Temporary escape

I mentioned that I had had to leave Cape Town for a urgent trip before we lockdown on Thursday evening.

It wasn’t a decision I took lightly: travel is one of those things that needs to be curbed if we are to stop the spread of Covid-19. But it’s been two months since we’ve been able to get down to Agulhas, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to get down here for probably another two months now, and so I needed to make sure everything was ok at the cottage.

It was… it is. Well, just about. It wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t have come though. We needed electricity putting on the meter, the gutter had been damaged and needed some work. Nothing huge, but nothing you want leaving for however many weeks either. All the minor things that would normally have been done if we’d popped down for the weekend like we used to be able to before real life and sickness and now lockdowns got in the way.

And so the trip was worthwhile and we have had minimal contact with the locals: this is usually a pretty quiet place anyway.

But it was life as usual all the way through – restaurants are open (but quiet), Caledon and Bredasdorp were relatively busy and bustling with shoppers. But not in any way manic.
Struisbaai was also busy – lots of activity in and around the harbour particularly.
In Agulhas, we were the only customers in the 7/11. It was fully stocked, and the guys in there were stocktaking and getting their next order prepared. Nothing out of the ordinary. And that was weird, because normality is now weird.

We walked along the beach here (not Cape Town, so not closed). A few fishermen, same as always. Some birds. Sunshine, light breeze. You wouldn’t know that the world had changed.

Half of me wants to stay here, a million miles from anywhere and seemingly several weeks back from the present. But it will all change. It has to. And I don’t want to be here when it does. This place has always been a perfect escape from the stress of modern, daily life – something it’s proving again right now. I don’t want to see it polluted by reality.

Let me rather return when things have settled – however long that may be.

But right now, I need to get back to the braai. Because some things will never change.

Dash

I’ve had to make a quick trip across (a bit of) the country, so might not be able to get a blog post in later.

Nothing desperate, but really not ideal either: just some pre-lockdown admin. Got to be prepared, because I really don’t believe that three weeks is going to be enough…

Anyway, thoughts to follow if I get chance. And if not, at least there was this here today.

Big fall

A great weekend with friends in Agulhas. Braais, games, laughs, drinks, beaches, walks… all of the good stuff. The only thing that marred it slightly was me taking a heavy tumble on Struisbaai beach during a last-batsman rush to save the game of beach cricket.

You wouldn’t think that sand could be so hard.

I now have a large knee, a bruised shin and my dysesthesia is back with a vengeance. Walking is fine, running is a non-starter and I’m feeling rather foolish and more than a bit pissed off about the whole thing. And so we concentrate on the positives, which are plentiful and include:

1. The fact that I made the run, before retiring hurt and successfully avoiding vomiting in the Indian Ocean. Much like the contents of my stomach, I was not out.
2. The fact that otherwise, the weekend was a proper jol, and
3. The fact that we got back to Cape Town just in time to see this guy…

… brilliantly slot home the winner against Bournemouth.

I’ve always been a fan of his.

The Blades up to fifth, looking properly good, and the press now talking of Champions League footy at Bramall Lane next season. And for once, they don’t mean just on the big TV sets in the Blades’ Social Club.

I’m hoping that we’ve just about done enough to avoid relegation at this point and while the actual Premier League title seems just out of reach, I’d be very happy with any finish in the top half of the table. I’m not sure we have the depth of squad to take on the rest of Europe right now.

Still, that league position is fantastic (and actually, totally justified) and the attention is flattering (and actually, totally justified).

Wildlife photos

After our visit last week, I think we’d all thoroughly recommend a visit to the Nuwejaars Wetlands SMA. Their tours run morning and evening, and our guide – Eugene – was friendly, informative and chatty.

There are wild (but managed) populations of Eland, Black Wildebees and Cape Buffalo on the reserve, plus loads of other stuff – mongoose, springbok, a lot of birdlife – to see, and it’s just a nice few hours in nature.
When the rest of the world goes tits up in nuclear apocalypse, it’s nice to know that this will be one of the last places to succumb.

The experience was more about enjoying the moment than getting the perfect shot, but there’s time enough for everything and so here are a few photos from our morning.