Call the ambulance(s)

“Forewarned is forearmed.”
“Be prepared.”
“Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared.”
“To be prepared is half the victory.”
And all that.

Hi, I’m here to help.
Let me explain.

New Year on Struisbaai beach is an experience. The combination of several thousand drunk Afrikaners playing with several hundred thousand Rands worth of amateur fireworks in the dark, with the Indian Ocean on one side and some flammable grassy dunes on the other makes for an exciting combination. If anyone bothered to do a risk assessment on this annual event, it would rank alongside swimming with hungry sharks, poking a puff adder or tickling a sleeping dragon for sheer stupidity

I love it and I can’t wait til this evening. Oh – and it’s all perfectly legal, too:


Die afvuur van vuurwerke/klappers op enige plek, datum of tyd is onwettig. Gemeenskap Polisie Forum, Buurtwag, Suid Afrikaanse Polisie Dienste en Kaap Agulhas Munisipaliteit Beskermingsdienste – het besluit dat vuurwerke vanjaar tydens ou-/nuwejaarsvieringe slegs tussen die Struisbaai Hawe en die Hoofstrand afgevuur mag word vanaf 20:00 op 31 Desember 2018 tot 02:00 op 1 Januarie 2019.

Boom – quite literally.

The only real variable in the heady mix described above is how much beach is available. The spacing out of holidaymakers and fireworks is key to the reduction in the level of danger on this one given night. And so I had a quick look at the tide tables for this year’s event.

It’s… it’s not looking good.

The last high tide for 2018 in Struisbaai is going to be at 23:58 this evening. This means that there will be very little beach available. But there will still be several thousand drunk Afrikaners playing with several hundred thousand Rands worth of amateur fireworks in the dark, with the Indian Ocean on one side and some flammable grassy dunes on the other.

Can I suggest the the powers that be organise several (or more) ambulances in advance of this evening’s festivities? And perhaps also that anyone going along takes an umbrella. A thick one that can stop falling fireworks.

Whatever your plans for this evening, have a safe one. Enjoy.

More Fireworks

But much gentler ones this time. No arguments over water. Or politics. Or (ironically) even fireworks.

First Aid Kit is a Swedish folk duo that consists of the sisters Klara (vocals/guitar) and Johanna Söderberg (vocals/keyboards/Autoharp/bass guitar).

Their new album Ruins is just out.

This is very nice, and slips into second place in my list of favourite songs called Fireworks just beind this one.

Born on the…

…4th July?

Not me. But America was, and they celebrated their 2017th birthday just yesterday.

Incidentally, the 5th July is Tynwald Day, so the Isle of Man is celebrating its birthday today. Who would have thought that two such great – yet completely different – nations would be born just one day apart?


The Manx are typically understated in their celebrations, but of course the Yanx are known for their excessive weight exuberance, and they have fireworks. Here’s a great timelapse of just how that looked last year over Los Angeles – which is basically their version of Port Erin:

Some trippy moments from 11 seconds onwards, but stick with it – you can afford the forty-nine seconds that it takes to get through. The aircraft heading in and out of the local airport only add to the effect, although the camera’s focus on them is rather LAX.

I’m so sorry.

Happy American Independence Day and/or Laa Tinvaal Mie – whichever one is more relevant to you.


Yes, I know about American Independence and the history of Tynwald. 

Remember, remember

It’s Guy Fawkes/Bonfire/Fireworks night tonight, and yes, for some reason this gets celebrated in South Africa too. No-one seems quite sure exactly why, but it’s probably something along the lines of people just liking an excuse to have a good time and enjoy some fireworks.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you do it in one of the 12 designated sites across Cape Town, and as long as you do it between the hours of 6pm and 11pm this evening. (Incidentally, these sites are also the only approved places for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Cape Town too.)

6322388040_53824e6d2a_bbigger and better on black here

Of course, there are several (or more) people who don’t like fireworks because they say it upsets their pet dog/cat/hamster/dassie, and while – as a beagle victim owner – I sympathise with these individuals to some degree, I would point out that the Gunpowder Plot took place back in 1605, and the celebrations of it (geographically understandable or not) began some years before you got your furkid pet. These are the sort of people who choose to move next door to a music venue that’s been going for 50 years and write to the council about the “excessive noise” 2 weeks later.

So no, I don’t agree with your calls, facebook posts and online petitions to ban fireworks, you fun sponging killjoys.

It’s one two nights a year. Get a life.

New Year

Having spent the first morning of 2016 on the beach and in the Indian Ocean at Struisbaai, attempting to avoid being completely roasted, here’s a photo from the same spot just 12 or so hours earlier:

Ironically, it seems like we’ve spent very little time there this holiday, but the motorboat post was from there too. You do the math. I obviously can’t.

I took a lot of photos of the fireworks last night. It was point and shoot really, because I looked up how to take photos of fireworks and then basically couldn’t be arsed to go through all the complicated steps when there was MCC to be drunk and good times to be enjoyed. At first look (unsurprisingly) some were better than others (the photos – although it’s true for the fireworks as well), but I haven’t had chance to go through them yet.
I did manage to upload a couple via my phone. They’re on Flickr. Go see. More to be added later.

Happy New Year.