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. Frustrating.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Having quite happily functioned for several (or more) years – including faultlessly just yesterday evening – the DSTV satellite set-top box decided to tell us that it has a fatal, terminal error about 30 minutes ahead of the new Premiership season.
Of course it did.
Fortunately, modern technology being what it is, I can still watch all the football via the internet on the same subscription. And because we have a “Smart” TV, I can even install the DSTV app on the TV and watch on the big, curved screen in glorious HD.
So it could be worse, but still… timing. Wow.
The error is:
“a hardware error suggesting corrupt flash memory, likely caused by repeated power surges, dips and failures.”
Which is odd because we’ve only had loads of that sort of thing, thanks to Eskom’s loadshedding.
You can’t prove it though, and even if you could (which you can’t), it’s not like they’re going to pay for a replacement unit.