Point of Ayre

Busy day today. Busy evening ahead too, with LCHF being thrown to the wind as I head out with the boys for beer, banter burgers and alliteration.

So just time for a quick QP. This one is another gem from Peter Killey of Manxscenes.com:

It’s the red and white lighthouse at the Point of Ayre in the Isle of Man – the most northerly point on the island. Red and white because there’s nothing directly behind it, so the contrasting colours make is more visible during the day, much like the Cape Agulhas lighthouse, which also has very little directly behind it.

Do we still need lighthouses? Well, the people who look after our lighthouses think so, otherwise there would be no value in spending a lot of money refurbishing them. The (probably not ever so impartial) Lighthouse-News.com warns that an over-reliance on electronic aids and a poor visual lookout can still result in disaster – even in the 21st Century, although the line:

Actually, the presence or absence of the lighthouse made no difference in this case.

probably detracts from his case somewhat.

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Do I Wanna Know? cover

In response to this from fellow Sheffield expat @YesWeCrann:

Sheffield folk really are a special breed, mate. We’re so lucky to be from there.

I went looking for some Arctic Monkeys this morning. And I found this wonderful cover version by Chvrches:

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Beautifully understated. Lauren Mayberry’s innocent voice was made for this sort of song. The only bit missing was the colloquialism “summat”, which she replaces with the more disappointingly mainstream “something”.

Original here.

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Vodacom tablet repair no update update

It’s been a while since I updated you on how my tablet repair is getting on. And that’s because it had been a while since Vodacom updated me on how my tablet repair was getting on.

Just to jog your memory, it was dropped in (not literally) at their Anal Walk store on the 9th of April and I last heard from them on the 14th April, when I was told that it had arrived at the Advanced Repair Centre and then was being assessed at the Advanced Repair Centre.
I was ready to go into this post, all guns blazing, but weirdly, almost as soon as I began typing the V word in the title, my cellphone notified me that an SMS had arrived.

Guess who?

Job Number XXXXXXX is currently in the repair process.

This is good, because we are 8 working days into the 10-15 working days I was quoted for the return of my device. The only worrying bit about this is the fact that it doesn’t say where this repair process is taking place. Previously, they have been very careful to tell me that everything is happening at the Advanced Repair Centre. Their apparent reluctance to inform me of the location of this “repair process” is very worrying. I imagine my beloved tablet in some dark, grubby, back street repair centre in downtown Hillbrow, not an Advanced Repair Centre like it deserves.

Yes, obviously I’m concerned.

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“Like us on Facebook”

I found myself behind this vehicle earlier today.
For the record, the driver of van number 21 drives like he’s trying to secure some extra clientele.


Look, business is business, and the funeral business is a big business in SA. But it just seems somewhat inappropriate and actually rather pointless to ‘Like’ a funeral directors on Facebook, as they’re suggesting.

Still, 408 people have done exactly that, and consequently are getting some lovely images of Fern’s staff and services on their timelines. I particularly like the post including their happy happy joy joy secondary capital letter tagline “DEATH USUALLY STRIKES UNEXPECTEDLY”, which bewilderingly garnered 11 Likes.

But even that couldn’t match the bizarre 18 Likes which this promo photo(?) of two Fern hearses in the car park of a local hospital managed. What on earth were those 18 people thinking?
“Oh – look at those nice white vans going to pick up dead people in the rain in Wynberg. What a lovely sight. I’ll click the Like button for that.” or
“How nice of them to remind the patients that even if they don’t recover, there’s always the guarantee of peace of mind. Like!”

I have no doubt that Fern Funerals provide a professional and caring service to those who require it. But for me, their Facebook presence is just weird.

UPDATE: It gets worse. Check this photo (one of many) of an example of their graveside setup.
The gazebo – is that… Comic Sans? Sweet jesus…

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At the Car Wash

So much filth from the dirt roads of Cape Agulhas had adhered to my motor vehicle over the weekend, that I chose to stop off at the local car wash on my way to work this morning. This would normally be a fairly mundane experience, certainly not blogworthy (which is why I have never recorded previous visits on here) and so it proved until at least halfway through the actual washing process.

It was at this point (or at least sometime near it) that I became aware, while sitting within the vehicle, being scrubbed with a medium-soft brush (the vehicle, not me), that the scrubbing noise had temporarily ceased and had been replaced with a far shoutier noise, like shouting. The reason for this was that Mzwandile – the guy who up until ever so recently had been doing the scrubbing – was now no longer scrubbing and was instead shouting at his boss, who had seemingly entered the car wash area with the sole purpose of having an argument with Mzwandile. The boss, armed only with a loud voice and a pointy finger was arguing right back and things were getting heated. The brush was thrust forward by Mzwandile and palmed aside by the boss. The commotion had attracted a small audience, who watched in amusement as they went toe to toe in the dirty foam.

I just wanted my car washed. It was really, really dirty.
It’s a sandy, clayey soil, see? Dusty and sticky. The nightmare combination.

Annoyingly, the argument was going on behind me, and it felt a bit awkward turning around to watch. Fortunately, my offside wing mirror had already been washed and so I was able to observe in that way. Things were rapidly getting louder and angrier and shoutier. And while I didn’t want to step in between them – not least because there was a lot of water, foam and dirt around and I didn’t want to get wet, foamy or dirty – it seemed that someone would have to intervene before, as we say in our neck of the woods, “it all went off”.

“Leave ‘im, Mzwandile. ‘E ain’t werf it!”

said no-one in an Essex accent.

It was at this point that someone did intervene, in (with hindsight at least) the only way one would have thought possible. The local ADT guy came around the corner: five foot nothing of bulletproof jacket and oversize helmet, holding in his right hand, his gun and in his left (and here I shit thee not) a blue plastic kettle – with the lid open.

The gun did seem a bit of overkill, but if you’re heading into a potentially inflammatory situation, perhaps one where someone may be armed with a foamy brush, and you have a gun to hand (oh, and if it’s not dark in your bathroom), then by all means venture cautiously around the corner with your weapon drawn, I suppose. I’m sure that the ADT Training Manual dictates a safety first approach in this, the most violent of countries (even in a suburban car wash at eight o’clock on a sunny Tuesday morning).

The kettle, though. I’ve no idea.
Maybe he was planning on diffusing the situation with the offer of a nice cup of tea.

Either way, whether it was his cannon, his kettle or merely coincidence (and I’m 99% sure it was merely coincidence), the argument ended almost as abruptly as it had started, with the boss taking his pointy finger back out of the car wash and Mzwandile taking his brush and beginning again on the rear wheel arch, which had for so long been without his attention. Both verbal pugilists were shaking their heads as they parted, perhaps each at the attitude of the other, perhaps at the futility of vocal combat, but most probably at the fact that the local ADT representative brought a kettle to a word fight.

Around us, people went quickly back to whatever they should have been doing, possibly concerned that there would be some small charge levied for the entertainment. Mzwandile completed his job with no further interruptions, got a small tip for his troubles and I headed off to work with a shiny car, albeit one whose interior requires some serious attention from a vacuum cleaner at home this evening.

I’m fully planning to get my car dirty again as soon as possible. Not just because it is fun on the back roads and beaches of the Southern Cape, but so that I can enjoy more AmDram theatre at the car wash.

Next time, I hopes there’s music as well.

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