Bosch

A family fun day (actually, “The 2017 Family Winelands Experience”, according to the poster at the entrance) (ja, I know, right?) at Boschendal wine farm was the order of the day. Arranged by a blue bank, we were invited as Mrs 6000 is a business client of theirs. I was dreading it a bit. But needs must.

I shouldn’t have worried. The gentle 6km bike ride around the estate heralded the start of a really cool day. Wine, very good food, friendly people, some excellent entertainment and untold amounts of stuff to do for the kids. Also, wine.

And all set under (appropriately) blue skies.

Sadly, the day ended on a rather sour note when, just as we were leaving, I accidentally dropped my wallet and it bounced through the cellar door and my bank card landed in the machine there. Still, as I explained to my wife, it was very nice of the staff there to give me a bottle of 10 year old brandy to make up for my troubles.

Thoughtful souls.

Did it rain?

No. Not really.

We were all excited as numerous weatherpersons told us that a cold front was going to hit Cape Town yesterday evening. And they weren’t wrong, but as cold fronts go, it turned out to be a bit of a damp dry squib. Thirty minutes of intermittent drizzle later, we all gave up and went back to whatever we were doing before: watching TV, being irritated by the beagle or… er… praying for rain.

To add to our misery, there are no further cold fronts – ineffectual or otherwise – or rain in the forecast for at least the next 10 days.
Cape Town apparently has about 100 days water supply left – something that’s now even making international news.
That’s a bit scary for a city of over 4 million people.

Evening politics

We spent an evening with Denis Goldberg and Christo Brand yesterday.
Who they? Well, Goldberg was one of the guys sentenced in the Rivonia Trial in 1964 alongside Nelson Mandela and eight others, and Brand was the prison officer charged with looking after Mandela on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor Prison.

Their memories and stories of Apartheid from different sides were compelling, and it was strangely disturbing that Goldberg, as a commander in Umkhonto we Sizwe, would likely have considered Brand a legitimate target for assassination back in the day. But there was none of that last night.

Brand’s memories – while very interesting – were solely of his time Mandela (and if you’re not going to click through on the link above, then I should perhaps mention that they became good friends, despite their circumstances), with limited extra insight into “The Man”.

Thus, Goldberg was the star of the show, telling us of his childhood influences, his communist parents and the freedom fighters in Europe in World War II, of his inception into the MK, detailing the trial and his time in prison. He also accentuated the leadership qualities of Mandela, but reminded us that the ANC’s struggle against Apartheid was a joint effort and that Mandela’s greatest strength was recognising that many people had a part to play.
Despite being 83, he has an incredibly sharp mind and very dry sense of humour. His tales were factual, but obviously deeply personal too. It was a privilege to hear him speak.

When the opportunity for questions came, they were more on the politics of today than back then – he’d spoken of the past. He came down hard on Zuma and his lying and corruption, but reminded us how much the ANC and South Africa had achieved in the last 23 years, “although they could have done better”. He took the fact that the ANC – his ANC – might not get a majority in the 2019 elections as a triumph that the democracy that they had fought for was working. He warned the audience not to moan about the “polarisation and lack of dialogue” in recent global politics, but rather to become active and do something about it.

I wanted to ask lots. Questions about when or if he felt that terrorism was ever justifiable (especially given the events just a couple of hours earlier in London), about whether he felt that children should necessarily follow their parents’ political views (he did), after all, surely:

Thou shalt choose a political party based on their policies, as opposed to just going with who your family’s always supported; they are not a football team. [link]

Questions about whether he saw that the “collaborative leadership” he had described in Mandela’s ANC anywhere else in the world, and who – if anyone – he saw demonstrating good leadership in South Africa.
And then – given that he had declared himself “left of everyone in the room”, and given that we were all still tiptoeing around the eggshells of the thorny Israeli elephant in the room – maybe a slightly tongue in cheek question about what had gone wrong in Venezuela. Why would he continue to follow and promote a system that clearly has failed given every opportunity to succeed in its purest form?
I’m not quite sure how that would have gone down.

There simply wasn’t the time. Next time. Maybe.
But see here, the thing is, Goldberg is 83 and is one of just three of the Rivonia trialists still with us (Ahmed Kathrada (87) and Andrew Mlangeni (91) being the other two). There might not be a next time.

I learned a lot of things last night, but maybe that’s another important lesson to take home: act while you still can.

Lighter balls

Careful now.

I’m referring to these puppies.

Clean. Odourless. R3.50 per fire. And they will light and stay lit for (a rather exact) 17 minutes. They never fail.

Not a sponsored post. Just a really easy way to light your braai.

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Poor start

As I said, the plan was to be creative this long weekend, but it hasn’t started well. The fresh, open air of Agulhas is fantastic for flying the Mavic, but sadly, that fresh, open air is moving awfully fast right now (gusting to 60kph, nogal), and thus getting off the ground is a bit of a non-starter.

Equally, it’s even a bit breezy for long exposure photos. Not that the photons are getting blown around like the drone would be, but camera wobble is a problem. I was going to try somewhere a bit more sheltered last night, but the people renting the place next door decided that they needed to leave their outside light on all night because…  actually, I have no idea why. Anyway, those plans were also thwarted.

Flying is right off the menu. I might manage something on with the camera later, though. I’m not sure how right now, but I still have a few hours left to sort things out.

Watch (as ever) this space. It is, after all, the best space to watch.