Monday, 31 August 2009

Carrots II

The week in QwaQwa was an education and an exercise in conflict resolution as the team we were training came to blows with their management - only time will tell how much the scepticism on both sides of the table for each other will effect our programme's outcomes but I am hoping that the strength of the new information will overcome their difficulties and that the team will still manage to have an impact in their clinic sites.

Ended up staying at a little B&B I have stayed in before and the ladies there were, again, simply lovely. If any of you are ever in that part of the world and are looking for a place to stay ;) Having said that, I am thrilled to be home and in my own space - turns out i am not as much of an independant soul as I would like to think - and without my phone (it got nicked in clarens but I am back in the land of the cellulary connected again now) it was a pretty long and lonely week.

This week's carrot was a trip to the West Coast National Park and Postberg to see the flowers! It started out a pretty overcast day and the flowers were being stubborn and refusing to open and play along... but after a long lazy lunch picnic on a rock, the sun came out and so did the flowers. It was gorgeous and wonderful day. Cannot believe this is the first time I have managed to get out there - really is something I should do more often.

Postberg 09


Now it is a week in CT before heading off to KZN on Sunday for the next of the two week back to back training sessions. Carrot? Weekend in Jozi with the peeps!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

all send some g'luck vibes out for me




hey peeps

i hear about some exciting prospects this week. throw some good luck out to the universe for me.

xoxox

Thursday, 27 August 2009

How much would you pay to see the Killers?

Or would they have to pay you?

Help me decide y'all. Is R300 to R500 worth a night with the Killers? I suspect not, but welcome dissenting voices. Here are my reasons:
  1. They are pretty rubbish. Ok their first album was fun. A lot, actually. One or two tracks from that album done live could be pretty awesome. But before you get excited, just listen.
  2. The Joburg venue is the Dome (other one is somewhere in the Cape). The Dome is positively the worst live music venue ever. Outdoor concerts generate better acoustics.
  3. South Africa's obession with a mile-square "golden circle" means that the "cheap" tickets aren't really an option. Especially since we're at the Dome, where, if you are standing at the back, the sound from the stage bounces off about 56 thousand curved surfaces before it only sort of gets to you. So actually we're talking R500. R526 to be precise. To put this in perspective, Oppi was R400 for the whole weekend and Bush Fire was R350 for the whole weekend. A pair of Converse hi-tops I just purchased from a Sunnyside shoe "store" cost R450. They're army colour and fckn rad.
  4. I really don't know this band's second album, or if, heaven forbid, they released a third. So I'm not the hugest fan. But like I said I'm pretty sure I'm not alone amongst this esteemed group of blogifiers in having bounced around once or twice in crap bars to their first few singles. Chicks dig it, that's for sure.
Hurry with your comments - tickets went on sale today!

Coup in Tshwane!

No quite. But seeing SANDF members violently protesting working conditions and pay inside the Union Buildings grounds looks a lot like that. You can just imagine how the British media is going to interpret this.

SAPS were firing teargas and rubber bullets all over the show. At our army okes! Hectic. (By the way it's just down the road from my office, so maybe this is a little more exciting for me.).

Cabinet condemns soldiers rampage at the Union Buildings

Published: 2009/08/27 11:30:51 AM

Picture: Financial Mail.

Cabinet on Thursday condemned the rampage by soldiers at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, saying attempting to “invade the seat of government is totally unacceptable”.

“Cabinet condemned in the strongest possible terms the illegal and violent protest at the Union Buildings by members of the South African National Defence Union (Sandu),” ministers said in a statement at the fortnightly post-cabinet briefing.

“Defying a court order, engaging in unnecessary violent behaviour, causing damage to public property and attempting to invade the seat of government is totally unacceptable, especially from people who have the responsibility of being the true defenders of the Constitution.” It warned that the protesters “must expect no sympathy from the state”.

Several soldiers and a policeman were injured and police and military vehicles damaged on Wednesday when a protest by 3000 soldiers demanding higher wages turned violent.

Police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the crowd when they refused to leave after handing over a memorandum with their demands and taunted officers. They threw a petrol bomb into one car and vandalised others.

Two soldiers were arrested.

Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu angrily described the incident as “anarchy” and said it had put national security at risk.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Carrots

Hey kids...
So here i sit in Phutaditjhaba (QwaQwa - eastern Free State) at the very beginning of the second of two training weeks back to back. I have become a big fan of carrot theory and am constantly looking for things to look forward to - faced with three weeks of training in September and very few Sundays to call my own. So from Mcgregor for Womens' Day weekend to Clarens this past weekend, but more on that later....First a little bit about work.

