Monthly Archives: September 2009

The (strange) auto museum continued…

A baby tank

My previous post about Wijnland Auto Museum featured a photo of something one would expect to see at an "auto museum" - even though the cars in the photo hardly looked like traditional museum pieces...

However, ten metres to the left of the previous photo rested this itty-bitty-baby tank. While awesomely cool, I'm not sure that I'd class a tank in the "auto" category. Its presence in the museum display is more or less like having a high-powered rack of blade servers, or better yet, an IBM mainframe, in an Apple MacBook display. :D

An old, old car at Wijnland Auto Museum

An old, old car

This is the third photo in the set taken in Joostenbergvlakte. (If you've missed the previous two, click here and follow the trail back to them.) We thought we'd take a drive out to this remote suburb to visit the Wijnland Auto Museum - which, from the outside, looks more like a scrap yard, or an auto graveyard.

Sadly, we failed in our objective. We took a quick look around and decided that we'd rather return with a group consisting of other photographers, perhaps, and two or more people dressed up and ready to be models. The museum apparently has one of the largest collections of rare cars in the country, and old (perhaps deceased) cars like these make a great backdrop for a modelling shoot - don't you think?

You'll find the museum by

  • driving along the N1 (with Cape Town at your back)
  • taking exit 34
  • turning right at the first opportunity
  • driving to the end of the road (past the nursery on your right)

Strangely the Wijnland Auto Museum has no website or email address, but they can be contacted by telephone on +27 21 988 4203. The museum is open daily until 16h00 (including Sundays) and charges R50 per person.

A long, long name

A long long name

As promised, here's another photo taken in Joostenbergvlakte. The suburb has an odd mix of large, lavish houses and smaller, less beautiful places like this one.

Did you notice the barbed wire surrounding the property, the dirty walls, the rugged driveway, the old house? Perhaps you did, but I bet you couldn't help but notice the enormously-hugely-oversized Afrikaans name on the gate:  "Geenbuffelsmetgeenskootgeskietgeenfontein".

While it may look weird to foreigners, the lack of spaces between words, and the length and make-up of the name is considered rather amusing in South Africa. Loosely translated the name of this property reads "No-buffaloes-shot-with-no-shots-no-fountain".  It looks a little weird because it's a play on the more common (yet equally amusing) farm name, "Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein", which translates as "Two-buffaloes-shot-dead-with-one-shot Fountain" (where "fountain" refers to the spring of water often found on farms).  Read the Wikipedia article here.

I guess farmers became bored of the traditional names like "Clear Water Fountain", or "Never-ending Fountain". These are some of the gems of the Afrikaans language and culture that we hold so dear. :)

A bit of bull

Cocked bull

We took an afternoon drive out the back of a slightly-away-from-civilisation suburb called Joostenbergvlakte, so in the next few days we'll bring you a few gems that we discovered in the area.

Joostenbergvlakte (pronounced something like "Yooah-sten-berg-fluck-tuh") is a suburb of smallholdings, inhabited by people who like to farm on a small scale, or who need a lot of space for their horses or some kind of business. People sometimes even buy these smallholdings simply because they like a LOT of space around them, as opposed to the relatively little space that suburbs closer to the city afford their residents.

Some people love it and dream of owning a tiny farm, but not I - and even more so not Kerry-Anne. :)

Highway of rain

Highway of rain

Whoa, where did all this rain come from? Kerry-Anne and I drifted out to Paarl to check out the "Persia to Paarl" festival that was being held at the Nederburg estate.

Sadly, on arrival we scoped out the scene and decided that it wasn't going to be worth the R160 entrance fee (for two of us)... so instead of photos of pretty dancers, lovely bottles of wine, or sparkling beaded jewellery, we bring you this somewhat grey, perhaps even depressing photo of a wintry Cape Town weekend. :( To be fair, it was raining kittens and puppies, so perhaps that was the reason for the festival appearing to be rather less exciting than we'd hoped it would be.

Perhaps next time, hey?

Birthday party!

Party girls

When I blogged about Altydgedacht Wine Estate after our recent wine tasting expedition, I had no idea that we'd soon be back for another birthday party. A friend of ours invited us, along with about 25 of her other friends, to celebrate her 30th birthday at the estate... and boy, were we impressed. The venue was beautifully prepared, the food was exquisite, the wine just great and the service impeccable.

