Going Italian

The bar, previously best known for its dartboard, pool table and… er… bar, has been converted into an Italian restaurant for the evening, thus:

This is for our daughter’s birthday party: a murder mystery set in… an Italian restaurant: Bella Morte’s.

The photo above, taken with the lights on and during daylight hours, doesn’t really do the scene justice. It was be much cosier and more atmospheric this evening when it’s dark out, and – thanks to loadshedding – dark in as well. The candles aren’t there just to look pretty.

The actual birthday is tomorrow, but we have a very busy and exciting few days ahead, so we’re getting this one in a bit early, and we’re all very much looking forward to it. I would let you know whodunnit, but no-one knows yet, including the host and local police chief Inspectore di Formaggio (that’s me).

It could all go horribly wrong, but even if it does, it’ll still be an awesome evening.

I miss my car park

This one. This one.


A last minute announcement of a last minute training session this evening, and so I get to go out to my car park one last time and enjoy two hours of low flying aircraft, a view (and smell) of the local oil refinery, and possibly a little doze in the car. And then back to loadshedding at home, our sixth cut in two days.
And we’ll get another three tomorrow. It’s very wearing.

The cold and wet weekend was full of beer, pizza and comfort food, and so I threw myself back into the gym this afternoon for an hour or so to try and make some small dent in the calorie count. I’m not sure that it’s done much good physically, but I feel a lot less guilty about those n beers on Saturday evening.

(Worryingly, n=8 in this particular instance. 4 whole litres of lagery goodness. Naughty naughty.)

It’s also been a productive day with a lot of jobs ticked off my to do list. Plenty more to get into tomorrow, but as I’ve mentioned, I might just chill out in my car park this evening.

EDIT: And I did.

Go West

More training today for the Boy Wonder, so I am up and around the West Coast area north of Cape Town. He has a three hour session, so it might have been worth heading home in the interim were it not for the fact that that would mean over 100km of driving and diesel is terrifyingly expensive.

And so I headed for the beach. Not to sunbathe, because it’s dark and dank and gloomy here, this morning. I’m still not allowed to run, so I banged out a gentle 10.41km along the coastline:

Happily, even at an average of 6.2kph, this was a nice easy wander. Very hopeful that I’ll be able to do some real exercise real soon now.

And then back to the sports centre to pick up my son. This is very much my second home at the moment, and yet it’s still all very alien. As I drove back along Blaawberg Road, I watched the steroid-fuelled drivers zig-zagging their Ford Rangers in and out of the traffic, and I was encouraged to “turn to Christ Jesus” (missing comma?) by placard-waving godbotherers promoting their happy-clappy church.

I saw stores I have never seen before, like “Baby Exchange”.
Second hand infant clothing? Maybe. Or maybe something far more sinister.
Continuing the religious theme: “Lawnmower Mecca”. Limited in the scope of their business, perhaps, but with the small parking area packed with pilgrims worshipping at the high altar of Flymo and Lawnstar.
And “Toni Roma’s Italian Restaurant”. Well, what else could you do with a name like Toni Roma except for opening a pizzeria or being a circus acrobat?

Maybe Toni does both.

As I write, the last of the mountain is disappearing behind a river of thick cloud blowing in from the South Atlantic and despite the fact that we’re approaching midday, if anything, it’s getting darker.

It’s beginning to rain.

Tonight, we’re going out for live music and general festivities. We may have to wrap up rather warmly.


More fun and games with the electricity. Is it worse to have it go off right on the hour when it is supposed to, or is it worse for it to tempt and tantalise your hopes and press your optimism button (not a euphemism) for an additional 15 minutes (or actually 26 minutes this afternoon) before bringing you back down to earth with a bump as the power disappears?

My jury is out. I dislike both scenarios, but I would almost have been more annoyed if it hadn’t been cut this afternoon, given that I was – for once – fully prepared with flask and other things.

But it is all very tiresome.

We went to bed in pitch darkness last night and woke up the same this morning. And we’ll do it again tonight and tomorrow as well.

However, there may be some light (pun intended?) at the end of the tunnel, as the illegally striking workers do seem to have begun to return to work now. Not that things were brilliant before they walked out, but at least there’s someone there in the power stations to blame the faulty equipment now.

I’m on taxi duty again this evening, but at least we’re going somewhere with generators, music and security tonight, instead of the scary place from earlier in the week.

Little wins. Always worth celebrating.

Stranger Clock

The first thing you need to know is that I have been watching Stranger Things with my daughter over the last week or so. We’re getting through a couple of episodes each evening. She’s completely engaged, and I’m actually quite enjoying it too, which is probably the strangest thing about the whole situation.

The second thing you need to know is that I was given a clock for Father’s Day. One like this:

It’s chunky, about 40cm x 15cm, and it is the perfect clock for the little gym thing we’ve got going on in the granny flat down the garden.


Having mounted it on the wall earlier in the week, and then watched a particularly gory episode of Stranger Things, when I sent the beagle out to do its thing before bedtime, it was somewhat disconcerting to see this sort of eerie, ethereal red glow emanating from the bottom of the garden.

It took a moment to understand what was going on, but then I quickly realised that it was just the light from the new clock.