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.

A day early

I had promised my dad, who’s over for a couple of weeks visiting his grandkids and grandbeagle, some traditional South African loadshedding, but we all thought that it would kick in tomorrow, when everyone goes back to work and the demand for electricity we can’t provide goes up.

Not the case, as at 10pm yesterday evening, Eskom announced a night of Stage 2, ostensibly in order to top up their diesel and repump their water. This didn’t directly affect us, thanks to a friendly schedule, but then we woke this morning to a 24 hour extension, meaning no coffee for me, and no early morning Scalectrix for the beagle.

Understandably, we’re both pretty annoyed right now.

I’m also wondering what the immediate reason is for today’s loadshedding, given that the diesel and the water were sorted overnight. It doesn’t bode well for the rest of the week. Or for the rest of the year.

 

Sky Spiders

We really enjoyed the New Year fireworks on Struisbaai beach. There are some fun sponges out there who would like to see a complete ban (and sadly, it seems that they’re getting their way bit by bit), but such is the draw of this 2 hour free-for-all, I’m hopeful that the Struisbaai display may yet live to see in several more New Years.

I accept that there are dangers. The Suiderstrand fire seems likely to have been lit by a braai though, so are you going to try and ban them too? This annual festival is approved by the relevant Fire Services, who would much rather have all the fireworks in one place where they can monitor them and step in if needs be, than all over the Southern Tip.

“Outlaw people using distress flares!”, “Prevent another Betty’s Bay from happening!!” cry the outraged masses, conveniently forgetting that the Betty’s Bay fire  – terrible though it was – was… er… actually started by someone launching a distress flare illegally.

This is SA. The law doesn’t stop people.

And so concentrating them all together right next to a fire engine actually seems like a very good idea.

I’ll sort some photos when I have some more time and inclination, but this one summed up the evening for at least one of the kids.

On the left, an exploding rocket- and then the eight stages of its disintegration in the south east wind. From sharp, defined edges, bones and legs, through to the barely recognisable, diffuse remains on the right.

A quick scan suggests that there are a lot of (handheld, nighttime) fireworks shots on the camera, of which at least one or two are probably worth sharing. But like I said: still in holiday mode here.

Deal with it. 🙂

Wildlifes

We are going to try to see some local wildlifes this morning, so standby on my Instagram for some (or more) shots from the Agulhas Plain throughout the day.

Amazingly, it’s still absolutely free to follow me on there (and on here).

I know. Unbelievebeagle, isn’t it?

Anyway, apparently wildlifes on offer may include: hippopotamuses, elands, gruffalos, quaggas, springboks and many more marvellous mammals, with a side order of birdlife.

And possibly some plant. In fact, almost certainly some plant.
Plant can like to be very popular.

And then after the wildlifes, some wines.
I’m looking forward to it all.

 

UPDATE: Sorry. It seems that I heard wrongly and it should be BUFFALOS and not GRUFFALOS. Bit disappointing, to be honest, but oh well.