Load shedding – we have no words

There are cold dinners, disrupted sleep and general fear and loathing. South Africa’s energy crisis brings with it small irritations – and we need new words to describe them.

For non-South Africans, very briefly: our power utility is unable to supply enough power to meet demand, so there’s a system of scheduled rotational power cuts to deal with that. You can be without electricity for periods of two to hour hours, more or less, spread across various times of day.(Nine things you need to know about electricity)
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It’s time… to get a tattoo

2023 is the year I get a tattoo.

I’ve waited a long time to get one, for good reason. When I was growing up, even piercing your ears was a huge step. I had to wait until I was 18 and had earned some money of my own before I could pay someone to apply a stud gun to my ears. Continue reading

Nine things you need to know about electricity

In South Africa, electricity comes and goes: we call it load shedding.

That’s because Eskom, the state-owned power utility, is unable to generate enough electricity to meet demand, and so it “sheds” power over the course of a day, meaning scheduled power cuts for everyone in the country.

The economic impact is enormous, the personal irritation levels are high. All anyone can talk about is the (insert swearword here) load shedding, and ways to mitigate its effects on their lives.
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What is it about December 16?

In South Africa, nothing is over till December 16.

We all keep doing what we do, and then suddenly, on that day, everything seems to come to a standstill. Summer is here, and those who can, take a break.
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Yes, we did make a mess. Taking responsibility has nothing (and everything) to do with the personal

(SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched The Good Place, and want to, don’t read this post!)

There’s a moment in television series called The Good Place – available in South Africa on Netflix – where Michael (a demon cunningly disguised as Ted Danson) realises why it is that so few people make it into heaven, the good place of the title.

It’s because being a good person is incredibly complicated. No matter what you do, there are unintended consequences. Even when you buy a tomato.
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