Invoking Gerald Durrell
Like most personal bloggers I like to start of my post by whining about something. That way, you’re already two hundred and fifty words in once you’ve finished your griping and you’ve effectively uncorked yourself and you can clack away at your keys for the next hour at least without blockage. Of course by this stage your essay has become TL;DR, because really, who has the time for your self involved drivel.
Except my blather of course. Which… is always amazing. Ha ha. I snort, sloshing piping hot Rooibos all over the place, scalding myself with ‘actual’ boiling water. Goddamn.
Its something I always forget, that water boils hotter at the coast. I know that’s not the super technical explanation… but living a mile above sea level means water at the homestead boils at about 94C (Or 202 for the metrically challenged). In any event, once you’ve poured your tea (or whatever) into your cold mug, wandered across to the sofa, positioned yourself in an ergonomic recline, your beverage has reached a temperature that is, at least according to me, potable.
Not here. At the coast. Where sea-level physics apply and you need to let things cool a little longer before imbibing, lest you burn your mouth. And if you’re anything like me, then spend the rest of the day running your tongue over the wound on your palate and feeling sorry for yourself.
Altitude problems. Of course there’s also so much damn oxygen down here… well that’s not not technically true. The amount of oxygen in the air is the same… there is less pressure at 1600mtrs… so the oxygen molecules are further apart. (as far as I remember) Its why sports-teams that come to play in Johannesburg usually arrive a week early, so that their players can acclimatize to the conditions and aren’t gassing out by halftime.
In any event, this dense champagne air has given me ‘wings’ so to speak and I’ve been keeping myself entertained by letting the internal Gerald Durrell* in me out to play. He’s been clambering over the rocks and through the Fynbos looking at the Fauna (and I suppose Flora) that is so very different from Jo’burg. I mean I appreciate that we are in a completely different climatic zone here… but I’m always fascinated by the stark differences.
*a British naturalist and zookeeper whose books I loved as a child.
This ‘baby’ tortoise I found outside the workshop punished me for picking it up, by pooping and peeing on me, which I think is probably fair. I often find myself wanting to do the same to people who touch me…
Yesterday I spent most of my morning in here…
I wish my Instagram account looked like this dudes. Things to aspire to… one day… when I’m big. In any event, I’m not sure this is my favorite Rockpool… but its definitely in the top five. Its about a ten to fifteen minute bike ride from my house. The deepest point at low tide is probably… two and half to three meters at its deepest, you have to equalize to get right to the bottom… well I do (although I struggled without my weight belt, I’m very positively buoyant), so that’s usually about three meters for me, but otherwise its a great pool to do laps in. Although when the tide is in, its less fun as the waves crashing over the break really churn up the water and as well as being quite foamy it can be quite rough. Saw a couple of starfish, a baby octopus and what I think was a pair of White Mussel Crackers.
Later on in the day, I saw three guys spearfishing in the bay near my house, hauling out a decent sized Red Snapper which one of the guys started prepping for the fish braai (barbeque) that they’d set up on the beach. (to be consumed with a bottle of white wine) I was insanely jealous. In terms of aspirational vocations, that is definitely up there in the things I want to do with my time. Although later on, our neighbor showed me a picture of a huge Hammerhead he’d taken from the rocks (also near there) which dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. Ha ha. Jaws has messed me up for life. (Damn you Steven Spielberg)
Today will be more mundane stuff. The goal is to reregister my dads car into my moms name, which requires a roadworthy certificate (I think in England its a MOT thing, I’m not sure about the States) in any event its bureaucratic inanity that gets my libertarian tendencies all up in a huff. So not very exciting. Citizens dying is just one big payday for government. The gift that keeps on giving.
I will attempt to play nicely. Even though I really don’t want to.