Life, Uncategorized

Post Mortem


After vrek-ification

I hate the idea of using fossil fuel to pollute the air to cremate me. What a waste and how harmful! Our effing grandkids are going to shake their heads in amazement at how dumb-destructive we were.

Don’t want to be buried either – the embalming and other crap is very destructive and then there’s the waste of land.

My best would be for the old carcass to be placed kaalgat and willy-up in a wild, open, unoccupied place where flies, worms, vultures & hyenas could access it. But I guess that ain’t gonna happen easily.

Better-sounding options are Natural Burial where the ground above you is just returned to normal use; or Human Composting. Some good souls are trying to gain acceptance for more sane policies. Hope they can succeed.

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NATURAL BURIAL – A return to simple ways, no embalming, no concrete, no artificial stuff. Bodies are wrapped in a bio-degradable shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket, the idea being that they will decompose naturally.

An all-natural cemetery opened in 1998 in the Ramsey Creek preserve in Westminster, South Carolina. Mark Harris, author of “Grave Matters: A Journey through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial” (Scribner, 2007) told LiveScience, there are at least fifty natural cemeteries in the USA, and “scores more” regular cemeteries with sections for natural graves.

“Most people, when they find out what happens in the embalming room, they’re pretty horrified,” said Harris, who blogs at grave-matters.blogspot.com. “They can’t believe the cost, which is
outrageous, and then there is this growing concern about the environmental effects of all of these procedures and of all of the goods and resources devoted to this modern method.”

Many natural cemeteries double as nature preserves, and many people like the idea of contributing to the ecosystem after death. “You’re actually benefiting the environment,” he said. “You’re allowing the body to rejoin the cycle of life” – and you’re freeing up some natural land.

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HUMAN COMPOSTING – or ‘Natural organic reduction,’ may become available some time. The technique accelerates the decomposition process, turning bodies into soil within 4 to 7 weeks. Its supporters say natural organic reduction has a smaller carbon footprint than cremation or burial. Recomposition uses about an eighth of the energy of cremation, and also has a significant carbon reduction thanks to carbon sequestration when you return your carbon to the ground.

Maybe a good idea right now would be to simply add to our last will: Please get rid of the old carcass in the least environmentally-destructive way available at present.

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Stephen Reed wrote: Ja. Topical subject. I have been listening to radio talks about options for carcass disposal, doing away with embalming etc

A coffee and Bagel shop in Hobart is called ‘Bury Me Standing’ – which is a good space saving idea, huh?

Natural burials on donated farmland – each body would fertilise about an acre …

Our local hood has quite a large cemetery – part of an occasional walking route along the Brisbane river, and across the river from the university. We were just walking through there there a month or so back. A good place to visit if contemplating mortality is your thing. Also a good reminder that in times gone by you would more than likely be gone by 55 years old.

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Me: This is encouraging. Hopefully we’ll move to parks instead of cemeteries. I’d much rather that wildlife is gamboling about, poo’ing on the ground above me, than people in black tip-toe’ing around on wasted land with pebble paths and concrete slabs with lies engraved in them.

If they’d Bury Me Standing with head n shoulders sticking above ground, you could balance a coffee cup on me nut. A donut on one shoulder. Might be a nice idea for outdoor coffee shop décor . .

My suggestion along the parkland lines would be to also have – at each lovely indigenous park – an app. You key in a name on your phone and it leads you to where Wally is buried; or you key in ‘random’ and it takes you on a walk telling you about Joe here, Sally here and so voorts, complete with a brief CV. Maybe you could even key in ‘criminal’ and it shows all the crims who chose this spot as their last pozzie. An additional carbon saving is Aunt Matilda wouldn’t have to fly in from Scotland to put flowers on your grave. She could zoom in and check you out online.

We could © and TM this virtual grave app as ‘The Last Thing You Need’ ©

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Uncategorized

Explorers 7. Wahlberg

Johan August Wahlberg (1810 – 1856) was another Swedish naturalist and explorer. He traveled in southern Africa between 1838 and 1856, especially in Natal and South West Africa, sending thousands of natural history specimens back to Sweden.

The journals of his travels are generally brief and objective (and I haven’t been able to find them yet! So I know little about him, even though his name is honoured in many species – moths, lizards, birds, plants, etc), and his portrayal of people he met is usually reliable and unprejudiced.

