A Political Hero

I am sure that this blog post will not make any sense to most of the people who regularly read my posts but occasionally I need to deviate from my typical topics and pay homage to people who I have met in my life and that I truly admire.

Peter Kormos, a long time NDP Ontario Member of the Provincial Legislature, who passed away yesterday at the age of 60 was a political figure who I both admired and also frequently made me scratch my head in wonder. He was a brilliant man and orator, renegade and champion of the people. In fact I first met him at the exact same time that I met Jack Layton. I was in my mid-20’s and was working at Queen’s Park, the Ontario Provincial Legislature. The province of Ontario was in a state of flux with the NDP (New Democratic Party) in political power and no doubt all Ontarians felt at the time that the World had tipped on its axis. I played in a Queen’s Park softball league and we actually had t-shirts printed up to wear that said “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote NDP!”

As a Policy Analyst handling six major policy areas, I had the privilege, pleasure and frustration of often working with politicians of all political stripes. I will never forgot my first impression of Peter Kormos, who rose in the provincial legislature dressed in his trademark cowboy boots, blue shirt and chinos to speak on a piece of legislation that his own government/political party had introduced. I sat spell-bound in the staffers gallery located behind the Speaker’s Chair. In the 10 years of political experience that I had acquired up to that point, I had never truly witnessed anything like Peter Kormos.

His personal style, attitude and brilliant oratory ability combined with his conviction to represent the average Ontario fascinated me and to this day earned my undying respect. There were often moments when I could only scratch my head in wonder at Peter’s approach. As a non-conformist myself I could identify in many ways to his approach yet there were many times when he crossed lines to make a point that I could never even dream of. Yet always consistent was his respect for the parliamentary process even when he was challenging it and being escorted from the Legislature by the Sargent of Arms. Those days at Queen’s Park taught me so much about the process and rules of parliament. Much of it thanks to Peter.

I can’t really call Peter a friend but during my years at Queen’s Park I often had conversations, political discussions and shared convictions with him. He was someone that I always respected even if I didn’t always totally understand him. His loss will be felt yet his legacy within Ontario politics and Queens Park will live on. It can’t not! He was an icon and certainly one of a kind.

May he rest in peace.

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My New Burglar Bars are not keeping anyone out!

Last week burglar bars were installed in my bedroom/living room windows. To be honest with you I have felt like they were more like bars to keep me inside than burglars out!

I have said to Buche that while they might keep the baboons out, I could never get out my windows now. Nothing more than a foot and leg would fit through. Don’t get me wrong I understand why Peter and Jetske installed them. I have had a set on my kitchen window all this time. It is nice to know that no one can get inside unless they come through the front door.

However after today I need to adjust that perspective. For those of you who have been following my post since I began it last August you will remember me documenting my first weekend at Peter’s Place (https://cheryljdalziel.com/2012/09/30/sunday-in-botswana/). It was Botswana Independence Weekend and Peter & Jetske had decamped to visit family in South Africa. Other than Tanyala and the animals, I was the only other resident in the place.

That weekend, still suffering the effects of the 48 hour long journey from PEI to Gaborone, I also had to contend with burglars. The four footed kind! Well, it turns out today is a repeat! Once again Peter and Jetske have deserted me and my tiny apartment is jammed packed with animals. From the time they departed this morning at 5:00 am my apartment has been the center of focus for all three resident animals. While this is nothing new…I sent a ransom text message to Jetske the other evening as Gabby the cat and Dottie the dog were still in my rooms at 10 pm after being there almost the entire evening.

Gabby isn't going anywhere!
Gabby isn’t going anywhere!

 

Either is Dottie!
Either is Dottie!

What is different today is with Jetske & Peter gone not even a closed door came keep my furry friends out. My poor parents and I were skyping this evening and our conversation was interrupted many times as there was a constant flux of animals. When they couldn’t arrive or depart through the closed front door, they immediately sought entry via the open windows. I have had to clear everything off of the window sill and the small table that sits in front of the window as nothing is safe when these friends are determined to enter!

