Monday, a walk through the Company’s Gardens, AfrikaBurn theme camp planning meeting at Royale Eatery… good fun, uncomfortable new seats (booths on the bottom floor).
Tuesday, GUST meeting, gym, swim, minor snag in our AfrikaBurn theme camp planning, worked on my best man speech, braai at home with Georg, Judy and Hugo… Georg made some interesting points about how the modern man looks after himself.
Wednesday, braai meat for breakfast, gym, 1k swim, nice chopped salad at Wellness Warehouse with a big spoon of chilli, drove to Cavendish Square at fetched a suit for Ernst’s wedding… did I mention I hate going to Cavendish – have not been there in about 4 years, Hackers and Makers Year End party at Miao in De Waterkant… best geek party ever, cool gizmos, I won a bottle of wine, nice catch up with Stefano and Niel, managed to get Mia’s Mindstorm Lego back.
Stating the obvious, but Telkom are so totally useless – I’ve filled in their ADSL ordering forms three times. Nothing ever happens.
Just for the record: I’ve bumped into a blog reader that was under the impression that I just go and hang around places like Ellerman House and Babylonstoren on my own. That seems a bit gay, does it not?
Thursday, 1st day of school holidays, fetched Mia, breakfast at Manuka… we talked about her school report – I’m happy with it, we watched The Penguins of Madagascar (2D), swimming at gym… mostly hints and tips for her freestyle and butterfly stroke, afternoon with Mia, Naulene, Francis and Marlyn at Manuka, back to Cape Town, steamed broccoli and hard steamed eggs (works very well), nap, worked on my best man speech.
“Kevin, bake-on. We’re still going to need that victory cake.” — Penguins of Madagascar
The negative parts from Mia’s school report:
“Unfortunately she has yet to develop the skills needed to work collaboratively. She often refuses to implement other people’s ideas when working in a group situation. This was evident during some team-building activities and challenges with her peers on our recent class Camp.”
“The one area of concern for me is your hesitation with engaging in class either in group work or individually. You have the ability to do so and I hope to see you believing in yourself more. Give it your best and be brave enough to make mistakes, Mia!”
I think it’s just a misunderstanding. It’s not about being shy or being afraid to make mistakes. She simply does not like some of the kids in her class and their ideas. I can relate.
Friday, up at 6:00, had to wake Georg up twice, made it to the airport in time, Slow Lounge breakfast, finished writing my speech on the flight to Joburg, Gautrain ride to Rosebank, breakfast with Ernst and Gabriel, outdoor haircut and manli-cure at Terenzo with a glass or two of white wine… good fun, white shirt shopping at Thomas Pink in Hyde Park (I seem to have gone up a shirt size: 16.5/42cm) and some Bottega, bit of a drama finding pocket squares (see above), braai at Ernst’s new house in Park Town North, Georg braaied a perfect fillet steak, listened to fair bit of Depeche Mode, fun evening.
Saturday, breakfast with Georg, Evelien and Stella at Vovotelo in Parkhurst, pre-wedding dress-up and photo session at Morrells (wedding venue) in North Cliff, bumped into Lisca who was in primary school with me – same year, but we don’t remember each other, Ernst and Lisa’s wedding ceremony… really beautiful, wedding speeches and an awesome party, so good Georg managed to end up without a phone.
Sunday, lunch with Georg and Evelien… Evelien reminded me of the time Mia managed to climb on the roof of the stretch tent at Anton and Evelien’s wedding, photo processing, Ernst and Lisa gave us a lift to the airport (thanks!), published some photos from the Slow Lounge… Joe and Georg’s next day wedding photo service, epic nap on the flight to Cape Town, we lost a parking ticket.
Here is my best man speech:
“Hi, I’m Joe.
It’s an honour to be a best man today.
I’ve known Ernst since we were about 13 years old and I’m very happy to celebrate this day with my friend.
Ernst, congratulations on your good fortune in finding such a lovely bride.
While thinking about what I could say today, I browsed through a lot of old photos and got a bit carried away. So many good memories.
I’ve kinda known Ernst in three phases…
First, High school in the 90s in Pretoria. I remember our weekend squash marathons, computer games, driving around on our 50cc motorbikes and watching the movie Aliens over and over. Yes, we were nerds, but what else were we going to do in Pretoria?
One thing is for sure, he was always going to be a doctor.
Then he went to Tuks and I went to Stellenbosch, but in 2003 we randomly bumped into each other again in Cape Town.
2003-2005 were some of the best times. Newlands forest runs, Madam Zingara evenings. 2004 new-years was legendary – I remember driving all the way from Stilbay for that party.
Then he moved to London, but we kept in touch. I think he moved back to South Africa in 2010 and met Lisa soon after.
Since then, he’s been one of the more organised AfrikaBurners I know and a majestic Suicide Gorge rock pool jumper.
I’m very grateful for our friendship and our many adventures together.
Today, you are an inspiration to this bachelor.
I wish these two a lifetime of happiness. Enjoy every moment.
Please raise your glasses. To the beautiful couple!
Monday, up at 6:00ish, school run, gym, swim, Babylonstoren salad from the garden for lunch and a walk around the garden… very impressive, tea and cupcakes, a glass of wine with Jan and Maia at Brampton, Georg cooked a roast and Annaat came over.
Remember those Babylonstoren plums at Origin 2013?
Tuesday, very windy morning, lunch with Anton at Pulp in the Gardens Centre, fresh juice at Fred & Max – some tough decisions, Mia’s year end school awards ceremony, quick supper with Mia, Saigon with Anton, Georg, Cath, Joost, Alex and Michael – nice to see everybody again.
“We can hold hands for a full length underwater.” — Alt-J
Wednesday, Mia’s inter-house school relay gala… she swam freestyle, breast stroke and back stroke and the ladder relay (one child from each grade in a relay), I swam in the parents relay and our team won – Mia seemed very excited and proud, good fun, took Mia to art class, fresh juice at Fred & Max, pizza, cheese cake and a walk around the garden at Lourensford with Mia… we talked about prisms and rainbows and why the sky is blue, dropped Mia at her gran’s house, gym, a beer with Jonathan at Woodlands Eatery… nice to see him again, photo processing, watched Enough Said… not bad.
