Waiting for Mum

Kids go through stages with regard to their relationship with their parents. Sometimes you can see obvious reasons why this might be; for example, when K-pu was born and had to spend a lot of time with Mum (because she’s the one with the boobs), Alex became firmly (often rather too firmly) attached to me. His rampant favouritism, caused by obvious and understandable insecurity, has worn off now though and we generally gauge who is flavour of the moment by his requests for bedtime story readers (Mum/Dad/Neither).

Perhaps it’s because she’s female (and therefore fussy), but K-pu has a very strict hierarchical list of favourites. I guess I should be flattered to be in second place and I have to remember that when Mum walks in and K-pu suddenly shows a complete lack of interest in me, it’s only the same as she does to other people below second place when she sees me.
(It’s still quite hurtful though).

This picture was taken while we were away last weekend. Mum had popped up the road to pick up the boy from the Kid’s Club and K-pu – outraged to have been left with only her dad for company – went and planted herself firmly by the front door and sulked until her mother returned.

That’s (another) one for her 21st birthday, then.

England to be based in Rustenburg?

Simon Austin on the BBC Sport website claims that “agreement has been made in principle for England to stay in Rustenburg next summer”.

Rustenburg is not a big place. I went to Rustenburg once, but it was closed. Fortunately, we continued west along the N4 and ended up in Zeerust, with its friendly drive-thru bottle store. From there we headed north until some nice Batswana* border guards with shiny R5 assault rifles politely asked us to stop and turn around. It seemed rude to disagree, though – safe in the knowledge that we were heading back towards a drive-thru bottle store – we felt the need to stop as soon as we were around the corner and down an entire bottle of Amarula. Each. 
Coming face to face with a forceful gentleman in uniform brandishing his well-polished weapon can have that effect on a man.

All of this was a whole road away from Rustenburg though. So, apart from there being a drive-thru bottle store in a town a few miles to the west, why do England want to be there?

It comes down to three things: altitude, logistics and facilities. At 3,800ft above sea level, Rustenburg is great for acclimatising to the rarified Highveld air, it’s only 30 minutes from the small (yet perfectly adequate) Pilanesberg airfield and the hotel and sports complex there (Rustenburg, not the airfield) is still being built – hence the option of some degree of customisation. 

Reports in South Africa claim Capello has already asked for an arcade room, plasma televisions bringing in British channels in each of the rooms, an electric security fence around the perimeter of the site and superb training facilities with manicured pitches.

Former Spurs and England defender Gary Mabbutt, who is advising the organising committee on their World Cup team bases, says such requirements are not unusual.
“Most teams want single rooms for their players kitted out with wi-fi, plasma TV, satellite and Playstations,” he told me.

I’m guessing that DSTV’s selection of repeated episodes of Top Gear from 2004 and repeated episodes of Top Gear from 2005 won’t be enough. Although, given the temperament of Wayne Rooney, repeated episodes of Supernanny from 2004 may be helpful. As may the Cbeebies channel.

While Rustenburg may seem to be the best option for the England team and their entourage, Austin makes a error in comparing it to Baden-Baden where the team was based for the 2006 World Cup tournament in Germany.
There is little in Rustenburg to attract England fans to stay there. Most importantly, it’s only within comfortable travelling distance of 4 of the World Cup stadiums. The major centres of Cape Town and Durban are a 2 hour flight away – and that’s from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport, which itself is a 2 hour drive from Rustenburg. It would be like staying in Sheffield, driving to Heathrow and jetting off to watch a match in Madrid. South Africa is big.
Added to that, the villages of Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Polokwane are even less readily accessible.
(No-one is ever really sure of how best to get to Bloemfontein, or why you’d want to.)

But there’s no doubt that having one of the big teams staying at your resort means big money.
The Times reports how Val de Vie in Franschhoek is going to extraordinary lengths to attract one of the larger nations including converting its polo fields into practice soccer pitches and planting Fifa-specified turf on them.

The estate’s 2010 coordinator, Martin Botha, said they already have massage and medical treatment rooms and team-building facilities. “We’re going to change the grass to the Fifa specifications for practice fields but otherwise everything else is in place,” he says.

I’ll check out how they’re doing when I head there for The Killers concert in December.

Finally, news just in that (apparently, allegedly) Brazil are going to be basing themselves in Cape Town. However, the same “expert” that predicted this then went on to say that England are going to be based in Johannesburg, so who knows?

Meh. Until things get confirmed (and quite probably beyond that time as well) it’s back to the Amarula for me…

FIFA 2010 World Cup match schedule | Green Point Stadium Webcams | Cape Town Tourism 2010

 * Officially the demonym of the people of Botswana.

Oh Christ – we beat the pigs!

Such were the unusual circumstances in which I found myself over the weekend and such were the demands of Sky TV for a Friday evening kick off that I’ve just had a “oh christ, I’ve left the iron on!” moment.


I can’t believe I didn’t blog about this earlier, but I see no harm in blogging about it now.


Not that there’s much to blog about. Thrilling game. We won, they didn’t.

Which is all as it should be.

Not always what it seems…

Look, I know that you’re all ready and waiting for something big after my refreshing break at Fancourt, but I need to let you in on a long-held secret here. The lifestyle of a top blogger isn’t always as exciting as you might imagine.
Sure, there’s the jet-setting up and down the country, the trips abroad, the glamorous wife and the copious volumes of red wine, but to balance that out, there has to be a certain degree of mundanitude as well.
For example, tonight, I’m going to be moving some furniture around so that my carpets can be cleaned tomorrow. And no, there are no euphemisms in there at all. Literally, I am moving a couple of couches so the guys can wash the floor covering underneath them. With two small kids and a whole heap of building work, they certainly need the attention.

But every cloud has its silver lining. On the plus side, I get to move into my new study too. The walls are up, the ceiling is done and the desk is there. In an amazing show of foresight, Mrs 6000 even managed to organise some of those special holes with the plastic edges so you don’t have wires hanging everywhere. True, I’d have preferred them in the desk, but it’s surely the thought that counts.

Once the “plumbing in” of all the electronica is completed, I can then get round to listening to some loud music and tonight’s offering may well be the bizarre – yet brilliant – sounds of Werk 80 II by German Goth legends, Atrocity. There’s something strangely captivating about Alexander Krull’s voice doing their industrial metal-style cover of Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy.


Rumour has it that Alexander is rather proud of his luxurious mane – and checking it out – who wouldn’t be? In the image above, he has even had a couple of saucily-clad minxes super-imposed on the picture, but you were so busy looking at his hair, you never even noticed, right?
That’s how confident he is of the enchanting, mesmerising, hypnotising effect of his hair. It’s powerful stuff.
Strong, lengthy, well-maintained Teutonic hair. Big hair.

[Hint: one of them has a bare bottom. A slightly greased bare bottom. On the left. Got it yet?]

Regular readers will probably just suggest that I threw that picture in precisely because of the saucily-clad minxes. Apparently, I have a record of occasionally publishing gratuitous saucily-clad minx pictures.

Do you have a problem with that?

Back in Cape Town

Following an amazingly relaxing weekend away at the 5-star Fancourt resort in George, we’re back in Cape Town after a completely exhausting 38 minute flight back along the southern Cape coast.

Highlight of the weekend for little Alex was the use of our own golf cart for the duration.
Obviously, he wasn’t allowed to drive it himself. Much.

Highlight for me was the scenery, the weather and the sunsets. And seeing the family having such fun, of course.

You can see the photos here – some good ones, though I say so myself.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a proper post or two. You’d be foolish to miss it.