I’m not Zille-bashing, but…

This article on news24 does rather seem to continue the “OMG, we’re all… doomed… doomed!”  scare tactics thread that characterised the DA’s final approach to the elections last month. And while I recognise that it is Zille’s and the DA’s job to question the Government, I’m not quite sure what value there is in criticising each and every cabinet appointment. I found her disingenuous use of Angie Motshekga’s quote particularly distasteful.
To whom did the DA expect that those jobs would be given? Were they really thinking that the ANC, having just wiped the floor (again) with the opposition parties would then appoint them into the cabinet?

And if so, why didn’t Helen Zille appoint an all-ANC front bench to the Western Cape Provincial Government?

I just can’t reconcile this:

“With few exceptions, President Jacob Zuma’s new Cabinet is bad news for South Africa,” Zille said.
Zille said Zuma’s decision to revamp the structure of Cabinet raised more questions than it provided answers.

with this:

Zille said the Cabinet needed to be given time before its performance could be properly judged.

Because it sounds to me like you’ve made your mind up already, Helen.

Mother’s Day and the Ad Wizard

This being Mother’s Day, I have been snowed under with cooking posh meals for Mum and for Granny and then generally tidying up after the whirlwind that is our three-year-old son, who decided he wanted to spend as much of Mother’s Day with his Mum as possible and therefore woke up at [stupid] o’clock and spent the rest of the day creating mess.
Once again, I am exhausted and that’s one of the reasons why you are getting this quota photo. 


That’s a view from a hospital window looking down across Cape Town’s CBD as dawn broke on the day Alex was born.  It was nice watching the sun coming up on that momentous day – I didn’t often get to see sunrises back then. Alex wasn’t actually born until three in the afternoon, but there was a false alarm and I ended up going up round Hospital Bend at 150kph at five in the morning. Pity help the Ad Wizard if he finds himself in the same situation tomorrow when Mrs Ad Wizard is due to pop out their first one, firstly because he’ll be going the wrong way and secondly because they’ve got speed cameras on there now.

It’s amazing how much our lives have changed since that day. And while you try to explain it to people who aren’t yet parents, it’s not really possible. I don’t mean that condescendingly, because people tried to explain it to us and now I appeciate that we didn’t really get it either. It’s like passing your driving test, but bigger. It’s like getting married, but bigger. And nothing can prepare you for it. Not even going round Hospital Bend at 150kph at five in the morning.
(That’s probably not great preparation for your driving test either, by the way).

Best of luck with it all, Mr and Mrs Ad Wizard. You’re about to find out just what it is that I can’t explain.

Kids & Money

Kids are expensive.

Your own. To keep and look after, I mean.
Obviously, it’s a given that buying a child on the black market costs a bomb. There are officials to bribe, swarthy men in dark suits behind nightclubs to pay and guilty-looking nurses in squalid third world orphanages who set the whole process in motion. Or so I’m guessing anyway.

With the credit crunch well and truly upon us, I have tried many different ways to cut back on the vast expenses which our children thrust upon us. With limited success, it has to be said. But I have found some pleasure in getting the most out of the money that we are spending.
Take Alex’s playschool for example. Each morning when I drop him off, I take time out to help him paint a picture. And I don’t mean any of that minimalist crap, either. The more paint, layer upon layered layer, the better. It’s a flat monthly fee for the playschool and I reckon that we use up about 75% of the paint budget on Alex’s early morning art alone. Good value.
Obviously, the end result is usually pretty grim to look at: often dark and thick, black and grey and deep purples merging with one another. The teacher has actually suggested a visit to an educational psychologist as a result of reviewing his work, but that sort of specialist help costs money. Which defeats the object. Or objet in this case, I guess.

Today, I took the kids to Westlake Park (which is, in fact, just West of a lake) (genius). Westlake Park is not a park at all. There isn’t a blade of grass, a gang of dodgy looking youths or any dog excrement to be seen anywhere.  What there is, is a collection of restaurants and a giant jungle gym:

Westlake Park: great for kids, heavy on the wallet

Normally, we would pop down there in the morning, have a cup of coffee or three, maybe a slice of cake; while the kids play happily on the jungle gym. And then demand ice cream. Pricey.
Or maybe dive in there early evening for a pizza and a couple of beers or a glass of wine; while the kids play happily on the jungle gym. And then demand ice cream. Pricier.

