Chasing the sun with Tony Christie

Because of the timing of the flights on my recent trip up to Durban, coupled with the relative geographical positions of that city and Cape Town and with the addition of a pinch of the turning of the earth, I found myself chasing the sunrise east on the flight out and chasing the sunset back home on the flight back. Needless to say, our pursuit was rather fruitless last night and so we gave up when we reached Cape Town airport, but we tracked down the sunrise on Wednesday morning with no difficulty. It was almost as if it wanted to be caught.

And all the while, I was enjoying something very chilled on the iPod: Tony Christie’s Made in Sheffield, in which Christie covers songs written and previously performed by Sheffield artists and bands such as Richard Hawley, Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, Human League and others.
And while you can listen to Christie’s wonderful cover of
The Only Ones Who Know via that link to  the album review above, here’s Alex Turner singing an (almost) equally relaxed version with Richard Hawley at the Union Chapel in Islington.

Christie’s gentle pub crooner/swing/jazz style didn’t seem wholly appropriate as we set off, but it soon became apparent that it was the perfect accompaniment for gazing out of the window at South Africa beneath me. And ironically, it probably prevented me from smashing the aggravating bloke sitting next to me in the face, South Yorkshire style.

Wendy go down

After a dramatic last day in the Championship, the only game that really mattered – wednesday v Palace at Swillsboro’  – finished 2-2.
And that, as the BBC Football website videprinter confirms, means that Sheffield wednesday find themselves relegated to League One:

As a lifelong Sheffield United fan, I am celebrating (again) this evening. I was going to go the whole hog with the fizzy wine, but I think an understated Castle Milk Stout will do the trick.

And then some fizzy wine.

Hometown Prettiness

While we’re suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous thirties, the UK has had a horrible, horrible winter. Much of which has been beautifully documented by flickr user karl101.

These are two of my favourites, snowy foggy view and ferris with moon, but his whole photostream is well worth a (long) look.

Snow-ta Photo

I’m watching Tranmere v Wolves in the FA Cup (and currently Tranmere are all over the visitors like an aggressive gravy) so I’m giving you a snow-ta photo.
It’s like a quota photo, but with snow (see what I did there?).

This is one my Dad took on New Year’s Eve. Beautiful.
My parents arrived back home on 10th December from a 6 week tour of  Australia. It was 3°C in Sheffield that day and it hasn’t got that warm again since. The forecast until Friday gives a daily maximum of 0°C or below.

Happy days.

What were the skies like when you were young?

What were the skies like when you were young?

They went on forever – They – When I w- We lived in Arizona, and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in ’em, and, uh… they were long… and clear and… there were lots of stars at night. And, uh, when it would rain, it would all turn – it- They were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. Um, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire, and the clouds would catch the colors everywhere. That’s uh, neat cause I used to look at them all the time, when I was little. You don’t see that. You might still see them in the desert.

Of course, there are no deserts in Sheffield, where I grew up. And while there may have been little fluffy clouds, there were (of course) a lot of days with grey clouds and even some with no clouds at all. Much like Cape Town, where I am now – although I can’t actually see a single cloud out of my study window right now.

One thing I remember seeing a lot of as a kid in Sheffield was vapour trails from aircraft passing far overhead on the Great Circle Route. That’s one thing that you don’t see in Cape Town. Geographically, it makes perfect sense: to leave a vapour trail, a plane must be above 8,000m (26,000ft) and why would any plane be over Cape Town at that height? Where would it have come from and where would it be going?
The planes we see here in the Cape (like this example from today, which was what got me thinking about this) are generally on their way in or out of the local airport.

That’s what makes this photo by arepeegee particularly special – because it has vapour trail, elements of a sunset and it’s taken in Sheffield.

I almost felt homesick, but then I looked out of the window at my no clouds and had another beer and things were all ok again.