Washing up my breakfast dishes this morning truly was an ordeal! My kitchen sink space is a very tiny alcove and with two cats and a dog completely under foot it was certainly a challenge equivalent to an obstacle course. Even the kitty, Cleo who seldom comes close to Gabby or Dottie was firmly ensconced smack dab in the middle of my kitchen floor. It took a desperate treasure hunt to turn up the treats container so that I could bribe all of them to leave my apartment for at least a few minutes.

I have no doubt sleeping tonight will be like trying to sleep in the middle of a three ring circus…oh well, that is the price that you pay when you love animals that aren’t even your own. Plus, I will extract my pound of flesh out of Peter & Jetske for doing pet sitting service 🙂

Continuing Power Outages

I know it is a continuing theme of my posts but it is a reality here in Gaborone these days.

Once again for the past two days the power has gone off in the afternoon not to be switched back on until 10:00 pm. This is a switch on time that seems to be getting gradually later and later. Previous Monday & Tuesday outages at least allowed for me prepare and eat my dinner by 9:15 or so. This 10 pm is really a pain especially when the power goes out well before it is time to prepare a meal.

As much as I am complaining about these outages, I have to admit that I am coping with them much better than some Batswana that I know. My coping skills no doubt were honed by living on Prince Edward Island, a tiny island off of the east coast of Canada. Growing up on this island in a very rural community situated directly on the north shore (we have amazing water views and shore front for sale!) you became very accustomed to winter, spring and fall storms knocking power out for days sometimes weeks at a time.

In the winter there are often blizzards and snow storms that make venturing out impossible…in fact I was just talking to my parents and my mom was saying how they are getting snow storm after storm right now and it is almost the end of March. During my childhood sometimes the snow would pile up so high that it was virtually impossible for the very large snow plows to cut even a path through them. If you lost power it often took days for the electricity crews to make their way through the snow to fix the problem.

Spring time in on PEI can bring similar power challenges only this time it is the result of ice storms. I can remember that the spring five years ago brought a major ice storm that knocked out our power for more than a week. Luckily I was able to shower at work everyday!

And fall can bring hurricanes or major wind storms that also bring down the power lines. So as you can see the Gaborone power outages really are old hat to me! It is very nice to know that some of my adaptive skills learned in Canada come in handy here in Africa.

Well it is time to go and finish preparing my dinner….it is so nice to actually eat hot food at a reasonable time.

A Little Piece of Dance Heaven!

I am truly a happy woman!!! In fact, I felt like I died and went to heaven.

What could create this sense of euphoria? Why dancing of course! But even better – simply the best dance party that I have been to since coming to Southern Africa!

This weekend there were a plethora of choices for dancing. The hardest part was actually making a choice. Well I can say is that not only did we choose right – in fact, there were 3 women simply in heaven because of our decision to attend the Dance Party Braai at the National Botanical Gardens.

What can I say it was simply a magical combination! Nothing makes a perfect night out more than wonderful girlfriends, fantastic music and the perfect venue to dance.

The trip to the Botanical Gardens started with my third trip of the day with Buche, a debate about where the Botanical Gardens actually were ( I won!) and my manning the two way radio (See my earlier post). Janni is now getting very use to me keeping him posted on our location and trust me, it is Buche putting the radio control in my hand – although today Janni must have thought that I had taken up permanent residence in Buche’s front seat.

Following our (Buche & mine) debate on the location of the Botanical gardens in the Village, I was instructed to report in detail to Janni over the two way radio exactly where we were. The poor man got a very abrupt end to our conversation when Buche pulled up to the entrance of the gardens. The reason for the abrupt end – I could hear the music and see the crowd gathered to enjoy the event! It truly was a party!

Buche had barely made it to a stop before I had dropped the radio and was out the door already dancing….what can I say! I truly love to dance. With a laughing Buche trying to get my attention for at least two seconds so he could confirm whether I needed him to come pick me up or not. It actually took him about two minutes to get me to focus on his repeated question and only then because the song changed. Which was okay as he had no attention of abandoning me until my girlfriends had also arrived and quite frankly he gets a real kick out of the fact that I am pretty much content to dance anywhere as long as there is good music.

With the arrival of my girlfriends it was time to truly swing into action. And that is exactly what we did. The venue of course was outside at the gardens which meant that I could kick off my sandals and dance on the grass. The night sky was lit up with a spectacular display of lightning in the distance and the music was rocking! In fact we ended up as part of a huge dance circle where everyone got a chance to move into the centre and show their own special moves. It truly was a piece of dance heaven!