3260 Vitality points short of maintaining Diamond status – need to come up with some quick hacks. Even dug up my heart rate monitor.
Loved that scene in Interstellar with the yachtsmen that can’t swim and the Earth evening noises.
Thursday, vanilla tea and grapefruit (non-imported), gym, tried to find old photos for my speech at Ernst’s wedding and got a bit carried away, Georg played some music, I cooked a Swiss Chard and Brussels Sprouts supper… needed the iron, watched The Change-Up again and had some Toblerone for dessert.
After browsing a lot of old photos, I’m pretty sure I only really grew up after 2006.
I’ve been eating a lot less eggs recently – and shopped eating almonds like they are popcorn.
Vodacom really does a bad job at connecting Vredehoek – Edge speeds, crappy call quality.
I’m pretty sure the less I tweet the more followers I get. I’ve pretty much stopped using Twitter for the last year, but I’m almost at 1000 followers.
We’ve pretty much removed the iPad from Mia’s life for the last few months (for reasons other than Skype). I found it under a desk this week. Trouble is – Mia does not seem that keen to play with Kano yet.
Friday, 1k swim, took some of our pool water to the pool shop and came back with a few fixes, watched The Lumineers at Kirstenbosch with a picnic and a few T10 G&Ts… not bad, but also not the most impressive live act, bumped into Sarah, stayed up till 2:00ish… just talking crap.
Of the few times I’ve tried Uber in Cape Town, I can not say I’ve had a good experience. UberBlack is okay – UberX is really lame.
“You should just call yourself David Koresh and drop any pretences.” — Wouter, about aB planning.
Cape Town in the Summertime…
Saturday, great weather, chilled by the pool… which is now looking tip-top, Aiden, Chris and Tracy came to visit, G&Ts and limes from Franschoek, braai, perfect day.
“‘Crayfish’ is the safe word.” — Georg, about Aiden’s tanning. Yes, he did get burnt.
Sunday, more great weather, aquaponics reading by the pool, lots of swimming, nap, (load shedding time) pizza at Carlyle’s, watched a bit of Zoolander, another perfect day.
“I can understand now why you guys name your fish.” — From the Aquaponic Gardening book.
Monday, awesome Cape Town weather, an omellette at the 12 Apostles Hotel… probably one of the more expensive omellettes I’ve ever eaten – but the views make it worth it… can’t think of a better setting to process and publish the Suicide Gorge photos, swim, nap, swim, sunset walk around the neighbourhood, salad, watched Zombieland again.
“That place totally blows! …my mind.” — Tallahassee
Tuesday, Lady Grey tea, finished mix tape number two, changed the photos on the TV (to include only the last two year’s 5D shots), packed away all the hiking/kloofing gear, swim, Mia was stung by a bee at swimming squad and ended up in hospital for a while… but she’s okay – not as bad as the last time (April 2012), a beer at Van Hunks with Al and Georg, watched Closer again… good movie.
Wednesday, rainy day, vanilla tea, bit of a surprising phone conversation – but it ended well, gym, 1k swim – kinda realised I’ve been feeling burnt out for a few weeks now, cold and windy Kings Blockhouse hike with Georg, Georg made a nice stew.
“Recycling and speed limits are bullshit,” Tyler said. “They’re like someone who quits smoking on his deathbed.” — Fight Club, actually this does to make much sense, but I like it.
“Ok, so jy het ‘n plan, (not adrenaline resistance action paralysis – the type that causes road kill?” — Jacques
“Squats are the key to living well in old age and low orbit.” — ERnst
Thursday, up at 6:00, managed to get a fair bit of admin done, gym, 1k swim, some aB planning, lunch at Wembley Sq, could not stop looking at this pregnant girl with yoga mat… wires crossed I guess, misty pipe track / Table Mountain hike with Georg, aquaponics book reading.
Friday, one of the more stressful meetings of the year in Stellenbosch, tea with Werner and Jan at Melissas, Albanian barber visit… who made me look like Tin Tin, but we fixed it, 1k swim, fetched Mia from school, we watched a Ghibli movie – Tales from the Earthsea and I cooked Mia some broccoli for supper.
Nice read: Tyler Durden Invented Burning Man… “devolve into our higher selves”. Maybe each theme camp of each regional burn is a Fight Club chapter? A network of dreamers and doers.
“What is the what if the what is in why?” — Moloko
Saturday, early organic/farmers market visit at Leeuwenhof… the Governor’s mansion with Georg and Mia, we had the usual olives and chocolate bread sticks at the market, a swim and a tan at home with some aquaponics reading, nap, swimming at gym (pre-year-end-gala), Mia managed to swim a 22sec freestyle and 29sec butterfly (25m), Mia’s 3rd Lions Head hike – 1st one she was doing the walking, Deer Park play area, pizza at Bella Italia (above Carlyle’s)… meh – don’t go there, in bed by 21:00.
Sunday, tea, I made Mia a 4 course breakfast – while she watched Simpsons episodes, finally scrubbed the glue from the ER/ECG electrodes off Mia’s chest, swimming at gym, we watched Interstellar at the Waterfront (kinda smuggled her in for a 2h49min movie), her initial review: “complicated”, but I explained everything over a walk with some ice cream, quick xmas gift shopping for her teacher, a swim at home and some arts and crafts, broccoli/salad for supper, in bed by 20:10, Mia tried to keep me awake with Interstellar questions, but I’m pretty sure I was asleep before her – I remember she asked about how/why Cooper sent the NASA base GPS coordinates back from the future and I did not really have a good answer to that, bit of a weakness in the plot, cool that she spotted it, great weekend.
Monday, tea and photo processing while some plumbers and electricians came over, new record for likes on the photos we uploaded from the housewarming party, finally made some time to read the East London Swimmers book I got Mia – seems the pool is next to London Fields – great little book – I really like that area, blogging while Georg played some music, watched The Rum Diary again – maybe our real motivation is adventure – or the fear that the adventures might end.
