Blog Archive

Sunday, October 28, 2018

hail


Two weeks ago we had a major hail storm.

That's right, I've been sitting on this post for two weeks because I've been too lazy to actually post it.

*

On Saturday (13 October), I took Geoffrey and myself for our bi-monthly haircuts. If I remember correctly, it had been overcast and uncomfortably hot and humid all morning.


I used the excuse of having had to drive around not to work in the garden and had a snooze when we got back home all shaven and shorn.

By late afternoon it had started raining and it cooled down a little. Around 17:00 hail started falling suddenly and The One and I went outside to observe from the relative, if noisy, safety of the carport.

The hail came down in buckets and the stones grew alarmingly large, making a deafening racket on the steel roof.



As suddenly as it had started, the hail stopped. It had become icy cold and I started shivering so I fetched a coat.


Shortly after, a second even more severe wave hit us.


Some hailstones were so large that they made dents in the carport. Who knows what the cars would have looked like if they'd been out in the open?



When the storm was over, we went into the garden to inspect the damage.


The previous photo shows me taking this one:


The devastation in the garden speaks for itself.




The next morning, the destruction was even more apparent.






Lizz assisted me in assessing the mutilation.


Even now, two weeks later, some plants still look terrible and I'm not sure whether they will ever fully recover.


*

The following day was much cooler and I pushed my laziness to one side. Yes, I actually cleaned the house. 

Scrubbing week old spots of vomit and other dubious secretions from the floor, I could only think of one thing:


Incidentally, I'm pretty sure my guardian angel feels exactly the same way my about me trying to clean up my life.

Written by I

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018

preparing for his return


This is day fourteen of fourteen.

In less than 24 hours, The One will be back home!

*

Last night after posting I decided to watch another film and I chose Treurgrond.

It was one of the most unsettling films that I have ever seen in my life. It's excellent, yes, and very well made; directed by Darrell Roodt, known for unforgettable films such as Sarafina!, Cry, the Beloved Country and Little One. It even won Best Foreign Language Film at the Film Fest International in Amsterdam earlier this year.

Nevertheless, highly disturbing and definitely not for sensitive viewers of any kind.

I haven't decided if I'll watch another film tonight. It'll have to be something chirpy and frivolous after the last two sombre ones.

*

I slept until 10:00 this morning and it was glorious. I had a leisurely time until I started realising how many things still had to be done before The One returns tomorrow.

My motto in these matters is the same as Nike's. If you think too long about doing something unpleasant, you'll find a million reasons not to do it.

So I started just doing it by washing clothes.

Well, I tried. The machine kept draining water out as it was taking water in. After a while it flashed an angry amber E1 at me and stopped. I consulted the user's manual and discovered that the code means water intake is too slow (i.e. too little water in the drum, by my reckoning). I tried again, with the same result. It took me a quite while to figure out that the drain hose was below the level of water in the drum and so precious water flowed in and straight out (water flows from higher elevation to a lower elevation) . How the machine had managed to wash two loads last week is beyond me.

Committed to getting the washing done, I raised the drain hose to the recommended height with much effort and then switched on... thankfully it started running like a Swiss watch with no more incontinence.

While it was pounding the first load, I quickly mowed the lawns. Not all of it, fortunately. Just patches here and there that are starting to become bushy. I also watered the plants - again, only patches here and there that seem to be ailing. The rest of the desert will have to wait for the rain.

As I finished watering, the first load of washing was done and I started the second one. I hung out the first to dry and then I washed the dusty car so that it can look spiffy for its important trip tomorrow. The second load was done by the time the car shone (I'd selected a shorter washing programme... still getting to know the new washer) and I added that to the clothes already on the washing line.

I had a quick lunch consisting of leftovers from last night. Then I had forty winks on the couch and then I picked up the parched dog poop off the parched lawns. Not finished by a mile, I sprayed the amaryllis and clivias with pesticide to ward off caterpillar attacks like the devastating ones from previous years. It was so hot outside that the clothes were dry by then and I took them off the line.

My biggest chore by far was the next one. There was a week's worth of dirty dishes again. It took more than an hour to clean, dry and put away everything. I also cleaned out leftovers that I didn't trust anymore from the fridge and washed, dried and packed away those dishes too.

