Bathurst Show 2008

Old John Deere
John Deere at the Bathurst Show

Yesterday was the last day of the 2008 Bathurst Show. This year the show was a 100 years old.

We took Elke (1½) and we met my father and my brother-in-law and his son, Gustav (2½), and his parents. The kids loved it! They “drove” some impressive equipment and checked the engines and kicked a tyre or two as well. They also enjoyed a tractor race featuring some real antique tractors (see photo above). There was a bull that got loose and started charging people (and us) but luckily the kids were totally unaware of this. There were lots of stalls so I was pleasantly surprised when Lené only bought 1 thing. 🙂

Elke really enjoyed it. You can always judge how much fun she has had by how long it takes her to fall asleep. This time she was fast asleep by the time we left the car park!!

See my Bathurst Show photos.

1.5m Cape Cobra in Riversbend

1.5m Cape Cobra (Naja nivea)
1.5m Cape Cobra (Naja nivea)

On Friday I took Elke to our new house to take photos. I got out of the car and walked around to her side. As I was about to open the door I heard a “slithering” movement. In that instant – before I could even turn around to look – I knew from the sound that it was a big snake.

When I turned around I saw it – big and fat; a Cape Cobra that was at least 1.5m long.

For those that don’t know, the Cape Cobra is a deadly snake with 60% fatality rate (if anti-venom is not administered or administered late). It is also known to, other than most other snakes, actually move closer to you when feeling threatened and will attack.

Needless to say I nearly crapped myself! I followed the snake to its hiding place under some kerbing. Later I phoned Fanie Fouche, a local Nature Conservation official. He and a colleague came out and caught the snake. They released it about 15km away.

This time of the year there are many snakes in our area.

My best round of Golf in ages

Yesterday I had my best 9 holes in more than 10 years. I scored a ringless round of 51 at the Alexandria Golf Club. This was also my 4th game in 10 years so I am very pleased. I hit 3 great approach shots. The best was an 8-iron out of the rough that landed about a foot from the hole. My putting was also good. Now I just have to get my driving and my long irons sorted out. And I need to replace the Pitching Wedge that I broke – in anger – two weeks ago 😦

Before I left SA for the UK in 2000 I played about once a week for years. There where periods were I consistently scored in the low nineties; my best score was a 92.  But we didn’t play to strict rules. For instance, Mulligans were plentiful. So I don’t really count those scores.

Yesterday’s round sure has motivated me but, as is standard with golf, my next round will most probably be a shocker again.

Spare a thought for Charl Langeveldt

Charl Langeveldt is another victim of South Africa’s disastrous sports Transformation policy. Strangely though, Charl Langeveldt is a player “of colour” and as such supposed to benefit from “Transformation”.

As readers may know André Nel was very publicly dropped from South Africa’s cricket tour to India in favour of Charl Langeveldt. The reason for Nel’s axing was purely political: Nel is white. South Africa’s politicians and their nepotistic mates, the sports administrators, are determined to enforce racial quotas in South African sports and they insist on sending a set number of non-white players regardless of merit. Obviously at the expense of white players. This obviously flies in the face of the spirit of Sport and it clearly reminds one of something that occurred in South-Africa until 1994, namely Apartheid.

Rightly there was outrage in South-Africa with everybody taking Nel’s side. I also take Nel’s side, but I really sympathise with Charl Langeveldt. He has been put in a terrible situation by Cricket SA. To his extraordinary credit he has come out very strongly against what has happened. Like he says; he is not a bad player at all – in fact he is very good at ODIs, but he is not as good as Nel. And he doesn’t want to be included in a side because of his colour.

I honestly salute you, Charl Langeveldt. Principled people like you (and Breyten Paulse – who did the same some years ago) aren’t found under every tree. Borrowed from an Afrikaans saying.

UPDATE: Now Monde Zondeki has been selected to replace André Nel/Charl Langeveldt. Lets hope he is as principled as Charl Langeveldt. Any betts?

Max takes the easy route

Max du Preez is depressed. Read why.

This is quite predictable from our Max. Our country is going to the dogs. Not because of an isolated incident at UFS (which is appaling, but isolated), but because all our government institutions are failing; one by one.

But all Max can moan about is the easy one: oh the the racist Afrikaners. The thing is Max, you are not a journalist anymore. You take the easy route. The UFS incident is an easy target; visual and sensational. But its not a national issue. Why don’t you do your damn job?

There are national issues that undermine the stability of this country far more than the UFS incident. Crime, Zuma, poverty, Eskom and our bureaucracy. Why don’t you investigate those, Max? We need real journalists in this country; desperately. We need people who can ask the tough questions to Mbeki, Zuma, Selebi and the Eskom management.

No, our journalists are really hardcore on racist Afrikaners & rugby. But anything more than that is just no good for the career.

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