Monthly Archives: October 2007

Visiting family

Visiting family
Yes, I know that the likeness is uncanny - so Kerry-Anne keeps telling me. As part of the MINI toy run (mentioned in a previous post), we visited my supposed family at Monkey Town in Somerset West.

Monkey Town, a monkey sanctuary, was started in December 2000 by owner Roseline Grobler, when she saved an abused Capuchin. Not enjoying the luxury of government grants, Monkey Town looks after more than 270 monkeys by means of funding derived from entrance fees and donations from businesses and the public.

When you're in the area, do stop over at Monkey Town - it really was a treat!

From the lines on the photo you may be fooled into thinking that this monkey was in a cage. It was in fact us visitors who were in a cage-like tunnel. The monkeys are out in the open, surrounded by a tall fence with low-powered electrical fencing - mainly to keep the little children away from the cute monkeys. ;)

Our Toy Run

Our Toy Run

On Sunday I posted about a MINI Toy Run we went on. We received a few comments in answer to my question in the post, and yes, you guys guessed it. A Toy Run is an event traditionally organised for bikers. Hundreds of bikers buy toys, muster and ride off on their "Toy Run", delivering the toys to orphanages and children's hospitals. It's generally the only time that huge burly bikers can be seen carrying big fluffy toys.

Sunday was a lot more subdued. MINI drivers hardly have the same rough and tough look about them, but still we bought our toys and mustered to begin our Toy Run. After taking a detour (which I'll post about tomorrow) we finally ended up at the Red Cross Children's Hospital, where a whole lot of kids had a little brightness brought to their day.

The Springboks bring Webb Ellis home

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Tens of thousands of people thronged the streets of Cape Town today to welcome the Springboks home after winning international rugby's great prize, the William Webb Ellis cup. Kerry-Anne and I took a few hours off work to experience the festive atmosphere and catch a few snaps of these South African heroes.

Well done and welcome home boys!

Thanks to Cafe Zorina on 172 Loop Street; they kindly allowed us onto their balcony to take these photos and plied us with drinks and some of the best authentic samoosas I've had.

Toy Run with MINI

Toy Run with MINI
A month or two ago Kerry-Anne bought a MINI Cooper from Auric Auto (a MINI and BMW dealer in Claremont). Auric Auto held a MINI Toy Run today, and invited Kerry-Anne and I along to join in the fun.
  1. Do you know what a "Toy Run" is?
  2. Have you been on one?

We have something else lined up for tomorrow, so you'll have to wait until Tuesday to find out exactly where we went and what we did...

27Dinner @ Deer Park Café

27Dinner @ Deer Park Café

Kerry-Anne and I socialised with computer geeks, marketers, entrepreneurs and media-fundis at this evening's 27Dinner held at Deer Park Café in Vredehoek. Apart from the good food and great speakers, we met and chatted with a bunch of really nice people.

Deer Park Café is situated in a residential part of Cape Town city, on the beautiful slopes of Table Mountain (yip, that's Table Mountain hiding under its table cloth in the background).

Cloudy moon

Cloudy moon
Kerry-Anne's dad called earlier this evening to tell us about the unusual cloud formation in the sky. The clouds were moving pretty quickly and about 5 minutes after I was finished taking photos they were gone.

One thing that I noticed while taking this photo was the large number of aeroplanes crossing our skies at night. Several passed in front of the moon as I was taking photos, but it sure is a trick trying to take a photo of them in flight backed by such a bright moon.

Horsing around

Horsing around

That sure does look like some mighty tasty grass - if you're a horse that is. I've tasted grass and, well, I guess that it's a lot like whiskey, an acquired taste.

The photo was taken somewhere out the back of Durbanville, about 30 minutes' drive from Cape Town. Isn't it an absolutely beautiful view that these animals have to look out on each day? The mountains, the fields, the flowers... I wonder if they get tired of the view... do you think horses can get tired of a view?

Let’s play!

Let's play!
Having grown up in the suburbs, a child of the technological age, I'm not too well-versed in old-school farm equipment. So I have absolutely no idea what this is. It looks interesting though, and I'd like your creative suggestions as to what it could be used for (kind of like a game of "Props" on "Whose line is it anyway?").

So, if you had one of these just standing in your garage, how would you put it to use? Personally, I think it would make a fantastic mobile jewellery rack - all those hooky bits are just crying out to have bracelets hung on them, and the big round wheely part would look oh-so-pretty adorned with an array of necklaces.