Today, I had a great idea while enjoying that coffee. Having whisked the kids off to Westlake, I was sitting and pondering on how we could save more money. And then it came to me. I quickly canceled the cake I had just ordered and chatted to my three-year-old son. You would not believe how happy he was to be asked if he wanted to spend the whole day on the jungle gym. Of course he did!
So having finished my coffee and paid the bill, I nipped off home at 11ish, watched the rugby all day and went back at 6 to pick him up.

Well, that was the plan anyway. The police actually dropped him off here at about 4 o’clock, as the restaurant was closing for their pre-evening break and had noticed he was still there. Alone. While they waited for the police to arrive, he got an ice cream. All I got was a stern ticking off and made to promise not to do it again. Oops!
But that’s a 3-year-old entertained for 5 hours, an ice cream, chaffeur-driven home and a coffee all for the price of a coffee.

Bargain? Bargain.

So guess where we’re going tomorrow? See you there, errant dads of Cape Town!

Baby Admin post

Do these count?
Of course they do.

I have added the tweetmeme plugin to my vast range of WordPress plugins which make my life easier and make your reading enjoyment all the more… enjoyable.

If you’re active on twitter (and let’s face it, these days, who isn’t?) you can now retweet the content that you see here with just the click of a single button (that little green one under the post).
Share the wealth. You know it makes sense.
One great feature is that you still get to edit the content of your tweet before you tweet it. I suppose some people would call that a twedit.
Not me, though.

Go on – choose a post (hopefully more interesting than this one) and tell the world you were here!

Tom Henning Ovrebo

Was it just yesterday that I complained that there wasn’t enough drama in the Arsenal v Man U UEFA Champions League semi-final to keep me interested? Well, evidently Tom Henning Øvrebø was reading while (possibly) getting instructions from various betting syndicates across the shadier parts of Europe. And he offered me some lovely Stilton to go with my previous evening’s chalk.

Our Tom

I don’t think I have ever seen a more biased or inept refereeing performance in my life. Well, not one that didn’t involve Sheffield United or a match I was playing in, anyway. The refs always seem to be bent in those matches.
For me as a neutral to have been so disgusted at it tells you what the Chelsea fans must have thought. As does the fact that there are death threats against Mr Øvrebø all over the internet and the fact that he had to be smuggled out of the UK by police.
He must be thanking his lucky stars that the annual gathering of the Uncle Fester Lookalike Organisation was held in London this week, affording him some form of protection.
Now, I’m certainly not condoning the death threats, nor do I support the antics of Didier Drogba, who turned dramatically to the camera as he left the field at the end of the game and shouted, quite audibly:

“It’s a disgrace! It’s a [naughty word] disgrace!”

But I can quite understand why he felt that way. Because it was a [naughty word] disgrace. I mentioned this whole thing in February, when Peter Walton made mistakes in the Blades cup tie at Hull City. Once again, a referee has not done the job he is paid to do. And it’s cost Chelsea millions of pounds. Sod the fact that Roman Abramovich can afford it – that’s beside the point.

Drogba and teammate Michael Ballack will surely face disciplinary hearings over their actions last night. I would guess that Bosingwa and Lampard, who have also spoken out will be in trouble too. But what of the overweight baldy from Norway, smuggled back to Oslo by police overnight? What action will he face?

Well, if Euro 2008 is anything to go by – not much. Øvrebø refereed one match there and made so many errors that he was removed from the referees list for the rest of the competition. But UEFA still obviously trust him to have another go at making costly errors in big games. Surely that’s got to be it now, though?

Til next time, right?

EDIT: I was on John Maytham’s show on Cape Talk last night discussing this point.

EDIT 2: Drogba has issued a formal apology.

EDIT 3: 5fm reporting that Chelsea will dump Drogba at the end of the season and not renew his contract.