Have I won?

After the misery of yesterday’s Wembley play-off defeat, I’m all ready to give up football for good.

Ja, right.

But I could do with some good footballing news to take away a little of yesterday’s hurt – and I may just have got it.

confed2009logo

Following a mysterious call to my cellphone a few days ago, I have now received an email telling me that I have won tickets to the Confederations Cup next month. Now, I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t like the “You’ve won the Nederlandse Staatsloterij” emails that you and I are always getting. (I have now secured over €1bn on the Dutch Lotto without having spent a single cent. It’s great value for money.)

No, this email appears to be from a competition that I actually entered and they don’t need $300 to let me have my prize. Also, the email originated in South Africa, the telephone numbers match up and there were no spelling or grammatical errors. If it is a phishing scam, it’s a damn good one. So good that I’m almost tempted to give them the information they need.

I’m still not completely convinced though, so watch this space. I refuse to get excited because I very rarely win stuff. My biggest haul ever was a month’s supply of breakfast cereal for winning a quiz on KFM. And I had to chat to Nic Marais to get that – I surely deserved more.

Maybe the reason I rarely win stuff is because I rarely enter competitions. Although, that means nothing, as my Nederlandse Staatsloterij success proves.

Red wine and web chat

I have just spent a very pleasant afternoon with Ian MacDonald of SA The Good News, two bottles of rather decent red wine* and our respective families. Which, with the toddler to adult ratio of 3:4, kept us fairly busy chasing around the house and garden. And slightly overdoing the steaks as a result. Sorry about that. How very emboeressing.

What amazed me is that, although Ian and I strongly agree on certain things – principally optimistic realism instead of pessimism when looking at South Africa –  we do so despite coming from very different backgrounds and, it turns out, fundamentally different political standpoints as well. Which obviously just proves that all you need is brains (and – perhaps coincidentally – good looks) and the ability to look at things reasonably and objectively, and while you may be approaching things from different angles, the conclusion is the same.
I can’t speak for Ian, but this sort of discovery gives me further belief that my theories and thought processes are valid and sensible.
And that red wine is just great.

I had a bit of a pop at SA The Good News back in June last year, which earned me a mild rebuke from Ian. Today, fuelled by red wine and an obvious passion for his work, he outlined his mission to me once again; that SAGN is there to balance the ridiculous and sensational negativity presented by news sites like iol.co.za and news24.com. As Ian pointed out, while SA The Good News does have an obvious bias because of its agenda, at least it clearly states it from the title onwards. Which is more than you get from those news sites. 

Another interesting thing about our conversation was discussing the trolls we get on our respective sites. Several names that he came out with have certainly popped onto 6000 miles… now and again and been offensive, racist or – more often – offensive and racist.  Which, once again, made me wonder how many of them there actually are out there. The thousands that they claim, or six of them with a RSS reader and no life?

All in all, it was a great way of spending a Sunday afternoon. And now, blogging, listening to Placebo, AFI and Apoptygma Berzerk and reading (amongst others) Brian Micklethwait, who just came out with this gem:

…a friend from foreign parts is in town and we are, we have just decided, meeting up for a drink.  And I hold drink with all the effortless facility of a kitten holding a packed suitcase on its back.

Which reminds me why, having been up since 4:30 this morning and having consumed my fair share of damn good grape juice, I must now head to my bed via the kettle.  

* Warwick Estate Cabernet Sauvignon(1998, nogal) & Groot Constantia Merlot (2004)

Steeling myself

That’s steeling, not stealing. As in mentally preparing myself, rather than illegally taking myself from my rightful owner. Who I would argue is probably me anyway. Others would certainly suggest that it’s actually my wife. But since I am steeling myself, and not stealing myself, all that discussion is immaterial anyway.  

What I am steeling myself for – as I’m sure many South African readers have already worked out – is the five day working week which is now (sadly) just over Sunday’s horizon. Thanks to Easter (some christian thing or other), Freedom Day (honouring the George Michael song) and Worker’s Day (honouring left-wingers worldwide), together with Julius Malema’s Jacob Zuma Day (bizarrely honouring Helen Zille) on the 22nd, our last full working week commenced on the 30th March. Getting ourselves back into the swing of actually doing stuff is going to be tough.