A postcard for the best suggestion...

Tintin today

Tintin today
Since it's been a very rainy day and for the sake of readers who aren't quite as excited about the rugby results as we are, I decided to post a picture of this little guy - many kids' (and adults') comic book hero. I was surprised to find out that Tintin is actually quite the cult figure - just Google it. Perhaps I should have bought this wooden Tintin and sold it on eBay...

The celebration does go on

The celebration does go on
Celebrations will go on for weeks to come. Today motorists were still blowing their hooters in the streets of Cape Town and fans once again donned their green and gold rugby jerseys. There wasn't too much fanfair among my many colleagues, just an air of knowing (in a "we knew all along" kind of way) that our boys are the 2007 Rugby World Champions.

Two things struck me during this World Cup. Since their victory we've seen many interviews of John Smit, Bryan Habana, Percy Montgomery, etc. and what's interesting is how they - and the rest of the team - all seem like such genuinely nice guys.

The other thing that struck me was how 22 guys and two coaches have managed to unite a very diverse nation in a common goal, a common victory. It was thought-provoking to see black and white fans, who would ordinarily have been divided to a great degree, now hugging each other in the streets.

As I write this the Springbok team is flying (not only figuratively) thousands of feet above the earth, returning to South Africa and preparing to be met by thousands of screaming supporters at OR Tambo Airport tomorrow morning. Welcome back boys!

Tonight… we conquer!

Tonight... we conquer!
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won.

For anyone who may have missed the news, the Springboks became the 2007 Rugby World Cup champions last night, joining Australia as one of the only two teams to have won the trophy twice. The streets of Cape Town were filled with people celebrating into the early hours of the morning - motorists hooted, flags were flown, vuvuzelas were blasted, and pedestrians ran up and down high-fiving people as they drove past. It was an awesome ending to a month and a half of excitement, a week of nervous build-up, and two days of unbelievable Springbok fever. We're a happy nation today, despite the collective hangover. :)

Thanks to everyone who posted good luck messages here over the past week or two! For those of you outside of South Africa, today's post title is a reference to this advert.

PodCamp Cape Town

PodCamp Cape Town
We spent the day at PodCamp Cape Town, an unconference for anyone with an interest in podcasting, blogging or any other forms of new media. We learnt plenty about the world of new media, and met some super people, all innovators in their own way. They were very generous in giving us a whole host of excellent photo ideas for this blog, which we'll be going out and shooting over the next few months. Watch this space...

Green Day

Green Day
I remember that when I was at high school we used to hold "Brag Day" the day before any really big interschool sporting event. We would all dress up and get together in the school hall to sing rousing songs and build spirit ahead of the upcoming sports day. Well, today has been Brag Day for the whole of South Africa, as we prepare to take on England in tomorrow's Rugby World Cup Final.

Everywhere I went today I saw people dressed in green, as well as plenty of Springbok and South African flags flying outside houses and businesses. There's an enormous air of expectation, and quite honestly I don't think a whole lot of work got done around Cape Town today.

Many companies allowed their staff to come to work in casual clothes, and encouraged them to dress in green and gold. These photos were taken by Hannes Thiart, outside the head-office of Paul's employer Santam, which is a large insurance company located in Bellville.

Roll on tomorrow, we're ready!

Scaling down

Scaling down
If this house was a little too upmarket and fancy-schmancy for you, then perhaps you'd prefer something a little more... rustic?

Disclaimer: I'm 99.9% sure there are no people living in this dilapidated structure. I can't be sure, but I think it could be a shed of some kind. Beautiful surroundings though, not so?

Out of town

Out of town
We found this house not far from where I took yesterday's photo. The area is rural and peaceful - making for a refreshing break from city life. If you enjoy rural living, it must be a wonderful place to stay - only a few minute's drive from Durbanville town-centre, yet far enough away to escape the city.

The colour of spring

The colour of spring
These purple flowers cover the fields and verges in and around Cape Town in springtime. We're not too sure what they actually are (anyone care to shed some light on this?), although they're generally regarded as weeds when they appear in the garden. They certainly look beautiful when they grow in big clumps like this, though.

