We came back from Cape Agulhas a day early. The weather was not looking like it was going to improve, the traffic looked like it was going to be horrendous and it’s actually been good to have a little bit of time at home before I head back to the laboratory tomorrow.
In actual fact, we only really lost a few hours, given that we only left late yesterday evening.

It meant that we could still get out for 5km along the beach at Suiderstrand, grab a photo of a windswept Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea):

…and have a lunch with some truly terrible service in L’Agulhas before heading off.
And we were still home before sunset. Cape Town summers, ne?

Rather than sit inside and blog all afternoon, we went for a family picnic in Kirstenbosch. And now I’m off to build some of this with my boy. So this is all you’re getting for today.

See you tomorrow. Same time, same place, right?

Blogging advice

“Whatcha doin’?”

That was Scoop who wandered into the room and saw me at the computer.

When I explained that I was going to write a blog post, she asked what it was going to be about. I told her that I didn’t know (this is often the case when I start a blog post) (and sometimes when I finish one too) and asked for suggestions.

“Something about Christmas!” she replied, instantly.

Well, ok then. Her wish, my command and all that:

There’s Aalsmeer (just south of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam) (literally translated “Eel Lake”) Brandweer (it’s Dutch for “Fire Station”, in case you hadn’t guessed) and their interpretation of the best Christmas song ever (don’t @ me).

Lovely. The best part being that they didn’t aurally torture us for more than 62 seconds.

Tomorrow: possibly more offspring-suggested blog topicary. Or possibly not.

Viewz for dayz

Everyone is busy at this time of year. I am also busy.
Who am I to buck a trend like that?

We’ve just got the boy back from an exciting, fulfilling, but exhausting Scout Camp, and there are a million tales of derring do which need to be told. I’m ready to listen. We’ve missed him.

Quota photo time then. And another one from the DuToitskloof Pass on Monday:

That’s the Paarl Valley there in front of us, with the Paarl Mountain in front of us and beyond that – under a wisp of white cloud in the distance – Table Mountain, some 65km away. Looking out west was equally breathtaking (although decidedly less busy), but I haven’t edited any more photos, so you’ll just have to imagine what it was like.

(Spoiler: It was equally breathtaking, but decidedly less busy, like I told you.)


Big braai at our place today, so I’m writing this in advance. That’s not to say that I wasn’t going to share this amazing song anyway. As a follow up to We Were Beautiful it ticks every B&S box. The oboe box is particularly well ticked from the very first bar.

As a message of unfaltering, unconditional love it hits the mark completely. I see as a parent’s reassurance and commitment to a child, but it could be any caring, nurturing relationship I guess.

This is the teaser for the second of three EPs that Bella and Sebastian are releasing over the next few months.
It’s worked. My interests are piqued.


(with apologies to Alice Cooper)

And so just like that, it’s the end of the school year.

The Boy Wonder finished his time at Junior School with a great year, ending on a high note with really good results and an award for Academic Excellence in Science. And this year is a biggie, with him moving on to what passes for High School in his system. It was a good way to sign off.

I may have mentioned before that the SA and UK school systems are a complete mystery to me: The SA system because I was never part of it (and neither of my kids have been), and the UK system, because it’s fundamentally changed since I was in it. Equating the end of Year 6 with the end of my third year at Middle School seems about right, but then, I didn’t go to High School for another year after that (starting directly into the second year there) and my school year finished several months earlier (or… er… later, I guess) than the SA ones.
Even though my kids aren’t in the SA system, at least their school still respect the local seasons.

Our little girl – not so little anymore – also had a wonderful year and has really developed in character and confidence. She finished with the highest marks in her class. And yeah, I may be showing off a little about how well they’ve done here, but I am so very proud of what they’ve done this year. Also, I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and it’s only the third time this year that I’ve done something like this (see here and here for the others), and if you can’t share your good news and your kids’ achievements on your blog, then there’s something very wrong with the world.

A well-deserved break for all concerned now then. With no packed lunches to make and no school run, I awoke from uneasy slumbers (because of this) at a heady 7 o’clock this morning. Just another 6 days in the laboratory and then I’ll be joining them. This is the life.