Thinned Quota Sunsets

No time, no time. And off to play football, so a quick pair of South African sunsets: one from the parkade at Cape Town International Airport and the other from the veld in the Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West Province, both thinned down for your delectation (and so my sidebar doesn’t go AWOL).

Same sun, same country; but a world apart, I’m sure you’ll agree.

tss1
South West [bigger]

tss2
North West [bigger]

Ideally, I would have lined them up so that the suns were directly in line. But I didn’t. And now I don’t have time. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. As long as you haven’t been looking directly at the sun.

The Joy of Rusk

Alex Comfort may have written the original love-making manual in The Joy of Sex back in 1972, but I doubt that he has ever brought as much pleasure to anyone as K-pu’s first rusk brought to her this afternoon.

For the record, we went with Bokomo Plain Sliced Rusks: small enough for tiny fingers, but big enough to satisfy, even though it only really got sucked to sogginess. And more alarmingly, having just checked the box, packed full of 9 different E-numbers. Although why they’re not A-numbers over here, I don’t know. 
Didn’t seem to bother the little one though; check these out (probably my cutest Flickr set to date).


And then I shall slurp this side

From here, it is surely only a small jump onto the important adult foods: pizza, curry and curry.

Morning has broken

Morning has indeed broken with Cape Town shrouded in smoke from veld fires in Somerset West:

Fires in Somerset West have flared up again after being briefly brought under control, fire services said. Helicopters were unable to assist in fighting the fires because of the smoke clouds, platoon commander Clive Smidt told News24 on Monday morning.

The fire department had to rely on fire trucks to get the fires under control, he added. About 30 fire trucks were on the scene and more would be dispatched later on Monday morning. Smidt said the fires had been under control, but flared up again because of the wind.

Fire-fighting helicopters unable to fight fires because of the smoke coming from the fires they’re supposed to be fighting? There’s a limitation there: anyone spot it? 

Meanwhile, I snapped a quick pic in the rather ethereal light this morning.


Smokey sunrise

Everything is weird shade of peach, the mountain is still partially obscured through the haze and my car is getting covered in ash. 

EDIT: Here’s the view from town this lunchtime. Somewhere in there is 1,086m of flat mountain. 


Shrouded

EDIT 2: More smokey sun pics at CapeTalk (HT: Darkwing)

EDIT 3: Argus: “arson is to blame

Of penguins and picnics…

I haven’t been on teh interwebs much today, but I would imagine that absolutely no-one in the blogosphere has mentioned the fact that it’s Valentines Day at all. And so once again, the responsibility of informing the world about these things falls on my shoulders. But it’s fine. I can manage. Honest.

I had almost forgotten that the big day was coming up, but was fortuitously forewarned by a sudden and otherwise bewildering increase in the price of cut flowers. So I popped out and adopted a couple of penguins on a buy one get one free offer at SANCCOB (offer valid until end of February 2009), cos penguins is romantic: especially when kept at a suitable distance. They tend to get a bit smelly otherwise, mainly due to their ichthyophagous habits. So it’s handy to stay a whole credit card transaction away from the actual birds, cute, clumsy and cuddlable though they may appear.

During the afternoon, we packed the kids, the pram, a picnic and the camera into the back of the car and popped just around the corner to Kirstenbosch. It may appear to the more attentive reader that we go to Kirstenbosch most weekends. And indeed, that does seem to be the case just lately. But there can be few more romantic places than Cape Town’s beautiful and almost completely penguin-free Botanical Gardens. Although initially, it seemed that we had the place to ourselves, walking on deeper into the somewhat repetitive fynbos after we had eaten, we found a myriad of courting couples.
Fortunately, Kirstenbosch is pretty open plan, so there was no danger of coming across any naughtiness, but we sent the boy, happily and loudly singing about microwaves, ahead anyway, just to kill the mood should the mood be there. Safety first, dear reader.

       
A Valentine’s Day Selection…

And that was it – almost. Heart-shaped chocolate brownies and tea in front of Coupling on DVD and then a quick upload onto Flickr (actually, this is via the South African telecommunications system and someone needs to get the ADSL hamster to run faster in his little wheel up in Bloemfontein or wherever he’s kept so I’ll have to finish the Flickr stuff off tomorrow, ok?) and then I’ll wend my weary way up to bed, hoping and praying that the little one doesn’t start moaning about her erupting incisors again tonight.

I wonder… do penguins have teeth…?

Actually not that bad

I’m pleased to announce that I have made a full recovery from yesterday’s very mild bout of homesickness, which was brought on by the snow back in the UK. A couple of beers overlooking a Table Bay sunset last night and a trip up the R27 during a top secret (and failed) lunchtime mission – on which I got lost and ended up watching pelicans on the Milnerton Lagoon – soon sorted me out.
It’s a wonderful bird, is the pelican, for its beak can hold more than its belly can. And if you’ve ever seen how big a pelican poo is (like a large bowlful of fishy white porridge), you’ll appreciate that they must have really, really big beaks.
I did used to get lost in the UK occasionally as well, but there were no pelicans to see.

The view from that Lagoon goes out to Po, the microbiologist with whom I seemingly swapped my life, five years ago. I know she hates photos of Table Mountain in the sun, especially when she’s not able to look at Table Mountain in the sun. And, seeing as she’s snowed {UPDATE: slushed} in in Oxford at the moment – that’s now.


Famous view

It’s a very pleasant 36°C out there today, which might seem like an oxymoron, but there’s a lovely breeze and no fires… yet. I’ll be braai’ing this evening and celebrating the difference between here and the UK by daring to try a cold beer or eight with the pelican I caught*.

Of course, there’s far more to South Africa than just the spectacular weather and wide variety of large-billed edible waterfowl, but I see no need to go any further right now.
It’s going to be a weekend of sitting by the pool or on the beach.
So, you see, it’s actually not that bad.

* he’s not the dinner guest – he’s the dinner.