Merlin has a real talent in finding mud. After several month of dry season, he still manages to get muddy on almost any walk – and whenever we let him out in the mornings. We have white tile floors in the living room and kitchen, and every paw print is visible – but luckily easy to clean. But let’s not talk about the bedroom carpet.
The past two days I have spent in Singularity University SA. It is a cool concept – two days of speeches from some of the top experts in the world on exponential technologies, e.g., using Robotics, developing Artificial Intelligence and manipulating DNA. One of my favourite speeches was from an astronaut, who did his best to describe what space feels like (as if one could do that…).
My pet peeve for the entire two days was the host, who did his very best to create hype and excitement – while reading straight from the prompter. Words and presence did not match.
But definitely not a ‘normal day in the office’.
South Africans love rain. For a Finn, that is hard to understand. Intellectually, I understand rain is necessary after 6 months of dry season. I may even enjoy the fresh air after the downpour when all the dust settles. But I don’t enjoy rain itself. And South Africans truly do. I guess that for a country where succulent plants are the norm, it is (somewhat) understandable.
A colleague made me laugh last year. My parents were flying to Johannesburg, and the forecast promised rain for the entire weekend. Very sweetly she came to me, and from the bottom of her heart wished that the forecast would be correct, and we would have proper rain for my parents. For her that was the best thing she could wish for. For a Finn, that is the very last thing you wish on your holiday!
Sun is out and trees and bushes in the park start to bloom. I am grateful yet again that Merlin is a low-shedding dog. I do remember the amount of hair every spring with my previous golden retriever. Not having to continuously walk around with a vacuum cleaner gives you more time to enjoy the spring.
I have mentioned before how both Stuart and myself are partial to Asian food. We have a very good Korean grocery store in the neighbourhood, so we have a possibility to often cook Korean. There is a lot of variety in Korean kitchen, but we are specifically fond of street food. It is simple, tasty and quick. Bibimbab – a rice pot with vegetables, beef and chili sauce – is one of our every-day favourites. Some months ago we even invested in the ‘proper’ Dolsot Bibimbab bowls. Layering the meal in these hot clay pots makes rice nice and crunchy. Our kind of food.
Merlin – our little schnauzer – loves vegetables and fruit. I use cucumber as his training treat, but he is also a huge fan of snap peas, apple and broccoli. Once, when he was a smaller puppy he was (accidentally) left alone with some braaied ribs and corn cobs. He chose the corn and left the ribs untouched.
Maybe I should not have been surprised when he took a big liking to strawberry. However, he gets it without the sugar.
We had lunch today with some friends who have been blessed by 1-year old twins. Although incredibly cute, their energy is a little overwhelming. However, they are such a pleasure to be around with – there is something magical about that stage of toddler’s life when just walking around is a major adventure.
Little outside Johannesburg – in the middle of nowhere – is a farm with a brilliant business plan. They have converted the area into a dog park with a restaurant, dog spa etc. Although that sounds simple, there is no direct competition anywhere close by – and people drive long distances to get there. The dogs are allowed to play freely between the tables, while you have your lunch or a drink; there is a pond for swimming and several short walking routes. It is the ‘critical mass’ that matters tho. There are always plenty of other dogs to play with, and lots of mud. Merlin’s idea of heaven on earth.
Day 150 deserves another mini celebration!!
Although I admit that in the past weeks the busy work schedule combined with spring flu has made it difficult to motivate myself for the challenge. But I am still here – maybe in few weeks I will even catch up on posting and editing the photos. And if not, – well – photos don’t have a ‘best before’ date.
Due to a number of late evenings at work, my recent photography has been limited to small, home-bound photos of everyday objects. And what could more every-day than eggs and a whisk? However, it turns out you can do some pretty interesting stuff even with such simple items.