Cenotaph: A Memorial to The Missing and The Dead

I’ve heard of the word cenotaph and was aware that one existed at the corner of Rink Street and Park Drive.  Apart from merely noting its presence whilst driving hither and thither to Varsity, I never pondered the meaning of the word.  The odd ph letter grouping gives the hint that it has a Greek origin but that was about as far my thinking went.  After all, there were far more important things to ponder as a young man.  The truth is more revealing or shocking or startling, depending on how you look at it.  

Main picture: Unveiling of the Cenotaph on the 10th November 1929

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Bridges over the Baakens River and its Mouth

This blog does not represent the story of these bridges. Rather it represents an attempt to link every photo of a bridge to the correct bridge mentioned by Margaret Harradine. This was more difficult that it seems as many bridges were destroyed multiple times. The original caption on a photo never identifies whether the bridge was in fact the second or even third bridge at that location.

Main picture: The bridge shown in this photo has now been identified

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Personal Experiences of the Provincial Hospital: The Unkindest Cut

Like the overwhelming majority of Europeans of my generation in PE I was born in the Provincial Hospital – Sandford Block to be precise. Not for us the home births in a Tepee with a dreamcatcher gently twirling in the breeze while a Mother Earth midwife rocks on her haunches as she chants incomprehensible jargon.  No, for all the talk about being tougher, my parent’s generation for once were wusses and did not do it au naturel like their mothers – sterile hospital birth it was.

Main picture: Parking lot exit into Buckingham Road – the scene of my denouement in early 1975 while on a mercy mission to visit a friend.

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The Rice Video – Carbon Dioxide in Perspective: Is There a Grain of Truth in What Roberts Has to Say?

When I was directed by an email link to this video (https://www.youtube.com/embed/BC1l4geSTP8) I thought I had been sneakily misdirected to a televangelist’s video – he looked just like your common or garden mercenary TV pastor/charlatan.

I must admit that I did not get past the first minute of his presentation when his earnest piercing eyes forced me to shut him down before I did the coyote trick and chewed my arm off.  So, this will not be a comprehensive refutation of his claims but I got enough of his drift and arguments early on and I did not wish to waste my life any further than I had to.  It’s all been said before.

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The economic effect of Covid-19

If one doubts the terrible economic consequences of the disease, then these Nasa photos will jolt you out of your complacency.  They show the amount of Nitrogen Oxide in the atmosphere which is primary due to the usage of motor cars but also any industrial process that burns fuels at high temperatures.


The first photo overs a period in January before lockdown – voluntary as well as involuntary – and the second covers the period after it has taken effect.

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The Latest Sorry Sordid Secret Saga of Marathon Running Shoes

Disclaimer: As apposed to my brother Dean, I should be the long distance runner in the family.  I, in my callow youth, was short, wiry and ornery (but mostly just went my own way).  Suddenly one day in standard 9 the ugly duckling became a ‘swan’.  From always being on the ground in the annual class photographs I suddenly found myself in the second row – heady times.  In Matric, I proudly took my place alongside all those guys in the back row who had played rugby lock their whole lives – traditionally reserved for the tallest while the coach struggled to find a position where he could hide me.  I might have got tallish, but I never got broad, let alone broadish.  I left Varsity a tad under 6 ft and weighing in at 73kg.  By the age of 55 I had put on weight – I weighed 75kg.  I was long distance material – rangy and still a bit ornery.  Dean, my elder brother by 4 years, was not the archetypal long distance runner.  He was an inch or two shorter than me and struggled with his extra poundage for his whole life.  In addition, a very, very septic burst appendix (caused by our sister Cheryl, a tough little shit of note, giving him a voltruis skop in the right side when he was 10 or 11) ensured that his 6- pack, if he could get one, was ripped to pieces by the aggressive surgery resulting in a recurrent stitch when running.

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The End of the World is (ge)Naai

I think we’re f%$@ed no matter what we do.  Perhaps that’s an exaggeration, but I believe that unless we make radical interventions soon, it will be too late no matter what we do then.  I’m not referring to the tearing of the social fabric of society due to social media or violent pc games, or the destruction of rain forests, or the bleaching of coral reefs – I am only concerned here with climate change. 

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Horse Memorial: The Humanity of Man

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way that its animals are treated.

Apparently, this quote has been falsely attributed to Mahatma Gandhi.  Nevertheless, it remains a great quote.  What is not in dispute is the following broadly similar quote from 1905 that was engraved in perpetuity (we hope) on the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth.

Main picture: The ineffably humble inscription on the Horse Memorial

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The Art of Mea Culpa and Conduct Unbecoming

Bruce Koloane obviously agreed to plead guilty to his three charges at his disciplinary hearing which meant that no evidence was led and, hence, no red faces, particularly for No. 1 – that is if his face could turn red.  Thinking about it, even if he was melatoninally challenged like me, he still would not
blush as he has no sh
ame.

But I digress. Pleading guilty is very useful in certain cases.

Main picture: Uit klaar parade, Officers Course, Tech Services Corp, Dec 1981

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