“I know it’s hard to tell, because I’m super subtle, but I’m kinda into you.” – Georg’s comment: “Subtle!?… you can see it from space!”
Tuesday, up at 6:00ish, car service day, gym (squats for Suicide Gorge) and a nice 1km swim (was fun once I forced myself to swim the first half), bumped into Jill and had a green juice, walked through Greenmarket Square and fetched some keys, fetched my car, we made a Thai green curry (in record time)… the rice came out fairly well, a bit of drama with a dinner guest cancelling last minute, watched Signal Hill burn, watched a bit of Zombieland, fun evening.
“Big spoon or little spoon?”, “Fork!” — About eating ice cream.
“Rule #7: Travel light. Rule #32: Enjoy the little things.” — Zombieland
I need to find a gym / squash partner again.
Wednesday, curry for breakfast (and lunch) and more than one cup of vanilla tea (new theme), Pieter Hugo’s parents came over, listened to Tori Amos for the first time in years, pipe track hike with Georg, T10 G&Ts with Al and Georg at Van Hunks, we finished the curry, Georg played his latest music.
Vredehoek is pretty windy. How windy? This house has two front doors – basically an airlock. I sometimes sleep with earplugs.
“Everything has already happened. The past, present and future already exists.” — Jacques, about Interstellar.
Thursday, gym, swim, fetched Mia from school, took her to art class, fresh juice at Fred & Max, took Mia to swimming squad practice – really happy with her progress… her butterfly is looking good and she seems to swim at a pace of the Grade 3s, fetched Francis, Spur outing – without chips… just veg, funny watching Mia trying to feed Francis some spinach, dropped off the girls, Naulene was pleasant, nice sunset drive back to Cape Town, phoned Ernst, Georg played a nice set of music, listened to Electrolite, made some notes for my speech at Ernst’s wedding.
AfrikaBurn 2015 planning has begun – and it’s going to be epic. Jacques and Georg also seem keen to join.
“We’re in the pipe, five by five.” — ERnst / Aliens – about the weekend.
Friday, Paul dropped off my bike, quick Waterfront visit, (the vanilla) pizza at Bocca in Bree Street, nap, conversations about spray plaster, dinner at San Julian (mexican place)… company was good, food was a bit meh, fetched Ernst, Tim and John from the airport, last minute packing, struggled to get everybody in bed before 0:00.
“Submarine Captain” — ERnst, about getting everybody to bed early on the Friday night.
Saturday, up at 6:00, my 9th Suicide Gorge hike with Ernst and co, Georg, Wouter, Michael and Storm (group of 12), great fun – no bumps or scratches, finished at 15:30 with a cold Windhoek, a springbok pie at Peregrine farm stall, three people fell asleep in the car on the way home, a swim at home, supper at Rick’s – my wheels came off, babies don’t sleep this well.
“Cape Town is Las Vegas” — ERnst
Sunday, got up at 11:00ish, made lunch for Ernst and co, swim, Georg played some music until load shedding kicked in, walked to Carlyle’s for beer, pizza and a dom pedro, almost managed to watch a movie.
Awesome weekend, thanks Ernst. Great idea for a bachelor weekend (might copy parts of it one day). Sorry about crashing early on Saturday evening.
Tune of the week: Holiday in Spain, Counting Crows.
“People who claim to know jackrabbits will tell you they are primarily motivated by Fear, Stupidity, and Craziness. But I have spent enough time in jack rabbit country to know that most of them lead pretty dull lives; they are bored with their daily routines: eat, fuck, sleep, hop around a bush now and then….No wonder some of them drift over the line into cheap thrills once in a while; there has to be a powerful adrenalin rush in crouching by the side of a road, waiting for the next set of headlights to come along, then streaking out of the bushes with split-second timing and making it across to the other side just inches in front of the speeding front wheels” — HST
It’s taken me a bit of time to realise – and this is not easy to write – but I’ve been burn out over the last few weeks. I just finished a long swim thinking – why do I think I’ve been suffering from burn-out and when did it happen?
Maybe it’s the two years of never having more than 3 months of runway, maybe it’s the 8 investment deals I’ve had to negotiate (actually I’ve lost count), maybe it’s a co-founder leaving, maybe it’s the general roller coaster ride, maybe it’s the two months of pain to get a UK bank account open in the Techstars time (actually – that was probably the moment).
Maybe it’s because my mind used to always be busy thinking about the startup – always pondering new creative options and solutions – and then it all dried up and I could not even read or answer emails. Even though I know what to do next and I like the plan it’s just so hard to get motivated and get going.
That’s how I know.
The book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” really helped – and I keep thinking about this line: “Nobody cares, just win”. Nobody cares about your reasons for failing, or almost failing – just get going. Find that one way out.
Monday, up at 6:00, school run, 1k swim at the Waterstone Gym, some past-deadline charity shopping logistics for Mia’s school, created some order back at home, photo processing, light supper and tea at Sidewalk Cafe – fast paced walk back home after we figured out they locked the gates around our house at sunset, in bed by 10:00, some Aquaponics reading, good sleep.
Tuesday, three cups of tea, car service, gym, 1k swim, walked from Wembley Square to the Waterfront via St George’s mall, Greenmarket Square and Long Street – forgot how nice that area is in the afternoon, fetched my car, watched Interstellar at the Waterfront, ~3hour epic sci-fi movie… loved it, joined Al and Georg for a beer at Carlyle’s.
Interstellar mini review: Great soundtrack. Very sad a times. I cried like girl. Great plot and themes: Very scary theme about killing the planet and running out of food. Time is relative. Is love bigger than just something that we have because of evolution? The bond between parent and child. Anne Hathaway looks very good with short hair – not the worst person to be trapped on a new planet with. 80% of the movie seems pretty real and then there’s the Abyss-like ending where it gets wacky – but it all fits well.
