbering behind a bush. The rhino looked distinctly pissed off at being disturbed, but backed down when the matriarch waved her ears and trumpeted at it.

Thinking that we could get to the waterhole around the same time as the elephants, we headed off down the road and ended up getting there just after them, but late enough to have to battle our way among umpteen other vehicles to get some good photos. A second herd joined this one at the hole next to them and we moved forward to watch the new arrivals. It looked like these guys were the same as the herd we'd seen yesterday, the same youngster splashing around and having a ball.

Some tosser arrives in his Nissan and promptly gets out to take some photos of the herd as it moves along our side of the waterhole and we were expecting the matriarch to come and sort him out. Alas, it never happened, as the idiot got back into the car in time. After a half hour or so of this, we decided to leave and head back to Joburg but didn't get too far.

About 1km before the exit gate, we come across a group of cars and a ranger's vehicle straddling the road, unable to let anyone pass. Everyone in the queue is swearing and gesticulating to the ranger to move his arse and reluctantly he does so...wise move on his part. It turns out, they saw a leopard in the bushes not far from where we were, so we decide to hang around, just in case. We must have been there another half hour when I saw the cat moving out from behind a tree, into full view of everyone who had stayed behind to see it. We watch it walk nonchalantly along the grass bank of the river for about 50m and then hide behind a big tree, out of everyones view. Some poncey English fucker tries to work his car right into the view we have, but a short Scots "Oi! Don't even think about it." stops him from going any further forward. He winds his window up and says something to the other ponces with him, that we can't hear. Probably just as well, we're hot and tired, and itching to move on, which we do and leave about 20 vehicles' occupants straining to get a view of the big cat through the brush.

As it happens, we're a little late getting back to Hartbeespoort Dam for Thom to get his giraffe, so we head straight back to Joburg and I drop him off at the hotel at around 17h15. We've both had a fantastic weekend, definately one of the better long game drives I've been on, and a unique first for Thom who just wants to come back and do it all again.

and do it again, we time, Prince Al will hopefully be with us on the Three Amigos Reunion tour, but then we'll probably do the Kruger Park as neither of them have been there yet...

Some more pics...

I'm getting really pissed off...

with this papvreter boss of mine...

I found out yesterday that the fucking twat agreed with the guys in the States for me to join the global team at the end of September, whereas he and I agreed that I would join it at the end of June, pending the completion of a project I'm delivering. I've committed to finishing it by then (so that he can invoice the client - he doesn't want it completed for any other reason).

Now he's fucking with my career, and he really doesn't want to do that...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Winter Arrives in all its Cold Glory...

as last night, at 7pm, temperatures dropped to 5 deg C at oor hoose. And they dropped even further during the night, as we noticed when we saw the birds ice skating on their bird bath... At the moment, it's 9 deg C, but I don't expect it to get much warmer for today, or even the following couple of days...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A couple of quiet beers on Wednesday night...

were drunk with Sir Thom and, as it happened, another colleague from The Corporation who is also in the country on a company-sponsored week away from home.

Having not heard from Thom by 17h30, I thought he must be asleep after his flight and decided that it would be a good time to wake him up and let him be grumpy.

It turns out he was replicating his mail and in waiting for it to finish, had just nodded off with the laptop on his lap. "Were you sleeping?" are the first words I ask him. "Ummm, no", came the reply. "Good, welcome to Africa. Time for a beer. See you in 20mins." Nothing like not giving someone a little time to think about the potential consequences of saying "okay".

I meet Thom and Richard (Connor, from Belfast...yes, Prince Al, the same) at the Sandton Towers just after 18h00 and we have a few Pilsner Urquell's there. About 20h00 Thom asks if I'm hungry...obviously he is. The Butcher Shop is just across the road in Sandton Square and he's heard about it, so we saunter across the road to Sandton Square.

We sit down at our table after Thom successfully confuses the Maitron (PYT) with his Scottish humour and we all get a shock. There's a guy sitting next to us, who is Mike Tyson's spitting image...and he's American too. Obviously the local hoor who was with him thought he was MT as well, cos she was all over him and just about getting it on in the restaurant. We ignore them, thinking this the better course of action, knowing what MT's reputation is like for brawling.

Anyway, a few more beers and my rib-eye steak arrives. Quite tasty for the first couple of bites, but it seems the steak continues cooking itself on my plate and by the last bite, it's as tough as I imagine elephant hide might be, only not as hairy.

We finish up our meal, Thom settles the bill (nice to be rich when you're on the good side of a ZAR13 to GBP1 exchange rate) and we walk back across the road to the Towers where the two of them plead tiredness. It's after 22h00, so I figure it's probably best I get home as well. I thought of phoning Fishman to see if he was still at Action Drinking, but felt a little tired as well and decided to go home instead. Probably just as well, judging by his post about what time he got home.

On Friday afternoon, Thom and I head off to the Pilanesberg for a guy's weekend of game drives, bush braais and beers, so that he can use his nifty little Handycam on something other than rain clouds. I'll post some of the pics next week sometime if we get some good ones.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This just in from the Sandton Chronicle...

