Day 588, part 2 – Does advertising work? – a comprehensive study

I was over on Robben Island last week, on a trip well-documented on this blog. Robben Island doesn’t have many residents: it does vary depending on what’s going on on the island , but probably fewer than 120 on an average day. That doesn’t mean that their voting right should be forgotten though, and indeed, they can vote on the island – which is part of Cape Town’s Ward 54 – at the John Craig Hall (it’s named after one of the harbour engineers).

While we were staying over, some election posters appeared outside. There must have been about 25 of them down the road from the prisons into the village. All for one party. So nice to see a happy face.

(I’ve chosen to leave those unused 9.2inch WW2 shells – now used as road bollards – in shot. Seemed appropriate.)

Otherwise, it seemed like the island had been passed over in terms of the election. Which was quite nice, actually. No-one needs more election news. Ever.

Anyway, with 92% of the votes counted at the time of writing, the DA have held onto the city, with over 60% of the vote:

But look at that: a cursory glance will show you that the EFF recorded the most votes at just 2 (two) voting stations across the entire metropole: at UWC – those pesky young firebrands! – and… wow… John Craig Hall on Robben Island!

With just 31 votes in their favour (vs 19 for the ANC, 5 for the DA, 2 each for the ACDP and the VF+ and a whole 1 for the LAND party) (and none for Patricia de Lol)…

…it might have cost almost a poster per cross in the box, and is totally overwhelmed by the 92% voting for the DA in Camp’s Bay et al. but the result is there for all to see.

Robben Island is red.

From this, we can conclude that advertising clearly does work, and the Ad Wizardry of putting up 25 posters on a chunk of rock 6km from civilisation… was probably (possibly) almost certainly worth the effort.

Day 582 – Are we done yet?

I’m a bit finished. It’s 11am and the 10,000 steps for the day are done. Last night was a rough one, with kids up until all hours and everyone is suffering this morning. I’m being propped up by instant coffee and the opiate patch on my arm.

Oh, and the knowledge that I got my Chukka Partridge photos.

Ferry back today, but only just as it almost got pulled because of rough seas and we almost had to stay another night. As it is, we’re in for a bumpy ride this afternoon.

Again, it’s been an amazing trip, but I’m ready to see the family and sleep in my own bed tonight – hopefully without 2:30am shenanigans from any errant 12 year olds.

Day 581 – Coffee on the island

The trip is going well. Thanks for asking. 16,000+ steps yesterday, so it’s hard work, but good fun.

I’m lucky enough not to be on overnight supervision duties, so I have my own cell – literally an old prison cell – on the other side of the yard from the kids. I’m not sure how much quieter it was, though.

A quick Southland Coffee got me going this morning while everyone else was relying on instant muddy water or juggling with complicated paraphernalia. I stay winning.

Today: the real prison, and that guy‘s cell. Always a privilege.

More soon.

Not a sponsored post. Just some good advice.

Day 571 – Prep

Knackered (surprise, surprise) after a busy day of Robben Island prep. I assigned a couple of tasks, found a very friendly butcher, almost sorted a whole budget, listed some birds and animals, and purchased 200 plastic sacks and 6kg of chicken nuggets.

Amongst other things.

Listened to some music:
New Placebo is good.
New Einaudi is good.

But I’m not going to make it to kick off time for Arsenal v Palace tonight.

Sorry for the brevity. More tomorrow.

Day 569 – Experiments gone disastrously wrong

If you’ve been in science for any length of time, you’ll have had plenty of these. They’re sometimes expected, often annoying, and occasionally soul-destroying, but it’s all part of the learning experience. I tried two experiments yesterday. One of them was documented in some detail here, and the other one was simply enjoying a small bottle of Castle Milk Stout with dinner.

Both were fun experiments to do, and both seemed like really good ideas at the time. But in retrospect, neither of them have gone particularly well. I woke up last night at 3am with a towering hangover of note, and despite the best efforts of a combination of paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine, I then woke up at a more reasonable time this morning with a collection of symptoms best described as “being completely broken”. Head, joints, muscles…
And my brain is not working again. Argh.

Let’s get the learning process going, then. No more alcohol experiments for a while. Not even a little CMS. And that’s disappointing. Not because I need the alcohol, but more because I like the taste (now that I can again). Sure, there are the well-advertised 0.0% alternatives (although thankfully(?) not for Milk Stout), but they are often very disappointing in the taste department.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room. The one which seemingly rolled over me in bed last night. Because in 11 days time, I have to go back to the rock and do three days of stuff, back to back. Based on the results from yesterday, this is is going to be very difficult. And that’s got me very worried. The first rule of Parents Assisting With School Visits To Robben Island Club is that you do not talk about Parents Assisting With School Visits To Robben Island Club, but I generally ignore that one. However, the second rule of Parents Assisting With School Visits To Robben Island Club is that you need to actually assist with the school visit to Robben Island, rather than being a liability.

And honestly, this morning, I would be a liability.

Crap it all. To use a well-used South African phrase: What must happen now?*

* The use of the phrase “What must happen now?” often then followed by an awkward silence, purposefully shifts the burden of the decision-making process – and therefore all responsibility for any negative outcomes resulting from that process – onto someone else, immediately absolving the protagonist of any blame, guilt or accountability.
I am fully aware of the implications of using it here, and despite that, I am still using it here.

Almost desperately.