After just over three hours of non-stop shaking what our mommas’ gave us the lightening displayed turned into gusting wind and rain which was truly refreshing after three hours of dancing in the extremely warm air. When the big inflatable screen nearby began to topple over from the gusting wind and rain threatened to come pouring down we made the decision to head for the car so that we weren’t totally soaked when the down pour hit. Obviously without realizing it, some of my bootie shaking must have been interpreted as a rain dance. Buche will be happy with me at least for accomplishing downpours.

Arriving at the car didn’t end the dance party however! With the rain holding to a gentle down pour, a backdrop of lightning and awesome music belting out of the car’s stereo, my girlfriends and I continued to shake what our mommas’ gave us for another twenty minutes in the parking lot. So although the evening ended far earlier than anticipated  each and everyone of us agreed that it was simply the best evening of dancing we have had to date.

But don’t worry I have already planned my next dance outing for Friday, April 4th at Botswanacraft. The South African band Freshly Ground (links to two of their videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLuSyqMlm_U  and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nUAarErp5Y  )   is performing live in an outdoor performance at Botswanacraft so once again I will be bootie shaking until 2:00 am.

How does life get any better than this? Lately, it always seems to somehow manage it…and that I will absolutely embrace!

Alpha Brava

Buche and I have a new toy! and while it is lots of fun to play with I think I could really end up in trouble….

In an effort to improve his taxi business and coordinate the now 8 cars operating in the company, Buche has installed two way radios in all of the cars. For the first part of week the radios were in place but not operational. Just sitting there it was so tempting every time I got in to the front seat…just calling out to me. And never the shy one, I simply informed Buche that once it was operational I was going to take a turn operating it.

By Thursday the antennas were in place and testing was under way. Well guess who couldn’t wait to get her paws on the radio? And guess who had a partner in crime with a wicked sense of humour? Perhaps it time someone separated Buche and I as we are having way too much fun…just like Lawrence and I.

As we were driving along Buche was determined to find out what the range of the radio was between his car and Janni’s. He had just picked me up in Phase 4 which is the south of the city. Janni was in the northern section of the city just heading to the airport. So Buche decided he would get on the radio to make contact. So with a couple of Alpha Bravas and no response we figured that the new antennas were not up to the job as yet. Buche sent a text message to Janni to let him know that he had been trying to make radio contact to no avail.

Well it turns out that Janni had simply not been in the car at the time as he had gone into the airport for his pick up. Returning to his car he turned on the radio and initiated contact with Buche. And that is when the fun started. With a wicked glint in his eye and grin when Buche heard Janni he quickly picked up the receiver and passed it over to me to answer.

Poor Janni!!!! It took him about five minutes to figure out that first, he hadn’t made radio contact with the wrong person, that I wasn’t speaking a weird language (my Canadian accent obviously is  distinctive) and Buche hadn’t been kidnapped! I am not sure who was laughing harder, Buche or me and eventually Janni. The evil but Saint like Buche eventually got into the communications to explain to Janni just who he was talking to. Now even though that conversation took place in Kalanga, which is a language that I am learning to understand much better than Setswana, I could understand enough to know that Janni could not believe that Buche actually was letting me on their radio. I also understand that some payback was being threatened for the torment that I/we caused poor Janni, who also had a passenger in his vehicle.

I do know that I will be left out of the payback as these Kalanga men are gentlemen when a certain one isn’t goading me into evil behaviour. And I passed my test as the Tabuche Cabs dispatcher. Buche is in agreement that if I am performing taxi dispatching duties that everyone will be clearly told where to go! 🙂 Never a dull a moment!

 

Power outages, clothing malfunctions and food preparation

What do these things have in common you might ask?

Well, I will happily explain. Gaborone continues to be plagued by power outages. In fact, my area went with out power both Sunday and Monday evenings. Dealing with these power outages has now become just a matter of fact for me and I am sure many other residents of Gaborone. You either prepare your food in advance so that you can eat when you are hungry or wait until the power comes back on close to 9:00 pm. As for grocery shopping and keeping meat and other perishables in the fridge/freezer you don’t even bother. There is absolutely no point wasting your money on a week’s worth of food that is dependent on a fridge/freezer. This does however make for an interesting diet which could be a blog post in and of itself!

