About next week


It’s road trip time, and there’s a busy weekend between us and it, with birthday parties at opposite ends of the age scale. And those will be a lot of fun, not least because a lot of planning and organisation has gone into them, but there’s still loads to sort out before we head off out and about, around the Western Cape. A scary amount.

(And then don’t even mention the punishing 5 day trip up North the following week, which makes this road trip look like a quick visit to the local shops.)

But I’m looking forward to next week. I’m not taking a laptop, so expect
a) some pre-written posts, plus whatever else I get the chance to fit in.
b) the occasional unedited photo, and
c) plenty of instagramming.

I know for a fact that there will be a couple of days where I won’t have wifi or cell signal, but I can’t imagine that there will be a lot in many of the deliberately chosen, sparsely populated dorpies and nature reserves we’re planning to visit.

Night skies? Hopefully.
Freezing temperatures? Obviously.
Some proper family time? Surely, yes.

Bring it on.


Yesterday was a lovely family day out in the Cape Winelands, and one of the highlights for me was a visit to the Eagle Encounters Rehabilitation Centre at Spier. Lots of birds on display there (these are the 35% who can’t be returned to the wild for various reasons, who make the cash so that the centre can return the other 65% back to nature), including (but not limited to): secretarybirds, vultures, a million owls, several (or more) eagles, hawks of all shapes and sizes and this Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus):

…who was very happy to pose for me in the late afternoon sun.

I’m still in the process of uploading some of the several hundred pics I took throughout the day, but I’ll be sure to let you know when I have.


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.”


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.