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I flew over some vineyards this morning, while out running with the Western Cape Beagles. I’ve been wanting to fly over a vineyard for a while, and I’m sure that it would be a very different view in summer, but it’s not summer right now.

There’s something quite hypnotic about the rows of vines when viewed from 120m up. Like magnified corduroy. I’ve set the image above as the background on my phone: it really makes the app icons pop. If you want to too (use it as a background, not pop), just click on the image to get to the download page. Help yourself. You’re welcome.

Other photos from the morning here.
And a video (quick and dirty, no editing) of the last run of the morning.

Licenced to k… drive

I went to renew my driver’s licence today. It’s something you have to do every 5 years in South Africa, so that they can extract just a little more cash from your already hard-pressed wallet.

There’s a rather inefficient system in place to get the all important card. Firstly, you have to stand in a queue to get a DL1 form. It would be nice if you could get this online and fill it in in advance, but you can’t. So there.

Once you’ve completed DL1, you get to join queue two. That’s the eye test queue. Each eye test takes 4½ minutes, on average, so it’s not a quick queue. Still, you had nothing better to do with your Saturday morning than stand in another line, right? Right.

Only once you’ve passed your eye test with flying colours can you move on to the third queue. That’s the payment queue.

You’d think that simply handing over R140 would be a fairly speedy, uncomplicated task, but they seem to take quite a while considering the straightforward deal.

Open another payment window?

I think not.

And what do you get when you’ve paid? A piece of paper that you can hand back to them at a future date once they’ve printed your licence.

Of course, when that time comes, you will have to stand in a queue to pick it up.

Yep. If there’s something that the system to renew your driver’s licence in South Africa is trying to tell the general public, it’s definitely Four Queue.

Back down to earth

Even as I begin this blog post, I have no idea what it will be about. How exciting is that?
“What a rebel! What a firebrand! How does he do it?” I hear the audience marvel.

I do know what it won’t be about though: flight. It suddenly struck me that my last three posts had all involved flight, and that I was inadvertently drifting higher and higher: 120m with my Mavic, 40,000ft on that Dreamliner and then about 408km for the International Space Station. This wasn’t at all intentional, it just happened that way.

Anyway, it could be that this post actually ends up being about not knowing what it is going to be about. I’ve been sidetracked so many times since I began writing it (picking fantasy football side, answering emails, doing lab work), that I’m now running out of time to complete it before I have other places to be.

Quota photo?

Quota photo.

How about another one of those Brittany lighthouses?

This one is La Vieille – the Old Lady – off the Pointe du Raz, and forms part of a chain of lighthouses guiding ships safely around the end of Brittany:

There you go. Not a wing, rocket or rotor blade in sight.