Time for an early dinner. I was sore from all my chores and not in the mood for something complicated so I made two minute noodles with cheese grillers. Delish.


Then I fed the dogs and took them for a constitutional outside, and then I folded and packed away all the clean clothes.

After all of that I trimmed my beard and sorted out my disgusting toenails. Then I had a long, relaxing shower.

Tomorrow I'll clean the bathroom and wash the floors. There is also another half load of soiled clothes to wash. Hopefully I'll have time to add a curtain or two to make it a full load... Mother taught me that nothing spruces up a place like fresh curtains.

I want to start cleaning myself by 14:00 because I must leave at 15:00 to pick up The One from the airport at 16:00.

Dinner tomorrow evening will consist of deep fried fish and chips from the freezer with veg that are still in the shop. I wanted to do something extravagant to welcome The One home properly but unfortunately time (and cash flow) will not allow it.

Every bit of effort will come into perfection when my beautiful husband is back home with me and our pets tomorrow afternoon.

Written by I

Friday, September 14, 2018

land of mine


This is day thirteen of fourteen.

The One returns on the day after tomorrow! Excitement level at about 50%, rising at a rate of knots.

*

Tonight I really didn't know what I was going to post about so I watched a film instead, choosing to post after.

For some bizarre reason I love stories about wars. Perhaps I was a soldier in a previous incarnation? 

My favoured armed conflicts are the Anglo Boer War, now called the Second Boer War or the South African War (I guess I feel personally involved because during its course my very own kin was brutally maimed by the British, only a generation or three ago), and the Second World War. Band of Brothers will always remain a firm favourite.

The last film I watched about the great war was Dunkirk some months ago and I liked it a lot even though it was quite upsetting at times. All those sinking ships touched a cord of some previous life, I guess.

Anyway, stories about the war have been told so many times that I really appreciate it when a fresh perspective is used to make the narrative engaging.

Such was the film I had chosen to watch tonight: Under Sandet, or Land of Mine. Nice word play in the English title.


I don't want to give away too much about the plot so I'll just say that, while the film proved to be somewhat predictable and pretty distressing it is, in the end, very satisfying. Compelling enough to make me forget about my own little wars (see below) for ninety minutes.

Those whose opinions are prized in these matters describe it as "Heartfelt", "Powerful", "Superb", "Striking", "Accomplished" and I find that I agree with all of those.

*

I went to bed at 23:30 last night and I was a different person for having had all that sleep.

More than I was entitled to, actually... This morning when my alarm clock went off I grabbed it off the bedside table. Usually I press the snooze button, put the noisy thing back in its place and let myself drift back to dreamland a couple of times; however, this morning I fell asleep again while I was still holding it. I must have pressed the kill switch at some stage because when I surfaced it was already light outside and I was over an hour late. Traffic was an unbelievable, but not unexpected mess. As was work in general.

My own little wars? These, currently:
  • Terrible stress lasting all day long after arriving at work late;
  • Expecting peace back home eleven stressful hours later, I let the dogs out but some kids were hanging over the wall, spraying the animals with some diabolical concoction;
  • About halfway through my film a fat silverfish jumped at me from under my keyboard (getting pretty high off the fumes from the mothballs I strew around)

Thankfully tonight's film has put everything back into perspective in the great scheme of things.

Written by I

Thursday, September 13, 2018

12/14


This is day twelve of fourteen.

I can feel my excitement level rise slowly but surely. Three more sleeps before my world will become complete again.

*

I'm happy to report that I got a nice chunk of sleep last night.

For one thing it wasn't so cold and the dogs were more relaxed on the bed, not desperate to get under the blankets for a bit of warmth all night long.

For another, I went to bed at a more or less respectable time, well before the witching hour. I never watched my film, instead deciding to do something mindless and satisfying that doesn't take a lot of concentration. 


It was still hard to get up this morning but I didn't feel like a ghost of myself. Good thing too, because it was an enormously stressful day at work and I'm pretty sure I would have cracked had I been as exhausted as yesterday or the day before.

