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Today's quote:

Saturday, August 22, 2020

An unusual weather event


Today is set to be the coldest day of the year in NSW with high winds, low temperatures and snow expected to hit parts of the state, including areas just 500 metres above sea level. "We think it's about 15 years since that occurred," the Bureau of Meteorology said.

So what happened to global warming? And what's happening on that hired houseboat "parked" on the river just opposite from us. They must've got it at a special rate to be out on the water in antarctic weather. They'd have to pay me to be out there on a day like today!

I'm sitting close by the blazing fireplace and dipping in and out of P.J. O'Rourke's "Holidays in Hell" (I also found its sequel "Holidays in Heck" on the internet - not that I will ever get used to reading a book online!)

Anyway, it makes far better reading than some of the stuff I've been reading on www.africaunauthorised.com. Every time I read about the killings and the corruption in South Africa, I say to myself, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." I was quite enamored with South Africa during my short stay there, but apartheid didn't sit well with me and, with rare insight that it would have to come to a bad end and just enough foresight to beat a retreat to Australia, I left again in 1969.

Which brings me full circle to "Holidays in Hell" and P.J. O"Rourke's visit to South Africa in December 1986 - just before the end of apartheid. In the chapter "In Whitest Africa" he ends his visit to Soweto on a note of hope: "There is some hope for South Africa, for the souls of the people there anyway. I mean, personally, if I'd lived my forty years in Soweto and I saw some unprotected honky cruising down my street on a Saturday afternoon, I would have opened that car like an oyster and deep-fat fried me on the spot."

Alas, that is exactly what is happening in South Africa right now, with some 200,000 murders taking place every year, black-on-white and black-on-black. As for corruption, has anyone ever queried how the key players in South Africa's ANC came to their money and houses? After their woeful precedent, Cyril Ramaphosa quickly became a billionaire, and his example was taken to a new level by Jacob Zuma who appeared to believe the whole country was his for the taking.

In hindsight, my foresight was right and 1969 was a good year to leave!

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