Blog Archive

Sunday, August 27, 2017

resurrection


What a macabre way to resurrect the blog...



No, those are not satanist altars in our back yard. Those are the remains of the once mighty white stinkwood and jacaranda trees after they were hacked down because they were in danger of damaging our little house as well as the precious boundary wall that separates us from the boozing gangster at Egoli Villas, the fancifully named flats next door.

It happened on Saturday the 8th of July - the day after The One's birthday. I suppose in a sense it was his birthday present.

The tree felling team I had selected after careful consideration (they were the cheapest) arrived at 7:00am as arranged. The driver had a spot of bother to reverse the vehicle and trailer up our narrow driveway but he succeeded after a few attempts. The team went about their grisly task, unloading a frightening array of various sized chainsaws, hacksaws, axes, hatchets, machetes and other murderous tools.


They started with the white stinkwood (celtis africana). One of the guys scampered to the very top like a squirrel, chainsaw dangling from a strap around his neck. He knew exactly which branches would bear his weight even though some of them looked too flimsy from where I stood. From his precarious perch he started cutting down branches, beginning with sprigs and methodically moving on to large boughs. He handed manageable chunks to another guy who had climbed onto the roof. The second guy carefully chucked the limbs onto the paving below; another two guys chopped large branches into smaller pieces and dragged them off to the trailer waiting in the driveway. The team leader gave instructions and assisted where needed.

It was fascinating to watch and even though it was awkward I could not stop staring. I wanted to photograph the process but then I felt like a tourist, running around and clicking like a fool.

When the tree was hafway gone, a woman from the flats screamed from the other side of the wall, complaining about the early morning noise. The team paused but I instructed them to ignore her. We are extremely quiet neighbours; however, we often have to put up with the deafening drunkery at the flats so I did not feel guilty in the least. Other residents quietly watched from their windows while the chainsaws continued hacking.

It was like watching a well rehearsed acrobatic performance and in less than an hour the tree was reduced to a glum stub.

The jacaranda (jacaranda mimosifolia) was next. Having fallen over before, there were many branches that extended far over the wall and the guy with the chainsaw had to contort into odd positions to reach them. Still, not one branch fell over and it took even less time to finish the tree off.

By 9:00am the team were blowing the last debris down the driveway with a leaf blower. The One had slept throughout all of it even though the action happened right by the bedroom windows.

*


It was up to me to get rid of the stumps before they started growing again and after a bit of research I found that I simply had to drill some holes into the wood, fill them with Epsom salts and seal them with candle wax. Apparently you can use weedkiller as well; however, I'm sure that would poison the entire area around the stump so I went the more environmentally friendly route.

My drill wasn't really up to it and drilling simple holes into the wood proved extremely arduous as the drill bit kept seizing in the damp, dense wood. I damn near burned the thing out. Anyway, after taking longer to drill 30 holes than the experts had taken to hew down both trees, I finally filled and sealed them.

I never considered how much privacy the trees actually afforded us... the boozers and their hellions can see much more into our yard now than I like.

*



With spring around the corner, our garden will be a dismal place without the wind whispering through the bright green stinkwood leaves. Flocks of birds cheerfully chirping will find other roosts at dusk.

Without gentle cascades of purple jacaranda flowers there will be no bees industriously zipping around, no delicate fragrance on the evening breeze.



Written by I

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

transparent


Long time.

I must have filled a shit tonne of hours watching Top Gear UK, all illegally downloaded episodes of the almost-recent series which I received from a friend. Having been born a petrol-head, when the Clarkson-Hammond-May trinity ended on BBC I switched to watching them on Amazon. I'm sorry...the latest Top Gear guys, though some of them are nice to look at, just don't cut it technically. 

*

More recently I discovered a small series by virtue of surfing and I've been hungrily gorging myself on the surprisingly fulfilling 30 minute episodes. The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead remain firm favorites for pumping up adrenaline while Gravity Falls and Adventure Time fill my every whimsy. American Horror Story still horrifies me while Westworld fascinates and titillates my mind.

