Amanda’s China Challenge 2009

A friend who has had a tough last couple of years, fighting and winning her battle with breast cancer, is doing something positive to help others fight and win their battles with the condition. And now you can help her:

If you’re in Cape Town next week: please take time out to support the China Challenge Auction and Raffle evening in Noordhoek – see below.
If you’re a blogger – especially in South Africa: please publicise this post on your blog to get as many people as possible to support the evening and the cause.
Otherwise: Send cash! Hard currency goes a long way in South Africa right now. Rands are also accepted; Zim dollars possibly not, due to space constraints. Speak to your rich friends and email amanda@nanoson.com for banking details.

As you know we will be taking part in the China Challenge in April 2009, hiking along the Great Wall of China for 6 days. The aim of our hike is to raise awareness for girls like me (within South Africa) as well as raising donations for our chosen charity, St Luke’s Hospice, & medical research worldwide.

We have managed to secure some fabulous prizes, currently valued in excess of R90,000 – & that’s just to date!

Venue: Café Roux, Noordhoek Farm Village
Date & Time: Friday, 5th December 2008 at 19h00


RSVP: 
amanda@nanoson.com
by Tuesday, 2nd December 2008

Raffle tickets will be priced at R100/ticket and will be on sale during the course of the evening.

Richard & I will be providing snack platters; Café Roux offer a full & extensive cash bar.

If you are unable to attend the evening, but would still like to stand in line to win one of our fantastic prizes please contact Amanda via email. Raffle tickets can be secured for you.

We would like to say a very special thank you to all of you for being involved in making our China Challenge 2009 dream become a reality – I, along with many other girls affected by breast cancer, will truly benefit from this awareness campaign.

PLEASE EXTEND THIS INVITATION TO ANY FAMILY OR FRIENDS WHOM YOU FEEL MAY BE INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING THIS SPECIAL EVENING AND OUR FUNDRAISING CAUSE.

With love, 

Amanda & Richard

I’ve seen the list of auction items and raffle prizes. It is pretty spectacular. Weekend getaways in top class hotels, golf sticks, wine galore, food, watches, designer sunglasses, a night with the Ad Wizard* etc etc.

Yes, you can help, so do help. Thanks.

 * Not yet apparently, but I’m sure she’s working on it.

Not blameless

The flyers for last night’s Cape Argus newspaper were still clinging to the streetlight poles in an act of abject defiance against the gusty south-easter as I crawled my way in to work this morning, decrying (amongst other stuff) another accident involving a city cyclist and a motor vehicle.
Once again, in this rather unfair duel between 1500 kilograms of car and 150 kilograms of bloke on bike, the latter seems to have come off rather badly. No surprises there.
The Argus has had a bit of a bee in its bonnet (as newspapers are wont to do) regarding these sort of incidents, which – once again – is no surprise since it is the co-sponsor of South Africa’s largest cycling event each year. This also explains their hugely one-sided approach to the whole issue. Because, let’s face it – cyclists are a menace anywhere in the world, but they have taken it to a whole new dimension on the streets of the Mother City – and most especially on the roads of the Cape Peninsular. I hesitate to use the word “tossers”, but only because it would upset my mum. (Be warned, Goblin’s mum doesn’t read her blog.)

Don’t get me wrong: I recognise that the deaths or injuries of these people is terrible. But simply blaming the car drivers completely misses the point. Cyclists are anything but blameless. No licences, no registration, no lights, no insurance and – in the vast majority of cases – absolutely no regard for the rules of the road or other road users. 
I almost killed one in Kalk Bay the other day when he decided to go straight on from the left hand turn lane (I was using said lane for the evidently unprecedented purpose of turning left).
Whose fault was that? But who would have got the blame? Ooh – I wonder.

But the Argus is completely blinkered, even giving us some unconnected background information on injured cyclist, Steve Ryan and his wife, Lara:

The couple are from Johannesburg, and moved to Cape Town in April. Ryan has participated in several cycle tours in Johannesburg and completed five Comrades Marathons.

