A few things

Firstly, go and play Puzzgrid. It’s like the wall on Only Connect, but online.

And if you want a 4-star difficulty challenge to begin with, try this one that I made earlier. I’m planning on making a few more (mainly they’re stored in my head at the moment, and quite honestly, I need the space.)


Next up, remember this quote?

Well, my rule of thumb is going to be a bit broken if this happens

Wait… Watt*?!?
But that would mean 32 hours… and there are only 24…

Wow. Who would have thought that the straw that finally broke the network’s back was simply running out of enough hours to shed in a day?


Then: Was Eyjafjallajökull the final volcano?

Year 9 iGCSE Geography dictates that one must do a class presentation on a volcanic event. And additionally, that one must build a model of said volcano to demonstrate your knowledge thereof.
I helped transport a model of Eyjafjallajökull (remember him?) into the school today, and was asked by the principal, who we saw along the way, if this was the final volcano project for our family.

I hadn’t really thought about it. But just maybe it was.

Volcano models are a rite of passage throughout your school years. You can learn more, and more, and more about them, depending on how far you want to go. You can do loads of geography, sociology, history, English, art and science about them. And yes, you can build models, from the super simple, through the vinegar and bicarb stage, and onto geographically and morphologically accurate representations, including glaciers, treelines, and – somewhat inexplicably in this case – a café.

And we’ve done them all. Twice over.

In total, our kids have over 24 years at that school.
And yes, this might well have been our family’s final volcano project. That’s actually rather sad.


Also: Qatar Airways unilaterally cancelled several of our flights this morning without any explanation. And then emailed me and asked me to “Acknowledge the changes” or “Request a refund”. I think I’m going to have to click both buttons there, aren’t I? I don’t think it’s quite enough for me to choose between the two, given how much COLD HARD CASH has gone into buying the tickets, and the CONTINUING NEED to be in certain places at certain times – with accommodation and car hire and connecting flights already booked. Because of many reasons (but mainly because of emigrating nearly 20 years ago), I have done a lot of international flying. This is the first time that I have used Qatar Airways. And this really is the first problem I’ve ever had.

Sadly, we’re kind of tied in with them now, so we need to rearrange another lot of flights with them, and hope that these ones actually exist when we try to fly on them.


And finally – in the style of Trevor MacDonald – this:

I mean, if even he is saying it, then it must be true, right?
Full marks for whoever cropped this meme (it wasn’t me) so that we were spared a sight of the offensive (and sinful) footwear.


* so many apologies for this


I’m babysitting again.

This time somewhat digitally, with the Boy Wonder out and about all over Kenilworth, planning his latest escapade, and Little Miss 6000 visiting the local shopping mall with a friend. I’m just hanging about the local coffee shops at that mall, making sure that everything is ok, and if it isn’t, that I’m right on scene and ready to go should I be needed. It’s not that I don’t trust her: it’s everyone else that I have an issue with.

Technology being what it is, I can keep an eye on both of them via the power of mobile GPS, and so one eye is on that while the other is crafting a high quality blog post.

My Dad has gone wandering in Kirstenbosch. Unless you have a specific plan and a specific time limit – which he doesn’t – just wandering in Kirstenbosch is often the best way to do Kirstenbosch. I’m not keeping an eye on him, though. He’s old enough to look after himself.

And so everyone is everywhere and I’m just sitting here drinking a massive mug of coffee. I’m not sure this is what parenthood was meant to be like, but as long as everyone is ok, it seems easy enough to manage.

In fact, the only thing that’s not working out is my music. I left my headphones at home (because everything is all mixed up at the moment), and although I’ve been and got a cheap set from the dodgy Chinese shop just over there [points], now Spotify is refusing to open. Maybe in protest at the quality of the equipment. Justifiably so, then.

Otherwise though, it’s all good. I think that all I need now is a muffin.

For the kids

And so, after 24 hours which have very, very nearly given us 100mm of rain in Cape Town, I find myself sitting in a car park near an oil refinery, in the dark and the continuing downpour, as the Boy Wonder trains for his next Big Thing (more about that at a later date).

The car park in question is about 30 sodden, spray-laden, trafficky kilometres from our house, and so with the session being two hours and the petrol price being what it is, I will sit here with my coffee, my portable hotspot for the internets and write a blog post as I overlook the lake.

Which… wasn’t there yesterday.

Not worth the effort and money of going home. And probably much safer to be here than on the road right now. In a country where every day is like driving in a video game, driving in the dark and the rain are like giving Pro Mode a try. You can get a hi-score just by arriving safely at your destination.

Of course, running your kids to various parties, events, classes and such is all part of being a modern day parent, And I’m very happy to support my children in all their chosen endeavours.

But there’s a lovely fire and a warm TV full of UEFA Nations League at home, and if I’m honest, I can’t help but feel that I’d rather be there than here right now.

No escape anymore

If I were to tell you all the stuff I got done this weekend, not only would you likely be amazed, you’d also be horribly bored.

Still, why do people come here if not for amazement and/or boredom?

It’s ok, I’m not going to bother you with the minutiae of my weekend activities. But I did get a lot done.

Look, it’s going to be a tough week. Mrs 6000 has gone down with mild Ebola,  6000 Junior starts his exams on Wednesday and Little Miss 6000 has a Science project due in on Thursday. All that on top of the usual school runs, extra-murals and general family life. I would ask if it ever gets any easier, but I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to hear the answer.

It used to be that during times such as these, one could take a few moments out to watch some football or go onto social media. But the football season is all but over, and social media is a shitshow of people fighting about the most trivial of things in the most immature of ways.

Am I right in thinking that once, it was possible for people to date one another civilly? That they would take the time to listen to the other person’s point of view, whether or not they then chose to agree with it? Or was this just some pipe-dream in the snatches of sleep I managed next to my apparently moribund wife last night?

I actually saw someone who was asking to be sent a screenshot of a tweet* so that she could be offended by it and respond on someone else’s behalf, over the weekend. Wow.

Is this really what we’ve come to?

Her echo chamber was very impressed.

I think I’d rather head back to sickness, science and several hours of revision. Thanks.


* The tweet in question was devastatingly hilarious and not at all offensive, as far as I was concerned, but sharing that viewpoint publically would be suicidal in the current climate