Viewz for dayz

Everyone is busy at this time of year. I am also busy.
Who am I to buck a trend like that?

We’ve just got the boy back from an exciting, fulfilling, but exhausting Scout Camp, and there are a million tales of derring do which need to be told. I’m ready to listen. We’ve missed him.

Quota photo time then. And another one from the DuToitskloof Pass on Monday:

That’s the Paarl Valley there in front of us, with the Paarl Mountain in front of us and beyond that – under a wisp of white cloud in the distance – Table Mountain, some 65km away. Looking out west was equally breathtaking (although decidedly less busy), but I haven’t edited any more photos, so you’ll just have to imagine what it was like.

(Spoiler: It was equally breathtaking, but decidedly less busy, like I told you.)

Over the mountain

I dropped the boy off at his first ever Scout camp this morning, just on the far side of the Huguenot Tunnel. The road through the Du Toitskloof valley is one of my favourites in SA, and (I think) massively underrated. Having left him and his scouting chums somewhere near Rawsonville, we headed back, but this time, took the R101 road over the mountain, rather than going straight through it.

It was rather windy, but I still managed to get the Mavic up for a few minutes and got a couple of shots, including a selfie featuring me and my daughter, sheltering from the wind behind the car.

The du Toitskloof pass isn’t the most spectacular or dramatic road I’ve ever driven, but it has its moments, and some of the views are superb. There are more photos, but despite being on holiday, I’m a little pressed for time today, so they’ll have to wait.

More driving tomorrow, as we test out other roads like the R316 and R319 to the South.

Disappointing Dairy Poem

We followed a Malan’s Dairy van the other day. Malan’s Dairy is based in Paarl, and has been supplying dairy products since 1948. Experience.

The thing that concerned me about their van, other than the fact that there were copious amounts of milk leaking from the back of it, was the… well… let’s be civil here, the “disappointing” effort at a poem on the rear doors.

DSC_0006(1)If you click on that image, you can see it too:

We are busy as a Bee
for the best quality DAIRY
products and delivery
FOR YOU our customers

What’s wrong here?
Random CAPITALISATION, an appalling lack of punctuation, a mishmash of attempted rhyming poetry, but without the given structure of ballardry, nor the natural gait of narrative prose, and just to top it off, the mysterious apian context, which clearly has nothing to do with dairy or dairy products.

Let’s run through it, shall we?

We are busy as a Bee – It’s “bee”. And why only the singular? Is it because “bees” is Afrikaans for “cattle” and you’re an Afrikaans company from an Afrikaans-speaking town? Still, while they might not have the reputation for the tough grind that the buzzy insects have, cattle do at least make milk.

for the best quality DAIRY – Heaps of issues. Heaps. This doesn’t scan with the first line; it doesn’t even logically follow on from it. And just because DAIRY is your core business, doesn’t mean you can randomly select UPPER CASE and expect to get away with it. That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

products and delivery – Look, it’s a nothing sentence, but at least it rhymes with the first two. And that’s about all it’s got going for it.

FOR YOU our customers – This is what happens when you employ a (crap) poet with ADD. S/he has got fed up with the whole poetry idea moved on to other things. “Better finish it off,” they’ve thought – just lob in some line or other. It doesn’t have to rhyme, it doesn’t even have to make any sense. The contract says four lines, I won’t get paid for any less. Just chuck anything down and ooh look, a squirrel!

It’s rubbish.

But there’s no “pint” in simply slagging stuff off (see people moaning about loadshedding passim). That’s rubbish too. Suggest an alternative. Make a difference.

So here’s something that took me almost 30 seconds to come up with:

Our driving skills are smooth as silk,
As we deliver your cheese and milk.
Our brilliant distribution team,
Are always on top, just like our cream.

Dairy references: check
Note to logistics: yep
Rules of poetry: adhered to

What’s not to like?

I’ll obviously be sending this to Malan’s Dairy, but in the meantime, why don’t you help raise the profile of this post by emailing them at info@malansdairy.co.za and telling them about it?

Together, we can overcome disastrous, amateur slogans on trucks.
Let’s make a start right now.

