The video game Fallout takes us back to the Fifties and some seriously cool music! The link below has some 53 minutes of this era music, if you have the time enjoy a track of two, open it in a new window and play it while you read the blog:


Fallout, The Story

My sister Judy and her husband Dave, and my brother Anton and his wife Melba had informed us, a year in advance that they would be arriving in Johannesburg on Friday July 4th 2014, for a two week stay! I laid down plans to leave my well paid job in the hands of a locum, and we went about planning a coastal holiday and a trip to Kruger Park, for my family from New Zealand.

The fallout of this trip was not only negative cash flow and hurt credit cards, but also realising that July in Durban can be freezing cold.


All cold on the pier at Umhlanga Rocks, with the Lighthouse in the background!
All cold on the pier at Umhlanga Rocks, with the Lighthouse in the background!

Before the Kiwily arrived we received the news that a trip to the Galapagos Islands, via Rio de Janeiro, with a whole bunch of hearing professionals had been given the go ahead! Leave Joburg August 31 and return on the morning of the 11th of September. (A week before we left on this trip I had the misfortune of gashing my right eye socket on the edge of a cupboard door! Five hours and nine stiches later I exited the emergency room at Olivedale Clinic. I was lucky not to have lost my eye….!)

Post cupboard door. Not Linda's fist...!
Post cupboard door. Not Linda’s fist…!

Another two weeks away from my business, another locum as my July locum was no longer available, and another sad delving into of the credit cards!

The fallout of this trip, apart from the sad delving, was arriving back in Joburg with oedematous legs, both of which had been bitten by massive horseflies on Post Office Island in the Galapagos Islands! Those bites caused the most horrific attack of cellulitis, in this case wondroos or erysipelas also known as ignis sacer! (It took 10 weeks to heal, as the usual antibiotics had little effect, and only after the final dose of the antibiotic Zinnat did the wondroos eventually clear!

The Doctor had also suggested that I should wear compression socks and try not to spend too much time on my feet! “Feet up as much as possible, to control the swelling”!

Cellulitus gone wrong. Wondroos or Erysipelas!
Cellulitus gone wrong. Wondroos or Erysipelas!

Three weeks after arriving back from the Galapagos, our time share at Burchells Lodge, Kruger Park gate started and an exciting trip for Linda’s Dad, Leen Budding, who has been visiting the World Heritage park since the 1940s. Oupa is still battling ill heath, but excellent care and his own indomitable spirit have seen a steady recovery!

An exciting time for me too, as a previous employee from many moons ago had started on October 1st. I saw it as an opportunity for renewal and new horisons borne out of my own experiences, and hopefully the previous employee would bring with his experience, a new maturity!

On the Saturday of last weekend of September I was lucky that my gearbox artisan had agreed, (an almost unprecedented occurrence!), to help me move two tons of gearboxes and spares from a four tier rack, dismantle the rack, reposition the rack twenty metres in the workshop and restock the rack in an orderly manner. The two of us worked long and hard that Saturday!

The fallout of this serious physical activity was that my left leg had started getting numb sensations and that leg would often cause me to have the most painful seizures, where I could barely walk! I was later informed that a nerve was pinched somewhere between the fourth and fifth vertebrae in my spine!

All of this was to provide the previous employee, or PEE, with a readily accessible work bay and a clean start from which to work at his craft.

As is the norm with the trip to Burchell’s, we drive mid-morning on Friday and leave the workshop in the gentle care of my staff. Instructions were left with the PEE, (previous employee), and off we sailed to the African Bush!

Sunday arrived and it turned out that my lift back to Joburg had intended to only drive back on the Monday! A bit of a crisis as I felt that after only 3 days it was a bit thick to expect the PEE to have settled back into the job! A quick communication revealed a reluctance to open the workshop and a suggestion that my daughter should help the PEE with his day, convinced me that metal was an ingredient that hadn’t matured with the PEE! I decided to close the workshop for the Monday rather.

Tuesday morning, I unlocked the workshop at 7:30am. At 8:00am the PEE arrived, I could see the look in his eye and knew….! He simply said that he did not think it was going to work out! I calmly said to the PEE that he should let me know if I owed him anything, and off he went on his merry way!

Two weeks later, I noticed that vital gearbox repair tools had been slowly disappearing from the workshop culminating in the very rare Saturday worker handing in his notice. This was a serious blow to me as this gentleman did have his uses! It was a bit late in the year to employ new blood, so I mentally prepared myself for a difficult two months.

Kitaar, Advance and Geraldo bragging after a plan came together!
Kitaar, Advance and Geraldo bragging after a plan came together!

I now had three staff members and the rent, vat and creditors, never mind wages, to pay! At one stage the leg seizures had me sitting astride the Suzuki motorbike to relieve the discomfort, and working on the workbench! A Voltaren injection in the butt eased the seizures, making them disappear but the numbness remained! That would have to wait for later……………..!

Right foot on the footpeg eased the pain considerably! The show must go on!
Left foot on the footpeg eased the pain considerably! The show must go on!

Later? Why? You may be asking! Well we had made the momentous decision to change medical aid societies, starting December 2014 and had to wait three months for the full cover to click in!

Besides, the fallout of all the above was that every second that I could put into my business was vital for the looming year end!

I can be happy that my fallout is not post-apocalyptic, and will be soon celebrating Christmas with family and friends, and planning for another trip, or two, in the year 2015!

Visit St Vincent School for The Deaf and listen to what they are doing to help the hard of hearing:

St Vincent School For The Deaf