“We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible. And we count these moments. These moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers. And we’ve barely begun. And that our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.” — Interstellar
“Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.” — Brand, Interstellar.
“I know.” — The Empire Strikes Back
“Jy moet nooit jou sonbril by die huis los as jy uit gaan nie.” — Al
Wednesday, day without using my car, moved about 75GB of photos to my external drive, Devil’s Peak walk with Georg, finished that mix tape – the new-school way: iTunes playlist export and import, Naulene fetched a sleeping bag, red wine and blogging while Georg worked on his set for Friday night, narrow escape with a last minute phone call, do’h.
Thursday, Mia went on her first school camping trip, no breakfast, health check-up at Wellness Warehouse and a painful VitB shot… Doctor Ernst sent through a script for Neurobion (thanks!), Mr Fox’d an egg white frittata with a spirulina smoothie and some orange blossom energising Happywater from Janey – who gave me two affirmation stickers, bumped into Tracey, 1km swim, I suspect my mostly paleo diet is increasing my cholesterol – phoned Ernst – I should probably go for a real lab test soon, organised the house with Georg and had a few G&Ts, moved around some decor.
Startups really are about making something out of nothing.
Great weekend, nice to see so many good friends…
Friday, house cleaning and organising, some tea in the Ritzenhoff cups (thanks for the plastic glasses), chopped up some veggies for snack platters, epic nerdy housewarming party (Party in the IT Department) – about 30 people, ended with some Hendriks G&Ts (thanks Al), more than one person got the day of the party wrong.
Saturday, woke up to a clean house, walked to Carlyle’s for a Slow Beer and a pizza, watched True Romance again… always fun.
We have two new housemates: Jasmin and Laura.
Sunday, took a walk around Ellerman House, great art collection – very cool William Kentridge piece, vanilla tea with great views over Bantry Bay, Jessica came over and Georg cooked an awesome Sunday roast with some vintage Graham Beck bubbly, minor kitchen panic – first aid kit for a finger cut, nap, watched The Intouchables again, watched Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels again.
Epic fail of a photo week, but I had a very fun Guy Fawkes.
Monday, Jacques made us breakfast, rainy day, walked to Old Street Station, bought 0.0919 BTC (20GBP) at the Bitcoin ATM… worked well, but takes a while for the transaction to show up in my Hive wallet app, audio book walk to the office, booked flights for Ernst’s wedding, Jacques cooked supper, I set up Baiku Server (calendar), watched The Corporation on Netflix.
The daily London routine is pretty much: walk to work and take the train home. Get a bit of exercise while the sun is up.
“He who dies with the least toys wins. Because the more you know, the less you need.” – Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Founder.
Interesting read on the human longing for transcendence “a special kind of feeling or intuition – a sense of the oneness of all things in their divine principle”.
Business idea: mass CO2 absorbing aquaponic broccoli farm that accepts bitcoin payments – basically and organic bitcoin farm.
Tuesday, I cooked a broccoli breakfast, we actually found a use for the demo day stand up banners at Jacques’ house, audio book walk to the office, bargained myself a good deal on a new travel suitcase at the street market… 4 wheel hard shell thing – kinda needed a new one after driving over my other suitcase a while ago, tea in a “League Chairman” cup, listened to Mozart’s Requiem, we decided on a housewarming theme – Party in the IT Department, my first authentic London winter evening outing – cold and wet (4G and TouchID seems to fail), nice dinner at Dishoom / Bombay Cafe in Shoreditch with Jacques, good recommendation… thanks Al and Paul – great food, loved the lamb and mint yoghurt, try the house chai – and then, like Forrest Gump in Nam – we went looking for two guys named Ben and Jerry, watched Non Stop… not bad, worked on the mix tape – loving my headphones.
Jacques has this theory that after 35yo your friends should just arrange a marriage for you. I figure, with a 4 year average marriage length, the trick is more for everybody to just move on quickly and get along.
“Kry mens machiavellianism weens ‘n tekort aan oxytosin?” — Jacques thinks I missed a shot of Oxytocin at birth.
Did I mention the grilled cheese sandwich from last week’s wine bar outing?
“Every company goes through about two WFIO moments.” — THTAHT
Wednesday, Remember Remember The Fifth of November, Jacques made breakfast, really bummed to miss Mia’s swimming gala, lunch with Johann and Kirstin in Soho – chats about AI, quantum computing, travel adventures with Johann to get to Crystal Palace Park for a fireworks show – Victoria station – long cab ride – we watched the fireworks with Victoria and Elliot, very cold train ride to West Croydon – borrowed Victoria’s mittens (and ended up dropping my phone – no real damage).
“Never be scared to be radical.” — Johann
Turns out Johann is an Afrikaans speaking jew. That has to be pretty rare.
“Happy ideas are bulletproof day.” — ERnst
Remember the chocolate chilli steak at Madam Zingara?
I realised that I never really watched Futurama. How did this happen?
The fundamentally sad thing about software development and most of the knowledge economy work is that people simply don’t get to move enough – get up and take a walk when you can.
Thursday, woke up in a hotel in West Croydon, tea, flight check-in (which I should have done the previous night), kinda got a bit lost travelling back to Haggerston – a few train changes because of delays on the Overground, quick packing session at Jacques’ house, walked to Angel, quick supper with Jacques at Brewhouse & Kitchen – Islington, rush hour travelling with a big suitcase (joy), Heathrow Express – finished The Hard Thing About Hard Things on the way to the airport, flight to Cape Town, watched Guardians of the Galaxy… very entertaining, watched Bad Neighbours… had its moments.
Tune of the week: Silver Springs, Fleetwood Mac
I have another Best Man gig, 21 March.
Jacques: I suspect your bike might have been stolen from the bike rack in the warehouse. Not sure how far back your CCTV footage goes?
Friday, woke up somewhere over Namibia, watched Chef… pretty good, managed to get stopped at customs – turns out you can only bring in one bottle of gin… meh, Georg fetched me from the airport, great to be back in Cape Town, a swim at home, a quick nap, fetched Mia, back to Cape Town, swimming, braai – I made some basil and Emmentaler braai broodjies.
