Roll on long weekend

This long weekend cannot come quickly enough for me. It was January when we were last at our holiday house and I just cannot wait to get back. We have friends joining us with their teenage daughter who is also bringing a friend. They are also bringing their little dog so Ozzy will have a friend to play with. I am sure the two dogs will get on well enough as Ozzy is quite the gentleman when another dog does not want to play and he has shown no territorial aggressiveness over the property with the exception of letting passersby know that he is on guard. Visitors, on the other hand are welcomed with huge dollops of affection so he will be in heaven.

Workwise this past week has been extremely frustrating. I am part of a committee that was asked to assist in the organisation of a congress in Cape Town but all our suggestions, recommendations and cautions have been ignored by the national body. It is looking to be a train smash. There is also an outside conference organiser who is I am sure getting kickbacks and not negotiating the best possible deals which means that the delegates are having to pay more than is really necessary to attend. In addition they have been extremely tardy in putting together the promotional material so potential delegates are receiving very late notice of this event. I am not hopeful that we will see a big turnout and although most of the decisions have been taken out of our hands it will still reflect badly on us if it does not go well.

It seems that since I returned from the UK with dreadful flu and an ear infection my ear has not recovered and my hearing is much worse than usual. I saw the doctor on Monday and am now on a short course of steroids and nasal sprays to try and sort the problem out. If it does not respond to this treatment the next step, would you believe is grommets – at my advanced age!

Just two more sleeps and then I can relax, read, chat with friends and enjoy a glass or two of wine.

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Overpaid or Underpaid?

Driving to a meeting this morning I was listening to Cape Talk and the subject being discussed was wages and salaries and job creation. Someone said that South Africa’s problem is that wages are too high for us to be competitive internationally. Well that may be but if I look at the average salary/wage increase for office workers over the past 5 years (around 2 to 6%) compared to the electricity, fuel and food price increases it suggests to me that they are poorer in real terms than five years ago.

Office workers have, as far as I know, no union, unless they are in the government sector. Retrenching office workers is much easier than factory workers especially in the case of mergers and acquisitions. Lots of office workers put in many hours of unpaid overtime but struggle to get a few hours off for a doctor’s appointment. Access control to buildings effectively means they clock in and out like factory workers but management have no problem with calling meetings over lunch hour and expecting everyone concerned to attend.

In my view officer workers are the least protected and most exploited of all workers in this country. It’s time they got themselves a union and a voice.

Keeping up – just

Another week/weekend has flown by, the year is hurtling towards it’s end at an alarming pace, can’t believe that Easter has already come and gone.

I’ve not done much blogging lately, but I have tried to keep up with the blogs that I follow. Can’t help feeling a bit unsettled of late but I can’t put my finger on what is causing it.  I am finding it very difficult to get down and do what has to be done – even this blog post is a form of procrastination.

I was distressed and angered to learn that another two horses died in the running of the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday. To me it is unacceptable to put animals at risk for the sake of human pleasure pursuits and financial gain. The poor horses don’t get to choose to run whereas the jockeys and everyone else involved does.

I have just received further distressing news – my friend and hairdresser had an aneurysm last week and ended up in ICU and will be seeing a neuro surgeon this week. She is so young to have this happen but has been through tremendous stress over the past year.

My ISP has still not resolved my hosting / access issues and my confidence that someone will actually know how to fix the problem is rapidly eroding. Every time I deal with a different person who fixes one thing and breaks another.

On a happier note we have seen a number of good movies lately, top of the list is “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” – wonderful character actors, brilliant script and stunning screenplay. We also saw “The Descendents” which we enjoyed and “Material”, the best South African movie I have ever seen, “Safe House” and “Iron Lady”.

I have also successfully made my own biltong, first batch went down a treat, second batch currently drying. Now experimenting with different flavourings.

Last evening I was inspired by the ingredients in the fridge to make a Broccolli and Blue Cheese soup which turned out so well it will be repeated for our next dinner party.

The status quo remains on the issue of family matters. I guess in our case no news is good news.

Wishing all you bloggers a good week.