Category Archives: Cape Town

Yellow

Yellow Honeysuckle

Haiku 200

Low hanging sunshine

New flowers and golden leaves

Winter’s all Yellow

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Yellow Syringa

The colour of winter in the Cape:

Yellow honeysuckle enticing the Sunbirds’ return; Syringa berries and golden leaves ready to fall; Apple Tree leaves, capturing a sunbeam;

Yellow Apple Leaf

All these make a glorious golden winter time.

 

post script: Here’s is a lovely acoustic clip of Donovan singing his iconic hit “Colours”, beginning with the line Yellow is the colour of my true love’s hair.

 

Winter Solstice 2020

Poinsettia 1

Haiku 198

Winter Solstice morn

The shortest day of the year

Sun now returning

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To be honest, I can hardly say that the sun ever really left! Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with very mild winters.

Poinsettia 2

Here I’ve photographed my Poinsettia in a little morning mist. The plant is a good 6 metres (20 feet) tall, so basically a tree. I have to shoot from underneath and with my arm high above my head to try to capture the red leaves, technically called bracts.

Right now my garden is full of plants and shrubs in bloom.

The Sunbirds have returned to the Honeysuckle; the Camellia is filling up with large pink blooms; and of course, the Poinsettia is a lovely splash of red in a mostly green world.

Poinsettia 3

Still, it takes some getting used to, after growing up in the North of England, where you had real winters!

Also, most of my Readers live in the Northern hemisphere, where you will have just experienced the Summer Solstice and your longest day. Hopefully you have many more summer days to look forward to!

 

Masked Bandit!

Masked Bandit

Haiku 196

Covid Chronicles

The Masked Bandit Rides Again!

Or just leaves the house!

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This was in the early days, when we went from Level 5 Lockdown – not allowed out to exercise, to Level 4 – allowed to go out between 6 am and 9 am. As it is still dark in Cape Town till 7.30 am and very damp in winter, this is not the best time to be out walking!

Still, my makeshift face mask, a silk scarf, worked very well; both in adhering to the regulations and in keeping some of the damp air out of my asthmatic lungs!

I have since made my own face masks, out of a linen tea-towel, which are very comfy and allow me to breathe. It is mandatory to wear a cloth mask any time you leave your house and to keep a distance of 2 metres from anyone else. Your hands will be sprayed with hand sanitizer at every single shop you enter and trolleys and baskets wiped down. Cashiers sit behind perspex screens or wear protective visors or masks. Counter tops are sanitized regularly.

We’re now at Level 3 Lockdown, so can exercise outside any time. More businesses have opened; alcohol is on sale from Monday to Thursday, but still no cigarettes.  Kids are beginning to return to school, starting with only the 13 and 18 year olds.

So of course, with increased movement, the stats are rapidly rising. It is now definitely winter; a massive storm has just swept through the Cape, bringing so much rain there have been floods. Flu season is upon us, but maybe with all the masks, sanitizing and social distancing, the flu won’t be too bad this year!

As of going to press, South Africa has 58,568 confirmed cases of Corona, of which 33,252 have recovered and 1,284 died, in a population of about 59 million.

 

Autumn

Autumn Leaf in Dog Water Bowl

Haiku 193

Single golden leaf

Floating in the water bowl

I guess it’s Autumn

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One swallow does not a summer make, nor a single snowflake winter, but in Cape Town, a solitary fallen leaf does make Autumn!

Autumn and Spring are so brief here that you have to look at the calendar, rather than the weather or flora, to know what season it is.

Although there is a chill in the air, during the day it is warm and pleasant, usually around 20C, (26C on Wednesday!); what I would call a nice Summer’s day in England!

Right now in my garden, I still have roses in bloom, as well as the honeysuckle, plumbago, hibiscus and frangipani. The camellia is absolutely covered in buds ready to unfurl into massive pink flowers.

So yes, one golden leaf fallen from the grape vine is as good an indication as any that it is actually Autumn.

After all, the 20th of next month is the winter solstice!

 

Happy New Year 2020

Sunrise

As the sun sets on 2019 and rises on 2020, I’d like to wish my WP friends all the very best for the coming year.

