Before you read on, take a look at this post I made almost a year ago. I’ll wait.
Taking the minion to daycare today was fun. It’s been raining for two days straight – aftermath of tropical cyclone Dineo last week a couple thousand miles north-east of us. Heading out, I almost ran into a fallen tree blocking half the road. Of the three access roads connecting the northern part of town, where daycare is, to the central part of town, where we live, two are closed due to flooding. Five of the schools in town are in the northern part. Traffic was a mess. I ended up taking the highway that runs past town to get back home, rather than deal with a road riddled with four way stops and a single lane bridge currently carrying the full brunt of morning rush hour traffic.
The storm drains are full – they’re not taking away the water any more. Rumour has it that in another town people have been water-skiing in the streets by hooking a ski rope to the back of a pickup truck. Sounds like a Jackass film in the making. The Vals River is visibly rising. I’m considering preemptively evacuating my car before the road becomes blocked. I estimate by lunchtime it will be too late. It looks like I’ll get to experience one last flood before we move.
Our new house is located between a lagoon and the ocean (oh, yeah, we found a house, our offer was accepted, just waiting on financing now), but luckily it’s at the top of a hill. Sure, the hill is actually a massive sand dune, but the wise man built his house on the sand, right?
Update: The river is in the road. My lunchtime estimate appears to have been a bit generous. I moved my car right after writing this post, though, so it’s safe.
Day 3. I am running out of time. No sight of the quarry yet. I did not expect this to be so hard. An inanimate object should not be this elusive. But it seems all the architects in this town did their work while smoking pot. And the realtors seem similarly stoned. Maybe it’s the heat.
I need to find something soon. For my wife’s sake. My child’s.
I’m dehydrated. I’m not sleeping any more. Yesterday I almost settled on a home with a room that can only be reached by ladder. I think the heat is getting to me.
I’m hopeful today will bring success. But I can’t help but feel I might not be the hunter here. As I drive down the street I can feel them watching me…stalking me…
This song came up over the radio this morning while I was taking the minion (my new name for Squishy as she speaks fluent Minion at this stage) to daycare. It was the studio version, of course, but I much prefer the live version which I saw the first time around Christmas. I love it when a musician makes one instrument sound like another instrument.
And they’re South African.
Four weeks ago I was on my way to a foreign country for the third time in one year. But no 28-hour flight to a different continent this time. Instead, just a quick hop across the border to our next-door neighbour, Zimbabwe. Along with a colleague from Cape Town I was representing Automattic and speaking at the first ever WordCamp Harare.
It was amazing. This was only my second-ever WordCamp – the first one being WordCamp Johannesburg a few weeks earlier – and my first time speaking at one, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found were some of the friendliest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
There were freelancers, people who work for big internet companies, computer studies students, and folk who just run WordPress websites for their companies, non-profits, or themselves. I was pleasantly surprised to meet several WordPress.com bloggers there as well. Everyone united by a love for WordPress, and it can empower them to make a difference in their own, and others’ lives.
As for my talk? I realised I’m out of practice with public speaking – I kept losing my place in my notes and forgetting to advance my slides, and felt glad when it was over. It didn’t help that due to another speaker not showing up and a couple going over their allotted time I wound up in the last slot of the day.
But I received nothing but positive feedback from the other WordCampers, so maybe it went better than I thought. (Or the WordPressers in Harare are just really nice people. I think it might be the latter 🙂 )
Actually, the thing that finally prompted me to write this post which I’ve been putting off for the past month, was a tweet yesterday that my talk is now up on WordPress.tv, so you can go watch it there if you want. It was mostly aimed at people there who built WordPress products – sites, themes, plugins – and spoke about how a little time educating your customers about their WordPress sites can save a lot of time in helping them fix things if they break later.
I didn’t take a camera with, but here’s a few pics I captured on my phone:
The obligatory view from 20000 feet
My hotel room looked out on Harare Garden’s – Harare’s Central Park
It’s not a real WordCamp without shirts…
…or swag 😀
I’ve lately begun to realise New Year’s is somewhat silly. Just because the Earth passed some arbitrary point relative to the sun everyone feels the need to reflect on the days that have passed since last time we were here, party through the night (which, let’s face it, hasn’t made sense since your early twenties), and then make a bunch of promises we don’t intend to keep on how the next circuit around old Sol is going to be different than the last one.
But hey, who am I to snub my nose at tradition?
Continue reading “Here we go again”