Wednesday, February 06, 2008

we interrupt this journey for breaking local news...

Hi, while we have been blissfully meandering through the countryside, real life has been happening in a big way, so I thought we'd have a short news flash before getting back to our travels.

In an amazing turn of events, we ended up in Court today. Those of you who have been around a while may remember the incident in which we apprehended a burglar, and I got stabbed in the process. It was 18 months ago, and we had given up all hope of seeing justice done. In fact we were told he had been released on R200 bail, despite the fact that he was wanted for armed robbery as well. Then all of a sudden a cop arrived the other day with a subpoena, and said they had opposed bail, because there were multiple charges against the guy. Today we went to give evidence against him.

waiting for justice

We arrived at 08.45am and only left after 12 noon, having wasted the entire morning sitting on hideously uncomfortable benches while everyone in the court farted around and tried to find all the people involved in the trial. When I see the level of chaos and time wasting that goes on, even in a cut and dried case like this one, I begin to see even more clearly why crime is our new National Sport.... so few people are willing to press charges because it is such a monumental pain having to testify, but Mr Farty and I were determined not to let this b@$&@*d get away with it!

Maybe the wheels of Justice grind slowly, but they are still grinding, and hopefully this case will result in a habitual criminal staying off the streets for a while.

Outside the courthouse, relieved that it is all over.

It was quite nerve wracking giving testimony, being cross examined by the defense lawyer, and seeing the man who stabbed me in the dock. So my nerves were already a bit frayed when we went straight from the court to the post Office so Mr F could collect a parcel. I sat in the car waiting for him.

All at once I saw a movement next to the car, and looked up to see a man with his finger on the trigger of a semi automatic firearm, which was pointing straight at my face. I thought I was being hijacked for a moment, but then he moved on and I realised he was patrolling the street to see if it was safe for the Cash-in-transit van which was parked outside one of the 3 autobanks in the street. To say I got a fright and was unimpressed is putting it mildly!

This isn't the greatest picture, because the street was crowded, and you don't want to get too close to a trigger happy adrenalin junkie and stick a camera in his face (even though he clearly did not have any problem about sticking a rifle in mine...grrrrrrrr)

Here you see the bullet proof armoured van double parked until the man with the rifle confirms that it is all clear. I am not without sympathy for them, because they have become fair game for ruthless gangs who specialise in cash-in-transit heists, and some very bloody robberies take place on a regular basis, especially around Johannesburg. So they are justifiably cautious. But I hate the fact that, as a peace loving member of the public, I cannot be in a public street without being in danger of being shot by some jumpy, trigger happy security guy! There are many reports of innocent bystanders (recently a 2 year old toddler) being gunned down in the crossfire.

Anyway, on a happier note, Suzy asked after our grandson Ethan, so I thought I'd include a photo of his latest antics.

Three years old and already a pro with a computer mouse. Kids are amazing!

My art exhibition looms just around the corner.... so in between all this excitement, and preparing for the builder, I am frantically trying to complete a few more paintings. Will post some of the new ones when I come up for air again.

Anyone in PE who sees this and is interested is very welcome to attend the opening, take this as your personal invitation.

The ESCOM power story is settling into a routine, and while the 'powers that (don't) be' scurry around finding short, medium and long term solutions to the crisis, the general public has already accepted the inevitable. No amount of ranting or complaining is going to change the fact that "load shedding" is with us for the forseeable future.

We were in darkness again for 2 hours a couple of nights back. So we have been stocking up on ESCOM-free items (see Mr Farty's latest post), and now are pretty self sufficient. I found that the batteries in my radio had melted together and leaked acid all over, it is so long since it has been looked at as anything other than an electrical appliance. So that is all cleaned and sorted, with new batteries. We have a good supply of vanilla scented candles, and lots of matches. I got paraffin for the lamps, and Mr Farty had fun in a Boy's-toys shop getting rechargeable flourescent camping lights and a new gas cylinder (ours were bought 31 years ago in Zimbabwe, and are too rusty to trust any more.) We already have a gas light and cooker top and grill. I bought a mini oven/grill, so that I don't have to heat the whole huge oven just to cook something little for the 2 of us. We try to remember to keep cameras, cell phones etc regularly charged. And we work on laptops so that if the power goes off without warning, we won't keep crashing the system and losing work. We try to remember to switch the geyser off as soon as we have showered, and because we have had an insulation blanket fitted to the geyser, it stays warm for a couple of days. I would love to fit a solar powered geyser, but they are still a bit pricey, so it will have to wait. The extensions to the outside room which will finally give me a proper studio to work in are beginning on Friday...YAY. So life is about to get really messy and chaotic (soooo.... basically nothing new then!) and at the moment I need to budget for that, these things never end up costing what you are quoted for. We are not the only ones gearing up for it, this sign was spotted outside Fruit and Veg City this week.

And finally, I was commissioned by Vanilla Magazine, from Singapore, to produce a portrait of a PE lady they are featuring in the March edition. YAY! They liked the photos on the PE Daily Photo blog and made contact. So tomorrow afternoon, I am off to meet Boniswa, and hopefully get a decent portrait of her.

Wow, after all this, I think we need to do more travelling, so we will continue on our country drive soon!


NatzG said...

I'm reading your post and I get to the part with the gun sticking in your face, I'm thinking..."No freaking way!!!". And then I read on and you explain about the security guards and then it all made sense. But at first I was just struck by the freaking co-incidence. Glad you're ok.

christycunn1 said...

Wow, I admire you for going to court and going through the hassle! I think that would be a bit terrifying to face your attacker!