Water delivery

What are our swimming pools short of at the moment?

Heat! Water – they’re short of water. And OK, yes, heat too. Freezing.

For several months now, we haven’t been allowed to top swimming pools up because of the water restrictions and the ongoing drought. And fair enough too. Luxuries should be the first thing to be sacrificed in times of strife.
Actually, our small pool is still brimming, thanks to the pool cover I purchased over a year ago. Evaporation is next to nothing and the whatever rain we do get has been enough to keep it full.

But what if you don’t have a pool cover and your precious water has gone and done evaporated?

Well then you buy water from an (allegedly illegal) water delivery service to fill it up again.

Filling a 30 000 litre pool in Grassy Park would cost R7000. The total includes the transportation charge.
We have a 24 000 litre trailer with three compartments which hold 8000 litres. We deliver to any area in the Western Cape. We only work with cash payments. A recent fill-up we did was in Brackenfell and it was a 24 000 litre pool, the customer paid R6000.

My pool isn’t big, but it is slightly bigger than those volumes featured. My pool cover cost R1500. Just saying.

I have to admit that I am actually rather impressed and even a little amused by the entrepreneurial spirit shown by these guys, although not by their apparently nefarious activities and their exorbitant rates.
Also, cash only seems to be a simple and legit way to do business, hey?

Anyway, now that they’ve been outed by the local media…

The Daily Voice spoke to the owner of Bulk Water, Itsik Tsour, who stated the company was licensed. When called back to request proof of the licence, both numbers of the business went to voicemail.

…it seems unlikely that they’re going to be topping up any more local pools in the foreseeable future.

Atlantic Road

I love the title to this NYT article by Ondine Cohane:

In Norway, the Journey is the Destination.

Of course, this can be the case with any road trip, but this is about Norway’s ambitious tourist project, the Norwegian Scenic Routes: 18 scenic routes you can drive along – in Norway.

After the project was greenlighted in the late 1990s, and following a nationwide competition (both in terms of the roads chosen and the new structures proposed), Norway had envisioned the endeavor as a 30-plus year undertaking to transform 18 of Norway’s highways into cultural destinations.
Each stop would have a new pavilion, observation deck, bridge, restaurant, hotel or other structure, conceived by young emerging architects, and predominantly Norwegian ones, alongside installations by artists of note (like the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois’ evocative memorial for women and men burned as witches in the 1600s). So far 144 projects have been built, with 46 more on the horizon (completion is expected in 2023).

There are no prizes for guessing why I want to do this. The scenery, the cleanliness, the organisation, the scenery, the respect, the safety, the engineering and the scenery. I could go on. But sometimes, one can let a video do the talking.

Incredible.

One (or more) of these trips is going down on the bucket list, where is is vying for top place with Iceland – ironically “just” across the water from many of these roads.

Of course – Cape Town has its own beautiful Atlantic Road – the magnificent R44 Clarence Drive, which I most recently ‘togged like this:

while on this trip.

Warmer, nowhere near as long, but (almost?) as impressive.

Drought posters: too much?

Local authorities in Cape Town have come under fire this week for their latest attempts to convince tourists of the severity of the drought in the Mother City, with critics saying the posters “go too far”, and are “frankly rather scary” and “wholly distasteful”.

The summer tourist season is approaching, and many residents have expressed concern that transient visitors will either be unaware of our water crisis or simply won’t care, and would therefore waste our precious resources. Tourism is huge business in the Western Cape, with 1.5 million international visitors spending a massive R18 billion in the province in 2016. It’s clear that without that money, Cape Town would be in deep trouble, but running out of water completely would obviously be a disaster.

However, those same residents were stunned at the authorities response, with shocking posters which are set to be displayed prominently in the arrivals area in the airport and at popular tourist sites around the city.

Elsie Grootbek of Newlands was aghast:

Look, of course I know that the drought is a big issue, but South Africa does have a bit of a reputation and posters like this really don’t help with that. This is terrible. Which moron actually thought that this would be a good idea?

Reaction to other posters was equally incredulous. Fanie Praatbaie, a guest house owner in Melkbosstrand, couldn’t believe the posters and was concerned what effect they might have:

It’s bad taste and really off-putting. We’ll talk to our visitors, one to one, and explain the water crisis. We don’t need this sort of thing welcoming our tourists. It might even spark vigilante action if one of our guests takes a 4 minute shower or something. It’s hugely worrying.

However, government representatives were quick to point out that this ‘shocked’ reaction was exactly what they were after.

Spokesperson Willem van der Maydup told us:

It’s really not meant to be threatening. It’s just designed to make people think when they turn the taps on in their hotel rooms. Water is the lifeblood of any city, and we want visitors to value our water as if it were their own blood.
I showed one of the posters to my 6 year old son last week and it’s clearly had an effect: he hasn’t even gone into the bathroom since then. Or slept.

It’s unclear whether the backlash will force the authorities to change their mind on the controversial campaign, but with the local tourism season just around the corner, it may be too late to come up with an alternative means of getting their important message across.

Landscapes

If I take photos of local mountains and stuff, a lot of the time, they are actually landsCapes, because of where I live: Cape Town. So, landsCapes… Capes.

Geddit?

Fortuitously, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the recently announced Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017 awards in the UK, “showcasing Britain’s eclectic landscapes”, and being reported about in The Guardian.

Now obviously, all the images that they’ve given us in the article are really good, they’re unlikely to lob an Owen Crompton in there or anything, so having looked at the brief, I’ve chosen a couple of my favourites which fit it nicely to share here. Click through on the link above if you want to see the rest. It’s not rocket science, folks.

First up, George Robertson’s The Cauldron, the industrial landscape of Grangemouth in Stirlingshire. It won the “Urban” category:

And then, about 150km south of there, across the border into civilisation (although you might not think it by comparing the images), Ken Rennie’s The Raven. (That being the name of the boat in the photograph.)

Quite glorious, both. And a reminder that while South Africa and other countries may have the natural features, the outstanding beauty and the drama on an altogether more impressive scale, the UK can still have its moments.

Brooks: Hot Property

Yesterday wasn’t a good day for all Blades, but there was great news for Sheffield United and their fans last night as it was confirmed that midfielder David Brooks – “one of the hottest properties outside the top-flight” – has signed a new contract, keeping him at the club until at least 2021 (or at least securing us a HUGE amount of money, should anyone else want to buy him in the intervening period).

Recently called up by Wales, the 20-year-old has been compared to Gareth Bale, and there’s been plenty of evidence this season for United fans to see why:

Filthy. Rumour has it that Jack Hunt required counselling after this particular brief encounter.

I know that a lot of my readers don’t care much for South Yorkshire football posts, but I spare you from them a lot of the time (And…). Also, you know that thanks to the eclectic nature of this blog, you’re likely to have something completely different and altogether more interesting next time you visit.

Make it soon, hey?