Restrict selfies in dangerous zones

Don’t you find that some words are particularly expressive in Afrikaans? Two that jump to mind are “reën” and “self-moord”. The double – e in “reën” imparts a positive ring about a precious commodity, whereas “raa-in” is something which spoils tennis tournaments and seaside holidays at Blackpool. Self-moord, or self-murder, bluntly conveys the truth in a way that suicide does not.
I think we should add “selfie-moord” to our South African vocabulary. It applies to people who pay the ultimate price to take the ultimate photo of themselves in a dangerous situation.
“Selfie” is never listed as an official cause of death but over the past two years there have been recorded at least 52-selfie related deaths and a couple in game parks.
A Cape Town friend on a recent game drive in Sri Lanka was shocked to arrive on the scene minutes after such a mishap. A young woman was screaming hysterically that an elephant had killed her boyfriend. The Ukraine couple on their motorbike had stopped to take a selfie with an elephant in the background.
However, when the woman was about to take her photo, she was horrified to see that the elephant was now almost on top of them. She leapt off the bike and ran but her partner had no chance. The elephant wrapped its trunk around him, pulled him off the bike and squeezed him to death before tossing his body into the veld.
The South Africans in the game truck were deeply distressed for the girl but later heard that she had been taken to hospital to be cared for shock and distress.
Surprisingly India has more of its citizens dying while snapping than any other country in the world. To combat the problem, Mumbai has created “no-selfie zones”.
Last week SANParks went public over the chaos caused by cellphone apps that track wildlife sightings in Kruger resulting in road rage, road kills and speeding as tourist rush to viewing spots. Perhaps the park should follow Mumbai’s example and restrict selfies to zones within the camp site and use of cellphones on game drives only in emergencies. It would cause a hullabaloo but in the National Parks wildlife is Number 1.

Cats are cattish
Until this week I’d no idea that cats, like dogs, sometimes bite the hand that feeds them. I learnt this from a patient in Constantiaberg
whose cat had bitten him right through his wrist while he was trying to release it from the cat
The puncture marks made by the sharp teeth had closed over quickly but the wound went sceptic, requiring it to be drained and cleaned in hospital. His doctor had explained that cats carry bacteria
in their mouths, essentially injecting these bacteria deep into the
A similar type of injury occurs with cat scratches. Depending on the location and depth of the wound, the bacteria can spread in the surrounding tissues causing a condition called cellulitis.
I haven’t owned a cat for years. My last was killed by the bull terrier that had grown up with the cat but their increasingly rough games depended on her being able to jump from the kitchen table to the top of the fridge. When she slipped and fell that was the end of her and my cat owning days.
This past week I’ve heard of four other cases of owners being bitten by their own cats. Makes me relieved I did not attempt to pick up the frightened cat of our neighbour which had been cornered in our garden by Mitch and Skolly. Once I’d got the dogs inside I planned to carry the cat home but as I approached her she made those weird warning noises which clearly said “Leave Me Alone….”
So I did.
Get some cannas
Anyone interested in some of my Ladies’ Mile cannas? If so let me know by email and I’ll make a plan to get some of these wonderful salmon-coloured cannas to you as I’ve a lot left over after digging up and dividing a bed of them. I first acquired a clump some years ago from the City council gardeners who used to plant long beds of eye-catching cannas on both sides of Ladies’ Mile.
Last time I dug them up I also offered the excess to readers and had good responses.
If you have a sunny spot, borehole water and are prepared to feed and deadhead them regularly, they will flower from about October/November to April.

Metrorail to clear the sandy tracks
Driving along the main road from Fish Hoek to Kalk Bay last week brought home just how disruptive the major roadworks and improvements are for homeowners, businesses, workers and visitors. What a difference it would make if our suburban trains offered motorists reliable alternative transport to the city. But every morning I hear the same unacceptable story on the radio that a bus service is in operation between Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay because sand has blown on the railway tracks at Clovelly.
Can’t Metrorail get a team of workmen to clear the sand? It’s been like that for months and it will remain like that until somebody takes action. And if the wind blows the sand again, as it most surely will because the wind has not changed, it must be cleared again and again to keep the trains running.

All about me
Egotists make great friends. They never talk about you behind your back.

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