Sunday, December 30, 2012

Assimilating the Borg

This weekend marks the fourth in the UK - one whole month we've been here now. Sometimes I feel like it's been a lot longer than that.  

It is hard to articulate all the feelings running through me at this point in my life.  The adage 'be careful what you wish for ....' keeps echoing in the back of my head.   Firstly, i have to state that i am not unhappy to be here in the UK but for a variety of reasons (half of which I haven't figured out yet), I'm not exactly happy either.   I can't see myself ever going back to South Africa to stay ... but I do miss the place, the familiarity, the family, knowing where shit is and how to get things done.

I definitely feel alien in this place.  Even though I was born British, lived here until I was in my teens, that doesn't mean that I am British.  Does that even make sense?   I always used to joke about this when I lived in South Africa - that I didn't really like British people, even though I was one myself.
I wasn't expecting to feel like this, it's disconcerting to me.    I know I have to be patient, assimilation into any country as a migrant (and that's what I am really, isn't it?) is difficult.   However, I didn't ever feel as though I would feel quite so strange as I do here. 

Maybe it's because I have no familial, psychological, historical root or ties to Norfolk.   When we first arrived here at Heathrow and things were somewhat stressful - i.e. finding the hire car depot and what not -  Hayzel and Kevin kept saying to me 'Well, you're British, you should know what to do!!'     They didn't really stop to think that er,  well I'm not British, haven't lived in this country as an adult ever ... so I am as much in the dark about how things get done here as they are.  I'm experiencing daily life in this part of the world as any new migrant would ... everything (from buying groceries to joining the library) is worlds' apart from what I am used to or understand.

Besides all the obvious emotions that we are trying to deal with on a daily basis (missing everyone back home, settling in, sorting out employment and blah blah) ... Kevin and Hayzel don't deal with things on an abstract level, like I do. They are very much 'meat and potato' type people, dealing with things that are in their faces - they don't discuss how they are feeling, don't emote or dissect what's going on in their heads.   So I don't have anyone to knock these issues about with and get them out ... I need to do that, otherwise I internalise and become morose. 

I am hoping that once I manage to find something/someone that hooks me, I will in turn find a centre and somehow 'connect' with this place.   I am trying to find out as much about the area where we live as I can, searching for something that I can bury myself in because right now I feel like a bit of a spare fart in a wind storm.  I have so many ideas, as well as potential sources of income and new direction to choose from, I feel like a kid in a candy store - too much choice!  That's a good thing but it's scary as well.  I don't want to end up going in the wrong direction.  I don't want to get stuck just being the stay-at-home kiddie sitter/home help ... that's a trap that is all too easy to get into. 

I will not post these random thoughts onto the 'Country Life' blog, as this may be upsetting for the rest of the family.  These are my feelings, somewhat raw and probably mixed up as all hell, it will be interesting to see how am feeling in a months' time.

Oh, and I haven't bumped into Rory McCann yet but I do keep an eye out ... hur hur.

Friday, December 28, 2012

inevitable is a big word

what's with this new Chanel No.5 ad campaign featuring an oh so intense Brad Pitt mumbling on about God knows what? ... has he lost touch with reality?   He's waxing on about some chic but it's not Angelina ... which kinda negates the entire blurb.  there's no authenticity, no meaning, it's just airhead bimbo hollywood waffle. I wouldn't buy Chanel No. 5 on principle.

I can't cough up enough dosh at the moment for a new DSLR, so I broke down in a moment of weakness the other night and bought a Nikon Coolpix Bridge camera ...hoping to have it delivered tomorrow or Monday, then I can try it out.   

We now have broadband at home - 11.70 Mbps - not bad at all, basically twice the speed of our ADSL in South Africa.   We have been in the UK four whole weeks tomorrow - can't believe it.   It's hard being apart from my boys and youngest daughter ... had a weepy session the other day on the way to some friends of ours for Boxing Day lunch.   Nobody ever said this would be easy.   

Monday, December 10, 2012

New Blog for content on life in the UK

 I have started up a new blog - posting pictures, updates and running commentary on life in the country, as we deal with it day by day .... it is found over here

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

On the eve of the great trek

Couldn't sleep at all last night.   For you guys who may read this later on, just remember that this move to the UK is not done lightly.   I kept wanting to hold you all for a long time each in turn last night whilst I was lying in bed.  This morning was hard.       I won't dwell on these feelings on the blog, I'm sure that I will feel much more intense emotions in the coming weeks/months but I am trying to put on a brave face.     The kiddies said goodbye last night to their great-grandma - after going out to dinner with that side of the family in Pretoria - it was hard for all concerned and many tears were shed.
To say that I am absolutely dreading the airport tomorrow night, is such an under-statement, I feel sick all the time thinking about it.   

