But Captain, you SAID that the best parties are at Clifton!

While browsing the 6000 miles from civilisation blog (it’s in the blogroll for folks who want to wander over there), I noticed a timelapse of the attempts to refloat the Eihatsu Maru, which ran aground at Clifton not too long ago.  It’s awesome enough to be reposted here:

And in other news, the Dragon capsule (which I wrote about earlier this week) was captured by the ISS earlier today.  I’m far less enthusiastic about the SKA announcement, but I’ll follow up with a separate post about that…

Vivid imaginings

It goes without saying that most of us geeks tend to have rather vivid imaginations.  I fell into that category — would spend my youth reading various fantasy novels (in my Grade 7 year, we had The Hobbit as a set work: I finished the book in one evening of solid reading, and then kept on re-reading it through the rest of the year).  These days, I still read books of that genre (I recently discovered around R600 of old Exclusive Books gift vouchers lying around, and promptly went out and got as many of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books as the vouchers would let me), as well as having a sort of addiction to role playing games (explaining the occasional board game evening of Arkham Horror, as well as the fact that I’m an avid World of Warcraft gamer — and more recently, Diablo III).

That said  I’ve always been a Calvin & Hobbes fan as well.  It’s something that I’ve always been able to relate to, for two main reasons: one is that I shared his vivid imagination growing up, the other being that I was just as naughty as he was.  (None of those have changed, by the way!).

Anyway, last night, I stumbled across the following image.  The artist depicts an adult Calvin, understanding the importance and value of having an imagination growing up.  If in the future I have kids, I can imagine myself in the image as well.

Calvin as a dad...

I don’t know who the artist is, by the way.  If you know, or if the artist is you, please get in touch!

(Footnote: George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books forms the basis from where the current Game of Thrones TV series was derived.  If you enjoy the show, but haven’t read the books, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.)

Destination: The Cape of Needles

I hadn’t done this for a while, but on Friday night I got the sudden urge to jump in the car the next day and just drive somewhere — so I did.

The destination this time was somewhere I’d wanted to go for a long time but hadn’t managed to get around to — Cape Agulhas, the southern tip of Africa.  After leaving Cape Town at around 11:00 and making a lunch stop en-route, I snapped this pic with the mobile phone camera around three hours later:

End of the road!

(You may need to click on the image to load the full size version if you can’t read the text on the plaque.)

After exploring the area, I took the scenic route back — cut across a dirt road from Bredasdorp to Gansbaai, and then followed the route along the coast through Stanton, Hermanus, Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay (bringing back pleasant memories) before hitting the N2 again at Gordon’s Bay and following that home.  (No photos, sorry — the light was fading by this time.  Maybe next time…)

Total distance travelled: just a touch over 500 km.  Just short of the road distance between Durban and Johannesburg.  Not bad going.

Up next: grab some mates and head off to Ronnie’s Sex Shop!

Life

This was printed out and stuck on the wall of the people I spent New Year’s Eve with — reproducing it here because I think it’s that good.  Admittedly, I don’t remember much else of that evening…

Life is not about finding the right person, but creating the right relationship.
It’s not about how we care in the beginning, but how much we grow and nourish one another in a relationship.
Some people always throw stones in your path.  It depends on what you do with them — build a wall or a bridge?
Remember you are the architect of your life.  Search a beautiful heart, not a beautiful face, because beautiful things won’t last forever, but a golden heart does and will prosper you and add value to yourself.
It’s not important to hold all the good cards in life.  But it’s important how well you play the cards which you hold.  Often when we lose all hope and think this is the end; it’s just a bend, not the end.  Have faith, keep faith and see what will happen to you.
One of the basic differences between God and man is: God gives, gives, gives and forgives; but man gets, gets, gets, and forgets.
Be thankful.
It’s the least you can do.

In other news — yes, I know I’ve been slacking with updates.  I’ll fill you lot in with what’s been happening in my life lately, soon.

