Day 91 – Title-less

The sky is getting darker, the wind is blowing ever more strongly and the temperature is dropping ever so slowly.

There’s a storm front coming
White water running and the pressure is low
Storm front coming
Small craft warning on the radio

So sang Billy Joel. Mind you, he also famously claimed that

We didn’t start the fire

And as you will read below, that’s actually something I fully intend to do just now.

Yes, there’s another Cape cold front on the way in. It’s not a huge one, but it has been sitting just to our south west for a few hours now, teasing us about its imminent arrival. It’s coming in two parts: one today and one on Saturday. Much like the UK’s coronavirus problem, it seems likely that the second wave will be the worse of the two, but much like South Africa’s coronavirus problem, that assumes that we’ll make it through the initial wave first.

As ever, I have battened down the beagle and I will be lighting the fire presently. But I’m tired and I’ve been making silly mistakes all day. It wouldn’t surprise me if I have actually battened down the fire, so I will double-check before I stick a paraffin-laced cube of white stuff anywhere.

I’m listening to 6 Music on what would have been the prelude to the Glastonbury 2020 weekend. Obviously, that’s not happening for viral reasons, but they have been celebrating what has gone before and what would have been, with some really uplifting, joyful, positively emotive music.

I don’t think that the currently wonderful weather in the UK is helping those people who had tickets for the Festival this year either. It would have been fantastic. And while there’s obviously no substitute for actually being there, I would have still enjoyed watching it in big bold 4K, 6000 miles… away in front of a smouldering hound.

In the meantime, the last bits of online schooling before the staff and students of the kids’ school get a well-deserved week off, several household chores, a bit of football, some red wine.

See you tomorrow.

Day 89 – Project re-Restart

The pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for the world Sheffield United.
There we were back in March, riding a wave of positivity, optimism and unbeatenness [just check if that’s actually a word before you hit ‘publish’, please – Ed.]. We were injury-free, cruising, loving the support of the Bramall Lane faithful, every game a joy.

But, like much of football since its return, we’ve lost our sparkle a bit.

The first game was to be expected. Every team has been a bit unsettled, none of them are match fit and it’s all been a bit weird. And – as I mentioned here, seething (mostly) quietly under my breath – we should have got all three points there, anyway.
But Sunday delivered a really sloppy, really disappointing performance and we got soundly beaten by a rather ordinary Newcastle side who probably couldn’t believe their luck.

Look, it’s just one game – and only our third defeat of the year! (the others being to Liverpool and Man City) – but we’ve got a trip to Old Trafford tomorrow, and with three of our infamous and well-respected defensive quartet missing for one reason and another (and another), and ManU now apparently riding the same wave we were on in March, there needs to be a change in attitude.

We’d better buck our ideas up; we’d better buck them up sharpish. Capisce?

[reference] (because why wouldn’t you want to watch that again?)

If the second coming of the Premier League was dubbed Project Restart (and it was), then I think that Sheffield United need a Project re-Restart.

The fact is that we’ve always bounced back after a bad performance, and so I’m not distraught, but there are a whole number of things which could give us more of a chance tomorrow (different opposition, crowd, injuries, more money, bigger squad, suspensions, 5 days rest instead of 3, actually owning Dean Henderson etc.)

Otherwise though, it’s a pretty even playing field.

Whatever happens, I’m still a proud Blade and this season has still been absolutely amazing. Despite the disappointing return, we’re some distance from me wanting to bite your hand off for 17th place – something I thought I’d probably be doing with 8 games left.

Come on, as I often say, you red and white wizzzzzaaaards.

Day 88, part 2 – Carrot cells

Yeah.
This wasn’t one of my finest moments, but I’m still hopeful that no-one will ever find out about it*.

I heard a song over the weekend and I liked it – a lot. I knew who it was by: Doves (you may remember them from such posts as Kingdom of Rust), but I was busy with other stuff and put it on the mental back burner to look up some more convenient time.

Well, this morning was that time as, while cleaning the kitchen (MOAR GLAMOUR!), Chris Hawkins introduced it. Yeah, the title was a bit weird: Carrot Cells, but this is the wonderful world of music and anything goes.

And who knows: maybe they are remembering their high school biology classes and the introduction of the microscope; Hooke, van Leeuwenhoek and all that. I mean, we used onions, but one plant epithelial cell is very much like another, right?

What I’m saying is that they can call their song whatever they want. It’s not for me to judge.

Anyway, long story short, it turns out that they called this song Carousels. Not Carrot Cells.

It is a memory, but of the local fairground – the one that they went to in the afternoon once they’d finished with the biology lesson:

I’m gonna take you down
Back to the old fairground
Open muddy fields spin round
Oh! Hey now is this a Sign?
I’m falling down deep with the Carousels in your eyes

And it’s got a weird, surreal video, packed with brutalist buildings:

Very, very nice. And (obviously) yet another addition to my InspiredBy6 Spotify playlist. Please share the wealth: I don’t make any money from it, but more people do get to listen to better music.

Whatever the title might be.

 

* oh.

Day 87, part 2 – A renewal update

I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but having had a long chat with someone from [company] this morning, I’m hoping that this renewal situation can be sorted really soon now before anything unrecoverable happens.

I’m now desperately waiting for an email from the co.za registry to tell me that stuff has been done and that everything is (hopefully) going to be fine.

The alternative is unpretty.

Day 85 – Bergwind and dinner tunes

It’s been another busy day. Lots of little jobs, some school stuff, some IT cabling things, a piano lesson, a trip to the vet. (I’m fine. Thanks for asking.).

And all that with a bergwind backdrop.

Along the south coast the passage of a coastal low is typically preceded by a north-easterly wind driven by the South Indian Ocean Anticyclone. The wind then backs quickly through northerly to north-westerly as its temperature rises. This is the berg wind phase of the coastal low.
Berg wind (from Afrikaans berg “mountain” + wind “wind”, i.e. a mountain wind) is the South African name for a katabatic wind: a hot dry wind blowing down the Great Escarpment from the high central plateau to the coast.

And that north easterly has brought temperatures in the high 20’s all day. which has been very nice just two days before the winter solstice. It’s still 24ºC outside and it’s past 7pm.
Very pleasant, even if (as you will have read above), we’re in for some rather miserable conditions over the weekend.

It does mean that we went to the field to walk the dog and I almost forgot to blog. And to cook dinner. However, back to back bangers in the kitchen courtesy of Steve Lamacq made this evening’s curry preparation so much more enjoyable.

I will share these bangers now, just in case you’re slaving over a Tikka Masala like I was and you need some encouragement.

And then:

Diverse, yes. But both a whole lot of fun.

And the curry was actually rather good. Thank you, Mrs Patak.

The evening ahead may feature football and ironing. Probably simultaneously.