Short long weekend

We had a great long weekend. It had been too long since we were down in Cape Agulhas. And so, after a bit of a shaky start, we made the most of the Agulhas weather and welcome, and the only issue was that it had to end. I’m now back in the lab, knee-deep (no, not literally) in paperwork and I would much, much rather be back here:

The good news is that it’s not going to be another three months before we’re back there. But I think that the old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” fits completely here. We didn’t realise quite how much we had missed it until we got back there.

Even over the busy Easter weekend, the peace and quiet was wonderful. The kids stepped away from their technology and drew, did puzzles, carved sticks and made rope swings.

And us – we just chilled. Took photos, had naps, walked the beagle, sat on the beach.

It was a great long weekend. Just not long enough.

The compliments keep on coming…

Incoming comment from “kevin”. It actually incame a few weeks ago, but I’ve been otherwise engaged.

It’s on this post from last October, in which I detailed the latest work on the iconic sculpture at the Southernmost Point of Africa. The sculpture is now finished, by the way, and it looks great.

Indeed, with lines like:

A few teaser progress images were released this week, and I think it looks fantastic.

and:

It’s very bold, very strong, very… Iconic.
A really cool and important addition to the area.

I thought that I’d been pretty positive about a piece of industrial-scale artwork that was still a couple of months away from being completed.

Not according to “kevin” though, who hit back just four months later with this stinging retort to my thoughts:

Insulting article for such an amazing icon of space and geography.

Before going all ad hominem and telling the world everything about me:

The author is obviously an under educated liberal art fart who knows nothing of geography, space, time, or history.

Broad strokes there, kev. That’s assuming quite a gap in my general knowledge from a few complimentary words about a building site, mate.

Let’s break it all down, shall we?

Do I consider myself “under educated”? Well, I’m of the opinion that one can (and should) always improve one’s knowledge, wherever possible. But I’ve learned a lot in my time – both formally and informally. I’ve got plenty of qualifications from various educational establishments, and I also know not to pee into the wind. And I think that’s both sectors pretty much covered. I therefore refute his poorly hyphenated claim.

Am I liberal? Well, I actually wasn’t sure and so I did a quiz online: it turns out that I am “53% liberal”. Which apparently makes me pretty balanced in my political outlook and therefore very capable of annoying everyone, but not really “a liberal” in the same way that I’m not really “a conservative”, either.

Like the English cricket team often finds itself, kevin is 0/3 at the moment, so might he redeem himself with his next assertion? Could I be I an “art fart”?
I had to go to Urban Dictionary dot com to find out what kevin meant by this one:

Absolutely none of this very specific definition accurately describes me. I have no idea what he was thinking.

And as for my knowing “nothing of geography, space, time, or history”, I mean, where do I even begin? How can you not have knowledge of time? Does kevin mean I’m often late for things? I’m not. I’m very punctual. But anyway, how would he know? Or is he perhaps suggesting that I don’t know how long a minute is? It’s 60 seconds, kevin. It’s not rocket surgery, dude.
I don’t fully understand what it is that he’s trying to say here.
Also, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

Next up, I’m actually quite into my geography. I know it’s only really bordering on science, but I like to know about the world around me. My dad was/is a geographer, and so I think I’ve picked up a lot of his knowledge over the years (yes, I know what a year is, thank you). Also, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

History. Right, I’m not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture, but fair enough: I’m not a huge fan of history. You’ve got me banged to rights and no mistake, guv. Although, of course,  not being a fan is rather different from having knowledge about it. I mean, I can tell you when the Magna Carta was signed and by whom, and I know the date of the Battle of Blood River. Does one need to have a good working knowledge of history to look at a building site and try to gauge whether what is being built will be “a good thing” once it’s completed? I don’t think it helps much, no,

Space. I love space. It’s actually one of the reasons that I love going to to Cape Agulhas. Cape Town is so very crowded. It’s nice to have more three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction around you. But I’m really not sure what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture, because it’s sometime nice to share a piece of artwork with other people.

Or maybe he means specifically the stars and planets and astronomy and that? In which case I really have no idea what this has to do with liking or not liking a half-finished sculpture.

Mmm. Bit harsh. Bit nasty. Wholly incorrect.

