A great day marred by football

Up properly early – lobbed some bacon in some baps for the car – and off to De Mond Nature Reserve up along the coast. Away so early that the sun wasn’t up and the owls were still hunting from the poles along the Suiderstrand road.

Deliciously cool and with some lovely light, I was actually a bit disappointed with some of the photos I got. Seemed like they should have been better, but I wasn’t on my A-game today. Still, loads to see on our 6km walk, including three new birds for me. I’m no prolific birder, but I’ve seen a lot in the Western Cape, so three new species in a single morning is pretty good going.

And then, after yesterday’s Secretary Birds, a Denham’s Bustard (var Stanleyi) (obviously, down here!!) on the way home. Nice, albeit at a bit of a distance.

The early start permitted a phat afternoon nap, which was duly accepted, and while the playoff semi-final first leg didn’t go too well, the fire is lit, the braai is on the go and with loadshedding at 8, we’re hunkering down for an evening of atmosphere, brandy and battery-powered LED lighting.

It’s been a (generally) good day.

Flagpole

I’m still not completely convinced that this isn’t a late April Fools joke.

Because while in a country with no money, massive social and economic issues, no electricity, widespread poverty and rampant unemployment, it doesn’t seem like making a joke about the government spending R22,000,000 on a big flag would be particularly amusing, it’s also exactly the sort of thing that the government would actually do.

And that wouldn’t be funny either.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I see all the arguments they’ve made:

The flag, as the brand image of the country, needs to be highly recognised by the citizens.
This has the potential to unite people as it becomes a symbol of unity and common identity.
The project is envisaged to contribute towards nation-building and social cohesion. 

But I would say that about 100% of the citizens already recognise the flag. And I’d also say that our shared experiences of things like loadshedding and unchecked government corruption are more likely to unite us and be a symbol of our common identity than this project. And that being the case, I’m sure that the spending of this R22 million will absolutely encourage nation-building and social cohesion, as the citizenry come together as one to ask the burning question:

What the actual fuck are you doing spending R22 million on a flag?
Just. Stop.

So is this whole story just a joke? I don’t get it. At all.

Next week, South Africa spends R49million on a giant hamster.
(I just made that up, so it’s probably not going to happen.) (Probably.)

Quirky

An impromptu trip out this morning took us (amongst other places) to Constantia Wine and Craft on Gabriel Road, Plumstead Constantia.

A fine example of Conspansion if ever I saw one.

But what an interesting shop! I’ve driven past it about a million times, but I’ve never been in.
Obviously, that’s now changed, and I’ll definitely be going back. An amazing range of unusual craft beer from all over SA and Belgium (other nations may also have been represented – I think I saw a Namibian independent brewer or two in there, as well).

And yes, I know I said this,

…and I stand by it. But there is still some good stuff out there too.

They also had some lovely wines from Constantia and beyond. Some of which I’d never heard of before:

Viral gastroenteritis – which is surely the most common revenge of any crustacean-based dish – is a strange choice to name your wine after, and at R500, this bottle from Vredendal was a bit much for me to take a chance on, but I did love the name.

And – a whole few hours before this announcement, this afternoon:

I also spotted this there:

Ja-nee.

All your favourites (including spirits) are there with a sprinkling of the unusual and the quirky, and it’s well-worth popping in to try something a bit different whenever you happen to be passing.

And no, this is not a sponsored post. I tell you when I do them.

First exams done

It’s the first day of the iGCSE season and some Geography and Chemistry papers have been done and dusted today.

Not by me, of course. But following several (or more) weeks of hard revision, The Boy Wonder seems confident that his first day of “real exams” has gone well, despite a whole chunk of loadshedding during the latter. Of course, the results are only out at the end of August, but there is a bit of weight off his shoulders to have finally got going on the actual exams.

And it does seem like he’s made a decent start. Bring on English tomorrow, hopefully with electricity.

Nice work, my boy.

Your loadshedding questions answered

An occasional series in which I endeavour to provide answers to all your queries about the lack of electricity in South Africa at the moment.

Today’s question comes from Confused of Cape Town:

Do you get loadshedding on board ships?

No. You don’t.

Loadshedding is thankfully limited to things which are attached to Eskom’s national grid. Things like boats (and planes), which aren’t physically joined to the electricity system, are therefore not affected by loadshedding.

We’re still working on the technology which means that ships can be attached to land-based electricity. At the moment, all the wires keep getting tangled as soon as the vessels leave port.

This is why cruise liners and container ships rely on candies for light during their journeys.