Some snippets

No more morbid things today, just some interesting little snippets.

1. Ebb tide

Low tide on Eastern Beach

When someone at Eastern Beach says it’s low tide, please believe them. Jules and I snapped this pic the other day when we went for a long walk on the beach. The figures in the picture are about 200m out to sea and the water barely touches their trunks. One does not die of drowning here, it’s exhaustion from walking several miles in knee-deep water!

But I still think these pics from Wikipedia take the cake when it comes to tidal movements:

Memo to self: sleep in the middle of the boat, not in one of the side bunks.

2.  Someone’s going to be in very hot liquefaction

All the rage on the news and blogging sites is this 15-year old documentary about the dangers facing Christchurch in an earthquake. As one commentator said “No politician is going to win an election based on promises of rates increases to rebuild old buildings.”

I think there is going to be a fair amount of embarrassment among top officials. They knew it was going to be a disaster and were relieved when there was just a gentle shake in September last year…

3.  Another sunset

Jules is traditionally blasé about being here (“It’s nice but I miss my friends”). Every so often she is smitten by a sunset and then the raptures start. So here is one of her snaps from the balcony last night. (Taken at about 20:50)

While it is amazing and tranquil, I cannot expunge the memory of the album artwork of those 1970s LP records with songs of faith sung by a Korean orphan choir accompanied by a trilling Lowrey organ under the direction of a crew-cut Texan evangelist called Uncle Buck.

4. Another reason…

Insects. Yes, particularly the flying ones. Now I have dedicated more kilobytes to my skirmishes with bed-bugs than a medieval prisoner in the Bastille, so it’s time to divert attention and give a little credit on the positive side.

The flies and mosquitoes in this place are just plain dumb. They are gullible and friendly. They fly straight and sit comfortably. They have never had lessons from their wily African counterparts who dodge around and can bite you six times before you start your first scratch. Nope, they fly at your face to ensure that you spot them. Next they settle within easy reach of one’s bright red, battle-scarred fly-swat, or select a perfectly white background against which to fly (slowly) so that one can take proper aim.

I kill flies and mozzies equally comfortably with my hands (yuck!) when I don’t have my trusty fly-swat (made in China) tucked into my belt. I am a sight down the streets of Howick town when I forget to take it out. Most people here use an insect killer to spray them – yes, they sit still while one walks close enough to spray them. In SA one would use an entire can and bedeck most of one’s dinner guests in pyrethrin before making sufficient contact with the blighters. No wonder the birds are so fat…


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6 Responses to Some snippets

  1. karie says:

    Really beautiful sunset. It doesn’t look as if you are going to be doing backstroke in that sea very soon.

  2. Sally says:

    That sunset ! A beautiful picture – keep them coming. Sunrises too…

    Now: the sea. Looks ideal for kayaking. We’re rehearsing up and down the Marina waterways – at the moment still in the double kayak which comes with the rented premises, but we intend to graduate to singles – those super-slim racing ones. Do you see a lot of that there ?

    Mozzies: should be on your list of reasons to emigrate to NZ. We’re at Kyloe at the moment – and they are a sore trial !

    • Sunrises are a challenge at this stage – we get our weary bones moving at about 7:15 (which is very late by SA standards) and by then the sun is casting golden hazes across the strait.

      Kayaks are a dime a dozen here. I don’t know the technical description, but at any one time there are more people on the water in various craft (ranging from a petrified windsurfer to a sanguine yachtsman) than on land. If kayaks stay above the water they are popular here. I suspect, though, that they are mostly sea-going kayaks (slightly broader and very orange, rather than the fresh-water, Vaal-dam variety preferred by private school regattas. Best you come see for yourself.

  3. Sally says:

    Another reason to move to NZ: Cape Town is situated virtually on top of the Milnerton Fault. Didn’t know that, did you ? Or that the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is built within 8 km of this fault – which the experts say is in an active phase.

    And the Milnerton Fault runs all the way into/underneath False Bay. The Marina (where we live) thus being about as perfect a channel for a tsunami thundering across the Cape Flats as you can imagine…

    • I must say the global air of concern about tectonic movement is not a bad thing. People are getting themselves prepared “just in case”. NZ sent a group of rescuers directly from Chch to Japan to “return the favour”. I am glad to say that the Japanese tragedy had almost no impact on NZ – the tsunami dwindled to 1m by the time it reached here and it coincided with low tide so no one noticed a thing. Also, our honorary grandpa in Japan says he is fine and the quake was at the other end of the country. The quake-plus-tsunami-plus-nuclear-threat combination is a great, sad thing indeed.

      • Sally says:

        As you say: to be aware & awake to the issues is a good thing. I have to admit to some serious concern though regarding our SA authorities being awake & aware…

        Incidentally, what is the NZ understanding of “being prepared?” Box with some bottled water, flashlight, that kind of thing ? Or do you build a “safe room” in the house ?

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