Category Archives: Humour

The Winter Solstice 2021

Winter Flowers 1 – Plumbago

Haiku 250

A bleak mid-winter

While seasons keep on turning

Another solstice


Winter Flowers 2 – Poinsettia

Today, Monday 21 June 2021, is the winter solstice down here in South Africa. It is the shortest day, the longest night, of the year. For most of my readers however, it is quite the reverse, as you reach mid-summer in the northern hemisphere.

Winter Flowers 3 – Lavender

For us, the sun will now start returning; though to be honest, I can’t say it’s ever been far away!

Winter Flowers 4 – Honeysuckle

However, winter proper has yet to come. July and August are the coldest, wettest months in Cape Town. Actually, I hope we do get some decent rain, as once again, our “rainy” season has been fairly dry so far.

Winter Flowers 5 – Viola

Dotted among the text in this post, are photos from my garden.

You would hardly know it is winter!


post script: A bleak mid-winter refers to one of my favourite Christmas carols; In the bleak mid-winter. 


For those interested: Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate; warm wet winters and dry hot summers. However, South Africa is very big and other parts of the country have completely different climates. Some places north of the Western Cape have snowfalls in winter and many places are much colder. Johannesburg, 1400km to the north of CT, has hot wet summers, but cold dry winters. When we lived there the temperatures dropped to minus 8C one winter, and the fountains froze in town!


The Phoenix

The Phoenix 1

Haiku 249

Mythical fire bird

Wings aflame as you fly off

Mystery intact


I heard a bird singing somewhere in the bare branches of my neighbour’s winter tree. It took me a while to spot him, but I couldn’t make out his species.

Suddenly he took off, with a flash of his wings.

The Phoenix 2

It was a Phoenix! The mythical fire bird.

And in a blinding light, he vanished!

How fortunate was I, to witness this extremely rare bird, from my back garden!


post script: I think from his size and song, he was a Red-winged starling. It explains why his red wing feathers lit up as he flew away, with the sunlight shining through them from the behind.


The Lonely Cloud

The Lonely Cloud

Haiku 248

How unusual

A cloudy day in Cape Town

Sunny tomorrow!


This is what passes for a cloudy day in Cape Town!

Although this photo is from a few months ago, during my blogging absence, it still remains the norm. Unless it is actually going to rain, the sky is clear most days.

It was very odd to see this tiny wisp of a cloud, alone in a bright blue sky.

And you will all know the famous line, from William Wordsworth’s poem;

I wandered lonely as a cloud . . .

Well, I never knew a cloud could be lonely, till I saw this one!


A Little Potty!

Blue Pot Flowers 1

Haiku 247

Day by day by day

Keeping busy in Lockdown

By going potty!


During our endless Lockdown, apart from the usual chores, I have kept busy by reading many books, watching far too much Netflix than is good for me and spending the rest of the time on YouTube clips!

It was while surfing YouTube that I came across a short clip on brightening up your garden pots, with a little spray paint. I thought this was a great idea! All the plant pots on my stoep are years old, and the ones that came with the house, decades! These have lost their original paint over the years and were looking very sorry for themselves.

So I trundled down to the local hardware store and selected a few cans of spray paint. I’ve never painted anything with spray paint before, having used paintbrushes or rollers to paint the house in the past. I thought it would be a lot of fun, and as the plant pots are small, not too expensive.

Blue Pot Clean 2

The two pots above are the ancient ones that came with the house. Although looking very sorry for themselves now, they are painted, so wouldn’t need a primer.

Not sure how to go about cleaning them, I scrubbed them very well with a solution of sugar soap, rinsed them and left them to dry.

Then came the fun part!

Blue Pot First Coat 3

Wearing a proper, well-fitting face mask, to avoid breathing in paint fumes, I placed the pots on newspaper and sprayed away.

Blue Pot Second Coat 4

Again, not really sure what I was doing, I just laid down a thin layer of paint, thinking it would be better to build up a few layers than try to spray thickly.

Blue Pot Third Coat and Soil 5

This colour is Electric Blue and I wondered if it might be too bright. However, once I’d placed the pots on the corner of the stoep and filled them with a red dianthus and some lilac violas, it was just right.

Blue Pot Flowers 6

I also planted many new freesia bulbs and have been watching these sprout over the weeks. They should start flowering in August.

Blue Pot Flowers 7

So a hobby started to pass the time has provided many hours of enjoyment and I still feel cheered when I see my bright Electric Blue pots on the stoep.


post script: I realise some countries will immediately assume potty refers to a child going to the toilet! Where I grew up in the north of England, it meant silly, daft or slightly crazy. 



Viola in pot

Haiku 245

Hang in there my dear!

Had too much of a good thing?

I’ll save you *now now!


It’s not unusual to have rain at this time of the year here in Cape Town. It is winter and the rainy season (such as that is) after all.

But instead of a few days here and there with a little light rain, we have been having nothing for weeks on end – and then a deluge!

In March, it was totally dry until we got all the average rainfall for the month, in one day! This pattern has continued.

Fortunately, we don’t get floods in my area, though many places in CT do.

Still, as you can see from this little pot, the other day it got more rain than it could cope with, and the Viola was gasping for air!

The pot doesn’t have a drainage hole at the bottom, so I had put stones in and then planted the viola in an old plastic pot that does drain, and placed that on top. Mostly the system works very well.