So what? In fact, I have found that those individuals who have attained such dizzying heights of athletic achievement are often the worst offenders. Perhaps they think of themselves as superhuman or invincible. Or just too “special” to bother with that red traffic light. 
Not, of course, that I am suggesting Mr Ryan was in any way to blame for the accident he was involved in. I’m sure he was riding safely, respecting other road users, obeying traffic signals etc etc like all good cyclists do.

I’m not advocating the widespread slaughter of anyone on a bike, tempting as that may be. All I’m asking is for due consideration to be given to the possibility that in the event of an accident, the individual previously on two wheels may actually be at fault once (or twice) in a while. Given the standard of many of the cyclists on the road, it’s not that hard to imagine.

Postcards from heaven

People keep coming on here and referring to this big storm which swept through the Western Cape last week and should really have ruined our holiday. To be honest, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that we kinda missed it, leaving us mildly bemused by all the talk of holiday wreckage.
Actually, Arniston was beautiful, sunny and lovely, as this Flickr set will surely testify. Oh sure, it rained and was a bit windy as we drove back to Cape Town, but it really didn’t seem anything too hectic. And it certainly wasn’t anything like the August storm.
So yes, we had a great break. Thanks for asking.

In fact, Friday dawned so beautifully that we felt an assault on the Lion’s Head would be “a good idea”. For those uninitiated in the ways of the Mother City, the Lion’s Head is the (only ever so) slightly smaller lump of rock on the right as you look at the big flat lump of rock.
There’s no cable car here – it’s a tough rocky scramble, scrambling up tough rocks, with your only reward the stunning 360° panoramic views across Table Mountain, Cape Town and the Atlantic Seaboard. It was a hot day and hard work, but at least there were no scorpions in our beds.
Although that was probably mainly due to the lack of beds rather than anything else.

    
More pictures on Flickr

Tomorrow, we head inland to Worcester and Goudini Spa, where we will relax, recover and rejuvenate in the more seasonable heatwave predicted towards the end of the week. Tough life, hey?

 

The most southerly blog post in Africa

There are nearly a billion people in Africa.
Maybe a hundred thousand of them write blogs. About 6 of those blogs are any good.
And lucky you – you’re reading one of them.
Might I suggest a quick dip on the lottery this evening? You are obviously on a roll.

Anyway – why all these exciting stats? Well, because of those billion people on mainland Africa, I am currently the furthest south, as I am writing this post from Cape Agulhas. Not from the village of L’Agulhas – the most southerly village in Africa. Nor from the Cape Agulhas lighthouse – the most southerly lighthouse in Africa. Not even from the little Cape Agulhas monument – the most southerly monument marking the most southerly point in Africa – in Africa. I’ve wandered onto the rocks behind there to bring you what must be the most southerly blog post in Africa. And it’s low tide. Believe me, this is going to be pretty tough for anyone to beat without some sort of major engineering project.

North of me, a billion impoverished individuals with a big desert at the top. South of me, ocean. Plenty of it.

Anyway – I’ve said my piece, I’m off for a(nother) beer.

Arniston – 6156 miles from civilisation…

…yet still with an interwebs connection, albeit GPRS.

So here we are then. 11:30 Sunday morning and I’ve only been up 6 hours already. That’s because our Southern Cape self-catering accommodation fits the usual bill of Southern Cape self-catering accommodation by having tissue paper curtains which only allow the light in as soon as it gets light. In addition, it further demonstrates the accepted stereotype by having the world’s slowest flowing hot water. Even a shallow bath for the kids took forever to run last night. I’ve just turned the tap on ready for this evening, as bathtime is only 7 hours or so away.

Other than those expected aberrations, the place is actually pretty ropey. But that can easily be overlooked – literally, in fact – when you have a view out of the window like this .


Here’s what we’re dealing with this morning

Wow. That beach looks lonely – my beer and I had better go keep it company.
More later, sports fans…