Run and rain

First run in a couple of weeks this morning. Not all of me wanted to help out. My legs and my lungs (two parts which I have always felt are fairly integral to successful running) were particularly uncooperative and I am already pretty sure that the former are planning an agonising protest for tomorrow morning. But you don’t get anywhere without putting in a bit of effort and while today’s 6km might have taken rather longer than perhaps it should, it did still get done.

All of which brings me neatly to last night. Football last night did not get done. One minute it was on, the next, there was a downpour and the courts were underwater and the game was called off. I took the kids to the trampoline park instead and we counted all the holes in the roof as I preemptively planned our evacuation route.

But there was a lot of rain. The last 24 hours gave us 70mm at Kirstenbosch and an absolutely incredible 186.9mm at Dwarsberg – slap bang in the middle of our dam catchment areas. Kapow.

Those of you who have followed this blog over the last few years really need your heads checking will recognise what really huge news this is.

But it seems that we don’t always realise just how lucky we are. The complaints about the winter weather in Cape Town seem to have been more vocal and numerous than usual [anecdotal observation]. But this weather is just the Old Normal. We haven’t had a proper Cape Winter for a few years now, which almost cost us our city. But it also retrained our memories into thinking that what happened last night and over the last few weeks is unusual or abnormal. It’s not. That is exactly how winters used to be prior to 2016. Grey, cold, windy, wet. Who could forget the warnings we used to be given?

The severe cold, wet and windy conditions expected to spread eastwards across the Western and Northern Cape provinces this weekend could be fatal for livestock and dangerous for humans, the Cape Town Weather Office warned yesterday.
Forecaster Carlton Fillis said rainfall of up to 50mm, combined with gale-force winds and temperatures of below 15C, was especially dangerous for livestock such as goats. People should also be careful.

Always take care of your goats. Always.

WLR inclusion

Just a quick link to a “creative nonfiction” piece in this quarter’s World Literature Review magazine.

Here is that link:

https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/2019/summer/provenance-sandra-jensen

Our protagonist is ostensibly chatting to a gentleman at a party, but her mind is a million miles away: apparently knee-deep in white guilt and self-doubt over her parents’ roles in pre-94 South Africa.

Sheesh. I know, right?

I don’t want to give away the ending, but I do want to say that one of the photographs illustrating the piece is – in my humble opinion, at least – rather good.

Drought news

Apparently it rained a lot in Cape Town while we were away.
Well, ok. If you say so. We’ve been back for five days now and we haven’t seen any continuation of that alleged precipitation. And, looking at the forecast for the next five days, there’s only a small chance of a little bit of drizzle on Monday evening as far as I can see.

That said, some local websites are full of good news about our local big reservoir “doubling in capacity”.

For the record, this hasn’t happened. There may be a case for suggesting that the volume of water in Theewaterskloof has doubled from the worryingly low levels earlier in the year, but I have to tell you that the capacity has stayed exactly the same.

Semantics. I know. Sorry.
Pop me in Pendant’s Corner.

Meanwhile, another blog helpfully tells us how this whole sorry situation¬† came about (it didn’t rain):

And how the reservoir “fought back from the brink” (it rained):

It’s fascinating, incisive stuff. But I do appreciate that it’s all a bit technical, so don’t worry if you’re struggling to keep up.
That’s why we have experts for this sort of thing. And that’s why they get paid the big bucks.

Don’t get me wrong though. No matter how shitty the reporting, it is great that we’ve moved forward from what we saw when we went out there in February.

But drought isn’t a purely Capetonian thing. Take a look at Sheffield’s local reservoir, which also supplies Derby, Nottingham and Leicester:

It’s looking scarily similar to scenes we’ve seen here recently. In the distance, you can see one of the towers of the Derwent Dam, which should look like this:

There’s a lot more dam wall on show in that top image than there should be.

Sheffield isn’t quite at the point of water restrictions yet, although other places in the UK are about to be¬†(and Northern Ireland was, but isn’t any more).

As for Cape Town, our Level 6b water restrictions are still in place. We’re out of the woods, but we still can’t afford to be complacent. And the city council are going to ensure we remember that by charging us a ridiculous amount for the water that we use.

But I can understand their caution in not cutting the restrictions just yet. When they do, water use is inevitably going to spike and it would be seen as a huge own goal to have to reinstate the restrictions once they had relaxed them.

Perhaps what they should do is to double the capacity of all our dams.
That would make a huge difference.

As long as it rained.

 

Dangerously accurate tweet about dishwashers

Spotted a while back, stored for blogging today, this tweet:

Lucy is entirely correct.

Obviously, I take the former role chez nous, which is important because masterful arrangement is key in the efficient use of water for dishwashing purposes. And we’re all about efficient use of water.

In scheduling this post, I’m relying on the fact that we’re on a boat some safe distance from decent wifi in the middle of the French countryside and thus Mrs 6000 will not see it. It’s not that she’d disagree with my part in the above relationship, but she may well take offence at the description of her tacited suggested position.

(Even though Lucy absolutely nailed it.)

[hides]

15 months later…

…and while I was away this weekend, this idea was floated (no pun intended) once more.

Cue several (or more) twitter messages, a couple of twitter DMs and even a Whatsapp.

The news story in question details an ambitious plan to capture an iceberg and then tow it to Cape Town before mining it and selling it to the city to enhance the pitiful local water supply.

But only 10% of “their” “idea” is original.
The other 90%, hidden beneath the surface, blatantly rips me off.

In fact, the only two differences between this consortium’s recently announced proposed methodology and mine from 15 months ago, is that they plan to leave their iceberg out at sea and pump water to tankers to bring it ashore (I’m going to flatten the Franschhoek Valley and use gravity) and that they (stupidly) haven’t considered offsetting the cost of this challenging project by selling the final product in small bottles to craft brewers and achingly trendy Woodstock residents.

Still, those omissions are to their detriment and are surely not enough to convince any reasonable court of law that this consortium hasn’t ripped off my amazing idea, and thus I’m looking forward to being flush (only when it’s brown though) with cash real soon now.