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 rercommend.

Day 403 – Don’t waste the day

It is hot out there today. Really hot. Paula Fish would be having great time.

Big plus: I don’t need to light the fire we still don’t have.

I got out early for a reasonably brisk 5km. Back in the day, it used to be all about how fast I could get up a hill. And it will be like that again sometime soon. However, in my current condition, it’s more about whether I make it up the hill at all (I did) and whether there’s a sneaky episode of vasovagal syncope waiting for me near the top (there almost was). Who knew that there was a long tunnel at the top of Visser Avenue?
But the hills are good for training, and the view from the top was pretty special. I didn’t take a camera with me (because who does?), but I might pop up there and get a pano across the city if there’s a suitable morning soon.

Once I’d recovered, it was off to do those pesky Monday morning errands in seventeen different places across the Southern Suburbs. All went well apart from the frankly stupid decision to take Wynberg Main Road as a shortcut. Wynberg Main Road is never a shortcut, although you do get to see all sorts of interesting people along there. It’s like the Dubai Airport or the Deep Space Nine of Cape Town, but grimier and with a lot more taxis.

However, despite that minor inconvenience, everything got done and I was back in time to unpack the shopping to Charlotte de Witte’s There’s No One Left To Trust. There’s a time and a place for heavy techo, and today it was 12ish and in my kitchen.

However, that’s not all. With winter on the way (it’s just around mid-30s outside) (yes, Celcius), I’m not wasting this peach of a day.
Braai tyd vanaand because you never know when your next chance will be. It might be tomorrow, but it might not.
Looking at the forecast, it probably will be tomorrow.

Anyway, I need to sort a few more things out – lunch and a blog post (this are it) – before heading out to get the kids from school and the usual afternoon chaos ensues, so let’s chat again Tuesday, hey?

Keep safe, keep well.

Day 204 – Surrounded

It’s been a proper summer’s day in Cape Town.
Hot. Sunny. Blue, cloudless skies as far as the eye can see.
Hot. And sunny.

We made the most of it: I enjoyed a drink in the shade with Mrs 6000 before she headed off on her weekend away with the girls. And then we braaied some excellent and simple burgers, adding just enough of my delicious homemade coriander mayo. It truly is the King of Herbs. Don’t even dream about @ing me.

Perhaps because we were still outside as twilight fell, we heard the roosting of several birds around us. Doves (not that one) in the trees in the back garden; a Hadeda Ibis on the house behind; a pair of Egyptian geese on the chimney across the road.

Those last two species are not birds you want to be roosting anywhere near your house with a potential lie-in opportunity approaching (which is clearly what tomorrow morning is – both a lie-in opportunity and approaching). These are obnoxiously loud, early birds.

I’m going to have to get the drone up and do some close passes for the good of the neighbourhood. And sure, it only moves the problem of the obnoxiously loud, early birds elsewhere, but equally – and importantly – it moves the problem of the obnoxiously loud, early birds elsewhere.

Time to do some community service.
See you tomorrow (not too early).

This is not what I signed up for

It’s Christmas. The festive season. Holiday time.
Call it what you want, but down here in Cape Town, we also call it SUMMER.

However, the weather this SUMMER has not been very SUMMERy. Rain on and off over the last week, temperatures peaking in the low 20s, cool winds blowing in off the Atlantic and making us all miserable.

This is not what I signed up for.

I signed up for SUMMER where I could be outside in the sun. Playing in the pool, lounging on a…  on a… lounger. Not running across car parks trying to stay dry. Not wearing LONG TROUSERS. IN DECEMBER.

It’s annoying other people too. Like the staff at Pick n Pay Liquor in Constantia Village, who were feeling anything but festive this morning. Opening ten minutes late, snapping at customers who knocked on the door pointing out it was after 9 o’clock. My breakfast plans were rapidly becoming brunch.
Seriously, rarely have I seen a group of individuals give less of a toss about anything. Everything was too much trouble.
And it was grey and raining. Coincidence? Well, yes, possibly, because they might well be like that all the time.

But anyway – back to my main point, which is that SUMMER hasn’t arrived in Cape Town yet. Will it ever arrive? After all, we went through a few years when winter never turned up.

I’ll make the best of it, of course. I mean, what choice do we have? But I’d much rather be at risk of sunburn than of hypothermia.

And so I googled the weather for the next seven days. And… well… I mean… just look at the state of this:

EIGHTEEN on Christmas Day? I’m going to have to wrap my kids up in  swaddling cloths. SEVENTEEN on Boxing Day? No wonder the shepherds want to come in from the fields: it’s pissing down out there.

And don’t tell me that it would be colder in the UK. Of course it would. It’s meant to be. It’s WINTER and it’s all evocative and romantic, innit?

This is not what I signed up for and I am understandably very unhappy.

Longest day 2018

It’s tomorrow, if you find yourself south of the equator. Which we are.

Cape Town enjoys a remarkable 14 hours, 25 minutes and 5 seconds of daylight tomorrow, with the sun rising at 05:31 and sinking below the Atlantic horizon at 19:56 in the evening.
That’s a whole 4 hours, 32 minutes longer than on the June Solstice.

It’s fair to say that you’d have to have blinked (literally) to miss the change from today though, because it was only a fraction of second shorter. That’s because the summer solstice for us has actually slipped into the early hours of the 22nd (coincidentally 22 minutes after midnight to be exact, for the purists out there).

Things go badly wrong on the 23rd though, with a massive 3 seconds shaved off our daytime, as sunrise creeps later a little more quickly than sunset does – and it’s all downhill down there until midwinter. By the the 28th, we’ve already lost a whole minute!

The latest Cape Town sunset this summer is 20:01 on the 7th January.

And the sun is closest to us on 3rd January at 12:50 – a mere 147.100 million kilometres away: Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99: wear sunscreen.

Meh: Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.