Sticky: Let me explain.

I’ve eluded to the fact that last month I had issues with my hosting company and that, with a great deal of help and support from The Guru*, I moved 6000 miles over onto WordPress for “a while”. Well, I’ve decided to stay.

Writing my own pages in straightforward html was fun. I enjoyed the challenge and I enjoyed having a site design that no-one else had, or could ever have. I don’t know how many readers know (or knew), but the ballacorkish.net/6000 site was coded entirely by me and each post was coded and written using MS Notepad. Sometimes it showed, but mostly, I’m proud to say, it didn’t. 

Moving to WP will allow me to concentrate more on what I’m writing and less on getting it published. A new dawn for 6000 miles. The challenge of coding and tweaking will still be there – just with php, not html – and not as desperately as before.

Please bear with me. It’ll almost certainly be worth it**.

* I already owe him several beers.
** Terms and conditions apply.

What’s going on?

It’s an excellent question. I haven’t got a clue.

Basically, there were problems with Fasthosts – my hosting company – and they went a bit mental and scrambled everyone’s passwords before mailing them (in ye olde piece of paper in an envelope way) out. I got an email from their (and I kid you not) Director of Customer Experience telling me about this.
So I set up here at WordPress, but then WordPress locked me out; apparently due to an “over-zealous anti-spam plug-in”. So many hyphens.
And then to add injury to insult, I had a multiple disc prolapse. That’s discs in my back, not a computer issue.

Normal service will be resumed just as soon as I work out what normal service is. Or was. In the meantime, you can be kept abreast (snigger) of the latest via my RSS feed, which will be updated from whichever place I write at next. Which, in this case, is both.


It seems likely that I will be moving over to WordPress, but there are some pressing issues which would need to be addressed first – hosting, comments, archiving etc. Fortunately (for me, not for him) I have a technical guru who is a bit of a whizz with such things.
What the Guru says, goes. Such is the power of the Guru.Crossposted at the ballacorkish.net/6000 bit of this site.

Confused? Good. Join the club.

6000 on tour?

And lo, it came to pass that fasthosts.co.uk messed up on hosting 6000 miles from civilisation due to “security issues” which took us all briefly back to the mid 19th century.

I may expand on these issues later. I may not. It all depends. Firstly on whether they can be speedily resolved and secondly on whether I actually can understand what they were in the first place.
In the meantime, thanks to this guy, you can continue to read my witterings. I’m grateful. You’re distraught. Life’s like that. You’ll get over it. 

Right now, I’m merely trying to understand what’s going on here. Apparently, this is a hosted wordpress blog, no less and I’ll “have lots of learning to do this weekend“,  but once I “get to know WordPress,” I “may want to stick with it!“.  

Hmm.

The virtual world seems a ridiculously complex place for a part-timer like me right now. Yes. I am an interwebs charlatan and I have been cruelly exposed by the errors of those supposedly in the know.

So who knows how long I’ll stay here at wordpress? Thankfully, all you have to do is type in www.6000.co.za into that little window at the top of your browser and you’ll be brought here, there or wherever I happen to be that week. And I’ll see what I can do about an RSS feed as well.

Meanwhile – keep reading. You might miss something important.

Guy MacLeod of Plumstead – an inspiration

*subject to ongoing editing* 

Hi – I’m playing with old posts from the ballacorkish.net site.  You may have read this previously. Feel free to read it again though. Especially as Sunday approaches.

I’ve been busy and disinclined to write much on here of late. Until now.
My writer’s block has been lifted, cured, relieved if you will, by Guy MacLeod of Plumstead.

