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Jun 11

Tear of sadness in an ocean of Joy

Posted by Dissol in Untagged 


One of my obits...and a really sad one.

Zenani Mandela, aged 13, great grand-daughter of Madiba died in a car crash on her way home from the World Cup Concert last night.

If there is one person who made this fantastic Soccer World Cup possible, it is Nelson Mandela.  He is due to turn 92 just after the games.  He is not in the best of health, but everyone is hoping that he is able to put in an appearance, even if short at the event.

I don't know much, but I do know that great grandfathers should not have to bury their great grand-children.

There is a wonderful starts in South Africa, and it is going all around the world.  For almost the first time, in this process, we are getting good press...  Looking at different headlines around the world, they are all upbeat, optimistic.  Some are managing to find a few small negative issues to have a dig at further into the articles, but the headlines, the feelings are mostly  good...  Sad then, that we have these tears.

I know there have been concerts, and all sorts of events to welcome the start of the World Cup.  But I think Cape Town has put the very best show on this morning.  Basking in the winter sun, protected by Table Mountain, Lions Head, Signal Hill.  The Mother City looks fantastic!!  People are just walking around, soaking up the atmosphere... 

Jun 09


Posted by Dissol in Untagged 



I was rolling around the Cape Town Stadium precinct yesterday.  Final last look, to pick up any loose ends.  I was feeling a bit melancholic, which I think is allowable, as I come to the end of a project that has been a whirlwind experience for over 4 years now.  Yes, the opportunity of a lifetime.  An incredible time.  Pulling off the 'impossible'.

Cape Town was (finally!) buzzing, cars, buses, people milling about in different national colours, vuvuzela's blowing.  The stadium was looking fantastic, scrubbed by the recent wind and rain, and glowing in the sunshine.  The golf course, and precinct looking green.  The white hospitality tents sparkling.  Shiny police cars, and motorbikes buzzing about.

I had been focussing on the tiny; looking for misaligned paving; alignment & positioning of signs, and barriers.  I was making a note...when a French accent enquired whether I was OK, or did I need assistance.  A family were also walking around the precinct, soaking up the atmosphere.  We struck up a conversation, and they told me how excited they were to finally be in South Africa, to be here for the Soccer World Cup.  They wanted to tell me how much they loved South Africa, Cape Town, the stadium.  They were all avid soccer supporters and had travelled much of Europe following their team, and France.  But this was better than anywhere else...  Magnifique!! 
I stopped looking at the detail, and sat back to take in the bigger picture.  Sitting there was like being in the United Nations building...all sorts of different nationalities walking, driving past.  All smiling in the Cape Winter sun. 
The headline in the US newspaper says it all "Now it is South Africa's Turn in the Limelight".  This event is so huge...its global nature cannot be under-estimated.  4 years work.  3 sets of wheelchair tyres.  2 wheelchair frames.  2 shoulder joints.  Who knows how many km between Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Jo'burg?  Hours of meetings.  Pages of reports.  Tantrums.  Coercions.  Compromises. 
What a privilege to have been able to be involved.  I am sure that this is going to be a memorable World Cup.  I am sure that people are going to be amazed with what they see and experience in South Africa. 

Jun 03

Let the games begin!

Posted by Dissol in Soccer World Cup , FIFA , 2010



May 29

Anrich's Eyes

Posted by Dissol in MyDL support , Anrich


The challenge starts again MyDLers.  Have a look at Syllable's Blog where she explains about the challenges her nephew is facing.

Most of us take vision for granted.  This little lad sounds like he has already had quite a battle to retain his sight.  And that battle continues.  It sounds like all his family are rallying around, and I am sure he will need them as he faces further surgery.  They should be able to concentrate on giving him love and support, and not have to worry about the finances.

I know there will be some nay sayers, who will point out that there are many in Anrich's situation.  But that does not matter.  Syllable is one of us, and she came to ask for help.  That is not easy for anyone to do.  We owe it to her, and to Anrich to help her out.  So I am donating all my digirand, and will continue until Syllable lets us know the outcome of the ops.

I am putting this in the digital blogs for 2 reasons:
 1.  I will earn more money for the Anrich Fund!!
 2.  This is a great example of how a digital (virtual) community looks after its own.

I happen to be going in for my long postponed shoulder ops any day now.  And I am now planning to bore the whatsits off you all now with all manner of different posts. HAVE to click on them, even if you do not read my ramblings as each click will be a little bit more for Anrich.

