Some of you may have guessed by now that the vast majority of what you’ve been reading over the past week was actually written the week before. I wasn’t sure about what connectivity I’d have while we were away (and with good reason, it turned out), and I certainly wasn’t going to spend my entire break writing blog posts, fun though it (sometimes) is.

Even back here, just 6000 miles from civilisation…, the internet isn’t exactly “quick”. Thus, it’s taken several (or more) hours to get some photos of our recent escapades uploaded onto Flickr. There are birds, kids, sunsets, beaches, steam trains, a lighthouse, a pier, a stadium, a… look, there’s a lot of stuff, ok?
Some of the photos were taken on my camera, some on my phone – just to make immediate sharing amongst the family a little easier.


Now though, the whole lot have been uploaded into the imaginatively-named “Durban/Umngazi Trip – Jun/Jul 15 ” Flickr set, which you can view by clicking here.

I’m sure that there will be a few more things to add here and there, a few more photos shared on here over the forthcoming weeks and surely some words about where we stayed, what we did and what we thought, but until that time, please just look and enjoy.

Halcyon Days…

And so, the holiday draws to an end. Tomorrow brings with it work, bacteria, admin and meetings.
But what a break it’s been: family, friends, London, Sheffield, snow, real beer, a “proper Christmas” and some amazing memories being made.
And then, as the icing on the cake, a few days of excellent weather and relaxation down in Agulhas.
And then, as the cherry placed gently upon the icing on that luxurious cake, Sheffield United demolishing QPR at Loftus Road and our porcine neighbours losing out to a last minute winner at the Etihad.

Could it get any better?
Well, I could do without heading back to the lab tomorrow. But otherwise, no. It’s been amazing.

But in the meantime, for those who are interested, there are updated photos here and here.

Up high

We’ve all had the feeling when you wake up in the morning and find – with disappointment – that your palms aren’t at all sweaty. It’s annoying and potentially upsetting and, but what many people don’t realise is that it’s easily cured by looking at just a few urban climbing photos.

These young people know no fear (although, interestingly, you never see an urban climber past the age of about 21, do you?) and they do the hard yards (upwards) so that your palms can sweat from the comfort of your own laptop.

Right – checked your palms? Let’s go:


I don’t know if it’s because I have a rational brain, but I find that I can easily (and graphically) envisage what would happen if something were to go awry and this bloke was to slip from here. (And in this case, ‘here’ is the crane at the top of this). *dry heave*

But then, there’s some sort of nature thing at play here too, because even on the Boomslang yesterday, ‘only’ 12 metres high, I was worried about the kids. Not about me. Just them. And that’s got big railings up the sides of it. Not like some ledge on the side of a building 70-odd storeys up. Which begs the question, WHAT IN SWEET JESUS’ NAME IS THIS GUY THINKING??!?!?


I can’t even grip my mouse anymore. Bring tissues! (careful now)

If this hasn’t butterflied your tummy enough and got those palms weeping, then there are plenty more where those came from, and that place was here.

Cape Storm

What an amazing weekend. There was wind, hail, rain, sunshine. There were waves, floods, brooding clouds, open fires and numerous glasses of brandy.


While the subject matter for great photography was obviously all there, the weather and/or the light, together with a distinct lack of skill (perhaps exacerbated by the brandy?), made it difficult to translate it into pixels. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun trying though: here’s the flickr set with some stuff I did manage to get.

Also now up in the Stuff from June set – photos from Giraffe House.

Kids’ Morning

The kids deserved a bit of a treat this weekend. With Mum away, their routine has been disturbed, and they’ve handled it really well. I’m very proud of the way they’ve helped me out and got stuff done.
Thus, we headed to the Waterfront for slush and fish at the Aquarium, semi-precious stones at the Scratch Patch and a quick round of Cave Golf (it’s like putt-putt, but in a faux cavern).
The morning was completed with a freshly made crêpe with lashings of Nutella at the V&A Food Market.

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The camera has gone on holiday with Mrs 6000, so I went quick and dirty with my phone and willfully shared photos all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for family and friends to share our morning out. I’ve also gathered them together them on Flickr for a more lasting collection of memories.