A little background for you readers outside the borders of this rainbow nation and its political soap-opera:The ruling party in SA is the African National Congress (ANC). The leader of the ANC – and therefore the President of the country – is Thabo Mbeki. Thabo took over from Nelson (yes – that Nelson) in 1999, then won the 2004 election. This means that he is constitutionally obliged to step down as President at the 2009 election.
So we need a new President, who will presumably also be the leader of the ANC.
With me so far? Good.
Enter Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma – JZ to his friends. And to his enemies.
JZ is deputy president of the ANC and was deputy president of the country until Thabo sacked him in 2005 over pending corruption charges (which are still pending). 6 months later, he was also accused of rape and was acquitted in a high-profile case, which was infamously supposed to have included his admission that he took a shower after sex to protect himself from HIV.
He has huge support from the left wing of the ANC, the ANC Youth League, the SA Communist Party and the Trade Unions. He also has a now trademark song which we get a rendition of at every gathering – Mshini Wam or “Bring Me My Machine Gun”.
Nice.
Finally – Thabo and JZ are going head to head in December for leadership of the ANC and therefore presumably, for the Presidency of the country in 2009. And it looks like JZ is going to win. And here’s where Guy MacLeod of Plumstead comes in. He wrote to the Cape Argus newspaper.
Judging by his name (always a dangerous thing to do), Guy is a whitey.
But while many whiteys are pretty terrified to the point of hysteria of the consequences of the seemingly inevitable JZ win:
“SA will be another Zimbabwe”
“He’ll rape us in a corrupt manner and then take a shower”
“We’re all going to die” etc etc.
Guy takes another view. A refreshing view. A view which has got me writing here again today.
He compares the male, black, alive, allegedly corrupt, bald, machine gun toting, HIV-naive Zulu with… Princess Diana. In case you’re not familiar with this “Princess Diana” figure*, she is female, white, blonde and British. Oh – and dead.
Take it away, Guy:

I would like to compare him most favourably with that wonderful other world celebrity [?!? – 6000] and people’s person (also often maligned) – the late Princess Diana. Lady Di “blotted her copybook” in many ways and she flouted convention but she never lost the common touch.

Guy – I never saw it before, but I think you may have hit upon something big. There are questions to be answered: Perhaps JZ is the reincarnation of Diana? Are we to expect him to stroke lepers and defuse landmines next? Could he even shed some light on what happened in that tunnel in Paris? Was he pregnant by Dodi Fayed at the time? And if so, did either of them shower after the act? Where did Prince Harry’s ginger hair come from?

Guy MacLeod of Plumstead, much like JZ and Princess Diana, you are an inspiration to us all.

*Unlike most of the upper class males in Britain

How to win friends and influence people

You may recall me mentioning my being interviewed by a journalist. That article has now been published (I made Page 7, just next to the advert for Harris’ Patented Haemorrhoid Preparation), although it’s sadly not available online anywhere just yet.
One of the comments on my last post was from June who read the article in Emigrate SA and asks if I can direct her to Expat clubs and societies in Cape Town.
This request – as well-meaning as I’m sure it is – opens up a huge can of worms.

I certainly did mention that there are a lot of Brits out here – there are. What I didn’t say was that I spent a lot of time with them – I don’t. I’m well aware that June’s situation is probably different from mine, but for me, it was rather refreshing (although certainly difficult at the same time) to get away from the British way of life and to give new things a try. (Of course I couldn’t have managed without this place!)
I recognise that’s not the way everyone wants to go, though. I actually don’t know of any specific British Expat societies in Cape Town – perhaps my readership can help me out here?
It’s always a good plan to try and meet some locals – however, that brings up another notorious obstacle: The Cape Town Clique.
I know that cliques exist everywhere, in every city all over the world, but that’s a girlie thing – it’s genetic, I swear. Here though, it also goes for the blokes as well. Yikes. I’ve never quite worked it out, but I guess that it’s got a lot to do with the way the populations were kept apart during Apartheid. This created a bit of a white enclave in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and that small-town mentality has never really gone away. It’s all about what school you went to, where you play golf and who you know from “Varsity”. And we all know that most guys are pretty backward at coming forward when meeting other guys , which just exacerbates the problem. Before we go any further and I alienate all those friends I have made (heaven forbid that I should upset [name] again *grin*), let me tell you guys that you are obviously the exception that proves the rule. That said, I have had to pretend to have gone to one of eight different schools, depending on who I’m out with that night.

The point I’m trying to make is that you do have to work very hard to make new friends in Cape Town. And for me, that’s even more reason to make the effort to break the barriers and not stick to “your own kind”. After all, that’s what caused this problem in the first place, right?

In other news, I love medical science (although as a career choice, it could pay more, please).
Great news from friends on IVF yesterday (go guys!) and very promising signs from this little fellow too.

We’re holding thumbs for you both.