Fortunately our access to water has not been cut again in the evenings for the past week….knock on wood! Hope that I haven’t jinxed that 🙂

Although we are technically into the autumn season here in Southern Africa the temperatures still climb to the mid 30’s or higher almost every day. For a few nights during the last week or so it was cooler in the evenings and earlier mornings. However, the day time highs and lack of rain continue to make it feel like we are still in the midst of summer. Other than a slightly cooler breeze there is no noticeable sign that fall and winter are on its way to Botswana. Except Jetske threatening to close down my pool….mean woman!

With these high temperatures, I continue to dress as simply as possible, especially when I am at home in Peter’s Place. This usually means wearing as little as possible, meaning a tank top and a kanga or piece of cloth wrapped around my waist. I know, I said that I am now living in a diplomatic enclave and it has become even more so as our newest resident is here from Britain on a diplomatic mission working with the President’s Office on Poverty Reduction. So I should be more civilized in my dress code. Ha! Fat Chance! If African women can dress like that than I can too!

However, I have to admit that wearing a piece of cloth wrapped around your waist with NO fasteners can have challenges. Even with an ample waist and hips for the material to cling to, if you are at all active while wearing this ensemble then you can guarantee slippage. Fortunately I have gotten adapt at catching it before disaster occurs and rapidly resettling the material so there are no outright clothing malfunctions. EXCEPT…….

This is where the three merge……

Lately, I have been doing a lot of baking and cooking that requires the regular size oven in the main house. Thankfully, Peter and Jetske are so wonderfully accommodating of allowing me to wander in and out of their kitchen as if I actually live there 🙂  While there is not much distance between my apartment and the back door of their house when you are attired in only a piece of cloth around your hips and carrying baking dishes or a chicken to be roasted there can be a slight problem with walking too briskly or not briskly enough if you know what I mean!

A perfect example of this happened Sunday evening. Jetske was in South Africa visiting her dad so I was being a good tenant and cooked a lovely roast chicken dinner for Peter and I. Everything was proceeding as planned when I was hit with a double whammy….first the power decided that it was time for a break – fortunately my chicken, potatoes and veggies were close enough to being cooked that the remaining heat would finish the meal off. But I hadn’t made my gravy for the mashed potatoes yet and as my family members will tell you….I will not eat boiled potatoes without gravy….I pride myself on my gravy making abilities….which are so much better than my mother’s! Right Mom!

Never one to accept simple defeat I quickly swung into action…in more ways than one. The burners in my apartment were still hot from cooking the veggies so I knew that if I could get the chicken fat into a pan along with flour that I could at least some kind of gravy made. Hell bent on getting to the main house and draining the fat out of the chicken so I could get back to my kitchen while the heat of the burner was still lingering I strode just a little too briskly….and down came my piece of cloth covering my bottom half.

Now this is not the first time that this has happened to me. I had a similar incident the late afternoon that I baked the blueberry muffins. I found that I have a whole new dexterity of being able to carry a large heavy bowl and baking implements while still utilizing my elbows to prevent a total clothing malfunction.

However on Sunday night thanks to the power outage and Peter not having had a chance to turn the generator on as yet, I opted for the complete clothing malfunction in the semi dark so that I could make my gravy….how is that for priorities?

In the end, all was well! The gravy turned fabulous even if I do say so myself. No one witnessed my semi-nude streak between houses and Peter & I enjoyed a lovely roast chicken dinner by lamp light! Just proving that almost any odds can be conquered if you are determined enough.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

While I might not be Irish, St. Patrick’s Day has always been a source of celebration for me. With my birthday so close to this day of singing, dancing and for some drinking, it is a natural fit for me to celebrate it.

This year was too be no different. Regardless of where I am living I look forward to enjoying St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The obvious choice for this year’s activities was a local Irish pub called The Bull & Bush. With the promise of Don Pedro’s (a milkshake with alcohol in it), music, dancing and friends plans were made for the outing last night (Saturday).

Everyone got into the fun of the outing by donning something green to wear, even my evening/late night taxi driver got into the spirit of the evening. He had been warned during the late night drive home last Saturday night what the plans were for this Saturday night. All was going according to plans…..

