Is it climate change?

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth – especially on social media – over the recent big waves and high tides which hit South Africa’s south coast on Friday and Saturday. The combination of spring tides and a moerse end of winter storm led to damage all the way from Cape Town to Durban.

It had the climate change people claiming that it was likely down to climate change, and the climate change deniers… er… denying it. It’s all in the name.

The fact is that neither party can honestly prove anything.

One can’t pin down the huge storm surge on the weekend directly to a change in the climate. As mentioned above, there were a combination of factors which led to the flooding and the damage that we saw.

But equally, it’s absolutely no good saying that it wasn’t down to climate change just because “there was a storm surge 10 years ago”*. Climate is a very long term thing. You’re thinking of weather.

Climate refers to the long-term regional or global average of temperature, humidity and rainfall patterns over seasons, years or decades. While the weather can change in just a few hours, climate changes over longer timeframes.

The fact is that while no one single weather event is directly or wholly attributable to climate change, climate change means that we will see an increase in the number of these sort of events.
They will happen more often, and they may be more severe.

It’s not rocket science. (That’s an entirely different discipline.)

Look, if you will, at the heat in the UK. We covered this last year, when it got ridiculously hot. That was very definitely weather, but if you take a look at the trends over several decades you can see that hot days are getting hotter, and they’re getting hotter, quicker. That’s the climate, so we can expect even hotter days in the future, even more often.

Of course, then there’s the thorny subject of whether we (mankind, humans) are responsible for this change in the climate (that does or does not exist, depending on your intelligence). Yeah, I think that everything points towards us having a hand in it. But even if it’s not all down to us, why wouldn’t you want to make the world a bit of better place by not chucking out quite as many toxic fossil fuel fumes, even if it’s just because they’re toxic? With the lovely byproduct of less CO2 and less climate change.

Keep going like we are, and the only good thing that can happen is that a few more awful restaurants might end up in the Indian Ocean. And that’s scant reward considering the horrific consequences for the rest of the planet.

* which washed away a terrible restaurant in Struisbaai and almost actually made me believe in some higher power.

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.

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.


After a fairly appalling night’s sleep, during which my little luxury memory foam pillow seemed to have forgotten all that my head had taught it, the Boy Wonder and I went for a bit of a run, ahead of a thing we have planned.

More on that real soon now.

We probably should have set off a little earlier though. It was FLIPPING ROASTING when we were finishing up. But a nice little 12km and we’re well on course for our planned event.

On a slightly more disappointing note, I imagine that tomorrow morning will bring a world of pain.

But before that seemingly inevitable horror: a quick lunch in Struisbaai, a gentle wander on the beach with the dog, an essential afternoon nap and an evening braai.

It’s all good.

Staying well away this weekend

We’re apparently past our fifth wave peak in the Western Cape and South Africa, although my anecdotal radar is still tracking several or more local friends and acquaintances who have tested positive this week.

But that’s in Cape Town.

In Struisbaai (yes, also the Western Cape, I know) however, this on the community Whatsapp group:

The local doctors should know.

The Cape Agulhas folk weren’t great at wearing masks early on in the pandemic:

…resulting in stuff like this:

So let’s hope that they take a bit of notice this time around, even though Covid is sooo passé now.

For safety’s sake, however (and because we have a plethora of stuff to do in Cape Town), we’ll be staying well away this weekend.