Highlights of January

For other Highlights of the Month, click on:

I start my new blog this month. At the beginning, I am still posting on Google’s Blogger, but then a dear friend recommends that I give WordPress a try. I do, and am pleased, so I migrate across. Fortunately, WordPress allows me to import all my posts on Blogger. (Blogger, incidentally, does not have that facility).

Nation:

South Africa is being affected by frequent power outages. At the beginning of the year, though, the load shedding schedules are annoyingly erratic and unreliable. Our Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica doesn’t exactly help to soothe our frayed tempers. She has the temerity to tell us that we should go to sleep earlier so that we will use less electricity – and so that we ‘will become cleverer’. Honestly, how does she come up with this! A week later, the said Minister Sonjica whines loudly that she was heckled and misunderstood!

On the positive side, in view of the electricity crisis in South Africa, the spotlight is falling more and more on the use of renewable and alternative sources of energy, like wind turbines, solar water heaters and solar panels, but their cost is still absolutely prohibitive for us mere mortals. But perhaps there will be more investment (financial, industrial, research) into exploring these now.

Home:

On the home front, our tenderly … er… tended baby avocado tree is severely scalded by the baking summer sun and parched by a lack of regular liquid refreshment. Perhaps it is not entirely surprising, that it has eventually passed on. We plant a frangipani shoot in the same place: apparently these small trees do not need much water and they love direct sunlight. We are holding thumbs that “Pani” will survive.

Given the lingering water shortage in our hot country and the continuing water restrictions, we decide to do our bit to reduce our water consumption by installing a Water Rhapsody pool side tank. Into this, we now run the backwash of our pool. Then we add a small amount of flocculant to encourage the sedimentation process, and after a day or two, we run the clean water back into the pool. We’ll have to see whether this will reduce our water bill, though.

And our resident cat continues to amuse us. When I lie outside next to the pool on a particularly hot day, she pinches my towel and slowly but surely nudges me off onto the damp grass. And almost every night, she tries to sleep on our bed with us. We buy her a cute little basket to discourage her persistent nightly hops onto the bed. Fortunately, she seems to love it.

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