With wall-to-wall sunshine, a fridge full of Milk Stout, a wine rack full of… well… wine, together with limited internet, it’s fairly easy to relax down here in Agulhas.
Yesterday was a day for one of those trips through to the Black Oystercatcher for great food and great wine, and a meandering journey through the National Park stopping to try and spot various wildlifes along the way. Most of the wildlifes were birds, including two new species for me – the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) and a Denham’s Bustard (Neotis denhami). I don’t keep records of these things like some people do, but I like to know what I’m looking at, and it’s always interesting to see something different.
We thought that we’d try to add some flamingoes to the list on the local salt pan, but it was entirely devoid of any birdlife. Still, it did allow for some interesting photography opportunities.
I’ll upload more when I get back to just 6000 miles from civilisation… (although if you can’t wait,there’s always Instagram).
Today is all about rockpools, beagle walks, fish ‘n’ chips, afternoon naps and beers by the braai.
We came back from Cape Agulhas a day early. The weather was not looking like it was going to improve, the traffic looked like it was going to be horrendous and it’s actually been good to have a little bit of time at home before I head back to the laboratory tomorrow. In actual fact, we only really lost a few hours, given that we only left late yesterday evening.
It meant that we could still get out for 5km along the beach at Suiderstrand, grab a photo of a windswept Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea):
…and have a lunch with some truly terrible service in L’Agulhas before heading off. And we were still home before sunset. Cape Town summers, ne?
Rather than sit inside and blog all afternoon, we went for a family picnic in Kirstenbosch. And now I’m off to build some of this with my boy. So this is all you’re getting for today.
Greetings from the bedroom at the cottage. No. I’m not sharing any photos or a live video feed. This isn’t that sort of website. I’m just sheltering from the midday sun and the heat (and the wind) as we approach midsummer’s day here in the Deep South. Outside is bright yellow sand, stunning turquoise ocean and sharp green fynbos. It’s almost too much to take in. Even the beagle has given up and fallen asleep on the beanbag in the living room.
Still, earlier, time was spent perusing the rockpools on the local beach. There are plans afoot to go and see the new Icon at the Southernmost point “soon”. Later, there will be a braai, some beer and some brandy. And then sundowners and maybe (maybe) a timelapse as evening falls. It’s well-deserved downtime after a hectic year.
And yet you still get a daily blog post. That’s service, hey?
And so just like that, it’s the end of the school year.
The Boy Wonder finished his time at Junior School with a great year, ending on a high note with really good results and an award for Academic Excellence in Science. And this year is a biggie, with him moving on to what passes for High School in his system. It was a good way to sign off.
I may have mentioned before that the SA and UK school systems are a complete mystery to me: The SA system because I was never part of it (and neither of my kids have been), and the UK system, because it’s fundamentally changed since I was in it. Equating the end of Year 6 with the end of my third year at Middle School seems about right, but then, I didn’t go to High School for another year after that (starting directly into the second year there) and my school year finished several months earlier (or… er… later, I guess) than the SA ones. Even though my kids aren’t in the SA system, at least their school still respect the local seasons.
Our little girl – not so little anymore – also had a wonderful year and has really developed in character and confidence. She finished with the highest marks in her class. And yeah, I may be showing off a little about how well they’ve done here, but I am so very proud of what they’ve done this year. Also, I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and it’s only the third time this year that I’ve done something like this (see here and here for the others), and if you can’t share your good news and your kids’ achievements on your blog, then there’s something very wrong with the world.
A well-deserved break for all concerned now then. With no packed lunches to make and no school run, I awoke from uneasy slumbers (because of this) at a heady 7 o’clock this morning. Just another 6 days in the laboratory and then I’ll be joining them. This is the life.