Fibrous

Yesterday, while I was out shooting kids (with a drone, guys! With a drone!) – it finally happened.

Openserve came to my house and installed fibre. Super speedy, glorious, long (long, long)-awaited fibre. I’m publishing this… via fibre.
I can do anything… via fibre.

It’s even been put in a special tubing to prevent the beagle from eating it.

Isn’t modern technology wonderful?

Mancala

Today, if weather permits (and actual genuine spoiler, it looks like it won’t), I’ll be helping with recording a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest number of people playing Mancala at any one time.

What is Mancala? I hear you ask. This is Mancala (not, as Wikipedia first warns us, to be confused with mandala or Lake Manzala):

Mancala is one of the oldest known games to be played. Mancala is a generic name for a family of 2-player turn-based strategy board games played with small stones, beans, or seeds and rows of holes or pits in the earth, a board or other playing surface. The objective is usually to capture all or some set of the opponent’s stones, beans, etc. Versions of the game have been played for at least hundreds of years around the world.

It’s part of the kids’ school’s 20th Anniversary celebrations and I think it’s a great way to remember a special birthday year.

The students have made and decorated their own Mancala boards and learned how to play the game – which is no bad thing in itself, as this article tells us:

Because there’s a lot more to playing these games than just… well… playing these games:

The African continent has a long history of gameplay that extends back to pre-slavery and precolonial times. Board games, in particular, have been used to teach, or reinforce, values as well as cognitive and motor skills.

The list of requirements for a Guinness World Record attempt is unsurprisingly rather long and arduous, but the team at the school responsible for this attempt have got it all in hand. For my part, I’ll be taking Florence the Mavic up to record the fun from on high. I may have to hide her behind some trees to get some protection from the wind.

Having been desperate for rain for most of this year, the inevitable Whatsapp group set up to keep us informed with the latest updates is ironically suddenly filled with prayers for dry weather for this morning. It’s not looking promising, but we’re going to give it a go anyway – the fourth term calendar is too full to easily accept a postponement.

Wish us luck – and maybe watch out for some of my aerial footage illustrating a new World Record  for South Africa in the 2020 GWR Book.

Suddenly… Spring?

Not quite. In fact, some well-read experts have suggested that special precautions be taken in view of the iffy forecast for today.

But yesterday was quite Spring-like.

The Boy Wonder had a photography assignment to do, so we went out looking for proteas. Is this one? It’s definitely a Leucospermum spp. I think, anyway. Rupert will doubtless let me know.

Cycling (yeah, I know) around the posher areas of Cape Town, we found several or more. Lots still to come at “that bush” on the corner of Glastonbury and Rhodes Drive, as well.

This one was just up the road from there. Planted outside a big house with a big wall. Probably out of place. Maybe not even a protea at all. But the colours and the intricate design caught our eyes and our lenses.

I’ll get some photos up on Flickr soon enough, but in the meantime, here’s one to brighten up a grey day.

Cape Town beagle warning

Today’s weather is utterly perfect in Cape Town, but local beagle owners are warned that the forecast for the rest of the week is much less peachy – and Monday in particular looks like being the antithesis of today’s glorious sunshine and calm conditions.

Thus, local beagles may present tomorrow with flappy ears, damp fur and muddy paws. It is recommended that beagles take a basket day and spend the daylight hours dozing somewhere safe and warm indoors and the nighttime hours… er… also dozing somewhere safe and warm indoors.

Goat owners are urged to take the usual precautions.

Good cycle service

Sadly, SA is not noted for its customer service. Or rather, it is, but not in a good way. That’s why when I have some good customer service, I like to tell people about it.

So said some witty, intelligent, handsome individual some time ago. And not much has changed in the intervening period, so let me tell you about what happened this morning.

I’m not really into cycling.

Actually, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’m not really into cyclists.

Or cycling.

But look, the kids have got bikes and it’s a good way to get them out and about into the fresh air and all that important healthy stuff. Especially down in Agulhas where they’re less likely to be run over.

My daughter’s bike was a recent Gumtree purchase. No point in spending a ridiculous amount of money on something she will not be using seriously or every day, and will likely grow out of in a couple of years.

When we went and checked it out, all that was wrong with it was the front derailleur wasn’t working. I didn’t think it would take too much to sort out, the guy knocked a couple of hundred Rands ($1.15, 86p) off for the inconvenience, we shook hands and the deal was done.

But all the usual mendy things that I tried, didn’t work. And so, with my trepidation, I cycled – on the pink and lilac kids’ bike – down to the local bike shop.

This place.

I think they could see that I wasn’t a serious cyclist by the way I arrived on a pink and lilac kids’ bike.  But they were very professional and wheeled me out the back into a very organised, very clean repair shop set up in a garage and Brian sorted me in no time at all. Seized cable, apparently. Which I could have got to in the end, but I would have spent so much time, effort and petrol in finding out what the problem was, how to fix it and getting the bits I needed to do the job, that… well… let’s just say that the R130 ($0.84, 47p) bill was worth every last cent. And I’m still R70 up.

Bingo.

And I felt so proud wheeling my – now completely functioning – pink and lilac kids’ bike all the way back home. All I was missing was the little glittery tassels on the ends of the handlebars.

Anyway. The long and short of it is that I heartily recommend Cycle Teknix in Kenilworth (021 761 0099) for their amazing, prompt and friendly service.

Fine work, fellows.