Day 166 – Big and small

Merlin is a very sociable little dog. Except when we meet big and excited dogs. They are scary… Merlin has a habit of inviting these big dogs to play – while standing between my legs (it is safer that way…). He is small enough to fit comfortably – but the other dogs are always not.

Today in the park we met a small and very bossy dog – Merlin again made a hasty retreat. Some friends are just not meant to be.

Day 164 – Spring Day

There is something magical about Spring Day in South Africa. In Finland, Midsummer tends to have everything but summer weather. I even remember a year it was sleeting. The same happens elsewhere in Europe. Just ask the British what is the typical weather for the Spring bank holiday… But in South Africa Spring Day is typically glorious spring weather – warm, sunny and beautiful.

Having a business breakfast outside in the morning was a great decision. The only problem was to motivate oneself to get back to the office.


Day 162 – Baby Shower

We had a baby shower for a colleague this morning – a lovely breakfast with all the office ladies. An event made somewhat shorter by the fact that the mother-to-be – to whom this was a surprise – went to the wrong restaurant, got stuck in traffic, and appeared 40 min late. In the meantime, there was plenty of time to take photos of the restaurant fountains.

Day 162


Day 156 – Singularity U

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’.


Day 157 – Succulent

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!



Day 151 – Walk Haven

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.