Until our taxi has about 900 metres from the Bull & Bush and I got a phone call. My friends Naki and Moira has already arrived only to be told that the Bull & Bush was closed for a private celebration. As we pulled up and tumbled out of the car to greet Naki and Moira it became abundantly clear that plans needed to change as no one was settling for defeat. A couple of phone calls, a consultation with our taxi driver Tshepo and another plan was in the works.

Telling Tshepo, who was waiting around to ensure that we were okay…but who can get a word in edge wise with four women in planning mode 😉 that he could go and that Shelia & I would let him know where to pick us up when we were ready to go home. My friend Naki has a pick up truck, fondly known as the bucket, in which we could all travel to the next place on our list. My poor friend Sheila who is from Kenya was not prepared for what came next. After Naki reversed the bucket out of the spot in which it was parked, up I clamoured into the bucket. Every time that I have travelled in the bucket I was always made to sit in the front with Naki. But not last night. There was no way I was going to miss out on the fun of riding through the streets of Gaborone in the back of a pick up truck…who cares that I was wearing a white skirt! It was all part of the adventure.

After Naki producing a black sweater for Sheila and I to at least sit on we settle in for the ride to the our next stop. Let me tell that having a white woman sitting in the back of a beat up old pick up truck driving through the streets was a sight that caused many double takes and looks of shocked disbelief. To be honest, I don’t know what the big deal was all about. I am sure that no one would have thought twice about the other occupants in the truck ,who of course were obviously African. Yet my sitting in the back laughing and chatting through the open window with Naki and Moira sitting in the front seemed be an unusual sight. So like everything else I simply took it in stride (or should I say bumps) and blithely waved at all of the occupants of vehicles stopped either beside us or behind us at the traffic lights.

The best was yet to come. In order to park at the Masa Centre you need to enter a basement parking garage which has a very steep incline that is constructed of metal grates…are you getting the  picture??? Adding to the fun was a rather large grouping of men hanging around the entrance to the parking area. With Naki laughing as hard as me, she steered the bucket down the ramp while Sheila and I laughed and bounced along with the truck. Let’s just say that we gave the watching men something to watch 😉

Arriving at our restaurant/bar of choice in the Masa courtyard I was greeted as the regular that I have now become at this spot. We were even given a table convenient to get up and dance from as the staff now know that I come there to dance! So who needs the Bull & Bush? Certainly not us! All we needed was the company of friends, a sense of humor, music and dancing.

As our evening was winding down the table of men next to us finally could not resist engaging our attention…or perhaps I should say my attention. In fact I think the exact words out of one  man’s mouth was that “I was the sexiest, hottest white woman he had ever seen”. Not bad for a 48 year old I would say. It is a fact of life here that no matter where you go, you get hit on. It just is…although I had a dry spell about a week ago where I actually had one trip for groceries where I didn’t get hit on once so I figured that I must have been truly ugly that day!

The man last night turned out to be doctor who has a practice at Main Mall and of course, is also married….remember my earlier posts about the huge issue of multiple concurrent partners. Somehow very few people in this culture find it disturbing that married men or women actively pursue other partners. I have no difficulties saying no which so far has always been accepted but they still are very vocal in expressing their admiration.

Last night I was happy to leave our table to go in search of Tshepo and his magic taxi as my admirer was staring at me as if in a trance repeating how sexy I was…..I will take the compliment! But I was happy that the evening had come to end and that I had gotten to laugh and have fun with my girlfriends which will always score higher in my books than a drooling man 🙂

A Perfect Day!

Today was a very special day for me and I wasn’t going to post anything but I have to share with everyone how special the day has truly been for me!

Today I turned 48 years old and while I have had some wonderful birthdays in my life, including spending my 40th in Scotland and England, today has risen to the top only below my 23rd birthday spent living in Paris.

What made this birthday so special was lots of love and attention from those who are part of my life both here in Botswana and back home in Canada.

It started with the care package extraordinaire from my parents that arrived early (in record time) back the first of March. Not only did this care package contain the chocolate chips that made Buche’s birthday so special it also contained presents for me. I am not a real fan of presents as my family and close friends will tell you. In fact my present from my parents has sat on my desk here at home ever since it arrived more than two weeks ago. The card was opened immediately and prominently displayed so I could see it every day. The present was opened tonight and contained wonderful goodies. Just what I needed. And I have been feasting on my York Peppermint patties all last night and today too!

