Mixed bag

I refuse to succumb to the temptation to use the phrase “Good News / Bad News”. Let’s be positive here. There’s only Good News and Less Good News. The Good News is really rather good, and the Less Good News, while being less good, really isn’t that Bad. In addition, there’s a good deal of Good News, and much less Less Good News today.

Which is good.

Good News 1: It appears that The Boy Wonder has done really rather well in his end-of-year school exams.

Good News 2: His sister made it onto the high achievers list for the Western Cape for her Trinity Singing exam. Hashtag VoiceOfAnAngle.

Good News 3: I spent the morning wandering around Kirstenbeagle Gardens with my dad. Loads of chat, loads of birds, loads of plants. And some photos using my new ND filters, too. More of that later.

Less Good News 1: I bought cheap shaving foam and it makes my face smell like a recently cleaned shopping mall restroom.

See? Not Bad at all!

Busy day, busy week

This time of year is always a little crazy. The end of the school year, prizegivings, concerts, visitors, shopping, general chaos.

It seems that 2018 will be no different. I was literally knee deep in the garden this afternoon, trying to redo the lights out there. Three blown fuses, two exploded floodlights and one electric shock later, I worked out where I had gone horribly wrong, righted it and all is now well.

I think.

Now all I need is some darkness to properly test them. And to plunge the rest of the household into if things haven’t gone quite right.

Yesterday’s post was received rather better than I expected. In fact, I only had one shocked comment about the general tone and language that was used. And that was Mrs 6000. She should know better.

As instructed, I re-read what I had written and I stand by it.
Go big or go home.
But if you do go home, make sure you have a torch at the ready.

I don’t know about bees

I did tell you that there might be more today.

I was wandering around the garden with my daughter last night after a particularly energetic dodgeball practice session with both kids. Her shouts of excitement at seeing a “hover bee” alerted me to grab the camera and try to grab a few shots.

This task was made slightly more difficult by the fact that the camera was set up for vlogging and had a microphone and tripod attached, the Boy Wonder attempting to (re?)start his Youtube career.

This isn’t my SD card. Its volume is too small.

Still, I got something reasonable, considering how small and mobile the subject was:

…and then then came the dreadful moment when I was asked what sort of bee it was.

I don’t know about bees.

Thankfully, distraction – in the form of the beagle trying to dig up the herb garden – allowed me to temporarily evade the question, but the query will return and unless I do something about it, I’ll be stumped again.

Fortunately, the internet does know about bees.

And having chatted to the internet, it seems that this is a male carpenter bee (Xylocopa caffra). Apparently, “worldwide, there are about 500 species of carpenter bees representing 31 subgenera”. But I’m not sure how this “diverse, widely distributed group of solitary bees” has survived, given that this one flew around wasting copious amounts of energy, but notably, comprehensively failed to actually land on the flower in shot and eat anything.

Lion around

OK, we might be in Africa, but (generally) lions don’t roam the city streets. If I said that they did, I’d be… Well, I’d not be telling the truth.

Once again, I’m blogging from the stands at the local indoor trampoline park, but after a crappy week of feeling crappy, I’d rather be chilling in front of the football. This guy, from our Shamwari trip last April, has got the right idea.

But parental duties call.

The trampoline park is pretty much empty – most kids being in the middle of exams at the moment. The boy has worked hard this weekend, and is letting off some steam.

The DJ is taking advantage of the large, near-empty arena to injure those who have turned up with a Cuban/Carribean mix pumped out at 130dB. I’m no expert, but I think that Sean Paul may be “in da house (baby girl)”. (OK, I’m cheating: he’s told us he’s “in da house (baby girl)” several times already.)

It’s basically an offensive aural assault and I wish I was lion at home.


After the excitement of life earlier in the week, I have been brought back down to earth by a virus, which has been passed around my daughter’s class at school before taking residence – via her – with me.

A spot of enforced bedrest, then.

Nothing too hectic. Just a raging sore throat, a few aches and pains, and a muddled and befuddled mind: the usual symptoms of a mild viral infection.

Fortunately, all I have planned for today is bathing my son in the back garden and taking the beagle for a haircut before the school exams kick in next week. So we’ll be fine.