Philosophising at my ’local’ on Friday, (really, the British culture does the ‘pub’ scene so much better than America, even if it is a struggle to find beer worth drinking here), I have to relate the substance of our discussion. Probably nothing you didn’t know already ..

The proposal was that a ‘disease’ of Western culture is that of loneliness - a fallout of our working culture and small families is that lots of people end up living alone. There have been efforts to address it, by setting up small communities to treat each other as family.

One major thing that Africa still has in the rural areas, and I also noticed in the colored township areas, is the notion of large extended family. This is a support structure, where if one person is in hardship, or taking exams, or whatever, everyone feels for them. Last year I found that black houses / huts all had Grandmothers - the matriarch that made the house what it was.

It is a notion that Africa has that is lost in many western cultures.

I join a theatre group to get that group belonging, and treasure my theatre friends because of that.

I went hiking this weekend (in the rain ..) with a few folks from work - from Constantia Nek up the back of Table Mountain. There are a lot of hiking trails in this vicinity, and they are well used. After a 2 hour climb through the woods, it flattened out into a flowered heath-like landscape that was very pretty - it being late spring here now.

Vodacom, with much fanfare, launched their Internet Service Provider business last week -, which we put together, and, annoyingly, still run. All the good Unix system Operators move to America and more lucrative job prospects…

We also launched a Web newspaper, - which is a bi-weekly paper edition in Cape Town.

Weather is great - wish you could be here.

Cheers, Andy!