This year, I have been mostly entertaining myself during quiet moments through the medium of TNL‘s “Fail of the Month” compilations. Unsurprisingly, there is a 2011 compilation version of the 2011 compilations, and it’s pretty funny.

Even those readers who don’t usually enjoy the videos and music that I occasionally put on here (their prerogative, of course) should give this one a watch.

Be warned: There may be some few expletives on the video.


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There are other posts below this, but they are less sticky and have already become unstuck. Scroll down to see the pile of other posts which have slipped further down this page.

Yes, it’s that time of year again when I ask for your assistance in promoting my blog in the annual South African Blog Awards, this time being the 2011 version of these wondrous, infamous and occasionally contentious accolades.

There will be other blogs out there vying for your vote, so why should you vote for me?

Here are some reasons you might feel are good enough for you to put cursor to that VOTE button and left-click:

The Sob Story

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, 6000 miles… has been a finalist for each of the last 26 years in various categories of the SABAs. It’s become such a big thing is our household that the first words that my little boy ever said were: “Dad, have you won a Blog Award yet?”. The first word that my daughter came out with was “Feck“, but soon afterwards she also asked about the Blog Award thing as well.
Admitting consistent failure to one’s children is the hardest thing a father can ever do and I have to do it (and here, I pay homage to my daughter’s vocabulary) every single fecking year.
Your vote can change this.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

For many years, the Roman Empire was built on the belief that Oregano was The Spice Of Life. Only upon Julius Caesar’s ascension in 49BC did it become apparent that Oregano was actually a herb and was therefore patently ineligible for the title “The Spice Of Life”. Variety, popular among the middle classes at the time, made a bid for the vacant post and – despite not being a spice either – took the label and has never relinquished it since.
In celebration of this fake historical fact, 6000 miles… has been offering you variety like it was going out of fashion.  So far in 2011’s 339 posts (this is 340), we’ve done gardening advice, passed comment on the London riots, infamously got mildly annoyed with Lewis Pugh, mourned the demise of a Cape Town pastime, noted the contents of fruit salad and helped save ickle baby turtles (sort of).
And that’s just a tiny snapshot (2%) of the vast array of variety we’ve brought you this year in honour of  Emperor Julius.
(My sources tell me that you’d best get used to that term, by the way, ok?)

I Pointed Out That Chris Von Ulmenstein Had Parked Illegally In The CTICC Car Park

This, I have been told, is the clincher for many of the food and tourism bloggers out there. But that is not why I did it. I did it because heinous behaviour such as this should be publicised and roundly ridiculed. Irrespective of the danger I was putting myself and my family into, I plunged deep into the truth and was singled out by Ms von Ulmenstein for a Sour Service award. I felt duty bound to respond. Rumour has it that she was going to start parking outside my house until I removed the disabled bay.
There will be, I have been told, bad blood.
A South African Blog Award is all that will take the bitter, bitter taste away.

If you can come up with any other reasons as to why readers should vote for 6000 miles… as their favourite blog of 2011, please feel free to let me know. In the meantime: Vote, Comrade! Vote! And share this post far and wide: twitter, facetube, even by iMessage if you know anyone else on it.

Spread the word.
Share the wealth.
Be the difference.

Insurance Guy forgets how to drive…

Got to travel 87km? Of course you have – we’ve all done it at some point in our lives. We jump into our cars or – if we’re living somewhere with public transport – we jump on a bus or a train.
It’ll probably take about an hour, generally speaking.

Not the Insurance Guy though. He, along with several thousand other nutters athletes, plans to run this distance, starting out at Durban City Hall and finishing at the Pietermaritzburg Cricket Oval.

Yes folks, this is the Comrades Marathon, which at 52 miles, is actually two marathons, back to back or as I prefer it: end to end.
I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and that’s like running the 2Oceans Half Marathon four times.

