Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm a dad! World, meet Greg...

So, seeing as I had never attempted this in the past, I decided to give Movember a bash. Had my last shave at the end of October and have successfully grown quite the facial lawn! Behold:

This picture is a little outdated...Greg has grown substantially since this was taken.

However, two rather unpleasant things have come out of this follicle-driven endevour; My sister has fallen in love with my beard. She has decided that I am just not a whole person without it and that I should never get rid of it. Thus, she has named (I kid you not!) my beard: Greg. Her thoughts were that if I gave it a name, I would feel terrible when I eventually got rid of it and thus would be deterred from shaving ever again.

Unfortunately for her, I have no qualms about slaying Greg come December! This is because Greg has become a bit of a nuisance. He has taken on personality traits and behaviour that I find less than desirable. He seems determined to make me very aware of the fact that when I talk, I do actually use my top lip. He keeps bobbing up and down along the edge of my vision as I converse with people and it drives me nuts!

Secondly, and probably the worst of his character flaws, he has become very vexatious (I like that word...) and continuously pokes me! It's so irritating! It's a bit like a combination of having a pot scourer attached to your face and having a spider walking over your lips at the same time. And it's just that much more irritating because you know that the pot scourer is the product of your own body and that you have consciously decided to cultivate the thing!

Having said all this, I am told I look rather dashing with my new lip-lawn and that I should strive to keep it going. Unfortunately for Greg's admirers, I alone control the razor...heh heh heh...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Pelted with flowers!


Now, anyone that knows me will tell you, I am by no means a superstitious person. I will happily smash mirrors, hang around black cats (although my cousin's one is genuinely evil) and scoot under open ladders. But for some reason, this year I was overcome with worry regarding a local superstition and it's implications for me.

Okay, so maybe that's a minor exaggeration; I wasn't exactly overcome with worry, but it had occurred to me...

So at our university, there is an urban legend that, come the end of the year and the advent of spring, there is only one sure way to know that you will pass your exams (or the year, if exams are not something you have to do anymore): be hit by a falling Jacaranda flower on campus.

Every spring, the jacarandas of Johannesburg bloom, transforming the landscape from a hollow tan that personifies the dead highveld winters, into a lush forest of deep greens, offset by the lilac-blue explosions that are the jacarandas. Jacarandas produce an exhaustive display of flowers at the start of spring, before they produce any leaves, resulting in huge purple trees scattered across the city, and campus. Johannesburg isn't really known for the jacarandas and dwindles to insignificance when compared to our sister-city, Pretoria (Tourists apparently go there just to see the jacarandas!), but you still feel the transformation in Joburg all the same.

So I was a little concerned when, almost half-way through the university exam month, I had yet to be hit by a flower. Then, yesterday, I was loading stuff into my car, exhausted, mind abuzz with statistics nonsense that I'd been doing all day. I felt a breeze picking up and noticed that my car was awash with little purple flowers, almost adding insult to injury. I looked up at the jacaranda above my car and sighed.

A flower drifted down and bounced playfully off my shoulder and at that moment I knew I was okay. I was going to make it this year.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Look to the sundog!

Yesterday morning, Johannesburg was privy to a spectacular climatological phenomenon! The sundog, or parhelion! It's a corona (ring) that forms around the sun, creating a glowing, rainbow-halo type of effect. The result: A beautiful coloured ring that encircles the sun. The effect is apparently created by the presence of tiny ice crystals floating around in the upper atmosphere in the form of cirrus clouds. By the sounds of things, the light from the sun is bent at a 22 angle, resulting in the light halo. They are apparently best observed  when the sun is low, but we saw it fine with the sun almost directly overhead. There's more info available here on the ever-faithful, source of all true knowledge: wikipedia!

Here are some of the pics that I took yesterday. The dark bits are my building; I really should have been tending to the coffee machine at the time, but these climatological phenomena don't just happen everyday you know...!
 
 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What kind of hospital is this?!

Friday last week: Much of my evening was spent in one of the local government hospitals. I was fine, but the guy who I was there for was not. He's just been hit by a car while crossing an intersection on his motorbike. The whole incident happened as I arrived to fetch my father from our church. He'd been informed that one of the young men from the church had just been hit by a car and we had to get to him as soon as possible.

At the scene, paramedics worked rapidly and diligently to stabilise him and determine the extent of his injuries. He was then transported via ambulance to a local government hospital. We followed and ended up waiting in the ER for news of his condition. While the scenario was not one that I would wish on anyone, there was one thing that emerged as the lighter side of the evening...

