Saturday, 25 January 2014

Bloody useless South African DSTV!

For the last four weeks, Friday nights at 1900 hrs would find me sat on the sofa in front of the TV watching Endeavour.  I was pretty sceptical about a 'Young Morse', especially since I loved the original Morse series and once owned every single episode on VHS and DVD. 

I watched the first episode of endeavour and was hooked,  Then, the following Friday, I watched it again.  DSTV had promised episode two but reran episode one.  DSTV does that all the time.  Why?  Because they are wankers.  Then, two Fridays ago, DSTV aired episode two and I was once more content.  Last Friday, I was treated to episode three and I was ecstatic.

Marcia knows that this is the only programme I really, really enjoy watching, such is the drivel those bishop bashers at DSTV screen, so I was ever so pleased when she called me in from the garden to tell me that my programme had started.

I was confused.  For a start, the music in Endeavour is by Barrington Pheloung and is haunting.  What I was hearing now was discordant crap.  Then instead of Shaun Evans' face, I saw Benedict Cumberbatch's.  I pressed the information button on the remote.  Sherlock.  Those effing knob polishers.  After giving us month's of adverts, teasers and previews for Endeavour, they give us three episodes and then, without so much as a by your leave, drop it in favour of yet more inane fodder for the mentally deficient.  I can put up with all sorts of shit living here but being dependant on South Africans for my TV programmes really irritates me.

So, bitterly disappointed, I went back to my garden, now very dark, and carried on watering the beds.

I cannot end my post on such a sour note so instead I will share with you a few photos of how I sink wells here.

First, you need to find water so make yourself a set of diviners
Then go for a walk and see where you get the strongest 'hit'
Get yourself a few of these delivered
Roll one of them over the spot, get inside it and start digging
As you dig, the weight of the concrete drainage pipe will drive it down.
I should have said, 'As one digs...' but didn't bother as smart people do not dig their own wells.
When the first sinks to ground level, roll another one on top
The use of child labour is recommended.  They fit in the hole easier.
Alex finishes his shift. 
Note the number of locals who have turned up to watch. 
They have had no access to potable water since independence. 
I showed them how easy it is to sink a well but they have not bothered, content as they are to
stand around with their hands in their pockets and send their wives to collect water from my well.
As the second section gets down to ground level, we hit water.
Now I need to get in a submersible pump to keep the well dry while we dig at least another metre.
The well will have required three 1.2 metre concrete sections and will be 3.6 metres deep.
Before finishing, I scoop up the rotten remains of an old palm tree.  Ideal for use in a potting soil mix. 
Charlie and Eddie think it is all a wonderful game and can't keep their noses out!








44 comments:

  1. Tom how's the alcohol free time going?
    You seem to be doing so much better than I thought

    Fucking well done

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  2. i agree with john? you seem to be doing splendid!

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  3. Every time I read your blog I wonder at your patience living where you do . It must be huge. You are a very generous human being, I hope your neighbours appreciate the things that you are prepared to share with them. Do they call you Prince Hippo???
    PS. We are lovers of the program Foyle's War and were delighted when it recently began a new season.... that lasted for THREE episodes !!!! What ???

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    1. My neighbours appreciate nothing. While availing themselves of my water, they take the opportunity to steal anything not bolted down.

      I loved Foyle's War as well. Kitchen is a great actor.

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    2. Must be a cultural thing universal to all 3rd world shit-holes. Grab while the grabbing is good, regardless of who you fuck over, even if it is the very hand that feeds you, for you never know when the next chance may come along. Your tenacity and creativity in the face if this is truly enviable. I believe you are making a difference and dare I say planting the seed of a good example that if lucky may be actually emulated some day by one or two of the children who witness it. I fear though, you are only plugging holes in the dike. In the end it is precisely this cultural attitude on a much greater scale that caused us to leave Venezuela. The future they live today was written on the wall.

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  4. Like Helsie I marvel at your patience and generosity, your ingenuity and inventiveness, and the sheer amount of hard work that you do. Plus, you're not boring. Is there no end to this man's talent? (Purely rhetorical and no need to answer!) XXX

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  5. Do not despair with the TV programing, they do the same crap to us over here in the colonies. You are left pondering what ever happened. As for the well digging it is quite impressive. I fear we could not use the same system here as after about 4 feet of clay you would hit solid granite. It does seem like a delightful project, all the better if it keeps you from loosing your water in the middle of a shower when the locals want to fill a bucket.

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    1. If we had as much precipitation as you do, there would be no need to dig wells! It has been over a year since we last had a decent shower. The soil I dug out for the raised beds was so dry that the water I hosed onto it just ran off. The wet it through I had to let the hose run on it while I dug it over repeatedly. Took flaming hours!

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    2. Funny thing was that about 10 days ago when I did the post on grilling the swordfish it warmed up to just above freezing and it rained for about 36 hours. Melted a lot of the snow. It since has dropped back down to about 25 C below zero at night and to about 10 bellow during the day yet the sump in the basement that holds about 25 gallons of ground water is still filling up about every 20 minutes. With that kind of flow I can't go far from the house for if we were to loose power I'd have a swimming pool in my basement in no time flat.
      Your situation is so completely different as you are basically sitting on a big sandbar. The soft sand drains readily but also makes it so easy to dig.

