Of course it matters

My nerves are shot. I’ve been put through the mill. Shaky. Emotionally drained.

But, you know what?

I think I’ll survive.

Derby

And thus, I find myself in Sheffield at the time of the Steel City Derby. This, in case you were unaware, is the name given to any football match between The Mighty Sheffield United and our porcine neighbours Sheffield Wednesday.
It’s been a while since the last one, because the teams have been in different divisions in the football league. However, with United’s promotion last time out, the derby is back on, and it’s big news. And yes, it’s great for the city, but I can’t help but feel that the media frenzy around this particular episode has gone a bit over the top. As media frenzy is wont to do.

Obviously – obviously – I want United to win. But as time has gone on, I have to admit that the results of these sort of big games have become less important to me. I’m old enough to have seen many Steel City Derbies. I’ve seen us win some, I’ve seen us lose some, and – and hold onto your seats here, folks – I’ve seen some draws as well. Incredible.

And yet – no matter the scoreline in these games – football, life, friendships (even with those from the other lot), and the constant threat of nuclear apocalypse all continue.

It’s not that it doesn’t matter. Of course it matters. It matters a lot and for those 90 minutes, there will be nothing else on my mind. (In fact, there is a part of my mind that is nagging away at me, suggesting that maybe it actually matters too much and that’s why I’m trying to convince myself that I’m not bothered.)

It’s just that when it’s over, there will still also be other things that matter. Whatever the result, I will still support Sheffield United. Other (weird, misguided) individuals will still support the other team. Workplace banter, which has peaked in the run-up to the game, will slowly decline again. Life will continue.

And then in January, we’ll do it all over again (but I’ll be back in Cape Town for that one).

Weather warnings noted

It has started. It started this weekend. Subtly.
It started on the way to the Beagle Run.

We’re heading to my homeland soon, and whenever we do that, there is mention of the prevailing meteorological conditions over there. There has to be. It’s the law.
During previous visits, we’ve had an occasional glimpse of blue skya lot of rain and even some snow. Oh, and then that fortnight where it never got above or below 3ºC and was just… very grey.
I didn’t bother with photos that time.

The weather in the UK isn’t as nice as it is in Cape Town. You know that. I know that. But Mrs 6000 still likes to remind me of the anguish her body – which is a Capetonian body – is inevitably going to have to suffer while we’re over there.

It started this weekend.
It started on the way to the Beagle Run.

At 7am on Sunday morning, somewhere near Klapmuts, she asked what the temperature was. It was 11ºC. A bright but chilly start to the South African day. I told her that it was 11ºC, despite the fact that she was driving and had the thermometer reading directly in front of her on the dashboard. Sometimes it’s just easier to play along. Because we both knew what was coming next.

And what’s the maximum temperature in Sheffield today?

She asked, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

“It’s going to be 13,” I replied, dutifully.

We both knew this, because just the previous evening, we had spotted the UK weather on Sky News, and had remarked on how it was going to be 13 in Sheffield the next day. So my answer was just for confirmation, and to allow for the mathematically simple, but utterly essential, next line.

So, just 2 degrees warmer than it is now, then?

“That’s right.”

Wow. Just two degrees warmer. And it’s only 7am here.

“Yes. Just two degrees warmer.”

And we were done. For the moment at least. The weather in Sheffield isn’t as nice as it is in Cape Town. But then, in its favour, Sheffield has water. Decent internet. Great football. Proper relish. And fewer beagles.

Don’t get me wrong. Cape Town is great too. I love Cape Town. Mountain, beaches, Milk Stout, braais, Cape Agulhas (not strictly Cape Town, but you get my drift, right?). Yes, Cape Town has lots of good things too.

It’s almost as if each city has some positives and some negatives.
Incredible.

Apparently, one of the negatives about Sheffield is the weather. But I grew up in Sheffield. The cold doesn’t really bother me.
Although, I’ll admit that I’m actually quite glad we’re not going this week:

Storm Aileen is expected to bring very strong winds with gusts of 50-60 mph on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning. The worst of the winds, with gusts to 65-75 mph are expected to be across North Wales and the North Midlands. Longer journey times by road, rail and air are likely, with restrictions on roads and bridges. There is also a chance of power cuts, and damage to trees and perhaps buildings.

Oh come on, Aileen.

Weather-wise, all I really need while we’re there is a couple of days of calm weather to fly the Mavic. Anything else half-decent will be a bonus.

And then we can come back home and thaw.

The Qantas A380 post

After an impromptu Twitter debate yesterday evening, I have found myself photoshopping this Qantas A380 into various images in any moments of spare time this morning.

It’s a long and actually rather uninteresting backstory, but I have discovered that adding a Qantas A380 to any photo not only makes that photo better, it’s also quite a cathartic process.

Additionally, I got a couple of helpful replies from the legend that is Jules Hudson – presenter of BBC’s Escape To The Country – and all round aircraft noise avoidance technique expert (residential).

Anyway, you can look forward to occasional images with the additional of the above aircraft on here. And then you’ll see what I mean.