I might not be in Mauritius, but I can’t really complain about the autumnal weather in Cape Town right now. Sure, it’s looking a bit iffy towards the end of the week, but in typical Cape Town autumn style, it’s hot in the sun, cold in the shade and (since I’m kind of between the two) actually very pleasant here right now. Apparently, it’s raining in Mauritius.

Yep. The nice weather here means that I’m taking the opportunity to sit outside and write this blog post before I get on with parental duties this afternoon. And it’s worth noting that I was absolved of those this lunchtime as the Boy Wonder drove himself and his sister home from school.

I’ve still got my noise-cancelling earbuds in because there’s a lot of local building and leaf-blower action again today. And I am wondering what those building and leaf-blowing individuals have in store for tomorrow, which is – lest we forget – a public holiday.

Wednesday, 29 May 2024 marks the country’s seventh democratic election. To ensure that South Africans have sufficient time to make their way to the polls to have their vote counted, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special public holiday.

Government calls all eligible voters especially young people to go out in numbers to vote on that day, as the active participation of all eligible voters is central to strengthening our democracy. Your vote gives you the power to change or improve things and allows you to choose who will represent the interests of your community. 

Yeah, I mean that second paragraph was obviously written whilst wearing rose-tinted spectacles. Because whoever you vote for, the government always gets in.

Anyway, I plan not to get up too early, so I’m hoping that they will all be taking a well-deserved day off.

Which they should be doing:

The Regulations issued in terms of section 17 (1) of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977, prohibit the use of machinery, engines, apparatus, tools or contrivance which may cause a disturbance to the neighbourhood –

  • on a public holiday or Sunday;
  • before 06:00 or after 17:00 on any Saturday; and
  • before 06:00 or after 18:00 on any day other than those days above.

These are strict timelines which can be enforced by engaging the relevant law enforcement authorities.

I’m not planning on making a fuss, but I would appreciate them not making a noise either.

Let’s do each other a favour.

Rubbing it in

An incoming email from famous neo-classical composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi:

Spring is coming!
As we reconnect with nature and the world around us, Spring represents a time of looking forward; as we plant the seeds for our year ahead.
To celebrate the changing of the season, I’ve released a collection of songs inspired by the coming of Spring and it’s yours to enjoy at the link below.

And yes, he provided the link as promised. And even a countdown to the Vernal Equinox (not the meteorological one).

The thing is, he’s forgotten all about his Southern Hemisphere listeners here. Spring isn’t coming for us. In fact, if Spring is coming for them up North, we’re headed straight for Autumn. Goodbye sunshine and long summer nights, goodbye crippling heat, goodbye days on the beach, blue skies, and fresh, new growth.

Hello winter storms, roaring fires, copious red wine, and (apparently) disconnecting with nature and the world around me. Oh, and the 2024 Euro Championship.

Of course, those of you who know me will also know that I have no issue with any of this. Because why on earth would I?

Happy Spring (or Autumn) to each and every one of you.

Oh, Autumn

You sly dog, you.

We were out at dinner last night, attempting – amongst other things – to plan the weekend. But there’s no point in planning outdoor stuff when the autumn weather forecast is decidedly autumnal. So I checked on just how bad it was going to be.


OMG! Batten down the Beagle!

Looks like it’s not quite time to pack the sunscreen away just yet.

The only down side (there’s always got to be a down side because there are no clouds to have silver linings), is that we are kinda desperate for some rain. And even though we got a bit last week, the damn dam levels are now down to 32.8% (from 34.1% last week), and just 2.8% above the critical level of 30%.
I’m not sure what happens then, but apparently, whatever it is, it’s not “panic”:

Without rainfall, the Voëlvlei Dam would only be able to supply the metropole until July and the West Coast municipalities until the end of May. However, the council said it did not want to “unleash a panic” and it has the situation under control.

I wonder what they have in mind? A time machine and a DIY Desalination Plant kit? Cloud seeding? Vague hope?
This assurance from our local city council comes after the government minister for Water and Sanitation went onto the radio and asked religious individuals to “pray for divine intervention” to end the drought.

That plan is evidently yet to kick in effectively.

Enjoy the weekend, and please don’t water your garden.

No more swimming problems

It’s autumn. The pool heating has been switched off (the local equivalent of your UK central heating going on) and it’ll be a few months before it goes back on.
Still, at least there won’t be any issues like this for a while:

Obviously, whales can’t do that, so surely all aquatic mammals should be dead by now? Cause of death: “Drowned, after getting a stitch.”

(Or not.)

Autumn is coming…


This shouldn’t really come as any sort of surprise to people around here. This happened last year at this time, if I recall correctly. And possibly also once before – was it 2011 maybe? Anyway, I digress. The combination of the time of year and a stiff overnight breeze resulted in a veritable plethora of leaves all over the floor. A sure sign from Mother Nature that it’s been hot and sunny for long enough.


It doesn’t mean that summer is quite over – we still have a couple of days this week which are going to hit 30ºC – but the nights are getting noticeably cooler and the mornings noticeably darker.  I know you’ve noticed it too.

I don’t want to call it just yet, but it’s coming.
Be ready Cape Town, because summer is almost over.