Last week we were in Sterkspruit which is about 70kms east of Aliwal North in the far north of the Eastern Cape. It snowed, it sunned, we sang, we ate and the group was lovely. Such a contrast from the first training week I did - guess experience really is everything. We were working with a group of 30 Community Care Givers and Assistant Nurses and I have to say if the fate of the health system was in the hands of these committed ladies and one gentleman we would all be in great hands! Everyone was so warm and welcoming. It was so inspiring to be part of the week - even if it was complicated and difficult with little reception, delayed courier deliveries and complicated management structures.

having issues uploading some of the pics... so I will have to add them at a later date :)

So... my carrot last week was a weekend in Clarens with some of the jozi crew (Phil, Mez, Helen, Paul and Mamedupi) and it was an amazing escape! Red wine, fireplaces, amazing views, horse riding in Golden Gate National Park, great conversation and catch ups, (a beautful tea set) and, of course, the Monopoly Marathon :)
CLARENS AUG 09


So off to another week of training - hoping it will be good and hassle free (despite its rocky start today) and looking forward to Sunday's trip to Posberg and the flowers on Sunday!! Bring on the Carrots!


Monday, 17 August 2009

yay

Flashbacks, fishing and fucktards


First up, i have to post a little krackah of a track by a voice you may recognise...



I think the divshare thing says it already, but yes! its Lethu! It's really fucking good i think... Anyway, he's in a band called Metropolis, based in Durban. I'd say check them out, but i dont think anyone in Durban reads this blog. I think he does tours in Jozi semi-regularly. Another person you can say you knew when... In fact i think that web page has tour dates on it, so checkidout.

In other news... I took The Kerrigan (or Tin Lizzie) out this weekend. Even caught me a fish (snapper, but below legal size). Sunday was an awesome day to be on the water, even if it is just in a 3.1m long tinnie.

It took a while to motor all over the harbour because we were using a pretty small backup motor - we would have used our new (second hand new, that is) 9.9HP Mercury two-stroke that goes like scalded cat, but the shit-for-brains bogun that sold us the motor in 'good condition' apparently doesn't consider a broken steering shaft to be something worth mentioning in the advert. The fact that said steering shaft is shattered and could result in the engine falling into the water at any time does not justify downgrading the motors condition from 'good' to 'essentially fucking useless until you spend $600 dollars on it'. Apparently.

Anyway, we've been negociating with this spineless ballsack since we bought the motor a few weeks ago to try and get him to take the motor back. I finally cracked on the weekend (not wanting to have to get into a steaming argument and threaten a law suit - a threat i would be unlikely to follow up on) and offered to split the repair bill with him. He said he would think about it, but it would depend on what his wife said. Did i mention that this guy was a spineless sack of shit? Anyway, i'm waiting for his response, but i'm not expecting anything positive. I was almost ready to just let the whole thing go. Swallow the $750 we wasted on the motor and just walk away, BUT it turns out its relatively easy to sue someone in the NSW Small Claims Tribunal (I think i'm allowed to call it suing? makes me sound tough) so if that turdburglar doesn't come back with a positive response by the end of play tomorrow, he can expect to be served with papers (it actually costs more to have the papers served in the flesh, so i might just get them mailed, but still that mu'fuggah gon' get SERVED!). It's not about the money anymore you understand, it's about inconveniencing this fucktard as much as i possibly can. I believe him to be of only mediocre intelligence, so a letter with the a semi-official letterhead may scare him into giving me back my money, but if not, I'll have my day in court I tell ya! I'm hiring A Few Good Men this weekend...

Watch this space.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Acoustic Africa at Bushfire

Just to give you a taste, this is one song from the acoustic africa set that Phil mentioned

Friday, 14 August 2009

Muziks makin' me dans

So highlights from the two festivals I was at recently.

Festival Number One: Bush Fire, Swaziland

1. Acoustic Africa feat. Vusi Mahlasela (SA), Habib Koite (Mali), Dobet Gnahore (Cote d'Ivoire), and the coolest lefty bassist I've ever seen. Truly moving music in a fantastic setting.
2. Busi Mhlongo (SA). Soulful and commanding-on-stage as they come. The whole passing on the baton to the new generation thing at the end of her show was particularly touching. Kinda bummed I've missed most of her career.
3. Some dude named Elemotho and his band from Namibia. Billed as an experimental acoustic set, it couldn't have been much further from that.
4. Jose Mucavele (Moz.). White anvil beard, crocodile skin boots and a guitar-is-optional attitude on a small stage = Portuguese blues like I've never heard before.
5. Sipho Hotstix Mabuse (SA). Only because his band plays that rad song whose name I don't know, and I didn't know his band played that song. A nice surprise to hear I'm burnin' up, all my looooove. Burnin'! Allll my loooove. Over and over for like 15 minutes.
6. Bob and Kenzhero's Michael Jackson and Brenda Fassie tributes, on both nights, after the bands had finished.

