So, it turns out that my photographs of the endangered African Black Oystercatchers that I took on the day of the walk didn’t win any awards in the photography competition organised by the Elim wine farm of the same name.

Sad. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t make decent quota photos for this blog post.

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Awesome birds. You can see them in their full glory here and here. And then you can click the left and right arrows to see more Oystercatcher pictures.
You know you want to.

Meanwhile, the competition continues apace on Facebook, where it’s sadly become more of a popularity contest than a judgement based on photographic talent. You can see all of the top 5 there, but something has gone very wrong if this one (it’s number 4) doesn’t win.

More from me tomorrow, as I mentally prepare to head through the lentil curtain to the Other Side Of The Mountain, where be dragons (allegedly), and scary people (definitely).

See me and win!

After the excitement of the Opening ceremony and the South Africa v Mexico game, you can watch the first game from Cape Town (in which France take on Uruguay) at 2030 CAT this evening. And due to the seats that I’ve been allocated, you might well see me as well.
By my calculations, I should be directly (ish) behind the far corner flag at the left hand end of the field when looking from the main camera point.
Of course, I’ll be surrounded by a few other people, so in order to stand out (and to celebrate my Manx heritage), I will be taking and waving my Manx flag, which looks a bit like this:

…but bigger.

To add a bit more spice, if you spot me and can get a picture of me and my flag on your TV, you can win some footy related stuff courtesy of 6000 miles…
All you have to do is take a quick snap of your screen featuring me and my flag (hint: be ready when there’s a corner on the far left side) and email it to me using the link below. The first email I get with an appropriate picture will be the winner.

Email link: click, attach, win!

Otherwise – enjoy the festivities and if you are going along to any World Cup events in Cape Town or indeed South Africa – GET THERE EARLY!!!!!!

I have no other advice.

Have I won?

After the misery of yesterday’s Wembley play-off defeat, I’m all ready to give up football for good.

Ja, right.

But I could do with some good footballing news to take away a little of yesterday’s hurt – and I may just have got it.


Following a mysterious call to my cellphone a few days ago, I have now received an email telling me that I have won tickets to the Confederations Cup next month. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t like the “You’ve won the Nederlandse Staatsloterij” emails that you and I are always getting. (I have now secured over €1bn on the Dutch Lotto without having spent a single cent. It’s great value for money.)

No, this email appears to be from a competition that I actually entered and they don’t need $300 to let me have my prize. Also, the email originated in South Africa, the telephone numbers match up and there were no spelling or grammatical errors. If it is a phishing scam, it’s a damn good one. So good that I’m almost tempted to give them the information they need.

I’m still not completely convinced though, so watch this space. I refuse to get excited because I very rarely win stuff. My biggest haul ever was a month’s supply of breakfast cereal for winning a quiz on KFM. And I had to chat to Nic Marais to get that – I surely deserved more.

Maybe the reason I rarely win stuff is because I rarely enter competitions. Although, that means nothing, as my Nederlandse Staatsloterij success proves.