Wahlberg’s elephants – in Namibia? –

Wahlberg is commemorated in Wahlberg’s Eagle, Wahlberg’s epauletted fruit bat and the beautiful little bush squeaker frog Arthroleptis wahlbergi. That’s my pic on top of one of the little squeakers; fully grown, he’s the size of your top finger digit. This one lives in our garden in Westville.

– Wahlberg’s eagle and bat –

‘Sport’ in those days consisted of shooting as much as possible for the tally, the ‘bag.’ These pale chaps ran amuck, trying to score a century, even though cricket was only 240 years old in 1838.

His diary in Natal: 23 August – near Umgeni river: (shot) 1 Ichneumon taenianotus (a mongoose); 1 Boschbock; 1 red-buck (red duiker?); 1 birds.

‘I was so intent on the bucks that the fall of darkness took me (by) surprise. I lost the path and so entangled myself in the thickets that I sure that I should have to pass the night in the woods. I shot six alarm-shots. I was glad to hear them answered by regular salvos from the village. Flayed the boschbock and left the carcase in the wood.’

31 August – near Umkamas river: ‘Continued hunting hippopotamus; no luck. In the evening, accompanied only by one Hottentot Bastard we came sufficiently near to hippopotamus. Two bullets went whistling at the same moment, and found their mark in the head of a young sea-cow. She came to the surface several times, spouting blood high in the air. An adult now appeared; once again our shots sounded as one; it showed the whole of its body above water, dived, a strong furrow appeared in the water, moved rapidly towards the shore, and soon the whole body of the monster was visible above the surface, in form and attitude like a gigantic pig. With incredible swiftness it hurled itself once more into the stream, and rose several times in succession, each time spouting blood. Darkness fell and we were forced to return.’

1st September – ‘We looked in vain for the hippopotamus.’

2nd – ‘Saw numerous buffalo but was unable to get near them. Clouds of locusts darken the sky. We go further afield to a smaller stream.’

3rd – ‘Lying in wait for the buffalo. Hear them approaching at full gallop through the bushes. Climb an acacia. Give the first bull a bullet, which makes him fall back upon his hind-quarters. He gets to his legs again and escapes.’

Well, at least this time Africa got its revenge! Wahlberg was killed by a wounded elephant while exploring along the Thamalakane river about 10 km northwest of Maun just south of the Okavango Delta in today´s Botswana.

– Dear Museum, I have a white rhino skeleton for you. Signed Johan August –
– books based on Wahlberg’s journals and letters –
– he was the first to collect the red-headed weaver, near Thabazimbi –

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wikipedia; van riebeeck society; alchetron.com; aviation demography unit;

Uncategorized

Family Gatherings

Gathering the troops for family meetings used to be hard. You’d no sooner get one to the table than they had disappeared when you got back with the other. Not anymore: For instant family gatherings, with everyone – including Cecelia – crowded round the router with a WTF look on their faces, just switch off the wifi.

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Early mornings are not young people’s best. It’s not just Christmas when ‘all through the house. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;’ I get up in the morning and all is dead quiet. To use another Free State Reed-ism ‘not a leaf stirred, not a dog stirred’ (geddit?*).

They lie low as I pad up and down the passage. Even if I stick my lips at the door crack and ask ‘You Awake?’ not a peep.

Until I walk past with shoes on. Then it’s instantly ‘Where you going?’

FOMO.

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  • . . not a dog’s turd. This Reed-ism is best orally, not so good in print.
Life, Uncategorized

Pills

I went to my GP Steve the other day – a month or two ago – because the world is populated with arseholes and I wondered if he could do anything about it. Y’know, fix them?

Fool gave me a pill to take in the morning. I think he’s losing his touch.

Anyway, I’m reminded about it because I just read about an artist in Slaapstad who calls herself Lady Skollie. She paints some intelligent, challenging shit. This one she calls:

**** ‘Modern day Ophelia but with calming pills, pain pills and get over your fucking-self pills’ ****

I liked that.

Funnily enough, the world does seem a bit better behaved lately.

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More about Lady Skollie or Laura Windvogel

get over your fucking self pills
Modern day Ophelia but with calming pills, pain pills and get over your fucking-self pills
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Careful Where You Step!

Recording and reminiscing; with occasional bokdrols of wisdom.

Random, un-chronological memories after marriage, children and sundry other catastrophes.

– this swanepoel family –

My pre-marriage blog is vrystaatconfessions.com. Bachelorhood! Beer! River trips! Beer!

bokdrols – like pearls, but handle with care