Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Safety in the suburbs

As I was driving back from dropping Dael this morning thoughts of safety crossed my mind.
Dael reminded me to keep myself locked in securely now that I am alone at home during the day. This has been drummed into me since childhood by my mom and I am always conscious of locking myself in. But Dael has been unnerved by the recent death by shooting of a local Matric schoolboy who was killed by robbers who were bent on stealing a vehicle from in front of his family home. He died protecting his father from a bullet. This happened across town from where we live but we live close to the township where most of these vehicles used by the robbers end up abandoned. Beneath the veneer of ordinary life, horrible happenings are carrying on and the perpetrators are people with no respect for human life. The vehicle that was hijacked after this young man was shot was sold on for R3000. That was the value of a young man's life.
Also recently reported is something just as frightening. Parents at local daycare centres are being hijacked as they drop off their little ones at school. These unscrupulous thieves know that the parents are distracted with unloading their precious children and their guard is down. They know the parents will also not do anything to get their children hurt. So they are using this situation to steal cars. In one situation, a teacher snatched the children from the parent's car while the parent was being robbed and hustled them into the school. What a brave woman!
My neighbour's children are collected from their gate and dropped off again at the same time every day in the daycare minibus. The family are never waiting outside for their children and the driver is forced to hoot and wait for someone to come down and collect the children. In those few seconds, that driver could be hijacked and all the children abducted. People are so unaware of the dangers around them. We owe it to ourselves and our children to be more aware and more alert.
My older children are 23 and 20 years old respectively but years ago when both were at preschool, thieves entered the school and were holding up the staff at gunpoint in the presence of the children. This was before all the schools started using security gates and panic buttons to secure their premises. As parents we found out at the end of the school day that the owner of the school had shot dead one intruder in the school in front of the kids. What a shock this was to us but we were grateful that our kids were in the hands of the pistol packing principal. It could have ended so much worse.
Years later the situation has not improved. It has deteriorated. The schools and the scholar transporters are soft targets. Investigate the security of your school and the transporters of your children. Dont be embarrassed or shy to ask about their emergency procedures. You owe it to your loved ones.
And above all be alert!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lazy Sunday Random Thoughts....

From the Ellen tv show which I had on while housecleaning and I had to stop and giggle:
Dogs on meeting you for the first time will sniff your crotch to get to know you....Cats will Google you! Too true...
Dael has a set of 6 pairs of grey and black sock, each pair with a different colour band around the ankle. Do you think he will wear the pair with the same colours at the same time. No! That reasoning is meaningless to him. He will just grab any two. I would match the colour band.
Last night,Dael and his friends were trying to coach a slightly underage friend on how to act casually when standing in the queue at the nightclub to avoid the bouncers asking for his ID. The thought crossed my mind that if it were me, I would actually be highly complimented if I was asked for my ID because I looked too young. Ja right, never going to happen! :)
Finally, just a gripe recently while shopping and I have a feeling I'm going to have to take this one further. Does anyone else have an issue with the dirty and unhygienic and also quite often broken shopping hand baskets and trolleys that are our option to use when shopping at any of the big supermarket chains. Yuck! It means a lot in terms of marketing and customer service to me to use a shop that has made an effort to clean their trolleys and baskets. To do a bit of namedropping, I find that Pick n Pay often have the worst trolleys and baskets although they do always provide the hygienic wipes for the handles. Checkers is next and do not supply wipes. Spar do not supply wipes but generally their baskets are clean and maintained. I am generalising now as individual stores might have a better track record with this but mostly shops fail to provide this small but important service which might be the one thing that keeps their customers coming back..

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ever get the feeling someone's talking about you?

I may be unemployed but its not because I'm stupid and I got a very strong feeling this morning that someone who's blog I follow had done a password protected post on my last post about battling using words from my title. How coincidental!
Now, while I have no doubt that there are plenty of people who consider that I am leading my life in a totally wrong and possibly stupid way, there is no reason to use my situation or comments as blog fodder. I have been in bad situations before and have come through them a stronger person. If someone doesn't like or agree with who I am or what I do, they should feel free to unfollow from my posts or not comment. There is something called good manners and I feel that this person has shown a bad side to their character to do something of this nature.
I was actually considering not blogging anymore. In fact I was considering not even reading any blogs anymore. Its funny how something like this can cause doubt to creep in and destroy faith in humankind. But I cannot allow small mindedness on one person's part to chase me away from something that I enjoy.
It just goes to show that you can't please all of the people all of the time. And you can't please some people at all...and basically who cares!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Battling along...

