No apology

I wish I was still on holiday. I’ve been back at work for 12 days already, but the vacation vibes don’t seem to be subsiding at all.

This weekend didn’t help. With well-publicised nonsense and criminality in the city and with the conversation revolving almost solely around the ever more likely appearance of Day Zero, the azure waters and sun-soaked beaches of Cape Agulhas seemed like a very good place to be. And to stay.

Sadly, of course, it can’t be. Our lives are here in Cape Town: home, work, school, dessicated garden. But I want to relive the morning I spent hovering 120m over the rocks and just watching my HD display.

And so I shall:

I’ll be honest, it’s not helping. And that’s mainly because when I look out of the window of the dull, grey laboratory, all I see is dull, grey skies.

Tomorrow evening I have to reset my alarm to basically the middle of the night so the kids can get to school on time.

The traffic will be back. Properly back.

And my front sausage has got a hole in its side – just from exposure to the sun and general wear and tear, I think.

So yeah, I make no apology for being a bit bleugh this morning and for attempting to live vicariously through this weekend’s aerial photographic revelries.

Right. Back to work.

[sound of faint sobbing continues]

Some more flight

Yesterday was an incredible day for flying the Mavic*. It’s now just about a year since I got this machine and the technology still blows me away every time I use it. I’ve flown over 140km in that time, in three different countries, desperately trying to improve my piloting and photography techniques each time I’m taken it up, and having a lot of fun along the way.

Here’s one from earlier:

What a day. What a place.

When I look back to the earliest photos I took, and remember how utterly terrifying those first flights were – very much like one’s first driving lessons – it’s almost amusing. I have much more confidence now (obviously) and measure my flight distances in km rather than 10s of metres. 🙂

Still room for improvement though. Always room for improvement!

Here are yesterday’s photos taken in and around beautiful Suiderstrand in Cape Agulhas.


* today may also be a good day, but I’m writing this yesterday, so I just don’t know yet.

The Favourite Restaurant Quandary

You know when you have a favourite place to eat out? It might be somewhere you treat yourself to once every few weeks or even months.
You might go there most every day.

Bihari in Newlands is my one of those. Sadly, I can’t afford the time, the financial outlay or the likely detrimental effect on my health and weight to eat there every day. But if I could, of course, I would.

We were there this week and the chicken jal frezi was better than ever. And I can say this with great confidence, because I never order anything else when I go there. I can’t, because then I would be missing out on the chicken jal frezi. And how could anything be better than the chicken jal frezi?

Well, I suppose it could, but I will never know, because I will never take that risk.

It seems somewhat sad to never try anything else there, but I never will. However, it’s the only place where I’m like this. Even at other restaurants where I have really enjoyed my meal, the next time I go back I will try something else. But not at Bihari.

Thursday night’s chicken jal frezi was sublime and did nothing to change my approach. In fact, if anything, it merely cemented the dish as my all-time go-to curry there. But even if it hadn’t been as good as usual, next time’s chicken jal frezi would have made everything better.

Take my advice. Go to Bihari. Have the chicken jal frezi.

Then do it again.

Just Seventeen

No, not the 1980s UK magazine for girls (other genders are available):

Nor the hugely dodgy naughty website that likely holds that name today (no, I haven’t looked, but you can kinda guess, right?).

No. Today in Cape Town, the ambient temperature is going to be some 17 degrees Celsius cooler than yesterday. In many places, this would cause huge problems. For example: if Sheffield’s weather today was 17 degrees colder than yesterday, it would be -12ºC there. That would – I’m willing to suggest – cause myriad problems. Quite reasonably too.

But Cape Town was unpleasantly warm yesterday. I counted 42 of Anders’ evil little buggers when I went out yesterday lunchtime.

So a forecast of 25ºC today in the Mother City is not only seventeen degrees fewer than yesterday, but it’s also most welcome.

Thank you, Great Deity of Thermostats.

Sewing doesn’t help

Yesterday was nice. Really nice. A couple of light showers and drizzle for most of the day. A miserable Sunday at any other time or in any other place, but we loved it. The garden was sighing with relief, the rainwater tanks were refilled, and we got at least another 1200 litres into the pool, whose situation had, in all honesty, been looking a little precarious.

It was like someone had pressed a reset button. Wonderful.

But this was small scale, of course. Yesterday won’t have made any meaningful difference to our water crisis. It just made my lawn feel a bit happier. We need real, heavy, prolonged, regular rain to sort out our water problems.

But yesterday was nice. Really nice.

While I’m on the subject of the water crisis (but then actually, when am I ever not?), let me remind you that sewing doesn’t help the situation. Not sewing as in stitching a couple of pieces of fabric together (although that won’t assist us either), but SEWing.

SEW stands for Someone Else’s Water, and SEWing is a new concept that I have noted recently and named, like the Stable Genius™ I can like to be.

Saving water has become, in some circles at least, intensely competitive.

Bring it on, I say.

If my triumphant, vaguely arrogant assertion at a braai that “We’re down to 50 litres a day” somehow spurs you into trying to reduce your daily water usage, then that’s great. Everyone benefits.
But your reduction must be a genuine one, made by saving water in your own home. It’s no use merely SEWing. That doesn’t help anyone.

SEWing is the act of ostensibly saving water, but merely doing so by diverting your actual usage onto someone else’s account. There appear to be many ways to SEW, all of which will lower your household water bill, but won’t help the overall water crisis situation in any way. Handing your washing over to a local laundry. Watering your garden using a hosepipe attached to next door’s tap while they’re away on holiday. Showering at the gym. Washing your car at a local car wash. Saving that big poo for work.

Spoiler alert: Just because that water doesn’t appear on your municipal bill doesn’t mean it isn’t getting used. It’s all coming from the same worryingly empty dams.

Your rates bill may look good, your car may look good, your garden may even look good if (in an entirely hypothetical situation) your neighbour asked you to keep an eye on their property while they went to Europe for Christmas [nervous cough], but it’s a hollow victory.

So if you’re a closet SEWer, you’ve been rumbled. I’m on to you and your despicable, duplicitous, deceitful actions. It’s time to think again. Because you’re not moving Day Zero out by dropping the kids off at the pool at the office.
And your colleagues hate you for it too.