Saturday, watched Cape Feare (Simpsons) again, we walked to the OZCF market and had fresh juices an some liquid nitrogen made ice cream, more swimming at home, I made a salad, we found an original 1980something Lego Space Guy, a few drinks with Judy and Hugo, organised Mia’s room, nap, another nap, Uber ride, 30th birthday party at Dear Me in Longmarket street, Georg played a great set of music back home, dancing in the lounge, a few people ended up in the swimming pool with their clothes on, great fun.
“Use a pen, Sideshow Bob!”
I love how Mia likes to watch a screensaver on the TV with a series of her old photos.
“You’re so cool.” — from True Romance.
Mia seems to love watching Simpsons at the moment – sitting on the Aeron chair sipping tonic water.
Exactly two years since I got un-engaged this Sunday.
Sunday, no Groovy Troopers this year, afternoon of swimming and a birthday braai with Paul and friends, watched a bit of The Internship with Georg.
Monday, up at 6:00, an early walk around Lions Head, a quick 1k swim, conversations around the pool, my first Uber ride (I think), lunch at The Camps Bay Retreat with some Tokara Chardonnay… nice food, great views, a swim in the ~secret (and a bit squishy) rock pool, sunset Glen Beach / Camps Bay beach walk, an epic fillet braai at home with Georg, Dan and Michael, perfect day.
I now have 11 Telegram contacts… mass-close-friend-migration.
A 50% match in top4 Wes Anderson movies. I might have to watch The Darjeeling Limited again.
Nice to be swimming more recently. All I want for xmas is a flow pool at home.
Tuesday, three cups of Earl Grey tea, braai meat for breakfast, 1k swim, Suicide Gorge planning, bacon and eggs at 3pm, quick Table Mountain hike with Georg, 10 minutes of packing, Georg dropped me off at the airport (thanks!), finally got a USB battery back from duty free – very useful for headphone charging, BA flight to London, watched 22 Jump Street… very funny.
It’s been an eventful and exciting three weeks in Cape Town. Great fun. Big smile. Feeling at home in Cape Town and really enjoying the company of friends.
First overseas trip without packing my camera.
Safe to say KPI4 has been progressing well.
Wednesday, woke up at around 3:30 (London time) somewhere over Europe, minor UK Border snags (again!), arrived in London in winter with shorts and flip flops, MNO and travel card top-ups, watched two Cosmos episodes on the commute to the office, day at the Techstars office – catching up, lunch at The Chicken Shop down the road – felt right at home again and nice to be in working mode, it got dark at 16:45… crazy, started the day with about 200 emails, ended with about 100, catch-up dinner with Jacques at a Hoxton pub called Talbot.
“Do you remember Frogger?” — Mutaz, as we crossed the 4 lane road to get some Indian food for lunch.
Jacques still does not have “fibre” broadband. EE let him know it’s active but the ADSL line does not sync.
Happy to report Jacques has not been smoking (if you ignore the odd e-cigarette).
Neither Jacques nor I managed to get Rugby World Cup 2015 tickets. A bit weird, between us we bid for 12 tickets: 4 games * 3.
Tried to Skype with Mia on Wednesday but somehow the headphone jack broke off inside the iPad!? The two things that puzzle me about this: 1) Why would you take something to school which you knew was broken? 2) Why not just tell me it’s broken.
Sunshine or fast internet? Can’t seems to get both right at the moment.
Thursday, almonds and almond milk for breakfast, cleaned the cave to liveable standards – I’m pretty sure there was some recycling from my last visit, started listening to The Hard Thing About Hard Things on the way to the office… very good, very relevant, found an omellette shop near the office – wish I found that a long time ago, 6 GBP Pakistani barber haircut, catch up with Brian, ping pong match vs Lesya, audio book tube ride, a Kronenbourg with Jacques, watched the last episode of Cosmos – all misty eyed.
“There are only two emotions in startups: euphoria and terror.” ~- from THTAHT
“Innovation requires a combination of knowledge, skill and courage.” — THTAHT
As Bill Murray says: being a swimwear model is all about drinking enough water.
Friday, breakfast with Jacques, audio book walk to the office via Brick Lane, day at the office, gruelling ping pong matches against Lesya, Max and Morgan and end of week Halloween beers around the office, two really amazing bottles of French and Spanish wine with Ashley at Sager + Wilde (Clos du Rouge Gorge jeunes Vignes 2012 and Gran Recosind Crianca) – really great little wine bar.
“Gullible is my first name.” — Ashley
“Nobody cares, just win.” — THTAHT
Safe to say I’m more of a Guy Fawkes fan than a Halloween guy.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a great book – it’s hard being a tech founder CEO – but it’s such an exciting and challenging and complex thing. It’s a bit of a curse. Great to listen to all the wisdom from this book. You can tell they were all Unix geeks – they even mention LDAP in the book.
Getting a lot of questions about my tan in London.
Definitely some form of therapy in talking things through with Jacques – including global warming.
Saturday, photo processing, great weather for 1 November, a walk along the Regent’s Canal with Jacques, olives and a pulled pork snacks at the Broadway Market, a stroll around London Fields park, watched Cosmos ep12 again with Jacques (the global warming one), epic nap, a visit to The O2 with Jacques, eat as much as you can paleo (meat) mission at Rodizio Rico, $5 shake with some Maker’s Mark bourbon (which ended up being an $18 shake), kinda mis-timed watching Interstellar by a week, walked past the BTC ATM at Old Street Station, watched Savages via Amazon Prime… entertaining.
Jacques and I agree that Bitcoin adoption in London is seriously hampered by the hipster service ethic.
Sunday, I cooked an 8 egg paleo breakfast, helped Jacques clean the warehouse and threw away a lot of random crap – finally!, nap, swim and spa session, Sunday roast at The Brewhouse & Kitchen – Islington with a very yummy Asahi Japanese dry rice lager, a walk along the Regent’s Canal, some Ben and Jerry’s with The Famous Grouse, watched Side Effects – bit of a man crush on Channing Tatum I suspect.