A motorcade carrying a visiting Scottish dignitary caused utter chaos (more so than usual) coming in from the airport in the Joburg traffic to such an extent that His Nibs (otherwise known as State President Thabo Mbeki) cancelled a state visit to George "Warmonger" Bush during which he was to beg for more money to give to Robert "Fuck-em-all-let-em-eat-sand-and-bark" Mugabe. Now Thabo's going to have to pay Bob out of his cocaine habit slush fund, which the public thinks is usually used for lining the pockets of Cabinet Ministers and hoors.

As the motorcade passed through Sandton, bottle store owners lined the pavements in a vain attempt at giving free sample bottles of Scotch whisky to the guest of honour and weed dealers displayed large tokes of Swazi Gold to get Thom's endorsement. The Right Honourable Thom said, later, it was like "trying to give sand to the fuckin' ai-rabs" and "Thanks, I already have my own dealer".

Government ministers in the other major cities displayed utter dismay and demonstrated outside Parliament when they noticed their favourite hoors had all booked one-way tickets to Joburg for the arrival of Thom. One Joburg minister was heard to say "Tell them not to worry. We've got, covered".

Thom is in SA to conduct a superficial study on the blatantly ineffective security measures in place in one of the world's largest corporations, known by local employees as "The Orifice" or "The Unspeakable Place over the road from Sandton City". Expectations are that he will tell local management that they're all fuckwits and should go out, get laid and give all their employees a 50% raise in pay, then he'll go out and shag all their wives and girl/boyfriends.

At the weekend, Thom is expected to travel to Pilanesberg National Park for a weekend of bush bashing and braais. Due to the outdoors nature of this activity, Boots has sponsored Thom's SPF450 sun cream, even though it's autumn in SA. Having a "delicately light blue" skin, it is expected that Thom will turn "rock-lobster pink" over the weekend, especially on his left arm which will be hanging out the window while on game drives.

In an interview with themselves, Thom and one of his SA hosts, Sir Steven Douglas (a local cuntsultant) voiced their unanimous disappointment at not having Prince Al Dale (an Irish-American, resident in Hooston) able to visit SA at the same time, thus re-uniting the bunch of twats after nearly three years. It is, however, expected that numerous toasts will be drunk in the Prince's honour over the coming days.

Expect further developments, photos, and reports in the days to come...

Welcome to South Africa, Big Man...enjoy your stay...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wednesday won't be Action Cricket night....

but that's not to say I won't still be hungover on Thursday. On Sunday evening our Dobermann, Duke, (I call him Bastard) decides to bully Cassie (one of the Weimaraner girls) to such an extent that she ends up prone in the flower beds. He does that now and then when he's showing off to visitors. The visitors in question are our now ex-neighbours, who sold up and moved to a suburb on the other side of Joburg. Nothing we said or did, I have been told. Anyway, so Cassie is not digging lying in the Agapanthys plants and I take a swipe at Bastard with my right foot, thinking he'll do his usual jink and give me the look like "Ha, missed again, ya knob", but I connect him right under his butt, by the feel of my foot this morning the hardest bone on a dog's body. I suspect a cracked foot, but it's still too swollen to tell... I drop our team captain a note to say I won't be playing, just on the safe side, and she somehow automatically knew what I'd done. Who says women's intuition doesn't exist? So I won't be at Action Cricket on Wednesday.....however... A mate of mine (also working at The Corporation, in the UK) is arriving on Wednesday afternoon to perform a security audit of the SA installations, which they are going to fail miserably, particularly the new disaster recovery site which has just about fuckall security (cost reduction exercises were blamed). I'll probably meet him after hours (by his own admission, he's a cranky bastard when he's tired after a flight) for a "Welcome to Africa" beer or twenty (it's his first time on the Dark Continent) so I have a feeling it'll still be a late one only I won't be so stiff from running between the wickets as I usually am on Thursday mornings...the hangover will most certainly be there though...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Long Weekend...

It was great to get out of Shit Towne for a few days, but it started a bit crappy.

We were due to get on the highway on Thursday afternoon around 2pm so that we'd miss all the (other) lemmings going to the coast. Friday was a public holiday, Freedom Day (hhmmmmmm, wonder who dreamt up that shite name?), and so would the following Tuesday be (1st May - Wekkas Day), so we took the Monday as a day's leave to make a decent long weekend out of it.

Anyway...I volunteer to take Steph's new phone back to Vodacom on Thursday as it started bitching about the battery, 24hrs after we took delivery of it. I arrive there at just after 13h30 and end up sitting on my arse waiting for just short of 3hrs for some tosser to come up and apologise for taking so long, but his technicians had to charge the battery to see if it would hold the charge. I spat fury back in his direction, saying that we had done that already but the phone was showing "Replace Main Battery" on the display (that implies that there's a backup somewhere, but I couldn't find it). Needless to say, the phone hasn't gone ppfffttt since I was there, but I suspect that's because they replaced it without telling me as much (I also don't have the serial number of the original battery so I can't prove that theory).