We had an awesome time partying the night away between two rows of absolutely huge wine barrels, and the great thing about the venue was that because we were far away from any neighbours, we could play the music as loudly as we liked without having to be considerate.

Thanks for an awesome evening!

Think Big. Yellow cupcakes with rockets.

Yellow cupcakes

"Think Big" is a part of the mindset that the CIO of the company I work for tried to instil in our IT department at a recent IT visioning meeting. The rocket on top of this yummy cupcake, he explained, symbolises the concept of thinking beyond what you know today to be possible.

Just this month a satellite developed by the staff and students at Stellenbosch University (one of the large universities in the area) was launched from Kazakhstan, aboard a rocket. The satellite named SumbandilaSat (a Venda word meaning "lead the way") is the second one to be launched by South Africa and will be used by the government mostly to monitor crops, dam levels and population migration.

Still far from the capability of satellites portrayed in the movie Enemy of the State, this one represents another leap forward for South Africa's ambitions to have their own little bit of space. :) Well done, guys!

Lakes, trees and microlights

Lakes and trees

We took a road that we hadn't taken before, into the hills behind Durbanville, and happened upon the Western Cape Microlight Club's airfield at Contermanskloof. I really wanted to take a cool photo at the club house, but there were no microlights to be seen and the club house isn't really the most inspiring building. So, I took a photo of this lake surrounded by those invasive Australian Blue Gum trees instead! :)

If you have Google Earth installed, you can follow this link to view the airfield from the air. And, if you have an interest in microlights, be sure to check out the Microlighters forum.

Wheat production statistics

Fields of Wheat

According to Grain SA, South Africa consumes about 3 million tons of wheat each year - 2 million grown locally and the other million imported. Isn't it weird to think that this huge field doesn't even scratch the surface of all the wheat that we consume?

An interesting fact I picked up is that since the beginning of the year the price of wheat has fallen from around 2,600 ZAR per ton to about 2,150 ZAR per ton, which I guess (though I'm no economist) indicates slightly less demand than supply.

Perhaps South Africa is trying to lose weight. "Eat less starch, eat less starch!" ;)

Scaredy cows

Scaredy Cows
I like cows, though, it seems perhaps they're not as fond of me. Or, perhaps the weapon that I was pointing at them (aka camera) was too terrifying for them to bear. The moment I stood near the lead scaredy cow bolted, taking the others with her.

Today we buy our milk from Woolworths, Kwikspar or Pick 'n Pay. In years gone by my mom gathered us three kids up for a weekly trip to the milk farm up the road - to buy fresh milk in 5-litre buckets. The best thing about buying the milk from the farm was that the cream would rise to the top of the milk (remember those days?) and us kids were allowed to scoop it off to pour over our cereal!

Is there anybody out there who still gets their milk directly from a farm?

Wheatfields restaurant at Meerendal

Wheatfields Restaurant

We'd never turned in at Meerendal farm before, so when we did we were surprised to find that the gates hid a farm with a rather appealing part-modern/part-old-English atmosphere about it.

We unfortunately arrived just in time to see the doors to the bistro and deli being shut for the day so I can't really say whether or not the food and produce is any good.

The signpost in the photo points to another, apparently more sophisticated, restaurant called Wheatfields. If the review on Travbuddy is anything to go by, then it sounds like Wheatfields is a restaurant that we'll have to visit asap!

Let me at that Digger Loader

Digger Loader

Boys love toys - really we do. Give any guy the chance to play with one of these and I guarantee you that they'd jump at it. Imagine using a few of these for team-building exercises! Speaking from a guy's perspective, it would be fantastically awesome to have a couple of hours to drive one of these puppies around, being able to just dig up huge amounts of soil.

Okay, to be fair, perhaps one would have to go for a lesson or two - but, given enough space, I'm sure that they're not that difficult to work out!

I'm interested to know how many of our female readers would like to play digger-loader digger-loader. Guys, feel free to answer too, but I'm fairly sure that for the most part I know the answer. Ladies, how would you like to spend a few hours fiddling with one of these toys?

Lambie lambs

Lambie lamb

Kerry-Anne loves lambs. What more is there to say, really?