Recent theme: market of one – only need one way out.
“Somebody wake up Hicks.” — Apone, I sometimes feel a bit like this.
“We define religion as the assumption that life has meaning. Religion, or lack of it, is shown not in some intellectual or verbal formulations but in one’s total orientation to life. Religion is whatever the individual takes to be his ultimate concern. One’s religious attitude is to be found at that point where he has a conviction that there are values in human existence worth living and dying for.” — Rollo May, something Jacques found, I suspect I’m only posting this because of my recent Cosmos watching.
Monday, up at 6:00, school run, gym, swim, meeting in Stellenbosch, lunch at Greengate, car wash (for the first time in about 6 months), finally fixed the Kano at Mia’s school, early supper with Mia and a beach walk, dropped Mia at her mom’s and drove to Cape Town, one more wave of creating order around the house while installing iOS 8.1, met a potential new (French) housemate.
Tuesday, up at 6:00, walked up Lions Head with Richard (90min up and down), bumped into three people I know on the way up, made an 8 egg breakfast (2 yolks, for the record), listened to Chicane / Behind the Sun – great album, fitted a new iPhone screen cover, perfect application, geek joy, Table Mountain walk with Georg… pipe track and contour road back, we kinda planned a braai, then cancelled it and then braaied anyway, a small one with Michael.
Wednesday, finally set up my desk again and ordered ADSL for the house, drove to Stellenbosch, ~swim, bubbly, a really nice dinner.
Only woman feel infatuation. Only men feel jealousy.
Thursday, bacon, Bloody Mary, got some new swimming goggles (joy – should have done this a long time ago), epic 1k swim, could not stop smiling, VitB shot, fetched Mia from swimming, early supper at Manuka – bumped into Charl and family, drove back to Cape Town, Georg played a nice mix of some new tunes, missed the aKing show, in bed early.
Sudden urge to visit the power station where Aliens was filmed.
Friday, finally found my toothbrush chargers, unpacked a few boxes, backups, Van Hunks with Georg, Paul, Hilah, Tania, Johann and Al – great evening.
“Here’s to the normal ones. The conformists. The pushovers. The followers. The square pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things the same. They’re fond of rules. And they have respect for the status quo. You won’t quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. The only thing you can do is ignore them. Because they don’t change things. They hold the human race back. And while some may see them as safe, we see mindless destruction. Because the people who aren’t crazy enough to think they can change the world, don’t.” — Ben
Saturday, breakfast and a Bloody Mary at Sidewalk Cafe with Georg, swim, sun, started making a mix tape, epic nap – overshot the mark a little and woke up after 19:00, Cosmos, burger at Royale with Georg, more Cosmos.
Sunday, Devil’s Peak walk with Georg, swim, we fetched Paul and Hilah… with only minor delays, fetched Mia, great day of swimming and relaxing, Johann and Victoria’s going away party at Sgt Pepper in Long Street – continuing the pizza on Sunday night routine.
Living a bit of a strange mix of the Paul Carr books…
Week of 13-19 October.
Yes, this post is late. Writing creativity has been diverted to lots of Telegram messages recently.
Monday, got an HDMI cable and an SD card for project Kano, quick 1k swim, finally returned Mia’s bike after AfrikaBurn, fetched Mia (last day of school holiday) and fixed Naulene’s email, more swimming coaching… the two hand butterfly is coming along nicely, Bikini Beach walk, hake, calamari and salad at Trawlers, Bikini Books visit… bought “The Best Best Man” (for R15) – six easy lessons, bought Microserfs (for R8) – good memories of the book, dropped Mia at her mom’s house, (car phone) chat with Ernst on the way to Cape Town, catch-up with Wouter – we had a good laugh about Paul being abducted from a party.
Hello Cape Town, summer is certainly in the air and it feels great to be back.
“What’s the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek?” — Mia, hmm… might have to watch some Star Trek soon.
I think I might have become a sugar nazi – I keep telling people to avoid sugar.
Mia can now swim 25m freestyle in 25sec.
Busy planning a Suicide Gorge walk for November, looking forward to it.
Thomas seems to have resigned from Ernst’s best men group.
Paul recently reminded me of the story of our R2 photos at AfrikaBurn that Sunday – very funny. Giving the poor guy grief about not knowing his own camera settings – turns out it was not his camera.
“The Ex-Presidents rip off banks to finance their endless summer!” — Pappas, Point Break
Tuesday, woke up to an awesome day in Bantry Bay, grapefruit for breakfast, figured out Wouter’s coffee machine, got some admin done, Table Mountain walk with Georg (Pipe Track / Chain Route walk and then along contour towards Devils Peak – and back via the tar road)… see above photo, ribs special night at Van Hunks with Georg, Bianca and Tracy, nice drive home listening to aKing / In Loving Memory – great tune.
“They say you don’t get over somebody, you get under somebody else.” — Georg’s conversation with Bianca.
5000 photos per year seems to be a good target – I’m at 3200 now.
Real friends make it into ~/.mutt/aliases
Wednesday, work – had to make a tough decision about elephant hunting, house shopping in High Cape… nice place, house shopping in Camps Bay (wow, something out of the 70s), had to take in the views from the big Bakoven rock, Little Beach visit, walked to the top of Lions Head with Georg… a bit misty, a beer at Van Hunks and bumped into Tracy again, burger in a bowl with Georg and Wouter at Da Vinci’s, good chat with Wouter, thanks!
Not often that you meet new good friends.
Thursday, house shopping in Fresnaye – not bad, but ended up going for the High Cape option, new record: less than 48h from viewing to moving in, tinkered with Apache configs to fix POODLE attack issues, Van Hunks with Lara, Claus, Al, Georg and Wouter – only the third night in a row, a drink at P&G, ended up at the Fritz Hotel in Gardens and installed OSX 10.10 (overnight).
