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.

Coming up…

I always promise to tell you when I put sponsored posts on the blog. But often, part of the conditions of getting paid for putting a sponsored post on the blog is that you can’t tell people that it’s a sponsored post.

Of course, I won’t let this apply to stuff I’m asked to review: full disclosure for those, right there and then – always.

But sometimes there are posts where all the contributor wants to see is a link to their product or website in an otherwise uninspiring blurb, which you are sent and asked to publish for a phat phee.
There are going to be a few of those coming up over the next couple of weeks, so if you think that something looks a bit weird or out of place, don’t panic: it’s probably just one of those posts. Check down below the blurb, next to the date – I usually tag them under ‘black label fund’, because you must rest assured that if it’s made it onto 6000 miles… front page, I am at least getting some beer money from it.

Science doesn’t pay well. But no science doesn’t pay at all.

Thanks for understanding.

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.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

It does exactly what it says on the tin title.

There are some lovely images here, including (but not limited to) a rhino in a tutu*:

Outstanding. Go see.

 

* Rhino in a tutu, I know, I know: it’s serious.