Meanwhile, Emerald City and countless others are winking in the distance...

Even so, it's been absolute ages since a single scene has had the presence to make me ache to express its poignancy poetically. It is refreshing that this simple story offers those scenes without end.


Written by I

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

best in b&w


Why not? Still home alone, I'm doing a best 7 Black & White music videos:

No. 7: 1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky


I've always maintained that the best performances of this monumental work features the largest cannons. This version does not disappoint.

No. 6: Toya Delazy - Pump It On


Yeah. Go, South Africa!

No.5: Depeche Mode - Strangelove


Shunned worldwide, but so brilliant.

No.4: Adele - Someone Like You


Just wow.

No. 3: Madonna - Girl Gone Wild


This video is so irreverent. And desirable.

No.2: Monarchy - Living Without You


Best played at 12:00AM on 1 January upon your indoor hi-fi system at 150%+ to ensure your pets remain unaware of the yobbos firing cheap but immensely loud firecrackers outside. Repeat until 3:00AM on the same day and as many times after that as needed to maintain a reasonable level of sanity.

No.1: Woodkid - I Love You (Quintet Version)


I'm afraid this one still wins. I love you, Mr van Rooyen.

Written by I

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

worries


As a bona fide Arian, I am supposed to be a fiery warrior, protected by the ancient god of war.

Sadly, I find that I have become a worrier instead. I just worry about everything.

For example, this morning I was up at 7am (I'd set an alarm clock as well as my phone to make sure I got up) to drag our reeking municipal bin into the street to be emptied. Filled to the point of overflowing with grass clippings, green ham and mouldy bread, it was imperative that it got emptied no later than today. 

I stumbled back into a bed scattered with bleary-eyed pets; however I couldn't go back to sleep right away... I was worrying that I hadn't seen anyone else's bins out. 

Had I got it all wrong? Did everyone in our street know something I didn't? I checked the municipal bin collection schedule online and it confirmed that our bin would be collected Mondays, come hell or high water. Calmed somewhat, I drifted off into a feverish slumber for some hours.

At 10am I was outside again, checking the status of the rancid bin. I'd parked it in the centre of the driveway but someone had dragged it off to one side. Even more worrying, it remained the only bin outside.

Judging by the swarm of flies hovering about just outside the gate, I assumed the bin had still not been emptied. I spent exactly 58 minutes agonising about my dilemma before mustering enough courage to get dressed, admit defeat and drag the bally thing back in.

To my stupefecation, I discovered that it had been emptied by our diligent city council. 

Bottom line - do I worry unnecessarily? It would seem so.

A simple list of other things I worry about:

The stinkwood tree in the back yard slowly toppling over our back wall
The dogs furiously barking at the incessant crackers
The cabbage tree falling over onto the neighbour's house
Someone poisoning our dogs and cats
The One
Our car
Our house
Being noticed 

What a lot of worries! It would be so good to let go of them and to just let shit happen.

Written by I




Monday, January 02, 2017

best of 2016


All of the radio stations have done it, so I figure, why not? These are my top 15 songs for 2016... not necessarily released in 2016, just discovered by me during the course of the year.

No. 15: Toto - Lea


Wow. I always believed Toto only had Africa, which I loved since I was in Grade 2 in 1982, when it was released. This song, however, is better. I discovered it using Shazam when it was played by Tuks FM on their Sunday Retro Riffs.

No. 14: Shakira - Try Everything


Another random discovery - this one comes from an animated Disney film, Zootopia... What can I say... those tiger dancers really float my boat...

No. 13: Karen Zoid - Aeroplane Jane


First local entry! Love Karen Zoid. Love LOVE love this song. 

I hope The One felt like this today when he caught a flight to George where he's visiting his mom for two weeks... I'm home alone for 14 days and it already feels like he's a million miles away.

No. 12: Well Strung - Blank Space
(ft. Johann Sebastian Bach)


This song is so gay. And yummy.

No. 11: Clean Bandit -  Tears
(ft. Louisa Johnson)


Nice song... good, satisfying video.