When on honeymoon a few *cough* years ago we stayed over at a remote self-catering place called Red Stone Hills. It's out on a farm and really (REALLY) rustic. We took a walk around the farm one day and Kerry-Anne decided to get into the pen with the sheep... who promptly surrounded her. Not so cute anymore were those killer sheep! It was amusing to watch her raise her hands in the air and squeal for help. Boys are so mean - apparently. :D

Roads and trees

Roads and Trees

I love these kinds of roads; the trees form a tunnel that makes me feel like a Formula 1 driver - only without the Formula and without the 1. Not that I'd actually be able to drive at those speeds on our roads as, irrespective of the actual day of the week, there's invariably a Sunday-afternoon-cruiser enjoying the drive somewhere ahead of me. At times like these I need to remind myself that it's okay, perhaps even good, to drive s-l-oooooo-w-l-y. :)

Congestion on Cape Town's roads has been increasing steadily over the past years, with the effects being felt more intensely since the 2010 Soccer World Cup construction work began. Large alterations are in progress at the N1/M5 interchange near the city, as well as at Hospital Bend, which look as though they'll improve the rush-hour traffic problems significantly.

Believe me, most of Cape Town can't wait for them to be done!

Take a look at this 2008 article detailing the intended upgrades.

Take flight

Birds at sunset

I found this photo in our archives - Paul took it about three weeks ago, but I decided that it's too beautiful not to post. It looks almost like something that Monet could have painted - can you see the brush strokes criss-crossing the sky? He probably would've added a bit more yellow, mind you. ;-)

Friends of ours get to look out at this scene every evening, from the balcony of their flat in Milnerton. I think in future we'll have to time all our visits to coincide with the setting sun - there's something so serene and calming about watching birds taking flight as the sky is changing colour. For a few minutes you're forced to stop talking, stop thinking, stop working, and just absorb.

This photo reminded me of the Birds on the Wires musical experiment - if you haven't listened to it yet, stop whatever you're doing and listen to it now. Go on, you need the break. ;-)

Filling up, are we?

Petrol birds

Let's stick with the petrol station theme for one more post, shall we?

I've never been much into ornithology - I don't have a particularly lengthy attention span, and let's face it, for the most part birds just aren't that exciting. Guinea fowl are different, though. While I find the average sunbird or robin pretty and all, a flock of guinea fowl actually has the capacity to entertain me.

They always look so purposeful. I mean, take this lot for instance. They're going to the petrol station, aren't they? Not wandering about aimlessly on a lawn. They have "things to do". Also, they always appear to be having meetings. There's something bizarrely anthropomorphic about this species.

I once spent ages watching a big group of them taking turns to jump off a concrete water reservoir. (Yes, I said "jump". Guinea fowl don't fly unless they absolutely have to - say, to get up onto a water reservoir.) They formed an orderly queue and slowly jumped off one by one. And I could have sworn that the braver ones, who were already on the ground, were teasing the scaredy-birds about being too afraid to jump.

Fortunately for me, we have one or two large flocks of guinea fowl in our neighbourhood, and they seem to make their way up the street systematically over a period of weeks, stopping in at a different garden each day. When they're visiting our garden, I usually call the cats and then all three of us spend a few minutes watching the Enormous Birdies through the window.

It's the small things... ;-)

Death by cell phone

Death by cell phone

Whoa guys, isn't there a slightly more subtle way of getting the message across? How about "your phone could possibly, perhaps, maybe cause the fumes to ignite and you may, might, could get terribly injured"? :)

Aside from the text and its bluntness, the thing that I found amusing about the photo was the "Serious about service" tagline at the bottom of the sign. Not that I'm suggesting that Total's not serious about service - they're as good as the next filling station; but the contrast in tone is pretty funny, don't you think?

Lost? Use a filling station map

Fuel station maps

If you don't have a GPS and don't know your way, remember that our fabulous fuel filling stations often have large maps for you to peruse. And, even if the one that you spot doesn't, the friendly staff are bound to be able to point you in the right direction.

When hiring a car in South Africa, remember that at an additional cost you can have a GPS unit included in the deal. It really is a good idea to use one if you don't know the area. One thing to remember, however, is to never let the GPS take over the functioning of your brain. Don't just follow where it thinks you should go. Unless someone's been kind enough to program the device for you, a GPS isn't able to differentiate between the good and bad parts of town.

It's always best to plan your route first and rely on the GPS second. Happy exploring!

Filling stations in South Africa

Filling up with petrol

I understand that in many places around the world motorists fill up their own vehicles with fuel. Lazy South Africa still enjoys the privilege of having a friendly attendant to fill up your car, wash your window, pump your tires, and top up your oil. Well, I say friendly, but I have to admit that they're not always friendly. Considering that the job isn't a stimulating or enjoyable one, I guess that's understandable.