I have written each of you a letter, which I will only give you at the airport, please try and take heed of what I've said.   I tried very hard not to lecture (har har) and to be upbeat and positive.   It is a very positive time for us (me and the rest of the M's), it is also extremely stressful, scary ... etc. etc. but the over-riding sensation for us is one of anticipation of a better life for us all.   We have all got cold feet at one time or another, those feelings of anxiety, trepidation have surfaced all too often.  I had a moment of absolute panic last night, whilst trying to get to sleep, that I was making a horrible decision and couldn't go!   I wanted to run to you Dave and hang on for as long as possible.  Then I heard Andrew's voice in the back of my mind and needed to speak to him straight away but of course, you were both asleep.   I don't know how I am going to cope without my dudes.  Allyson came home this morning after being at Ronnie's and I went to give her a hug and couldn't let go - ending in tears.
That's how it's going to be at the airport, multiplied by 1,000.
I love you guys, you know that.   This is NOT goodbye, merely ciao for now and see you soon - that is not idle talk into the wind, either.  Remember that.  

Monday, November 26, 2012

Got myself a little Samsung handheld video camera today (the HD400) - quite easy to use, reasonably good picture quality and a few neat little features. All in all, quite happy with it but give me a while because i've only really taken three tiny little videos of the kiddies.    The intention is to make a lot of videos of our early days/months in the UK and burn to DVD to send to the family later on.  Already bought us a couch off e-Bay, which is going to be delivered on or about the 10th December.  
We are having a family 'Christmas' nosh up on Saturday night for about fifteen people ... it's going to be the last time we will have the chance to eat Turkey etc. and all the trimmings with our family for many months.   Should be fun.

It's been in the region of 32 degrees C here (most of last week) ... bit cooler today because we had a lot of rain over the weekend.   I understand temperatures are going down in Norwich and should be well into the minuses by the time we get on the plane. 

Feel a bit weird today - slightly lost. 

We still have a lot of work to do before we board the plane, so even though it's very relaxed living here at my son's house, we still have to concentrate on client's applications - bummer.
I'm looking forward to having a proper break for the Christmas holidays.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

almost ready for up, up and away but still a way to go

how does this work?  it's only 21 days to go ... not long ... but still it's dragging so much! 
Managed to get one child's school sorted out (free school! - good gracious me) and almost got youngest child's nursery school organised (also free, bloody hell)  - so things are moving along.    Just been looking at British Telecoms packages for unlimited Broadband with HD tv and phone lines ... so will give them a call tomorrow and find out if we can get that ordered from SA so long.   Have the chance of borrowing a double bed from our friends and will be going to them for a nosh up on Boxing Day.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

granny hurling

The trip down to Cape Town this past weekend was completely wonderful and I'm so glad I was able to make it to see you dude :)  Thanks again for taking me out to the beach to toss my mum's ashes into the sea.  The nubile FHM model frolicking in the waves above ran into the picture frame as I was taking a shot of the exact spot where I hurled the ashes ... funny!  So maybe my mum is now reincarnated in the body of a wannabe FHM model, i'm sure she won't mind too much.
Tomorrow it is my youngest's (Dave and Ally) birthday - they are both 29 - holy crap and I'm still alive :) Scary.
It's only a couple of weeks now and then we'll be off to the airport (not looking forward to that actually) and off we go.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

on the road again ... almost

Time is whizzing by now at a fair pace.  I don’t believe that I have come to terms with what is happening yet, i doubt that I will for a long time.  It’s been so long in the planning and execution but in less than a month we will be flying over the ocean and landing in London, to start our new life in Norwich.   All the years/months/weeks of planning, list making, stress, stress and more stress have now culminated in a period of quiet (to a certain degree) and dare I say it, relaxation.   It's surreal.   I am afraid to smile and be happy just yet, in case it all blows up in my face.