Thank you for your friendship during this last year and here’s hoping the coming year will be a good one for you all, with health and happiness.

Here’s to a great 2020.

Cheers from Scifi.

Happy New Year!

 

The Dark Ages

Angel Chimes

We have load shedding again! It has been Stage 4 for several days, meaning scheduled power cuts of up to 2 1/2 hours, 3 times in 24 hours.

Last night they announced it was going to Stage 6. There are jokes about this online: namely that at Stage 6 a man from Eskom comes round to your house and blows out your candles!

Mostly people work round the power cuts. Knowing the times beforehand means you can plan to some extent. It is still extremely annoying though. The other night our power went out at midnight and came back on at 2.20 am. The neighbour’s alarm went off both times, waking everyone up!

Your day becomes divided into 2 hour allotments. Either you have power, and watch the clock counting down with anxiety and dread, till it is switched off; which can be anything from on the dot, (mean!) to 13 minutes past the hour, as today, giving you the momentary false hope that maybe they’re not cutting your power!

Or you are sitting in silence and perhaps darkness, anxiously waiting with anticipation for the power to be returned. This can be from 10 past the hour to half past the hour, by which time you are beginning to wonder if they have forgotten about you!

It is not too bad here in Cape Town, as daylight in summer is from 5.30 am to 8 pm. Johannesburg, 1400 km farther north, only has daylight from 5 am to 7 pm. Believe me, they will notice that extra hour of darkness at night!

Also, I feel sorry for those who work online. Even if you do have power, the internet is slow because other places are down. Service providers try to re-route your connection, but there is still a bottleneck.

I even feel sorry for businesses. This time of year they make enough money to see them through the following year. In an already struggling economy, many businesses will fold next year.

Why is the power supply still so bad in South Africa?

Ageing power plants and equipment; poor maintenance and repair;  mis-management; lack of planning.

Well, the purpose of this post (OK I had a good moan!) was just to let my Readers know that I am struggling to keep up with my Blog, especially commenting on yours. So if you don’t hear from me as much as usual, at least now you know why.

– – – – –

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do.”*

*Can you guess who said this and which book it is from?

Sunbeams will be sent to those with the correct answer, which I’ll put in my next post.

 

Hibernation

Sunlight Through Vines 1

Haiku 169

School’s just broken up

Christmas Summer Holidays

Time to hibernate

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The schools here in South Africa have just broken up for their long summer vacation. Holiday makers will descend upon Cape Town in their droves. Even popping to the local shops for bread and milk will become a mission. I stay home as much as possible and only venture out when absolutely necessary. Trips to the beach, forests or mountains, will all have to wait till everyone has gone away again.

Time to hibernate – till mid-January!

 

For a lovely haiku on hibernation, why not check out this post by longingforwater.wordpress.com? Lethargic 

 

Blue Horizons

Muizenberg beach 1

Haiku 152

Distant mountain peaks

Ocean and sky reflecting

Those blue horizons

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Muizenberg beach 2

Take a walk with me along the coast at Muizenberg, Cape Town.

On a windy day white horses were playing in the ocean, along with surfers enjoying the waves.

Muizenberg beach 3

What at first I thought were normal kites, on closer inspection turned out to be some sort of wind device used by the surfers. They were kitesurfing!

Muizenberg beach 4

And the sea and the sky were Oh So Blue.

 

Replete!

Pool Full to Brim – Leaf

Haiku 136

Tiny yellow leaf

Floating in my swimming pool

What significance?

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OK, so what’s so special about this apple tree leaf?

Nothing in the leaf alone; except for its natural beauty of course!

It’s where it is rather than what it is!

This is my pool. It is absolutely full to the brim!

Dog Bowls Full to Brim

Finally, after a dry start, our rainy season is living up to its name. The pool has filled up many times in the last few weeks; as have all the dog’s water bowls.

Hooray!!!

 

post script: Dam levels are currently at 75% having suddenly increased by 11%  in the last 10 days! Two years ago, after our summer of 2017, dam levels had fallen to only 20%.