Summer daze and that virus…

It’s been a good start to the day. It does seem that we’re almost done with spring (aside from the pummeling SouthEaster), and summer has moved in already. Thus, I’m sitting outside listening to the radio, catching up on a few emails, paying a few bills and writing a blog post. The garden is full of flowers, and the lawn needs a water. The beagle, having been bathed this morning – much to its displeasure – is on patrol, snorfing around and chasing butterflies.

It’s an idyllic picture. So let’s ruin everything with a handbrake turn.

Looking back at that link above, I’m reminded that this time last year, we were approaching 600 days of Covid lockdown. Believe it or not, there’s still quite a bit of Covid about, although no-one is testing anymore, because of the time and the effort and the money involved – and why spend all that stuff when no-one seems to care? – so we can’t be sure exactly how much.

And so much for this being “jUsT lIkE tHe CoMmOn CoLd”, with this huge overhang of cardiovascular deaths and Long Covid (which is also vastly underreported).

This is just the easily measured tip of the iceberg…

As I mentioned here, I think that thankfully, I’m finally over my issues [touches wood]. But I recently heard from a acquaintance who is anything but. Shortness of breath, palpitations, tachycardia, cognitive issues, that fatigue, and many other issues: just a general loss in quality of life. Ugh. Horrible. In her case, it’s so bad that she’s been admitted to a local pulmonology ward, which is half full of chronic Long Covid cases.
I guess that they’re only based there because it stemmed from a respiratory disease: these are very clearly multi-disciplinary cases.

I realise that it’s hip and cool to poke fun at Covid; to suggest that it wasn’t [note the incorrect use of the past tense] that bad, to weirdly tell people that it was all a “new world order” plan to keep us all under control, (incredible to see how governments were so ready and willing to work together on this one issue when they clearly can’t agree on fuck all else, before or since), to downplay it completely because you didn’t get sick (yet).

If you’re the person making those sort of points, you’re clearly ignorant, uninformed and actually rather callous.

We’re nowhere near done with Covid yet. And yet you can’t get a booster jab in Cape Town for love, nor money. Not that the booster on offer will help much – we need the new bivalent jab over here as soon as possible.

For those who insist that Covid will become just another seasonal viral infection, well, I actually agree with you. I just have two questions: When will that happen, and what cost will it bring – in both acute and chronic caseloads?

Until we have the answers to those questions, we really shouldn’t be dropping our guard – as individuals or as a society – because there’s a good chance that we’re going to end up regretting it at some point.

Is it Spring yet?

Well, as we’ve said before on here, yes. But actually, no.

But if it’s not quite here yet, it’s certainly coming very soon. I can’t recall a year when I’ve noticed so many things in nature are just “ready to go”. The plants, the weather, the birds… they all seem to be priming themselves in preparation for the joyful explosion that is the end of winter.

And indeed, from my current position atop the deck at the cottage, while I have my warm top on because the wintery wind is rather chilly, it’s also serving a dual purpose in preventing my neck from getting burned by the springtime sunshine. Being from Northern climes and a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic bloodstock, I have to take things a little carefully in the powerful African sun, especially when it hasn’t been around for a few months.

But the yellow-billed kites are back and the greater striped swallows are here, whizzing around me (not sure of their unladen velocity), the bulk carriers are rounding the southern tip of Africa at a safe 10 nautical miles, on their way from China to Nigeria, and Durban to Fortaleza (technically not necessarily a spring thing). There’s a Cape Weaver begging for some of my loadshedding lunch of some chips (crisps) and a Black Label. And across the way, two male Rock Kestrels are fighting for the attentions of a female of the species.

We’re nearly there.

But even as I type, the weather is turning for the worse. Nothing dramatic, but it’s noticeable that there is more white water on the ocean that when I came up here an hour ago (no, I haven’t been blogging the whole time), and the wind is definitely getting up. I have no worries for the evening braai, though. The cottage was designed to be protected against both the ubiquitous southeasters of summertime and the vicious northwesters of winter. So somewhere in between, as we find ourselves right now, should be no problem at all.

Apologies for any typos: the sun is actually ridiculous now and I can’t see a thing.

I think it might be summer already.

Day 659 – S’ot

Another roasting day here in the Cape. Despite our best efforts, the beagle has melted into a pool of fur and ears on the kitchen floor. Even my usually cool office has been infiltrated by the ridiculous heat.

