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Chinese Curse?

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The Cat in better times, curled up and sleeping.

“May you live in interesting times.”

I used to know this to be a Chinese curse, but reading up about the origin, it has never been proven to be either Chinese, or a curse. But for the purpose of this blog, I’m sticking to it being a curse…oh, and Chinese!

It makes sense, doesn’t it, to be a curse? I mean look at the past two years. They have most certainly been interesting. And I think few of us will see them as having been a blessing. They (the last two years) have been unpredictable, uncertain, restraining, stressful, uncomfortable, depressing, financially unstable, etc. All due to Covid 19. Covid – China? Get it?

On a more personal level, the last while has been ‘interesting’ to the extreme. Besides the virus buggering up a relatively smooth sailing life financially, there have been a couple of other factors in the mix.

My mom, and my cat. My mom’s health has been up and down for years, but lately she has been feeling very sick (while she was here visiting.) The doctors reckon it is because of the sprays used on the vineyards. So, I believe that the two years I’ve spent trying to get her to move down here, has been for nothing. Why would she move somewhere that makes her ill? I’m not a hundred percent sure that is really the basis of her illness, but what do I know, right? I’m thinking it is psychosomatic. Now she is home, 1500km’s away from me, and still feeling very ill, and I can do nothing to help her.

My cat. Remember him? He was driven over by a guest in February (see a few posts about that in February and March of this year) and since then the poor guy has had an uphill battle. It took a very long time for him to get over the injuries from this accident, and he was just on his way to being his old self again, when something happened to him – I’m not a hundred percent sure what. I think it was a visiting tomcat that got into a fight with him. I did hear cats fighting outside one night. And then I found a cut on his shoulder. Since then he has been afraid of everything – Daisy (my border collie and previous best pal), sudden movement, the outside, his own shadow. His health has been deteriorating since then. I did take him to a vet, she said he is fine, physically. I have given him cat vitamins. Still he hardly eats, and lies under a blanket day in and day out. He doesn’t go outside anymore, and pees where he lies. So, I’m thinking it is time to do the merciful thing and put him out of his misery?

It is SO hard to even contemplate. He purrs when I open the blanket and stroke him. But he doesn’t want to come out of the safety and darkness of the blanket. Surely that is not a life for a cat?

Oh darn!!! 😦

I have to end this on a more positive note, or I’ll also crawl under a blanket and stay there.

Thankful for :

  • My health, and that of all my loved ones (even mom – no Covid so far, and hopefully the medication does the trick)
  • The fact that I am busy planning my trip to Canada to see my kids
  • A brand new grandchild due next year 😀
  • The fact that my little guesthouse is doing well
  • A house, food and clothes
  • The fact that I live in a very beautiful part of the country
  • The fact that my son in Ireland is coming to visit in Dec

So, a brand new week, and hopefully some light on the dark areas in my life – I will continue believing and praying. Onward and eyes upward!

Internet and warm winters.

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Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

I hate the internet.

Also, I can’t live without it. How can people cope without it these days? I would love to be able to do without, but I think once you’re on this slippery slide, it’s tickets.

My mom, for instance. Yes, I know, she is 85 years old, but she drives to the bank every time she needs to pay someone for something. She has to go to the bank to draw the money and then drive to the person or business and make her payment. She does have whatsapp on her phone, though, and uses it avidly. She has never owned a computer of any kind in her life, and she is happy without.

Do you think it’s possible to go backwards? So much of my life is ‘out there’ – no secrets anymore. It is scary, and I don’t like it. But it is too late. Even if I decide to ditch my laptop, and slim my phone use down to calls and sms’s only, all my ins and outs are already floating around in cyber space – name, birth date, e-mail address! You know that sinking feeling when Google sends you a mail to tell you that some of your passwords might be compromised? No? Well I do! And I never save my passwords to Google, I type them in every time, because I’m scared of them being compromised! So – how?

Ugh, I hate the internet!

We are still having unseasonably warm days here. It was supposed to start getting colder today, but it is still balmy and uncomfortable. I am hoping that we’ll get some cold weather and rain sooner rather than later. I am a believer in the good of a properly cold winter, like I’ve mentioned before. I think everything and everybody need the very cold weather, to be healthy and strong and robust in summer. So I’m waiting with bated breath for the cold spell to hit – I’m ready!

Life with load shedding.

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Do any of you know what load shedding is? Because not many countries do, outside of South Africa.

Let me try and explain (Google’s dictionary):

noun

  1. action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

That is it, in a nut shell. Why is it necessary? And I’m talking specifically regarding South Africa. Again, as succinctly as possible:

Eskom chief operations officer, Jan Oberholzer, publicly stated that the primary reason for load shedding was due to a lack of maintenance and neglect over the preceding twelve years resulting in an unpredictable and unreliable system.’

Read the whole piece here.