But hey – Deluge!


post script: * “now now” is a commonly used South African expression, meaning at once. There is also “just now”, which means in a moment, later. These are direct translations of the Afrikaans expressions and used in South African English. For further explanations, try here.

post post script: This is not the post I had planned for today, but, with an unerring sense of perfect timing, I returned to Blogging just as we went back into Loadshedding. Today’s power cut is for two and a half hours before lunch, so no time for a post with many photos that need editing!

post post post script: I really wanted to title this post “Drownded”, just for fun, but thought it might be too daft. On looking the word up, I find it is a real word.

Drownd is an archaic form of drown, and drownded an archaic form of drowned. 

So, daft it is!


Catching the Red-Eye

Red-Eyed Dove 1

Haiku 243

Catching the Red-Eye

Involves stealth and much patience

But mostly Dumb Luck!


Many pigeons visit my garden, scratch around in the grass, drink from the dog bowls and splash in the bird bath.

Red-Eyed Dove 2 – Photo page 197 of Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa

Most are either the small Cape Laughing Dove, (25 cm) Number 4 in photo above, or the larger Cape Turtle Dove (28 cm) Number 3 above.

One day here was this giant, quite unique and bigger than all the rest (33 – 36 cm) Number 2 in above photo.

He is a Red-Eyed Dove, the largest of the ring-necked doves, with a thicker black neck band and a very prominent Red Eye!

Red-Eyed Dove 3

Conveniently, he posed on top of the tree trunk and I was lucky enough to snap a quick photo. He even caught the morning sunlight on his face for a perfect portrait!


post script: I’d heard the expression, “Catching the Red Eye”, probably in American movies! It refers to a late night flight that arrives early the next morning.


I Am Seven

WP Anniversary

Seven Year WP Anniversary

It’s seven years since I first started this blog.

I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me along the way and shared in my little blog of everyday life. Without you there would be no Mad Cap Dog!

Thank you for your support, words of wisdom and sarcastic comments. I appreciate them all! You know people are your friends when they start being sarcastic!

Thank you to everyone who has popped by my blog and liked or commented on a post. I thoroughly enjoy visiting your blogs, reading your interesting posts and looking at your awesome photographs. I really appreciate the interaction and have found the WP community to be friendly and caring.

I have come to know many of you well, even though we have never met, being separated in many instances by vast oceans, and I count you as my virtual friends.

Here’s to many more years of Blogging.

Cheers SciFi


post script: Having just been absent for a few months, I’m not sure how much this WP Anniversary counts.

But hey! I’m still here! And I’ll take any Congratulations going!


Going Nuts Over Monkey Nuts!

Sparky and the Monkey Nut 1

Haiku 239

The nutty squirrel

Executes a smash and grab

Desperate measures


Several different squirrels come by my garden to eat the seeds I put out. Most of them know to hop right up onto the upturned green container.

Clearly this youngster hadn’t got the memo!

I watched in amazement from my seat nearby under the shade of the tree.

Sparky 2

Obviously little Sparky could smell the food, but he wasn’t sure how to get to it. Even the pigeon in the bottom left hand corner of the photo wondered what was wrong with Sparky!

The plan Sparky came up with?

Climb into the mini hedge next to the food. Scramble up inside the tangled branches. Pop out at the top end. Stretch!

Success! Grab the monkey nut. Stuff it in your mouth. Exit the scene. This proved a little harder than entering as Sparky had to push himself back up into the hedge, against gravity!

This is the action shot I got above!

Once he’d procured the monkey nut, Sparky rushed away to bury it.

When he came back for more food, he had a brainwave – and hopped up onto the container like all his mates. No problem!

Sparky 3

However, after the year we’ve just had, and the pandemic still in full swing, maybe this is what we all need. A new way of looking at things!

Either that, or embracing the crazy!


post script: I had a mini panic attack this morning when I tried to Log in to my WP account as usual, but kept getting sent back to the Log in screen. I had already deleted my cache and cookies; something I do regularly; so Googled other options. I tried the regular window instead of using private mode; I typed in a different search address, going back to basics. Still no luck at all.

Finally, I thought to try using Firefox instead of Google Chrome.


I’m feeling pretty chuffed that I managed to sort it out myself, but I am sure this is merely a presage of things to come.

WhatsApp, that I use regularly to keep in touch with family overseas, is forcing you to accept all of Facebook’s conditions, including their having access to – and the right to use – all of your chats and photos, contacts, phone numbers etc I am not on fb and never have been. Now I have till 8th February to decide whether I am willing to give fb the rights to my whole life.

The craziness just continues!


Happy New Year 2021

Pink Rose

Haiku 238

Bye 2020

Here’s to a New Beginning




Well, what a year!

There’s not much I can say about this awful year.

Actually, there’s a lot! But I’ll save that for another time, as I like to keep my New Year’s greetings short and sweet.

It’s been a tough year for us all and I offer my condolences to those who have lost loved ones to Corona.

Thank you for your continued friendship here on WP.

And I hope that you all have a better year in 2021.

Cheers from Scifi.

Happy New Year!


The Cover-Up!

Syringa Tree

Haiku 237

Denuded branches

Quickly mask the exposure

With a Cover-Up


The giant syringa tree that was heavily pruned a few months ago is making a game recovery. See Exposure 

Syringa Tree 2 – Pruned

It took a while to get going, but now is in full swing. By this time next year you won’t be able to tell it was ever cut back.

A successful cover-up indeed.