This has been a rather eventful few days in South Africa. None of the events were good, in fact it felt a bit like Armageddon. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing on the agenda of the gods is a Zombie Apocalypse. I refuse to eat brains, I only have a tazer and an axe for defence, and I am the slowest one in my family and therefore first on the menu so I certainly hope it does not come to that.
As I mentioned in my last blog, Caitlin and I worked from home on Wednesday as the storm due to hit the Western Cape was expected to be fierce. The predictions were correct as the wind howled, the sea churned and the rain poured down.
The damage we suffered was minor compared to many people. Norm had spent the day moving all of the garden furniture and garden ornaments into the flat at the back of our house so that they would not be airborne. Late morning Caitlin’s bedroom window started rattling and we realised that one of the panes was about to fall out and we had to call in an emergency repair guy which cost us R850 for 10 minutes work. That is only a temporary measure as they could not safely get onto a ladder to repair it and just secured it until the weather clears. We did not want to leave it though as the wind was howling into Caitlin’s room and it was really icy cold.
We are having someone in to quote for repairing the putty around all of our wooden framed windows. Wood framed windows look lovely but require a lot of maintenance, especially by the coast.
The day before the storm hit the sky in Cape Town was spectacular.
The sky was dark and dreary from my balcony.
Later we saw on social media that some of the new shacks which were still being built for the people who had lost their homes in the recent fire in IY were damaged.
Then we heard that a tree was down on the only road out of our suburb.
It was removed quite quickly by the local garden centre, Earthworx Garden World.
I settled in to get some work done but we had no wifi for sending or receiving emails, but luckily I had all of my data on my laptop and did not need to connect to a database or communicate with the team.
I did have my faithful companion Panda as my work colleague.
As the day went on and the storm built up in strength we saw many pictures & videos on social media of the chaos that was going on along the seafront.
This is the beach nearest my home, it is about 5 minutes from our house.
Three Anchor Bay slip way disappeared under foam & water. Everyone was advised to keep away from the Sea Point /Mouille Point Promenade. (photo credit from Jacques Weber JDW)
But typical of the South African resilient spirit, there were some people such as windsurfer Jake Kolnik who chose to risk their lives and ride the waves.
By the end of the day we heard that 8 people had died.
Later we heard the horrific news that a fire was raging out of control in the Garden Route where my son and daughter both live and that the entire area was being evacuated.
We saw some terrifying images on social media.
We saw heart-breaking photos of animals running from the heat of the fire and later those who survived but seemed to have lost their families. I hope this baboon is not injured and that his troop just scattered and that he finds them again.
There are still wild elephants roaming the Knysna forest which has mostly burned down, I hope they made it to safe ground.
We later heard that a family had been killed in the fire. Madre Johnston, 33, her husband Tony, 34, and their son Michael all perished. Madre, the mother was 8 months pregnant and they were celebrating their 3 year old child’s birthday. So tragic.
Today the news is that a fire-fighter has died from damages sustained in the fire and another is in critical condition with 50% burns over his body. This brings to five the number of fatalities as a result of the fire.
There is a suspicion that the fires were a result of arson as there were at least 26 different fires that were being fought. What type of person does this knowing the devastation it will cause?
The after pics are so sad. So many people have lost everything.
The fires were near my son’s house but luckily he is safe. The fires are still burning and the firemen and women are still fighting to keep them under control. I pray for all of those who were affected and all of those who are still in danger.
Meanwhile, life goes on. Norm has been doing a bit of painting in the newly renovated kitchen. And then yesterday the electricians from Thomas Electrical in Hout Bay came and installed my new light fittings. There are 2 of the smaller 3 light fixtures on the upstairs and downstairs landings and there are now 2 of the 5 light fixtures in the dining room and the lounge. They go so well with the curtain rails and the stair railings. I did not like the old fixtures that were there when we bought the house so I am very pleased to have these which match.
The weather is freezing cold but despite this menopause overruled my senses and I slept with my fan on Wednesday night and I woke with my neck literally frozen. I could not move my head and so after work I managed to get an appointment to see an acupuncturist at the Hout Bay Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture Clinic. He did both acupuncture and cupping which did give me a bit of relief from the spasms in my neck but it did not resolve the locked neck. Now I am even struggling to open my mouth as well as turn my head.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with my chiropractor in Noordhoek and hopefully that will sort me out properly.
Tonight Norm is looking after me and we are relaxing in front of a roaring fire.
In the meantime please keep the victims of the Cape Storm and Knysna fire in your thoughts and pray for the fire-fighters and the homes still at risk.
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