Every day I have good intentions to get organised and get things done..and then the day gets away from me. I knew this would happen and I'm just trying to get through it and out on the other side in one piece.
Its not like I have the luxury of being able to sit at home on a permanent basis. I don't have a significant other bringing home the bacon and I have the knowledge at the back of my mind always that my funds are going to run out and I've got to get employed. Easier said than done. I am looking on the internet, going for a few interviews and trying to keep as connected to the outside world as I can.
I thought it was harder when Dael was at home playing the tv loud and boiling the kettle neverendingly but now that he is working and away from home all day, it has become worse.
Every morning, I drop him at work by 7.30am, come home and watch tv for a bit while knitting. Then I get up, download emails and handle any queries, I clean up the house and feed the animals. Sometimes I do a bit of office work, then a bit of housework, then a bit of tv. My normal routine as it has been for many years is shot to hell. I don't have to organise Bradley's life anymore and that is something strange. I just feel like I'm freefalling at the moment. And to add to my confusion and misery, I've had one of my headaches that wont go away since about Saturday. I thought it was gone yesterday but its back again today.
Its a very strange feeling, not having anywhere to go to during a normal working week. Its like the world is just carrying on without me, like I got off the bus at the wrong stop and now I'm wondering around lost, like I'm on the outside looking in.
I know This Too Shall Pass and I will get employed again. Its just a matter of time but in the meantime I need to get my head around my future plans so that I can get some form of routine in place and stop feeling like a lost soul.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, My First Born!

Robynne turns 23 today!
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday my daughter, Happy Birthday to you.
Wish I was there in Johannesburg to celebrate with you but I am sure you will have a happy day and be very spoiled.
I heard that you didn't think 23 was an auspicious birthday but every birthday and every day that I have you in my life is a great day for me.
Thanks for being a fantastic young lady and a daughter to be proud of.
Lots of love, Your Mom. xxxxx

Getting back to normal (kind of)

My kitties are not too emotionally scarred. While I was gone for eight days, Dael got tired of cleaning up after the kitties. Some of them are not always too fastidious about their toilet habits and while I just clean up after them without even thinking about it, someone who is not used to this task would probably find it a bit too much to handle. Maybe they were trying to make a point about me being away from home but eventually Dael had enough and decided to lock most of the kitties in the garage for most of the week. They just had to stay in their permanently. When I got home on the Saturday night, I found the house completely turned upside down and grimy with just a few kitties on the kitchen counter. I dropped my bags inside and went to unlock the garage. As I opened the door all I could see was a crowd of upturned kitty faces and I'm sure they looked relieved to see me. They rushed out gratefully. I prepared them a meal to celebrate my return and rolled up my sleeves to tackle the horribly dirty kitchen. This was about 9pm and I didn't stop until I fell asleep exhausted on the couch at about 11pm. I still had to get up at about 2.15am on Sunday morning to fetch Dael from his evening out at the local club. It was the day that wouldn't end!
Anyway, later on in the day, on downloading my emails for the week, I discovered that I had received an email from the panelbeating and mechanics firm that I had sent Dael's cv through to in mid August, requesting applicants to come through for an interview The Previous Thursday! What the heck. The very week I was away, they called for interviews. Anyway not to give up, I emailed them back explaining that I had been away and asking if Dael could still come through to see them. On Monday I received a positive response and I took Dael through to be interviewed later on that day. And he has been given the opportunity to try out and see if he has the right attitude and ability to learn that they are looking for. Yay! He started yesterday. I got him there early by 7am and when I went through to fetch him at 4.45pm, he was still busy helping to move cars and lock up. He wasn't tired because he had a brain stimulating day, using new equipment and learning new things but his feet were in agony and his body was tired. I am sure this is going to be the start of a motivating career for Dael and he will soon build up his stamina. He is already planning his future moves, wanting to learn everything there is to know about panelbeating before moving on to engines and mechanics. I am so pleased this opportunity has come about and filled with optimism for my son's future. Thank you God.
Bradley in Johannesburg went through for his Home School assessment with his sister. She spent the better part of the day sitting in her car waiting for Bradley to complete his tests. They haven't got the results yet and by the time I phoned, Bradley was fast asleep, exhausted from his day. It was an extremely hot day yesterday as well and Bradley is not too well at the moment as well, suffering from bouts of nausea. Dael reminded me that when he stayed in Johannesburg he had weeks of illhealth until he acclimatised to the climate and atmosphere. I think it is hitting Bradley hard at the moment but hopefully he should acclimatise before too long and settle down to his studying.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm back from my Gauteng adventure..

