Happy New Year to you and yours. Ours was quiet: a post-op beagle requiring TLC and a sudden, yet brief, torrential downpour moving us and everyone else in the village inside.

I was asked if I had any plans for 2024, and maybe my one thing is to learn how to use Photoshop properly. I’ve never really done that. Not a big thing, but actually quite a complicated thing, so that’ll maybe take up 11½ of the 12 months available. I’m already looking forward to the couple of weeks off.

I also took the time to think about a few changes I want to make from 2023. Things I want to include in my life, things I need to rid myself of::

More 50mm photography
Decent brandy
Restart my Instagram account
Buy a big vase
Finally do that number photo collage thing (I can’t find the post about this, but once I do, I’ll link it here)
Walking in the rain just to get wet on purpose
Being concerned about the future

Not getting small tasks done
All involvement in anything to do with heraldry
Letting people hang out with me just because I’m a world famous blogger
Spongebob Squarepants pajamas
Cats (again)
Lego (sorry)
Worrying about the past

I’m sure everyone reading has a similar list, even if they’ve just stored it mentally. I might come back in 12 months time and do a post on how well (or not) this has gone, likely illustrated by a really impressively edited image.

An emergency post

There are internet problems in Agulhas. It’s always slow at this time of year, but right now, it’s not working at all.

So here’s a brief post to maintain that record of blogging every day since forever, just in case I can’t upload anything else (like the post I had written).

If you’re reading this, it worked.

Happy New Year!

About New Year

It didn’t start well, when the guys renting the place next door put their new Now That’s What I Call Shit Cover Versions album on their big flashy speaker at about 4pm. Who knew that ABBA’s pisspoor Rasputin could be any worse than it actually is?

Well, stick it on a generic dance beat, add a no name songstress from Pretoria, and wow… new levels of horror can so easily be achieved.

Thankfully, we were actually only treated to brief periods of high volume nastiness, and because of the gale force wind, we were seeking shelter inside for at least some of the time anyway. It should be noted that the last braai of 2022 was conducted during the last loadshedding slot of 2022, and featured a picanha steak which has to be amongst the best 3 things I have ever cooked.

Just. Incredible.

(Though I say it myself)

Off to Struisbaai beach at 10:30, but the usual car park behind the dunes had been taken over by gazebos, loud music and a lot of very, very drunk people. Something felt not quite right. And so we moved down towards the harbour in search of something that felt a bit more safe and calm.

We found it, but I’m going to just come out and say it here: it wasn’t as much fun as usual. A combination of strong wind, high tide and an (at least) partial ban on private fireworks just killed the vibe. The organised fireworks display was decent, if unspectacular (in so much as a fireworks display can be unspectacular), and I just wanted to have a pre-Covid Struisbaai New Year back again.

Still, it was very well attended, the several thousand spectators dwarfing the 20 or so joy sponges on the Municipality Facebook page saying that the blood of their pets would be at the door of the Mayor (yes, seriously) for allowing any sort of display at all.

If only fireworks had existed when they got Keith, their Maltese Poodle.

Home just about 1, to find the next door had apparently Klippie and Coked themselves to a midnight standstill, and all was (mostly) peaceful in the village. Indeed, our only issue was that in our absence, the beagle had helped itself to a packet of cake mix and a bag of Woolies Olive Crostini, which rather limits our snacking options for this evening. It’s also rather restricted the beagle’s movement for this morning.


Today will be filled with lazing, beagle walking, napping and another evening braai, just as holidays should be.

Happy New Year, readers.

Day 656 – Alarm

It’s the last day of the kids’ summer holidays today. As with all these sort of things, it seems to have gone on forever, and yet also it seems to have passed by in an instant. Covid ruined a lot of the grand plans we had, but we still managed time away as a family, time away with friends, and yes, that little mini-break towards the end of it all.

And even then, it’s worth noting that sometimes not doing anything at all is just as important as doing anything at all.

I have grudgingly set the alarm for foolish o’clock tomorrow morning. I’m not looking forward to it waking me: I’d happily forgotten that that kind of time existed over the last 6 weeks.

It’s been nice.

On the plus side, I am looking forward to a little more rhythm and routine back in my life. Even though I am busier during the school terms, I find that I can also still get more done simply because I have deadlines and a bit of a schedule. And hopefully, that will include a bit more exercise, which I have been putting off because it scares me I’ve been waiting for the kids to go back to school. And because it scares me.

Last year was a tough one, but a good one for the kids. Here’s hoping that 2022 will be better in every way.

Day 647 – Last one

This post marks the last of my pre-written holiday blogs. All the glitz and the glamour of Christmas and New Year (and that 10 year thing) is over, and it’s back to real life in the South African sunshine, through the rain and mud of the UK, withstanding the draconian clampdown on individual freedom in China or grinding out the daily struggle which is trying not to be killed by a nasty creature in Australia. Sorry about having to break that to you, wherever you are.

I hope something exciting and blogworthy happens today, so that when I plug myself back in tomorrow, there’s something to write about.

If not*, it looks like we could be in for yet another 364 days of the usual bilge.

Happy days!

See you tomorrow, folks!

* some might say “either way”, here