Twenty-four little hours.
Brought the smoke and the fires.
Where there used to be green.
Before and after – The Devils Peak Fire
Houses in High Cape and Vredehoek (where I used to live) were evacuated at 1 o’clock this morning as high winds threatened drive the fire into residential areas. Spectacular iol pictures.
Today, it’s just a matter of damping down what’s left of the vegetation and putting out the fires in the kloofs on the Groote Schuur Estate. Just for an idea of scale, those three “little” fires you can see up at the top of the mountain have flames up to five storeys high according to the Cape Town Fire Department spokesman on the radio. S’big, then.
Well, the snot has caught up with me and brought with it a stinking headache and an unpleasant fever. Days like this mean staying in bed so as not to infect colleagues and staying in bed means daytime tv. And analysing it.
Sky News. What are they trying to do to the English language?
It was a while back that they began americanising the date. Suddenly “the seventeenth of March” became “seventeenth March”. Annoying.
Next was the singularisation of sports teams: “Sheffield United have won the FA Cup” is English (and a little unlikely). “Sheffield United has won the FA Cup” is not (English – it’s still unlikely).
And today, in their report on University fee changes, £3,145, which I and every other Engelsman would pronounce as “three thousand, one hundred and forty-five” has apparently suddenly become “three thousand, A hundred forty-five”.
Look, I’m not feeling well and I’m mildly more grumpy than usual. But why must they bastardise the language in these ways? Was there – is there – really anything so bad about the way we say things now?
And even if there was/is, who appointed Sky News as the ones to put things “right”?
I’m unimpressed and I’m switching over to Mythbusters where they speak funny, but there’s Kary Byron as compensation.
Written on my Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. In bed.
I’m so full of snot today that I feel it may be a case of home-bathkids-dinner-bed. Thus, noting that blogging is not included in that plan, just before I instigate part one, a quota photo.
It was two years ago to the day that we packed the car and the 10½ month old boy and headed down to Simonstown for the weekend, staying in a house with an implausibly steep driveway and a seemingly infinite number of steps up to the front door.
The weekend was spent (as I remember), poking penguins and playing football on the beach. And drinking:
Yes, it was empty*
The rest of the flickr set is here.
I have just noticed that my plan for the evening also fails to mention any red wine. It would surely be foolish to miss out on the immune-boosting benefits of vitamin C that come as a helpful by-product of fermented grapes. Especially the rather decent (and rather local) Steenberg Merlot.
I shall be sorting that out with dinner, never fear.
* once he’d finished with it, it was, anyway.
A quick comment on tonight’s Carte Blanche show, specifically the UCT/Sax Appeal/Blasphemy bit. (Probably not put together ever so coherently because I’m tired. Sorry.)
…nothing was said by Naidoo – or any other person of religious persuasion – to lessen the impression that free speech is all fine, unless you say something bad about my invisible friend, who – despite so much financial, spiritual and emotional support – is still surprisingly vulnerable to attack-by-cartoon. If only Satan had known…
Thus speaks Jacques Rousseau, who was interviewed for the report, arguing for the right of free speech. He describes himself “rather disappointed” with the report that aired and I can see why.
While I fully understand that you can’t condense every opinion into 8 minutes (or however long it was), you can at least provide a balanced viewpoint and allow both sides to equally have their say. That would surely provide the most fertile grounds for open debate – no matter that this seems to have come down to the rather empirical battle between christians and atheists.
However, Carte Blanche chose to play it safe, erring on the side of caution and not risk further offending those already offended christians. (Afrikaner puppy farmers are, however, evidently fair game.)
So hardly punchy, contraversial journalism, but the viewing figures are saved; although why has no-one asked why Derek Watts is allowed to work on the sabbath – something that must have surely enraged the fundamentalist christian groups they were actually trying to pacify.
Expect letters to the papers and Errol Naidoo calling for an MNet boycott.
More than just a quota picture, honest.
Considering I’ve never lived in London, I have always had a strange fascination with the London Underground. I’ve never lived in Budapest, Paris or Berlin either, but I have a strange fascination with their underground systems as well. Sheffield, Oxford and Cape Town don’t have underground systems (too hilly, too small and big flat lump of rock in way, respectively), but I was happy to flirt briefly with the Metro in Newcastle whilst studying there. It was fun for a while, but it was never going to last. I was so hurt when I discovered that she had been allowing other people to ride her during our time together.
Anyway, one of the best known things about the London Underground, aside from its innate ability to attract young muslim men with rucksacks, is the famous network map. First devised by Harry Beck in 1931, the evolved version is now a design classic and inspired Simon Patterson’s 1992 piece The Great Bear, which I don’t have a copy of.
What I do have is a copy of is the map above by Gerald Higgins, downloaded from here. And, thanks to my wonderful wife, it is now framed and sitting (vertically) on the wall right next to me.
Yes, this is the UK Motorway System documented in the style of Beck’s Underground map.
Revisiting Higgins’ site recently, I see that he now has another one (which has nothing to do with Beck or the Tube) to add to my collection: It’s Grim Up North – a map showing all the towns and cities mention in the KLF’s 1991 song of the same name.