Sundaze

The good news is that we survived yesterday. And in actual fact, the whole thing was a huge success. A hot, sweaty, dusty success, but a success nevertheless.

The slightly worse news is that today is very nearly almost as warm. For the most part, I’ve been hiding inside next to a panting beagle, but parental duties called and thus I find myself writing this from a local trampoline park warehouse. This is essentially just a big metal box in the sun, full of people physically exerting themselves, and their air-con maintenance leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s basically just like a huge public sauna with neon rubber rugs and a hefty deep house soundtrack.

Kinky.

That comparison having been made, it should be noted that my favourite thing to do when I get out of a sauna is have a massive bottle of Milk Stout.

Or two.

And I see no reason to change things just because there’s not a copious amount of pine or a guy called Lars involved here.

Think of me.

Today is school fête day. It’s Founders Day and it’s the school’s 20th anniversary, so they’re quite rightly pushing the boat out a bit. I’m helping to run the Scone Stall. I’m happy to be part of the celebration.

A quick aside: Do you say scone or scone?
I know that a lot of people say scone, but I was brought up saying scone.

I think either way works. We’ll manage.

We have a million* scones (scones?) in our kitchen ready to go. I bought loads of squirty cream last night and the cashier nodded at me knowingly and winked as she wished me a pleasant evening. I guess that she’s probably a huge scone (scone?) fan too.

Scones (scones?) are an essential part of any school fête day.
It’s a tradition. It’ll be great.

There’s just one problem. This:

I’m going to be standing outside in this ridiculous heat. (But at least we’re not in Vredendal, hey?)
35°C is not conducive to scone (scone?) purchase and eating. But the soft drinks stall is going make a KILLING. (Not literally.)

And my squirty cream is going to go floppy.

Think of me. Please.

 

* only a slight exaggeration.

Dirty Dawg

It’s been hot. Cape Town has had one of those weeks where the temperatures stretch the boundaries of belief. The sort of weeks which we only get once or twice a year, in January or February.

Or October.

I took the beagle out for an early walk yesterday to avoid the worst of the ridiculous heat. Things didn’t go well. Long story short, the beagle ended up leg deep in the silt at the bottom end of the dirtiest pond in Wynberg Park.

Those of you who know Wynberg Park will recognise that the competition for the title of dirtiest pond in Wynberg Park is pretty stiff.
From the moment the water oozes out from the hillside beneath the freeway, it stagnates through several pools and ditches filled with the remnants of last weekend’s braai’ing revelries and copious amounts of goose shit, before seeping its way under a wall into the potentially even more murky surroundings of the local Convent school at the bottom of the park.

The beagle was trotting along slowly in the already warm sunshine, approaching a pair of Egyptian Geese and their six goslings. They weren’t hugely happy about this, but the beagle wasn’t after any trouble and was wholly uninterested in the geese and their fluffy kids. Squirrels: different matter, but these were definitely geese, and the beagle really couldn’t have cared less. In any case, our feathered friends were taking no chances and had hopped into the pond long before we’d even got close.

What happened next was rather odd. The beagle basically just walked to the edge of the pond, comprehensively failed to stop, and thus continued down a small bank and straight into the pond, where it immediately became entrapped in the stinking, claggy mud which lay just under the surface of the stinking, claggy water.

The beagle looked up at me, somewhat bemused.
The beagle was stuck.

I watched on in horror, realising who was going to have to rescue it.

The geese watched on in amusement, realising who was going to have to rescue it.

Fortunately, we have recently purchased a new harness for the beagle, which comes with a handy handle on the back. Owners of more lively dogs might perhaps use this to hold their canines back should they choose to attack someone or something, or rear up menacingly in the face of a perceived enemy or threat.

But we don’t have a more lively dog. We have a beagle and it’s currently stuck in some mud. The worst mud in the worst part of the worst pond in Wynberg Park.

Sooooo, lucky me knelt down amongst the goose poo and used the handle to lift the fortuitously-somewhat-less-rotund-than-it-used-to-be beagle out of the thickest, most adherent, most offensive-smelling mud in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.

[For the purists out there, yes: there was a clear PHLOPP! as the beagle became freed from its stinking prison.]

We continued on our walk, with the delicate stench of the pond following us through the leafy suburbs. Upon our arrival home, the beagle was unceremoniously bathed, reawakening the scent of Eau de merde d’Oie. And we still weren’t done. Once cleaned, the daft animal immediately rolled in a flower bed and had to be hosed off again.
My water bill is going to be a nightmare again this month thanks to the antics of this so-called family pet. And the worst bit is that there’s literally not even a hint of apology or repentance. Nada. Dololo.

So that’s it. The tale of how the beagle ended up waist deep in the most toxic substance this side of Woodstock.
I don’t think that there’s anything you can learn from this aside from reiterating what I’ve already repeatedly told you about the folly of owning a beagle.

I really – really – do hope that you are listening to me.

Wildlife

It was an amazing weekend. Wild and windy, but full of spring sunshine, and Cape Agulhas really showed off.

Sure, there was the whale, but that was dead and anyway, we’d already seen snakes and tortoises and the infamous Pengueagle (or Eaguin?) (more on that another time) before we saw her.

And then a walk on the beach this morning yielded Plovers, Kingfishers, a Curlew, some Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia):

…some very dramatic waves, photobombed by a Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus):

…and the highlight of my weekend, a Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capenensis), showing off his catch of (I think) a Carpenter (Argyrozona argyrozona):

We disturbed him as we walked along the beach, but he was as interested in us (and the beagle) as we were in him. He floated a few metres out in the bay with his fish in his mouth before transferring it to his (clawless) paws so he could give us a proper grin.

It was a reminder how lucky we are to have the cottage and how much our kids can learn from visits there. If we’d been in Cape Town this weekend, it would have been all iPads and crap on TV (although less windy, admittedly). Instead it was fresh air (albeit moving rather fast) and some amazing experiences. All in just over 24 hours.

More photos to follow, but I feel like catching up on the footy now.

Of whales

A quick trip around the corner (not this corner, another corner) from the cottage took us to Rasper Punt.

We were there, not just because it’s a nice walk through the fynbos to the beach, but because on that beach was a dead whale.
Dead whales might not be to everyone’s tastes (in fact, I’d advise you not to even think about eating one), but they are interesting when you’ve never seen a dead whale up close before. Sad, but educational.

And so we went to have a look, take some photos, poke it gingerly and slip all over the whale-oiled rocks.

I am not an expert in whaleology, but I think (think) this might be a Humpback. Probably 8-9 metres long, lying on its back, its body attacked by the seagulls and its skin sliced by some humans. And why not?
It’s not going to need it anymore, is it? See my link on “Stuff you can make from dead whales” (jks, I never wrote that post, but I know it’s a lot). Having stood on the rocks with the oil leaching from our floppy friend, my feet are so lovely and soft from all the grease on the stones.
I’ve never felt so young! Just wait til Tim Noakes hears about this.

It was blowing a literal gale while we were down there, so conditions weren’t great for togging stuff, but I got a few which I’ve put onto Flickr already.