Roosters back on the bench

Roosters back on the bench
The French rugby team (Les Bleus) lost to the English team last night in the first semi-final of the Rugby World Cup at Stade de France. Kerry-Anne and I watched in dismay as Jonny Wilkinson managed to kick the ball over the posts twice in the last 5 minutes of the game, putting England ahead.

The rooster is one of France's national symbols. We found these roosters, fittingly, sitting on the bench and looking highly annoyed.

Commiserations to our French blogger friends Eric, Alice, Nathalie and Gaëlle - we do feel for you!

Visit Grenoble Daily Photo to see Gaëlle's rooster - looking slightly happier than perhaps it should. ;)

We're off to watch the Springboks play Argentina in the second semi-final in a few hours' time - any good vibes and positive thoughts you want to send their way would be most welcome.

A bird in distress

A bird in distress
This picture finds three strangers working together to remove a tightly wound piece of fishing line from a Egyptian Goose's leg. The bird, clearly in pain, initially put up a fight - trying desperately to escape our hands. After several minutes the gentleman to the left managed to unwind the last strand of nylon.

Birds along our coast sometimes get caught up in fishing line. I wish that all fishermen would be caring and careful enough to properly dispose of discarded fishing line. Sometimes it's impossible to retrieve lost line, but often people just seem lazy and leave fishing line tangled in rocks or reeds.

Once released the limping bird headed for the water and was last seen swimming towards its friends, seemingly happier.

Slimy friends visit our garden

Slimy friends visit our garden

Go to the Snail thou Sluggard
by Gus Ferguson

The snail, most people think a pest,
It spins no web nor weaves a nest.
Its morals make the prudes uptight:
Low, languid lust! Hermaphrodite!
It bares no fang nor tooth nor tusk,
Lacks backbone! Cowardly mollusc!

And yet, I rather love the snail:
Who thrush and humans seldom fail
To crush to eat or disembowel
With vicious beak or garden trowel.

It totes around with stoic grace
A sylvan, spiral, carapace.
With leaden ballast, sailing slow,
Go carefully my escargot.

Stellenbosch University

Stellenbosch University

Unlike most other universities, Stellenbosch University is not centralised in one single building or complex, but is instead spread out throughout the town.

I spent the day at a course at the university today, in the building next to this one (they look identical, this one was just easier to get a photo of). This is part of the Centre for Language Studies, and is set in a beautiful tree-lined street with very limited parking. Oh hang on, that could describe virtually any street in Stellenbosch...

Actually, I love visiting Stellenbosch, limited parking or not - the presence of all those students gives it such a carefree atmosphere, full of promise.

There’s no need for gym in Clifton

There's no need for gym in Clifton
Those of you who've visited Clifton's part of the coastline will know that it's located along the slopes of Table Mountain. These steep slopes and the allure of the white beaches offer beach-goers an excellent opportunity to work off unwanted weight.

These steps are the lazy man's descent to Clifton's beaches. The other paths down are much longer and steeper than this one. I'm (I mean, we're) always out of breath after climbing back to the road above.

That old mill on the M3

That old mill on the M3

Mostert's Mill is just over 200 years old, and the second-oldest mill in Cape Town. It was named after someone called Sybrand Jacobus Mostert who apparently bought the mill and surrounding property in 1823.

Mostert's Mill has been restored twice: first in 1935 by the Department of Public Works, and then again in 1995 by the Friends of Mostert's Mill. I was sad to read a sign on the gate indicating that the mill is now closed to the public except by special request to the Department of Public Works. I think my mother still has a photo of my brother and I playing outside the mill some 25 years ago.

Tense moments

Tense moments
Last night's quarter-final rugby game was filled with moments of extreme, nerve-wracking tension for Springbok fans, and this was one of them (evidenced by the four people with hands clutched dramatically to their temples).

We watched the game at the Springbok Pub in Newlands, which is hosting Cape Town's official Absa Boktown. The atmosphere was brilliant, with all kinds of prizes (for singing the national anthem with gusto, for dancing on the tables, even for the group buying the most beer); and appropriately celebratory music was played at the end of the game. We'll be there for the semi-final and the final too, so if you're in Cape Town and are looking for a good place to watch the games, join us. (Be sure to call the pub and book a table though - the venue can hold a fair number of people, but I have a feeling it's going to fill up fast.)

