Sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann’s Everyone’s Free To Wear Sunscreen was on the radio again this morning, and once again, I was left wondering if there is any other song which is just so very correct from start to finish.

What I didn’t know was that Luhrmann merely put the words of Chicago Tribute columnist Mary Schmich to music. She had written a hypothetical commencement speech for a graduation gathering that didn’t ever exist.

It’s a shame that was just hypothetical though, because it would likely have been the best commencement speech ever made. It’s very difficult to disagree with any of the advice given. Even if none of it would have ever have been taken.

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

Sit yourself down, watch and listen for 5 minutes. Imagine if you had followed all of that from 18 years old. How different would your life be?

Now imagine if you could make your kids listen and learn…
Pipe dreams.

Back soon

Or… “The Importance Of Downtime“…

It’s been a while (actually, far too long) since we were down in Cape Agulhas and it does seem that events are regularly conspiring to ensure that it’s going to be even longer before we can actually get down there again.

This school term has set all sorts of new records for the workload that has been placed on both our kids and ourselves. The optimist in me would like to suggest that next term won’t be quite as bad, but the logical realist in me just laughs when he hears that sort of thing.
“This is the new normal,” he says. “It only gets harder from here.”

Bastard.

The kids’ achievements over the last few weeks have been impressive though. Cub and Scout badges, great marks at school, that Eisteddfod performance, a first “official” 5km run – it all makes it worthwhile. But sickness and business trips, maternity leave (not ours), together with the usual slings and arrows have made for a tough few weeks.

I sometimes feel a bit guilty for taking time out to go to the gym or to play football, but without it, I (and with me, our family life) would be a nightmare. These “time outs” are important, even though sometimes while you’re on them, you feel you should be doing other things. We need to make sure everyone in the family gets the opportunity to grab an hour every now and again, and not feel guilty about it. The time thing is just that: forcing yourself to make time to just stop for a moment, and the attitude is just a mindset thing, but it’s sometimes difficult to overcome.

And now, as of this morning, suddenly even next weekend’s escape seems to be in some sort of jeopardy.

We have to make a plan.
We will make a plan.

Let me explain…

They say that there are always two sides to every story. Here are my two sides to this one.

Yes, there’s a post which I said I would do, and I will. I haven’t yet, agreed, but I will.
The fact is that some posts deserve more attention and effort than others. They need to be done right. That’s not to say that I will always get them right, but I will do my best. The post in question – I feel – is one of those ones. And I refuse to put it on the blog until I’m happy with it. Or in this case, until I’ve at least started it.

I don’t want to build it up so much that it’s a massive anti-climax when it arrives, but really, it’s coming. Really.

Today wasn’t the day for that, though. Today was the day for weird weather; for getting up at 5:30, taking one child somewhere, coming home, taking the other child somewhere else, taking some really crap photos of Table Mountain, coming home, buying antibiotics, coming home and then watching the Monaco Grand Prix with several (or more) bottles of Castle Milk Stout and then braai’ing some steaks to perfection.

And I’m completely unashamed to have taken that route. Although, to be honest, I’d have liked to have taken it a little bit later.

A well-deserved early night is just around the corner, and I can hardly wait.

More tomorrow.

A bath

I worked damn hard at the Scout Hall Work Party this afternoon. I’ll be honest, it was pretty much all work and no party, so I’m not sure who came up with the name, but still. The mood was good and the place looks spick and span once again. Well done, all.

I came home exhausted, having waved my big chopper around for three hours. All I wanted this evening was a beer, a burger and a bath. And (in my mind, at least), I fully deserved all three.

The beer will come from the beer fridge, its temperature set slightly below the norm for general refrigeration purposes. Nice and icy. The burger will be provided by Tiger’s Milk via UberEats. Bacon will be involved.

That just leaves the bath. We’re not meant to bath in Cape Town. We still don’t have a lot of water to play with. Or bath in. But I got our rates bill this morning, and we’re still using just 55 litres per person per day. We’ve earned a bath for dad; his first in over three years.

Guys… I’m in a bath.

Which is why this is being typed on a steamy screen, with wrinkled fingers. A candle as my only light source (thanks, Mrs 6000), and Ólafur Arnalds on the Bluetooth speaker. The acoustics in here are fantastic.

I can feel the tension easing from my muscles (still not going to be able to walk tomorrow though). This was a great idea.

And hey, if you came here was that post, don’t fret: it’s coming. Already ¾ written in my head. I think it’s a good one. Soon, ok?

Judge

It’s been a fun day at the kids’ school, where I was helping to judge science projects this morning.

I have great news: the future of the scientific world is in safe hands. Whether it is adopting a certain diet to aid concentration in examinations (chocolate seemed to work well), testing to see how batteries deal with thermal stress (limited ill effects despite being deep frozen), or finding out how best to kill plants with household chemicals (vinegar > bleach, apparently), they’ve got it all covered.

There was no shortage of novel ideas and a great deal of enthusiasm around how to practically apply the work that they had done – especially the chocolate one. And I was really very impressed by the confidence of the kids during their interviews: well prepared, good clear answers, excellent eye contact, willing to elaborate. These guys were only 12 years old. It bodes well.

Tomorrow, my daughter takes her project in for display, but obviously, I don’t get to judge that one. Still, since it didn’t involve any chocolate, I don’t feel that I’m missing out too much.