Bits n’ Bobs

First up.  Sweet Potatoes.

The root systems have developed enough to plant out.

Left was the slip I planted in soil and Right was the slip I placed in water.

No real discernible difference. So, time to plant out …

Left the Soil slip. Right the water slip. Both seem okay in their new ‘home’ –  a large old dog biscuit ‘bucket’. The planting medium is a mixture of river sand, soil and some home made compost.

The sand encourages a more uniform ‘straighter’ sweet potato apparently, rather than the wonky, crooked ones I produced last time out. (Thanks to Beverly for this suggestion) We’ll find out in about six months. Stay tuned! 

And on the subject of veggies…

The veggies planted by the bloke in the municipal verge outside his house on Eckstein Street  are doing very well, and nobody has seen fit to nick them, which is nice! He has spinach, kale/cabbage and during dog walkies yesterday I noticed some squash as well.

Church behind the Department of Home Affairs in the town of Germiston where I went yesterday to make yet another application for a new ID  document. This was the third attempt. Somewhat foolishly thinking it would be easy-peasy, having brought with me all the documents I was told to bring last time, the clerk then announced: ”Oh, you’re married?” after hearing me make a casual remark about marriage to the missus who was standing next to me. ”Have you brought a copy of your marriage certificate?”

Ah … dontcha just love red tape? Especially Government Red Tape.

”Er … no. I wasn’t told to bring it!”

Well, they kindly provided me with one … after I had filled in two other forms and paid a fee!  How nice of them?

Then a round of fingerprints, which required me  handing over more of my hard earned shekels and finally I was issued with a receipt.

”You’ll be notified by phone when it’s ready for collection.”

”Plus minus, how many weeks?”

”Weeks? No, sir, Approximately six months. It’s the backlog because of Covid.”

Six months? Oh for the gods’ sake!

Moving on …

A  nice little play on words I thought.

You know Christmas is on the way in Johannesburg when the temperature starts to approach 30c and the local garage decorates their windows as soon as October is finished!

Jingle bells?

Glorious morning as Ella and I strolled down Grace Road a 7:45. today.

Pair of bi-planes. ( Meaning, each aircraft has two wings rather than the sexual orientation of the pilots)

For John Z.

Two Strawberry Cheesecakes for the next door neighbour!  I mistakenly thought one was for us and was most upset at dinner to find there was no ”pudding”. I sulked all evening. 😉

And on the subject of dessert … or should one say, things in the desert?

Pythagoras  was used … or at least his Theorem to get this spot on. Thank goodness one of us got a distinction in maths!

The triangles are made from fondant and individually cut and placed. Loads of fun!

Cake decoration is not always black and white … sometimes it’s grey.


23 thoughts on “Bits n’ Bobs

  1. Is this a replacement ID card you have applied for? I have to toughen up and join the long Home Affairs queue because mine has gone AWOL – I would hope they already have all my details on their computer system. Those cakes look wonderful – such care and patience goes into them that it seems a shame to destroy the artwork by eating them!


    1. No. Not replacement. I still have the old Green Book!
      I was initially regarded by counter staff as if from another planet!
      ”Where have you been, Douglas?” asked one incredulous woman!
      My fingerprints were not on the system, apparently, so I had to start from scratch.
      Even though I had them taken many moons ago when arrested for an unpaid traffic fine my wife ”forgot” to mention, bless her! *Smile*

      The queue outside the Germiston office was horrendous. As it was when I went three weeks ago. I haven’t seen queues like this since I waited in line for tickets to see the Rolling Stones play inManchester when I was a teenager.


  2. Am envying your sweet potato production, Ark. You can buy the slips here from gardening catalogues, but have never ‘had a go’ – a) our soil is probably way too heavy, and b) I think they’d need their own polytunnel.

    Am also in awe of Emily’s artistry and invention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They can get ‘leggy’, sprawling all over the show, hence the bucket.
      Makes it a lot easier to dig up too!
      In such a confined space the return is not that great but we don’t eat many Sweet Potatoes as it is so I don’t mind.
      Not sure of the best temps for growing them, just follow the Planting Reminders I subscribe to for my zone, but your soil could be sorted out easily enough with some compost/potting mix. And growing them in a largish bucket or three type of affair should give you and Mr. G a good enough supply?

      Every new order is a challenge in itself and a chance to stretch one’s imagination … and in this case scratch the recesses of the brain for the math calculations!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Me too! And one can move the buckets around to catch the sun.

          We’ll see how the sweet pots turn out from their time in my large bucket.
          In a small(ish) space container gardening is probably the way to go, especially if you’re only feeding two mouths!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve grown them before but the family ( me excluded ) are not such big fans.
      I have a number of other slips to plant yet so I’m hoping for a bigger harvest than before.
      Once again, thanks for the tip. Fingers crossed, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your pics are always fun, but your dialogue nearly always creates a snicker or two and helps brighten the day.

    And then there’s that Grand Finale pic! 😈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Growing shoots from a single sweet potato seems to be the more popular method among all the You Tube gardeners I follow. And one gets a better crop by planting several shoots rather than the sweet potato. Of course they’re different from ordinary potatoes in this regard.

      * shrug* I am but a lowly accolyte digging in the dirt of those who have dug before me.

      I did the experiment with the shoots to see if we got more /stronger roots by immersing in water prior to planting out. Seems there is little or no difference.


      1. From my experience, certain plants do better when they are planted directly. But my curiosity has been piqued, so I’m now going to try this out for myself and see what happens.


  4. Two? Why two? You should have been [and rightly so] furious!!

    South Africa: We do Red Tape like no one on earth!
    Brazil: Hold my beer.

    Every so often the govt. here throws in a wobbly for renewing documents… Like everyone having to re-sit a written exam for your next 5 year drivers license ($R200 for the pleasure of it, too). My Port is, of course, atrocious, so I had to memorise 70 bloody questions and answers. SEVENTY!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am still smarting over the cheesecake … or lack. Why two? They have a big family next door, and when I say big I am not necessarily referring to the numbers of individuals!

      The red tape continues … I got a call yesterday telling me I had to go back in ‘cos I didn’t pay!
      I heard the wife say ”… but the clerk said we could leave? Why were we not informed there was extra charges there and then?”

      Fortunately for whoever phoned I was unavailable and the wife took the call.
      There aren’t enough keys on the top of my laptop.

      We also now have to renew out driver’s license every cinco anos including an eye test.
      This has not seemed to deter the mini bus taxi drivers out here who still drive like maniacs.

      Your situation must have been very interesting. The entire test in Portuguese. Wow! How come you can’t sit the test in Australian or at the very least English?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You tell me! Try as I might, this bloody country is simply refusing to switch to English. Stubborn bastards. I got 100% on the test though… but my brain demanded a sabbatical after that little exercise.

        Regarding the cheesecake: you should have kicked your daughter out of the house and disowned her thirteen different ways.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. JZ—

          forgive my higgerance, do the statistics suggest that a change to English would be a good idea? I always thought that Brazil was right into/mostly Spanish.


      2. Them Aussies are almost like people too, so you shouldn’t have any problem with their lingo … (which I’m told is a form of bastardised English/Cockney anyway) (part English, large American influence, and a hint of Human).


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