Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Nelson Mandela's memorial service...

It started raining this morning and it's never stopped. South African's believe that when a great leader dies, the gates of heaven open and the greater the leader, the greater the deluge of rain. Well today, the great man got the mother of all rain storms and it's due to continue through the night and into tomorrow.

The world leaders rolled onto the stage in Johannesburg, one after the other, basically saying the same thing as each other but with as much originality as possible. The crowd, so excited at first, not even the rain dampening their spirits, were soon being hypnotised into a trance like state. The rain became stronger, the speeches droned on and the brave stayed to the death. Embarrassment for the elected president Jacob Zuma, who was vigorously booed by the entire stadium when he appeared on the big screen, made even worse when Mandela's immediate succesor, Thabo Mbeki was wildly applauded. I'd back Mbeki to be the next leader here.

I had a sickening moment when I saw David Cameron and his entourage of embezzlers take their seats. I had come 6,000 miles to escape everything they represented and here they were in the same city, but thankfully not for long. I should have asked him to bring some blu tack and a few smoke detectors, you can't get them here!

Recycling is not overly fashionable down here, there is some but not much. That wonderful feeling has returned, the one I used to have in the 60's when rubbish was rubbish and you threw it in the bin. In the UK now we separate everything. Tins, cardboard, batteries, bottles into clear, brown and green, the only thing missing, a 'dead pets' section, and that will come. I know it's right to recycle but it's just lovely now I can just 'bin' everything again.

What's the plural for Ibis? Ibises? Have you ever shot one? I haven't got a gun or there'd be dozens lying upside down in my garden every morning. 5am and they all kick off at once, laughing, screeching at each other until they're all exhausted I suspect, then at 6am they all stop together before flying out their separate ways. I love them really, they get my lazy arse out of bed on time.

We have many fruit trees in the garden, peaches, pears, lemons, plums and others I've yet to identify. We also have a massive tomato patch which look like they'll be ready just after Christmas. Giant mushrooms keep popping up out the back, our gardner 'Freedom' took the last lot home and ate them. He came back the following day, he looked well, so we might try them next time!

Our Bakkie has been away to have a new prop shaft fitted, thank God Allan negotiated a warranty as part of the deal. Thank also whoever is higher than God that Allan and Julie brought a supply of wine around this afternoon, because we were stranded without a drink as the rain just kept coming….and still is.

Nelson Mandela you will live on forever and ever. The world will remember you always. It's an honour to be in your country and close to you now, even as you rest.    


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