Top Gear Live – Cape Town

Last night we headed out to the Grand West Arena, which – in a fit of misnomers – is not particularly spectacular and lies to the east of here – to see the Top Gear Live Roadshow.  The tickets weren’t cheap, but were actually excellent value: what a hugely entertaining experience. Explosions, stunts, laughs, fun, even international Car Football, the Cool Wall and laps of the Top Gear track – it was actually like an episode of Top Gear… but Live.
I’m guessing that this is where they got the name from.

Local guest host Sasha Martinengo wasn’t anywhere near as annoying as I expected – probably because he was playing third fiddle to Jeremy and Richard, while ringleader Clarkson was his irrepressible best. The Stig didn’t feature much, but the stuff – or rather the THING – that he did do was spectacular.

Since they asked nicely, I lent them a couple of my runabouts for the evening…

I’m not hugely into cars – I can’t give you the list of engine sizes that the latest Mercedes SLK is available in or anything like that, but there were some lovely machines out there: Bentleys, Porsches, Aston Martins, Audis (over-rated: Audi Fanboys being to motoring what Mac Fanboys are to computing – irritating and blinkered) and that orange Lamborghini. Nice. 

After the show, we went on the Paddock Tour – more nice cars and some BMWs, plus a chance to see a Pagani Zonda up close, the Audi R8 being revved by a middle-aged car salesman (didn’t sound that great – and neither did the car) and a host of rather dull Chevreolets. Mrs 6000 ordered her Porsche 911 Carrera GT3 and I squeezed myself into a perfectly lovely Mini Cooper S JCW which I almost took home in my pocket.

All in all –  a brilliant night’s entertainment and if you have the chance to go and see the show in Jo’burg, Sydney or Auckland, I would highly recommend it. A couple of beers before you go in will certainly help, but then aside from perfoming brain surgery, that probably goes for most things.

Top Gear Live – Jan 10 set on flickr.

Home

The Molton Brown Curry Club avoided curry this month (for reasons that I won’t go into) and headed out locally last night for our monthly dinner evening, this time at Home restaurant in 2nd Avenue, Kenilworth – a venue chosen by the Tall Accountant.

As Dave Gahan once put it in Depeche Mode’s song about this intimate, down-to-earth eatery:

And I thank you
For bringing me here
For showing me Home

And why?
Because their warthog ribs were a thing of beauty. Absolutely exquisite and highly recommended.

Make your booking on (021) 683 6066, ask for Jana as your waitress and make sure you mention 6000 miles… – it won’t get you a discount, but it might lead to a few more hits for me.
And that would be nice.

Other places to eat in the Harfield Village area (there are more than you think), are listed here.

Getting six years older

As we celebrated the sixth anniversary of my arrival upon these shores, we came to realise exactly how much we’d got through in those six years. Actually, when one takes into account what we’d done in the first five years, this last one has been pretty quiet.

Four jobs, one engagement, one marriage, three new cars, one new house, first child, second child, four trips to the UK and about three vineyards-worth of fairly decent red wine, I’m still here and still loving it. But of course that wasn’t always the case.
Settling into South Africa and the distinctly different way of life took a long while. When it did happen, it happened overnight, but that night was after a thousand other nights here. It came with a sudden change of mindset – an epiphany, if you will – that this wasn’t the UK and I couldn’t make it like the UK. And while that fact may please many (if not all) South Africans,  it was finally my declaration of a ceasefire against the system that brought peace to my life.
(Incidentally, it’s worth noting that since then, the system has actually become a very good friend and we regularly meet up for a beer and a chat about politics, religion and the World Cup.)

Which is nice.

And in those six years, I sadly seem to have crossed that line where things that would previously have bored me have become things that now excite me. Like, for example, the fact that I can’t wait to install the new irrigation system in my front garden. Now, I’m not so far gone that I don’t see that that might seem a bit sad to younger readers, but when I put it in – it will be awesome.
Seriously.

Still don’t believe me? Right, I’m going to take photos…

Cape Town Stadium: Truly Magnificent

As promised, I can say I was there at the first ever football match played at Cape Town’s 2010 World Cup stadium. And what an experience. As ever, a big football match in the Mother City brought out the true spirit of the Rainbow Nation – every colour, every age – all just there to share in the historic moment and to have a great time.

The standard of the actual football wasn’t much to write home about, unless you are a fan of words like “rubbish” and “dull” and the phrase “couldn’t score in a brothel”, but the weather was perfect, the atmosphere superb, the organisation faultless and the stadium itself: truly magnificent. It was fascinating to watch as people came in and just stared in awe, open-mouthed.

I took almost a Gig of photographs, which I have managed to whittle down to 81 pictures and a video (HD, nogal!) of the very first kick off at the Stadium – courtesy of Ajax’s centre-forward, Diyo Sibisi.

Slideshow (in a separate window) | Flickr set

All in all, a brilliant day out and very promising for the World Cup. In a couple of weeks, we double the numbers for the Rugby – it’s going to be another sell-out and another great occasion.

EDIT: I’m told that there are some (continuing) complaints on certain (Cape Talk) radio stations about fans blowing vuvuzelas. The only noise I’m fed up with is the incessant whining of the whities who have suddenly become football fans (which is great) and now want to change the game to suit themselves (which is not). Bugger off.