And that was it.

The end of the holiday will hit me full on in the earhole early tomorrow morning, as my alarm clock wakes me for another day of toil in the lab. It’s the downside to having a break: the inevitable return to reality. Having been off work for 11 whole days, during which time we drove literally thousands of kilometres and paddled for literally another several, it’s going to be tough to face real life head on in the morning.

And it’s not even as if it’s going to be that bad. Most kids go back to school tomorrow, but thanks to the vagaries of the SA private schooling system, ours have an extra day off. So that’s an extra hour in bed.
Wednesday morning… well… Wednesday morning  is going to be obscene.

The good news is on the horizon. Another long weekend (and another, shorter trip away) at the end of the month. It’s not too long to wait.

And that’s what will keep me going tomorrow. After that though, I don’t know. The next long weekend isn’t until the middle of June.


Long weekend ahead

It’s holiday time in the Western Cape on Monday, at least according to the ANC Youth League.

“We are officially declaring Monday a holiday for Western Cape’s citizens. No work as we make this city ungovernable. No taxis will be in operation; those who will be on the road will be transporting people to the march… for free” said the league’s provincial chairman, Khaya Yozi.

Now, whether you agree with Yozi’s plan or not, I think we can all something learn from his announcement.

It seems to me that there should be less working and more holidays on Mondays. Coming from the UK, I’m used to having public holidays on Mondays – the holidays for May Day, Whitsuntide and August Bank Holiday always fall on a Monday, making for lovely long weekends in the rain. Compare that with a normal Monday in SA, where you’ll find us all slaving away inside while the sun beams down outside.

But not on this coming Monday, obviously. Because this coming Monday is a holiday. I think that Yozi has missed a trick by arranging to meet at Salt River Station – on the edge of Cape Town’s fetid industrial heartland – and not at the beach. I will probably try out that latter option and then get back to him to compare notes on how much fun we had.

Additionally, should my Monday plan go well, I will be declaring Monday September 3rd a holiday as well. But we’ll definitely meet at the beach. In fact, as summer approaches, I foresee myself declaring a whole lot more public holidays. Especially on Mondays.

Have a wonderful long weekend and I hope that you can all find something profitable and enjoyable to do with your free time, such as stoning vehicles on the freeways and causing R13,000,000 of damage to public property.

Indie Songs for Public Holidays

Number 1 in a series of 1. So far, anyway.

Hands up if you remember the Soup Dragons. Indie one hit wonders in that great era of the late 80s and early 90s, they are often confused with Jesus Jones, although Jesus Jones had three hits and the lead singer had much floppier hair.

Anyway, The Soups’ 1990 reworking of the Rolling Stones’ I’m Free seems suitably suitable for Freedom Day here in SA.

Named after a character from the Oliver Postgate 1970s series The Clangers, the Soup Dragons went their separate ways in 1995, but are all still active in the music business, having amassed a total of only one fewer hits than they did when they were together.

Any suggestions for an Indie Song for Worker’s Day on Sunday/Monday?

* Real, Real, Real; International Bright Young Thing and Right Here, Right Now – to put you out of your misery.

Some Freedom

Today is a public holiday in South Africa. The first of three this week. On May 1st, we have the ubiquitous Worker’s Day and on the 2nd, an “extra” public holiday which was only granted in late March, for reasons that no-one really knows or wants to ask about in case it gets taken away again. This means only 2 working days, which means that we have the obligatory dose of Short Week Service Syndrome ahead.

But celebrate, for today is Freedom Day – the National Holiday to commemorate the 1994 General Election and the “official end” of apartheid. While many were delighted to welcome the non-racial elections, there were some disappointments, not least the poor showing of the DikWankWetla Party, who only managed to capture 0.1% of the vote. I know very, very little about the DikWankWetla Party, but they have an absolutely awesome name and for that alone are probably worth a vote even if their policies are a little ropey.

So. How has SA done over the last 14 years?
I guess that would be one of those questions with a host of “no win” answers, basically drawn out along racial lines. Let’s just say that the majority of people in this country are better off than they were pre-1994.
Of course, it hasn’t worked for everyone. Somehow today, it was even more saddening to see the beggars with small kids and babies in tow at the traffic lights. Some freedom for them. One wonders if they recognise that today holds any special significance for the country.
I gave away an entire 2kg bag of apples on the 3km run back home from the supermarket. Not much, I know, but trying to help, at least. One day, I hope 0.6 will understand why he didn’t get his Granny Smiths today.

Happy Freedom Day, South Africa.

Sorry – It’s a Short Week

There’s a story which goes about these parts that tells of a bloke who was nailed to some of bits of wood a couple of thousand years ago (give or take), meaning that my pregnant wife can gorge herself on chocolate throughout March and April.
So she says anyway. Personally, I think she made it up simply so that she could gorge herself on chocolate throughout March and April.

And why not?

She’s spread the word about as well. Women all over Cape Town can be seen gorging themselves on chocolate. And wine. And now, we even have a Chocolate Gorging Public Holiday on Friday which means that this is a short week. And that is a superb reason for the level of customer service in this fine city to drop to new lows.

Yes, because Friday isn’t happening in work terms, apparently neither is the rest of the week. If you thought that load-shedding was slowing down the economy, you were right. But it pales into insignificance next to Short Week Syndrome. Deliveries which didn’t make it through when they were due last week, mysteriously won’t be delivered this week either. Why?

“Sorry – it’s a short week, you know?”

Yes, I do, but the first four days are still fair game, are they not?

But it’s hopeless. You can’t fight the system.
Well, you can, but you’ll suffer a humiliating defeat on penalties.

Talking of poor service, a new Cape Town blog has sprung up: Welcome to the Metrosnail – presumably the work of some discontented Cape Town train user. I was looking for fun and amusing comment, but I found none. What I did find was an article about the upgrade of Cape Town station which was cut’n’pasted from a City Council website article from May last year. Cutting edge stuff, then.

Seriously, if you’re going to write a moany, whiney blog; at least put in a bit of effort to make it interesting, relevant and – dare I say it? – original. Don’t just publish rubbish and hope that your leap onto the 2010 bandwagon will be enough to make your blog “cool”.

Of course, you won’t find this blog moaning and grumbling about inconsequential matters. Except today, obviously. But that’s ok, because anything goes in a short week.