First beer

Because of one thing or another (but mainly one thing), I haven’t had an alcoholic drink since February 14th.

How romantic.

I’m not in desperate need of the alcohol, but I have missed the taste of Castle Milk Stout.

This first one is going down like a homesick mole.

However have I managed without you?

The compliments keep on coming…

Incoming comment from “kevin”. It actually incame a few weeks ago, but I’ve been otherwise engaged.

It’s on this post from last October, in which I detailed the latest work on the iconic sculpture at the Southernmost Point of Africa. The sculpture is now finished, by the way, and it looks great.

Indeed, with lines like:

A few teaser progress images were released this week, and I think it looks fantastic.

and:

It’s very bold, very strong, very… Iconic.
A really cool and important addition to the area.

I thought that I’d been pretty positive about a piece of industrial-scale artwork that was still a couple of months away from being completed.

Not according to “kevin” though, who hit back just four months later with this stinging retort to my thoughts:

Insulting article for such an amazing icon of space and geography.

Before going all ad hominem and telling the world everything about me:

The author is obviously an under educated liberal art fart who knows nothing of geography, space, time, or history.

Broad strokes there, kev. That’s assuming quite a gap in my general knowledge from a few complimentary words about a building site, mate.

Let’s break it all down, shall we?

Do I consider myself “under educated”? Well, I’m of the opinion that one can (and should) always improve one’s knowledge, wherever possible. But I’ve learned a lot in my time – both formally and informally. I’ve got plenty of qualifications from various educational establishments, and I also know not to pee into the wind. And I think that’s both sectors pretty much covered. I therefore refute his poorly hyphenated claim.

Am I liberal? Well, I actually wasn’t sure and so I did a quiz online: it turns out that I am “53% liberal”. Which apparently makes me pretty balanced in my political outlook and therefore very capable of annoying everyone, but not really “a liberal” in the same way that I’m not really “a conservative”, either.

Like the English cricket team often finds itself, kevin is 0/3 at the moment, so might he redeem himself with his next assertion? Could I be I an “art fart”?
I had to go to Urban Dictionary dot com to find out what kevin meant by this one:

Absolutely none of this very specific definition accurately describes me. I have no idea what he was thinking.

And as for my knowing “nothing of geography, space, time, or history”, I mean, where do I even begin? How can you not have knowledge of time? Does kevin mean I’m often late for things? I’m not. I’m very punctual. But anyway, how would he know? Or is he perhaps suggesting that I don’t know how long a minute is? It’s 60 seconds, kevin. It’s not rocket surgery, dude.
I don’t fully understand what it is that he’s trying to say here.
Also, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

Next up, I’m actually quite into my geography. I know it’s only really bordering on science, but I like to know about the world around me. My dad was/is a geographer, and so I think I’ve picked up a lot of his knowledge over the years (yes, I know what a year is, thank you). Also, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

History. Right, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture, but fair enough: I’m not a huge fan of history. You’ve got me banged to rights and no mistake, guv. Although, of course,  not being a fan is rather different from having knowledge about it. I mean, I can tell you when the Magna Carta was signed and by whom, and I know the date of the Battle of Blood River. Does one need to have a good working knowledge of history to look at a building site and try to gauge whether what is being built will be “a good thing” once it’s completed? I don’t think it helps much, no,

Space. I love space. It’s actually one of the reasons that I love going to to Cape Agulhas. Cape Town is so very crowded. It’s nice to have more three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction around you. But I’m really not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture, because it’s sometime nice to share a piece of artwork with other people.

Or maybe he means specifically the stars and planets and astronomy and that? In which case I really have no idea what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

Mmm. Bit harsh. Bit nasty. Wholly incorrect.

For someone who said my use of the word “Iconic” was “insulting”, pretty ironic capitalisation of “ICON” there, kev,

I think what I’m taking away from this comment is that kevin is a bit of an arse I need to be clearer in my appreciation when documenting things on the blog. More unrestrained, more gushing, more obvious; because clearly using adjectives like “bold”, “strong”, “iconic”, “fantastic” and “important” just aren’t making my feelings transparent enough when it comes to artwork that is ±9 weeks away from being finished.

