Monthly Archives: May 2009

Playpark tyre swings

Play park tyre swings

I'm not sure if it's a specifically South African thing, but check these swings out. Which brightspark (and I do mean that) thought of turning a car tyre inside out and fashioning a bucket-like swing seat from it? Most playpark swings I come across in and around Cape Town seem to use these kind of seats... the only difficulty with them is that if you're all grown up, and if the tyre was from a small vehicle, it's kinda difficult to get it off your butt once you've plopped in. :D

I used Google Image Search to see if I could find swings like this in other countries. I have to admit that I only checked the first four pages of results, but what was interesting was that the only similar ones that I found appear to have originated from South Africa. Others were full tyres tied to a rope... which is cool, but just not the same. ;)

On the topic of swings, check out the cartoon depicting the dangers of installing swings in high-density housing areas.

Party in a jukebox

Jukebox playlist

A fun thing to do for a party is to hire an old-fashioned jukebox... and I imagine that a fun thing to do during the summer holidays in Cape Town would be to hire a jukebox for a few days. :) I hired one for a party a couple of years ago, and it was a blast - quite literally.

These days the only boxes that you can hire are fitted with hard drives containing hundreds of MP3 tracks. I'd love to find one of these babies that still uses LPs. I guess that finding one, especially in a public place, would be nearly impossible. Please leave a comment if you know of a genuine jukebox that plays genuine LPs. We may just have to visit! :)

Not the most inspirational graffiti

Not the most inspirational graffiti

Cape Town's weather has turned grey, much like this photo. I always struggle to find something to photograph under these conditions... either because it's too flippin' cold to venture outside, or because it's raining outside and I'm reluctant to get rain on my camera - or perhaps that grey weather just drains my inspiration (much like I'm guessing this graffiti artist's inspiration was drained by the dull vibracrete wall and monochrome palette).

Vibracrete walls must be one of the structures I dislike most in our country. These precast concrete walls have permeated the fabric of our suburbs, with almost every property bordered off by a dull grey wall. Every now and again someone gets inspired and paints their walls in a colour to match their homes, or better yet, in an inappropriately bright colour, like apricot or salmon. Because undercoat is seldom used, the wall paint doesn't last very long and starts to peel, leaving patches of grey or previous layers of paint exposed.

If there were actually a chance of being taken seriously, and if the thought weren't so ridiculous, I'd recommend we start a petition to ban the erection of vibracrete walls. :)

Delheim, worth the journey

Delheim wine

Delheim is an old wine estate in the heart of Stellenbosch wine country. It was on Tuesday night that my palate encountered Delheim Merlot for the first time - and I have to say that for a 2006 wine it was pretty darn decent!

Delheim's tag-line is "Worth The Journey", which I guess conveys that even though Stellenbosch is a little way from the City (about 40km I'd guess), a visit is well worth the journey. I browsed their website a few minutes ago and discovered a little nugget of information... it seems as though Delheim's estate restaurant is having a special from 8-12 June. From the advert it sounds as though they will reduce their price to dollar numbers, but charge in rands. Could they really mean that a R150 meal will cost only R15? That's just crazy! I may just have to check if the journey is in fact worth it. ;)

Delheim, this sounds unbelievable; it would be awesome if you'd leave a comment clarifying what's meant by "Come and enjoy meal at Dollar rates!".

GeekDinner, in our Neighbourhood {Restaurant}

GeekDinner at Neighbourhood

Neighbourhood Restaurant and Pub hosted our merry group of geeky friends at Tuesday's bimonthly GeekDinner, code-named Naughty Naartjie.

I guess the first thing that I have to say about Neighbourhood is: "What a flippin' awesome venue!". The restaurant is located close to the top of Long Street (the vibrant side), on the upper level, from where you can watch passers-by migrating between nightclubs and bars. The restaurant owner kept an eye on the proceedings, and made sure that we had everything we needed. The service from the (beautiful) waitresses was unexpectedly attentive, giving us the feeling that they genuinely wanted to make sure that we were happy.

The buffet starter table was almost a meal in its own right, laden with trays of teriyaki and chilli chicken wings, chilli poppers, nachos, pita breads with hummus and tahina, olives, and a whole bunch of other yummy things. I had a pretty decent burger for mains, followed by ice-cream with chocolate sauce... and all of this was topped off with a great bottle of Merlot from our wine sponsor, Delheim (more about that in my next post though).