Best of all, my parents me an email that arrived shortly after midnight my time so they were the first to wish me happy birthday today…considering that they were both there when I came into the world 48 years ago..it was kind of nice!

My very good friend Mike Wedge has been emailing me wonderful (except for one very weird one!) YouTube clips all week of many different renditions of Happy Birthday. I wasn’t sure how he was going to beat the Darth Varder clip that he sent yesterday so I challenged him that the one he sent on my birthday had better be special! Well, he really out did himself!

If you have been reading this blog you know that I love to dance. Mike knows this fact well as he has had to accompany on many occasions as I danced my toes off even keeping him out way past his bedtime. Well the video that arrived in my inbox this morning was truly perfect – it was a dancing chicken! Here is the link is you want to watch it too –

http://youtu.be/2nXrnoD4BYo

I watched it at 5:45 am this morning and I swear that all my neighbours heard me  laughing as I did! It was wonderful!

Next came my morning ride with Buche! Well, lets just say that it was special even though my Mother had made me promise to stop tormenting him about the female traffic cop. In fact, he is laughing even harder at me trying to keep my mouth shut when we drive by her.

The next phase of festivities came when Lawrence and I had to go out to accomplish some tasks. The poor man knew that my birthday was some day this week but I would not for the life of me confess when. He has seen some the videos that Mike has been sending me so he was attempting to wrangle the truth out of me and today in the car, he finally did! He immediately sang me happy birthday as he was driving and then took me for a wonderful lunch. I still have my piece of carrot cake to eat.

It simply amazes me that I can very publicly beat this poor man and yet he is still not only willing but eager to go in public with me! As we drove today, we both remarked on how I walked into his office almost six months ago and he was this very quiet, hard working finance officer who barely laughed. Now he survives public humiliation and laughs about it. In fact we laugh all day long. He claims that the changes I have wrought in him was like changing him from a “pastor to a serial killer” – his words exactly. 

When I said that I didn’t think that I actually turned him into a murder, he simply stated that he was using such a huge contrast to show what a difference that I have made in him. He is my best friend here and I simply don’t know how I would cope with out him. And quiet frankly, you can’t hang out any amount of time with me without laughing and experiencing more than a little chaos or unconventional behaviour. He has risen to that challenge and actually seems to be thriving because of it.

After an afternoon of numerous and wonderful birthday greeting rolling in from around the world on a slow and frustrating internet connection it was time to go home. When I told Buche that Lawrence was back in the lead in the contest to be my favourite man in Botswana, he calmly stated “Not for long”!

Never one to be outdone, he told me that we were going to his house before he took me home for my birthday present! So home I went with him. Once there he, his wife and daughter along with Princess presented me with my birthday presents which included a beautiful bouquet of flowers and Belgium chocolates which I promptly told him we were eating for breakfast in the car tomorrow morning.

My Birthday bouquet
My Beautiful Birthday bouquet

 

As he was dropping me off, Jetske was leaving a birthday present on the table on my patio. So of course I had to take it to the stoop and open it with her and Peter present. And then to my utter surprise came Tanalya, our wonderful housekeeper with a present for me as well. So you can only imagine how wonderful I feel! I got a wonderful tea pot with a filter to brew my David’s Tea in and Tanalya gave me Chinese Tea! Such wonderful thoughtful presents, I truly feel overwhelmed by it all.

Following a swim with Jetske, who remarked that only in Africa could I swim outside on my birthday at 6:00 pm in the evening, I joined Peter & Jetske for dinner after cramming in a call with my Mom.

So as you can see, I have had a truly remarkable birthday thanks to wonderful family and friends all around the World! Thank you to everyone who took the time to email me, send me special packages and remembered my birthday even though I am half way around the World from you! I am so touched by your thoughtfulness.

And to my new family here in Botswana and Tanzania! Thank you for giving me a birthday that I will remember for the rest of my life!

 

 

I am forgiven!

It is amazing what a good batch of homemade buttermilk blueberry muffins can accomplish!

