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.

 

Just looking for photos?

Note to regular readers: Please scroll down to read 6000 miles…

Just here for photos of our newly-arrived daughter?
Of course, I’d much prefer it if you’d hang around a little and take in the sights and smells of 6000 miles…
Or even subscribe to the RSS feed and we’ll tell you about all the latest news.
Who knows – you might even like it here.

But if you were directed here by my wife or you are here with the sole intention of looking at photos of squeaking neonates, then you’ll find the appropriate flickr set here. (Last update: 18th August 2008).

UPDATE: The Mrs has been utilising her swanky mobile phone to upload pictures of the kids to her Sony Ericsson/Blogger photo blog. No words, no frills, just photos. Which is what it’s all about really, right?


Squeaker

Normal service is resumed below.
Thanks for visiting – and Bon Voyage!

To all new arrivals…

…welcome!

Big news from a stormy Cape Town is the arrival (at long last) of little Kristen Georgia.

Weighing in at 3.48kg (that’s 7lb 9½ozs for you old school people), she arrived in a flurry of pushing and deep breathing at 1415 CAT this afternoon. And her mum did some stuff as well.

Mother and baby both doing extraordinarily well. More photos to follow, but you might like to start here.

It’s cool to be a dad. But it’s pretty tiring too. I’ll tell you more when I get a spare moment. (I’m guessing that’ll be about 2013 and I don’t mean quarter past eight).   

K

Many thanks to all of you who have sent good wishes from all over the world by sms, phone or email. We will endeavour to respond personally to each of you once things have calmed down just a little.

What a day!

To be honest, when I went to bed yesterday evening, I wasn’t expecting to sleep through. It did appear that the wife was going to pop – possibly even in an extraterrestrial Sigourney Weaver style – and so I was mentally prepared for a midnight trip through to the hospital, perhaps repeating or even bettering my 145kph Hospital Bend run last time around.

But nothing happened and thus my plans for the day changed from playing OK and Huis Genoot off against each other for the exclusive alien birth pictures, to going to a 2nd birthday party and repairing the storm damage in the garden from last week.

The birthday party in question was Max & Scarlett’s (flickr set here) and was held at PoP at Canal Walk, which comes highly recommended by Alex. They also do great coffee and have an amazing jungle gym which *ahem* is er… quite fun for adults too. And that’s before we’ve even ventured outside onto the bike track, where some little boys were having a great time on the trikes.  

One pair is never enough   Too cool
The Ad Wizard* & Jonny Harvard

As ever, when taking Alex along to a kid’s birthday party, I didn’t get much time to socialise. The boy doesn’t sit still for a moment and I spent most of the time chasing him and (almost) keeping him out of mischief. But hey, it was a lot of fun and it’s all in a day’s work for a dad.

                    

After an early afternoon nap for the boy, we ventured out into the back garden to assess the large chunk of tree that had come down during the dreadful weather last week. Only a few minutes into the mission, I opted to put a log saw through my thumbnail and in an almost simultaneous, yet seemingly unconnected incident, Alex put a large clay flower pot through his chin.

Despite our respective agonies, we both turned to look at the waddling pregnant one, expecting that if there was going to be a moment, this would be it.
There was no moment.

Honestly – if there had been a moment, do you think I’d be here writing this?
I’ll keep you informed.  

* sporting how many pairs of shades?