Apologies if it sounds like all we did was eat and drink :). In fact, there were a couple of good speakers who kept us well entertained in between courses and table banter. Thanks also to Bryn for the well-constructed slideshow karaoke*.

*Slideshow Karaoke: "...somebody prepares a set of slides on any topic they want (we've had "Etiquette when dealing with British Royalty", "Common problems with cement tiles", and "A primer on lesser known Norse gods"). Somebody else then presents a talk based on these slides without any prior knowledge of the topic, or of the content of the slides - always to amusing effect." - Vhata Vas Hyah

We’re on a road to somewhere

The Boland Mountain Range

A few months back I decided that it was time for my little web copywriting business to start growing. So I bravely rented some office space not too far from home and hired my first full-time employee. So far, it's turned out to be one of my best decisions ever - the offices are lovely, and I'm firmly convinced that my Operations Manager (she started off as a Personal Assistant, but very quickly outgrew that title) is the best anyone could wish for.

I'm looking forward to watching this baby business grow and expand into a formidable force; and one day when we've taken over the world, we'll be able to look back at this picture and say, "That's where it all started." This is the view from the street just outside our office block - beautiful, isn't it? That's the Boland mountain range in the distance, and in a month or two's time, there'll probably be snow on those peaks. And yes, it is still winter in Cape Town, just in case this picture confused you. ;-)

Have you ever taken a big step that seemed a little daunting at the time, but turned out to be a fantastic move?

Playpark slide for big kids

Playpark slide for big kids
I remember posting a photo of a Jungle Gym late last year. At the time one of our readers from the USA commented on the fact that they used to have metal and wooden Jungle Gyms too, but that these had been replaced with plastic ones as it was believed that the others were a health hazard. Another reader commented that he had once damaged his windpipe on one. However, the common thread running throughout the comments was that Jungle Gyms are fun!

So naturally I was excited to spot this hybrid of a Jungle Gym crossed with a slide. I came to a screeching halt when I noticed it on my way home from work - to get a few photos of course. The awesome thing that I discovered about this slide is that it was made with kids like me in mind. It's big enough that it doesn't make me feel like a giant - not only the stairs and the landing spot at the top, but also the slide itself.

After taking a few photos from the top, I tested the slide.... and by Jove, I fitted! It wasn't one of those annoying plastic slides, it was genuine stainless steel, and was wide enough that the sides didn't act as brakes to slow my descent! It was phenomenal! (And I guess that after reading this Kerry-Anne will want to be taken there to try it out :) ).

Where should we go for waffles?

Waffle and Ice Cream
Every now and again Paul gets a craving for waffles, and although I don't actually have a particularly sweet tooth, I never object, of course.

When we were younger, the best place for waffles and ice cream was undoubtedly Milky Lane. Well, either our tastes have matured, or Milky Lane's waffles have deteriorated considerably...

Sure, it might look yummy, but that's just because Paul takes such good photos. ;-) I actually have no idea what was in the centre of this waffle (you can't see it in the photo) - the poster on the wall said "chocolate mousse", but (a) it didn't look anything like the filling on the poster and (b) it was surprisingly... chewy. Apart from that, the service was iffy, and the waffles were a lot smaller than I remember them being.

So, since we probably won't be visiting Milky Lane in a hurry again, where do you suggest we go next time Paul is bitten by the waffle bug?

A hospital room with a view

Night time intersection

The building that you can see more or less in the middle of this photo is the Panorama Medi-Clinic, one of the best known private hospitals in Cape Town. Take a look at the lights spreading out in the background and you'll probably be able to work out why this area is called Panorama. It's located on the slopes of Tygerberg Hill, in the northern suburbs, and from here you can see a very large part of greater Cape Town.

The Panorama Medi-Clinic was opened in 1986, and was the very first hospital launched by the Medi-Clinic group. I'm not a big fan of hospitals in general, due to having spent quite a bit of time in one when I was a toddler. Being in a hospital environment always brings up vague feelings of trauma for me, so I avoid them as far as possible. If you don't have any such qualms, though, then take a visual tour of the Panorama Medi-Clinic. :)

Vehicle licence

Vehicle Licence

Each year around this time I receive a kind letter in the mail (as do many of you, I'm guessing), requesting me to present myself at the traffic department to pay for and collect my new vehicle licence disc. This year I got smart and handed the paperwork and cash over to my company's "Yell4Yellow" staff who stood in the queue for me and returned later that day, disc in hand. It was the best experience ever. :D

Yes, I realise that although I mentioned a "licence disc", this paper doesn't look quite like a disc. I've in fact neatly cut out the disc from the bottom left corner of this sheet and attached it to the lower left corner of my car's windshield. From my quick Google image search it would seem as though the UK has a similar system.