If you visit South Africa from another country then you should bear three things in mind when filling up your hired vehicle:

  1. You'll have three types of fuel to choose from: Unleaded, Lead Replacement (LR), and Diesel. Normally hire cars use unleaded, but if you're not sure it's normally indicated somewhere near the filler cap. Mixing diesel and petrol is a bad idea. Seriously. :)
  2. In July this year a law was passed allowing motorists to purchase petrol using an ordinary credit card (previously we could only use garage cards, debit cards or cash). However, not all petrol stations have implemented this system yet, so you may very well still need cash to pay for your petrol. Often filling stations have ATM machines where you can draw cash with your debit or credit card.
  3. We usually tip the attendants. You don't have to, but if they are pleasant - and especially if they wash your windscreen - it's a nice thing to do.

I'm interested to know whether you tip filling station attendants, and if so, how much.  Please leave a comment, anonymous or not, and let us know.

Life saving rope

Life saving rope

If you saw yesterday's post and thought the photo was of some kind of life saving apparatus, you would have been right!

Deems left a comment yesterday expressing surprise at the newness of the lettering versus the old peeling paint. I think this version of the photo emphasises that even more. The nice, new, neat lettering contrasts with the peeling paint and the stormy skies.

And if you were to open the box (as I did :)), you would notice yet another contrasting element, in the form of the brand new rope that lies coiled inside.



When I was younger there used to be a competition running on television that showed a close-up photo of an object. It was often something obscure like the eye of a fly, or a thimble, or some other "everyday" object. It was invariably very difficult to guess exactly what the object was because without the full picture or proper context the object could be one of many different things.

I don't think it's quite as difficult to tell what this photo is of, but then again, I've already seen the entire picture. If you have an idea what this photo may be of - please take a guess and leave a comment below. :)

Seashells on the seashore

Sea shells on the sea shore
It seems as though the ship, a coal carrier, that ran aground on Blouberg Beach in Table Bay will be around for a little while still. News reports are still a little sketchy, but it looks like they're considering pumping the vast amounts of fuel off the ship.

For the full story, and the reason why we're so proud of the National Sea Rescue Institute, read their report of what happened, on the NSRI website.

For more photos, take a look at the news report on News24's website.

What you're seeing in the photo are bajillions of crushed seashells on the seashore. I do hope that the ship doesn't start breaking up into a bajillion small pieces on Blouberg Beach!

Turkish bulk carrier aground at Blouberg

Bulk carrier aground at Blouberg

With all the bad weather we've been having this week, a Turkish bulk carrier laden with oil and iron ran aground at Blouberg Beach in Table Bay on Monday night. I've been at work all day, but fortunately one of our readers, Pedro, from Belbon Hills wine farm managed to snap this photo for us en route to the farm.

The 25 crew members were air-lifted to safety, but concerns have now been raised about a small leak that could turn nasty. The South African Department of Environmental Affairs are looking into the matter, but I'm not sure how much can be done right now - except perhaps for pumping the oil from the vessel!

Click here to read the original Reuters report.

EDIT: Please see my comment below.

A building with great lines

A building with great lines

Aren't old buildings just awesome? They tend to have such great lines for vertical close-up photos. I sometimes wonder whether or not in 30 or 40 years we'll have similar thoughts about today's modern structures. Fortunately for us, Cape Town has many buildings just like this one, and it seems that they'll still be around for quite some time. As long as they're still in perfectly good condition there's really no way to justify ripping them down to erect newfangled ones. :)

What do bakkies and dragons have in common?

Isuzu bakkie

I'm sure that many of you will recognise, and perhaps love or hate, the make of bakkie (an Afrikaans word pronounced "buck-key") in this photo. For some reason South Africans love their bakkies. Heck, I've often been tempted to buy one just because they're so convenient when something that won't fit into a regular car boot needs to be carted around.

But at the same time, I also hate bakkies. Since many of those that frequent our roads have older diesel motors, they don't accelerate particularly fast - especially when overloaded, as they often seem to be. Also, older models generally puff huge quantities of smelly diesel fumes that force me to roll up my windows and block my car's air-vents.

It's true though - these smelly, slow machines are work-horses and play a huge role in keeping our economy going... so perhaps I should tolerate them a little more than I tend to. That said, it would be great if more owners could afford to have their vehicles fixed up so that they puff with a little less vigour.

