That’s the way to do it

Incoming from Reflex (thanks!), probably relating to this:

Was just wondering if you were going to pick up on this BBC news story

Well, I would just like to make it absolutely and abundantly clear from the outset, that I am in no way condoning this foolish, irresponsible and annoying behaviour:

Police are investigating after carpet tacks were spread across roads bringing a major cycle race to a halt.

More than 3,500 people were taking part in the Etape Caledonia, over 81 miles around Pitlochry in Perthshire.
It is the only cycle event in Britain where all the roads travelled on are closed – which has angered some locals.
Tacks were strewn on a section of the race, bursting hundreds of tyres. Police said it was a reckless act and it was fortunate no-one was hurt.

I am appalled that something so disruptive should have happened to so many people in such a beautiful part of Scotland and I can only sympathise with those people who were so very inconvenienced. It is an absolute disgrace that this sort of thing should be allowed to happen and I really hope that it doesn’t occur again next year.

Just to clarify – I’m obviously referring to them shutting the roads for the cycle race, not for the nail strewage (which was obviously very naughty but extremely amusing). 
Perhaps I can advise the Police to start their search for the saboteur at the local DVD rental store by asking if anyone has been regularly borrowing the box set of Wacky Races…

Red wine and web chat

I have just spent a very pleasant afternoon with Ian MacDonald of SA The Good News, two bottles of rather decent red wine* and our respective families. Which, with the toddler to adult ratio of 3:4, kept us fairly busy chasing around the house and garden. And slightly overdoing the steaks as a result. Sorry about that. How very emboeressing.

What amazed me is that, although Ian and I strongly agree on certain things – principally optimistic realism instead of pessimism when looking at South Africa –  we do so despite coming from very different backgrounds and, it turns out, fundamentally different political standpoints as well. Which obviously just proves that all you need is brains (and – perhaps coincidentally – good looks) and the ability to look at things reasonably and objectively, and while you may be approaching things from different angles, the conclusion is the same.
I can’t speak for Ian, but this sort of discovery gives me further belief that my theories and thought processes are valid and sensible.
And that red wine is just great.

I had a bit of a pop at SA The Good News back in June last year, which earned me a mild rebuke from Ian. Today, fuelled by red wine and an obvious passion for his work, he outlined his mission to me once again; that SAGN is there to balance the ridiculous and sensational negativity presented by news sites like iol.co.za and news24.com. As Ian pointed out, while SA The Good News does have an obvious bias because of its agenda, at least it clearly states it from the title onwards. Which is more than you get from those news sites. 

Another interesting thing about our conversation was discussing the trolls we get on our respective sites. Several names that he came out with have certainly popped onto 6000 miles… now and again and been offensive, racist or – more often – offensive and racist.  Which, once again, made me wonder how many of them there actually are out there. The thousands that they claim, or six of them with a RSS reader and no life?

All in all, it was a great way of spending a Sunday afternoon. And now, blogging, listening to Placebo, AFI and Apoptygma Berzerk and reading (amongst others) Brian Micklethwait, who just came out with this gem:

…a friend from foreign parts is in town and we are, we have just decided, meeting up for a drink.  And I hold drink with all the effortless facility of a kitten holding a packed suitcase on its back.

Which reminds me why, having been up since 4:30 this morning and having consumed my fair share of damn good grape juice, I must now head to my bed via the kettle.  

* Warwick Estate Cabernet Sauvignon(1998, nogal) & Groot Constantia Merlot (2004)

Potential problem

Last night, we discovered a potential problem with our 10-month old daughter, K-pu.

She doesn’t like the rain or the wind at night. And so she was awake every time it rained or winded. Which, given the cold front that swept in off the South Atlantic through the early hours, was pretty frequently.
Not good. Especially since this was only the first big Cape storm of the winter. There will be more – many more.
And that will presumably mean many more sleepless nights unless we can do something to remedy the problem.

dsc_0331
K-pu – prefers the warm & dry

So what to do?
I had plenty of ideas: warmer sleeping bag, Klippies in her bedtime bottle, earmuffs (for her or for us).

But I think my wife came up with the best one so far: maybe we should let her come inside tonight.

The Planets Bend Between Us

Not literally, obviously. That would surely indicate personal possession of some sort of massive gravitational force by both you and I.
I find that idea almost laughable, since I gave up having an orbiting celestial body a long time ago.

Unless you know something I don’t?

No – remember just one month ago, when the grass was brown, the skies were blue and Snow Patrol (amongst others) came to entertain us in South Africa? Well, while they were here doing CokeZeroFest and opening the IPL at Newlands, they also filmed their new video for The Planets Bend Between Us.
Cape Town fundi’s will recognise Bo Kaap, the broken freeway and possibly other more generic Cape Town venues, all beautifully presented and then vandalised and/or torn up by a terrifyingly large pair of hands.

I happen to know that Snow Patrol’s lead singer Gary Lightbody does actually possess a massive gravitational force. That’s why every time he sticks his arms up in the air, the city rotates around him. Thankfully, he is a Rochdale FC fan and therefore doesn’t get to stick his arms up in the air very often. Gary also likes watching vintage episodes of Airwolf and eating grapes.
Thus ends my list of fake Gary Lightbody facts. If you have any of your own, please let me know by commenting below.

Or maybe you should just enjoy the video and the song.

Incoming

Cape Town’s first big storm of the year is due this weekend, described on surfers’ website Wavescape as follows:

A moerse storm smacks Cape Town this Saturday with the first of a double frontal burst – the first serious beast of the season… just look at the length of the wind below. Basically it’s a stab wound that bleeds from the ice-shelf right up to your tannie’s koeksusters cooling on her stoep at Stilbaai. It’s the ingrown toenail of a fierce oceanic convulsion, dug out with the scalpel of your childhood veruka, the deepest root canal of all your evils.

Mmmkay.

Here’s what Eumetsat shows:

strm1

Which doesn’t look that bad – yet. Further investigation shows that the pressure will dip as low as 940mb though, which is pretty scary, based on the fact that we’re currently sat at 1011mb and Hurricane Katrina was 920mb when it made landfall. (Although not in Cape Town, obviously.)  

I love this sort of weather, even though we’re going to see winds close on 100kph. I hope to get out and about with the camera, like I did last August, which was spectacular.

So assuming we make it through in one piece, what of next week? Wavescape has that covered:

The storm swell is expected to peak at a very steep, short frequency surge to 20 feet by Saturday evening and into Sunday before it boosts to 25 feet on Sunday afternoon, with Monday huge too, Tuesday cranking as the wind eases. The whole coast between Agulhas and the Wild Coast is absolutely off its face on Monday and Tuesday, and solid grinding South swell lasts along the southern Cape all week.

That’s like… totally gnarly, dude.