Please leave a comment and let us know if your country uses licence discs?

Oh, the red scrawl in the background is the makings of a blueprint for software that a colleague and I were designing. Isn't it lovely that my job allows me to draw pictures?

You are what you do

You are what you do

The quote "You are what you do" appears to originate from Jean-Paul Sartre, a 20th-century French philosopher. This particular sign can be found obscuring the view from my office, which lies somewhere between "the" and "exceptional". :)

I understand that the view held by Sartre was that you are responsible for who you are, and what you do dictates the person you are - which is a fair statement, I think. So, I guess that the message today isn't as much about Cape Town as it is about deciding to be awesome.

So, go ahead, do the right thing, be exceptional! ;)

Cape Town on sale

Lorry on the highway

I can't understand why some people think of Cape Town as a cold, wet, windy and depressing place during winter. Sure, we have our periods of grey, and our fair share of cats and dogs (proverbially speaking). The converse is also true, however; many of our winter days are as this day - sunny, warm(ish) and beautifully clear. On these days, the sky seems crisper and cleaner, and it's a privilege to be living in one of the world's most beautiful cities.

Now that I've painted this pretty picture of our perfect peninsula, let me explain the title of today's post. Each year Cape Town Tourism runs a discount promotion whereby both visitors and locals can take advantage of cheaper rates for an assortment of activities and accommodation. From the website, it looks like the season starts on 25 May, only a few days away. So, if you are planning on visiting between 25 May and 25 September, then remember to visit the Cape Town On Sale website to check for any bargain opportunities!

A secret picnic at the Vineyard Hotel

Statue at the Vineyard Hotel

Just two days after Cape Town's huge rain storm, we're back to sunny blue skies!

I took this photo in the gardens of the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands. The hotel is a beautiful structure, reminiscent of a previous era of grace and elegance. We knew that the gardens were beautiful and well kept, but taking some time to walk through them gave us a perspective on how much larger they are than we had first imagined. The gardens are made up of large, carefully trimmed lawns, huge beds of neat shrubs and bright flowers, large trees, winding paths, small rivers, quaint bridges, and convenient benches perfect for two. Phew! I think I just depleted my weekly adjective quota.

What I found surprising is that the hotel's website, including the sections about the restaurants, doesn't make mention at all of packed picnic baskets being for sale. I found one sketchy reference on another site, but it is strange to me that such a perfect picnic spot isn't being leveraged. :-/

I think what we'll do is pack our own picnic and find a semi-secluded corner of the garden to have our private picnic... and to make us feel like we're not abusing the hotel's facilities, I think we'll end off our picnic with a cup of tea at the garden lounge.

Shhh... we'll keep this our CTDP-readers' secret, okay? :D

The first Governor was coloured?

Simonsig Wine

Simonsig, the wine estate that produces these bottles of wine, is named after the first Governor of Cape Town (then called the Cape of Good Hope), Simon van der Stel.

Van der Stel became Commander at the Cape in 1679, after which he was promoted to be the first Governor of the Cape in 1691. The interesting fact that I learned only today (and something that our apartheid history books conveniently ignored) was that while his father was Dutch, Simon's mother was Indian (in fact a freed slave woman), meaning that he and a large part of Cape Town's population have more in common that I'd previously realised. :)

The Jacksons at fashiontv nightclub

As I mentioned, Kerry-Anne and I were invited to a friend's birthday party at fashiontv on Saturday evening. The theme was to dress like something or someone related to the famous Jackson family. Soon after arriving, I looked around at the stylish patrons in the club and realised that perhaps I'd taken the theme an inch or so too far... but, I'll leave that up to your imagination (and those with access to my Facebook photo gallery). :D

Needless to say, Kerry-Anne complemented the other exceptionally beautiful and sophisticated people. The music was loud, but not loud enough to make my ears uncomfortable; and what was pretty awesome was that while the DJ played, a guy walked around the bar area playing a saxophone in harmony with the DJ's tracks. It really was pretty darn impressive and created an interesting blend of hip-hop and pop music crossed with a live sax performance.

