Mainly waves and no RBOSS

There’s a problem. Such was the weather yesterday (very sunny; very, very windy), that there was nothing to photograph except amazing waves, and just so much light and colour that it looks like I’ve RBOSSed everything.

Not the case, I promise.

If you’ve not been to Cape Town, I can completely understand that when you look at these images, you immediately think that I have gone mad with the sliders in Lightroom. I would never.

I remember being utterly astonished by the clarity of the light and the colour when I first came over here. Not every day, obviously – it’s grey and miserable today. I’m sure that there are other places in the world with equally amazing conditions, but I haven’t been there yet.

But I swear that yesterday, the turquoise really was that turquoise, the white honestly that white and the other colours genuinely were whatever colours they were. If only we could have enjoyed them without our eyeballs being ripped out by the wind and assaulted by the sand.

Still, great day out…

(Oh, and I know that I probably shouldn’t have monochromed that one photo, but I just have a nagging feeling that I’m going to need a dramatic B&W wave photo one day. As you do.)

This is not what I signed up for

It’s Christmas. The festive season. Holiday time.
Call it what you want, but down here in Cape Town, we also call it SUMMER.

However, the weather this SUMMER has not been very SUMMERy. Rain on and off over the last week, temperatures peaking in the low 20s, cool winds blowing in off the Atlantic and making us all miserable.

This is not what I signed up for.

I signed up for SUMMER where I could be outside in the sun. Playing in the pool, lounging on a…  on a… lounger. Not running across car parks trying to stay dry. Not wearing LONG TROUSERS. IN DECEMBER.

It’s annoying other people too. Like the staff at Pick n Pay Liquor in Constantia Village, who were feeling anything but festive this morning. Opening ten minutes late, snapping at customers who knocked on the door pointing out it was after 9 o’clock. My breakfast plans were rapidly becoming brunch.
Seriously, rarely have I seen a group of individuals give less of a toss about anything. Everything was too much trouble.
And it was grey and raining. Coincidence? Well, yes, possibly, because they might well be like that all the time.

But anyway – back to my main point, which is that SUMMER hasn’t arrived in Cape Town yet. Will it ever arrive? After all, we went through a few years when winter never turned up.

I’ll make the best of it, of course. I mean, what choice do we have? But I’d much rather be at risk of sunburn than of hypothermia.

And so I googled the weather for the next seven days. And… well… I mean… just look at the state of this:

EIGHTEEN on Christmas Day? I’m going to have to wrap my kids up in  swaddling cloths. SEVENTEEN on Boxing Day? No wonder the shepherds want to come in from the fields: it’s pissing down out there.

And don’t tell me that it would be colder in the UK. Of course it would. It’s meant to be. It’s WINTER and it’s all evocative and romantic, innit?

This is not what I signed up for and I am understandably very unhappy.

Whatsapp translated

I have to be careful here. It’s one of those “close to home” things that is a bit borderline to be sharing. Usually, I would err on the side of caution, but this is just too good not to blog.

It concerns a neighbourhood Whatsapp group that I am on – one that’s probably 90% Afrikaans, 10% English. As well as being a useful group to be on, it’s also improved my Afrikaans, and that’s no bad thing. Polyglottism is massively useful. These two reasons are why I want to stay on the group, and why I probably shouldn’t be sharing this.

But really, this isn’t a post about a whatsapp message. This is a post about a brilliant Google translation. It just happens to have come from a whatsapp message, which is why you’re getting a bit of the backstory.

Anyway… someone reported something on the group which they thought was a little suspicious. Let’s quickly deal with what happened on that shall we: it was investigated and found to be all above board. Still, I thought that it was a perfectly reasonable thing to be concerned about, and a perfectly reasonable way to get it addressed.

But once that had happened, someone weighed in with an unpleasant, uncalled-for message chastising the individual for voicing their concerns in the first place. It wasn’t very nice. And elicited a full-blooded response in Afrikaans.

I tried my hardest to translate, but I was struggling. I could get some of it, but there were words I didn’t recognise. (In my defence, it was later followed up with “Sorry ek so kwaad ej tik verkeerd” – “Sorry I’m so angry I typed wrongly”.) (And I really don’t blame them for being angry.)

Thus, I fed it into Google Translate, and what came back included what might be the greatest line I have ever read (in a (translated) whatsapp message):

I am now bursting that every time I dare say something my head is bitten. I’m going to leave the flu noy. Both buses are located at the parking area for approximately 2 hours. Not enough of your bitchness now. Now enjoy your own hannah Hannah on the paths of dogs, etc., which are not gut-wrenching.


I think that:

Now enjoy your own hannah Hannah on the paths of dogs, etc., which are not gut-wrenching.

…might be my new go-to insult.

That it was borne out of entirely righteous anger (coupled with the best that Google Translate could manage thereof) just makes it even better.

And if you think you’ve seen it before, maybe you have. It’s the new tagline of the blog. I think it sums up a lot about the sort of stuff I try to write on here, especially given that much of it is about many of the paths of dogs, etc., which are not gut-wrenching.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to leave the flu noy.

Notes on the Rugby World Cup Final (and why I can’t lose)

A quick post on this event because it’s the only important thing over here at the moment* and it’s a matchup between my home nation and my adopted nation. But first, some groundwork:

Rugby is not my favourite sport, and thus, this game isn’t as important to me as it is to a lot of other people, for whom rugby is their favourite sport.

I do live in South Africa, but I am English. Therefore, I support South Africa in each and every sport and endeavour, unless they are playing against England, in which case, I support England. This is not an unreasonable stance: if any Saffas want to take issue with it (and there’s usually at least one who does), then they should consider their approach on an equivalent scenario should they be living in the UK. But then, even if they foolishly and disingenuously argue that they would drop the Springboks and follow England religiously, I still think my method makes sense.

It makes sense to me, anyway. And that’s really all that matters.

So yes, despite being in South Africa and being surrounded by South Africans tomorrow, I will be supporting England, cheering them on, hoping they are successful in tackling, running and scoring, and generally feeling optimistic that they will win the game. (A little assistance for anyone that hasn’t quite grasped the idea of “supporting”, there.)

But… (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) because of my lack of passion for egg-chasing generally, and because I’ve been here for almost 16 years now, I’m not 100% invested in my choice of prospective winner. If it were football and I’d only been here for a few weeks, I would be, but it’s not football and this is my home, so I’m not.
For context, the “big game” for me this weekend is Sheffield United v Burnley.

What I’m saying (and here, you might argue that I’m getting a bit soppy) is that because of the absolute state that SA is in at the moment, because we are faced literally each and every day with ever more tales of crime, corruption, general misery and impending economic disaster, I would dearly love a bit of good news. We all would.

It’s an old adage that sport unites, but it really is true. The passion and support that the Springboks’ World Cup run has generated has brought the nation together – it always does – and left the naysayers at the extremes of the political spectrum outnumbered and thankfully, thoroughly outvoiced.

And so, should South Africa defy the odds and lift the trophy tomorrow, I will really not mind too much. More than anything since JZ resigned as President, and more than anything until JZ is convicted on all those corruption charges, that would really make a huge positive difference to this repeatedly battered nation.

In conclusion, I really can’t lose tomorrow*.
I might as well just drink beer and have a good time.


* T&Cs apply

Long way from home

Spotted on the M3 going north through Constantia this morning:

That’s a Manx-registered Hyundai i30, for the uninitiated.

It’s only the second Manx-registered car I’ve seen in Cape Town during my 15-year sentence. Little bit disappointed with the lack of a GBM sticker, but otherwise, top marks for giving me a smile today.