Counter Attacks

“When I’m feeling blue, all I have to do, is take a look at you, then I’m not so blue.”
So sang Phillip “it is here” Collins in his hit Against All Odds.
Quite why he couldn’t find another word to rhyme with “blue”, particularly with the massive lexicographical selection available to him, I have no idea.
But it doesn’t matter, because that’s not relevant to this blog post at all.

No, because I meant to start (and sing along with me here):
“When I’m wondering what to write about here, all I have to do, is take a look at the letters page of the Southern Suburbs Tatler, then I don’t have to wonder what to write about anymore.”
It’s like Phil Collins’ efforts, but far more pertinent to this blog post, because it’s exactly what I did (and have done previously). And it was there that I found a letter from P During of Newlands.
It went a little something like this:

Counter Attack
Here is a simple solution to counter Table Mountain muggings (“Mountain Safety Concern”, Tatler, June 17).
Or armed forces must have special people trained in unarmed combat.
Dress some of these people as tourists with valuables such as expensive cameras and watches.
Unsuspecting muggers could then be roughly handled and handed over to the police.
Perhaps people highly skilled in karate would also be prepared to help out.

This issue of muggings on Table Mountain is hugely contentious. People like me lament the fact that each incident (in single figures each year) gets front page news, while the other lot are annoyed that more isn’t made out of it – as if it could be. It’s perfect fodder for the local tabloid though – drama, crime, dismay and the opportunity to prompt letters from P During of Newlands.

In just 5 lines, P During delivers well-considered and powerful advice. You can’t almost see him sitting at home, smoking his pipe and slippers while reading the Tatler’s story on June 17th. He’s thinking that there’s surely some way he can help in sorting this situation out. And then suddenly, it hits him: bring in the army!
“Yes, back in my day, we had to learn what to do when we ran out of bayonets behind enemy lines. A little unarmed combat. Of course, back then you could whip Fritz’s gun and shoot him in the face, but if I suggest that, they probably won’t publish my letter.”

And he’s right, of course. But no-one is fooled by his clever line “Unsuspecting muggers could be roughly handled”. Despite the fact that P During is – in all likelihood – a lovably harmless 80-something year old granddad, that line is clearly unsubtle code for “Unsuspecting muggers could have seven bells of sh!t kicked out of them” (sorry Mum).

But it’s his last line that takes the biscuit. It’s almost as if he thinks that having members of the Special Forces beating up muggers in Skeleton Gorge might not be enough. And while he doesn’t actually use the ‘N’ word, we all know what he’s thinking.
Yes, P During of Newlands wants Ninjas on the slopes of Table Mountain.

And it might not be a bad idea, but it will never happen. Because ninjas (as we all know) are covert agents or mercenaries of feudal Japan. And Table Mountain is a National Park. There is no way that the authorities will allow an alien species to be introduced to the area. Last time they did that with the Himalayan Tahrs, they changed their minds and went out and shot them.
Release some ninjas and if you change your mind, you’ve got problems. Ninjas would obviously be a whole lot more difficult to locate than tahrs once they were released on the mountain.
And you’d have to find some very brave or very stupid marksmen to go after them. While tahrs are known for their sure-footedness and small horns, ninjas are known for stealth and their ability to kill people very efficiently. Get too close when hunting tahrs and while you might get butted, you’re unlikely to find a shuriken embedded in your forehead, flung by a hand you never even saw.

I don’t have the answer to these over-publicised attacks, but I will be writing to the Tatler this week to advise the National Park Board against deploying ninjas for the reasons I give above.

Every day…

Every day, I am blown away by the beauty of the mountain.
(When it’s visible and not hidden behind shedloads of dark grey cloud, obviously.)

This was from my drive home tonight.

Full size with option of spankingly large desktop background size here.

Pedants (you know who you are):
This doesn’t count as a quota photo because I’ve already posted today.

Half Price Cape Sunsets

The Table Mountain Cableway are offering half price trips up the mountain after 6pm for the next four months:


Table Mountain Cableway: Four months of sunsets at half price.
Cableway goes ½ price from 6pm.
Valid from 1 November 2009 – 28 February 2010.
Adult return R80.00. Child return R40.00 (under 18).
Information line (021) 424 8181. Cableway operates weather permitting.


I haven’t been up the mountain for ages and this seems like the perfect excuse for a few beers and some stunning views.
And this time, I’ll take my camera!

Not a rainbow quota photo

It is important for readers of this site to understand that not every photo posted on here is necessarily a quota photo.

To clarify, a quota photo is a device used to fill space in order to maintain my “post a day” promise. Quota photos are used on days when news is slow, time is short or inspiration has run dry. These conditions do not apply today, thus what is published below is a photo that I took this morning and that I want you to see, not one that was posted because there was nothing else to say and no time to say it.

Glancing out of my passenger window for my favourite view of Table Mountain from the car as I was passing Rondebosch Common this morning, I saw that someone had daubed a rainbow across the big rock. Everybody loves rainbows.
The disappointment that immediately followed at not having my camera to hand rapidly vanished as I realised that it was in the boot. I swung violently across two lanes of no traffic, jumped out of the car and began painting with light.

You can see it bigger or visit my Cape Town set for a few more that I took this morning, plus loads of other varied and eclectic photos, each with some vague link the the Mother City.

This was not a quota photo post.