Apache setting you want to be using: SSLCipherSuite EECDH+AES:EDH+AES:-SHA1:EECDH+RC4:EDH+RC4:RC4-SHA:EECDH+AES256:EDH+AES256:AES256-SHA:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXP:!LOW:!MD5:!SSLv3
Friday, moving day, new place in High Cape / Vredehoek, minimalist unpacking, Tania visited, wired up the hifi/tv, Hendriks G&Ts.
Feels like I have not had a home since January.
Saturday, woke up at home for a change, installed Aperture 3.6 – really hoping it’s less buggy, fetched Mia from a sleepover, Mia’s swimming squad sign-up, we had to go get Mia some new swimming goggles, pool party and mini-housewarming, watched that scene from Stardust again, kinda fell asleep next to Mia after her bath time, wine, music, dancing in the lounge with Hilah, Paul and Georg, great day.
“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” — Oscar Wilde
Sunday, breakfast at Sidewalk Cafe with Mia – I really should start eating a bit slower, pool party with camping mattress lilos, Mia made virgin Strawberry Daiquiris, Ingi made a great salad lunch, we managed to finish 6 bottles of my favourite Chardonnay and get every single glass in the house dirty (over the weekend), watched Mega Mind again, pizza at Da Vinci’s with Mia, watched some Cosmos.
“Of course they have good fashion sense – what do you think they were doing in the closet all that time?” — Georg
Some people are just fun to be around – and they bring out the best in you.
Monday, woke up at Rocking the Daisies, biltong for breakfast, safe to say we were the very last people to leave… had to go search for Paul’s phone, stopped for a quick wine tasting at Darling Cellars, drove back to Cape Town with Paul, a swim at Wouter’s house – very cool place, a long lunch at La Perla with Paul and Wouter – nice chats, good food and some Hartenberg Chardonnay, a drink with Georg, Wouter, Al, Ingi and Cath at Van Hunks… great to see everybody.
Pro-tip: drink Rehidrat before the party, not just after (via Wouter).
Safe to say I’ve missed Cape Town.
There is a bit of an irony to this blog – sometimes when I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to do something I figure – why not? the blog could use the content. It serves as a motivation to keep doing fun things, but sometimes I really just do not want to be busy.
Wouter and Paul also like Nikki’s AfrikaBurn theme idea.
Found this video about free diving (via Brian), made me think of the most relaxed day ever – 1998ish, Bettys Bay area, after an afternoon of crayfish diving with Jacques and Wynand, we stopped for a second dive along the coastal road. Great dive, just relaxing in the fairly warm water. Diving and exploring. Found a little blowfish and played with it. Views of the sun setting across False Bay towards Simon’s Town. Magic.
Tuesday, woke up in Bantry Bay, returned my camping gear to storage, Earl Grey tea, Nina Simone and an omelette at Basic Bistro.. bliss, some photo processing, processed a lot of phone notes, epic 1k swim, sauna, blogging, drove through to Cape Town, took a walk with Cath around Tamboerskloof… walked by our old Leeukloof house, burger in a bowl with Michael at Da Vinci’s.
“Everything ends badly, otherwise it would not end.” — Cocktail, not sure how I missed this quote, it was pretty much the reason we watched the movie again recently.
Wednesday, woke up in Tamboerskloof, fetched Mia, red cappuccinos and omelettes, played swimming coach – more butterfly training, fetched Francis, JIT outing planning, drove to Greyton… booked a place to stay on the way, stopped at Peregrine Farm Stall and bumped into my cousin Petro, which I have not seen in about 15 years, arrived at a cold and rainy Greyton Lodge, relaxed by the fire, a quick (non-league non-Campari) game of croquet with Mia and Francis, phoned Ernst, Francis rocked her panda onesie to Vanilla Cafe – pizza night, nice chat with the locals, Matilda soundtrack sing along at (bubble) bath time… Francis also knows the words now – and we have it in the car, obvs.
“Even if you’re little you can do a lot. You mustn’t let a little thing like ‘little’ stop you.” — Matilda
I must say Francis is very cool – not sure how I now feel about all those levels of unhappiness I had towards Naulene when I found out she was pregnant with Francis.
Thursday, woke up in Greyton, we watched some Cosmos in bed (how wolves became dogs), nice healthy breakfast, tea and croquet with the girls… took us a while to work out Francis is not left handed (even her mom was not sure), Mia and Francis coloured in their new dolphin and teddy toys, new strategy: when they wind each other up I make them do push-ups, drove to the Greyton Nature Reserve and took a walk along the stream – we found two tiny ducklings at the top of the gorge, walked around Greyton and had a late lunch and pancakes at Oak and Vigne cafe… Van Morrison background music and a nice fireplace, walked back and played some more croquet, watched Cosmos (ep3-5), early night, best sleep in a long time.
I think we can all agree that the Greyton Lodge was a bit better when it was run by the Scandinavian couple, but it’s still nice.
I’m really starting to miss playing squash.
Friday, fairly painful watching the children eat sweet French toast after they convinced me they could order some, quick croquet game, Caledon hot water springs – highlight of the trip for M&F – only took them about 30min to get dressed to leave, rushed back to Somerset West for a party Francis had to attend, wine tasting at Ken Forrester’s – figured I’d show Mia the first place the Bothas farmed in the Cape, lunch at Eikendal… showed Mia the trailer of Star Wars Rebels (starts on 18 Oct), a quick play area visit at La Pineta, drove to Spier, a glass of Chardonnay, Mia convinced the barman to make her a virgin (not too sweet) Strawberry Daiquiri, we kicked a soccer ball around the lawn – with a bit of a lingering Daisies foot injury.
The “game of why?” seems to be very popular at the moment: Why do cheese knives have holes on the sides? Why do comets have tails? Why are wind turbines white? Why does steam rise off the road when it rains? Why do they built tunnels for trains in the middle of London?
Saturday, woke up at Spier (friends and family rate – thanks W!), soldier eggs (soft boiled eggs and toast strips), kicked a soccer ball around with Mia, a long swim – and a butterfly coaching session… the one arm butterfly stroke is looking good, some clothes shopping with Mia, bumped into Will, dropped Mia at her gran’s, birthday party outing, general mayhem.
