They’re back again!

After a couple of years off because of you-know-what…

It is going to be – as the above flyer suggests – MASSIEWE!

But this year’s effort does raise an interesting question. This is clearly an organised display, whereas previous years have been all about the joys of bring your own fireworks. And while (hopefully), this will be a bigger display with bigger fireworks, how are they planning on stopping the several thousand people bringing their own pyrotechnics onto the beach? And what will be the implications of them doing that? Because having bought them for beach on New Years Eve (like every other year), you don’t want to then drive them all the way back up to Pretoria after the holidays, so you’ll let them off back at your airbnb before you head home.

One of the main benefits of having a given area and time to discharge your explosives has always been that it was (relatively) easy to control and have appropriate fire and medical services in situ. It’s still a crazy couple of hours, and things can get a bit iffy, but it’s a lot of fun as long as you don’t get maimed.

But if they ban the fireworks from the beach, sadly, they’re asking for trouble in the next few days.

Day 142, part 2 – Those “Tokyo fireworks”

We’ve surely all seen it shared by muppets on social media:

The fireworks were prepared by Tokyo for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games this year. The Olympics cannot be opened because of the epidemic, but these fireworks cannot be stored until 2021, so the Olympic fireworks are displayed at this time. Please enjoy the Olympic fireworks under the beautiful Mount Fuji.

And then the fireworks, which look entirely different from any other fireworks you’ve ever seen and are set to music about legendary Japanese hero William Tell, by legendary Japanese composer Gioachino Rossini.

Right up the old national pride street for Japan.

Strangely, the official Olympic Organising Committee didn’t share the link, and even more strangely, given that they the display was just a couple of days ago, here it is in its computer-generated entirety posted back in December 2015:

Almost 5 years ago!
No wonder they couldn’t store the pixels fireworks any longer.

…with the description:

As with the previous work, the background was based on the delusion that “a large-scale fireworks display was held in winter at Lake Kawaguchi in cooperation with the Lake Kawaguchi Fisheries Cooperative in commemoration of Mt. Fuji’s registration as a World Cultural Heritage site.”

Well, your video has gone way beyond that minor “delusion” now, mate.

This is one of those useful tools to sort out who are those less useful tools on your timelines. Obviously, there may already have been signs (football club allegiances etc.) in which case, this can act simply as a helpful confirmation.

I’m happy to assist.

Sky Spiders

We really enjoyed the New Year fireworks on Struisbaai beach. There are some fun sponges out there who would like to see a complete ban (and sadly, it seems that they’re getting their way bit by bit), but such is the draw of this 2 hour free-for-all, I’m hopeful that the Struisbaai display may yet live to see in several more New Years.

I accept that there are dangers. The Suiderstrand fire seems likely to have been lit by a braai though, so are you going to try and ban them too? This annual festival is approved by the relevant Fire Services, who would much rather have all the fireworks in one place where they can monitor them and step in if needs be, than all over the Southern Tip.

“Outlaw people using distress flares!”, “Prevent another Betty’s Bay from happening!!” cry the outraged masses, conveniently forgetting that the Betty’s Bay fire  – terrible though it was – was… er… actually started by someone launching a distress flare illegally.

This is SA. The law doesn’t stop people.

And so concentrating them all together right next to a fire engine actually seems like a very good idea.

I’ll sort some photos when I have some more time and inclination, but this one summed up the evening for at least one of the kids.

On the left, an exploding rocket- and then the eight stages of its disintegration in the south east wind. From sharp, defined edges, bones and legs, through to the barely recognisable, diffuse remains on the right.

A quick scan suggests that there are a lot of (handheld, nighttime) fireworks shots on the camera, of which at least one or two are probably worth sharing. But like I said: still in holiday mode here.

Deal with it. 🙂

Low tide for tonight

It’s always safer when the tide is low for New Year’s on Struisbaai beach.

Several thousand drunk Afrikaners with several (or more) fireworks each get quite concentrated when the tide is up, but I’ve checked and the first tide of the New Year is a low one at about 00:33.

That means that there will be plenty of beach to have fun on for the duration of the festivities.

I suppose that this is a good thing, but it will make it a whole lot less exciting than last year.

Call the ambulance(s)

“Forewarned is forearmed.”
“Be prepared.”
“Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared.”
“To be prepared is half the victory.”
And all that.

Hi, I’m here to help.
Let me explain.

New Year on Struisbaai beach is an experience. The combination of several thousand drunk Afrikaners playing with several hundred thousand Rands worth of amateur fireworks in the dark, with the Indian Ocean on one side and some flammable grassy dunes on the other makes for an exciting combination. If anyone bothered to do a risk assessment on this annual event, it would rank alongside swimming with hungry sharks, poking a puff adder or tickling a sleeping dragon for sheer stupidity

I love it and I can’t wait til this evening. Oh – and it’s all perfectly legal, too:


Die afvuur van vuurwerke/klappers op enige plek, datum of tyd is onwettig. Gemeenskap Polisie Forum, Buurtwag, Suid Afrikaanse Polisie Dienste en Kaap Agulhas Munisipaliteit Beskermingsdienste – het besluit dat vuurwerke vanjaar tydens ou-/nuwejaarsvieringe slegs tussen die Struisbaai Hawe en die Hoofstrand afgevuur mag word vanaf 20:00 op 31 Desember 2018 tot 02:00 op 1 Januarie 2019.

Boom – quite literally.

The only real variable in the heady mix described above is how much beach is available. The spacing out of holidaymakers and fireworks is key to the reduction in the level of danger on this one given night. And so I had a quick look at the tide tables for this year’s event.

It’s… it’s not looking good.

The last high tide for 2018 in Struisbaai is going to be at 23:58 this evening. This means that there will be very little beach available. But there will still be several thousand drunk Afrikaners playing with several hundred thousand Rands worth of amateur fireworks in the dark, with the Indian Ocean on one side and some flammable grassy dunes on the other.

Can I suggest the the powers that be organise several (or more) ambulances in advance of this evening’s festivities? And perhaps also that anyone going along takes an umbrella. A thick one that can stop falling fireworks.

Whatever your plans for this evening, have a safe one. Enjoy.