Monthly Archives: October 2014

Quick Update

Last week in Cape Town for a while…

Lions Head Sunset
Lions Head Sunset
  • Week of 20-26 October.
  • 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 at Holden Manz with Nikki.
  • 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.
  • 2 years.
  • 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.
  • Mia’s Afrikaans is progressing well.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

Living a bit of a strange mix of the Paul Carr books…

Table Mountain
Table Mountain walk
  • 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 – great mood, 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.
  • Great read about startups: Before the Startup.
  • 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
  • Nice read: Love is Not Enough
  • 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, Georg and Nikki, great day.
  • “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” — Oscar Wilde

  • Sunday, breakfast at Sidewalk Cafe with Nikki and 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.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

A bit of a break…

Near Caledon
Near Caledon
  • Week of 6-12 October.
  • 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, Charley’s birthday party at Nikki’s house, 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.
  • 7 years, 10 months since I met Nikki.
  • Tune of the week: Tove Lo – Habits
  • Back to work.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.

Quick Update

End of Techstars and Rocking the Daisies 2014…

Flight to Cape Town
Flight to Cape Town
  • Week of 29 September to 5 October.
  • 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

  • “Happiness is in the meaning.”

  • We made it onto TechCrunch and The Next Web.
  • More press: FinTech Demo Day: 11 Reasons to Celebrate, The Barclays Accelerator Techstars 11 Demo Day.
  • 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?
  • Tune of the week: Paradise, Coldplay.
  • 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.

Have a fun week, crazy kids.