Pete is very trying

As I mentioned earlier this week, things all get a bit confusified at this time of year when it comes to blogging. And despite the fact that I’m away from my beloved internet, that doesn’t stop the potential post suggestions rolling into my inbox. Here’s another one I thought might be worth sharing.

It’s evident that a great number of people remember my post earlier this year documenting the evening that Whale Cottage owner and all-round good egg, Chris von Ulmenstein fell foul of the parking attendants at the CTICC for parking her WhaleMobile where she shouldn’t have done. And then I won a Sour Service Award on her blog for documenting it. Proud days.

Joining me as a shining light on that most particular of lists last week was Asara Estate, and its GM Pete Gottgens. And, in the words of our dear Chris, here’s why:

I attended the Pure Food Market last Friday, a nice idea on a perfect summer’s day, but with a shortage of parking, and a shortage of waiters to take orders for coffees (the waiter-dressed staff had been rented for the day to only clear tables). Gottgens looked more like a security man than the hotel GM, and came to my car when I hooted at an elderly couple indulgently blocking all traffic into and out of the wine estate. He tried to poke the antenna of his walkie-talkie into my face, tried to break off my car side mirror, blocked my exit by instructing his security man to stand in front of my car, and finally tried to strangle me by pulling the safety belt which I had on.

Hang on, he did what? He rented (I prefer “employed” – after all, these are people, not objects – but it’s all good, Chris), he rented people dressed as waiters and got them to clear tables?  While they were dressed as waiters?


Asara Estate GM Pete Gottgens, can you not understand that Chris needs coffee? And parking? (this is a weakness Chris has which we’ve covered this before) (see above). How dare you rent people dressed as waiters and get them to clear tables. Whatever next? Hire people dressed as clowns and get them to juggle balls and entertain small children? Where will this madness end?

And, Asara Estate GM Pete Gottgens, why on earth did you approach Chris’ car when all she was doing was hooting at an elderly couple who weren’t just blocking all the traffic into and out of the wine estate, but doing it in an indulgent manner?

“I say Cyril – why don’t you park our little Hyundai right across the two lanes of traffic leading both into and out of this wine estate, thus comprehensively blocking said routes, and I’ll pop open some bubbly and get the oysters out?”

Yep – if you’re ever going to block routes in and out of places (like fire escapes, for example) do it indulgently.

It doesn’t stop there though, does it, Asara Estate GM Pete Gottgens? No, you approached Ms von Ulmenstein’s vehicle while resembling a security man.
Is this some sort of fetish, Pete? Is it? Because if it is, it’s ill-considered, given Chris von Ulmenstein’s previous run-ins with people resembling security men. Like at the CTICC, remember?
So next time when you’re approaching her car, maybe ditch the hi-vis waistcoat and try resembling a hotel GM instead.

Oh. And while we’re on about trying, can you not actually “do” stuff, Asara Estate GM Pete Gottgens?

You “tried” to poke the antenna of your walkie-talkie into her face.
You “tried” to break off her car side mirror.
You “tried” to strangle her by pulling the safety belt which she had on.

Look, we’re given very little detail as to why you failed in any one of these three tasks, so I’m going to take a few wild guesses here and suggest that the antenna thing was because your arms are quite short, the mirror one was because you’re not very strong and that the seat-belt strangulation attempt didn’t work because your arms are quite short and you’re not very strong.
Or because you couldn’t find Chris’ neck.

We have a couple of options here, Asara Estate GM Pete Gottgens. Firstly, some sort of upper body exercise programme may assist with the strength issue, thereby allowing you to tear wing mirrors off vehicle with impunity throughout 2012.
The arm length thing is slightly more problematic, as it will require painful surgery and long-term physio and occupational therapy, which will also interfere with the upper body exercise programme suggested above.
Given these obvious limitations, might I respectfully suggest that you go with the upper body exercise programme and organise walkie-talkies with longer antennae for future face poking?

I must also point out that the loonies at Sea Shepherd will be on your case if they find out that you are endangering cetacean life. (Assuming they haven’t sunk yet, that is.)

I can only imagine that Chris will now be suing Asara Estate GM Pete Gottgens for malicious damage to property, and/or assault and/or attempted murder, given these now-redocumented heinous events in the Winelands. And maybe the SAPS might like to add on a charge of employing misleadingly dressed individuals at a country market as well. Oh – and impersonating a security man.

You’re going down, Pete. And not in a good way.
25 to life, I reckon, mate. Papa wag vir jou. And not in a good way.