Stillness in the bay

image

After spending a day here in Stilbaai, I can see how this place gets its name – all is still and peaceful.  I liked this town the first time that I came here, and it’s definitely grown on me a lot now.

It’s just me and Chris (who plays the piano in our church band) out here, and all we’ve really done is watch sport on the telly (Chris, while watching a rather soggy cricket match between England and India: “Kind of ironic that all the sports that need good weather come from England…”) drink beer (Chris, while I was writing this: “All I’ve had to drink since I’ve gotten here is beer!”) and play pool on a full-sized snooker table (which is great fun).  Right now, we’ve got some Rachmaninov playing, just watching the sunset.  It’s awesome.

The only bummer is that we have to return to Cape Town and work, bills and so forth tomorrow…

The Stilbaai excursion

Yesterday evening, after playing in the church band for the Sunday evening service, a few of us headed out to a local eatery for dinner.  The conversation between two of the guys revolved around their planned weekend away in Stilbaai (this coming weekend) – and halfway through, they turned to me…

“Hey, want to come along?”

You don’t need to ask me that twice!

Hence, I won’t be around this weekend (but may be able to post remotely).  This time though, I will remember to take the camera with me, so there should be a few photos posted around this time next week.

Stilbaai is, for those who have never been there, a rather peaceful and relaxed little dorp on the southern Indian Ocean coast, around four hours drive east of Cape Town (you take the N2 out and turn off just after you go past Riversdale).  I’ve been there once before in January, when some friends from Gauteng were staying in a holiday house there and phoned me up inviting me to pop over for the weekend.  I’ve only good good memories of that place, and I should be adding more in a few days time.

This does however mean that I need to get moving with my roadtrip playlist

Sandboarding: How not to do it

The drive back from Hermanus over the weekend (which I’ve mentioned in one of today’s earlier posts) reminds me of a little adventure that happened around a month ago.  Tim (another good friend of mine) managed to procure a holiday house in Betty’s Bay for the weekend – so, eight friends headed off there for a weekend of fun.

I won’t draw attention to other parts of that weekend (such as, me driving there with a car boot full of alcohol, and me returning to Cape Town minus said alcohol) – no, the focus of this post is rather our attempt at sandboarding down the massive sand dune that they have there.

And at this point, I’m going to shut up and let the video that we made do the talking:

Oh, if anyone is thinking of doing it: you rent the sandboards for 24 hours from the local DVD store (named “The Couch Potato” if my memory serves me correctly); if you’re heading in the direction of Kleinmond, it’s just past the bridge over the Dawidskraal stream (there’s a permanent speed camera just there).  The sandboarding dune itself is on the western edge of Betty’s Bay; access is via Delport Road.  I suggest taking a 4×4 with you though – I managed to get my car stuck in soft beach sand, and it required an army of strong-armed chaps to extricate it…

The awesomeness that is the Western Cape

As I’ve alluded to somewhere else on this website, I have the habit of simply jumping into the car and just driving wherever the road takes me.  I’ve done several such trips, and my thoughts afterwards are always the same:

The Western Cape is a simply beautiful part of the world.

I had a close friend stay with me for the weekend (she’s both female and crazy, so whether that’s a blessing or a curse is highly debatable – but that’s a whole different subject, and is not the point that I’m trying to make here) – so, I decided to show her around the place.  This consisted of a small roadtrip to Hermanus (going there via Grabouw and Botrivier and returning via Kleinmond and Betty’s Bay), and then a visit to the Paarl winelands the next day.  Cameras were forgotten about in a moment of absent-mindedness, but we both realised how amazing this part of the world is.  Probably the defining moment was when I pulled off onto a view site on the road between Pringle Bay and Gordon’s Bay.  Behind us, mountains; in front of us, False Bay and the distant mountains around Muizenberg and Fish Hoek on the other side.  It was a moment just sitting there in silence, taking in the view, contemplating life, the universe and everything.

I feel so privileged to be living here, and even more so that I was able to share this with someone who hadn’t experienced it before.