Why anyone would want to run 87km in this day and age when there are perfectly viable alternatives is beyond me. As is the actual act of running 87km, incidentally.
The worst bit for me would be running all that way and then realising that I had ended up in Pietermaritzburg. Nightmare.

In the same vein, perhaps a better analogy for those of us in die Wes-Kaap is to consider running from Cape Town to Somerset West. Then once you get there, you realise that it’s Somerset West and you decide to head back to the CBD. On foot.

87km. Eighty Seven.

But putting the sheer insanity aside, we at 6000 miles… are only too aware how much planning, training, time and effort has gone into this, not just by the Insurance Guy but by his family as well.
And so, we’d like to wish him all the best in his quest to get from Durban to PMB on his feet.

You can track his run LIVE here – his number is 44634.

Forza. Sterkte. Fara á það.

Cold fronts and warm klaps

Ah, the Cape winter. Bringing with it days of endless sunshine and temperatures in the low to mid twenties. Well, not usually, but that seems to be what’s happening at the moment. The first (and possibly second) of the infamous South Atlantic cold fronts that bring wind, rain, wind and rain to the Mother City are but a distant memory and we’re left with pretty days and clear skies forecast for the rest of the week. But we’re not complaining. We’re just enjoying these moments while we can, because we all know that there is trouble ahead, meteorologically speaking.

In an unrelated story, it seems that there’s also trouble ahead, politically speaking, for the ANC. The Daily Maverick’s Stephen Grootes puts their ultra-aggressive campaigning down to a sudden realisation that they are about to be dealt a warm klap by the electorate (a la Liberal Democrats back in the UK) and sheer damage limitation.

Zuma knows that, generally speaking, and with a hugely broad brushstroke, if you’re poor, black and pissed off, you’re just not voting. If you’re white, middle-class and pissed off, you’re going to vote, but not for him. So he’s got to invoke something to get the masses out to vote. And he is almost forced to be heavy-handed. How do you counter the image of black people on TV old enough to remember the days when they couldn’t vote now saying they will not vote? Well, you claim they’ve “been fed propaganda”, and invoke the horror of our past. It’s pretty sharp, but it’s all there is left for Zuma to use.

And political analysts here at 6000 miles… when asked their opinions on what might occur next Wednesday were very clear:

ANC support to *decrease* in CT – no chance for Tony. DA and Cope alliance to take Nelson Mandela Bay. ANC to get big scare in JHB, nearly losing it. Big DA inroads everywhere, and by far our most significant election since 94.

Which goes against the official ANC line that they can win Cape Town, but is very much in keeping with the other official ANC line which says that they can’t win Cape Town.
ANC provincial secretary, Songezo Mjongile is with Zuma in the former camp, talking up their chances of getting 750,000 votes and installing  Tony Ehrenreich as Mayor:

“To win the City of Cape Town, the ANC needs (to win) 56 wards and about 750 000 (proportional) votes based on the expected turn-out. The trends show this is attainable,” said Mjongile.
If the ANC’s supporters flocked to the polls, he said, the DA’s support would fall below 50 percent.

The problem with Mjongile’s statement is firstly that, as mentioned above, the ANC’s supporters are unlikely to flock to the polls and secondly, that no-one can see which trends he is talking about. In the last Local Government elections back in 2006, the ANC received 280 232 proportional votes in the City of Cape Town.  That’s some way short of the 750 000 that he is hoping for this time around.

And our analysts may have a point about Jo’burg as well, as DA MP (and infamously, Daily Maverick Opinionista) Ian Olsen notes:

Rumours spreading of City of Joburg officials told to destroy sensitive documents, “In case ANC doesn’t win” Eish… Rats departing!

Which reminded us of the final days of Cape Town Mayor Nomaindia Mfeketo and her “gift” to the people of the city of city manager Wallace Mgoqi, whose contract was extended in the final days of the ANC-led city council in 2006; a decision which was promptly revoked by the incoming Helen Zille. Mgoqi clung like a barnacle before finally being dumped into the middle-management dustbin by a fourth court ruling against him.