 Staying at my son’s house is very pleasant, despite the lack of space we are all substantially less stressed out and starting to fall into a kind of dream like state, in anticipation of the last week in South Africa.  It is going to be interesting to see what our reactions are going to be once we have arrived in England.  We have secured a place to rent for six months (with the option to extend the lease for a further six months), car hire is organised and we will be buying a small run around as soon as possible after arrival in Norfolk.   The search is now on for a school for the little monsters - so far it's looking good.

 My youngest daughter is no longer coming with us and this is actually a big relief – emotionally, financially – she is staying behind to be with her partner.  Amazingly she has found a job in just under two days (she actually secured two jobs within 24 hours of each other) – something really weird ... if you consider that she has been ‘trying’ to find a job for over two years.   Obviously the new partner's influence had a lot to do with it and i'm pleased that she has found someone who really cares for her, is supportive and mature - physically and mentally.  His family all get on very well with her and we have all noticed that she's relaxed, happy and at ease with him - so I don't have any reservations with regards her relationship and have confidence that it will endure. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

moving along and out

well we moved out of our house on Saturday and now are staying with my son and his wife ... quite a crowd but comfortable and not too much of a schlepp.   Got rid of my car as well.  Things are moving along.  It's weird not having a house anymore ... never been in a situation like this before - feel a bit like a nomad.  Trying to find a suitable rental in the UK now, been looking since August and we have found a few that are really nice ... but still think it's too early and should only look from mid November.
Transfer of our house sale went through today, so money should be in our account tomorrow.

Monday, October 22, 2012

best laid eggs ...often get scrambled

Car Sale
Well that's not happening at the moment is it! Still waiting for the people's payment to clear so that Wesbank can release the bloody papers and I can go and get registration done.  
But the worst is, we had the mother of all hail storms here over the weekend and of course the car wasn't parked in the garage because we are sorting out boxes and there is no space, so hail stones the size of tennis balls and golf balls whacked the roof and side panel - so now I have to find a dent doctor to suck out the divots ...   and of course, I don't have car insurance now. 

Other hail damage :
Many people in this area had cars completely wrecked, many windows in their houses broken, trees bashed to the ground, it was armageddon.   Our neighbours up the road have two Mercs and these were parked in their garden (they are usually in the garage), the neighbours were out at the mall in their other little run around Chico golf.   Mercs got divots, headlamps smashed, sunroof busted ...

We were lucky, I guess - one upstairs bedroom window got smashed.
rental Kia Picanto car that we organised last week, had its roof peppered.  

Cartage company come this morning to take the 28 boxes and pine toy box full of airsoft guns, cutlery and assorted other junk.    We have no curtains at the windows, they are all in boxes. 

Pawn stars are coming also today to have a look over the last remaining oddments of furniture that we still haven't sold - so hopefully we can get shut of that stuff by tonight.  

We moved a whole load of shite to my son's house over the weekend and will start moving more stuff over there during the course of this week. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

comings, goings, standing stills

Life is slowing down to a panic.   Tons of stuff is getting done and some isn't.   Some things take longer than others – for example the people who bought my car paid the bank by personal cheque and this takes 10 working days to clear, bank won't courier registration papers to me until cheque has cleared, can’t do transfer of ownership into my name until bank have couriered me the registration papers and so on and so on ... told the purchaser to arrange for special clearance on the cheque deposit (the person paying is a  78 year old who doesn’t seem to understand any fundamental thing about the banking system) ... so hopefully he will do this and I can get shut of the car by early next week.  We are scheduled to be out of this house on the 27th October and I’ve already cancelled car insurance ... oi vey

We still have quite a few things to sell but are getting there.  I’m working from the dining room table.   Packed all of my four boxes. 

I sourced a lovely 4/5 bedroom house in the country near Norwich last week and friends of ours went to see it on Saturday – came back with glowing report and loads of photos – so on Monday morning I was all gung ho to sign the lease, pay the deposit and off we go ... to be told when we phoned the UK local estate agent that there are TWO purchase offers pending on the house and they have to wait now until next Monday before they can confirm if it’s still up for rental.  Great.  They could have told me that last week and saved our friends the one hour drive all the way out there to check it out.  Oh Hum.

Too much other crap that i can't be arsed to type out – suffice to say it’s VERY hectic here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

update from the coal face

well managed to sort out family feud - organised that they both meet down the road at a park in our complex and stood back whilst they duked it out - well it wasn't Ricky Lake but close enough.  Ended up both having a bit of a cry and hugging each other, so now they are friends. 