I'm not sure how things are in the rest of the world, but here in South Africa, a Friday night is the night that you really don't want to have to go to a government hospital. Our government hospitals are pretty bad as is, but are the only health care available to people who don't have or cannot afford medical aid schemes and thus the luxury of a private hospital. The setting is made so much worse on a Friday because Friday nights are nights of revelry and drinking.

As we sat in the ER, a man in his 40's arrived, walking very slowly and unsteadily into the ER from the main waiting area at reception. He was clearly sozzled, but as I looked around I realised that there were very few in the ER that were not, so thought nothing of it. However, this man was different; he was on a mission.

He moved with unsteady purpose to the guy who ran the ER. I'm not sure of the job description for someone who prioritises ER cases, but I shall refer to him as Clive (I also don't know what his name was, so I can't even use that...). As the subject approached Clive, he began to speak to him in hushed tones. He spoke in English but so quietly that there was no way to understand what he was saying. Clive, having heard the full extent of his slurred story, spoke rather loudly and instructed the man to speak to the people at reception.

The subject nodded his head slowly and did a half turn back toward reception before the penny, well, didn't so much as drop as gracefully ooze through his alcohol-laden brain. Clive had not given him the help he wanted! With the sluggish fury that only the inebriated can muster, he rotated back to Clive for a repeat performance.

But Clive, moving at the pace of a normal person, was not there! Obviously befuddled and annoyed, he gyrated again to shuffle to the ER help desk. Ironically, and unfortunately for Clive, Clive had moved behind the desk to collect and deposit paperwork. As Clive looked up and saw the drunkard approaching, he moved quickly, shuffling papers and trying to get things in order before the drunkard could get to him. Alas, he was too slow.

The drunkard arrived, apparently pleased to see Clive behind the desk. He began to recount he tale to Clive again, but Clive, obviously a conscientious man, had a job to do and would not tolerate this man's ramblings much longer. He instructed the drunkard to step aside and that he would help him in a moment.

Apparently pleased with the outcome, the drunkard obliged, standing in the centre of the chaotic ER, occasionally swaying from side to side with a look of complete incomprehension on his face. A moment later, Clive emerged and took his new chum aside. He informed the man that his wife, who he was apparently here to see, was in the Gynecology ward on the first floor and that it was well past visiting hours, but they would allow him to go up and see her. Apparently satisfied with this, the drunkard inquired as to how to get to the Gynecology ward. Clive, having given up on being civil, told him in a stiff tone to take the elevator. Apparently we had all underestimated just how much revelry our subject had engaged in because his next question must have really been the last straw for Clive.

'But how do I get the elevator to work?'

Clive, now stiffling chuckles, instructed him to press the number '1' button on the panel in the elevator and it would take him to the floor he wanted. The man appeared satisfied with this and slower than before rotated toward the elevator. Having performed a 180 turn, he then turned back to the space where Clive had been. This time, his wobbly anger was directed at the hospital as an institution. He began to mutter things like, 'What button? I don't see any button here!' and 'What kind of a hospital is this?!' all while pressing his thumb to random sections of the wall in the hopes that they would activate the elevator and transport him to the floor above.

After about 5 min of observing this, one of our party took pity on the man and guided him to the elevator, put him into it and pressed the appropriate button for him. We assume he found his wife because we never saw him again. That or he collapsed somewhere and slept it off...

Monday, October 04, 2010

Circus life, here I come!

So on Saturday, I went with a group of my friends to JoziX, an extreme sports park up in the north of Johannesburg. It's activities are all centred around large inflatable rigs so there's no danger of hurting yourself (unless you don't listen to the instructions, but how's that any different to any other physical activities, like ironing?). If you are ever in Joburg, it's well worth the price (financial and physical; you will be in pain the next day; you WORK those muscles...). In spite of the unpleasant end to the day (for me anyway) it was one of the best things I've ever done! I plan to return and complete my trapeze training once I'm all healed up! All the stuff comes from New Zealand. Who thought we'd have something to thank the Kiwi's for? ;P

The monkey bars! You have to swing from bar to bar and then try and sweep over the ears of the angry blue cat on the other end. I managed to land beautifully inbetween the ears and have the cat's head close on my like a pair of scissors...


Proper zorbing! SO much fun! Wanted to puke at the end, but adrenalin did away with the nausea!