What with the boss yapping at me in one ear about how late her in-house calendar is (I'm currently on the third major redesign), and clients loudly complaining in the other ear about how long their stuff is taking, it's a miracle that I got anything done. If I had a third ear I'm convinced some self-righteous bully would be whining into it about something that I wasn't doing quickly enough.

That being said, I surprised myself by designing a complicated infographic from scratch in just two hours today for a client who thinks I've been working on it for a week. I really didn't know I could work that fast.

Anyway. Time for another spot of Minecraft before I go to bed. It's going to be even earlier than last night, I can tell you that. I know I'll thank myself for my foresight in the morning.

Written by I




Wednesday, September 12, 2018

four sleeps


This is day eleven of fourteen.

I don't think I intended to post every night while The One is away. I suppose I thought that I'd run out of things to say.

I'm very glad that I have been able to write so much, especially after having neglected the blog so much for the last year or more. I must say that I've come to look forward to posting this regularly, gathering and organising thoughts and material that I want to use in my evening post throughout the day.

*

When I was a child, we used to count how many "sleeps" there were left before the arrival of a long awaited event such as a school holiday or going on vacation. Tonight I'm glad to report that there are only four sleeps left until The One returns and everything can go back to normal.

What I'm looking forward to most is being able to get a decent night's sleep again. These circles under the bags under the rings under my eyes have become a permanent fixture on my face and I don't like it at all.

Last night I was diligently getting ready for bed at a respectable hour when the power suddenly went out. Luckily The One has a bit of an obsession with battery powered lights and they are strategically scattered all over the house; one was within my reach and I could easily find my way around.

To my dismay I noticed that my phone was about to die. Not wanting to be without a phone in case of emergency, I had to make a plan. Fortunately my laptop is still set up and I could use it to charge my phone. It was a painfully slow process but I didn't want to go to bed without my phone by my side so I hung around in the darkness. I microslept while staring at the laptop's screen, watching the battery drop two percent every few minutes and turning into one percent charge on my phone.

By the time my phone had charged to 20% I couldn't stand it any longer and I switched the laptop off and went to bed.

That little exercise had cost me dearly and it was after 1:00am when I settled down for the night. Because it was absolutely freezing once again, I'd cunningly added two extra blankets so that the pets could have their own little nests and not hog mine. Even so, I battled to fall asleep; I was still half awake when the power came back on after 3:00am.

It's as tough I'm trapped in a recurring nightmare.

This morning I simply could not get out of bed and I snoozed for forty-five minutes past my usual getting up time. I couldn't be bothered to rush and took my time getting everything done. When I finally left home, traffic was a mess; a grim reminder of why I usually leave home so early.

Tonight I am prepared for all eventualities. I had dinner at 18:00, fed the pets and had a shower. Everything is charged up in case of another late night power failure. I'm going to watch just one film (Isle of Dogs, which I got off someone at work), after which I will switch my computer off, take the dogs out for their last pee and then crawl into bed.

Here's the trailer of the film, in case you'r interested:


Let's see how that works out.

Written by I


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

weary


This is day ten of fourteen.

Into double digits, yay!

*

We all know that I have no self control and despite my best intentions last night, it was way past the witching hour once more when I stumbled into bed. I'd managed to shave an hour off the time I'd gone to bed the night before but it was still two hours later that my absolute latest allowed school night bedtime.

The bedroom was as cold as a tomb and the dogs fought for a place under the blankets again; once again I had the most uneasy, unfulfilling slumber.

My memory of this morning is a blur. I was on autopilot for most of the day; I did, however, manage to make a small but significant dent in my mountain of work.

*

Spoke to Mother earlier. One of her cats, a 13 year old tabby named Ginger died in kitty hospital this afternoon. He'd been a bit off for a week or so and had been admitted on Saturday. I snapped this pic of him on Sunday a week earlier when I visited Mother.


Despite his size, he was extremely gentle and he had the loudest purr I've ever come across. Mother called him her "diesel".

Rest in peace, gentle soul.

*

I'm really weary to the bone tonight. I will go to bed early, come hell or high water. If I don't get myself under the covers in time, I will pass out here the way Sims do when you don't send them off to bed in time.

Written by I