PILCHARDS OF DOOM

So read the headline on the Daily Voice this morning. All in big capitals. Just like I did in the title there.

The story behind the headline is – perhaps unsurprisingly – nowhere near as catchy, concerning the death of a Paarl man after he (drank several litres of cheap wine and) ate an expired tin of pilchards.

The expiry date on the can clearly states the contents are not to be eaten after 2005. But Flip “Billy” Blou, 41, was too drunk to notice and ate his fill on Sunday.

Within hours he died a painful death, bleeding from the ears, mouth and nose.

His friend Henry Fransman also helped himself to the expired fish after drinking heavily with Flip. He is now recovering in hospital.

Ouch.

Drinking buddy Vuyani Goniwe, 36, said the day had started out pleasantly.

He told the Daily Voice they had each contributed R10 towards buying a R30, five-litre bottle of Cape Best wine and shared it at the Never-Never tavern.

“We were all very drunk that day but the two of them were worse, they could not even walk,” saidVuyani. “They were carried out in a wheelbarrow. We had been drinking together the whole day.”

“Cape Best Wine”? At R6 a litre? “Best”. Right.

Goniwe said he suspects the fish, and not the wine, caused his friends to get violently ill.

Ah – the old “dodgy kebab” excuse. Yeah. Been there, used that. Never after drinking 5 litres of wine and coming home in a wheelbarrow though. That’s something a little different. Nice twist.

From a microbiological point of view, I was interested. With bleeding from the ears, mouth and nose, one immediately suspects viral haemorrhagic fever, but that seems a little unlikely in Paarl. With canned food, one immediately suspects Clostridium perfringens, but the symptoms of that particular bug don’t usually even include vomiting, let alone vomiting blood.
Most of the symptoms here are far more consistent with severe alcohol poisoning, but who on earth could even consider that given the facts detailed above?

More concerning still is the final line of the story in which Minister Alan Winde states that:

the next step would be to wait for the results of the autopsy to establish exactly what had killed the two men.

only one of whom has actually died.

Don’t say I’m not green!

There are those who come onto this blog and accuse me of hating the environment. Maybe it’s because they have misread, not read or simply misunderstood my viewpoints on whales, dolphins and natural gas extraction.

It’s not the case. I do care deeply for the environment and I do all that I (reasonably) can to protect and cherish it, including worm farming, recycling and saving electricity wherever I can. And I’m also going out of my way to champion Fairview Cheese & Wine Farm’s latest green initiative: The Goat Rapid Transit system or GRT.

With the rising price of petrol and wine farms becoming increasingly focused on reducing their carbon footprint, this initiative presents numerous benefits to wine loving visitors and the environment alike. It aims to offer a safe and sustainable alternative for visitors travelling to the farm. Fairview currently attracts close to 250 000 visitors to its Paarl cellar door each year, most of which travel to the farm by car or bus. From today visitors and staff can take a train from Cape Town to Paarl station, from where the GRT will operate at regular intervals.

Twenty-four custom-made wagons have been built by artisans from the Paarl region. “I am delighted to be involved in the revival of the art of wagon making in the area,” says Fairview owner Charles Back, “given the legacy of the art form in the region, previously known as Wamakersvallei (Wagonmakers Valley). Not only will this re-establish this historic industry, but it is also an opportunity for Fairview to utilize the unproductive goats in their 700-strong goat herd. “We will be making use of the billies and the does with smaller udders, as these are normally stronger than their high milk producing counterparts” added Back.

Ongoing training has been conducted by farm manager Donald Mouton over the past couple of months. This has ensured that the goats are fit enough to pull the wagons and have become accustomed to the traffic on the road.

Fine work by Fairview and especially by Donald, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I can only hope that they extend this service across the Paarl region – perhaps encouraging the Cape Town Lion Park and Stellenbosch’s Giraffe House to join them – a move which will not only allow visitors to reduce their carbon footprint on the wine tour, but will surely also reduce the incidence of drink-driving in the area. And, in the case of the lions, probably resuce the incidence of tourists as well.
Meanwhile, you can enjoy the animals, the amazing scenery and the wine.