Day 476 – Flip side

I – quite reasonably – wrote this post the other day, lamenting the state of… well… all of this stuff [gestures wildly]. And while some of that stuff is still in a thoroughly lamentable state, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in a couple of cases.

The biggie: 25,000 troops moving in to nip what looks like an attempted insurrection in the bud. (A bud that has cost billions, killed hundreds and cost the livelihoods of tens of thousands, but still something of a bud.) We still need to address the failure of government intelligence though. There were clues that weren’t difficult to spot:

Away from the real drama… the gutter/waterproofing team turned up out of the blue this afternoon and they’re busy repairing all the problems on the roof. That means that the ceiling guys can finish up with their work over the next day or so, and that means that we’ll be able to have a nice warm fire at some point real soon now.

Joy. Rapture. Small wins.

In other news, we are now the parents of two teenagers. Gone are the days of having “kids”: they’re young adults now. So Happy Birthday, Scoop! (but God, I feel old).

Thankfully, even that has a silver lining: I’m now old enough to register for my vaccination, and I nearly even got it today, before I was turned away by a lazy jobsworth at the local vaccination centre. I wasn’t old enough for them to jab today, he said. It wasn’t like they were jabbing anyone else though: the place was empty. Sure they could have slipped a quick needle into my upper arm.

But no.

And so it’s either an appointment on Monday (but we’ve heard bad things about the place – queuez for dayz, even with an appointment) or on Thursday (back with the jobsworth) for us. But that’s still much earlier than we expected.

Some improvement in my mood. Albeit from a very (very) low base.

Never a dull moment

Just another week in the mad world of South African news.

Triggering just another ANC media release. Except, this one includes this line:

The ANC will leave it to psychoanalysts and scholars of art to debate Mabulu’s narcissistic obsession with the phallus and human genitalia in general.

No matter how crazy you think Western politics has become recently, they are still some distance from matching this sort of banter.

Team with dreadful record still has much support

For many, this weekend was the final straw. Yet another disastrous performance – letting the country down when we were all so full of hope – was just too much. There’s been repeated harsh (and entirely justified) public criticism – “useless” and “losers” just a couple of the words bandied around – but it merely seems to fall on deaf ears.


It wasn’t the first time, either. It sometimes seems like we’re lurching from one poor performance, riddled with errors and incompetence, to the next.
For some, the problem is obvious: they choose to blame the man in charge, but I don’t think it’s necessarily that cut and dried. In my mind, the performance of the whole lot of them has been repeatedly calamitous. Fairly regularly, it’s actually been embarrassing for the country. You’d be excused for thinking that maybe they’re simply not up to the job in hand, and yet they’re highly paid and highly respected. How can this be?

It’s all so different to those glory days back in the mid-90’s. Back then – yes, perhaps under better management – things were so much better and the achievements were clearly there for all to see. Since then, however, while there have been occasional moments of triumph, it’s mainly been a steady downhill and 2014 shows no signs of bucking that trend. It’s actually rather sad.

And yet, there remains a huge level of support for these guys. Perhaps it’s because the population feels there’s no other team that is worthy of their support, or perhaps it’s habit, because they’ve just never supported anyone else.

But yes, the ANC will still win the elections again this year.