No. 10: Polarkreis 18 - Allein, Allein


Discovered this song way back in '05. Still love it and loved re-discovering it when The One presented me with the video.

No. 9: Chiano Sky - Walking Away


Second local! I am in awe of the phrasing and where she chooses to grab a breath, sometimes mid-word.

No.8: Katie Melua - The Flood


Couple a brilliant song with a video of guys prancing in tight boxers. Who couldn't love this? Warning: Even more gay than #12.

No.7: Röyksopp & Robyn - Monument


Utterly beautiful. 

No.6: Monarchy - The Phoenix Alive


Even more so.

No. 5: Radiohead - Burn The Witch


A bit of a rapscallion, best described as Postman Pat on acid.

No.4: She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart


Taken from American Horror Story: Hotel (my favourite in the series).

No. 3: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dark Necessities


Mentioned on here before, the lyrics of this song speak to me in a profound manner. The video is pretty cool, too.

No.2: Kongos - Hey I Don't Know


I have no words to describe the way this song makes me feel. Not the lyrics, mind. Just download it and play it at 25% louder than you think the neighbours would like... you will experience exactly what I mean.

No. 1: Woodkid - I Love You


My favourite song of 2016... and for the next while, I suspect.

At the core of the lyrics, and indeed the video, lies the way I feel about The One.

I love you.

Written by I






Wednesday, October 05, 2016

dark necessities


Coming out to the light of day
We got many moons than a deeper place
So I keep an eye on the shadow's smile
To see what it has to say
You and I both know
Everything must go away
Ah, what do you say?
Spinning off, head is on my heart
It's like a bit of light and a touch of dark
You got sneak attacked from the zodiac
But I see your eyes spark
Keep the breeze and go
Blow by blow and go away
Oh, what do you say?

Yeah, you don't know my mind
You don't know my kind
Dark necessities are part of my design
Tell the world that I'm falling from the sky
Dark necessities are part of my design

Stumble down to the parking lot
You got no time for the afterthought
They're like ice cream for an astronaut
Well that's me looking for weed
Turn the corner and
Find the world and show command
Playing the hand

Yeah, you don't know my mind
You don't know my kind
Dark necessities are part of my design
Tell the world that I'm falling from the sky
Dark necessities are part of my design

Do you want this love of mine?
The darkness helps to sort the shine
Do you want it, do you want it now?
Do you want it overtime?
The darkness helps to sort the shine
Do you want it, do you want it now?

Pick you up like a paperback
With the track record of a maniac
So I'm moving in and we unpack
It's the same as yesterday
Honey where we roll
Everything must go away
Ah, what do you say?

Yeah, you don't know my mind
You don't know my kind
Dark necessities are part of my design
Tell the world that I'm falling from the sky
Dark necessities are part of my design

Alas, not my own words. From my new favourite track by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The music video really is worth watching:


Written by I

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

how to break your teacup


Please interpret this upsetting dream.

On Saturday night I dreamt that I was visiting my sis; we were outside in a dreamy, mint-gingham world, having a picnic. Other people joined us. It was quite windy but we we were having a ball.

Suddenly I heard a loud crash. Ils muttered, "bloody bin" and then suddenly shouted ,"My Dippy is gebreek!" (My Dippy has been broken!). 

I'm not sure what I'd been caught up in at that very moment... at first I imagined that a "dippy" referred to some plastic trifle. Still, I turned around to see what the fuss was about.

I was shocked to see that a large refuse bin had been blown over; it had fallen onto Ils' teacup Maltese named Dippy. Ils was in the process of lifting the bin as I swung around.


For a second, the petite pet stood quivering pitifully, shattered back leg gushing; an alarming red gash spread blood along its neck. Unexpectedly, it zig-zagged all over the gingham picnic grounds, leaving a crimson trail.

I don't know where I found a towel but I snatched the tiny thing mid-zag and wrapped it tightly, applying pressure to the wounds the way I was taught. How much blood can such a minute body contain?

The last thing I remember before an alarm dragged me back into reality is a heartbroken cry for someone to call an ambulance.

Written byI