Day 372 – Pool lights

I wired up a couple of pool lights yesterday. We’ve never had a swimming pool light before, and We’ve never really wanted one, but the new place came with a pool with a light (that didn’t work) and so when we resurfaced the pool, it just made sense to replace the aging, yellowing light fitting as well. That then meant that we needed to replace the transformer for the light as well, which I finally got round to doing yesterday.

It’s probably not a good idea to just have a bash at installing a pool light transformer when you’ve never done it before and there’s 50,000 litres of salty water full of people on the other end of the cable. That’s why I elicited the assistance of an electrician friend who came round and helped out for the price of a cup of coffee and a damn fine braai afterwards. Everyone’s a winner.

And then, as darkness fell the pool light revealed itself. So cool:

A bit like this, worryingly:

Yes, folks: “a classic example of Cherenkov radiation is the characteristic blue glow of an underwater nuclear reactor.”
Koeberg finally has a local rival. And were going to have no issues with loadshedding anymore. There may be other problems, but not having electricity won’t be one of them.

Honestly, I can’t see us using the pool light much. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but once we’re allowed to have people around again, it’ll be a very cool accompaniment to the party ambiance.

However, this pool light is going to get a lot of use:

This was another one that we wired in yesterday. The pool table was an impulsive Gumtree purchase. It used to be in a Stones bar somewhere (possibly this one?) before being refurbished by a guy who refurbishes pool tables. He needed to get rid of this one so he could use the space to refurbish his next pool table (a novelty L-shaped one, nogal!) and so added the very cool lights as a sweetener to the deal. I thought we’d put them up just to add to the look of the room which will eventually be our party/bar/entertainment room (yes, like the rest of the place, it needs a lot of work), but WOW – what a difference they made. You can even see the balls on the table now. No more excuses about weird shadows or dim corners. It’s pukka stuff.

I know that these are silly, nice-to-have things, but the work on this place will take many months – probably many years – and occasionally, we need to concentrate on more than just the essentials.

Right now though, it’s back to the rather more mundane jobs.

Day 354 – Still locked

I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and I reckon that we’re just 9 days away from what many people would call “1 year of lockdown”. Sure, when we first started there was a lot more locking down than there is now. We weren’t allowed to go out at all. Now, we’re not allowed to go out between midnight and 4am. But the State of Disaster in this often Disastrous State is still in force and will continue to be for at least another month (and obviously waaaay beyond that, too). Everyone is fully expecting a third wave of infections here, probably around May or June. And despite the government’s best promises, I’m not confident of getting a vaccination much before the end of the year. And that’s hugely optimistic, according to this useful tool.

It’s a gloomy picture, exacerbated by the miserable weather today, the horrendous traffic (ironically brought about by the easing of lockdown) and by the return of loadshedding which popped in last week to say hi and has decided to stay until at least Wednesday. So, amidst the rain, the jams, the infections and the lack of electricity, it is – once again – amazing to me that this country continues to… well… to continue continuing.

Well. Mostly, anyway. I’ve just taken a call from the place that is servicing my car today to tell me that they can’t do any wheel alignments (I wanted four done) (or one big one) until they get their wheel alignment machine mended because loadshedding has broken it.

But my major issue is still the amount that we are contributing to the economy via this new house. A blocked drain and a leaking pipe are today’s exciting events. The plumbers are digging through bathroom walls and trying to break as few tiles as possible, but due to the terrible way that the original pipework was installed, that’s no easy task.

Right. Let me go and see how they are getting on with their work.
After all, it’s not like there’s any rush to go and fetch the car or get a vaccination, is it?

Day 344 – Wise move

The new house continues to be made better (IMHO, at least) bit by bit.
Fridge plumbed in yesterday. Electrics and plumbing being sorted on Monday. Pool on Tuesday.

But better costs money and so whenever you can save a bit, you do your best to save a bit.
Sometimes you have to spend a bit to save a bit (more) and that’s exactly what I did today, by getting a Geyserwise installed.

Here’s their website.

We had one of these at our last place and it paid for itself inside 6 weeks.

A quick explanation. Your geyser is your water heater and generally in South African houses, it’s in your loft and it’s on 24/7. This is great for when you want a quick shower at unusual o’clock, but it does cost an awful lot to repeatedly heat a couple of hundred litres of water that you’re probably never going to use.

Sure, you have a thermostat on the geyser, but that’s often very awkward to get to if you want to change it, and sure you can put a timer on your electrical distribution board, but that’s often very awkward to get to if you want to change it.

Geyserwise is simply both those things on a handy digital panel tucked in a cupboard on the landing. So our water is now heated for 2 hours each day instead of 24, and to 55ºC instead of 75. And if we ever need to change those times, that temperature, or simply override it because the beagle has rolled in some more mud and we need a quick blast of hot water for an unplanned bath, it’s a simple press of a button.

Absolute no-brainer.

Our Geyserwise was installed by Kozanai from Mudi Plumbing Services: 078 999 1893. He was quick, friendly and efficient. Thoroughly recommended.

R1550 all done. We’ll have recouped that and be saving money before the end of April.

Day 328 – Terrifying electrics

Look, I don’t want to go too much into this right now, but the electrics around this place have got me rather concerned. Some of the light fittings seem to have come from the 1950s (note that the house was built in the early 80s, although that doesn’t preclude some of the light fittings being from the 1950s, I suppose). Some of the wiring also appears to have come from that time.

Or earlier.

The previous occupants also had a thing for downlighters. Each of them with a 50W bulb in.
And there are so many of them! Like literally 60-odd in the whole property.
I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations, and I’ve worked out that we simply can’t afford that sort of electricity bill. And so the long, slow, ‘spensive process of replacing them all with sensible LEDs begins now. Well, not now. It’s half past nine at night. So “just now”.

Yeah. Pretty much later. (But not later tonight.)


StudyWatch: Still peach.

Day 290, part 2 – Powerless

We were without power for the first 11½ hours of the day thanks to a fault and I had to manually grind my coffee beans for the first two cups of the day and it was all just sheer hell on earth.

The power came back on just in time for the beers to get cold again ahead of this afternoon’s FA Cup football. Which I can now also watch.

Talking of which, did you see this first win of the season? Lovely.


Otherwise, you well?



Yeah, I mean, I was being sarcastic about the hell on earth thing, obviously.