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    3. You light up your barbecue to grill some fish and the snow melts? What is it, nuclear powered?

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    4. Ha ha, wish that it were...I might actually have something then. I suppose my writing could use some improvement on occasion.

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  6. Is Alex "giving the finger", (or is he a Trekkie?). Perhaps he's expressing his views on DSTV? We have cable here and whilst the programming is OK, I have long given up watching anything on it except the BBC, CNN or other news because of the repeats and the endless adverts. Download everything I watch from the inter webs.

    Impressed with your well. Next you'll be turning wine into water, (a la reformed JC).

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    1. The internet connection is so bad here it takes me half an hour to watch a four minute you tube video!

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  7. UK TV is constantly haranguing us to give money to Africa for all sorts of reasons, including for clean water. I know there's little point at my shouting at the TV, but your method is exactly what they need; NOT MONEY. 3 jumbo concrete pipes, an illustrated leaflet, and a spade, is what each village requires. Maybe YOU could prepare the leaflets!

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    1. I showed them how to do it. I offered to give them the pipes. I even offered to do the job myself. All I asked was that they showed me where to dig it so that all had access to it. Then the bun fight started. The local administrators wanted me to build it on land they owned so they could charge for the water. No one else wanted a well on their land that everyone could use. In the meantime, they get their water from the well on my land and, much as I hate the intrusion, for the sake of the children who, until I provided them clean water, were dying like flies, I have no choice but to accept it.

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    2. There you go, you ARE a wonderful human being.

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  8. I entirely approve of using one's son as child labour; they can fit into all the little spaces !

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    1. Quite. And the older ones are agile enough to climb dodgy ladders.

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  9. You can sit in front of your telly, reach for your mobile phone, text £3 and relax for the rest of the evening because you have saved Africa......

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    1. £2.99 of which is consumed in administrative fees.

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  10. Where do I sign my kids up for hard labour school? Your benevolence is becoming more legendary as your blogs continue.

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    1. There's a recruitment office run by a retired officer above a laundrette down the East End. Go there and tell him that Hippo sent you.

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  11. What I want to know is how water diviners work.

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    1. HA!

      FINALLY someone asks me!

      They don't. I was just being silly!

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    2. I had a workman on my property a couple of days ago using diviners trying to find the mains supply into the house. It wasn't anywhere near where he was using them!

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  12. if you can find water on your land.... why don't they each dig their own well on their own land? stupid question probably but I don't understand . I think I have missed something

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    1. ah ok. there is an advert on the tv that shows a little girl walking x amount of kilometres to fetch water. and then they say about the animals weeing and pooping in the water hole. I never understood till now why they don't put up a fence to stop the animals (cows in this case) from getting in there and have an animal trough. I think this just answered that for me

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  13. Well, well, well - one never knows what one will learn through reading this blog but I won't be sinking any wells in the near future as we are fortunate enough to have taps from which clean water flows endlessly. Oh well!

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    1. Now that I have dug a well, I have endless water flowing from my taps. Which foreign owned company do you have to pay for the water that fell naturally on God's soil?

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  14. The Mexican illegal aliens here in the U.S. are such hard workers, do the jobs no one else will do, and yet, our politicians want to build worthless fences to keep them out. One once told me that Gringos (Americans) are lazy. It is true regrettably. I believed your water witchers and Homeland is a good series. Breaking Bad is also very popular here though I've yet to watch. Need to get all the seven or so seasons.

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    1. I have never seen any of the programmes you mention. Most immigrants tend to work hard, they know they have a lot of catching up to do and expect no favours.

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  15. My grandfather used a forked peach tree limb to find water for people. I have never seen a well dug like that, very good idea, thanks for documenting it.

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    1. I have to admit that even though I tried very hard to keep the wires of the diviner steady, occasionally they acquired what seemed like a mind of their own. Perhaps, in the right hands, they do work.

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  16. I said, "Benedict Cumberbatch" the other day, and had to eat a scone. That is by far the most bangers and mash, Big Ben, British sounding name in history.

    My wife says his real name is Garbanzo Smith, and he's from Fresno.

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    1. How about Singeon Fortescue-Smythe?

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  17. For the sake of your blood pressure, don't watch the cricket!

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  18. Shame they won't help themselves by digging their own well. Quite a cleverly simple way of digging a well - I like it. Imagine the digging is a bit easier where you are to here though!
    I never used to believe in diviners until we tried it on site once. We found the pipe straight away now I'm a believer!

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    1. Of course the digging is easier here than where you are! We have natives and children to put down the hole!

      Don't ask me why but I am fairly convinced that diviners in the right hands work.

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Please feel free to comment, good or bad. I will allow anything that isn't truly offensive to any other commentator. Me? You can slag me without mercy but try and be witty while you are about it.