Monthly Archives: November 2007

Summer, where have you been?

Summer, where have you been?
See the window on the right? It's the same one that was featured in yesterday's post. On the left is Mitchell's Brewery and on the right is Ferrymans, the Waterfront's oldest tenant. These two together are something of a Cape Town institution - I honestly don't think I've ever seen either of them empty (or even not-too-full). It's the perfect spot for a quick drink after work, or a pub lunch with friends, especially in summer.

And on that note: as you can see, someone has finally summoned the courage to tell the weather people that it's actually November, and thus some clear skies and sunshine would be rather nice. At last I can announce that it's summer in Cape Town.

Computer geeks at Ferrymans

Computer geeks at Ferrymans
We spent last night with friends and fellow IT professionals at the fifth Cape Town GeekDinner held at Ferrymans Tavern in the V&A Waterfront. There was LOTS of food, plenty of wine (kindly sponsored by online wine cellars, wine23.co.za) and a good amount of interesting conversation.

If you consider yourself a computer geek, and want to join the in-crowd, then Google "GeekDinner" to find if meetings are held near you.

The vines of Contermanskloof

The vines of Contermanskloof
Heading from Table View to Durbanville through this kloof, you'll be awestruck by the beauty of the rolling hills and bright green vines. This is my favorite route back from the beach to our house for two reasons - the magnificence of the landscape and the fun of racing around corners and flying over the steep hills in Kerry-Anne's Mini.

Disclaimer: Although this mountain-pass-like kloof is one of my weaknesses, I'm actually pretty well behaved on the road - promise - please don't flame me ;).

Why’re you laughing?

Why're you laughing?
Well, while taking yesterday's photo of the sad and lonely cone, I heard some shouting and laughter emanating from behind me. Evidently these guys had never seen someone taking a photo of a poor disregarded ice-cream cone, and found the whole episode rather amusing.

A sad and lonely cone

A sad and lonely cone

I wonder who you belong to
and why they threw you down.
I wonder, did they just drop you,
sadly - without a sound?
I wonder if you're crying
as you lie there melting down.
I wonder if they'll fetch you and
scoop you from the ground.

The story of a sad and lonely cone lying in the gutter across from Blaauberg Beach.

A hot day at Table Bay

A hot day at Table Bay
Kerry-Anne and I woke up late this morning to a hot and stuffy house. So, with the temperature still rising, we did what any clear-thinking individual in Cape Town would do... we went to the coast for lunch (yes, that's how late it already was). The air was perfectly clear and there was a cool sea-breeze blowing. I haven't seen the water looking quite so clear and quite so Turquoise in a long time - it was very deserving of this photo.

The 80s are back (but just for one night)

The 80s are back (but just for one night)
A friend of ours celebrated her birthday by inviting a few of us around for an evening straight out of the 80s. Mini-skirts, big shirts, primary colours, side ponytails, teased hair and headbands all made an appearance, while the sounds of Transvision Vamp, Abba, Bananarama, Michael Jackson, George Michael and Madonna took us back to our younger days.

The AA office

The AA office
AA, in this instance, stands for Automobile Association. The Automobile Association of South Africa offers a whole range of products and services to motorists - things like roadside assistance, pre-trip inspections, pre-purchase inspections and driver training. Their website has loads of useful info on all things motoring (but I suggest you take care if you're prone to migraines - there are an awful lot of flashing, moving graphics on the site too, which nearly drove me crazy).

Pretty safe

Pretty safe

This photo was taken from the inside of a house we visited in Woodstock last week. This is certainly the most attractive burglar-proofing I've seen in a long time - if you have to have burglar bars, then you might as well make them a feature!

The Exposure Gallery

The Exposure Gallery
Today has been terribly rainy in Cape Town. It's really strange because yesterday was really really hot and I remember thinking that my garden looks terribly dry. It's been raining for most of the day so I haven't ventured out with my camera.

I took this photo at a small art gallery (The Exposure Gallery at The Old Biscuit Mill) a little while ago. The simplicity of the way the photos were hung drew attention to their absolute beauty.

King Of The Mountain

King Of The Mountain
Yes, you guessed it. Kerry-Anne and I were treated to a day out to watch the annual King Of The Mountain race over the Gydo mountain pass. The day was filled with fast cars, plenty of sun and an absolutely divine spitbraai (skewered whole lamb, cooked over an open fire).

The purpose of the race is to see which car (or bike) can get over the mountain pass the fastest. There was fortunately only one minor incident on the day in which a go-cart that entered the race flew off the side of the mountain. The driver fortunately abandoned his chariot just in time, suffering only minor injuries (or so we were told).

I think the eventual winner was either the black Chevy Lumina in the photo or a white Nissan Skyline. What I do know for sure is that both drivers absolutely can drive.

Thanks JP and Nadine for the awesome day out.

