Retired Workbench Renewed

When we moved from our previous home, I was on the verge of throwing away this old workbench,which belonged to my father and was used by him on his farm.

At the very last moment I could not do it and with great difficulty it was included in my move and brought to my new city home.

Now as it is winter time in our region and  there is no rain, I tackled the job of cleaning, sanding and remodelling it into a potting bench for my backyard.


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After a  visit to the local paint expert and shop, I came away armed with the necessary paint, brushes and sealing for the task.

First the sanding.


I started off sanding by hand but soon thought this is going to take way too long. So I decided to try my hand at using my late husband’s  electrical belt sander. As I don’t even know how to switch it on, Google was consulted and armed with new knowledge I tackled the task.  Little did I realise it is not as easy as it sounds and looks.

In the first place the sander is quite heavy and I could barely lift it up. Determination however  was stronger than common sense and  after a few stops and starts I was sanding away happily. Untill…… I hit a nail. Disaster struck and pieces of sanding belt flew into the air, the machine made a horrible noise and I got the fright of my life. This put and end to sanding with the electrical tool and the rest had to be done patiently by hand.

After thoroughly sanding and cleaning all the dirt from the wood, I painted the whole workbench with a light grey paint. Two layers some  more sanding and I was ready to tackle the bench vice. In order to celebrate its retirement form work, I decided to paint it a bright turquoise to match the colours on a mosaic chair which I wanted to use with the bench.



A few splotches of the colour on the grey, more sanding and it was ready for the final coat of varnish to ensure that it is waterproof as it is going to be left outside.

Then came the fun part.

I want to use the bench mainly for growing herbs to be used when cooking,So after a visit to the nursery I planted celery, oreganum, salad greens and parsley. A well established rosemary plant was moved to its new home, some other essentials stored on the bench and here is the final product.

I am sure I will add more plants as time goes by, but the whole process gave me many hours of fun .




Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Dark and light, heat and cold

About a week ago we had a power failure in my city. As it is winter in South Africa I made a fire in the fire place.

This meant warmth as opposed to cold and light as opposed to dark. I took this picture while basking in the light and heat of the fire

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Ubuntu, Telkom help ?

” Yes Mam , but remember Ubuntu , we must be good to one another “, meaning  to strive to help people in the spirit of service, to show respect to others and to be honest and trustworthy.


These were the  parting words and answer to my angry questions of the 5th, or was it maybe the 6th Telkom technician when he left my home after yet another failed attempt to install an internet and telephone line.

He had spent exactly 15 minutes in the house, tested the line, declared it faulty and said he would report it.

Report it?

It has been reported repeatedly by the other technicians who visited me over the past two months.

Every visit was by a different technician, but the approach was the same. Test the line, go outside, look where the overhead line is running, shake a head, shrug a shoulder, declare :

“I have to gain access the pole, but the pole is in another property and the people are not there.”

Rush off in the white van with the blue Telkom sign and disappear, never to be heard of again untill I receive the next sms  commanding me to be available all day on a certain date for the installation.

In between I phone the Telkom Call Centre every day enquiring about the status of my order. I hear all the right answers, get order numbers and even after much complaining an escalation number. Still no Telkom line, but many smses, including  one declaring that the order has been completed.

By this time Ubuntu has flown the coop and only irritation at the lack of communication and competency remained.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but it boils down to the fact that  between the first visit of a Telkom technician and the day my service was eventually installed nothing has been done. The underground cable which was declared faulty on the first day was still faulty, the overhead line was still the same as the first day, the pole where it had to be connected never visited.

What happened to all the reports, all the visits, all my calls, all the smses, all the time and money spent in vain?

To top my Telkom woes, when the line was eventually installed, I could only receive incoming calls. After more phone calls to the call centre it was found that the number was linked to a closed account in stead of a new account, hence no  service available. Another two hours spent on the phone, being sent from one person to the other and at last I had a working telephone line and internet connection.

Now I think I have to put the phone into a locked and gilded cage lest it disappears again!











Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra


I was trying to capture the sunrise when this seagull suddenly flew by adding a little extra to a beautiful morning

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The bushbuck was  strolling through the camping grounds at Stormsriver in the Eastern Cape early one morning. To me he looked so out of place with the ocean in the background and the neat camping sites, yet he seemed at ease on his morning stroll.

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Time Remembered

“Time remembered is grief forgotten

Algernon Charles Swinburne from the poem Atalanta in Calydon

Time is in its essence abstract and transient, difficult to grasp and impossible to hold onto.

Everyday we rush through time, forgetting that each moment past will never be again. We live, we laugh, we love, we pass through time without thinking about the impact that our choices today will have on our lives tomorrow.

Important events in life, both good and bad, cause  time to take on a whole different dimension. It slows down or speeds past in a  most alarming way. Moments become hours, or milliseconds, imprinting visual pictures indelibly on our minds.

Pictures which can either haunt us with bad memories or delight with memories of joy and laughter.

How do we, I, you, anyone replace the haunting pictures with ones that bring joy and peace?

This is a question I have been struggling with for the past nine months since my husband took his own life and I was the one to find him on the bathroom floor.

I close my eyes and I see the blood, the gun, his feet in his favourite shoes, parts of his favourite sweater and in my mind I run. I run as far away as I can. I run away from the picture, I run and try to hide in my own mind from that corner where the picture is stored, only to find myself back there again.

I relive the shock, the disbelief, the anger and the grief again and again.

I relive the feelings of abandonment and betrayal.

I relive the moments, of chaos both in my mind and the minds of others around me.

I relive the exhaustion both physically and emotionally of packing up and moving  from our family home.

I relive the feelings of being uprooted from what I thought was my life and what was normal in my life.

I relive the feelings of loosing a husband, a friend, someone I thought I was going to grow old with.

To the outside world, I live a seemingly “normal” life. I go to work, I laugh, I eat, I sleep.  I visit friends and family, make new memories and new pictures in my mind.  I learn new skills and try to build a new life with a new normal.

Yet……….. Deep down I know I will never be the same again.

I will always carry that moment in time that changed my whole life with me. I will always carry the gap it left in my life. I will always carry the questions with no answers, the feelings with no cure.

I can only strive  to reach a point in my life where:

Time remembered will be grief forgotten”

Even if only for a short while.