Oh, Autumn

You sly dog, you.

We were out at dinner last night, attempting – amongst other things – to plan the weekend. But there’s no point in planning outdoor stuff when the autumn weather forecast is decidedly autumnal. So I checked on just how bad it was going to be.

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OMG! Batten down the Beagle!

Looks like it’s not quite time to pack the sunscreen away just yet.

The only down side (there’s always got to be a down side because there are no clouds to have silver linings), is that we are kinda desperate for some rain. And even though we got a bit last week, the damn dam levels are now down to 32.8% (from 34.1% last week), and just 2.8% above the critical level of 30%.
I’m not sure what happens then, but apparently, whatever it is, it’s not “panic”:

Without rainfall, the Voëlvlei Dam would only be able to supply the metropole until July and the West Coast municipalities until the end of May. However, the council said it did not want to “unleash a panic” and it has the situation under control.

I wonder what they have in mind? A time machine and a DIY Desalination Plant kit? Cloud seeding? Vague hope?
This assurance from our local city council comes after the government minister for Water and Sanitation went onto the radio and asked religious individuals to “pray for divine intervention” to end the drought.

That plan is evidently yet to kick in effectively.

Enjoy the weekend, and please don’t water your garden.

Solve a drought

While water restrictions continue to make little or no difference to our water situation (mainly because no-one takes any notice of them), I may have come up with a plan to sort out our water crisis.

Those readers who have stuck with 6000 miles… through thick and thin (mainly thin) may recall that I also came up with a plan to sort the country’s electricity crisis way back in 2008. Yikes.

Sod the Government, the captains of industry and the so-called experts countrywide who all say that there is no quick fix. I think they’re blinkered. If everyone builds their own little power station, we’ll be sorted.
As far as I can remember from my physics lessons at school, all you have to do is make steam (water + heat), turn a turbine and Bob’s your uncle.
For your average Southern Suburber, with a pool (water) and a braai (heat), that’s surely not such a big ask.
Apart from the turbine bit.

That actually worked for a while. Until my wife found out.

There are easier ways to solve the drought. Just let me buy tickets for a cricket match.

I’m not a huge fan of cricket (sidenote to self: huge fan = potential wind shortage solution), but I do like live sport and so I thought I’d make a plan waaaaay in advance of… well… of today, and buy some cricket tickets for the kids and I. Mrs 6000 had other plans for this weekend, so I only needed three. And that was a good thing, because tickets for cricket are not cheap. They’re between 5 and 10 times the price of going and watching a football match.
But then, this is an international cricket match.
But then, they’re more than twice the price of watching an international football match.

I digress. Often.

I bought the expensive tickets, for a cricket match in the middle of February, in the middle of summer, in the middle of a drought.

Can you guess what the weather was like this week in Cape Town? Yep. It was lovely. Temperatures in the mid-thirties. Cloudless skies.
And can you guess what the weather is going to be like in Cape Town next week? Yep. You’re not wrong. Gorgeous. Temperatures in the high twenties. Wall to wall sunshine.

And, dear reader, can you guess what the weather is like in Cape Town today? The day of the expensive cricket match. The first cricket match I’ve ever bought tickets for. The first cricket match my kids have ever been to?

Grey. Wet. Chilly. Miserable.

FML.

On the positive side, it did rain today, meaning that there will be no need for anyone to water their gardens tomorrow (Saturday being one of the days you’re allowed an hour of watering). And that gave me an idea.
If you can donate enough money for me to buy expensive tickets to expensive international cricket matches on a regular basis, I think that we can basically guarantee enough rain to replenish our currently understocked local dams (42% full this week).

You can try this crazy scheme by donating some money to my cause. Just leave me a comment below and I’ll be in touch to give you payment details.

Give it a go. But give it a go soon, remembering that there’s a T20 match between SA and Australia on Wednesday 9th March. Yet another opportunity to sit on a damp grass slope and watch an empty field standing in the rain.

Here and There

It’s no surprise that it’s around this time of year that the meteorological differences between my hometown and my adopted hometown are at their most distinct and obvious. That said, it’s always something of interest when there’s concurrently snow in Sheffield and a heatwave in Cape Town. Yesterday was one of those days.

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That’s Sheffield on the left, by the way.
Eagle-eyed readers with knowledge of the False Bay coastline (it’s a small subset, but it must apply to someone), will already have noted that Fishhoek, Simonstown and the rest of the Peninsula are missing from the horizon on that apparently rather washed out second shot. That’s due to the thick smoke from the fires currently burning in Elgin over the weekend, (as you can see from the helpfully annotated image below).
Sadly, I don’t think this view will be quite the same a it was a couple of weeks ago.

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Meanwhile, as Flickr friend SheffDave’s photostream confirms, things were altogether colder and whiter in the Steel City.

Personally, I don’t particularly mind either sort of weather, as long as I know it’s coming. The effects of the snow and cold can be overcome with warm clothing (or finding a pub with a fire); the somewhat unpleasant heat by wearing fewer clothes (or being lucky enough to live in a house with a swimming pool).

Slow News Day?

When there’s not much serious news around (or maybe when there is, but you can’t bring yourself to face up to it (see the opening lines of yesterday’s post)), you end up getting stories like this:

Fullscreen capture 2016-01-08 123344 PM.bmpI have to say that for this to have made the national press in the UK, someone must have been trying very hard (no pun intended) to avoid anything to do with politics, the economy or ISIS, because it only really looks a bit like a PENIS. In my humble opinion, anyway. Limited experience. And stuff. Perhaps see a doctor if yours looks like that. I dunno. We move on.

Of course, Cape Town is far less racy than Northampton. No news site here is going to share images of cuts of meat which vaguely resemble male genitalia. No, when we’re avoiding real issues, we talk about the stiff breeze blowing through the Mother City yesterday, with what might just be the biggest non-“news” story ever:

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Yes, sights/sites.

But basically:

Some people come to Cape Town CBD.
It’s rather windy.
They’d rather it wasn’t.
Soon it won’t be.

Behold the excitement.

It’s almost enough to drive you back to all the dramas of the real world.
Maybe that’s the idea.

On not hibernating

The temptation was certainly there today as the “light rain” that had been forecast for this morning brought its friends and family over for an all-out wetfest.
It’s not like we didn’t need it – going into summer, the dams are only 71% full. It just would have been nice if it could have come on a weekday.

Thus, we had to make the best of it, and so the shopping was sorted, the beagle was walked and then wrapped, and now I’m settling in for some well-earned brandy and FIFA 16.

See you tomorrow.