Stories & Recollections


I am cheating – but it has been a long day, and I don’t want to leave this page without something new at the very least.

I wrote the same on my blog page… (Whispers: “Sorry!”)

I have lived in the UK for just shy of 9 years – and sadly, I can report to you that the weather here is horrible. I have told people that I would really enjoy being a weatherman here. I wouldn’t go to the office, but would rather phone in each morning and say’ “It’s going to be cold and wet!”

If I am wrong, which won’t be very often, who’s going to complain?

That being said, I had occassion twice this week to turn my trusty camera skywards. The original intention was to check the weather as I hoped to take some snaps of the meteor shower, but the cloud cover was low – very low.

In the very early evening (remember that the sun sets after 8 in the evening at this time of year), I saw that the cloud cover was double layered. The bottom layer was bubbling and boiling nicely, and then there was a hole in the layer through which I could see the sun drenched layer above…

And then, 48 hours later – in a total about turn, we were treated to this by way of a sunset last night…

As I said to a dear from in Harare by email, whilst Mother Nature has a serious knack of turning out the most awesome colour/light shows for us, the scenes here will never be a spot on the electrical storms of Africa…

(Note: If you click on any of the thumbnails above, it will take you to the picture viewer on Mukuru – just so you know…)

Take care.


Green Leader Strikes Again

Allow me to tell you a story about MEDIATION. Probably stupidly, I purchased an 8GB mp3/movie player on eBay. The player itself was very cheap but the postage was £20 – the goods were coming from Hong Kong. 10 days later the seller finally advised me of dispatch – I had paid for the item using PayPal within minutes of the sale closing.

The player itself does not work. The software disc that came with it is loaded with viruses – or so my PC tells me.

When I contacted the seller, they agreed to send me a replacement player. And then I would send the faulty player back and they would reimburse the postage.

Then this morning they changed their minds, accusing me of wasting their time.

I escalated the dispute for MEDIATION with PayPal. Within hours PayPal had decided that I should send the player back to Hong Kong at my own expense and that the seller would either repair it, replace it or pay me back the money – but a full refund would be out of the question.

As a consequence, I will use PayPal even less now, and will find another way of moving money.

I am £20+ out of pocket for a piece of rubbish. The only good thing that has come of this is a really neat little charger unit which is a standard 13amp plug, to which USB cables can be attached directly…

This is MEDIATION in the real world. Let’s hope that Mbeki can do a better job than PayPal…

You know, not everything about Zimbabwe is sadness, gloom and worry. I was watching something on television last night which reminded me of this incident and it typifies the humour which the Zimbabwean people have in abundance…

It must have been around about 1996, and I was playing lawn bowls for Borrowdale Country Club in Harare – as I was serving a one year suspension from another Harare club – for belting another bowler who was begging for it – and I was playing in the nationals in Harare, representing the club in the foursomes, playing second.

We had been playing in the morning at Old Hararians and had a bye in the afternoon. Our skip, a large man, known affectionately as “Tiny”, decided that he was going to take the team to his favourite watering hole at Reps Theatre just off Second Street Extension.

So, there we were, five individuals (our reserve player was with us), all dressed in white from head to toe, sauntering into the bar.

There was a lady at the bar who was obviously a little worse for wear. She looked up and took in the picture of being invaded by men in white.

“Oh!” she exclaimed. “Is this the Zimbabwean cricket team?” she asked.

“Ja,” said Tiny. “These are the bowlers!”