For someone who said my use of the word “Iconic” was “insulting”, pretty ironic capitalisation of “ICON” there, kev,

I think what I’m taking away from this comment is that kevin is a bit of an arse I need to be clearer in my appreciation when documenting things on the blog. More unrestrained, more gushing, more obvious; because clearly using adjectives like “bold”, “strong”, “iconic”, “fantastic” and “important” just aren’t making my feelings transparent enough when it comes to artwork that is ±9 weeks away from being finished.

Of course, maybe it’s not just clarity around my positivity that’s lacking, and I’d like to address that immediately by telling kevin right here, right now, that I think his comment was utter crap and a complete waste of time, effort, electricity and pixels. It was attempted punditry at its absolute worst: a seemingly deliberate misreading of my documented thoughts followed a tacky attempt at a personal insult, thinly veiled in presumptive bullshit, pretentiousness and unnecessary idolisation of a hundred square metres of concrete.
He should be ashamed to put his name and email address (available upon demand) to those 107 words.

I like this sculpture a lot. Really, I do. As I wrote back on October 8th 2017, I even thought the building site looked great.

kevin though? kevin can voetsek.

Busy down here

Agulhas is busy. Really busy

I recently heard someone remark the other day that Cape Town seemed quieter than usual over the holiday period this year. I’d noticed that too.
Not here though.

We only arrived in Agulhas yesterday, but wow: it’s busy. Really busy.

Even the internet is overloaded and slow like if you were at a concert or a sports event, or just on Cell C.

I’m sure that I have mentioned on here sometime previously that it’s really difficult for businesses to cope with this once off seasonal demand.
Cape Agulhas is a wonderful place, but you have to want to come here. It’s not somewhere you reach accidentally. It’s not near a big airport or transport hub. It’s not on the road to anywhere else (in fact it’s a good 100km-plus off the road to anywhere else). It’s a trip you have to decide to make. And so the two weeks or so around Christmas is the only time this place sees any major action.

That’s just how I like it, of course: it’s why we spend so much time here. But it does make it very hard work for the tourism-related businesses here to make things work. Fifty weeks of the year, they are just trying to survive on the meagre scraps provided by a trickle of geographically-curious visitors; but then they are expected (and required) to upscale for the annual invasion of the Christmas fortnight. The campsites are full, the towns are buzzing, the queues are… noticeable.

And the local restaurants have invested and really stepped up to the challenge this year: the wine shop now has a wine bar and does picnics, the fish and chip shop – an institution – has built a posh extension and can seat many more people, the Twisted Fork has rebranded as the Crafty Pig (and I even saw customers in there), Seagulls has renovated its downstairs restaurant area, Pot Pouri is now huge and has a double-storey gift shop, and Zuidste Kaap has done absolutely nothing, because that’s just how they roll.
With the investment comes a degree of risk, of course: the fish and chip shop was packed today, but on a drizzly Tuesday next July – probably not so much. But I’m sure that the owners and manager of these businesses have taken all this into account when making their decisions. And I’m delighted to say that they were all happily making hay yesterday.

I need to go to bed now, to mentally prepare myself for the very real possibility that that there might be someone on my beach tomorrow.

I haven’t dared to warn the beagle. But then it wouldn’t understand anyway.

Slow down…

Greetings from the bedroom at the cottage.
No. I’m not sharing any photos or a live video feed. This isn’t that sort of website.
I’m just sheltering from the midday sun and the heat (and the wind) as we approach midsummer’s day here in the Deep South. Outside is bright yellow sand, stunning turquoise ocean and sharp green fynbos. It’s almost too much to take in. Even the beagle has given up and fallen asleep on the beanbag in the living room.

Still, earlier, time was spent perusing the rockpools on the local beach. There are plans afoot to go and see the new Icon at the Southernmost point “soon”. Later, there will be a braai, some beer and some brandy.
And then sundowners and maybe (maybe) a timelapse as evening falls.
It’s well-deserved downtime after a hectic year.

And yet you still get a daily blog post. That’s service, hey?

Oh, Josh

I mentioned this cairn/monument thing at Cape Agulhas just the other day. Not only is it die mees suidelike punt van die vasteland van Afrika, it’s also the official meeting point of the two oceans.

But which two oceans?

If only… if only there was some sort of clue in the picture.

Oh, Josh.