Last year flew by in a blur of travel, campaigns and deadlines and so many fabulous events, people, places and activities never made it to my digital space.
My blog was seriously neglected, and I totally owned the title of “The blogger who never blogs”.
This year I have committed to show up once a week and write whatever I like on my own blog.
Welcome to the Giraffe Diaries.
A weekly roundup of my life in 7 day slices.
I am presently in Cape Town, which is where I live.
On top of Table Mountain.
I ended 2017 on top of Table Mountain up in the clouds. Visibility was rated zero which meant it was pretty much me, the Table Mountain staff, two crazy Austrian tourists and about a hundred dassies braving the elements and enjoying the solitude.
I went up again a few days later where visibility was good and I was joined by about a million tourists with their cameras and selfie sticks.
Good to know.
If you are a local, invest in a Cable Card. It costs roughly what you would pay for two return trips and you to go up and down once a day, every day for a year. From a financial point of view, it is a no brainer.
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway website gives up to date queuing times for the top and the bottom as well as accurate weather information and visibility. Check this often as queuing can go from 2 hours to 5 minutes.
Keep an eye on the specials and opening and closing times. At the moment they are open until 9:30pm so you can enjoy sunset from the top. This is only offered in the height of season, usually the last car comes down before the sun sets which is a bit meh.
If you are not a fan of queues and crowds you can pay a bit extra to go up at 7: 30am and enjoy the mountain before the masses and tour busses arrive.
I went on a little photo mission here on the first day of 2018, foolishly thinking I would have the place to myself, because everyone else would be nursing hangovers or going up Lion’s Head or the Cable car. Wrong.
It took half an hour just to get up Tafelberg Road past the congestion for Lion’s Head. I stopped before the top to get some shots of Table Mountain and the city bowl, watched a helicopter hovering next to the upper cable station then wandered higher up for some views of the Waterfront and Seapoint
Finally I found a parking place, loaded up with coffee and pastries from the vendor there and walked down to find a spot for a time lapse of the clouds coming in over Lion’s Head. I had planned to drive down before dark as a mist rolled in and it would totally kill sunset, but traffic happened. I really hate Cape Town traffic #JustSaying
Good to know.
The car park on top of Signal Hill is small so cars park all along the side of the road leading up to it, effectively creating a one way street and resulting in lots of shouting, hooting and frustration. Rather spend the time exploring the paths leading to different views of the city, or sit on the slope and watch the para-gliders, people and sunset or clouds. Do not come up here if you are pushed for time.
This is another great spot for taking photos even if old Cecil John is not the most popular guy in town. The monument, statue and views are great and it’s a popular place for picnics and walks.
Good to know.
The gate is locked before sunset which is sad, and is not opened before sunrise which is understandable in summer as sunrise is at about 5 am. It is a safe place to park if you want to walk on Table Mountain, there is also a really nice tea room there if you need tea and scones to reward yourself for hiking.
I am an obsessive reader and I even have a library card that I use regularly. I love books about South Africa and there have been some crackers recently.
Some books I just need to own, so I spent way too much money buying these and highly recommend them all.
No Longer Whispering to Power by Thandeka Gqubule (The story of Thuli Madonsela )
The Presidents Keepers by Jacques Pauw
Enemy of the People by Adriaan Basson and Pieter Du Toit
Khwezi by Redi Tlhabi
Best White and other Delusions by Rebecca Davis
My talented friend Christine Bernard kindly sent me a copy of her 2nd book, Unravel
Obvs I did not read all of the above in the last 7 days, I am still busy with Enemy of the People, depressing stuff, and I spent a whole day on the couch reading Khwezi from start to finish. Best White provided some much needed laughs after all the politics.
I am happy to talk books anytime drop me a line in the comments section.
Beaches are my happy place and feature a lot in my life. I love to walk, photograph or just stare at the the waves. Lagoon Beach is where I go the most as it is the closest one to my home, it also has the best sand for reflection shots and it is safe. It really annoys me that as a female there are so many awesome spots for photography but I just don’t feel comfortable going there on my own. The other thing that irks me is Cape Town traffic again, as during the normal working year a photo mission to the beach has to be well timed. In winter with sunset before 6pm it becomes a race against the clock and traffic to get there on time. Enough moaning, I had a great time at Blaauwberg rock pools on a totally cloudless day this week, and yesterday I celebrated the rain and dramatic clouds at Lagoon Beach.
On the home front.
My son, @capetowncitizen , and his family came back to Cape Town after 3 weeks in Namibia so I spent a very happy afternoon catching up and getting hugs and loves from my 2 grand kids.
My other son, @escapehikes, is moving out, but apparently it is a process, and I am trying to claim space that he has not completely vacated. So a quick 10 minute vacuum and wipe down of my home office led to 2 exhausting days of moving, sanding and varnishing furniture, throwing away years of hoarded stuff and a full on spring clean in the middle of summer.
Any readers out there with adult kids will know exactly what I am talking about. To all my younger friends, take all your crap from your mothers house, she will love you for it.
Till next week, cheers and be awesome.