Day 350 – Latest image

A brighter day on this little bit of planet Earth today. Sure, we’re mopping up a bit after close on 100mm of rain yesterday, but the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the pool guys are back. It’s looking really smart. I’m very hopeful of a finish today.

I took some time out to watch a Starlink mission launch this morning. Just for the record, I’m not saying that Starlink is a Good Thing – the pollution of our night skies is worrying to me. But equally, the principle and the technology amaze me. I can’t impress upon the kids enough the incredible privilege and opportunities that they have these days, to be able to just click a button and watch history unfolding in front of them. And I love the watch the satellites going over whenever I can: it makes something so fantastical, actually real. Yes, I completely recognise that this doesn’t tie up with the pollution worry above.

And then there’s the Perseverance mission to Mars, which is sending back some unbelievable images:

236,000,000 kilometres away. 13 minutes for the data to get back to us here on Earth. And yet it could even be the view from my bedroom window. Absolutely amazing.

Right. More jobs to do. This house isn’t going to mend itself, is it? (Ha! I wish!)

Day 349 – Rain and a new editor

I’m trying to be positive about this house we’ve bought in this strange but beautiful little enclave of the Southern Suburbs (which really isn’t like Royston Vasey) (or at least that’s what I keep trying to convince myself).

One day, it will be a great home – and I know that it’s really early days – but the constant setbacks and extra invoices that they seem to unerringly generate, well, they’re getting me down a little.

Today was the first day of rain since we’ve moved here; the first day of real rain this year, I think (the first 69 days of this year seem to have whistled past without generating any significant meteorological memories). Its imminent arrival meant that the pool guys had to abandon their work early yesterday, and thus we’re left with a partially completed, partially filled pool at the moment. Hopefully things improve enough for them to be back tomorrow to finish the job.
That’s going to look really good.

I spent a lot of the morning finding leaking roofs and windows. Seven in total, and only two really bad ones, but that’s seven (and two) too many. Let’s be nice and not talk about the legalities of disclosure. On the positive side, I guess that this early, single cold front does give us the chance to try to attend to the issues before the proper onset of proper winter. I have a feeling that I’m going be up ladders for much of the remainder of the week. But things need to dry out before I can start chucking waterproofing chemicals around.

Lastly, away from all this house stuff, I’m finally giving WordPress’ Block Editor a go, dragging myself kicking and screaming into the 21st century. If you’re reading this and words in all order are, then it would seem that I have mastered it already. Intuitive UI FTW!

Day 348 – Pool

We’re having some work done on the pool today. Actually quite a lot of work. The whole thing is being resurfaced. Just another expense that we weren’t anticipating when we moved here.

It might not seem like an important thing, but the old pool surface was wearing thin and was cracked and damaged. Not only did this mean that it was very likely to start leaking at some point in the very near future, it also made it wholly unusable because there were microscopic fragments of fibreglass floating about in the water and that can (quite literally) be quite irritating.

Itchy. Very itchy.

The work on the pool today started early: just after 7am. We’ve had to apologise to our new neighbours for the rather noisy, early start. The problem is that working outdoors in Cape Town in early March wouldn’t usually be a problem weather-wise, but there is an unseasonal cold front on the way in later today. Ideally, you’d want completely dry and windless conditions to resurface a pool, and so they’re rushing to finish a bit ahead of the forecast rain this evening. It is already blowing a gale though, but I guess we’re just choosing to overlook that inconvenience.


Between gusts, there’s a heady mix of volatile solvents drifting around the property. I can literally float to the kitchen to grab a coffee, but I daren’t light the gas while I’m there, such is the likely flammability of the air here right now. And I wouldn’t want to upset all the little pixies riding their unicorns around in the living room.

Jeez, that stuff is strong.

I’ll give you a before and after at some stage soon. Of the pool, not the pixies.

Day 346 – Garden Bird

The beagle may have (mostly successfully) cleared the garden of the neighbourhood cats, but there are still visitors that she is powerless to defend against. We are regularly visited by several (or more) Hadeda Ibises.

The beagle will stalk the birds from the patio before going full speed (it’s not much, but full marks for effort) at them until they are vanquished to beyond the city boundaries move to the other side of the garden. At which point she gives up.

But that’s when they are in plain sight on the lawn. When they are in incognito mode in the flower beds, they can go about their foraging with complete impunity.

The Hadeda is much maligned in South Africa, but these particular guys are usually pretty quiet and completely harmless. They can be a bit messy around the pool from time to time, but I’ve not got to the point where I want rid of them.