I love Boris.

Boris Johnson is the incumbent mayor of London and he’s a polarising figure. I think he’s great, and I’m not alone in that – he was recently revealed as (easily) Britain’s most popular politician, albeit that the competition wasn’t up to much, consisting, as it did, exclusively of British politicians.

Boris is undoubtedly a star attraction in British politics and the Conservative Party will be pleased to have him onside in 2015. A Tory that can win in London is a rare thing and what makes Boris so attractive within the Party.

Some of the stuff he does and some of the soundbites he comes out with make me cringe, others make me wish that Cape Town’s mayor, Patricia de Lille, had a bit more personality and a bit more gees about her. But her attitude is more to toe the party line. Boris’ attitude is not to give a flying toss about the party line. He’s a law unto himself, but if you believe that there’s nothing behind the apparent buffoonery of his outward image, I think you’re mistaken. You don’t get where Boris is by being a buffoon. Acting one, perhaps – being one, no.

Here’s his latest offering, regarding the recent defections from the Conservatives to UKIP:

Speaking to Conservative Party members, he suggested UKIP should throw its weight behind the Tories in order to defeat Labour and secure an in/out referendum on Britain’s EU membership in next year’s general election.

He told the rally: “The EU commission wants to ban vacuum cleaners on the grounds that they are too powerful. If you do not handle your vacuum cleaner correctly, you may end up inhaling the hamster – the budgerigar through the bars of the cage.
And I have read that there are some people – probably the type who are thinking of defecting to UKIP – who present themselves at A&E with barely credible injuries sustained through vacuum cleaner abuse.”

Yes. He’s basically saying that his political opponents have intimate relations with electric cleaning equipment.

Next. Level. Stuff.

Spectacular. It’s weirdly similar to (a classier version of) Julius Malema’s immaturity (and without the charges of racketeering and 52 other allegations, including fraud). Whether it will work any better than the EFF’s very vocal, but wholly ineffective shouty parliamentary behaviour remains to be seen.

Either way, I love Boris.


P.S. Incidentally, for the record, I don’t think you get where Julius Malema is without being fairly clever, either.

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So much face

When your kids get stung be a bee, it’s wholly unpleasant for all concerned (not least the bee). But when your dog gets stung by a bee, the results can be totes hilar.
This is the face that I came home to this evening:

image(for comparison, here’s what an unstung Colin looks like)

Colin being a puppy and this being her first bee encounter, the vet suggested we bring her in for steroid and anti-histamine injections, so I wasn’t laughing quite so much on the other side of the bill for those, but still – look at it – JUST LOOK AT IT!!!!

Colin is confused by the huge size of her face, but has eaten a big dinner and seems otherwise ready get on with life as normal.

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Up high

We’ve all had the feeling when you wake up in the morning and find – with disappointment – that your palms aren’t at all sweaty. It’s annoying and potentially upsetting and, but what many people don’t realise is that it’s easily cured by looking at just a few urban climbing photos.

These young people know no fear (although, interestingly, you never see an urban climber past the age of about 21, do you?) and they do the hard yards (upwards) so that your palms can sweat from the comfort of your own laptop.

Right – checked your palms? Let’s go:


I don’t know if it’s because I have a rational brain, but I find that I can easily (and graphically) envisage what would happen if something were to go awry and this bloke was to slip from here. (And in this case, ‘here’ is the crane at the top of this). *dry heave*

But then, there’s some sort of nature thing at play here too, because even on the Boomslang yesterday, ‘only’ 12 metres high, I was worried about the kids. Not about me. Just them. And that’s got big railings up the sides of it. Not like some ledge on the side of a building 70-odd storeys up. Which begs the question, WHAT IN SWEET JESUS’ NAME IS THIS GUY THINKING??!?!?


I can’t even grip my mouse anymore. Bring tissues! (careful now)

If this hasn’t butterflied your tummy enough and got those palms weeping, then there are plenty more where those came from, and that place was here.

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We decided that it was time to get the kids out and about again after a whole week (and a bit) of sickness. They’ve been hit hard and we’ve been forced to keep them at home and relatively calm and still. This hasn’t gone down well with the two of them, because inside, calm and still are not things that they enjoy. Thus, they went a bit demob happy around Kirstenbosch this afternoon. No harm was done, but they may have over-exerted themselves a little; a fact indicated by the manner in which my 8 year old boy had to be carried into bed this evening.


Kirstenbosch is great whenever, but it’s especially colourful at this time of year: something I know my parents will be jealous to be missing. So this post is for them, although you too can see some flower (and alpaca, obviously) photos in this album here.

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Science Gun

I like the idea of a Science Gun.


We scientists like things to behave as they are expected to, because… well… that’s how they’re expected to behave. It’s simply unfair that we observe and document these organisms for hundreds of years and then one of them suddenly decides to break the mould, just trying to be clever. That’s what evolution is for, and that doesn’t happen overnight, Mr Emu.

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