Anyone remember 'Gladiators'? Same idea, only you pummel a friend instead of a steroid-laced body-builder...


Tight rope! I managed to grab the handle on the other side and then lost my balance. Good fun though!


The inflatable climbing wall! Much harder than you would think! There are four walls: Red is the easiest, yellow's the hardest. I can do red...that's all.


The highlight of my day! Trapeze! So cool and so much fun!


My cousin doing the trapeze thing. He even managed to transfer to the next handle thing! It looked amazing! I nearly did, but somehow ended up tearing large chunks of skin out of my palms, so doing the full manoeuvre was not going to happen.


Me holding swabs with disinfectant onto my then skinless palms. Painful, but TOTALLY worth it! That trapeze is my new love... 

*(I really have nothing against New Zealanders except for when they kick our ass at the rugby. It's just fun to play on the stereotypes. In fact, I have family there now! They're not true Kiwi's because they're actually from South Africa and moved there, but it's the closest thing I have...)

Friday, September 10, 2010

The worlds cutest animals

So, after the lab meeting today, I was not working (It's a Friday!!) and happened upon the following videos. The contents completely blew my mind. I saw the numbers on that balance and thought, 'What in my world weighs that amount?' I soon realised that a teaspoon of sugar weighs more than this little guy! It's amazing!



Another personal cute-animal-crush is the silky anteater. I am amazed that these little guys have not been snatched up by their millions for the pet trade. Not that I condone that sort of thing at all, but it's amazing that it hasn't happened.



And, just because I can't get enough of the little critters...

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday is NOT a work day!

A while back I posted about how fantastic Fridays were because we got to have doughnuts and coffee. Well since then, Fridays have continued to uphold all that is important and true. However, this Friday has been a little different...


Our supervisor is away at the moment and, well, when the cats away, the mice...swordfight with broom-sticks!


video

...or perhaps a little song and dance number?



video

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time-warp tests

Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of having to invigilate a test or exam in their lifetime can attest to this simple truth; it’s not fun. Tests seem to alter the space-time continuum, drawing time out, extending it beyond what is normally possible. It’s much like deadlines, which compress time into smaller and smaller bits, but it works in the opposite way.


Anyone who has ever invigilated a test will also tell you that as an invigilator you need something to occupy your mind while doing this job. If you don’t, the time-warping effect of the test is exacerbated tenfold. If you are smart, you take a book to read, or some marking to do from the previous time that you invigilated. But if you are like me, you only realise you are supposed to be invigilating about two minutes before the test starts and thus fail in the forward-planning department and end up stuck, pacing the rows of students with nothing to occupy your time.

On Friday, I had to invigilate such a test. Unfortunately, true to form, I completely forgot about it and thus failed to take reading material with me. I had walked briskly across campus, strolling nonchalantly past the students who were waiting outside the test venue (as their lecturer, you must maintain your coolness at all times). Once inside the large building, I realised that the test hadn’t even been set out, never mind ready for the students to write. I also discovered that the class, being in excess of 400 students, would be writing in two consecutive sessions.

Once the test was set out, the first batch of students came in to write. Time took on the consistency of syrup and my mind began to strain at the growing emptiness inside. When invigilating, I find that I tend to become pathologically eagre to do mundane tasks; things like collecting unused transcripts, counting the number of absentees, estimating the ages of students, counting how many students pick their noses thinking nobody is watching all become of the utmost importance. Occasionally a student will put up their hand for an extra sheet or to request an escort to the bathroom and your mind rejoices at the opportunity to do something.

After the first batch of students wrote and had been released, the second lot filed into their places and began to worry for my mental health. I still had another hour of waiting before my invigilating duties would come to an end. As the second lot started writing, time, having given a brief respite and returning to normal speed, resumed it’s passage at the speed of snot. I too resumed my seemingly critical tasks. It was during one such task, drifting down one of the aisles between desks, that I noticed something odd.

The test venue is a large hall, built to resemble an aircraft hanger. Whether this was intentional or merely my own perception, I cannot say. But one wall of the building is made mostly of one-way glass. Pacing inside the hall, I looked through the one-way glass to see a pair of girls outside, apparently in the throws of some sort of synchronised seizure or demonic possession. As I got closer to the window, I realised that the pair were actually practicing their synchronised dance moves, using the reflection off the glass to aid them.