Unless it wasn’t actually all that serious and these reports have been somewhat exaggerated?

Surely not, though?

Thanks You-Know-Who

Quick & Chilly

I had such high hopes to be doing a post on the municipal elections next month – specifically around the dangers of voting for the Cape Party, but then I went and played the best part of two hours of 4-aside football and I am completely and utterly broken. Then I put Deep Heat on the worst affected areas (adductors, bilaterally) and nearly had to seek medical advice. Ice pack application followed immediately afterwards and the resulting steam cloud almost triggered a Koeberg-style nuclear warning for the Mother City.

In these events, I find a quiet quota photo usually suffices, and since last December’s disastrous trip to the frozen North was mentioned last week, have some of this.

That was the calm before the storm. Redmires Reservoir on the Western edge of Sheffield, looking particularly beautiful in the winter sunshine. I particularly like the way the sun reflects differently (ie. not at all) where the water isn’t frozen.

The reservoir was surrounded by signs warning people that swimming was prohibited, because the water was deep. I think that would have been the least of their worries on this day. It would, however, have served very nicely as a groin chiller in the event of Deep Heat getting into places where it really wasn’t meant to get.

I’ll try and get that Cape Party post out tomorrow.
(terms & conditions apply)

More photos from Redmires and the Peak District that day: here.

PTSD therapy

I haven’t really talked much about the events of four months ago, but I did meet with a psychologist recently (not in her professional capacity, I hasten to add) and she told me that it was entirely possible that I could have mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder over the whole missed concert thing.
Mild, I suppose, because in missing the concert, at least I didn’t see friends blown up or shot dead like some soldiers may have done for example, but she pointed out that this was a traumatic event and said that all too often people write these things off while they are actually having a lasting and detrimental (no pun intended) effect on them. If I recognised any of the signs or symptoms of PTSD, then I should probably seek some sort of therapy.

Lesson one: One should never look up warning signs and symptoms of any disorder on the internet. Now I have PTSD about the time that I looked up symptoms of PTSD on the internet.
Here are a few of those signs and symptoms that I not only recognise, but have now welcomed into my life as friends:

  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event (Actually yes. Good guess, Sherlock.)
  • Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma (ARGH!)
  • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma (I haven’t listened to an a-ha song in 4 months. Seriously.)
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame (should I have tried to get to Manchester instead of to Gatwick?)
  • Substance abuse (I’m guessing they mean Milk Stout)

Did you see that third one? 4 months without an a-ha song. Madness. (And by that I mean it’s crazy that I haven’t listened to it, not that I’ve started listening to 80’s ska or anything).
Time to move on, I feel. So I put my big boy pants on and pre-ordered this – the CD and DVD box set of the concert I never got to see – from CD WOW.

*deep breath*

So it’s make or break time.

Not just for me, but for SAB as well.
Their Milk Stout department are teetering on the edge of oblivion.
Which, I guess, could lead to a certain amount of PTSD amongst their employees.

SA Xmas

While many may say that there’s nothing like a traditional UK Christmas – dark nights, snow on the ground, roasted chestnuts and a local pub or seven – I’m very much getting used to Christmas in summer. We spent most of yesterday sitting around the pool, braaiing crayfish and drinking beer. And as today seems to be turning into an absolute scorcher as well, I would imagine that more of the same is in order.

Christmas means many things to many people, but since becoming a dad, it’s really all about the kids for me. Not that that means I don’t enjoy giving and receiving gifts as well. After last year’s amazing present from my wife (and even though it all ended in tears), I had high hopes for something extraordinary and had been dropping hints about viticulture for the past few months: I have always dreamed of owning my own vineyard. Things seemed to be going well, as Mrs 6000 kept dropping hints about my dropping hints – a sure sign that my hint droppage had not gone unnoticed.

It was only when I opened the gifts on Christmas morning that I realised that there had been a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line. I had said “viticulture”, she had heard “vermiculture”. And as those of you well versed in Latin will already have realised, that means that I now own my own little worm farm. It does produce a liquid product, but you really don’t want to be drinking it. However, my veggies will love it and I can always get a wine farm next year, can’t I darling? Darling?


Anyway, the kids loved their presents – a motorised crane for the boy, a stereotypically intricate German doll’s house for the girl – and the wife will be running and gymming to her new mp3 player.
While I’m not tending to my worms, I will be mostly reading this gift from my parents. Bittersweet stuff.

But for now, it’s back to the original plan: pool, beer, braai.