Oh, the answer to the question posed in the post title is that both blow huge puffs of grey or black smoke. :P

Lung cancer, sharks and SCUBA divers

Diving in a Shark Tank

The words cancer and shark evoke a common reaction in many people. Both induce a sense of fear. Lung cancer is one of the most difficult forms of the illness to treat, but, however dire the situation, it would seem as though it is treatable.

The two ladies in the photo, Leni White and Teresa Renier, are in fact lung cancer survivors! What makes them special is that even though most doctors would strongly caution against SCUBA diving after beating lung cancer - these two ladies still dive, with no apparent ill effects.

The two ladies, having beaten cancer, took on the other fearsome challenge in support of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, when they dropped themselves into a tank of sharks at Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium. Although they were understandably a little nervous, all went well and they left the tank heroes in their own right. Read more about their story here, in BizCommunity's medical news section.

Disclaimer: Kerry-Anne and I are not in the medical field and don't suggest that you should do anything without consulting your physician first. If you've survived lung cancer and would like to dive, please consult your physician and, as Leni and Teresa do, understand the risks.

The ghd Pretty in Pink girls

Pretty in pink

In my previous post I explained how I ended up at the ghd Revelations Fashion Event. Now, let me take a moment to fill you in, just a little, on the experience.

After arriving at the venue, I stood waiting to be let inside, in a queue of about 100 people, most of whom were (understandably) women. I'm used to going out with Kerry-Anne, so being partnerless already made the evening a little strange. But once I got inside, things got progressively stranger as I wandered from room to room, each of which housed an individually styled photo set.

Some of the rooms had women dressed in Moulin Rouge-like costume, and others were like scenes from the 1950s. On each set the models and performers seemed to be acting out some kind of private play - permanently on repeat.

The two girls in the photo above were the cutest ever. They appeared to be part of some kind of Alice in Wonderland scene. They sat on a small bench in a little nook giggling and whispering into each other's ears. The set directly after theirs featured a birthday girl who got hopelessly drunk after nobody arrived at her birthday party. (She must have been a really mean person, because the spread on the table looked awesome!).

Unfortunately the scarcity of light made getting good photos a little challenging, but click here and take a moment to browse the few photos I did manage to take.

ghd Revelations Fashion Event

ghd Revelations Fashion Event

First I posted 200 belly-dancing photos, and now I'm publishing a photo of a beautiful woman hanging upside-down in a brass ring. You'd swear I enjoyed this kind of photography. :P Seriously though, apart from the normal photos that you see on Cape Town Daily Photo, I find that I really enjoy taking photos of most live performances, whether they're musical performances or belly-dancing women.

The question you may ask in this instance is what ghd (as in the "good hair day" hair-styler) has to do with the woman hanging upside down in the photo, and why it's me and not Kerry-Anne typing this article. It's simple, we were both invited to the ghd Revelations Fashion Event, but at the last minute Kerry-Anne was unable to attend, so I traipsed through to Cape Town to attend the function on my own.

I'll post more photos, but for now, if you're interested in going along to similar functions, take a look at the ghd Style Diary website and sign up for diary updates.

Scarborough beach at sunset

Scarborough Beach at Sunset

Our last couple of posts showed a little of the village of Scarborough. This post shows a little of why Scarborough is so special to its inhabitants. The beaches are wide, open, almost untouched and the sunsets in this area are reportedly some of the best in Cape Town. Even though this side of the beach looks fairly rocky, behind me there's a long sandy beach - with an ocean that is (based on the sign in the last post) safely swimmable.

The Scarborough Conservation Group was established in 1992 with the goal of changing Scarborough into a Conservation Village and ensuring that the natural environment is properly taken care of. They're been involved in beach clean-ups as well as the replanting of indigenous vegetation in the area. You can read more about their goals and activities here.

Scarborough, a seaside village with charm

Scarborough Sunset

In the previous posts Kerry-Anne told you about a seaside village where a friend of ours owns a beautiful wooden house. Some of you guessed correctly that the little village is Scarborough - well done! This quiet suburb is to the west of Simon's Town, just on the other side of Cape Point. Find it here on the Google Map.

I browsed the web for the word Scarborough and found that this village is not by any means the only place bearing the name. It would seem as though our British friends have indeed been busy - according to Wikipedia there are a plethora of place-names (and other names) containing the word Scarborough, all around the world.