School’s Out For Summer. So sang the less-attractive-than-you-might-think female vocalist, Alice Cooper.

It’s been a long, long year, with highs and lows throughout, but (and staan terug because this is one of those proud dad posts) I’m a very proud dad today. Again.

Earlier in the week at the primary school prize-giving, our daughter got awards for her academic performance and overall effort. Add this to a Grade 2 singing exam triumph and a ‘best in the category’ Eisteddfod performance earlier in the year and she’s done really well.

And then today, the boy, fresh from representing the school at the Regional and International Science Fairs, came out with certificates for effort in Maths, improvement in History, Art and Design & Technology and excellence in ICT. He’s done brilliantly, especially after a little dip in term 2.

And just in the last few minutes, I’ve received a faultless end of year report for the girl and right now, I’m feeling pretty good about what we’ve raised here.

I’m looking forward to more academic (and other) successes next year, but first – finally – I think they’re both due a well-deserved holiday.


Same Sh*t, Different Saturday.

Stayed up too late watching footy. Maybe a brandy. Maybe two.

Wake late after remarkable dreams of Winston Churchill doing a speech before we all had to hide from an impending air raid. I have no idea either. Wander downstairs. Coffee. Check in with the neighbourhood whatsapp group on the break-ins last night. Four. Great. Breakfast. Paint the laundry. As you do. Just the bit behind the beer fridge and the washing machine. No-one sees it anyway. Revise maths and history with the boy. uMkhonto weSizwe. Lilliesleaf. The Rivonia Trial. Pythagoras. And the train that leaves Edinburgh for London at a certain time and a certain speed. You know the rest. No replacement bus service. Remarkable. Get stung by a bee. Bastard. Gym. Because when your 13 year old wants to do something not involving a screen, you jump at the opportunity. Miles and miles on the static bike. Not quite Edinburgh to London, but still. Heart rate up to 183. Another hour of lifting, stretching, sprinting, sweating, dying. Home now and legs a bit hurty if I’m completely honest. I’m usually always completely honest. Considering motivating for UberEats tonight. We deserve it.

Might stay up too late watching footy. Maybe a brandy. Maybe two.


I’ve been regularly hanging around my Flickr account for a little while recently, for reasons which will become clear real soon now. The downside of this is the massive lack of any sort of productivity, but there’s a upside as well: old photos.

Like this one.

That would be my daughter (in the pink), pulling a huge length of washed up kelp (brown, becoming black, straggly holdfast stage-right) across Suiderstrand beach. And thanks to the magic of EXIF (Exchangeable image file format), I can tell you to the nearest second when this photo was taken:

This would then be a week or so before Little Miss Pink’s 6th birthday, and I think we can all agree that that’s a lot of seaweed to be pulling around when you’re just five years old.

I can also see that this image was taken on the old PoS (point and shoot, people, be nice) Sony DSC-HX300 camera with its amazing 50x digital zoom (not used on this occasion) which according to this blog last from about September 2013 until September 2015. Lovely device, but I grew out of it rather quickly.

And it was still in use by my boy until I upgraded again earlier this year to my 80D and passed the 700D down the family line. Now it becomes one of those pieces of technology that isn’t worth selling, but that will be worth holding onto only for the sentimental value in a few decades time. Although looking at the recent hipster resurgence in SLR and film, maybe there’s actually more reason to pop it safely back into its box and into the attic.

Family time

While all the other schools go back tomorrow, our kids have one more “extra” day of September holiday (ok, technically, the extra day is October) before they go back to the rigours of Term 4 and the rush towards Christmas and summer holidays, so we’re going to do some fun stuff as a family tomorrow.

Obviously, I can’t tell you what the fun stuff is, because then there would be hordes of fans trying to get my autograph and such wherever we ended up going. Look, I have no problem with the meet and greet routine – I love my readers – but it does rather get in the way of family time.

I can tell you for a fact that the 10 weeks of Term 4 will disappear into thin air quicker than your poorly guarded cellphone at the local Spur. 2019 is nearly over, and what have any of us actually achieved?

I’ve done alright. Some photography work, some fitness work, a promotion to the Premiership (by proxy), a decent haircut this morning, and some family time tomorrow. It’s all good.

But you? Basically, you have 3 months to get your 2019 sh*t sorted out.


Best get to it, right?

There’s a beach out there

The sun is shining, there’s a beach out there, and even though it’s blowing an absolute gale here, I’m not going to be wasting time being indoors and sitting in front of a laptop today.

So please enjoy a shongololo – the Giant African Millipede – Archispirostreptus gigas – in defensive posture from that very beach yesterday. This one wasn’t so giant: maybe only 12cm tip to tail, but it did have a million legs.


Later, we will be trying to find more interesting things outside in the rapidly moving fresh air, so please watch my Instagram to join in with the fun.

But right now, I am going to remain indoors cooking up some bacon and eggs.