Of course, maybe it’s not just clarity around my positivity that’s lacking, and I’d like to address that immediately by telling kevin right here, right now, that I think his comment was utter crap and a complete waste of time, effort, electricity and pixels. It was attempted punditry at its absolute worst: a seemingly deliberate misreading of my documented thoughts followed a tacky attempt at a personal insult, thinly veiled in presumptive bullshit, pretentiousness and unnecessary idolisation of a hundred square metres of concrete.
He should be ashamed to put his name and email address (available upon demand) to those 107 words.

I like this sculpture a lot. Really, I do. As I wrote back on October 8th 2017, I even thought the building site looked great.

kevin though? kevin can voetsek.

No apology

I wish I was still on holiday. I’ve been back at work for 12 days already, but the vacation vibes don’t seem to be subsiding at all.

This weekend didn’t help. With well-publicised nonsense and criminality in the city and with the conversation revolving almost solely around the ever more likely appearance of Day Zero, the azure waters and sun-soaked beaches of Cape Agulhas seemed like a very good place to be. And to stay.

Sadly, of course, it can’t be. Our lives are here in Cape Town: home, work, school, dessicated garden. But I want to relive the morning I spent hovering 120m over the rocks and just watching my HD display.

And so I shall:

I’ll be honest, it’s not helping. And that’s mainly because when I look out of the window of the dull, grey laboratory, all I see is dull, grey skies.

Tomorrow evening I have to reset my alarm to basically the middle of the night so the kids can get to school on time.

The traffic will be back. Properly back.

And my front sausage has got a hole in its side – just from exposure to the sun and general wear and tear, I think.

So yeah, I make no apology for being a bit bleugh this morning and for attempting to live vicariously through this weekend’s aerial photographic revelries.

Right. Back to work.

[sound of faint sobbing continues]

Some more flight

Yesterday was an incredible day for flying the Mavic*. It’s now just about a year since I got this machine and the technology still blows me away every time I use it. I’ve flown over 140km in that time, in three different countries, desperately trying to improve my piloting and photography techniques each time I’m taken it up, and having a lot of fun along the way.

Here’s one from earlier:

What a day. What a place.

When I look back to the earliest photos I took, and remember how utterly terrifying those first flights were – very much like one’s first driving lessons – it’s almost amusing. I have much more confidence now (obviously) and measure my flight distances in km rather than 10s of metres. 🙂

Still room for improvement though. Always room for improvement!

Here are yesterday’s photos taken in and around beautiful Suiderstrand in Cape Agulhas.

 

* today may also be a good day, but I’m writing this yesterday, so I just don’t know yet.

How bad is the drought?

I meant to blog this when I saw it, but I needed to go to the beach and relax, so I didn’t get around to it. Still, no harm in sharing it now, because even looking back, I think it’s very telling as to the perilous state of our water supply.

We’re now well into fire season and when they are not fighting fires, our local agencies are working overtime on social media, keeping us informed and trying to stop people from starting fires in the first place. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

Here’s a post from the Overberg Fire Protection Association from the 31st December 2017.

Various reports of smoke have been received from 09:00 this morning. We can confirm that no #wildfires have been reported and area confirmed is safe. #Thanku for your vigilance, Overberg District Municipality Fire and Rescue and the #goFPA members that made sure our area is safe. The phone calls to assist with our efforts (mostly made by members from the beach!), the private plane that could give info and worried officials offering assistance!

All of which seems to be good news, but if no fire, then why the smoke? Because we all know that “there’s no smoke without fire“.

Here’s the image (by devfloat) that accompanied the post:

But that’s not smoke. That’s dust, but not just dust from anywhere:

#Overberg #Theewaterskloof area 31/12/17 11:30
No ongoing #wildfires, dust from the Theewaterskloof dam is the cause of concern.

Yes, people thought there was a fire in the area because there was dust blowing around from the local dam. The one that would usually be full of water and supplying it to Cape Town.
Not only is it not full of water and not supplying it to Cape Town, the dam is so dry that its surface is blowing around and making people think the valley is on fire.

I know that this is not “news”, but if anyone out there needs a sign that we are in a seriously dire situation, then this is surely it.

And yet only a third of us are following the city’s recommendations:

We are utterly buggered. And we only have ourselves the other 66% to blame.