Be patient with Tokai excavation

Haven’t you noticed that Tokai is becoming orange? Every day I see more moles have dug holes and surrounded their excavations with plastic orange sheets. What’s going on?
Well, there are two things. The building of the two-way cycle track on Firgrove Way is responsible for all the orange around holes for large pipes and kerbstones while those dug in driveways, grassy verges and pavements, are to roll out Tokai’s long-awaited Fibre to the Home initiative. Popularly abbreviated to “FTTH”, it is the plan to say “Hallo” to superfast fibre internet access for the whole of the Constantia Valley and Totsiens to old slow ADSL.
I’ve become a hole watcher these days. Every time I see the orange netting, I stop to peep in-side.
Sometimes the hole has been roughly closed and several new bricks dumped alongside. Sometimes there’s a coil of bright green optical communication fibre cable sticking out of the hole. A couple of occasions I’ve admired a neatly bricked four-sided structure containing the cables. And, I’ve even found a few holes without holes. They’ve been filled and finished off with a cement top with a round white removable cover for future access to the cables.
Clearly a great deal of planning has gone into this initiative, including first surveying all the drains and sewers with special equipment to determine their suitability to run cables. So it’s understandable that FTTH seems to have been in the pipeline (no pun intended) for ages.
Where possible drains and sewers have been used to minimise the disruption to traffic and homeowners but not all are suitable. So if your neat grassy verge outside your house is looking as though five dogs have been digging for bones, you’ll know the reason why. Take heart, the workmen will do their best to tidy up before they leave.
Eventually there will be a fibre cable running past everyone’s gate but as the planners keep reminding us “Rome wasn’t built in a day” so please be patient for any inconvenience.

Kind shopkeepers
Meadowridge’s Park n’ Shop provides for most people’s needs yet is small enough for kindly shopkeepers to go that extra mile.
After unsuccessfully trying with a tiny screwdriver to insert one of two minute screws into a pair of glasses to re-connect a loose “ear”, I decided to ask Trevor Davids, our friendly watchmaker at Meadowridge, for help.
His assistant Malcolm Demorney was holding the fort and when he went to fetch his magnifying glass, I popped into the supermarket.
On returning I found Malcolm was waving to me from outside the premises of the ophthalmologist across the square. Surrounded by glass cases of perfect glasses we waited while a smiling young woman put mine together again, unlike Humpty Dumpty. Neither of my screws fitted and she used one of the shop’s own, yet she refused any payment either for her skill or her material.

No place to sit
for walkers
I encountered a group of four walkers in the Tokai Cycle Path looking for a spot where they could stop for tea after hoofing from Peddlars and Co (previously Peddlars on the Bend). Alas the cement table and curved bench at the Lismore Road end of the Cycle Path is no longer there, either it has been stolen or removed by whoever put it there.
Half an hour later I encountered the same four walking back to Pedlars. They hadn’t found a suitable spot and with the grass wet from the good rains had resorted to drinking their tea on bollards. Flat ones.
Recently a large dying pine at the start of the Cycle Path was cut down. Had that stump been left it would have made a handy table. As several other big pines in Tokai are, for safety reasons being felled, perhaps some thought could be given to leaving the occasional stump if they are in an open spac-es where they could serve as tables.

Don’t text and spin
I had an amusing response from a reader who is also amazed at the rudeness and obsession of smartphone operators texting incessantly in public places.
She was at the gym where a woman near her texted (tweeted?) non-stop for about 30 minutes in the middle of the most vigorous and noisy spinning class.
“I finally snapped, got off my bike, took the woman’s phone and put it on the floor at the front of the studio. You can imagine the reaction and the comments from her. It didn’t stop her, though, and after retrieving her phone she carried on where she had left off, no doubt tweeting to all and sundry about “the crazy old biddy who snatched my phone. It did make me feel better, though.”
She’d have felt even better had she seen “God of Carnage” at the Masque Theatre last week. One of the characters got so irritated with her husband’s incessant business conversations, that she grabbed his phone and threw it into the bowl of tulips.

Dirt cleared
It must be a huge relief for the Tokai librarians to arrive at work and not find the grounds littered with junk. Whoever was continuing to dump boxes and boxes of empties long after the paper and glass igloos were removed, has finally stopped.
I’d love to know whether the culprits were caught by patrollers of the Tokai Neighbourhood Crime Watch on their nightly rounds. Hope so….

Building the new
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new,” wrote Socrates, centuries before the “Leave” campaign.
fionachisholm@iafrica.com