What a hectic week! It all started on Monday morning when Plessey South Africa started pulling up our driveway to lay optic fibres along our road. We knew it was a matter of time before they reached our house, as they had been digging and ripping up paving all over the neighbourhood for weeks now, making a general mess, hitting water pipes and causing power outages. We were not to be spared from their folly it seemed. So Monday we opted to stay home, since we didn’t really have anything planned it didn’t matter too much that we couldn’t get out the house, apart from the major concern of my needing to go to hospital in the event of an emergency.

The next day was much the same, and given the cold we were quite happy to stay home and indoors. In the evening however, chaos reigned. Mom and I had an appointment, and because of the drizzle of the day, and high water table, our car got stuck in the trench. The crowd at Plessey were no help whatsoever, but fortunately some people in a 4×4 helped dislodge the Merc so that we could at least get it back into the garage. Our other, bigger, concern for the evening was should we need to get to hospital triage quickly, given my condition, was that we wouldn’t have been able to get the car out. Despite Daddy explaining this, the Plessey people they were unsympathetic. It took a further 18 hours, until the next afternoon, before the trench was repaired and navigable by a car again. Once we could get out again, Mom and I took the advantage of some freedom and went to the Haahoo (Delta) Park where we met up with Jenni, Hannah and Sam. It was really late in the afternoon, so Daddy popped by for a quick play too, on his way home from work.

Thursday we took Granny shopping, and in the afternoon I had speech therapy with Vicky where I painted a picture with her. Daddy loved the picture so much that he’s putting it in his office at work. I beamed with pride.

Daddy took leave on Friday, but not for pleasure, and his mood showed it. He was off to Opa and Oma’s house to finish clearing it up. In Daddy’s words, the house seems to breed junk, as he filled yet another skip of rubbish, despite previous attempts to clear the house of rubbish. While Daddy was at the other house, Mom and I busied ourselves making space at home for some pieces of furniture from Opa and Oma’s house. It seems some of the items wouldn’t fetch decent prices as used furniture, so Mom and Dad opted to have them brought to our house to try and restore the items, as the years have not been kind to the wood. At midday the truck arrived, and a short while Daddy too. We all got down to the business of bringing the furniture into the house.

The road was absolute chaos during this time. Plessey, after Dad had a discussion with their COO, were repairing and reinstating our drive-way. The removal truck was in the road, and in the park across the road a team were clearing out old branches and leaves using a truck fitted with a massive wood chipper. I was impressed to see it gobbling up whole trunks of trees. Finally, by mid-afternoon, things had calmed down in around the house, despite the furniture not yet being in its final positions, it was all stacked in the lounge. Mom, Dad and I decided a Wimpy meal was needed; while Mom and Dad munched on their burgers I played in the play-zone. Afterward I was exhausted, and I barely made it home before falling asleep. When I woke up Daddy was snoozing next to me, but he must have showered first, as he wasn’t covered head to toe in dust anymore.

Early Saturday morning Dad was off to Opa and Oma’s house again, this time to let the cleaners in to give the house a once over before being transferred to the new owners. At home Mom and I played up a storm, and once Daddy was home, we headed off to Smudge for some art work. Soon it was time for a snooze, so back home I cuddled up with Daddy while he read. While I snoozed, Mom collected Granny; as I woke up they arrived home – it was awesome to have Granny visit again. In the evening we all went to the Spur at Cresta where I played while Mom, Dad and Granny had a meal.

Sunday morning Mommy was really ill with a bug. I felt so bad for her. Fortunately Granny and Daddy were able to entertain me while Mommy rested. In the afternoon, after we dropped Granny off at home, Dad took me to Amy’s birthday party where Amy, Chloe and I played and played on the massive jumping castle that Paul and Michelle had arranged for the kids. We played on the castle until its owners came to deflate and collect it.

