Thursday, May 31, 2012

WITS uni - RAPS plays - May 2012

It was a cold, winter's Wednesday, when the brave band of family and friends set forth to go watch school plays at the WITS University Theatre! Would the cold phase them? Would the cramped car deter them? Would they even make it there alive?!?!?!
As you can tell there was plenty drama to go around already! Here's hoping the plays are as good!

The plays were high school ones that were competing for the prize at the WITS RAPS festival. (I forget what RAPS stood for - no wait, no one told me in the first place...)

R65 to see 3 high school plays? What a rip! No wonder folk stay home and rent movies. Still, for the experience I was willing to pay any price!!!
(No not really, but that did sound good didn't it?)

Ok this is a photo I got of the stage just micro-seconds before they told us to switch off cellphones and how you're not allowed to take pictures, as in EVER!!!!!
Since this was taken before the polite warning, I consider it fair game to use. Even if people can't tell what in the world it was taken of!
 Intermission and we were allowed to snap a few pics of the posters the schools made for their plays. Some were terribly clever. Others were best glossed over with a, "Well, erm, they're still kids... cough cough" mentality.
All in all the plays were awesome though! The two girls high schools absolutely excelled! Funny, interesting, dramatic! They kept you glued to your seat! Thank goodness they were comfy seats.
The boy's high school play was a bit weaker, being too dramatic and dry and preachy. Good acting mind, just I found myself wiggling a lot and scrolling through the pics on my camera more then once.
(Yes I know we were supposed to turn them off but would you shoosh and just watch the play dammit!)

There's a lot of talent in those young critters though! I like to think one day they will be super famous and I'll look back and say, "Lordy I remember back in the day, before they invented Brain Capsules, how I saw their very first RAPS play!"
(Probably though I'll just forget and think they're annoying young gits who have to STAY OFFA MA LAWN!)

Siyakhana Gardens - the sequel! May 2012

Once again groups of Discovery volunteers headed out to make the world a better place! This time our mission? To bold go where no weed should have gone before!! 

Or in plain English, off we went to help out at the Siykhana gardens in Midrand and Observatory, to weed, paint, plant, push and pull! A chunk of a day off work, getting physical exercise AND helping out the community? Let me on that bus!!

I'd gone once before to the Observatory garden and that's where I went back to again! This time with a camera that works! (Last time it ran out of battery power and I couldn't blog the event! But really it is so much more fun to live a story then write about it! And writing about it is awesome!)

But back to our adventure!

This was my view for most of the bus ride. It was nippy and she had a pom-pom hat on.
I want a pom-pom hat...

 The gardens grow many foods and herbs that shared with the community and schools. They also teach people about food security and how to grow a lot with very very little.

It was heading into winter and yet there were still some interesting looking things growing here, there and everywhere!

 I elected to be one of only two people who decided to paint! Last time I came to the gardens I dug and weeded with the best of them, but this time, it was me and the fence, one on one!

 There is a very godly feeling in changing the colour of something! HAHA!

Also changed the colour of my jeans and T-shirt! I get fully body involved in all I do!

 They gave me a mask to paint with but I took it home for use in ... other indevours. Jo's are big fans of props!

 And a little lunch provided to keep the energy up! Then back to the paint!

 GASP! The illusive mushroom shed! I so want to go in there! We did last time but alas not this time round. When I had a camera. That worked. Life's cruel irony.

Then off we trotted back to the bus. Tired, sweaty and smelling vaguely like jungle.
Another job conquered!!! HAHA!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lets Kinect! XBox 360! 19 May 2012

The time had come!
Time to play with Rob's Kinect on his XBox!
Basically it's a nifty doo-dad that tracks your movement and makes you "move" inside a game. It's a fun way to get a bit of exercise and still play and have fun indoors. We're doing the sports variety!

Time to PLAY!!!

We did bowling and then next, some ping pong! (Table tennis for the anally retentive)

Oh dude, I'm so psyched! Bring it it on!
Who's ready to play?

Jo's new patented funky chicken flap ensured victory over a wily computerized opponent! (Who may have been on amateur level but it still counts!)

Slid to the left! Slide to the right! Do-si-do and back again!

What? Elegance and grace are not my strong suit!

Then soccer! Kicking and scrambling about! It gets pretty tiring!

Block the non-existent ball! Block the non-existent ball!!!!

Cor Blimey I'm knackered!!

ILab Training - 16 - 18 May 2012

From Wednesday to Friday - very agreeable study days, I was off work and on Course learning all about the ins and outs of being a software tester! I was doing the very basic Practical Software Testing course, but you do have to start somewhere.

Aaaah was I so excited!!! I've never been on a course for work before! Didn't know what to expect or if I'd be any good or if there'd be  tons of friendly people or would it just be me and a disgruntled lecturer who's got a chronic mint addiction? You just don't know!

Admittedly things started off a bit wonky as I had the wrong address for the place, but once that small but telling bug was sorted I was soon in class and learning with the best of them!

ILabs was fantastic! The lecturers knew their stuff and made the learning smooth and entertaining. The class was small so you could have all the individual attention your needy heart required and even the little cafeteria served healthy, tasty snacks and beverages.