I am trying to get my car sold, not easy I can tell you.   A chap came to see it this afternoon (a University student with a super rich mommy - he arrived here in a souped-up seriously expensive Mercedes Benz) - he said that he would sms me later on this evening to let me know if he's going to take it - was very keen when he was here, so hold thumbs for me please.   Have another person coming to see it on Saturday.  If all else fails I'm going to try and see if Proton will take it back from me and give me settlement. 

Eldest daughter has pneumonia AGAIN ... she's on serious medication and trying to rest but that's rather difficult in our current situation.   I hope she doesn't have to be readmitted to hospital but the way things are going, that might happen before Monday.  

Not much else to report, other than it's frigging hot here today and I spent the first half of it standing in a queue in the blasted sun outside the UIF waiting to sign on for another paltry pay out. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

fisty cuffs all round

So now we are starting with the family feuds ... i was wondering when this would happen and sure enough, it began this morning.  
Too boring to go into the details but eldest daughter and eldest son are now at each other’s throats like rabid dogs and vowing never to speak to one another again.   We are supposed to be staying with eldest son for the month of November (after we move out of our current home) up until 6th December, when we fly out from OR Tambo to England’s green and pleasant land.  Now looks like we are going to have to find a camping spot because eldest son has told eldest daughter that he doesn’t want her staying with him and his wife anymore.   Great.  Just bloody great all round.
So of course, I now have to do extensive damage control and try and patch this up – like we don’t have enough fucking stress to be getting along with.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

as the stomach turns

Following on from previous post.

We had a 'psychic' client who came to visit us this afternoon, during our conversation he said that I would settle like a duck to water in the UK and that in 6 years time (or thereabouts) I would be in Canada.   He saw us all living in a double storey house next to a field, with a big tree in our garden and a small river or stream running by our house as well.  Idyllic.  The kinda place I am looking for, to be honest.  So hope he's right.

If I distance myself, or compartmentalise my feelings about my sons and how I am going to miss them, then I can start to look at MY feelings and what this is meaning to me.  I haven't actually had the time to think about it!   It's all gone past in such a blur.  For the most part, I didn't believe that it was happening, i didn't WANT to believe it was happening, in case it didn't.  So i just got on with all the planning, organising, stressing and now the time has flown by and in less than three months we WILL be in the UK and to all intents and purposes, I will be home.   But it is not home, really, is it?  I haven't lived in the UK for the most part of my life and I am quite apprehensive about it, to be honest.   I know that I am going to miss South Africa, despite myself.  I have spent a lifetime here, it's only natural that I will miss things that have influenced me over the years.   Particularly the light (not the sun, because i'm not a sun person). The intensity of the blue sky, African thunderstorms and lightning. One very special friend (he knows who I am talking about) ... But that's about all that I can think of, off the top of my head.  Quite sad really. 

I don't want to speculate about how things will be for me when I am there.  I want this to be an adventure, like opening a big box of chocolates.     Watch this space then.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

some part of where I am in my head right now

To try and focus my feelings as they relate only to ME is difficult at the moment because i’m constantly aware of how the move to the UK will affect so many people in our family circle. We have a big family, so the ripple effect spreads quite wide and I have had huge concerns about how this is impacting on my sons. Both my sons are quite capable of coming to the UK at any time in the future, should they so wish to and we will be spending the last month in South Africa living with my eldest son – i think this is what’s nagging at me the most.

 As a mother, you try your best NOT to display favouritism. You try your best to make sure that your displays of affection are evenly distributed amongst your children. I have four children and they are all separate individual beings with distinctly different personalities, strengths, weaknesses – so it is not possible to treat each one the ‘same’ by virtue of the fact that they are all so unique in themselves. The fact that I am going to be leaving my two sons behind, when we leave for the UK on the 6th December is creating enormous personal stresses that I am, quite frankly, ill-equipped to deal with.

I am quite aware of the fact that that they can both come to the UK to live permanently at any time in the future, should they so wish. But this does not diminish the anxiety I am feeling at the thought of having to say cheers at the airport. I know that I will see them again and probably very soon after leaving South Africa, I will be able to chat to them on SKYPE every day, email every day, speak on the phone every day ... for some reason this is not reassuring me and it should. I do not handle this type of thing very well – mainly because I am a Libran and (sorry for the non-believers amongst us but I am the text book definition of a Libran female) constantly look for balance and harmony in life, relationships, etc. etc. I am not a logical, unemotional person, so I am twisted up in knots inside and fluttering about in my head, not knowing how to deal with this at all.