The lonely seagull

The lonely seagull
It's been raining on and off today. I took a drive past Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, stopping off at Clifton 4th beach to take a few photos. I've never seen Clifton 4th empty - with nobody bathing in the sun. The only form of life on the beach was this lonely seagull - I almost felt sad for it, but then realised I was also alone. :(

Cold ‘n rainy

Cold 'n rainy
I spent part of the morning scouting the area for a few photographs. Today has been on the cool side with patches of rain catching me mid-photo every now and again. Looking carefully, you'll spot at least three raindrops waving at you from the front of my lens.

Kerry-Anne mentioned Kenilworth Racecourse in yesterday's post, so I thought I might as well stick with the theme. This road leads to Durbanville Racecourse, which is about 40 minutes from Kenilworth. Whenever I drive this route I imagine that this is how the English countryside must look, all green with beautiful trees - and today, grey skies with rain ;).

Where are all the pretty horses?

Where are all the pretty horses?
I'm not too sure, but since this shot was taken at 7am on a Friday morning, I guess it's not surprising that they weren't on the racetrack.

This is Kenilworth Racecourse, the oldest racecourse in the country and home to the annual J&B Met - a high-fashion affair, with plenty of large hats, designer suits, and very, very short skirts. Oh, apparently there's a little bit of horse-racing too, but you'd never guess so based on the TV coverage of the event.

The J&B Met has been on my to-do list for a really long time, and maybe with a bit of planning we'll actually make it there in 2008 (I don't mind wearing a hat, but my skirt will be of a modest length).

To Harley or not to Harley

To Harley or not to Harley
I'm not much of a Harley-Davidson fan... well alright, at the risk of offending a few friends, I'm not a Harley-Davidson fan AT ALL. These machines just look all wrong to me, and the picture is made even stranger by the addition of one of those tiny World War 2-style helmets that seem so very popular amongst Harley riders.

But Harleys are really popular in Cape Town, and you'll often encounter a flock of them going for a breakfast run on a Sunday morning along any of our winding coastal roads. I always suppress my giggles though, because the riders are generally substantially larger than me and I don't fancy my Sunday morning turning into one of those nasty scenes from a Mad Max movie.

Apologies to any Harley riders reading this post; I'm quite sure you wouldn't like my car either. And I know that you're really all big sweethearts and would never hurt a girl.

An empty ferris wheel

An empty ferris wheel
You'll find this ferris wheel at High Street Shopping Village in Bellville. We stop here every now and again for lunch from our favourite baguette bar, Chez Pierrot. The owner, originally from France, makes the best baguettes ever, with home-made mayonnaise and all. Our favourite is a toasted round white baguette with bacon, cheese, avocado, and sometimes a dash of chilli - absolutely awesome.

A heavy load

A heavy load
I can't imagine riding on top of such a precariously-stacked load can be much of a party, but for these guys it's just part of the job.

I'm not sure that it's legal to ride on the back of a truck like this, and it certainly isn't safe, but unfortunately it's common practice in South Africa to transport workers in this way.

October Theme Day: Cemeteries and Tombstones

October Theme Day: Cemeteries and Tombstones
It's Theme Day again (can you believe that? October already!), and this month's chosen subject is Cemeteries and Tombstones. This shot was taken at the Durbanville Cemetery - see our previous posts about the cemetery here and here.

There are 103 blogs participating in this theme day. Use the links below to see how the dead are remembered around the world:

St. Louis (MO), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - New York City (NY), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Hyde, UK - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Toulouse, France - Arradon, France - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Joplin (MO), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Seattle (WA), USA - Baziège, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Anderson (SC), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Nashville (TN), USA - Tenerife, Spain - Manila, Philippines - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Jacksonville (FL), USA - River Falls (WI), USA - Chateaubriant, France - Quincy (MA), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Lubbock (TX), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Moscow, Russia - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Minneapolis (MN), USA - New Orleans (LA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Toru?, Poland - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - London, England - Paderborn, Germany - The Hague, Netherlands - Selma (AL), USA - Sunderland, UK - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Stavanger, Norway - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Weston (FL), USA - Portland (OR), USA - Forks (WA), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Wellington, New Zealand - Montpellier, France - Jackson (MS), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Evry, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - New York City (NY), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Cypress (TX), USA - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Zurich, Switzerland - Budapest, Hungary - Paris, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Grenoble, France - Zurich, Switzerland - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada - Sequim (WA), USA - Chicago (IL), USA