March Madness

It has been awhile since I put pen to paper… or should I say finger to keyboard and I am afraid that is how things go during these awkward times. 

In breaking news I can report that Snowdrops have been sighted! Spring is here.

Covid appears to be fading into memory as we are overtaken by events in the Balkans. Out of curiosity I checked the numbers this morning and discovered that yet another milestone has been passed. In July last year we hit the 5 million deaths milestone, and now we have just over 6 million deaths.

As at 05/03/2022 the covid numbers look like this:

After 2 years of being relatively covid free it finally broke out where I work and within a week we had 5 cases in the department where I am. All recovered quickly, and we are hoping that there is not another breakout. Unfortunately I heard that our supervisor that caught long covid will not be returning to work after having been off for over a year.  In total I personally know 15 people that have been affected by the pandemic and two are facing long recoveries. 

The newspapers/headlines/TV and fake news purveyors have however been dominated by the events in Ukraine.  And at this point in time that small war is escalating very rapidly, and the dreaded “Nuclear” word has been brandished way too often. The facts however speak for themselves and events there are escalating beyond a point where a withdrawal by Russian forces will never happen. The aggressor is not going to turn around and loose face and the savagery of the fighting will continue, leaving millions of displaced people and a long casualty list that is appalling.   My daily reading includes a number of fiction books that centre around wars in this very area as well as the South China Sea. Each is a lesson on what can happen and how individual battles play out.  None end in peace. 

As a former National Serviceman I too experienced conflict, and the people who are left to pick up the pieces are not the politicians that start it in the first place. Neither is it the boots on the ground who become increasing more traumatised as they fight for survival. At least they have the weapons to fight with; the civilians caught in the middle do not.    To be honest I am afraid of what an escalation in this war will be, but be rest assured that the blame can be laid squarely at the foot of the invaders of Ukraine. When/if we face a nuclear winter I can bet that the fake news purveyors will make out that they are the innocent party. There is no excuse for the invasion of Ukraine, nor for the savagery with which the Russians are levelling cities/people/infrastructure.  The former USSR never really gave a hoot for the countries that they invaded or the people who ended being drawn into the evil empire. It was all about “the party” and nothing else. The difference this time around the USSR has rebranded itself and updated its tactics. 

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed a number of posts from when I was a member of the Transvaal Branch of the World Ship Society. These posts are really a part of my past and important to me and my memories.  I have enjoyed rereading those many memories and exploring some of the things that we got up to when we hit the road for Durban. Those days will never return for any of us, and as the list of those who have crossed the bar gets longer it becomes important to leave something about them in cyber space. So many people helped make those trips a success, and I am eternally grateful to them. 

Regular readers may have also been puzzled about my lack of anime posts. The previous year’s post were really an attempt at creating some sort of regular anime review but I am afraid it did not work too well so I have ceased doing it.  The current season is pretty lacklustre but there is one gem that has surprised us all and I am an avid follower. 

This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the Rand Revolt, and of course the remnants left behind. To commemorate the anniversary a memorial is to be erected in Braamfontein Cemetery where a number of victims are buried. The cemetery was reasonably close to the action, although Brixton Cemetery was even closer and would see the many funerals of the victims. I grew up close to the Fordsburg area and back then I was never aware of the event. It was only when I started photographing war graves that I discovered this small war that literally took place on our doorstep.  Is it still relevant today?  To be frank many people have no idea that the revolt even occurred, or the reasons behind it. Yet it helped form the future governments of South Africa, and of course the path that the country would inadvertently take as it headed towards becoming a republic in 1961. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the unveiling of the memorial, but I was part of the team that worked towards researching the victims and villains so I am kind of chuffed.  

On the 1st of March 2013 I arrived in the UK to take up a new life. I still am unable to process the passage of time since then. It has gone incredibly quickly and theoretically I will end up going on pension here although anything can happen. It has been quite a journey though and I could not help thinking that had I married last century and had children they would have had a path to a British Passport.  I guess my dreams from long  ago of a house with a picket fence and a wife and 2 kids went down the toilet quite quickly and nowadays I dream of anything but a picket fenced pad.  Heck, my dreams back then never included a pandemic or a possible nuclear conflagration and I probably had the dream where I had no pants more often than anything else.    

We are not yet at the Ides of March, but at the rate things are going not only will we be living in interesting times but will have to beware of the Ides of March. Does anybody else feel that this year has become a disaster?

DRW 2022. Created 06/03/2022

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