All in all it was a pretty good experience - the club wasn't too crowded and the dance-floor opened fairly late, giving people a chance to socialise. The drinks weren't cheap (about R20 for a 330ml beer), but not unreasonably expensive either, and there were plenty of places to grab a seat if you got tired of standing.

I think we'll have to visit again some time (so let us know when you're looking for a party ;) )!

Driving rain

Driving rain

We woke up early this morning, with about 42 fire trucks blasting our house with their huge fire hoses. When the pounding water eventually held up, I looked outside and found that every single fire-truck and fireman had mysteriously disappeared without a trace... leaving behind pools of water all through our garden.

Oh alright... you saw right through my story, didn't you? It wasn't really firemen, of course, but rather the biggest and heaviest cloud that we've seen for a long while, unleashing all its rain in one enormous downpour. I must say, I'm not particularly looking forward to this winter; it's been icy cold this afternoon - around 11°C (which is freezin' for a Cape Town afternoon)!

We're heading off to a friend's birthday party at FTV in Cape Town this evening. It's storming outside, but Shana's convinced it's going to be hot inside. ;) I'll let you know tomorrow how it went!

Scary old clay man

Scary old clay man

I found this piece of pottery-work hanging, for sale, in a nursery. My first thought was about whether or not the intent of this piece of art was to keep kids away from a particular place in one's garden... but then I realised that it may in fact be intended to scare away would-be burglars! :D

Seeing this clay reminded me of how much clay was around when I was young. I remember several red clay dams in our area as well as marsh-like fields of white clay, known as plastic clay (or plastic fire clay, or ball clay). I remember walking through these wet fields, either soiling my shoes, or feeling the fine white clay squishing up between my toes. Today we have few such fields where kids can play and get really dirty. While we still have a huge amount of open space, most of the large open fields that were in our suburbs are now filled with buildings and roads.

Incidentally, according to the South African Institute for Mining and Metallurgy it seems as though Brackenfell (the suburb next to ours) and Kraaifontein (the suburb next to Brackenfell) have some of the finest white clay in the land. Had I appreciated this fact, I would many years ago have started selling it off to potters!

Don’t expect to buy a garage

Scooters and a Yard Sale

I meant to post this photo when I took it (on 3 May), so I hope you don't mind a slightly older photo. I just liked this one for some reason - perhaps it's the angle, perhaps the slightly-out-of-focus scooters in the background.

Seeing the sign reminded me of the only yard sale (often known as garage sales here) that I visited many years ago out of curiosity. Clearly the event left me rather pessimistic about the chances of actually finding anything of interest at these sales. The items I browsed that day were really nothing more than junk for which I wouldn't really have ever had any use.

I do think, however, that I should give it another try. I imagine one could find some really interesting things hidden among people's white elephants. Perhaps, if you're a tourist, it would be an interesting thing to do too... visiting a yard sale. You may find something interestingly different to buy, and you may meet some interestingly different people too. For your own sake, though, be a little cautious; this is a city, after all, and we have our fair share of unsavoury people too.

Oh, and remember that a yard sale is often called a garage sale - so don't go to a garage sale expecting to come home with a new garage. ;)

Light at the end of the tunnel

Light at the end of the tunnel
Life's good, interest rates are decreasing and there may just be light at the end of our tunnel. :) As many of you - and most South Africans - will know, it's been tough going from a financial perspective for some time now. In July of 2006 we saw the repo rate start to rise from a long-time low of 7% to a high of 12% in July 2008 (an interest rate last experienced in July of 2003). What's with July and fluctuations in interest rates? It seems, however, as though Tito Mboweni, Governor of the Reserve Bank, has decided not to have a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (who decide on interest rate fluctuations) in July this year. Perhaps he's trying to break the trend?

Even with the Reserve Bank decreasing interest rates (in an effort to stimulate cash-flow, I guess) South Africans seem to not be spending as much as they were before. From the people I've spoken to, it sounds as though most are diverting as much money as they can into those huge home loans that Kerry-Anne mentioned a little while ago!

I guess we have to remember though that if we cut all our non-essential spending, it will lead to businesses shutting down, which will lead to unemployment, which could in turn lead to more crime. So, I guess what I'm thinking is that we should be wise with our money, but not too miserly.