Well, that’s it for my week. Some noteworthy things I’d like to record are that Mom, Dad and I watched the last ever launch of the space shuttle on Friday evening. It was awesome watching the clock countdown, despite it standing still for a short while at T-Minus 31 seconds. Soon the countdown resumed, and I watched in awe as the massive shuttle Atlantis fired off its launch pad heading toward space. STS-135, as the 12 day mission was named, was underway. The speed it accelerated at was incredible, and pretty soon it reached 11 000 kph! While we watched the broadcaster relayed the communications between Atlantis and Launch Control Centre. The enormity of it all struck me when the Commander on the ground confirmed Negative Return, i.e. the shuttle had travelled so far that it could no longer safely return to Earth during its launch, and was now committed to going into space. Eight and a half minutes after leaving Kennedy Space Centre, Atlantis cut its main engines for the last time as it entered space. Today, Atlantis docked with the International Space Station for the 12th and final time.

Other news is that Sudan this weekend split into two countries, now resulting in a smaller Sudan in the north and a new country called South Sudan. The spilt results in Algeria now becoming the largest country in Africa, and no longer Sudan. It also brings to 55 the total number of countries in Africa, which continues to make to the continent with the most countries.

Today saw the last publication of News of the World, after a 168 year run. The primary reason for its closure was as a result of the newspaper’s involvement in the phone hacking of a victim of a murder, and an on-going police investigation.

Last, but not least, a personal achievement is that my blog has now reached 500 comments! Thanks to all those that have commented and had been reading my blog so avidly.

Until next week.



Photo 1 Getting a close-up look at Milo

Photo 2 Playing at the Haahoo (Delta) Park

Photo 3 Peek-a-Boo

Photo 4 It’s never too cold to play!

Photo 5 Painting (myself) at Smudge

Photo 6 A real work of art

Photo 7 Mmmmm, missed a spot

Photo 8 Hand-print time

Photo 9 Climbing with Amy

Photo 10 Paul gives me a boost up, with Amy pulling from the top

Photo 11 Getting ready to slide

Photo 12 Going down

Photo 13 Oooo, Amy’s going down standing

Photo 14 My turn

Photo 15 Birthday girl

Photo 16 Ending off a great weekend with a hot bath

1 Comment on Lift Off

  1. Lyn Temlett says:

    Hello Jarrod,
    Wow! What a lot of news – I think you can compete with Aljazeera or CNN!!! Thanks for all the interesting facts. You have taught me a few things which goes to show that old fogies can learn from little people and we should always be searching to improve our general knowledge. I did not get to watch the space shuttle launch but read all the tweets on twitter- mostly from your Dad and our famous 702 Aki who, you may not know would have loved to be an astronaut or a pilot 🙂 I would have liked to be a game ranger, but when I should have gone to university, I got married instead and so now I just enjoy my own pets and look after them as best I can. Looking after our pets well is very important but I think you know that hey! I hate to see cruelty to animals.
    Your painting project looked fun – did Mum get your jersey clean? Have you tried online painting? There is this site called “Painting for boys” and I painted the bear picture. It turned out rather nice and it was fun too. Less messy, but then I think ‘messy’ is part of the fun! You should try the online one though. Let me know how it goes. The party with Amy seemed great. She’s a pretty little girl. I would love to go down one of those slides. Can big people or will it break? I am glad your Mum is feeling better. It was kind of you to let her rest. Well done! Oh – I have never seen a cat up so close before. I think I must get my binoculars out and try it – must also find a cat though! I only have two dogs and a horse.
    My week has been bitter/sweet which means half nice and half horrible. The nice part was that I have been working on a coffee shop project at our church and I spent the week furnishing it and making sure it was all ready for the opening today. The main reasons for it is so that people can munch nice things after church and socialize and then also to teach lots of poor little boys and girls how to behave properly in a public eating place and not grab and stuff their mouths too full. You see many children I work with do not have parents like you do and they more or less have to look after themselves. I think it is going to be fun to watch them develop and grow into bright and lovely boys and girls. The horrid part of this week is that your friend Jared got very, very ill as you know. Thanks for thinking of him. It was quite scary to see him so weak. His fever broke today and I think we have turned the corner towards getting better. I am so happy. So I guess it was sweet, bitter and sweet which means that sweet wins!! 🙂
    Well it is time for me to do my weekly planner so that I go into the week with direction and not just higgledy piggledy. You have LOTS of FUN – say hi to Aaron for me and be good and stay warm.
    Lots of Love and a BIG hug.

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