I would love to hit the pool and quaff an ice cold beer, but I have a 4pm meeting.
On a Friday.
In summer.
In Cape Town.

Who does that?

Baie frustrasie.

(Can’t really blame them, to be honest: it was a cancelled flight scenario. But that sort of factual info ruins the drama.)

On the plus side, our plans for this evening seem to have been shifted to next week, so I might take the opportunity to light the braai, because who doesn’t want to stand next to the searing heat of coals when there is searing heat everywhere else? If I put it out in the sun now, will I even need to light it?

And then, tomorrow? Well, despite the headline above, Windguru is telling me about all day drizzle. Which would be welcome right now, but also massively unexpected.

Either way, it surely can’t be as hot as today.


Day 652 – Scorcher

An absolute scorching day in Cape Town today, as we hear news from 6000 miles… away of snow and ice and grey misery.

Up early to bath the beagle, we spent much of the day building new desks and fitting new shelves in the kids’ bedrooms. Being outside between 10 and 3 was never an option.

I’d love to elaborate about the finer details of these tasks (and indeed, I’m sure you are desperate to learn more of them), but a very cold beer in or by the pool is calling me, and who am I to ignore its requests?

Day 531 – Morning musings

Oh my Deity. Not another disjointed post about a plethora of things that probably don’t deserve a post of their own, but I still want to share?

Yep. Here goes.

I did a bit of a Twitter spring clean this morning. [link to My Twitter here]

Mainly just cutting out a few individuals who don’t use the platform anymore (who could blame them?) and inviting a few others into my circle (careful now).

I am very aware of the dangers of turning Twitter into just one big happy echo chamber, and so I maintain a small (but oh, so vocal) followage of accounts whose views don’t agree with mine. I don’t often necessarily interact with these accounts, because they’re not going to be swayed by my sense, knowledge and rational thought, neither I by their… er… “ideas”, but I do read what they think (and yes, I do often weep and shake my head when I do so). But I do think it’s important to not feel completely comfortable with everything you read on social media, and this choice is one I’ve made to ensure that I try to keep myself at least somewhat honest.

Maybe I follow you on Twitter and you’ve just realised why. Hi.

And talking of Twitter…


Best (and most criminally underrated) tweet I’ve ever made?

If you get it, you get it. It’s never funny if you have to explain it.
And they do have many health benefits, apparently. So fully deserving of the recognition.


Then chainsaws are back in our neighbourhood. This is the 6th(?) day in the last 10. Sure, one of the reasons we moved here was because of the beautiful leafy surrounds, and occasional tree surgery is to be expected as a by-product of that benefit, but this seems to have been going on for an awfully long time now and I’m growing slightly worried as to what’s going to be left once they do eventually finish…

(…and yes, also growing slightly irritated about the constant noise).


I’m prepared to fight anyone who feels that this is not the best version of this song.

Lol. The drummer looks just a young Dave Grohl.


Cape Town dam levels are currently at 101.8%. So moist.
Still, please don’t waste water. It might not rain next year. You never know.


It looks like I’m going to be stuck with these effing Covid symptoms for a while yet. Weeks, Months? Who knows? My doctor certainly doesn’t, and I can’t really blame her.

I’m trying to just get on with things, but inside, I’m thoroughly pissed off at the total incompetence of the SA Government, because of whose shitty prevaricating and complete ineptitude when it came to securing vaccines, so many people have died and so many more (including me) are facing months of ongoing health problems.

On the plus side, after several (or more) tests and examinations yesterday, it seems that my heart is doing well despite the best efforts of the virus (although it’s still beating rather too fast), and thus I’m unlikely to be keeling over from any cardiac issues any time soon. I’m still awaiting a few results, but I’m not expecting anything nasty, and now at least I do have a diagnosis and something of a plan for the next while.


Tomorrow appears to be the first day of summer. Not anything official like the first day(s) of Spring, but the first nice warm day after what seems to have been an exceptionally long winter.

I’m ready. Bring it on.
Note the wind speed in mph because my computer currently seems to think that I’m somewhere where I’m not.
But there are advantages in being virtually overseas…


Lastly, I’ve been watching the first series of Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing.

BBC Two - Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, Series 1, Episode 1

Yes, I know that for you UK people, I’m way behind the curve. But I’m here now and although I’m only a couple of episodes in, I’m really enjoying it. It’s so beautifully gentle, easy-going and fun, and yet so deeply honest.
Really good stuff. 10/10 would recommend.