It remains to be seen what surprises (or lack of them) the ANC will leave should they lose Johannesburg, but one thing is for sure – it’s looking like the next fortnight is going to bring stormy weather for those in the green, black and yellow camp.

Cape Party want to turn the Cape into France Shock!

Possibly, anyway.

If you’re from these parts, you’ll have no doubt seen the Cape Party’s election boards on streetlights all over Cape Town. They got them up early, presumably to catch those voters who, rather than making their decisions on party policies, manifestos and the like, thought “I know, I’ll vote for the first party whose election boards I see on the streetlights on my way home this evening.”
It’s like taxi companies who try to be first in the Yellow Pages by calling themselves “A1 Taxis” or “AAA Cars” in the hope that you’ll pick them because they are top of the list. I have a deep mistrust of these companies – what are they trying to hide? Would booking with a taxi company with a name beginning further down the alphabet really be a worse option for my travelling requirements? Why?

But back to the Cape Party and their early-bird advertising tactics. It’s a small number of voters that will be influenced in this way, but then the Cape Party appears to be a party of small numbers anyway.

So why should we be bothered about them at all? Well, the Cape Party wants the Cape Provinces to become independent, becoming a new country: The Cape Republic.

The Cape Party will return the Cape to its rightful independence and once and for all bring an end to the racism and oppression suffered under this colonial Union.

Which sounds “ok”, I guess.
And their manifesto lists several reasons why this would work, including some recent “successful examples”:

…we have a long history of not being a part of South Africa. Many people believe that South Africa has passed the tipping point and that Independence for the Cape is the only viable solution.
Successful examples:  former USSR (15 countries), Yugoslavia (7 Countries), Czechoslavakia [sic] (2 countries) and the peaceful secession of South Sudan only a month ago.

They do seem to be ignoring conflicts in Georgia, the ongoing crisis in Chechnya and the tiny, almost insignificant Yugoslav wars of the 1990s (conservative estimates of 120,000 deaths). There was violence before, during and after the Sudanese referendum.
Dividing up Czechoslovakia seemed to go quite well though. Let’s hope that the Cape can follow that road to independent governance rather than any of those other “successful” examples, hey?

But their blatant glossing over of the truth behind what actually happened when those countries went their separate ways is not my real issue with these guys: after all, the definition of success is subjective. My real problem is the fact that they are secretly trying to turn the Cape into France. Check the party emblem and compare the shape of the new Cape Republic to… France:

OK, Normandy is a bit out of proportion, but that Southern coast looks dangerously familiar.

It was because of this concerning similarity that I looked into the Cape Party in greater detail. And look what I found as the very first line in their Vision for The Cape Republic:

The Cape Republic is roughly the size of France

Oh – isn’t that convenient???

So we look like France and we’re about the same size as France. Now all that is needed is an hatred of the British because you once lost a war to them.

The selfish motives of politicians a political system that is as racially divisive and oppressive as the others that have plagued this land since the British Empire forced the Union of South Africa upon us in 1910…


Further evidence: constant references to Cape Provence and suggested adoption of the Swiss system of voting – a country where they speak French and which borders France.  In addition, the Cape Party headquarters is in Franschhoek. Need I say more, except for informing you that I actually made this last bit up – they’re actually based in Claremont. Which sounds very much like Clermont-Ferrand, which is in France.

The Cape Party manifesto ends with this quote from Mahatma Ghandi:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

Look, I’m already well into stage two, but more fool them for revealing their modus operandi as I have no plans to go any further, breaking the chain and thus ruining any chances of them winning anything ever.
And that is a good thing, because turning into France is no decent future for us.
Or anyone else for that matter.

Good People of the Cape, while it may improve the overall quality of the cuisine in this corner of Africa, this is scant reward for the annoying accents, dismissive arrogance, constant and overwhelming scent of garlic and terrifyingly bizarre toilet habits which we will be forced to endure if the Cape Party ever get their way for this little bit of Europe. You have been warned.