Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Has Anyone heard from Sextant lately?

Just concerned.  Haven't seen him comment on anyone's blog in the last few weeks.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

If Only......

Damage was something like this  (Google image)

I suppose it falls to all of us to dwell sometimes (uselessly) on the turns of fate when they affect us adversely.  Still, it is also therapeutic to retrace those fateful steps.  IF ONLY, my sister-in-law had not been with us so that we were too stingy to pay the extra $3 for her entry into our local game reserve, (we have an annual card and it makes a shorter route by 10 miles for us every time we drive through to Cape Town). IF ONLY, we had been driving our own (well-insured) car and not a loan vehicle from the garage where our car was in for a regular service.  IF ONLY, there had not been road works holding up the morning traffic in our small town, (which we would have avoided if we had gone through the park),  IF ONLY, the woman behind us while we waited at a Stop sign, had not got her shoe stuck between the brake and the accelerator and gone into the back of us, IF ONLY, we had not been driving a brand-new car, IF ONLY, the garage had not been self-insured, IF ONLY my husband had not assumed when he signed the agreement, that we would not be liable for the $1000 excess "in the event of an accident" with this loan car if we were the innocent party.  We have just received the bill for this excess amount. I can still stomach this, as we would have had to pay a lot anyway to add this loan car to our own insurance. To add to all this - the garage has discovered a mysterious fault in our Mercedes (which it didn't have before it went in), to the extent that they have now been working on it for 3 weeks, have replaced all kinds of parts, are waiting for a final part to arrive from Germany and the icing on the cake is that they are trying to say that we put the wrong kind of diesel into the tank which has caused the damage.  This - put to a man who has spent the last 23 years of his life in charge of a truck workshop and who has looked after his vehicle to the nth degree, especially seeing that the correct grade of diesel was put into the tank.

No-one ever said life would be fair.  You have only to listen to Bill Gates' famous speech.

The final insult is that they are trying to make us the guilty party and pay the repair bill of something approaching $10,000.  But they are still not sure what is wrong. And all we did was send our perfect car in for it's regular service under the Maintenance contract which states that all repairs and maintenance except for tires will be covered without charge for 8 years/or equivalent miles.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tragi-Comedy at the Crem.

Google image
I promise this is a true story. Another of my sister-in-laws has retired happily to a small town in the middle of our country.  Last week she heard the following astonishing tale concerning the death of an old man of her acquaintance. Living alone on a remote farm, rarely in contact with his family, it was four months before it was discovered that he had died. Understandably, the authorities were in a hurry to bury his remains and so it was that there was a hasty service in the local crematorium, attended by his nearest relatives and a few others.  A short time after the coffin had been committed to the flames, there erupted a volley of what sounded like four gunshots coming directly from inside. Everyone was mystified until one of his sons remembered his father always carried a handgun inside his jacket and apparently his body was put into the coffin in the clothes in which he had been found. After his rather quiet life, that was quite a spectacular departure, don't you think? It caused quite an upset amongst the powers-that-be to the extent that there is an investigation after which it is to be hoped that after all the buck-passing, some-one will be hauled over the coals.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Liar, liar, Pants on Fire!

Google image

I have perhaps all my life been honest to a fault (apart from those tiny white lies so as not to hurt people re hair/clothes etc.), so it went against the grain to be told by a friend, who is an agent for air freight, that I should not declare my sister-in-law's mobile phone as the contents of a parcel I am trying to get back to the farm for her. "No-one will touch it", were his words: it would never reach its destination. She had also left a small hairbrush behind and my husband therefore did a good job of parcelling up these items with lots of padding so it would not be obvious what was inside.  So there we were at the courier's office, telling them about the 'cosmetics' that had been left behind by a visitor. No problem, they said, they could certainly arrange for the parcel to be delivered via a complicated route, inexplicably first to the nearest airport, then by road, to a shop in their village for them to collect. Oh good, we said, relieved and handed over the parcel.  Now we were told that the parcel had to be opened to check it for drugs!  Caught in a lie, I am sure my cheeks, if not my pants, turned a perceptible shade of pink.  I looked helplessly at my husband. He made a decision and then confessed as to the real contents. The sympathetic lady behind the counter did not turn a hair and assured us that they post forgotten mobile phones back to their owners all the time and anyway, the parcels are scanned at the airport where it would be obvious that a phone was inside. We mustn't worry, she said, their parcels very rarely went missing.

So much for our friend's expert knowledge.  Parcel is due to arrive on Monday.....

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Like Father, Like Son

Obvious genetic connection
I couldn't resist these pics.  My son and his family visited us recently and had something hanging down under his car which was observed just before they were heading back home to Cape Town. Typically unable to resist offering advice, my husband lost no time in joining him under the vehicle.  As you can see, hubby has successfully lost weight in the last three months - that's him on the right.  Maybe an unfair comparison as big son is 36, very fit, and an ardent cyclist in his (minimal) spare time. Happily, the offending item was cobbled together and they left a few minutes later.
Big son on the left of pic

Monday, 11 April 2016

Anyone know a blog for Parkinson's support?

My sister-in-law

It's been a tough couple of weeks, escorting my sister-in-law around various doctors, trying once and for all to diagnose the worrying symptoms she's had for the last couple of years.  People have been making their own silent conclusions but no-one has voiced anything aloud to her and in fact, we have all been side-tracked because she did have a bad fall and broke her knee-cap two years ago, and she also fell and broke her wrist - hence she did not recover full movement etc.etc.  The most obvious thing to most of us has been that she does not look like herself and moves slowly.  She has also developed a bladder problem for which the doctor recommended an enormously expensive battery pace-maker. Anyway, after a final referral to a neuro-surgeon from the hand doctor, we now have the unpalatable diagnosis and so we have all been in something of a state of shock. However, perhaps the diagnosis has been a relief after all the agonising uncertainty. She had all the classic symptoms. We try to be positive: at least it is not Altzheimer's and her brain functions as usual. Also, lucky for her, compared to most people, she has three house-maids on the farm and also a gardener.  But she doesn't 'do' Internet but I thought I could print and post here encouraging words from similar sufferers who compare notes on a blog. Any ideas?