Teaching swimming is more challenging than I figured it would be – not trivial to communicate something which is pretty much a reflex.
The Spier review: very cool that they just leave a few soccer balls around the lawns, very family friendly, the art is great, not really my vibe, but nice to see so much art around.
Feeling great after following Mia’s sleeping routine for a few days.
Managed to keep my life off Facebook for a week.
Smartphones really are a pain if you just need to unplug for a day or three – but it’s also a good reason to use your DSLR and leave your phone in the car.
Sunday, woke up to the Top Gun soundtrack, sun, swims, wine and more swims, great weekend, thanks!
Watching Cosmos really makes you want to live longer – it’s only been a fraction of time (over the last 3.5mil years) that we have our act (mostly) together. It’s a real privilege to live in these times.
Monday, started listening to The Goldfinch (audio book gift from Ernst) – this might take a while, pitch practice day in the St James Theatre near Victoria, picked up a Harris Tweed jacket on the way there, nice Skype chat with Mia (Skype for iPhone TFW) – it was parents vs children hockey day at school – Naulene joined the game (thanks Naulene), seems the children won, registered for the Rugby World Cup 2015 ticket buying process (last day), got stuck on the District line – first time London transport failed me, packed up the office in Whitechapel and stored one crate there, Indian food night with Jacques and Werner at Zaffrani in Islington… awesome chicken dish, spa visit – three guys in the spa and no organised crime to talk about, in bed early – and so three months of warehouse living and jokes about boy bands and Mickey Mouse wristbands came to an end.
Tuesday, up at 6:00, Techstars Demo Day, bus ride to Victoria, grande lattes, flight check-ins, set up the presentation area at The St James Theatre, early pitch rehearsal session, demo day with a great intro by Brian (thanks!) and networking – good show – all the teams did really well, a beer with the ClauseMatch guys, fetched our bags and said goodbye to Jacques, long Piccadilly Line ride to LHR T1, SAA flight to Joburg with a really bad in-flight movie selection, ended up watching Before Sunset again, fell asleep 1/2 way into watching Inception again (with my new favourite hoodie over my head).
“Wish I was here.” — movie poster, looks pretty good.
“Isn’t everything autobiographical?” — Before Sunset
Wednesday, woke up somewhere over Africa, rushed to our flight to Cape Town (some confusion from muppet behind the SAA desk), watched two episodes of Cosmos on my iPad and BLE headset – such an awesome series – really makes you want to do things which have a really big impact, quick Hyperloop landing video (which it seems you are not allowed to do), Werner gave me a lift to Paul’s house, fetched my car and stopped at the Eikeboom butcher in Stellenbosch for some biltong (very important stop – you will only really understand if you’ve been living in London for three months), fetched Mia and Francis – start of the school holiday, afternoon at Manuka – jungle gyms, jumping castles and some Jordan Chardonnay with Naulene – re-installed Telegram on her phone and made sure the message notifications worked, Mia and I drove to Stellenbosch and met up with Georg and Madeleine at 5 Reyneveld, nice dinner at De Cameron with a nice bottle of Ataraxia Serenity, Tiramisu and Tartufo for dessert.
Thursday, woke up on Paul’s farm, gave Mia her East London Swimmers book, omelette with Mia, swimming gear shopping, swimming at gym – played swimming coach – Mia is learning butterfly and progressing well – let’s see if a few morning shoulder stretches and push-ups help, Pam fetched Mia, had my watch battery replaced (in case I forget my birthday again), a beer at De Stomme Jonge, storage visit – fetched camping gear for Daisies, pretty easy – AfrikaBurn stuff still at the top, drove to Cape Town, Glen Beach sunset walk – great to be back, Wouter cooked some awesome steaks (with a digital thermometer – he’s a big cooking geek it seems), we talked about how the English are obsessed with social class, he has an impressive collection of Philip K. Dick books, he introduced me to How Stuff Works podcast, packed for Daisies.
Friday, woke up in Bantry Bay, backups, last minute shopping and packing, fetched Wouter from work, we made it out of Cape Town before the traffic, 4 hour queue to get into Daisies – I’m pretty happy I was not the guy running that ticketing system – people don’t really like the idea of paying R750 to sit outside the festival, finished some work while in the queue – not so much fun to try and send it off with crappy 3G data quality (no 4G!), put up our tents in the dark, watched a pretty epic Arno and Francois show with Steven, a few people probably drove their Touaregs to Daisies just for that one song.
Seems everybody was happy with the Daisies 2014 app we built. It worked well – but there was a snag with the geo-fence welcome message (I think).
“Coffee, you’re on the bench. Alcohol, suit up.” — via Paul.
Saturday, great weather for Daisies this year, Georg arrived, dam and swimming vibes, Paul arrived, watched the rugby with Georg, nap, watched MGMT from the Jaggermeister deck… hmm, best seats in the house, but not the best act to watch live it seems, adventures with Ross till about 5am – great fun, similar to that first night I met him at AfrikaBurn.
“We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” — Paul
Sunday, a swim in the dam, nap, Sunday beach party… Cape Town is really small – all the same faces, bumped into a few cool people which I have not seen in a while, but like all regular FB users still knew what everybody was up to, got an early night.
Daisies 2014: it was big – something like 21k people, good fun, enough Hudsons burger patties for a while, smartphones and music festivals don’t gel – really need an easy way to find friends and festivals – without any battery power worries – or losing phones.
A bit sad I did not take too many photos at Daisies this year, but who wants to risk leaving a DSLR in a tent?
If we’ve learnt anything over the last while, it’s that tech startups can be a special kind of inefficient if they don’t have enough runway. You really need 12-18 month runways to get anything significant done. Also, eating right and getting exercise is really important – because in the end the hardest thing to manage is your own levels of inspiration. I have a long list of notes about Techstars hints and tips – I’ll try turn it into a blog post soon.
ps. I finally figured out how to make en_GB the standard spell checker language for WordPress… seems you have to edit the wp-config.php file and then select English UK from General Settings.