Thanks to our present government, who does not believe in maintenance – they wait until something is so broken that it needs weeks/months to fix, IF there is money to do so, because the money has a way of mysteriously disappearing in this country…

So, life with load shedding… We have periods of load shedding, on and off, according to maintenance needed, or shortages of coal, etc. Those periods happen unexpectedly. Out of the blue, if you have the load shedding app (YES! – we have an app for that!) you get a message that says load shedding stage 1/2/3/4/5/6 will be implemented as from 14h00 today! Then you quickly scan the schedule so you can try and be prepared for it, as best you can. Different times for different areas. It can be two and a half hours from 16h00 – 18h30. Or 14h00 – 16h30. Whatever. I’m sure you get the idea.

A lot of people have installed solar systems, but not everybody can afford that, like me. Fortunately I do have a gas stove, so I can have coffee and tea, or cook while the electricity is off. We all have some way of creating a bit of light – battery operated lamps, rechargeable lamps, candles, etc. And then all you can do is wait it out, because the wifi also goes when there is no power. No TV. Which is all fine if it happens in daytime, because you can go for a walk, work in the garden, go shopping, but when it happens in the evenings, or at night, what do you do? Go to bed at eight?

I’m sure you can imagine all kinds of ways in which this system is uncomfortable. Businesses suffer – not all of them can buy a generator to keep going even when there is no electricity. Working from home becomes complicated.

We are all a bit fed up with this whole debacle, I promise you. But there is always the positive side to it, isn’t there – ‘It could’ve been worse!’

Cool weather, and fibre (the internet kind)on one day!!

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Photo by Katie Goertzen on Pexels.com

I am enjoying a wonderfully cool and cloudy day. 🙂

We had fibre installed today, after 4 years of intense frustration as far as internet goes. Our previous service provider was our erstwhile national telephone service, Telkom, but they’ve been going downhill over the last number of years, to the point where just about nobody uses their services anymore.

So, after the years of anger and frustration, I am sincerely hoping that we are at last going to be able to connect and stay connected without the continuous dips we have grown to expect. I do need to be able to have stable internet so I can talk to my children in Canada and Ireland, something which has been close to impossible the last few weeks. And since fibre has at last come to our town, it is time to upgrade!

About them feelings – I know that when you are in a situation that you can do nothing about, it does not help stressing about it. If you are not able to change anything, do not get upset or angry. That is, my head knows all of that. My heart is another matter. My heart is a rebel. My heart wants to get up and shout obscenities to the stupid people who are so inconsistent with their rules and regulations regarding Covid. They are messing with people’s lives. I would like for them to explain to the world how they figure out some of their crazy rules. And my anger and frustration will continue flaring up from time to time until this madness ends.

Mostly my head manages to control my heart, but I feel like a ticking time bomb most of the time. It has to stop soon…

On to the guesthouse. It is still not quite finished. Little things are stopping it from being operational, and somehow we (and by we I mean me) are just not getting around to it. The only big thing still to be done, is I have to buy a bed for the second unit. And I keep putting that off. I will just have to go out and get that dang bed, so I can start advertising and hopefully get some guests in.

A day of mixed feelings, but overall a good one – we’ve got fibre now!! And I’ve got a date, honey and nut loaf in the oven! Soon to be enjoyed with afternoon coffee. 🙂

I hope you are having a good day out there. Let me know!!!

Planning ahead, not my strong point…

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

We had our first good, soaking seasonal rain!

That makes me very happy. It rained quite hard during the night, which didn’t bode well for sound sleep. Normally, I sleep like a baby when it rains, but I have guests in the guesthouse and the last time it rained (the previous season), the roof in the lounge sprung a leak. Ugh. So we ‘fixed’ it, but couldn’t know for sure if it was fixed until we had some violent wind and rain again. Which we did last night. Hence the sleeplessness…

But, YAY!, the guests were happy this morning, they had better sleep than I did because there was no leak.

I am trying to fine tune my planning for the reno of the guesthouse, and I am battling a bit. I found some wallpaper that I quite like in my friend’s stash, but I’m not exactly sure yet if I want to use it, and if I do, which one to use. I can’t decide on the colour schemes in the new bedrooms. There’s a bit of a problem with the positioning of the basin in the new bathroom and I’m not sure if I should try and solve it now, or while we are actually there, doing the work. I know myself, I’m over here all ‘planning ahead’, but when push comes to shove, everything will probably happen at the same time and only when we are in the thick of things!

So, why bother now? Mmmm…I heard you mumbling under your breath over there! I’m trying to be pro-active here people, give me a break! But it is just easier for me to make these decisions as things happen. I ‘see’ what I want to do then, and usually the colour scheme sorts itself out when I find one item I really love, like a scatter cushion, or a lamp or a rug or something. I can’t stop myself from trying to plan now either, because I am anxious to get things going. Oi…

In the meantime, I will be enjoying the wet earth, the cloudy weather, and I’ll keep on looking all over for inspiration to strike me! 😀