Saturday, August 18, 2007

ugg day

starting off with having to leave the house before 08h00. On a Saturday. OK, I would have been up at about the same time to feed littlest bird, the 5 day old dove, but would have been able to veg into wakefulness at a more weekend-ish pace. And, of course, when I got to burns-charity buddy, nothing was anywhere near ready. It hadn't even been sorted yet. And then it was out to the deepest depths of a township known for it's poor safety and violence, and the number of hijackings in the area, to deliver blankets to 14 families whose shacks had burned down in a fire caused by someone leaving a stove on and going out. Delivering aid was good, but I can't help feeling that it is so frustrating to see people wilfully building unsafe structures to house themselves when our glorious government doesn't bother, and then having 3 or 4 kids apiece. Not that I generally have much good to say about our government, but in this case, I can see the problem they face. If they can't keep their promises of '94 to the then-population, how on earth can they ever catch up to a population that's in total explosion? Unfortunately, providing a "children's grant" that nowhere near covers what should be spent on a kid, has served only to create a whole child-popping industry, where if you have a few and then don't spend the grant money on clothing, feeding and schooling them, you have enough money to stay at home and still visit the local shebeen for a few beers every night. And then the government is in dwang for not being able to keep up with building classrooms, hospitals and houses for all. It's a lose-lose situation, made even worse by the number of families where one or both parents die of AIDS - and seeing as they won't use condoms for saving their own lives, contraception is even more irrelevant - leaving children of 8 or 10 to bring up a range of siblings from babies on.

And then this whole expanded population ends up in a situation where one person's carelessness destroys a dozen makeshift homes because they are built illegally in someone else's backyard - all adjoining, reached by a road where a fire engine couldn't fit, and a pathway between structures where even two skinny people can't pass each other without becoming very close friends....

Followed by handyman - whose planned workday had necessitated the earliness of the delivery mission - phoning to tell me he hadn't brought any of the tools needed to do any of the jobs planned. Now seeing as he had the list, and was quite able to tell me how much he wanted to be paid for the jobs on it, he can't tell me that he didn't know what was involved. Or what would be needed to do it. And to add to my ire, he then told my housekeeper that he was completely finished in the bathroom. I don't regard having underneath half the bath full of rubble and not closed in, taps sticking out of bare concrete, and a huge chunk of old lintel sticking out of the wall as completely finished. When/if he appears next weekend, I think it is time for a serious chat with young Gil about what is needed if he thinks he can run his own business, and that based on his performance over the last few weeks I can't recommend him to other people, especially not my friends.

After which the electricity went off. And stayed off from 13h30 till after 18h30. I can manage being caffeine-deprived and reading by candlelight, but I have an inch long doveling who almost died as I watched - baby birds need to be kept warm, and have a higher body temperature than we do, and without power none of my heating methods are usable for a small bird. I was almost ready to start phoning around for someone to take him and the two pigeons of about 9 days who were also chilling down, when I came up with a temporary method which entailed running the hot water till it reached max temp, and then surrounding the babies with small plastic containers of hot water, and changing them every 40 mins or so. TG the power came on before the geyser got too cold to do that, and birdlings were all still alive - won't know until the morning whether the cold impacted their body functions too much or not.

Couldn't have the afternoon nap I wanted because of the water changes, so was trying to manage little power-naps. Every single one of which was interrupted by a whining text message from DB because she was bored - her hubby was playing golf, and she is incapable of amusing herself for even half an hour. Bit my fingers to stop myself from rude replies like read a fricking book, or watch videos with your kid, but just do something that doesn't involve nagging me!

Guess it's clear that the meds haven't transformed my mood yet...

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