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M3 freeway pic

The first part of this preparedness was to start all the jobs which were meant to be done in March, but were put off until the holiday month of April. Never mind that we’re now into May already. Procrastination is…

Sorry, just a quick break there to change one of those nappies.
Parents all over the world recoil in horror: “Oh God! He doesn’t mean a…” …but yes, I do – a six-wiper.
For the uninitiated (you lucky sods), 6 baby wipes is the maximum number of wipes one can use when changing a nappy without it becoming a shower-job. A shower-job is thus named because, perhaps unsurprisingly, it necessitates the use of a shower (or hose, if outdoors) to clean the child when the nappy contents have… “escaped” from within the confines of the nappy. 
There is one step beyond a shower-job nappy change, but it requires professional help to aid recovery afterwards, usually in the form of psychotherapy, together with a good painting and decorating firm and a local carpet supplier. To the best of my knowledge, this nappy change scenario has never been officially named, because just to mention it would put people off having kids for life and thus end the human race pretty sharpish.

Anyway, I digress. Often.
Today, being that I now have just over 24 hours of public holiday weekend remaining, I took the recycling to be recycled and I actually went and bought a replacement outside light fitting from Builder’s Whorehouse. This replacement light fitting will now sit in the garage until June 16th (Youth Day) – our next public holiday – at which point I will probably look at it a bit, tut once or twice knowingly while shaking my head and then leave it until August 9th (Women’s Day) when I will ask the wife to sort it out.
I took the photo above while heading back up the M3, because there were all sorts of clouds in the sky, Cumulo cumulus, Nimulo nimbulus and Fluffulo fluffulus especially, together with some grey stuff and some blue stuff. It was just all busy and I like busy skies.

We’re off to Newlands to watch the Stormers losing to the Chiefs this evening, before a big day of more steelage tomorrow. And the small matter of the last games of the Championship season, with Sheffield United’s Premiership promotion dreams in the balance. But more of that in the morning if I get chance and assuming I have steeled myself adequately.

Images with words

Desperately tired. Quota photo time. Again. Apologies.

From here, via here (who also gave us this).


Images with words

The lower one being particularly apt as Mrs 6k and I are hitting the dizzy nightlife of… *ahem*… Kenilworth this evening to celebrate our years together. But I am not sat in traffic. Nor do I have a laptop or a portable inkjet. No such fancy technology, I’m afraid. And anyway, Cape Town drivers would surely just ignore any such message.

I do have car charger for my phone though. R25 at the lights in Somerset West.
Note to Mr Wonder Husband: Simple is usually better.

Barely Hanging On…

Seemed an apt title for this quota photo post, since sleep was at a premium last night thanks to our baby daughter.


Barely hanging on… 

Shame, the poor thing was really struggling with a snotty nose and (probably) the after effects of a vaccination she had last week. That’s not her, by the way. That’s a butterfly hanging onto my windscreen wiper on the way through Diep River earlier this week. K-pu has fewer wings. And she’s slightly larger. Also, she tends to travel in the car.
But anyway, unhappy was the word of the night. That, and awake. Thus, tired is the word of the day.

I used to be so sensible on my own
Now I’m so sensitive it’s a joke
I’m getting by on decibels like a drug
And greet every brand new day with a shrug
I’m barely hanging on

Pål Waaktaar

Snow Patrol are my drug of choice right now. Hands Open and Open Your Eyes. Keeping me going. Just.

However, when it all seems to be too much of a struggle, there’s always something to make it all worthwhile.
Like the fact that tomorrow is (another) public holiday in South Africa. Or even that today is our wedding anniversary. Which is nice, cos I love my Mrs 6000 very much.
And if that little butterfly could hang on all the way from Grassy Park to Bergvliet, then surely – whatever challenges your day holds – you can overcome them.
OK, so the butterfly actually turned out to be a bit dead on arrival, but theoretically, the principle still stands.