I get home sometime after 4pm and pack the car. It's raining by now, which wasn't a good sign, but I want to get the hell outta Dodge a.s.a.p. so I insist we get a move on.

Onto the highway just on 17h00 and it's gridlock in front of me, as well as behind. I should have known better to stay at home than brave peak traffic, and just before a long holiday too. The traffic reports say something about a strike at the Wilge Plaza tollbooth, which has backed up the traffic for about 8kms. Sign number two ignored. We take about an hour to travel 3km, just about the time that another traffic report says there's a jack-knifed truck in the highway 10kms in front of us. Fuck that, I say to Steph, we're going home for the night. Needless to say, it takes us another 45mins to get home in all the mayhem.

Up at 02h00, after a few hours sleep, and it's back on the highway, hopeful that all the traffic woes are sorted out. And yes, they are. We have an absolutely pleasurable drive down to the coast, get to mum's around 09h30 in time for breakfast and a cuppa strong, black, coffee. The weather is fantastic, no wind, no swell on the ocean, and no foreseeable stresses until the drive back.

Brother Martin and I decide we're going to hit the beach, fishing, and do so at around 11h00 just short of high tide. We each catch a small Rock Cod, mine a Catface model and his, a Yellow Belly. Neither of them are large enough according to catch regulations, so they get a reprieve from Steph's catch directive. The rest of the afternoon is spent sunning, actually burning, the backs of my legs (mum's on the east coast of SA, with the sun going down behind us).

We end up running off the beach as a cold front passed through, the likes of which I'd never seen before. The clouds that came along with the front looked like a wall moving across the ocean, and it was moving so fast you could actually watch it move. I wish I'd had a camera to take really was quite scary. Back home, a quick shower, a text message to The King and it's "Make mine a Capn'n'Coke please".

Saturday, we woke up and the wind was still from the south west and raining on and off. Mum and Steph decide to go for a bit of "retail therapy" so Brother and I decide to go to Durban for some fishing in the harbour, next to the container terminal. I haven't fished there in 25yrs, so I'm wondering if I'll even find the place. But I do, and we spend a pleasant few hours fishing. Brother catches a genuine Barracuda (not the Couta, or King Mackerel, as is mostly caught here) of about 1m in length. Around 15h30, it absolutely pisses down. We end up sitting in the back of the Ranger, soaked to the bone, sipping scotch from my trusty hip flask. A pleasant, if soggy, way to wait for the rain to go off. We end up driving back home around 5pm, only stopping for a pie and a pint of milk en route.

Sunday morning and the wind has dropped, so we decide to get some fresh bait in Port Shepstone and find a suitable spot there to fish. There is an area called Kapenta Bay there, which is notorious for big fish and sharks, for which we're game.
Kapenta Bay is at the end of the bay, on the headland sticking out to sea.

Unfortunately, I think all the (other) lemmings decided to go and get bait that day too and we battle to find any decent Chokka (as Max would say, look it up) or Sardines, and end up with some baby squid to use. As we arrive at the fishing spot, the wind picks up, this time straight into our faces from the north east...fuck. This makes life difficult as it takes a superhuman effort to cast these big baits, even without wind to contend with. We didn't even get a bite, and went home a little dejected, but the Capn'n'Coke made me feel a little better later on.

Monday, we are to drive home and when we get up, find the wind has died through the night and the weather reminds me of Friday when we'd arrived. Not a breath of wind, and almost no waves. Fuckit, but the weather-makers can be cruel. We potter around the house a bit, get rid of a 1m Herald snake we find in a piece of PVC piping (no, not killed, just relocated to the bush over the road from the house), have brunch, pack the car, shower and hit the long highway home just on 12h00.

Thankfully, there's no major incidents on the highway and we cruise at a steady 140km/h, above the speed limit but slow enough to brake for speed traps if necessary. The KZN "spiet-kops" are ruthless in their deployment of traps and we must have hit at least 15 of them between mum's and the mountains, a mere 3hrs drive away. I don't think I got caught on any of their cameras, but time and a registered mail letter will tell, if I get one.

Only stopping for fuel and cold drinks, we take just under 6hrs to get back to The Meat Spot, our local carnivorian requirements supplier. We have been contacted on the way home by, who are now our ex-neighbours, to come around for a braai at their new, albeit temporary, townhouse. I'm a little tired from the drive, but always game for tanning a chop or two...not to mention a Capn'n'Coke or twenty. We get home around 23h30 after Steph did her usual hypoglycaemic-fall-asleep-on-the-couch thing and have a little nightcap before retiring for the night.

Tuesday, "Wekkas Day", is the other public holiday and I planned on doing absolutely fuckall...and did so quite successfully, except for changing channels on the telly and emptying out the leaf-catcher basket in the pool.

A nice, peaceful, stress-relieving long weekend....we should have one every week.