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).

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. 🙂

Low tide for tonight

It’s always safer when the tide is low for New Year’s on Struisbaai beach.

Several thousand drunk Afrikaners with several (or more) fireworks each get quite concentrated when the tide is up, but I’ve checked and the first tide of the New Year is a low one at about 00:33.

That means that there will be plenty of beach to have fun on for the duration of the festivities.

I suppose that this is a good thing, but it will make it a whole lot less exciting than last year.

Call the ambulance(s)

“Forewarned is forearmed.”
“Be prepared.”
“Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared.”
“To be prepared is half the victory.”
And all that.

Hi, I’m here to help.
Let me explain.

New Year on Struisbaai beach is an experience. The combination of several thousand drunk Afrikaners playing with several hundred thousand Rands worth of amateur fireworks in the dark, with the Indian Ocean on one side and some flammable grassy dunes on the other makes for an exciting combination. If anyone bothered to do a risk assessment on this annual event, it would rank alongside swimming with hungry sharks, poking a puff adder or tickling a sleeping dragon for sheer stupidity

I love it and I can’t wait til this evening. Oh – and it’s all perfectly legal, too:

Vuurwerke

Die afvuur van vuurwerke/klappers op enige plek, datum of tyd is onwettig. Gemeenskap Polisie Forum, Buurtwag, Suid Afrikaanse Polisie Dienste en Kaap Agulhas Munisipaliteit Beskermingsdienste – het besluit dat vuurwerke vanjaar tydens ou-/nuwejaarsvieringe slegs tussen die Struisbaai Hawe en die Hoofstrand afgevuur mag word vanaf 20:00 op 31 Desember 2018 tot 02:00 op 1 Januarie 2019.

Boom – quite literally.

The only real variable in the heady mix described above is how much beach is available. The spacing out of holidaymakers and fireworks is key to the reduction in the level of danger on this one given night. And so I had a quick look at the tide tables for this year’s event.

It’s… it’s not looking good.

The last high tide for 2018 in Struisbaai is going to be at 23:58 this evening. This means that there will be very little beach available. But there will still be several thousand drunk Afrikaners playing with several hundred thousand Rands worth of amateur fireworks in the dark, with the Indian Ocean on one side and some flammable grassy dunes on the other.

Can I suggest the the powers that be organise several (or more) ambulances in advance of this evening’s festivities? And perhaps also that anyone going along takes an umbrella. A thick one that can stop falling fireworks.

Whatever your plans for this evening, have a safe one. Enjoy.

House prices

This is not a comment on the crazy prices for property in Cape Town. Even with ‘semigration’, the Mountain, those beaches, dem winelands and the fact that it’s not in Gauteng, those property prices in Cape Town are crazy.

But, like I said, that’s not what this post is about.

This is a post about me wondering how the people who come up with those house prices, come up with those house prices. And here’s the property that prompted it, sent to me earlier this morning.

Now, before we go any further, I know that once this house is sold, it will disappear from the internet. So here’s a screenshot, in case you’re reading this in 2022 or something.

Again, I’m not commenting on whether the price quoted makes this a great deal or a complete rip-off. How much do you charge for interior features like “House Levels”, anyway?

No. I’m commenting on the selling price.

How did they arrive at that figure? (It’s about $235,000 or £178,000 for you uitlanders, by the way.)

It’s basically got to be a disagreement between the houseowner and the agent, hasn’t it?

The estate agent felt that R3,250,000 would be a reasonable place to start, only to be told by an indignant owner that they wanted it on the market for R3,400,000 “and not a penny less!”.

How would that conversation have panned out? Well, the estate agent will have surely have pushed back…

“But no-one will look at it if we put it on at R3,400,000. It’s too high. Believe me, I’m an expert in this property market.”

“No-one will look at it?!?! It’s got 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchenette which could easily be converted to a full kitchen on the lower level and a well appointed kitchen and scullery on the upper level. That’s 1½ kitchens, mate. One. And. A. Half. Kitchens. R3,400,000.”

“Hmm. The kitchen thing is good, yes. How about R3,300,000 then?”

“OK. I’ll meet you halfway. R3,350,000. Not a penny less!”

“Well, a lot of people on our website actually search for properties which are less than R3,333,333, because they simply can’t be arsed to move their finger from the 3 key once it’s there. Marketed at R3,350,000, your property won’t be in those searches. And fewer views means less chance of selling. How about R3,325,000?”

“How about R3,330,000?”

“How about R3,327,500?”

“Well… OK then. But it’d better sell quickly.”

“I’m sure it will, it’s a great property.”

“R3,328,000.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

 

I don’t want to buy this house. It’s ugly and it has too much kitchen space.
And it’s got a weird price tag.