Rain

We’ve had a lot of rain in the Western Cape this winter. Or so we all thought, but August is only two thirds of the way through and it seems to have stopped falling from the sky. Already, farmers in the Overberg (it’s just along the road from Cape Town) are asking if they might have a little bit more before winter heads off up north, please.

The dam levels are up around the 80% mark, which is far, far better than they have been for the past several (or more) years, and with habits having changed in Cape Town, we’re pretty much safe for the next couple of years, even if it doesn’t rain much more. But that’s not really the situation we want to be in. We want to be swimming (not literally) (wait) (no, actually literally) in the stuff.

And apparently, according the farmers, the rain that has fallen, has fallen at the wrong time and their winter crops are in peril. It does sound a bit like the wrong type of snow excuse from the british railway people back in the 90s.

Is this winter really less rainy (or less rainy at the wrong time) than previous winters? Or are we just a bit more aware, a bit more sensitive, than before, because of the whole drought thing over the past few years (did I ever mention that on here?)?

And then that brings me to another bigger, more important point on the weather. Is climate change being blown out of all proportion, just because it’s the in thing at the moment? OK, I accept that something is happening, sure. But based on all the other nonsense we’re fed by the media, I refuse to believe that everything that they’re reporting on the climate issue is entirely legit. You’d be a fool to think otherwise, although on such an emotive, divisive issue, you’d also have to be pretty brave (or stupid) to publicly question anything that the climate change people are sharing.

They’ll call you nasty names.

Agh. This is for a longer, proper post; one which I have no intention of writing at the moment. But the science that’s being reported just doesn’t add up all the time, and no matter how noble you feel your cause may be, basing your opinions on misreporting and untruths has never worked for me.

The problem is that with all the misinformation and fake news around, you have to take everything with a huge pinch of salt. You have to research everything and you have to research it from reputable sources when you do. Oh, and you have to live your life as well, as if doing that allows time for checking each and every fact you’re constantly bombarded with.

 

Right. A touch of drought, some local agricultural issues, a moan about just how crap the media is and a slight hint of a blast at mankind generally.
What a mess of a post. And yet I bet no-one is surprised. šŸ™‚

Abandoned

This was the second week in a row this season that our football match has been abandoned due to a proper Cape Town winter storm.

I can’t really fault the decision of the officials. It was wet and windy when we arrived, but as the games before ours got underway, they actually got underwater. It belted down for a solid half hour and despite our best efforts to get on and get playing, it was clearly a lost cause.

Frustrating stuff. Why must it always rain on Tuesdays?

Cold, wet and irritated, I have now arrived home, had a hot shower and lit the fire. I’m now warm and dry, but I would have liked to have had a game of football this evening.

Next week, perhaps? Has anyone seen the forecast?

Car park sniggering

Just a quickie. (Careful now.)

It’s pouring down in Cape Town today. I’m not complaining: we need the rain [links to millions of drought posts].
Earlier, I described the morning as “gloriously filthy“, and I fully stand by that.

Unconnected with the prevailing meteorological conditions, my knee remains really rather sore. This makes wearing long trousers uncomfortable. Hence, I am wearing shorts today.

I covered this in my recent blog post, amusingly entitledĀ No News Is Good Knees.

When I got out of my car at work today (in the rain, wearing shorts), I became aware of a group of five or six young individuals poking fun at my wardrobe choice, while having a cigarette.

“Whatevs”, as they say. Water off a duck’s back. (No pun etc etc)
I’m way past caring what unimportant people think of me.

But, I will just point out that I was wearing shorts in the rain because my knee is painful. Those twats were voluntarily standing outside in the pouring rain (in long trousers, admittedly) attempting to give themselves lung cancer.

I’m really not sure I should be the one being giggled at.

Sewing doesn’t help

Yesterday was nice. Really nice. A couple of light showers and drizzle for most of the day. A miserable Sunday at any other time or in any other place, but we loved it. The garden was sighing with relief, the rainwater tanks were refilled, and we got at least another 1200 litres into the pool, whose situation had, in all honesty, been looking a little precarious.

It was like someone had pressed a reset button. Wonderful.

But this was small scale, of course. Yesterday won’t have made any meaningful difference to our water crisis. It just made my lawn feel a bit happier. We need real, heavy, prolonged, regular rain to sort out our water problems.

But yesterday was nice. Really nice.

While I’m on the subject of the water crisis (but then actually, when am I ever not?), let me remind you that sewing doesn’t help the situation. Not sewing as in stitching a couple of pieces of fabric together (although that won’t assist us either), but SEWing.

SEW stands for Someone Else’s Water, and SEWing is a new concept that I have noted recently and named, like the Stable Geniusā„¢ I can like to be.

Saving water has become, in some circles at least, intensely competitive.

Bring it on, I say.

If my triumphant, vaguely arrogant assertion at a braai that “We’re down to 50 litres a day” somehow spurs you into trying to reduce your daily water usage, then that’s great. Everyone benefits.
But your reduction must be a genuine one, made by saving water in your own home. It’s no use merely SEWing. That doesn’t help anyone.

SEWing is the act of ostensibly saving water, but merely doing so by diverting your actual usage onto someone else’s account. There appear to be many ways to SEW, all of which will lower your household water bill, but won’t help the overall water crisis situation in any way. Handing your washing over to a local laundry. Watering your garden using a hosepipe attached to next door’s tap while they’re away on holiday. Showering at the gym. Washing your car at a local car wash. Saving that big poo for work.

Spoiler alert: Just because that water doesn’t appear on your municipal bill doesn’t mean it isn’t getting used. It’s all coming from the same worryingly empty dams.

Your rates bill may look good, your car may look good, your garden may even look good if (in an entirely hypothetical situation) your neighbour asked you to keep an eye on their property while they went to Europe for Christmas [nervous cough], but it’s a hollow victory.

So if you’re a closet SEWer, you’ve been rumbled. I’m on to you and your despicable, duplicitous, deceitful actions. It’s time to think again.Ā Because you’re not moving Day Zero out by dropping the kids off at the pool at the office.
And your colleagues hate you for it too.

Suddenly: August

It’s nearly the end of July, and that means that it’ll soon be August. After that… [double checks] yes, September.

So what? This happens every year, right?

Well, yes it does, but September 1st is unofficially known as Spring Day in South Africa, bringing with it… well… Spring. Not really Spring, but unofficially Spring. Springy enough not to be Winter anymore. Unofficially, at least.

That also happens every year, but given that we’re basically 5 weeks away from it (and therefore 5 weeks away from what is unofficially the end of the rainy season), and our dams are still looking emptier than an ANC promise, we really should be well into full panic mode by now. Especially given that theĀ medium term forecast for the next fortnight (making up, as it does, 40% of that 5 week period) shows no sign of significant rainfall for the Western Cape.

Look, tomorrow is not going to be dry, but with a forecast of just 5.2mm of precipitation over 24 hours, it’s not going to be particularly wet either.

With the Cape Town dams sitting at 27.4% of capacity (as per this morning’sĀ city figures) – and with the last 10% of that infamously “unusable” – things are looking every bit as precarious as ever. Add to that the fact that Cape Town’s residents are using 643,000,000 litres a day (that’s 143,000,000 litres or almost 30% more than we should be) and you (actually “we”) have a recipe for disaster.

There’s enough publicity about this situation on the TV, the internet (not least this damned blog), the radio and everywhere else for everyone in Cape Town to understand the gravity of the situation. But given that we’re apparently still paying no attention and not saving nearly enough of the wet stuff, I’ve now come to the conclusion that a lot of the locals simply don’t care.

I wonder how they’ll feel in 6 months time?