but not without shedding a few tears as I waved my two children goodbye to leave and catch the bus home.
Dael and friend S came with in the car on Thursday, 27th September to drop me at the bus. Dael had to drive my car home with only a learners licence and with a passenger on board. We had parked at the McDonalds takeaway and a police van parked a few parkings down from us. Dael muttered that he was not moving until the cops had gone. The bus was late but Brad and I were soon safely tucked into the comfortable seats and swaying onto the freeway at the beginning of our long trip. The trip was uneventfulful but long. I was relieved when Dael came on mxit to say he was safely home. Bradley was bored and tried to sleep. By 8pm we had arrived at Jhb station unaware that we would now have to change buses for a shuttle to Midrand. Luckily sharp-eared Bradley was listening to the announcements and bustled me off the bus with out belongings. The shuttle was a double decker and Bradley and I went upstairs. What a bouncy ride like sitting on the front of a seagoing yacht. I think we eventually arrived at Midrand at about 8.30pm totally wiped out. We were met by Bradley's dad who had been waiting for us for some time and he took us through to see my daughter and her boyfriend whom I hadn't met. She had supper ready for us and we were hungry.
The next day we had a braai at my daughter's house in honour of Heritage Day and that weekend saw my ex and his family taking me on a tour of all the local shopping centres including a few nursery cum pet shops. It was enjoyable but tiring and by the following Wednesday, I was glad to stay at my daughter's house to wait for Telkom who were coming to install her landline. Of course, I had to keep busy so I spent about 2 days raking and sweeping her yard which hadn't had attention since she moved in a few months ago. Her neighbours were objecting to the existing telephone poles which was outside their yards and this was delaying her installation so eventually it was agreed to remove the two poles outside and install one pole in her yard. Just as well I was there as the designated spot was right where the sprinkler system and outside tap were set up so I suggested a spot between three trees which is very hidden and the telephone pole can hardly be seen.
I also kept busy doing the laundry and washing dishes. Luckily Bradley was kept busy playing games on his father's laptop which he was allowed to borrow for a few day. The one afternoon we went for a walk with the dogs. We watched a dvd on another afternoon and just generally spent time together. On Friday though Bradley and I decided to do at least one touristy thing and decided to go to the Jhb zoo. We were dropped there at about 10am and walked the whole day until we were picked up at 4pm by Robynne. My legs were finished and I was hot and tired but it was well worth it. We saw such a huge variety of animals from lions and the tiger which Brad particularly liked to the elephants and rhinos and down to monkeys and meerkats. We didn't see everything but that would make a small list. Bradley is firmly intending to go there again. Its an economical day out at R50 for adults and R30 for children and even better if you take a packed lunch and spend time sitting under the trees in the heat of the day. I was glad I made the effort to spend this bonding time with my youngest son.
And the next day, Saturday, 2nd October was time for me to leave my son and return home. The shuttle bus was late and we eventually reached Jhb station at about 10.40am. We were told we had to wait until 11am for the bus and we dutifully and patiently waited, staring at the entrance expectantly as all around us other passengers boarded other buses and left. The terminus became eerily silent and the bus wasn't there yet. Then a Greyhound bus came in and stopped outside the building. We were further down where the passengers normally alight. Eventually I couldn't take it and approached the cabin crew to ask if that was our bus. I was told to just wait because our bus was coming. Eventually we were told that that was our bus but there was a problem with the brakes, the air was leaking! Now that is not something you want to hear when you know that there is a mountain pass between you and your destination. We all loudly objected to travelling on that bus and demanded another bus. We were told there was no other bus but when they eventually found out that the first bus couldn't be fixed by the roadside assistance mechanic as he needed a part, they soon found another bus at the depot. In the meantime I had changed my ticket to a later bus but was frustrated when I found out that the destination was Durban instead of Pinetown which would have been impossible for my family to fetch me late at night. I was almost in tears but luckily they changed my ticket back to the replacement bus and we eventually boarded and set off at about 1.30 in the afternoon. We arrived in Pinetown at about 8.10pm and I was collected by my mom, brother and Dael who was catching a lift to town to get money from me and go out to his evening entertainment at 54.
I was home and not a moment too soon for my poor little kitty waifs at home but that's for the next post...