I often feel like Charlie

Life in a glass elevator

Pondering this point of feeling like Charlie (in the glass elevator) had me needing a bite of chocolate. Fortunately, I managed to track down four marshmallow Easter eggs from not so long ago... which I duly shared with Kerry-Anne (who is presently cramming for a C++ exam in her office).

The glass elevator that you see in this photo is the one that I've taken on most mornings recently, from my basement parking spot on level -2, up to my office at level +3. The lift slowly ascends out of the abyss (called our basement) to present its occupants with this view. It's fairly pretty, not so? Well, particularly on clear days during sunrise and sunset - today the light was a little greyish-blue and the clouds were mounting, announcing a coolish, rainy week lying ahead.

I perpetually have a debate with myself when I arrive at work in the mornings: take the elevator, or take the stairs? For a long time the stairs won, then the elevator took over its rightful role in my life. Recently, I've started walking the five levels up to my office in the morning again. The trouble is that I often see someone I know taking the elevator, and then that boyish sense of competition takes over and I find myself having to beat them to the top - which I mostly do, of course; but then I have to try as hard as I can to keep my composure lest I breathe too hard and show my exhaustion. :D

Biking and Cycling around Cape Town

Biking and Cycling around Cape Town

Many years ago I got into cycling in a small way. I never rode in any fun rides or cycle tours, and never trained with friends. I bought a racing bike and started cycling around Cape Town, up to Melkbos (along our west coast), and around to Stellenbosch (the heart of wine country). It was awesome. Then Kerry-Anne came along and there was no more time left for riding my bike. :) In fact, I haven't ridden a bike in several years.

I discovered a company called Downhill Adventures that looks really cool, perhaps more so for visitors to Cape Town than locals. I haven't tried them out (so don't take this as a recommendation, please), but it seems as though one can hire proper, hardcore, mountain bikes from them and join trips on the slopes of Table Mountain, in Tokai Forest, and plenty of other places. It's always safer to cycle in a group when out in the middle of nowhere (which is exactly what it's like in the forests of Table Mountain), so I think it's great for people visiting Cape Town to be able to join others on a trip.

We should give this a bash some time... it would be fun cycling in the forest. The only concern that I have is regarding our fitness levels... I fear it would be insanely embarrassing. :D

Eric Cloete, Cape Town’s very own accordion player

Eric and his Accordion

We snuck away from the belly dancing for an hour or so to grab some lunch at one of our favourite spots, Pastis. When I heard the gentle strains of an accordion starting up as we were ordering our food, I almost jumped out of my seat in glee.

If you've read our About Us page, then you'll know that I was inspired to start Cape Town Daily Photo as a result of my many visits to Eric Tenin's Paris Daily Photo. And I started visiting Paris Daily Photo because we'd visited Paris itself in 2006, and had utterly fallen in love with the city.

Eric Cloete has been playing the accordion since the age of 10. He performs at all kinds of events around the Cape, but incredibly, it was the first time we'd seen or heard him. He stopped at our table for a few minutes, and, when we mentioned how much we loved Amelie, he played us a couple of pieces from the movie. It couldn't have been better - perfect weather, lovely food, me all dressed up in my pretty belly dancing clothes, and a surprise reminder of our second-favourite city in the world. Just one more Cape Town experience to file under "Special Moments". ;-)

Visit Eric's website to read more about him, and follow his blog to find out where he'll be playing next. Also keep an eye out for his CD, Accordion Music of the World.

A record performance at World Belly Dance Day

Belly Dancer

In July last year Kerry-Anne's sister-in-law bought her a series of belly dancing lessons as a birthday gift. After putting it off for months she eventually attended her first lesson in January and now appears to be hooked - which isn't a bad thing, as I'm sure you'll understand.

9 May is World Belly Dance Day and to celebrate, Tenille from Feminine Divine (who happens to be Kerry-Anne's belly dance teacher) gathered local belly dancing studios for a little show - which turned out not to be so little after all! I was quite surprised to see just how many people are into belly dancing! Each school had a performance slot, girls from the St George's Home for Girls in Wynberg were given their first belly dancing lesson, we watched a fashion show (where the ladies showed off belly dancing accessories) and then, at the end of the day, all the belly dancers took part in setting the South African record for the most belly dancers performing the same dance at the same time in one place.