Festival Number 2: Oppikoppi 15 - "Smoorverlief"

1. Has to be Koos Kombuis. The Godfather of Oppi still rocks hard after all these years.
2. Lucky Fonz the Third. Huge surprise and probably my personal highlight. Best small stage act I've ever seen. And from de Nederlands nogal! He's playing the Bo on Sunday - I shall be there.
3. Shadowclub. I think the best rock band in SA right now, but the Oppi organisers clearly don't agree putting them on at 1pm on Sunday.
4. Acoustic Africa (again). Everyone was so amped to see them play again so it was a real pity that Habib and Dobet were late and they had to truncate their set. However, Vusi's one-man-show-crowd-pacification-while-we-waited, including a rendition, in Afrikaans, of "'N Donkie is a Wonderlike Ding" made for a true new South Africa moment. Al daai vet boere sing baie mooi, arm in arm, met die swart oke, ne.
5. Balthazar (Belgium). Kinda hipster skinny jean punk rock but tons of energy and attitude, and overall a pleasant surprise.
6. Thandiswa Mazwai. The former Bongo Maffin frontwoman is quite large these days, and I think she was high because she kept interrupting all her own songs, but still, she has a sweet voice and kicks it proper when she's concentrating.
7. aKing. Yes I know melodic rock from Belville is kak. But on stage with 5000 fans they actually moer the stuffing out of you, melodically. Awesome.
8. Fokofpolisiekar. Ok ok they aren't even a band anymore, and they also play stupid doosrok from Belville as aKing (perhaps because they share band members?), albeit much harder, but they've driven Oppi for about 3 years now and the okes still go bos for them in the biggest, most Afrikaans way imaginable.
9. The unofficial official anointment of Oppikoppi as a National Heritage Site. Kak funny but according to those in the know, perhaps not too far from becoming a reality. The whole importance of Afrikaans kultuur and its relationship with Oppi, sort of thing.
10. Foto na Dans. I was told in Swaziland to keep an open mind. I heard them last time I was at Oppi and they actually made me want to go home. This time they didn't. Apparently they don't take themselves seriously, and that makes a massive difference. As much was lost in translation last time. So if you want to hear some self aware Afrikaans opera-rock, give them a try. I won't ever bother though, unless I'm at Oppi. Time and place people, time and place. For everything.

I won't list the supakak stuff. Just a paragraph of advice: Die Antwoord will make your ears bleed. Watkin Tudor Jones is die enigste oke wat nog steets lief vir sy lewe is. But of course him and Yo'landi Visser (yo, yo, Yo'Landi!) still have a large following. Apparently they're married now too? Terrifying kids in the offing then. Pahty Pahty Pahty! (for one whole song, that's all she screeches).

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

in other words



and this is an image about to be used in my next incarnation of In Other Words, the show I'm redeveloping and taking to Buenos Aires in Oct!!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

More. Sorry.

Just realised you can also see my palatial current summer abode via google maps system.(I've been house-sitting).

So cool.


View Larger Map

My life

So, making up for my absence from this space for the last year or so, I'm going to bombard you with some posts. Sorry.

First, I discovered that its possible to see the house I'm moving into next week via google maps. So, if you have the bandwidth (and are even vaguely interested), you can click on the link below to get a 360 view of my house, neighbourhood, etc.:


View Larger Map

Also. Following up on my last post, it appears that there was even an article in the SA Business Day about the record label based in Chapel Hill. I've decided I'm probably now in the greatest dating pool, as apparently a whole stack of bands keep moving to Chapel Hill in the hopes of being signed. See: BusinessDay

And, lastly. Just some shameless self-promotion. Have co-authored two publications in the last few months, the links of which are available here:



and here:



If you do have the time, I'd greatly appreciate comments on the articles. I know everyone's busy. But my mother basically called me a fascist for what I wrote, so I'd love to know what y'all think, and whether you'll still be my friend.

xxx

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Tread lightly Wallabies...


This is where Greg 'Lomper' Abramowitz made his U15 3rd team rugby debut. Hallowed ground indeed!