Genius Tourism Board

Regular readers know I love Cape Agulhas. It’s my happy place. I walk, I take photos, I fly my drone, I eat, I drink, I braai, I sit, I watch, I enjoy; I love it there. It even has its own category on here. And in my mind, it doesn’t need selling as a tourist destination. But of course, if does need selling as a tourist destination, because there are loads of other amazing places in South Africa, all vying for your visit by being sold as tourist destinations.

Generally, I have to say that the agency responsible for encouraging you to go down south – “Discover Cape Agulhas” – does a pretty good job. And while the drive through the rolling hills of the Southern Cape is usually very enjoyable, I’m really not sure what they were thinking by posting this quote over (arguably) their biggest draw card this morning:

Eish.

Let me set the record straight (if you haven’t worked it out from my first paragraph already):

Yes, the journey is great, especially if you travel well. But arriving is actually what it’s all about – we’ve been through this before. Don’t be put off by the thought of a decent journey being ruined by eventually getting to Cape Agulhas. Because when you get there, it really is very good – I promise.

Despite whatever the tourist agency are hinting at here.

Drone photography

I’ve done a bit of it over the last 6 months, since I got my Florence. And, in all honesty, I think some of it is actually quite good. But obviously I’m still learning. This guy has got it sorted though:

This is the Ludwigskirche in Munich, and it’s an amazing photo, but there’s something rather puzzling about this building: that unbelievably ornate roof – why?

No-one (save for drone pilots – and I’m sure that architect Friedrich von Gärtner who built it from 1829 and 1844 wasn’t really considering them) is ever going to see it.
And then I learned that although the mosaic roof had always been in the original plans for the building, it was only installed between 2007 and 2009. I’m yet to work out firstly why the original plans were never followed, and then secondly why they were finally sorted 165 years later.

Of course, should you lean that way, you’ll understand that there is one pair of eyes that will gaze down from above and enjoy the beauty of the roof:

Look what beauty they have created to please me. I am pleased.

…and will surely reward those responsible with a fat golden handshake, or at least everlasting life in heaven above (where they too can then see the roof in all its glory).

Thankfully, with the advent of drones, you don’t have to be really good for your entire life and then pop your clogs to be able to see this amazing mosaic.

Everything now!

Gosh. I’m very demanding, aren’t I?

But no, this is the new Arcade Fire song. So:
Gosh. They’re very demanding, aren’t they?

Included here, because:
a) It’s a catchy, fun, poppy song with some piano involvement, and
b) Part (most) of the video was shot just up the road in deepest, hottest South Africa.

It’s the title track from their forthcoming album, which is out next week.
I’m quite looking forward to it.

Other international bands with videos filmed in South Africa and which we have featured include:

Coldplay’s Paradise
Kasabian’s Fire
Snow Patrol’s The Planets Bend Between Us, and
Passenger’s Setting Suns

Quick list

It’s been a busy n hours since we were last in touch, dear reader.

A birthday, several pizzas, a walk in the park, some new (but actually rather old) brandy, a million bags of lawn dressing, a decent roast dinner,  two Star Wars films and absolutely no partridges in any pear trees.

It’s no wonder that I’m so knackered.

More tomorrow, once I have (hopefully) recovered.

Worth reading

This blog post fell onto my twitter yesterday, and it’s worth a read.

Public debate on highly contentious issues is now careering out of control. Tragedy is being hijacked by political agitators. Facts are being junked for ignorance, misrepresentation and misleading hearsay. A culture of hyperventilating emotion and licensed resentment means that those trying to articulate dispassionate judgment, justice and compassion are being vilified as unfeeling brutes.

It might seem – it might even be – harsh to speak out like this now, in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Fire and in the midst of the tremendously emotive Charlie Gard case, but there’s never going to be a easy time to bring this unpopular but necessary sort of viewpoint forward. The longer it’s left unspoken, the more accepted and acceptable it becomes. And it’s clearly already a problem.

These are faint cries in the wind. Reason, objectivity and disinterestedness are now being howled down by an angry and resentful mob. Emotion and ignorance now rule instead. Observe, and shudder.

There are some difficult truths spoken and some very good points made in this post.
Do go and read it.