I learned early in life that the way to a man’s heart was definitely through his stomach and no truer statement exists.

One of the reasons that I need groceries yesterday and why the basket was so heavy is that I knew that I was going to bake blueberry muffins last night. I had gotten fat succulent blueberries at Woolworth’ s on Friday and was eager to use them to bake up some yummy muffins. With all of the power outages that we are enduring it is impossible to keep meat or things like buttermilk in the fridge. You can only buy stuff that you are going to use up right away or risk having to throw it away when it sits without refrigeration for a day.

So after tormenting Buche all the way home, I immediately set to work whipping up a nice batch of blueberry muffins made with buttermilk. Of course, my kitchen is not equipped for baking so I need to make the very short trek to Peter & Jetske’s kitchen to use the big oven to bake in. While the muffins were baking, Jetske, Peter and I were catching up on the stoop. We had gone all weekend with really seeing each other…Peter was concerned Saturday morning that I was dead in my bed as he didn’t see me. What he hadn’t realized was that I had exited out of the gate early without him knowing 🙂

The socializing continued long after the muffins were out of the oven and cooled so all in all a wonderful way to spend the evening. Buche even got his muffins fresh last night when he came to Peter’s Place to pick up another resident. This morning he was all smiles and grateful for the yummy muffins. He also told me that even without the bribe I would have been welcomed back into the car this morning.

So all is forgiven…we were later in our routine this morning so didn’t see Ms. Traffic Cop…let’s see how the drive home goes…I still have the love note to throw out the window 🙂

I am pure Evil

If Buche doesn’t lock me out of the car this time, he is truly a Saint!

Obviously, I was in a mood today…given that I physically fought with Lawrence in the middle of the Spar grocery store just because he wanted to be a gentleman and carry my very heavy basket. My friend Linda emailed me to ask if there was video as she would have loved to seen Lawrence actually best me…he was still crowing at the office when I was leaving.

Perhaps that is what ramped me up to so unmercifully torment Buche on the drive home. The first few minutes were okay as I related how I had tried to beat up Lawrence in the Spar at the BBS mall. Buche was very amused but in his dry way asked why I simply didn’t just let Lawrence carry the basket for me….man is he sorry that he made that statement now!

As we were nearing our first set of traffic lights (robots as they are called here) there was a police woman in the middle of the intersection directing traffic. It is unusual for a traffic cop to still be at the particular intersection that late in the day. And this traffic officer is one that we know well. She was regularly at one particular traffic circle that we move through each morning. It is a regular joke between us as we try to guess if she is in good humour each morning or not. I might add that she appears to be in bad humour more often than not.

I have also started to joke that when she is in good humour it is because she has a boyfriend. We have even seen her talking on a cell phone a few times smiling and appearing rather in love. Then after the festive season she was no longer at this particular junction during our travels back and forth. I would tease Buche that she must have gotten married and moved. Although he was quick to point out a couple  weeks later that he had encountered her at a different intersection just down from where I work. So we joked that the honeymoon was over. She was back to work.

What you also need to know is that Buche is not great at actually stopping at stop signs except Tlokweng 🙂 This morning we even had a discussion about that and he told me that the only time he ever fully stops at a stop sign is when he is in Tlokweng or South Africa. He also has a real knack of getting stopped at every intersection or traffic circle that is controlled by a traffic cop which really makes him grumble and me laugh.

With all that you will now understand why are I am so evil.

As we approached the intersection all of the cars ahead of us proceeded through but it was like as soon as she (the traffic cop) saw our particular car, up went her arm and we were ground to a halt. Buche grumbled, I crackled! He complained that he just didn’t understand why he was always halted. So evil Cheryl told him why…..

I told him that she was secretly attracted to him and just wanted to have him close. The more he tried to denied that could even be possible, the thicker I laid it on. I even told him that his wife better watch out or she was going to lose him to Ms. Traffic Cop! When he claimed that wasn’t possible, Evil Miss Cheryl promptly reminded him that his phone number was proudly displayed on his back window so he better be expecting a phone call 😉

I then continued the tormenting by telling him that in the morning, I was going to toss a love note out of his window when we were stopped for her to find….see, I told that I am truly evil.

How much do you want to bet that we take a different route to my office tomorrow morning! or the windows in the car won’t go down!