Trying to find humour in the situation doesn't help me either. I am dreading going to the airport and having to hold my sons and say that 'I will see them soon', etc. etc. ... the platitudes ... I know that I will cry, they will cry, we will all bawl our eyes out. I have written both of them a letter and am keeping it to give them at the airport but that’s not enough. I want to do something really special for both of them, I want to make them understand that I am not leaving them behind, or deserting them or running away or whatever it is that they might think in the quiet of the night when nobody’s speaking out loud. I don’t honestly know how I am going to cope with not being able to speak to Andrew and David every day. Although at the moment, I only speak to Andrew once a fortnight, or when he manages to find time to come to see us. We are going to be staying at his house for the month of November and until we fly out at the beginning of December, so we will have that time to be with each other. Maybe by the beginning of December, we will all be so relieved to be out of each others’ hair that the airport won’t be such a big scary moment. But I doubt it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Trains and boats and planes

Well tickets have been booked and paid for - we fly out on SAA 234 on the 6th December, arriving in London (Heathrow) early morning of the 7th.

Monday, September 3, 2012

geeky stuff

i've been trawling the 'net for a couple of weeks now, looking for the perfect Netbook /Mini-laptop to compliment my collection of machines at home. I'm running the Dell Vostro at the moment for work and it's quite perfectly fine for office / data storage use, due to the fact that I chose the biggest screen I could (17") ... it's a very powerful machine and i have no problems with it at all, other than it gets blisteringly hot (a problem with Dells, I have found out recently).

The other thing is that due to the size of my Hot 17" wunderkid, it's just not the most comfortable laptop to just pick up and tuck under your arm to wander around the house with. Forget putting it in your bag. (It has its own bag, that weighs about 2kgs and takes up an entire car seat).

So i decided that it would be quite nice to get myself a leekle laptop that i COULD wander around with, sit it on my lap and type away at Ye Olde Booke, hide in bed with surfing UBoob ... something small that I could do word processing on (mainly), check emails, Google ... that kind of thing. Something small that I could pick up and run with, whenever the mood took me (which is quite often, if i'm truthful).
A netbook/mini-laptop seemed like the best idea. However, the more I researched the different makes, the more it became obvious that these thingies are not so quietly being phased out and replaced with tablets. I can easily pick up an Asus Eee PC1015PX for just over R3K, delivered tomorrow but what's the point of buying something that is already defunct on the design front and not in any way powerful.
Now what?

My son and other members of my family have Samsung Galaxy Tablets (bought on cellphone contracts for next to nothing per month), one or two people we have in our family have IPads. So I tried out the Galaxy Tab this weekend and whilst it's fun, it still doesn't do what I want it to do. I don't do Gaming, so all that shite is wasted on me. I looked at the Alienware 10" tablet, that is completely the most fucking sexiest machine on the planet but despite the sexiness of its design, it won't do what I want it to.

Buying a Samsun or IPad outright (which is what I want to do - i'm not interested in contracts), is not something to jump up and down about. It's insanity having to pay over R6K for tablet.
South African dealers charge way to much for computing hardware/software (that's a given) but now I have a real dilemma. The MS Surface is supposed to be released in October (when Windows 8 gets released here) ... I've looked at the specs and yep this will do the trick quite fine, thank you.

Initial rumours are that MS Surface models will be reasonably priced - but what is 'reasonable'? I doubt the retailers here are going to send it out to the South African public at LESS than what they are already ripping us off for IPads.

So, I'm saving up.

Friday, August 31, 2012

will I?

get over this huge crush on you.

Found out whilst trawling the interwebs that Rory was considered for James Bond no. 6 some time back. Don't know why they didn't take him on ... the cliched comparisons about his resemblance to Sean Connery annoy me. I believe he has a far greater screen presence than the Connery, plus he's better looking, not an arrogant arsehole and God, his voice is to fucking die for. But no, they ended up using the scrawny Daniel Craig.. no accounting for tastes.

Anyway, moving along.
We are having another morning market/jumble sale down the road tomorrow, which hopefully will be successful and fun. Tonight I am holding another Little Vixen party to sell off all the lingerie and adult toys that i haven't managed to flog on my website - the website shuts down tonight (boo hoo). Whatever I don't sell tonight, I will put up on BidorBuy or take with me in my case over to Blightey ... har har, that should be fun going through the Rapiscan scanners and them customs chaps seeing all the dildos and vibrators. Wicked.

