Too close to home

Several emails and tweets asking why I am not blogging about the Luke Fairweather story.
It’s a reasonable question. Thanks for asking.

Occasionally  – just occasionally – there are topics which I would LOVE to blog about, but am unable to. These are generally specific and local issues which are linked somehow to what we in the blogging sector call “Real Life”.
One of the rules that I have laid down for myself and to which I still rigidly adhere is that my blogging must not negatively impinge on my “Real Life” or that of my family or friends (and relationships with those individuals).

The Luke Fairweather case is one of those times. Despite me having strong feelings on this story, Mr Fairweather and I shared a mutual friend (a regular reader, he claims) (and I have no reason to doubt him) and thus this one falls neatly into that “too close to home” category because my respect for my “Real Life” friends and their thoughts come ahead of airing my views on here.

There’s more on the Fairweather story from IOL here and a brilliantly concise, yet sensitive blog from Jacques Rousseau here.

Boring heroism

As Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell display boring heroism and continue to frustrate the South Africans just down the road at Newlands, I have better things to be doing than blogging. And not that I want SA to succeed in winning this game, but maybe they’d do better if they had a little help.

You know, like the help that the Sharks use – the cheerleading help:

Give me an H!   Ohhhh K!   Give me an S!

Might be a bit warm at Newlands for those trenchcoats, though.

Perfect timing

Huge props to England’s cricketers who have timed their demise to perfection so that I can get the end of their Jo’burg ODI out of the way and flick straight to channel 203 for Fiorentina v Liverpool. At one point, it looked as though they were going to allow New Zealand to finish a bit early, but a quick session of skittles (5/27) and everything will be over at 2045.

It would be silly if I didn’t take advantage of their superb organisational skills, so I’ll drop a quick quota photo onto here…

…like this one taken at Morgansvlei, near Tulbagh – and head for the TV.

Scorchio!

Cape Town seems a bit knackered after this weekend. And who can blame it?
The hottest weekend of the year sapped the energy and forced people across the city onto beaches and into swimming pools. And they were still too hot. Some of us (me) were additionally “forced” into the pub on Saturday night and onto the cricket field on Sunday morning.

The pub was an interesting experience. Suddenly, from a quick draught Windhoek and a chat about holiday plans, I found myself surrounded by a quorum* of good-looking women who were discussing boobs, underwear and girls kissing other girls. Staying quiet, not wanting to give the game away in case I had somehow become invisible; pinching myself occasionally to ensure that I wasn’t actually dreaming, I listened. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?
I’m a man of simple pleasures – the beer and the holiday chat were enough to make it a pleasant evening, so the additional er… let’s say “enlightening”… entertainment came as something of a bonus.


WPCC: If the match is dull, there’s always the view 

Determined not to wake up with a hangover, I woke up with a hangover and headed out to Western Province Cricket Club to take part in the annual Rondebosch Old Boys versus Bishops Old Boys cricket match. Since I wasn’t even educated in South Africa**, let alone at either of those fine halls of learning, you can see that the rules governing who was eligible to take part weren’t ever so tight. And with me not having even touched a cricket bat or ball for seven years, it was evident that there was something of a paucity of potential talent available for the Rondebosch side. Given the obvious gravitas of the match between these two old foes, together with the soaring temperatures and a banging head, I was slightly apprehensive about the whole experience.

I needn’t have been. Good humour and good sportsmanship prevailed and despite my hardly troubling the scorers with my batting, I was at least able to contribute a little with the ball towards a thumping win for our side in the blistering heat. Heat so hot, in fact, that hardly anyone stayed around for the post-match braai and beers.

I stopped around for one (just to celebrate, you understand) and then headed gratefully home to our pool and merciful relief from the sun. Today, I’m wondering when the train hit me. Every last muscle aches, even the ones I use regularly for football and drinking. Head to toe, literally. I’m all broken.

Never again. Until next year, perhaps.

* no idea of the correct collective noun, sorry.
** well, I was a bit on Saturday night, believe me…

Sick of poor decisions

“Where are you?” queried the emails.
“What’s going on?”
“What must we do?”

Such is the awesome and addictive power of 6000 miles…that when I was struck down – pretty heavily struck down, too – by a particularly nasty illness this last week, desperation set in for some readers.

But it’s ok. I’m back. And I’ve got lots that I want to write about. Although I haven’t been able to get near a computer to actually document my thoughts, I’ve been having plenty of them. Some of the more interesting ones were sadly only accessible while my temperature was in the low 40’s.
Thus, I can only remember odd bits of them. Bits that involve parrots.
I told you they were odd.

While I was away on my journey to Virusville,  South Africa beat England in a unusually interesting Test match in Birmingham. Through glazed eyes (via the disappointingly weak interweb surfing capabilities of my aging cellphone), I read and agreed with Brian Micklethwait’s take on Michael Vaughan’s resignation as England captain following that game.

How thin are the threads that these things hang by!  In England’s second innings the day before yesterday, Vaughan was looking good, until he got himself out with a silly shot.  And yesterday, South Africa’s captain Smith would have been given out, caught off the glove off Panesar, if “Hotspot” the latest analytical gizmo – it shows where balls strike by photoing heat rather than light), had been helping the umpires instead of only helping the commentators to make idiots of the umpires.  Smith was then on about 70.  He went on to make 150 not out and win the game for his team.  England might well have won if that decision gone their way, and if England had won, Vaughan would not now be stepping down.  He might have made some runs in the final test against South Africa, and gone on to lead England in the Ashes next summer. As it is…

Yet another dodgy decision with massive implications. And yes, I know that referees and umpires are only human and these things happen, but with professional sport being what it is these days, isn’t it time that the technology which is available is applied so that careers aren’t ended and millions of pounds aren’t lost simply because of the actions of of an inept official?

So now we have a South African with a South African name captaining the England cricket team and a South African with an English name captaining the South African cricket team. And, if the papers are to be believed, they hate each other. Ooh – the drama.


A couple of tossers with a coin

I like this photo from the BBC News website. Pietersen looks like he’s missing a pint pot and is looking in completely the wrong direction. Smith looks like he’s missing a brain and is looking directly at the money.
Which sums them both up nicely, I think.

EDIT: more (slightly surprising) opinion and a nice pic of Newlands here.