It certainly seemed as though everyone had fun setting the record, and yes, it was fun watching them from the stage too. What had me completely befuddled was how quickly they all learned the dance choreography! Damn, women are good at learning these kinds of things!

I took plenty of photos and published a dozen or three in our gallery section. They'll give you a pretty good idea of how many dancers attended the event - it was truly astounding.

The cost of home ownership

For Sale sign in Cape Town

Locals (particularly those who haven't travelled overseas) are often surprised to find out how much cheaper property is in South Africa than in many other parts of the world.

Of course, we have very high interest rates compared to many other parts of the world, which pushes the actual cost of property up for us somewhat, as very, very few people can afford to buy property without taking out a mortgage bond. But nevertheless, it's still a whole lot cheaper to buy an average suburban home here than it is in Sydney, for instance.

According to Global Property Guide, Cape Town is the 53rd-most expensive city in the world in terms of property - their comparison is based on the average purchase price in US dollars of a 120-square-metre apartment in a prime inner city area.

Our property market has seen quite a slowdown in the last two years or so (after a massive boom in the four years before that), but it does seem to be slowly (very slowly) starting to pick up again - at least in certain sectors of the market.

These Three Words

These Three Words

Our friend Sidney invited us to his birthday party at Plaasteater (an Afrikaans word for farm theatre) at the Hazendal wine estate last weekend. Plaasteater is a cosy bar (or pub) that hosts live music shows, so Sidney asked These Three Words (who happen to be friends of his) to be the entertainment for the evening. They did a really good job, and I think it's safe to say that everyone had fun. :)

South Africa has a huge number of largely unknown bands playing in pubs all over the major cities (and many small towns) every weekend. Each of these bands has a small following of enthusiastic fans - not large enough to allow them to actually make a living from music, but large enough to encourage them to spend their evenings after work practising their music.

Of course, then there are those like Prime Circle, Seether, and Just Jinjer, who eventually reach critical mass and become full-time musicians, playing with the big boys in Europe and the USA, and making most of their money from live shows and band merchandise.

The question that's being asked these days, as the Internet matures and large record labels lose control over "piracy", is how the local music scene will be affected, and whether the development of the Internet will lead to greater equilibrium between large and small (but still really good) bands.

Somewhat bitter; somewhat dry; but never sweet

The Castle Hotel

Looking at this photo, I'm not really surprised that the Castle Hotel is for sale. But perhaps I'm being a tiny bit harsh - it's possible that this location was once (many, many years ago) a wonderful place to stay. I wait in anticipation for someone who remembers to leave a comment and let us know. :)

I found this building in Zonnebloem, just outside the CBD, and right next to Charly's Bakery. What caught my attention was the hotel's apparent affiliation with with Castle Lager (a widely loved South African beer for which I sincerely have little taste, but that my father-in-law loves).

What gave this affiliation away was the lettering's font, the insignia on the windows, and the huge "Castle Beers" sign on the front of the building. Must say, I find it strange that a brewery would have their own hotel... After googling the name I discovered that not only is this building for sale, but the old Castle Brewery in Woodstock (on the fringes of the city) is also for sale.

What's up Charles, need a loan? ;-)

David Newton and a well-meaning proctologist

Comedian, David Newton

Kerry-Anne posted about David's show at On Broadway a few weeks back (while I was away on a business trip). I got a chance to see him performing last night and, as you might have guessed if you saw yesterday's post, I took my mom and dad along to the show as well. As it turns out, Kerry-Anne was right: David's comedy show was insanely funny (click the link to see more photos of the show).

We sat at a large table with a few strangers, and enjoyed a pretty good and reasonably priced meal. After dinner we kicked back to watch, amongst other things, David relate in great detail his experience when visiting a proctologist (which is what what you see happening in the photo above). Only a comedian can turn a topic so... erm... uncomfortable (in all senses of the word) into an evening of hilarity.

"This year I have taken on 'Colorectal Cancer' as my Corporate & Social Responsibility/ Investment Project because, let's be honest, it's a pain in the ass and no one seems to want to talk about I'm gonna." - David Newton.

Good job David, best of luck with your upcoming trip to the USA, and thanks to Matrix Ads for inviting me!

The Baxter Theatre, and a fig tree

Under the Fig Tree at the Baxter Theatre

As a kid I remember my parents going out to shows at The Baxter fairly regularly. Although, I guess "regularly" to a child could have meant twice a year. :) They don't do too much of that these days, but wait for my next post to see what I have rigged to get them out to town...