I am still hopelessly in love with Rory McCann. Maybe Karma gives me a break once I get to the UK and allows us to bump into each other ... oh my word, what a fantasy that is to be having on a Friday morning.

Monday, August 27, 2012

the principles of feng shui

My room looks like a storage facility. I have spent the better part of this past weekend trying to decide what i AM going to take versus what i am going to chuck/sell. it's hard. Whilst I was going through all my paints, i ended up getting side-tracked and daubing paint on another canvas, made a mess so had to start all over again - two hours later, I had a new completed painting that I will never sell.
Bit of a waste of time but i had fun.

Found a house in Norfolk that is three storeys, cheap and available to rent now, built in the 17th century and is a Grade II listed Building, has green moss growing on the highly pitched slate roof ... I want it so bad!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fire Dragons on the surface of the Sun

This absolutely stunning image posted on APOD's website today, is my fave this year - beneath it is an actual Chinese Fire Dragon. Spot the connection?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

stuff for thought

As we draw closer to the end of this year – particularly November/December – it is obvious that my sons are having a big problem dealing with the idea of us all going to live permanently in the UK.  They both have the option to come and join us there at any time in the future, so it’s not as though I will be going and not giving them the avenue to follow if they wish at a later stage.  But why is it starting to feel like I am supposed to feel guilty?   Why should I even think about this?  But I do.

I, more than anyone in my immediate family, know exactly what happens when a person emigrates away from family and friends – it’s not easy adjusting to a new country – in my case, it was impossible for me to adapt to South Africa.  I fooled myself into believing that I had but that was a delusion.     My family who are going with me to live in the UK soon, all have Eurocentric roots and are very much excited about the prospects of living in a Northern Hemisphere country  (I had no such enthusiasm when moving from the UK to this country in 1968).
My daughter and son-in-law, plus granddaughter, have visited the UK before (albeit on holidays,but they have seen the country first hand).  My youngest daughter has only ever been to Cape Town, so going to the UK will be a massive adventure for her and she is looking forward to it, although I know that she is apprehensive (maybe even a bit terrified) as well.  She has virtually no ‘world knowledge’ and going to the UK will be a huge eye opener for her, something I hope she will gain from eventually and grow from as a person.   My dream for her would be to look at visiting other European countries, Canada, the US ... all these countries are in easy reach of the UK and it is relatively cheap to travel abroad from England’s green and pleasant lands.   I believe that if she can see a bit of the world and how it should  work, she will settle/adapt much quicker.    Even better, if she can find a decent chap to start her life with, that would be the cherry on the top.   

I am looking forward to seeing my grandchildren grow and have more opportunities than they ever could have in SA.   We want them to have the best grounding/education that they can have and at the end of it, know that they will get work based on their knowledge, skills, personality and not the colour of their skin. 

The sad fact about living in South Africa for young white males is that it is already becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to find work in this country (irrespective of your age, qualifications or work experience).   Even more frightening, is University level education is not up to par anymore (definitely not for Australia and now Canada are going to start introducing skills / qualification assessments to guage whether your qualifications are any good, BEFORE you even think about applying to emigrate there).
Forget any notion of promotion through the ranks or rising to senior management level in any BEE compliant company.   The following example, gives an idea of how it is now working (and people who say otherwise are liars) - let’s say you are in a general administration office and the staff component is like this model:

Coloured Man (Higher Diploma level with five to eight years work experience) – Senior Manager (BEE appointment)
Black man (straight out of school, no experience or qualifications)  - trainee
White man in his Mid-Thirties (Higher diploma or Degree level, 5 to 10 years work experience in senior management)
Indian woman with diploma level qualifications and one years work experience in another field.
Black woman with Standard 6 and six months work experience in an administration related field.
White woman in her late forties with Diploma and over 10 years work experience in administration related field.

If the Manager leaves, who should rightfully be given the opportunity to take over the reins?  
Sorry, wrong. 
Try again. 
In actual fact, the pecking order for promotion to take over this extremely SENIOR managerial position is as follows:

Black woman
Indian woman
Black Man
White woman
White man

It gets worse if you are a White man with a degree, Honours, Masters or a Doctorate – because then you are completely overlooked for promotion and will only ever be used to train managers coming through the ranks – this is already happening at the major parastatals (like Eskom, for example).   