And the building complex! Oh it was beautiful! All the trees in autumn colour! I made a point of walking up and down the long driveway each day to soak in the scenery, my photo below just doesn't do it justice!

But I have to say the course was an eye opener! In three days they managed to shove a ton of knowledge in my grey matter in such a way that suddenly so many things were making real sense! 

I now know everything from EXACTLY what a test procedure is, to how to do an S graph, to effective testing designs to even what RFC stood for! I didn't realize learning could be so fun! I'm actually quite sorry it's over for all I am keen to test my knowledge back at work! 

I feel very useful and that makes me just that bit extra happy to be alive! I feel sorry for anyone who isn't a tester and didn't get to go on training with me! 

So, when's the next course due?!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Great Bouncing Bunnies!!!

A few months ago we noticed a new visitor to our garden. 
It seems the neighbour's black rabbit was coming to visit and nosh on our grass and veggie patch. 

It is rather a cheeky little bugger, here seen sleeping in the grass RIGHT in front of the gate that keeps the dog in. This buff bunny is no fraidy cat! (Mind the dog wasn't so pleased with this arrangement...)

We soon discovered that he had two other black bunny friends! Though they ran all about the neighbourhood, seeing this little fellow in our garden was always best! (It could be a lady rabbit mind you, it wouldn't let me close enough for a good shot, let alone a conversation on gender equality.)

And then, a  little while later, TADA, 2 baby bunnies added themselves to the mix! Hooray!! (Proving that at least one of the furballs was of the female persuasion.)

We drive past them in the early morning (They're also up at 5am!), and late afternoons. We love trying to spot a critter or two as we head home. A day just isn't the same if we don't see some furry little beasty industriously hovering up the neighbour-of-choice's grass. 

Can you spot the bunny?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pagan Fest / Rhodes Park - Kensington - Friday 27 2012

The first Pagan Festival in South Africa and weren't we keen to go and see what's what? We left bright and early that Friday (Public holiday - Hoorah!) and got to Rhodes Park nice and early, very excited to see how this festival would be pulled of! We expected stalls and fires and people in witch hats and all sorts of interesting things. 

Well, weren't we Gyp'd! It was basically a few stalls with nifty little trinkets you'd expect to find in any emo teen's room, that you could get at well near any flea market that would at least have had a pet stall to keep you entertained. There were no festivities, no odd balls in black cloaks, no excitement, not even a virgin sacrifice! I'm not sure weather I myself or any covert Christians were more disappointed.

I did love this big wad of magnets! Reflecting a thousand Jo's taking photos! We explored the entire thing in 5 minutes.

Luckily Rhodes Park itself turned out to be terribly fun and we went romping about taking some stunning pictures of the autumn foliage!

 And lovely water scenery!

We took pics from the local wild life (that either watched us suspiciously, or totally ignored us!)

 To odd tree roots...

 To piles and piles of cushy, crisp leaves...

To the mouth watering autumn vista that was all around us in general!

 There was even a playground where some over-sized kiddies were getting their kicks!

 Some of the ponds and pools of water were so crystal clear!

 You wanted to just dive in and swim - if getting a free dose of Bilharzia wasn't on the menu.

 We also explored all the old ruins at the park. Houses from yester-year, all over weeds, broken glass and random jackets and paint cans lying about. The plastic on this one's roof made it glow green and eerie!

 Back to perving over nature!

 I love this photo!

 We even found an old outdoor stage, where maybe, a decade or so ago, you could have put on a small play for friends and family.

 Mind there was a whole ton of wasps in the ceiling which sort of put you off hanging about there very long. This pic was taken with the utmost bravery!!!
(And it's good to know no one got to see me high-tailing it out of there afterwards!)

The whole park was really stunning!! Personally, I think, wrapped in all that beauty and nature, we had a far more spiritual time than anything the Pagan Festival had to offer. Amen.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Discvery Paints the Hospital Yellow - April 2012

Off went the Discovery volunteers to Chris Hani Baragwaneth hospital to paint the halls and corridors! This was the biggest group that I'd ever been in and everyone seemed keen for some nice, mid-week physical labour!

 When we got to the hospital we had a bit of a time finding the entrance to the place and the bus driver got to practice his reversing skills in full! I managed to get this shot on the second time we drove round!

Inside the hospital we were taken to the area set up for us to paint, given a basic lecture on painting and the joys there of, and then set loose with trays of paint, rollers and brushes!

 This was my brush, in the burning bright yellow that was to become part of my clothing, hands and hair. 
Yellow incidentally, is scientifically proven to make people feel happier and more joyful. I know slathering that stuff on the walls there perked my mood right up! (admittedly I was already cheerful and would have been happy slathering pea green onto the walls, but I like to think the yellow added a certain dimension of pizzazz!)

 Paint, paint, paint!

 We finished in record speed! So fast in fact that in an hour's time - POOF, instant glowy yellow walls! That’s Discovery employees for you, we know all about knuckling down and getting a job done!  We toured the hospital a bit then reluctantly went back to work. (Hey we might be hard workers but we’re human beings as well!)

But the end product looked lovely and it was wonderful to know that we had all contributed to making a place of wellness just that much more so!