The Baxter Theatre was built by the University of Cape Town with financial aid from William Baxter, Cape Town's mayor in 1906, and thus holds his name today still. As the second-largest performing arts complex in Cape Town, The Baxter seemed to retain a large degree of political freedom from the apartheid government in years gone by, due to its status as an academic theatre. Being an academic theatre, I'm guessing (although I was too young to know) that the performers (mostly students I guess) freely challenged views held by the government (which was a big no-no back then).

As far as location is concerned, you'll find the theatre in Rondebosch, a leafy part of Cape Town's Southern Suburbs, not too far from the city. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming shows, and do yourself a favour - get out there and have some fun!

At Charly’s Bakery, even recycling is pretty

Recycling station at Charlys Bakery

In yesterday's post I mentioned Charly's Bakery, and how you should definitely not look at their cupcake gallery page.

Today's photo (as you may notice) is of a "recycling station" found on the corner of their premises... and this got me wondering about the recycling project that started in Cape Town a while back.

On Tuesday mornings I roll my large, black, dirtbin out onto the curb. A little while later a huge truck comes past to collect the contents. Unlike many other cities however, we don't have a convenient way of disposing of recyclable (or environmentally-damaging) waste. To recycle our waste we have to separate bottles, paper, and plastics into separate containers. Once the containers are full we then have to deliver the contents to a local collection point... which is far too inconvenient for most.

To assist with this (and to reduce the impact on our environment) the City of Cape Town entered into a partnership with a company called Waste Plan a while back. Under the arrangement, residents are provided with special plastic bags into which recyclable waste should be separated. The full bags are placed into the municipal bins (the same one that I wheel out on Tuesdays) and Waste Plan collects the contents for recycling. Unfortunately this arrangement hasn't yet extended into our suburb, but we're hoping that it soon will!

Charly’s Bakery, don’t you think we deserve cake?

Charly's Bakery - new building
The legendary Charly's Bakery in Canterbury Street is what you behold in this photo. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-like building accurately reflects the childlike manner in which one should enter the premises. Charly's Bakery is the place to go if you'd like to buy awesome-tasting-and-fantastically-decorated cakes. Just take a look at some of the wedding cakes in their gallery, but be careful not to even look at their cupcakes - as I fear that you could become an addict with just one glance!

One or two of our visitors recently alluded to the fact that there has been some irregularity with our daily posts. It's not your eyes deceiving you, or your RSS reader acting up; it's indeed Cape Town Daily Photo that's been in a little bit of turmoil for about a week.

Last week we had an incident with our hosting provider, with the result that I spent a large part of the week sourcing an alternative provider, setting up a brand new server, and migrating Cape Town Daily Photo away from the previous provider. Over this time, I have to admit that we slipped on posting for a few days, and so we're currently trying to catch up the lost days (which is almost like trying to catch up on last week's school homework!).

So, we've now found a new home in the Rackspace cloud and so far, so good. And, to be honest, it seems as though the site is just a tiny bit faster on our new server. Now, don't you think some kind of celebratory cake is in order? ;)

Coffee & Cake (and a few table ads on the side)

Coffee and Cake and Table Adverts

Craving cake and coffee (and just needing to get out of the house) we ended up at Arnold's Restaurant in Kloof Street. While sitting there, I started to wonder about the flipfile of little adverts dotted on each table: I wondered (a) whether or not other parts of the world have this kind of table advertising, and (b) whether or not these ads really work.

For the first question, I'm hoping that you would assist me; and in the case of the second I have an opinion (and I wouldn't mind hearing your opinion of my opinion...). You'll find these little flipfiles of adverts in many restaurants, but I'd be keen to know from any of the advertisers if they've actually brought in much business; I'm not sure that they do bring in any significant amount. The concept of table ads is a great one, but I think that they generally fail in their delivery - in my opinion, of course.

I found myself browsing through a set of boring ads, putting the booklet down, and not thinking of it again. Sure, if I happened to be looking for a painter, or a plumber, then perhaps I'd take down the number... but then again, I'd just as easily find the info in the yellow pages when I'm home. What I'd like to find in these booklets are quirky, funny, interesting and off-beat adverts that catch my attention. I'd give those kind of ads a second look, give the advertiser credit for their originality, probably chat about the ad, and be more likely to take down the number (or hopefully URL!).