At Newlands last night

40,000 turned up last night at a bitterly cold Newlands to watch the Emerging Boks side taken on what was, in truth, a second string British and Irish Lions team. It was cold, stormy, windy, wet, very wet and very cold, but at least there was red wine and brandy on tap.


The Lions’ new defensive formation left gaps out wide

Of course, that was just for those of us in the posh seats. The guys down in the stands didn’t have such luxuries. Although one of them had a vuvuzela. Naughty! And then, with the Lions 10-0 ahead, Earl Rose set up the ball for a kick at goal (or whatever they call it in egg-chasing) and the heavens properly opened.


So much of rain at Newlands

Rose was unperturbed (although I’m sure I heard him murmur “Bugger!!” under his breath), got Luzuko Vulindlu to lie face down in the mud and hold the ball and went about missing the kick anyway.

Half time and I headed off to expunge the brace of first half Peronis. Now, I know that there is a certain urinal etiquette and that one looks ahead or down, never left or right, but it is kind of difficult to obey the unwritten rules of public weeing when you find a six foot Danger Mouse on your right and a slightly shorter Mr Incredible on your left. Seriously. And then I passed a Ninja Turtle on the way out of the loos. Either the British contingent were there in full fancy dress or those beers had been tampered with.

To cut a cold story short, the game finished 13-13 and we headed home, cold, but satisfied. My car said it was 6°C, but I’m sure it was lying. Either that or the minus sign (never tested) doesn’t work.

Bed never seemed so inviting.

Incoming

Cape Town’s first big storm of the year is due this weekend, described on surfers’ website Wavescape as follows:

A moerse storm smacks Cape Town this Saturday with the first of a double frontal burst – the first serious beast of the season… just look at the length of the wind below. Basically it’s a stab wound that bleeds from the ice-shelf right up to your tannie’s koeksusters cooling on her stoep at Stilbaai. It’s the ingrown toenail of a fierce oceanic convulsion, dug out with the scalpel of your childhood veruka, the deepest root canal of all your evils.

Mmmkay.

Here’s what Eumetsat shows:

strm1

Which doesn’t look that bad – yet. Further investigation shows that the pressure will dip as low as 940mb though, which is pretty scary, based on the fact that we’re currently sat at 1011mb and Hurricane Katrina was 920mb when it made landfall. (Although not in Cape Town, obviously.)  

I love this sort of weather, even though we’re going to see winds close on 100kph. I hope to get out and about with the camera, like I did last August, which was spectacular.

So assuming we make it through in one piece, what of next week? Wavescape has that covered:

The storm swell is expected to peak at a very steep, short frequency surge to 20 feet by Saturday evening and into Sunday before it boosts to 25 feet on Sunday afternoon, with Monday huge too, Tuesday cranking as the wind eases. The whole coast between Agulhas and the Wild Coast is absolutely off its face on Monday and Tuesday, and solid grinding South swell lasts along the southern Cape all week.

That’s like… totally gnarly, dude.

Not like this…

Sorry for the lack of action on 6000 miles… recently. I’ve had a very sick child, a very pregnant wife and a very lot of rain falling through our kitchen to deal with. You’ve got to love this “life” thing.
Talking of the weather, I’m getting a little fed up of people coming up to me and saying, “You must be used to this rain, coming from the UK!”.

Er… no. I have never seen rain like this. Never so much, so prolonged, so heavy, so sustained. So damn WET!
It’s unbelievable. And it’s cold too. That damp cold that cuts through you like a damp, cold knife.

Wet  Wet  Wet
Wet Wet Wet (but without Marty Pellow)

Apparently they’re forecasting something called “sunshine” for the weekend. I’ll believe it when I see it. (And when I have looked in a dictionary to see what it means).

More soon. Promise.

Not in Kansas anymore

UPDATE: Looking for pictures of the 30-31st August 2008 storm? Try here!

As I stared, bleary-eyed, out of the bedroom window into the cold and dark of the Cape Town morning, I was once again blown away by the sight of the lights of Muizenberg glittering on the ocean. What a view. Despite the atrocious weather of the past 24 hours, I am very fortunate to live here.
It was only a few minutes later, standing under a very welcome steaming shower, that I realised that we live about 10km up the road from Muizenberg. Something wasn’t right.

It turns out that rain over the past 24 hours had turned my back garden into something akin to the ocean. As the gloomy, grey morning struggled to be slightly less gloomy and grey, I caught sight of an aging hippy in a wetsuit with his longboard next to my braai, anxiously looking across the lawn for any sign of sharks before he paddled out towards the birdbath to wait for the next big breaker.

It’s true that it has been a pretty torrid couple of days weather-wise for the residents of Cape Town. One of those times that you are glad that you aren’t living in a shack in a township or a tent in a temporary refugee camp (sorry – “displaced foreign nationals site”). Glancing at the SA Weather Service website, I see that Kirstenbosch – home of the famous botanical gardens and just around the corner from us – had 135mm of rain dropped on it in the last 24 hours. That’s 5½ inches for you oldies out there.

S'wet
Kirstenbosch: Rather damp

Still, this is winter in Cape Town so we really should be expecting the wet and the cold. Interestingly, in exactly 2 years time, the entire world will have descended upon the Mother City for the 2010 World Cup. I’m already buying up Pak-a-Mac’s by the lorryload which I will sell at a vastly inflated mark-up to ill-prepared Europeans who think it’s hot and sunny here all year round.

The profits will be used to install some sort of drainage system into my garden before high tide floods my living room.

This is how I remind me

Is it just the drugs, or when you get to my age, does your short term wotsit start to fail?
I find myself using words like wotsit instead of the specific noun I should have used – just like my grandmother used to do. Thingumie is only a short time away now. And from there I’ll start calling my auntie by my sister’s name* and then I’ll know I’m getting properly old.
But it’s not just speech. I have to start writing things down or I forget to do them – however important they may or may not be – and then I have to cross them off the list to remind myself that I’ve done them:

wash car
buy bread
charge ipod
 feed child 
write blog

If you’re in Cape Town, Brian Micklethwait’s Kings Cross sunset may help to jog your memory of drier, warmer times.

Sunset
Always the sun? Not this weekend.

Ah yes. I remember those heady summer days. And while Brian laments the lack of clouds in his sunset, if he’s really desperate, we’ve got a fair few here which I’m very willing to export. So – in the somewhat unlikely event that there is anyone in the UK currently missing the cold, damp weather – just send me a email and I’ll happily arrange a courier.

But all in good time. Right now, I have to go and find out why my son is crying and clawing at the kitchen door.

* not in a Josef Fritzl way though.