Monday, 16 April 2018

I rode my bike (on the Not-Forest-Run Run route)

I haven't been on my bike for ages! On Saturday afternoon Celliers and I hit the Vaal Eden Road for a zippy ride. Even though the seasons are changing, it is still stunning and green out there with wild grasses and flowers that make the fields and roadside look pretty. It was super to be out there on my bike with Celliers. Been too long!

The route we did is the one that I'll be using for this year's Not-Forest-Run Run. As I'm not hosting the actual Forest Run this year, I settled on a social and casual alternative that allows me to run too. It's a rock-up-and-run setup.

Starting and finishing from the Parys airfield, the route is 27km in distance. It is all on dirt road so the going is easy - except for the distance. You can zone out and enjoy the scenery without having to watch your footing.

Running out Parys parkrun at 08h00 is options.
Run starts from the Parys airfield at 09h00 for 09h30 start.

I'm really looking forward to it.

Here's the route map on Google Maps.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Blood donation - working my way to 50

Today was my 47th blood donation; by the end of the year I'll be on 50.

As always, my reminder to you that if you donate blood, please do so regularly. By this I mean that in order to maintain your 'regular donor' status, you need to donate at least three times a year (max 6 times).

The whole point of being a regular donor is so that your whole donation is used because you are a trusted donor whose blood has been tested each time and has been clear of HIV and hepatitis (and other infectious agents) each time. As a recipient, your mind would be at rest knowing that the blood you receive is from a trusted source.

Here's how the blood donation process works:

  • You donate blood for the first time (first time ever or first time in a long time - same thing) .
  • Your blood goes through the tests and then sits on ice.
  • You go in a second time a few months later. 
  • Your second donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, this donation goes on ice and the plasma from your first donation is used. 
  • You go in a third time WITHIN A YEAR. 
  • This donation goes through the tests and if it is clear, then it will be used, together with the plasma from the second donation. 
  • Thereafter you need to maintain your regular donor status - your whole blood from every donation will be used.
If SANBS defers you from donating, do not see this as a form of rejection. Their objective is to ensure that blood donation is safe for BOTH donor and recipient. This is why they will not let you donate if you have conditions like diabetes or blood pressure and heart issues, if you take certain medications, if you have recently been in a malaria area or if you have low iron levels (and various others). 

If you cannot donate for any reason, you can still be supportive of blood donation by encouraging able friends and relations to donate and by educating anyone and everyone about the importance of becoming a regular donor and maintaining your status by donating at least three times a year, every year. 

Monday, 2 April 2018

ARTdog Walk at Parys Arts Festival

The new Parys Arts Festival is underway. It started on Friday and runs for the next two weeks with a focus on activities over the weekends. On Saturday I toured a bunch of the galleries with my mom; we've got a number more to tick off in the remaining time. A number of the artists exhibited are local - there is a good dose of talent out here.

An event that we were really looking forward to was the ARTdog Walk, which we attended this morning with our dogs Rusty and Tansy.

I've never done a dog walk before. Rusty isn't always the most sociable as she is more a people dog and than a dog dog. Dogs like to run up to her to entice her to play - she doesn't really play and finds them intimidating. She'll usually tolerate them but is more likely to back away and ignore them.

Some of the many dogs and humans waiting for the start. Everyone kept a respectful distance from each other.
Before the start people were milling around with their dogs. Rusty was definitely wary but got into a bit of sniffing.

We were set off in small groups with an interval between groups. Along the way, dog treats were handed out (really nice dried-wors type dog treats), which Rusty loved. I had given her half of her breakfast. Many treats later she definitely did not need to get the rest of her breakfast at home!

My mom and Tansy.
The 'art' component of the dog walk consisted of three station with coloured paint in trays through which the dogs were to walk to paint the sidewalks and canvas sheets in paw prints. Most of the dogs were not very keen to go through the trays. I got Rusty to add her prints in different colours - and we added some warrior stripes to her face.

Tansy behind Rusty - wearing her rainbow ears 'wings'
The loop of the route was little more than 1km and was a lovely walk with a friendly vibe and happy people with their dogs.

At the finish the dogs were all chilled, sitting around and next to each other. No barking, no issues. It was really lovely to see.

There were prizes for the best dressed dogs and also a lucky draw. We won a dog blankie in the lucky draw. Rusty will enjoy snuggling up in it during winter.

A lovely event and one that we'll attend again next year.

This event was held to benefit our Parys SPCA. Like most SPCAs, they are often in dire need just to buy food for the animals in their care.

Lovely atmosphere at the ARTdog Walk.

Photos from the morning

My Rusty girl

My mom with Tansy

Photo by Deon Terblanche - beautifully captioned as "I love you mum..."

Rusty with a bit of colour - Photo by Deon Terblanche

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tea paw-ty for Rusty's one-year adoptiversary

We had a tea party yesterday afternoon for Rusty's one-year adoptiversary. I've made this day her birthday too and so she is now six-years old.

Her friends from Otters Haunt, Rocksy and Skally came over. This was Skally's first visit to someone's house and it has been a long time since Rocksy came over. Rusty saw them coming in the gate from the front glass door and ran around to the back to greet her friends - it was very sweet. Rusty usually visits the girls at their house and seemed to enjoy having them visit her house.

We also had human friends visiting and it was nice to chill in the lovely afternoon enjoying iced tea, cake and scones with strawberry jam and cream. My dad came through to visit for the weekend too.

I designed an invitation for Rusty's party - a compilation of design ideas and elements found online. Zoom in on Rusty's face to check out her smile (pic of her was extracted from one taken at the river late last year after her first river swim). I thought her sneaky smile suited wearing a Mat Hatter's hat.

Good for a giggle.