Gydo Pass

Gydo Pass
This is the scene that stretched out before us on Sunday from the Gydo mountain pass located near the small town of Prince Alfred’s Hamlet. I'll reveal exactly what we were doing on the pass yesterday, but in the meantime Google the words "Gydo Pass King" to see if you can work it out.

Where did Sunday go?

Where did Sunday go?
Okay, so somehow I managed to lose Sunday's post, so I'm going to sneak it in today - perhaps nobody will notice.

Our electricity supply has been a contentious issue for the last few years. Eskom, our national supplier, miscalculated the amount of electricity a booming economy like ours would require and now find themselves a little short on capacity. So, I guess I won't be buying that nice big air-conditioning unit :(.

Woodstock

Woodstock
Nope, this Woodstock has nothing to do with the 1969 Woodstock music festival.

Woodstock, South Africa, is an old suburb of Cape Town on the slopes of Devil's Peak and currently an urban development zone with property owners enjoying tax benefits for upgrading buildings. This street hasn't been upgraded yet, but give it ten years and perhaps we'll see the face of Woodstock somewhat differently. See Woodstock's community website here.

A gentle spring zephyr

A gentle spring zephyr
Nothing is so beautiful as spring -
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush.
- Gerard Manley Hopkins

It was a blustery day today, and I imagined several times that my house might actually blow away with me in it. I heard strange crashes and thuds from outside all afternoon, but we seem to still be where we were this morning. This photo was taken as the wind began to settle down for the evening, from Bottelary Road near Stellenbosch.

Girl with long legs

Girl with long legs
Joy has been standing on the side of this Long Street building in Cape Town for some time now. She looks happy to be lonely, so I guess it's okay. I did some searching on the web, but can't find who Model Network is. Come on locals, does anyone out there know who Model Network is?

Ads like this weird me out a little. They're a bit like those ads for "wobble" parties that we see stuck on the sides of electricity boxes and walls around the suburbs. They have no address, no contact details, only a date. It's almost like they're saying, if you don't know where the party is, you're not cool enough anyway.

Pretty birdie #2

Pretty birdie #2

We found this bird perched on the branch of a tree in our garden. Okay, no, that's not true; although we'd love to be more like Sydney in this regard, birds like this aren't commonly found in our suburbs. If we had found one it would quite likely be a neighbour's bird gone walk-about.

Click here to see Pretty birdie #1 posted on 5 November.

Peter, the bird, actually lives at Monkey Town in Somerset West.

Places of worship #3

Places of worship #3

Kerry-Anne and I were driving around late this evening looking for something new to show you. Within seconds of each other we both thought of the old Dutch Reformed church in Durbanville, so here it is.

According to the Afrikaans wikipedia page (take a look here) people in the surrounding area lodged a request with the governor, Lord Charles Somerset, that a local church be established. The request was granted and the cornerstone was laid in 1825, where after the first pastor was appointed in 1826.

I visited the church a year or two ago when a friend's baby boy was christened. It was an interesting experience being in a traditional Afrikaans church. As an English-speaking person I felt a little out of place, yet strangely not.

Places of worship #2
Places of worship #1

Play park

Play park
Deer Park lies in the middle of a residential area on the slopes of Table Mountain. I didn't see many, I mean any, deer around - perhaps they're all up on the mountain away from mean children and noisy cars.

Disclaimer: I didn't see any mean children either, I'm just hypothesising. ;)

Christmas time

Christmas time
If Christmas is celebrated in your country I'd be surprised to find a mall that hasn't already started putting up decorations in preparation for the two bumper trading months, November and December.

Kerry-Anne and I always agree to do our Christmas shopping way before December, but you'll always find us shopping on 23 December. It's really a terrible way to spend the festive season. I remember one year that we took a few hours off and just sat in this mall watching harried Christmas shoppers rush up and down. It left a lot to ponder over.

The waterfall inside

The waterfall inside
Sanlam is one of the big life insurers in South Africa, and the holding company of South Africa's best short-term insurer, Santam, my employer. ;)

This wall of glass, to the left of Sanlam's reception area, has water pouring over it into a pool below... I'm not sure exactly what the reason is: perhaps it dampens voices and conversations in the reception area, perhaps it clears the air of pollutants, or perhaps it's just to create a talking point amongst visitors.

Eye of the beholder, and all that

Eye of the beholder, and all that
We went to a photography club awards evening tonight. We weren't involved at all (and don't belong to a photography club), but just went along to have a look at the photos on display and to see a bit of the judging.

There were some really beautiful entries, but what struck me most was how the judges' ideas of what constituted a prize-winning photograph differed so dramatically from my own at times. I listened with surprise as they gave relatively low scores to shots I thought were well-composed and original, and exceptionally high scores to shots that I considered to be fairly ordinary.