While this in itself was amusing, what made it so much worse was the fact that the pair were, I assume, blissfully ignorant to the fact that there were over 200 students sitting inside the room, able to see them. At one stage one of the writing students stopped her test and watched over her shoulder for a good 5 min as the duo gyrated and stamped around outside. I too watched them as they flailed around, occasionally bursting into fits of laughter when one appeared to fail at twitching at the right time.

The responsibility of watching the students drew my mind back to the writing masses. Suddenly, a shriek was herd and I turned back to see what had happened. As I turned, it became clear that the pair outside were the noise. As I watched, the pair tore around the parking lot outside apparently being pursued by something small and white. I looked closer and realised that they were being chased around by a Maltese poodle and that the dog was determined to take them down, no matter the cost. One friend broke away, successfully evading the pooch while the second continued her rampage of shrieking. Eventually, she stopped, apparently exhausted from all the running and screaming, and the dog stopped to. The pair caught their breath and then resumed their chase.

Unfortunately, the test time was nearly up and I had to tear myself away from this very amusing episode. However, I think this has to have been one of the most exciting test invigilations I’ve ever done! It was awesome!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Engrish!

Some pictures from the ever-entertaining China-Mart!

The menus at the restaurant were princess themed...

Spiced Chemical Egg! My favourite!

Chicken omlettle! Another personal favourite!

Ever need to teach your children the meaning of contradiction? Why not buy them a 'grumpy-baby-with-smiley-face' doll?


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

My favourite pieces!

So, I was rummaging through my phone and I came across these pictures of my favourite art pieces from the Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre in March. A little late, yes, but still nice...I think anyway...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

...all we wanted was some milk!

As occasionally happens when one is a professional student, one becomes overwhelmed by the sheer amount of procrastination that one undertakes and is forced to take a step outside, away from all the work and non-working, to clear ones head. I was offered the opportunity to do so today when Leia, discovering that we were out of milk, decided that she was going to go and walk to the shops to buy some. She too was procrastinating and thus, it was better for both parties involved to just take that step and leave the lab...

We walked down to the shops of the Matrix (our student centre where purveyors of everything sweet and greasy ply their trade; if I ever get heart disease, I'll be blaming it on the Matrix...). We walked into the 7/11, deep in meaningless conversation about the perils of the student life, or something to that effect. As we approached the wall of glass doors that are the fridges, we discovered to our horror that there was a large empty space where the milk usually took residence.

In utter disbelief, Leia shuffled from door to door, examining the contents of each fridge, in the vein hope of finding that one carton that somehow went unnoticed by previous shoppers. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Conceding defeat, she announced that they had no milk and together we forlornly left the store.

BUT WAIT! There is also the Cafe Fino in Senate House! Perhaps they might have [ridiculously overpriced] milk!

With the hope of this revelation in our hearts, we began to trek up the hill to Senate House. We arrived through on of the side entrances and continued down the 'Disability Unit' corridor. Just as we were reaching the end of the corridor, the person who had been walking in the opposite direction to us stopped and spoke to us.

She looked Mediterranean, about 50+ years of age and wore an ochre/orange jacket. Her hair was died an impossible blond and had the fatigued look of a little too much time at the office. She started by asking us if there was an exit that took her to the traffic lights in the direction that we had come. A little confused as to what she was asking I responded with silent blinking.

Leia, a little more on the ball than I, requested clarification. It turned out that the woman worked in the block north of the university and had come in to pay something but had somehow gotten lost on campus. She had found the financial office but now needed to return to her car which she had parked near a set of traffic lights on campus.

'Oh...!' I recounted internally. I proceeded to offer her a detailed description of a route that would take her directly to the traffic lights she sought. The route was not complicated; literally just walk in one direction, in a straight line until you reach the road. Then turn right, following the road down the hill. Et viola!

Clearly uncertain, the woman thanked us and proceeded to walk the suggested route, muttering something about how despite her navigational skills she had other redeeming features. Feeling that the incident had concluded, Leia and I resumed our conversation.

A few words into the chat, we were again accosted by the lost woman. This time in a rather determined tone, she asked if there wasn't an alternative route through one of the passages to her left. A little perplexed, we assured her that the route we had suggested was the most direct and simple route. Thanking us again, she resumed her waddle toward the street.

We entered the store, found the milk and payed for it, all the while chuckling and muttering about the crazy woman who seemed convinced that she knew where to go, in spite of demanding directions from complete strangers. As we left the store, we walked toward the building exit and stopped dead in our tracks...

There, waddling between buildings was the crazy woman! She apparently had walked the route we had suggested just enough to seem like she hadn't completely disregarded our advice outright and then had gone with her gut...the wrong way. Neither of us wanting a repeat encounter, we decided that it was best for all involved that we run in the opposite direction, giggling with milk in hand...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pessimism and the W.C.

No, not that W.C. ! The World Cup of course!

The W.C. What can I say...Firstly, I sincerely hope that they never get to host it in this country again for as long as I live! I know, I know...I'm unpatriotic and un-South African...blah blah blah. But there are some really big reasons why I'm anti-W.C. at the moment.

Numero uno: It's been really irritating because absolutely everything now is about the world cup! Just the other day, my uncle went to the licensing department to try and get his car re-licensed and the place was closed, only to open an hour later. The reason? The staff were being taught the official world cup dance (it's called the diski dance for those who need to know; what diski has to do with soccer, I have no freaking clue...)! We have a world cup dance?! I mean really! Can't the money that was spent on hiring a Fifa-approved choreographer have been put to better use?! But thank God that now, should some misguided tourist waft into the licensing department and ask for the staff to break into dance, they will be able to deliver without hesitation! Now if only they could process their forms with that kind of efficiency...

Secondly, our country has been inundated with billions of flags. There are flags on everything! People have flags on their cars, houses, children...you name it, it's done! Actually, the children part, I have yet to come across, but I am fairly certain there are a few branded kiddies out there, unaware that they are punting their parent's favourite team. None the less, the flags are a bit much! They have even invented side-mirror socks which allow you to display the flag of your choice on your side mirrors! To give you an idea of how bad it is, several of the houses in our area now display little plastic flags all along their walls; not just of one country,mind you! They display the flags of every team that will be playing! So it's not even about supporting a team!

Once again, the futility of displaying all the flags like this doesn't seem to have dawned on most of the populous. In my opinion, foreigners are not likely to adorn their exorbitantly priced rental vehicles with the flags of their homes so the competition for best soccer supported is a little unfairly weighted toward the SA guys. They are also unlikely to have difficulty in identifying South African drivers on the roads, certainly not up here in Joburg. Just look out for the ones who are aiming at the other cars...that's us! So the need for South Africans to plaster flags over everything is completely unfounded...

Just the other day, I was on my way in to Wits on the highway when I saw, lying dirty and damaged in the freshly cut grass of the middle island, one of those horrid car flags which had obviously snapped off it's host car as they zoomed down the freeway. I felt so good to see it, which gives you some idea of just how sick I am of the stupid flags...

Thirdly, and most importantly, Fifa has demanded that for the duration of the world cup, all street vendors, hawkers and street salesmen are to be rounded up and arrested if they are caught selling their wares on the streets of the host cities! So effectively for two months, these people who make a meagre living on a good day, are to be deprived of their income! Not to mention that Fifa should be paying them compensation for this, but also, the hawkers are such a typically South African thing and by removing them they are also detracting from the full South African experience of visitors!

Other than that, we're all very excited!

Apparently some soccer fundi says that Bafana will be at an advantage because of the fact that they are used to playing with the vuvuzelas and rowdy crowds of South African Soccer. So perhaps we do stand a chance after all!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Horrors! I've not posted in over two months! What has become of me!

Life just kinda caught up with me I guess. Things have been pretty hectic and as things stand at the moment, I'm in a rut...which is why I thought I should post some pictures of the...interesting...things I have spotted while out shopping lately. Enjoy!


What's wrong with this picture...?

They knew there was a double letter in there somewhere! Which one it was...merely a technicality!


Anyone looking for a 1/4 of a rabbit? I know where to go!


Oddly enough, not bought in a sex shop! Thailand actually!



You'd think that someone must have picked up on the double-entendre here before they printed the packaging...


Becasue Kate Moss and the History of Science have SO much in common...


Spelling isn't their strong point, is it? But at least we know their food is the 'nuggest' of them all!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Food of the Gods/Devil

Now that I have neglected my blog for a good month or so, I feel that I should write at least ONE post for February. For my fans, alas, I will probably be posting rarely this year as I have a lot of work to do for my PhD (HOORAY!!!) and so I probably won't have the time or inspiration to write. Unless you want to learn about how chimpanzees use space...

Following a post by Leia, I have been thinking about the whole chocolate-is-a-substitute-for-sex thing. And, following a rather fruitless rummage through a text book on biological psychology (What kind of decent text book on psychology doesn't have a section on chocolate?! I mean really...! ), I turned to the faithful Internet for the knowledge which I shall present to you here.



So Leia argued that she was not one to fit the stereotype of chocolate substituting sex. She then went on to describe how she ate chocolate all the time, so it couldn't possibly be related to her libido. As she put it, she ate chocolate whenever she felt, 'tired, frustrated, lonely, etc.'



While the motivation for eating the heavenly gifts of the cocoa plant may not be sexual, it is very interesting to look at the hormones that are released when one eats chocolate. First up, ENDORPHINS!

These are the bodies natural pain killers. According to these guys (they have references, so I am inclined to believe them) endorphins are produced by our body in a variety of circumstances, including pain experience, eating spicy foods, overexposure to light (I'm assuming that refers to sunburn...?), exercise, laughter, crying, stress, acupuncture, shower massagers, calming music, tickling, sex, stimulating the erogenous zones and eating sweet foods, including...drum roll please...chocolate! Interestingly, scalp massage made it's way in there too. That explains why some girls love having their hair washed so much...


Another important chemical is Phenylethylamine. There's an obligatory quiz on all the chemical names at the end of this post...I think I'll just call it 'P' for simplicity's sake. This chemical is naturally found in the brain and is associated with increasing activity in the pleasure centres of the brain by causing the release of dopamine (the happy chemical). This is also produced in relatively high levels during orgasm. They have a strong influence on our mood when found in the brain. However, according to these people, some suggest that chemicals such as P are metabolised long before they get near the brain when taken in through chocolate. It's also found in a number of other foods, including beer, wine and some cheeses.


Interestingly, chocolate also contains cannabinoids, similar chemicals to those found in weed. So, they have the effect of making one feel happy. However, one would have to consume ridiculous quantities of chocolate to get high. The cannabinoids in it are not nearly as strong as those found in cannabis. According to this abstract, some lawyer actually tried this once as a defence against his client dealing and using Mary-Jane. Sadly for him, his defence was shot down in flames...

A well known chemical in chocolate is the caffeine and similar non-caffeine chemicals. I'm not going to say any more apart from the fact that the chemicals occur in very low quantities in chocolate when compared to coffee. Here they claim that 50g of dark chocolate still contains less caffeine than 150ml of tea. Food for thought and whatnot...

So, while the sex-chocolate link isn't exactly gospel, you can still see that chocolate has come very interesting effects on the brain. On the plus side, it also tastes good!
PS. Picture credits; Here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The car that gave birth to a kitten

Monday morning; I awoke at 05h45. Insane, I know. But I had to go to work out with my good pal, Dave. The two of us gym together regularly (or try to anyway...) as it forces both of us to do it and helps to keep us motivated. We work out early in the morning because, a) it offers a good excuse not to just sleep in every day and b) we go running in the evenings, so working out in the evening isn't really an option.

On this particular morning, I was unusually alert and managed to get out of bed, get dressed and out of the house in five minutes. To put this into perspective, I am usually so groggy and semi-comatose that it takes me a good 15 minutes to organise myself. So, ready and eager to get going after the Christmas hiatus I collected my car keys and started up my car.

I pulled out of the drive and began to putter along down my road. The crisp morning air was refreshing and humid, carrying the rain from last nights storms back to the clouds above. The roads were their usual desolate selves, unsurprising, given that it was so early. As I pulled into the road which joins one of the main roads in our suburb, I noticed a white Hyundai, perched on the crest of the speed hump in the middle of the road. The car was running, the occupants holding it there, waiting for something. I assumed that they were waiting for a colleague or friend to emerge from the house opposite.

As I got closer I noticed something dark attached to the undercarriage of the car. Now, understand, my knowledge of the anatomy of a car is horrific at best, but this still seemed out of place. I slowed behind the car, expecting them to pull off at any second. But they didn't budge.

However, the lump under the car did.

It wiggled a little and then landed on the tarmac lightly, only to tear across the road as a white, albeit fluffy, bolt of terror. As I watched, I realised that it was a tiny white kitten! My brain instinctively told me that it was way too early to be up anyway and so this probably hadn't really happened. But as I drove past, I realised that it was all real, the scared little cat glaring back at the car from the safety of the driveway.

The poor little thing probably climbed up into the engine of the car for warmth the night before and had not realised what was going on until it was out in the street already. The poor thing must have got such a fright! But it appeared to be okay, if not a little ticked off. The whole experience was very surreal to say the least!