Quota photo time

When all else fails and one needs to fulfill one’s obligations to one’s readers – namely a post a day in February – one must turn to the quota photo.
I’m going back to late 2005  and early 2006 for these, either of which I would happily (and concietedly) submit to postcard manufacturers and both of which are available with added generosity in the height and width departments by clicking their descriptions. 


Picture Postcard Day in Franschhoek


Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak Drive

The reason for this lack of wordage is not laziness – it’s sheer bloody exhaustion.
Last night, child-wise, sleep-wise, was… bad. Further detail would only bring back horrid memories and tears to my eyes. I now find myself desperately playing catch up.
So, with that – and at 8:24pm – goodnight…

Of penguins and picnics…

I haven’t been on teh interwebs much today, but I would imagine that absolutely no-one in the blogosphere has mentioned the fact that it’s Valentines Day at all. And so once again, the responsibility of informing the world about these things falls on my shoulders. But it’s fine. I can manage. Honest.

I had almost forgotten that the big day was coming up, but was fortuitously forewarned by a sudden and otherwise bewildering increase in the price of cut flowers. So I popped out and adopted a couple of penguins on a buy one get one free offer at SANCCOB (offer valid until end of February 2009), cos penguins is romantic: especially when kept at a suitable distance. They tend to get a bit smelly otherwise, mainly due to their ichthyophagous habits. So it’s handy to stay a whole credit card transaction away from the actual birds, cute, clumsy and cuddlable though they may appear.

During the afternoon, we packed the kids, the pram, a picnic and the camera into the back of the car and popped just around the corner to Kirstenbosch. It may appear to the more attentive reader that we go to Kirstenbosch most weekends. And indeed, that does seem to be the case just lately. But there can be few more romantic places than Cape Town’s beautiful and almost completely penguin-free Botanical Gardens. Although initially, it seemed that we had the place to ourselves, walking on deeper into the somewhat repetitive fynbos after we had eaten, we found a myriad of courting couples.
Fortunately, Kirstenbosch is pretty open plan, so there was no danger of coming across any naughtiness, but we sent the boy, happily and loudly singing about microwaves, ahead anyway, just to kill the mood should the mood be there. Safety first, dear reader.

       
A Valentine’s Day Selection…

And that was it – almost. Heart-shaped chocolate brownies and tea in front of Coupling on DVD and then a quick upload onto Flickr (actually, this is via the South African telecommunications system and someone needs to get the ADSL hamster to run faster in his little wheel up in Bloemfontein or wherever he’s kept so I’ll have to finish the Flickr stuff off tomorrow, ok?) and then I’ll wend my weary way up to bed, hoping and praying that the little one doesn’t start moaning about her erupting incisors again tonight.

I wonder… do penguins have teeth…?

A reminder of the time

A tenuous churchy theme running through today, I note.

From the letters page of the Southern Suburbs Tatler, the local freebie that they continue to insist on delivering, despite my many threats of violence. Perhaps I’m threatening the wrong people.
The subject being discussed is the rights and wrongs of church bells being rung early in the morning in a residential area. I didn’t see the original story, but this correspondence leapt out at me.

I read with some concern that the church bells were causing annoyance.
I was so thrilled to hear the beautiful clarion calls and bells at Christmas, and also hoped they would continue.

It is lovely to hear the bells at 5:45am, at six in the morning and the evening and at noon – nice to have a reminder of the time.

Joan Wurr, Claremont

Yes, at 5:45am, Joan likes to have a reminder of the time. And not just for her, but for the thousands of others who live in the area, too. Heaven forbid (npi) that she and they should sleep through that most important of times: a quarter to six in the morning. Although, it’s nice to know that if you somehow manage to continue your slumbers undisturbed past 5:45, then the local clergy have instituted something akin to a snooze function 15 minutes later.

Joan – if it’s “nice to have a reminder of the time” how about buying a clock with an alarm function? They’re all the rage these days, you know?

For the record, I have nothing against church bells ringing at noon or six in the evening. Not even at a reasonable hour in the morning like 9 o’clock.
But no, there’s no such thing as a nice reminder of the time at quarter to six in the morning.
If people want to know when it’s 5:45am, then they should do what I did and have kids.

Extra marks to me for getting all the way through this post without using the word “ungodly”.

Good Old God!

I’m an atheist. A very happy one at that. You won’t sway me, so please don’t even try. Equally, I won’t try to tell you who or who not to worship. Other than me, obviously: but that’s a given, anyway.

What I don’t understand (and probably never will) is reactions such as those of “Bruinman” to the deaths of three children (since updated to five) in a horrific car accident near Pretoria.

It is always sad to read news like this, especially when there are children involved. My condolences to the family and friends of the children.
May the Lord be with you and give you strength in this time of bereavement. God Bless.

Look, I’m completely with him about the “sad news” bit. And, for what it’s worth, perhaps even the condolences bit, too. But then it goes horribly wrong, because I’d actually have liked the Lord to have been with the kids in the back of the car, looking after them and maybe preventing them from plunging 15 metres (45ft) off a road bridge and onto the freeway below; not turning up a day later with a bashful apology and a pat on the back for the grieving parents, like the murderer bringing flowers to the funeral.

Perhaps someone can explain to myself and my readers as to why the “loving”, “omnipresent” God wasn’t there to stop these five innocent kids dying in such a horrible way.
While you’re at it, help me out with the rape stats in South Africa (52,000 pa) – can “He” not  do something to sort that out at all?
Cholera in Zimbabwe? 80,000 infected, 3,500 dead. Why would “He” let that suffering occur? And while we’re there, why do “He” and his followers tolerate Robert Mugabe swearing himself in (again) on the Bible “in the sight of God”? Not the sort of message I’d want to be sending out, but “He” allowed it to happen (again) this week. 

I could go on and on, you know. I often do.

It’s unfathomable to me as to how Christians (and those of other religions) can so easily turn a blind eye or make excuses for those things which don’t fit conveniently into their religious demographic.
If you think you’re different and you can tell us how and why these things happen with such regularity and apparent impunity right under “His” beard, please leave a comment.  

Note well: The first person to use the phrase “God works in mysterious ways” will be banned. Immediately.

Amanda on 567 Cape Talk

Hello all!

Just a quick heads up that Amanda Power – who is walking the Great Wall of China later this year raising money and awareness for cancer charities in Cape Town – is being interviewed on local radio station 567 Cape Talk today at 1530 CAT (1330 GMT).

If you’re in Cape Town, 567 Cape Talk can be found on… er… 567 AM.
Alternatively – you can listen live using the link below.

Please tune in, tweet, blog and publicise this endeavour in any way you can. Thanks.

LISTEN LIVE to 567 Cape Talk: http://www.capetalk.co.za/onair/tunein/tunein.asp

Other China Challenge stuff on 6000 miles…