Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside


despite the somewhat patchy internet connection.
Lunch today is geelbek and chips at the Agulhas Fish Shop. Sassi wouldn’t be too impressed, but it tastes pretty good, so get it while you can (before it’s fished to extinction). Imagine telling your grandchildren:

Geelbek? Yes, I remember eating some of that – it was bloody lovely.

over a Werther’s Original or two. They’ll be so impressed.

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Quota Quote

Here’s something a bit different – a quota quote.

The heaviest armour afloat, when attacked by an 18″ gun, would not appear to be, metaphorically speaking, much better than cardboard.

Sir Robert A Hadfield, 1925

Hadfield was referring to these armour-piercing shells, made in Sheffield and used extensively to great effect during the First World War:

Hadfield‘s was the only firm in the UK to make 18 inch shells. Between 1916 and 1919 only 500 were produced.
The shell could penetrate up to 1.2m of steel plate – rendering it effectively useless as a defence and hence his likening heavy armour to cardboard.

This shell is held at Sheffield’s brilliant Kelham Island Industrial Museum. [photos]

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This weekend

It’s been a busy week in the lab and I am more than deserving of a decent break.

The decent break in question will feature braais, a log fire, some red wine and one (or more) evenings spent with some Uitkyk 10-year old potstill brandy. It will also thankfully be spent a couple of hundred kilometres from Koeberg Interchange, which has recently re-become the bane of my life.

For many years, the Koeberg Interchange has been the bane of many other people’s lives as well. But despite the contractor’s assurances that they will complete the work they are doing there 4 months ahead of schedule, it’s recently got a whole lot worse before it (hopefully) gets a whole lot better.

The photo above was taken 14 months ago and scaffolding is still the major feature of this most remarkable of road intersections.

More Koeberg related pics here.

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Brian on Art

Regular readers will know of my fondness for Brian Micklethwait’s blog and his narrative, no nonsense style of writing.

Today, Brian gave us a collage of Anthony Gormley’s exhibit(s?) in London during the summer of 2007. But it wasn’t the pictures that piqued my interest so much as Brian’s commentary:

For some damn fool artistic type reason that need not concern us unless we want it to, Gormley called these Men “Event Horizon”.  (Artists who make nice things but talk bollocks about them are a characteristic type of our time, I think.  I don’t blame them.  If they didn’t talk bollocks they’d never get their careers cranked up.  Anyway, it makes a change from a generation ago, when the things they made were almost entirely bollocks also.) The Gormley Men are all based on Gormley himself.

Critic Howard Halle (see here) out-Gormleyed Gormley by saying this:

“Using distance and attendant shifts of scale within the very fabric of the city, [Event Horizon] creates a metaphor for urban life and all the contradictory associations – alienation, ambition, anonymity, fame – it entails.”

Whatever.  In other words, you see in these metal Men whatever you want to see, much as you see whatever you want to see when confronting actual men.

I can’t agree with Brian that what artists produce these days is any better than what artists produced a generation ago. Lest we forget that during this year’s (at least partially) publicly-funded “Infecting The City” arts “festival” in Cape Town:

City “treasures”, including King Edward’s statue on the Grand Parade, were covered in clingwrap and trees on the station forecourt were draped in toilet paper.

Which, to me, almost entirely indicates that things in the art world really haven’t moved on at all in the last 30 years.

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Déjan View


Déjan Stankovic, 25 seconds into the UEFA Champignons League quarter final against Schalke 04:

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Had Martin Tyler even sat down?

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