What a good idea

Sometimes a good idea comes along and doesn’t get anywhere because it doesn’t get the support it deserves or needs to take off. I would give you examples, but because they never got the support they deserved or needed, I’ve never heard of them. Usually, the only ideas that ever get anywhere are those that are going to make someone, somewhere, some money: cars, computers, drugs etc etc.

But the good idea I heard today isn’t going to make much money. Instead of Rands and cents, this one is all about the currency of goodwill. Which makes you feel all happy and warm inside, but won’t buy you beer. So not perfect, by any means, but still pretty good.

The idea is the brainchild of the improbably-named Dean Oelschig, a creative type from Jo’burg. But let’s not hold those facts against him, for he has come up with the idea of #worldcuphost. This is what is called a hashtag, which is a word or phrase, prefixed with a # that people can search for easily on Twitter.
And Dean’s idea is that willing people from South Africa advertise themselves on Twitter as #worldcuphosts so that visitors coming over from foreign parts can ask all those vexing, awkward or downright stupid questions about the country and how to “do stuff” here – and hopefully get a quick, helpful answer.
I am already predicting a plethora of beer-related queries, interspersed with several on transport, a couple on the weather and maybe even one or two on the football. But mainly beer.

And because the people on twitter are generally of a somewhat higher intelligence and educational standing than on other, less enjoyable social media platforms which involve feeding other people’s penguins on their imaginary farms, the answers those tourists will get will be honest, informative and helpful. Right?

So, go and advertise yourself as a #worldcuphost
Better still, retweet this post (use the little button below) so that people know what it’s all about, because obviously, the more people that are aware of this – on either side – the better it will work. 
Let’s do our bit to make this World Cup a even better experience for those visiting South Africa.

Hometown Prettiness

While we’re suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous thirties, the UK has had a horrible, horrible winter. Much of which has been beautifully documented by flickr user karl101.

These are two of my favourites, snowy foggy view and ferris with moon, but his whole photostream is well worth a (long) look.

Early morning…

I pulled back the bedroom curtain this morning to reveal a beautiful peachy cloud-topped Table Mountain, glorious blue skies and a moon handily placed so as to balance the left hand side of the vista.

It seemed rude not to share.

Must get those trees trimmed…
Bigger here.

After months of negativity

As I sit here by the braai, with a locally-brewed wife and beer by my side, I am filled with hope, positivity and optimism about the future here in SA. And, for once, it seems I’m not the only one.

After a wholly-unsolicited ‘I’m going out of my way to tell your viewers this’ quote “Let me tell you, South Africa is going to be ready and it’s going to be a great World Cup” from a Daily Express football writer (recently returned from these parts) on Sky Sports yesterday, Piers Edwards of the BBC has come out with a brilliant blog telling the world the other side of all the negative BS and hightlighting the double standards of the international press:

When I asked the Australian delegation if they had any security concerns, they almost laughed in my face. Thankfully, they politely grinned instead while explaining how their sports stars have been coming here for years without any problems.
Indeed, their cricketers came over for last year’s IPL and Champions Trophy and there was great irony in both tournaments’ relocation to South Africa after security concerns in their original host nations – India and Pakistan (and wasn’t it strange how South Africa’s crime issues were ignored when the IPL changed venue?).

And it is, of course, the media that drives and fuels the negativity.
Why?  I’m not sure. Perhaps they’ve just lost the ability to actually write anything positive anymore. Maybe no-one would believe it.

While English-led questions about Bafokeng dominated Fifa’s news conference on Tuesday, it was interesting that not one Brazilian journalist, and there were a few there, asked about the five-time champions’ hotel – whose completion date is as late as England’s. In fact, the endless focus on Bafokeng drove Fifa’s urbane General Secretary spare.
“If the question is ‘could we host the World Cup tomorrow?’, the answer is ‘no’,” Jerome Valcke snapped. “Soccer City isn’t ready [and] we have 700,000 tickets still to sell, but we will be ready.”

Valcke is right. SA is not ready to host the World Cup. But that’s actually just fine, because the World Cup doesn’t start until June 11th and right now, we’re still in February. If the World Cup were to start tomorrow, we’d have failed. But it doesn’t, so we haven’t.
And positive quotes from big names like Marcello Lippi:

“I’m expecting a great tournament, in fantastic stadiums, with perfect security,” says Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning coach, who was here for last year’s Confederations Cup. “I’m not expecting anything negative.”

and Germany coach Joachim Low:

“I see the happiness in the locals’ eyes and their sense of excitement,” he said. “They can’t wait for the World Cup and South Africa will do everything for this World Cup – that’s what I am feeling.”

being reported are a welcome change from the usual doom and gloom that has surrounded the build up to this tournament.

But even as I read the comments below the post (and they’re worth a read), there were those in there who are still stubbornly waiting and hoping that South Africa will fail, still spreading their misinformation (CAPADONNA is a good case in point – WTF is he talking about??) and striving to pollute the excitement and belief around the World Cup. Piers has a message for them:

After 80 years of the World Cup, Africa – whether some Europeans like it or not – deserves its chance to host the finals: and had you decided against coming here because of the horror stories (rather than financial restrictions), when the media changes its tune from negativity to fawning praise as the World Cup begins, where would you rather be? 

I know my answer…

Wedded bliss

We’re off to a wedding this afternoon. Attending weddings is becoming a more unusual pastime as most of our friends have already tied the knot already. In fact, I’ve had to have a scroll through Flickr to try and work out when the last one was.

It turns out that it was nearly two years ago at Morgansvlei near Tulbagh. The weather that day was superb and it looks like today’s events in Noordhoek will be equally sunny. It should be a great evening.

Incidentally, Mrs 6000 and I are not so far from our own 5 year anniversary. I mentioned this to a friend and he said that in that case, we were also not that far from the 7 year itch and we should watch out. I assured him that neither my wife nor I suffer from any chronic skin conditions and that he must be mistaken.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s nothing that a anti-histamine and a hefty dose of penicillin can’t sort out, right?