So in light of the above (and what we already know to be happening from the many stories we receive from our clients on this subject) we have decided to make this move to the UK, for better or worse and at least have a chance at a better future for us all.  

Sorry to say but you are delusional if you believe that your job /education/ social prospects are secure in South Africa - the writing is well and truly on the wall, i'm afraid.  All I can say is if you can get out, then you should be thinking about doing just that. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

and on we go

Collected family's UK Ancestry visas yesterday - so they are now 'legal' and can enter the UK anytime from the 15th November.    I have now contracted this crap chest flu, so will have to go and get more antibiotics today because the honey/cinnamon tea miracle cure that I got via email spam yesterday isn't really doing the trick. 
I note that since daughter was admitted to hospital at beginning of this week with double pneumonia, i seem to have spent the entire time in my car, driving around all over the place.   Petrol prices are a killer - i've put over R300 in the tank this week alone and it's on empty again this morning.  We note that food prices have rocketed by over 40% since the beginning of this year as well - bloody ridiculous.
One startling thing that has come out my daughter's stint in a private hospital is the sad lack of trained nurses. An enrolled nurse was doubling as sister in charge of the ward the night before last and she was the only one that knew what she was doing (sort of), all the other nurses were trainees.   My daughter had an airbubble the size of a golf ball in her 'drip', which she watched with growing alarm as it entered the vein in her hand and then went up her arm.   Later in the evening, she had a sharp pain in her chest.
Great.   Her drip was also not changed properly and blood went back into the tube almost all the way back into the bag - she looked like she was donating blood.  
The woman in the next bed needed her diaper changed at 12noon, they only did that at 5pm. 
Night staff were a bit better and more qualified (trained) but this is a general problem that is affecting hospitals all over South Africa (private and government).  Without adequately trained nurses, you can have the best doctors, specialists and equipment on the planet and it won't matter zilch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

a right proper post would be nice

it's halfway through August and so far things are moving along but slowly.  lady of the house is still in hospital with double pneumonia but will hopefully be out over the weekend.  now other members of our household have the dreaded lurgy as well - just hope they keep it to themselves and stay the fuck away from me.
so many things i want to blog about but start the sentence and change my mind.
i'm having a clearance sale at the end of this month of all Little Vixen's lingerie and sex toys ... everything knocked down to completely ridonculous prices - so far about 10 girls have confirmed that they will come and buy stuff.  Looking forward to selling everything off on the night - will prepare my famous LV Punch, cos that worked like a charm the last party we had!    Even though i have no real emotional ties to this business that I created, i will be sad to fold it all in.  The website goes dead at the end of this month and then that's it.   Anyway, I know now that I can start up and run a reasonably successful an online e-commerce business all by myself (well i did have some seriously brilliant help in the beginning).  The exercise has definitely helped my self-confidence and proven to me that if i put my mind to something I can get it done - and over a long period of time, i have proven that I have longevity when it comes to managing projects - something I had lost faith in previously. 

Speaking of losing faith in oneself, i was beginning to think that maybe I would chicken out and not get anymore of the book written before we leave for pastures green but i surprised myself something holy over last weekend by writing another two thousand words and finishing an entire 'sex scene'  (sorry Rory McCann and boat).   It came out fine.  Pun intended. .  

Monday, August 13, 2012

sicky poos all round

well took eldest daughter to docs this afternoon, cos her bronchitis didn't sound too good to me - turns out i was right - after the x-rays, she was admitted to hospital.  Has pneumonia in both lungs  - not a well lass. Going to see her later on this evening.   This cough (bronchitis) has affected so many people that I know of (clients, family, distant family, friends) in the past couple of months and it's really nasty.  I had it a couple of months ago and thought i was going to expire quite a few times - at least it didn't go to pneumonia with me.  
anyhoo, will post update later

Thursday, August 9, 2012

time off to fart about

Today is "Women's Day" here in the Southern Hemisphere, so we have a lickle hollerday.  Us 'girls' also decided to close shop tomorrow, to give ourselves a well-deserved long weekend.  The weather is sunny and warming up, just did some washing (which will get dry today I think) ... later on i'm going to get stuck into the writing and work through it to some sort of conclusion. 
Check you later.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Snow in Edenvale

this was yesterday but it looks like we might have more later on today, as it's still about minus 1 and low cloud about. quite eventful for Johannesburg and the last time this happened was about five years ago (and not as much snow). Prior to that the last 'big' snow we had up here was in 1981. Weird and wonderful times