It is now 19.30 on the evening of the 7th and I am back home, surrounded by washing, empty suitcases, clothing, postcards and heaps of other odds and ends that I brought back with me. My flight left last night at 9 pm, and we landed just after 6 this morning. I have spent the time between then and 4 pm in queues, trains, buses and Paddington Station.
A lot happened between my previous post of the 24th of February and now. I split my time between my brother’s house and my friends on the West Rand, although was not as active in the local cemeteries as I was previously. My mother is surprisingly strong, but I fear that she is trapped inside her body and is probably hating every minute of it. Unfortunately we had to make the decision that we made in 2017, there were no more options available to us. Sadly she is surrounded by other elderly women of various ages, many never get visited and lead out their lonely lives in the home. I am afraid that in some cases they have outlived their children, or their children are no longer in the area or in the country.
Menu from my return flight
There is a lot I can say about South Africa. Corruption has seriously damaged the economy, and the continued demand by Eskom for higher tariffs is met with disgust as the public recalls how easily Eskom and the corrupt in it seemingly burnt money with impunity. To this date no high profile crooks have been arrested for corruption and they continue to lead the high life, safe in the knowledge that they got away with it.
The few malls that I visited were also showing the effects of the economic downturn, with empty shops and fewer buying customers visiting them. Generally though I had good service from 99% of the people I encountered in my travels in and around the West and East Rand. The petrol price continues to bite though, and of course the traffic jams in Johannesburg are even worse as a large portion of the one freeway has had to be closed to repair some of the supports and bridges that are part of it.
Muffin the cat continues to amuse, at this moment he is thinking of entering politics and is trying to register his own political party called “The Fishycookie Party”. By his reckoning he could be the chief poohbah in the next election because at least he wont be corrupt, although is liable to sleep in parliament.
Again I got to enjoy the pets of my brother and friends during this trip, and it is amazing how they enrich our lives; there is never a dull moment when you have a cat or a dog.
The weather back in South Africa was hot and very uncomfortable as I really prefer the relatively cooler summers of the UK. I do not do heat well! We did have a typical highveld thunder/rain storm in my last week, and I had forgotten how much water these could dump and how bad the thunderstorms can get in Johannesburg. Back in the UK it was overcast and drizzly where I live, but the march to Summer continues.
Food prices continue to rise and I did quite a few comparisons with the prices I gathered way back in 2017. These are just a few examples that I spotted, and some items may have been on sale. The items are not indicative of my own personal preferences and are sourced through leaflets and shops I visited in the West and East Rand. Petrol was R14.08 pl 95 octane and R13.86 for 93 octane (02/03/2019)
6 Eskort Gold Medal Pork Sausages: R44.91
Kellogs Corn Flakes (750gr) R49.99
Beef Biltong R320/kg
Oreo 16’s R14.99
Sedgewick’s Old Brown Sherry 750 ml R44.95 (R39 in duty free at ORT airport)
Milo 500gr tin R51.99
2 Litres Coke R16.99
Cadbury’s Chocolate (80g slab) R19.95
Oral B electric toothbrush R499.95
Jungle Oats (1kg) R26.99
Weetbix (900 gr) R38.99
Wellingtons Tomato Sauce (700 ml) RR18.99
Baby Soft 2 ply toilet rolls (18’s) R124.99
Lipice (4.6 g) R22.99
Sunlight dishwashing Liquid (750 ml) R32.99
Joko Tea (60 bags) R32.99
Milo (500 gr) R54.99
Ricoffy (750 g) R79.99
Mrs Balls Chutney (470 g) R28.99
Douwe Egberts Pure Gold coffee (200 g) R119.99
Crystal Valley salted butter (500 gr) R47.99
Nature’s Garden mixed veg (2,5kg) R25.99
30 Large eggs R49.99
Stork Country Spread 1kg R29.99
Dewfresh milk 6×1 Litre R69.99 (R11.99 ea)
Gordons Gin 750ml R99.99
Hunters Dry 12x440ml Cans R129.99
30 Extra large eggs R44.99
Ultra Mel Custard 1 Litre R22.99
Enterprise Back Bacon 200gr R23.99
Fresh chicken breast fillets (R59.99/kg
Huletts white sugar (2.5 kg) R39.99
Lipton ice tea (1,5 litre) R17.99
King Steer burger R64.90, Regular chips: R15.90 2019
95 Octane petrol R14.08, (/02/03/2019)
4 Finger Kitkat R8.99
48 Beacon Mallow Eggs R79.99
Tabasco Sauce (60ml) R38.99
DRW © 2019. Created 07/03/2019