It made me realise once again that the appreciation of art really is a very subjective thing. (It also made me glad that no-one was scoring any of our photos.)

One free wife

One free wife

Kerry-Anne and I visited La Romantica the other night for dinner. They sell burgers, steak, pizza and pasta, amongst other things; and they are particularly renowned for their killer specials. Sunday night always used to be half-price pizza, Monday nights were half-price pasta, and Tuesday nights were spouse-on-the-house... although we were never entirely sure what that meant... :-)

Monkey-boy

Monkey-boy
Okay, so this baby boy was wandering around, doing naughty things, and generally irritating his mom and dad. Eventually dad grabbed hold of his tail and just hung on... the tail acting much like one of those harnesses some human parents strap onto their super-active kids' backs to keep them from darting into traffic or getting lost in crowded malls.

Apparently these Hamadryas baboons are among the most dangerous monkeys in the world.

The sun, a beautiful thing

The sun, a beautiful thing
There's something special about the sun setting over the ocean. Don't you just love it? Capetonians living in the Blaauwberg area have loads of wind to clear the air of pollutants, leading to clear skies and beautiful sunsets.

I must apologise for this post being so delayed, I spent a few hours last night trying to get Blogger to work, but it just wasn't playing along.

Pretty birdie

Pretty birdie
Meet the Vulturine Guineafowl, the largest (and almost certainly prettiest) member of the guineafowl family. This one lives with a friend or two at Monkey Town in Somerset West. As Paul mentioned in a previous post, we were the ones inside the cage, not the animals.

Dunes at West Beach

Dunes at West Beach

We visited a friend for a braai (a.k.a. barbecue) last night. A little while before sunset I dashed out of his West Beach house and up a sand dune to take this photo. The clouds in the background are covering Table Mountain, although you'll see Signal Hill faintly through the cloud to the right.

Please indulge me if this photo looks a little too processed for your taste - it's my first attempt at HDR imaging, thanks to a couple of posts by Gaëlle at Grenoble Daily Photo.

Thumbs-up graffiti

Thumbs-up graffiti
Koeberg Road leads from the N1 national highway in the Table View direction, passing by the Caltex oil refinery, a dismal awful-smelling area. One of the few rays of sunshine while passing the billowing, smoking refinery is this few hundred meter stretch of wall that's been painted with a message. I couldn't find any details about who painted it or what it's about, but with words like "freedom", "virtue", "love", "caring", "joy", "happiness", etc. painted, I figured that the message was positive - perhaps with the intention of fostering goodwill and love.

November Theme Day: The Colour Blue

November Theme Day: The Colour Blue
We found this blue building in Long Street while waiting for the Springboks to make their victory tour through Cape Town. We haven't been inside, but from the sign on the front says "Blue Mountain Backpackers".

Today, the first of the month, is Theme Day and there are currently 121 blogs participating. Please take a quick tour of the world by clicking on some of the links below.

Boston (MA), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Portland (OR), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Arradon, France - Petaling Jaya (Selangor), Malaysia - Stockholm, Sweden - Singapore, Singapore - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Toulouse, France - The Hague, Netherlands - Moscow, Russia - Fort Lauderdale (FL), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Stayton (OR), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Detroit (MI), USA - Crystal Lake (IL), USA - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Hyde, UK - Radonvilliers, France - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Manila, Philippines - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Saarbrücken, Germany - New Orleans (LA), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia - Forks (WA), USA - Wichita (Ks), USA - Barton (VT), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Quincy (MA), USA - Setúbal, Portugal - Inverness (IL), USA - Christchurch, New Zealand - Toru?, Poland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Le Guilvinec, France - Chateaubriant, France - London, England - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Naples (FL), USA - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - Sydney, Australia - Austin (TX), USA - Mumbai, India - Boston (MA), USA - Santa Fe (NM), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Paderborn, Germany - Montréal (QC), Canada - Jackson (MS), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Orlando (FL), USA - Grenoble, France - Cheltenham, UK - Forks (WA), USA - Mexico City, Mexico - West Sacramento (CA), USA - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Weston (FL), USA - London, UK - Jefferson City (MO), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Belgrade, Serbia - Paris, France - Shanghai, China - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Montpellier, France - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Auckland, New Zealand - Evry, France - New York City (NY), USA - Nottingham, UK - Las Vegas (NV), USA - Oslo, Norway - Minneapolis (MN), USA - American Fork (UT), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Haninge, Sweden - Trujillo, Peru - Trujillo, Peru - Melbourne (VIC), Australia - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Durban, South Africa - Brussels, Belgium - Anderson (SC), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Wellington, New Zealand - Prague, Czech Republic - Saigon, Vietnam - Ystad, Sweden - Miami (FL), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Hong Kong, China - Melbourne, Australia - Baziège, France - Greensboro (NC), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia