Arniston – 6156 miles from civilisation…

…yet still with an interwebs connection, albeit GPRS.

So here we are then. 11:30 Sunday morning and I’ve only been up 6 hours already. That’s because our Southern Cape self-catering accommodation fits the usual bill of Southern Cape self-catering accommodation by having tissue paper curtains which only allow the light in as soon as it gets light. In addition, it further demonstrates the accepted stereotype by having the world’s slowest flowing hot water. Even a shallow bath for the kids took forever to run last night. I’ve just turned the tap on ready for this evening, as bathtime is only 7 hours or so away.

Other than those expected aberrations, the place is actually pretty ropey. But that can easily be overlooked – literally, in fact – when you have a view out of the window like this .


Here’s what we’re dealing with this morning

Wow. That beach looks lonely – my beer and I had better go keep it company.
More later, sports fans…

Where have you been?

Rumour and intrigue have been surrounding the recent paucity of posts on 6000 miles… There were pleas and rebukes on Facebook. There were personal emails filled with concern and bitter allegations. There was even a phone call, although to be fair, that turned out to be a wrong number. 
But while readers speculated wildly, none of them hit the nail on the head. I have mainly just been sleeping.


Mainly sleeping

The 6000 miles… Southern Cape Tour™ starts next week. Look out for live blogging from beyond the Overberg including (I hope) the southernmost blog posting in Africa from somewhere near a big stripy lighthouse.
Flickr should also be fairly busy, but maybe only once I get back, thanks to those pesky bandwidth regulations around Bredasdorp.

Ops and Balls

Sorry. I haven’t updated in quite a while. Life in Cape Town has been more than a little hectic and I haven’t always even been in Cape Town. In fact, last weekend, I wasn’t in Cape Town at all. We were off visiting friends outside Stanford, where the air is fresh, the fynbos is fyn and the beer flows all day long. Views were admired, dams were swum in and beer flowed all day long*. 7 adults, six kids (aged 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and 3 months). Chaos.
Photos or it didn’t happen? Your proof is here.

And this madness seems set to continue.
This weekend we’re off to a tonsil and then on Monday, my little boy is having his balls removed. 

Hmm. Sorry. Hang on a minute. That’s not quite right. 

Obviously, that should read:
“This weekend we’re off to a ball and then on Monday, my little boy is having his tonsils removed.” 
Short interlude while I phone the surgeon and check that we’ve got our ducks in a row…
OK. Sorted.

The ball is no less than the rather exclusive (although apparently they’re going to let me in) Fancourt Ball, hosted this year by Sabine Plattner and “Tannie” Evita Bezuidenhout. Black ties and big names aplenty.
We’ll be making our way out along the Southern Cape coast (although not as far as the sleepy village of Port Elizabeth) on Friday and then partying up a storm on Saturday evening before a return on Sunday.   

 
Say Aah! (Say Eww!)

And then – in an effort to stem the seemingly constant streams of snot from the seemingly continual respiratory and ear infections, as suffered by my little lad – surgery! Desperate times call for desperate measures and a full on tonsillectomy with free** adenoidectomy thrown in seems just about desperate enough. While the global markets may be crashing down around us, shares in private medical care and jelly and ice cream manufacture seem to be a safe option right now. At least for the next week, anyway.

Of course, all of the above assumes that I’m actually going to make it as far as this weekend, which may not necessarily be the case.  

In other news, the word on the street (actually, the word via sms), is that The Ad Wizard and Mrs Ad Wizard are expecting a Baby Ad Wizard. This is wonderful news for them, rather surprising news for those of us who know The Ad Wizard and possibly quite worrying news for the rest of the world. But congrats anyway, guys.

* I may already have mentioned that bit.
** “free” – ja right!

Blatter dancing for joy

FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s visit to South Africa to inspect preparations for the World Cup in 2010 appears to be a big success. Despite the unfounded concerns of a vocal minority, all ten stadia are on course to being ready in good time for the tournament. Addressing those sceptics, Blatter said:

They have to admit the stadia will be ready, people will be well received and so on.
What is needed, instead, is a little more enthusiasm in South Africa;
for the whole country to say … yes, let’s go, let’s do it.

It’s about time South Africa got some good publicity from the world’s press over 2010.
However, many of the reports I have read of the FIFA visit have been very keen to mention the political issues dominating our news at the moment and also the crime rate, which they are lining up as their big story of the tournament. I can already see the “FAN MUGGED!” or “TOURIST STABBED!” headlines being readied. Because that sort of thing only ever happens in South Africa. Never in London or Hamburg or Rio. Oh no.

blatt
“When I left the plane and arrived on African soil, I started dancing.”

In addition, much of the stadium construction work is ahead of schedule. Which is better than Athens 2004 or er… Wembley. Is that actually finished yet? I mean – really finished?

Work is ahead slightly ahead of schedule at Durban’s semifinal venue, and at the two stadiums in Johannesburg. FIFA general-secretary Jerome Valcke said that even Beijing’s “Bird Nest” Olympic stadium looked small compared to Soccer City. Even Cape Town’s 3.9 billion rand or $490 million stadium – the most controversial because it is in the middle of prime real estate – is on track.

Now the naysayers and the critics have had their naysaying and criticism, I wonder what they think will happen to the World Cup in 2010? Do they honestly still believe that it’s not coming to SA?
Or is this just now a case of sour grapes?

Live webcam feeds of Cape Town stadium site

The Perfect Storm?

It’s Spring Day tomorrow in South Africa. The unofficial start of the good weather that will last through until next July, allowing us to enjoy braais, beers by the pool and some dreadful home performances by the nation’s cricket team. But winter had one last throw of the dice and scored a lucky 7 with a particularly evil cold front which came through on Saturday afternoon. It was pretty nasty, as the SA Weather Service warned us:

Gale force westerly winds (35kt/65km/h) are expected in places over the Western Cape on Saturday. Strong-gale to storm strength winds (in excess of 80km/h) are expected along the Western Cape Coast. Very rough seas with destructive waves in excess of 7m, coinciding with spring high tides, are expected along the Western Cape coast. Heavy falls of rain are expected in places over the western parts of the Western Cape on Saturday. Very cold, wet and windy conditions are expected to set in over the western parts of the Western and Northern Cape Saturday evening. Snowfalls are expected over the western high ground of the Western Cape as well as the south-western high ground of the Northern Cape from Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

Lovely. Thanks for that.
I did pop out on Saturday afternoon, but after almost dying on a tree-lined stretch of road near our house when large chunks of the trees started lining the stretch of road around my car, I declined to go out again.
Until this morning, when a promise of decreasing wind, together with a hint of sunshine and a morbid curiosity to see what was left of Cape Town tempted us down to Mouille Point and Three Anchor Bay.

        

        
Stormy scenes at Mouille Point: see more at flickr (and videos too!)

The worrying thing was that these pictures were taken about 4 hours before high tide – and a spring tide at that. I’m due back in Sea Point on Tuesday and I will be very interested to see if it’s actually still there.

Want more pics? Click here.