I also challenge you all, as with Skard (who is doing well, as she has a job now!), to help one of our own through a tricky patch.  Donate your digi's!!  Charmed and The Source, this time, I hope that you can approach some of the sites sponsors and get them to come on board and support this.  I am sure, that we can raise the necessary money very quickly.

Can someone (I think it was DBS??) do a logo "Anrich Supporter - Vision for the Future or something apt?

May 28

It's almost here!!

Posted by Dissol in Nelson Mandela Stadium , FIFA , Cape Town Stadium , 2010 World Cup , 2010


The biggest sporting event in the world!  I have been so fortunate to be involved with some of the very best architects, designers, project managers, civil engineers, builders, transportation engineers, etc. over the last 4 years.

I have been lucky to be able to see behind the screen, so to speak, and all the incredible work that has gone into preparing for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.  It has been some of the most exciting, thrilling, exhausting, frustrating, few years of my life.  The work that has gone into this event is amazing.  We started in a situation where many people in South Africa, and elsewhere in the World were telling us that we could not complete this in time.  Everything would go wrong.  FIFA would remove the games from us.  Basically it CANNOT BE DONE!  Well, it has been done!  In Port Elizabeth & Cape Town we pulled off the impossible, and delivered 2 stadia which are some of the very best in the world.  During the period we had everything thrown at us (and still are from certain quarters!)

I have been concluding my final visits prior to the event, and I have been really impressed with how they look.  Cape Town Stadium is beautiful, and is able to fit in to its amazing backdrop (which is no mean feat!).  Nelson Mandela Stadium is prettier; looking like a sunflower, the amazing roof can be seen from all around PE.  The park, and lake next to it looks fantastic.  They are perfoming the final cleaning up.

There are still some small issues with both stadia, but that is to be expected.  It will take probably a few years of tinkering to get them 100% (if indeed 100% is possible).  But both stadia provide fantastic, safe, access for people with disabilities (which was our role).  The road network has been improved, both cities providing accessible transportation for people with special needs (in completely different ways).

I am proud of our involvment, and I am proud to be associated with these two unique stadia, which will serve the local communities for many years to come.

I just wish we were not still battling with the nay-sayers at this stage.  I always thought that the Brits would take the title in any World Whinging Championship (most Australians would agree with that!!), but I have decided that middle class South Africans will easily beat them, on any day! 

May 22

Numbers...or Feelings

Posted by Dissol in Soccer World Cup , 2010



May 22

The Lifeblood of Society (or why Internet Censorship is attempted by dictatorships)

Posted by Dissol in internet , Feeedom of Expression , Control , Censorship



May 12

Great Day

Posted by Dissol in Greenpoint , FIFA , Disability , Cape Town Stadium , Accessibility


Been a funny old week.  Yesterday I was called to give evidence to a Portfolio Committee meeting in Parliament...which was different, but at least we were able to set the record straight on accessibility at both Cape Town & Nelson Mandela Bay Stadia.

nervous prior to performingThen today!  The City of Cape Town, and the stadium operators (SAIL Stade de France) hosted the concert by Filia School.  As mentioned in an earlier posting, this was perhaps the only facility which could provide the accessibility needed on this scale.  There were close to 200 children, many with quite severe disabilities performing, and many people with disabilities in the audience, along with several schools, from as far away as Franschhoek.  People had travelled in fromWellington to be there.

What a great event!!!  It is a pity that the press did not turn out in the numbers that this part of the crowdconcert deserved, but as you can see from the photos below, we had a good crowd.

The concert was amazing, very moving, and inspirational.  The audience joined in, and the final rendition of the National Anthem was the most emotionally charged that I have ever witnessed!!  I was in a position where I could see the crowd, and there were very few dry eyes.  It was a fantastic celebration of diversity. 
Even the weather was on our side; after several days of torrential rain, & several more forecast, the concert happened in the dry!!! 
This event proved the accessibility of the stadium, beyond any doubt, and was a truly amazing experience.  We hope it will become an annual event.

May 09

How to wreck the good game of Rugby

Posted by Dissol in Super 14 , Rugby , Cheating


 I used to play a lot of Rugby, and I generally enjoy watching rugby matches.  I have to admit that I rarely watch the Super 14 competition, as don't enjoy the "interpretation" of the laws of the game (Rugby has laws not rules).  In fact, quite how one can have different interpretations of the same law is beyond me.

May 03

Special Invitation to a Special Concert in a Special Location!

Posted by Dissol in Greenpoint , Education , Disability , Cape Town Stadium , Accessibility , 2010 World Cup , 2010


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