Goblins to the beach

I took the goblins to the beach today. I chose Mouille Point because there’s very little chance of them being able to swim and get wet and sandy and salty – I can deal with one dirty wet dog but not 2, especially when the visiting goblin has bigger hair than a ’70s model. I also spurned the Promenade because visiting goblin has a tendency to attack tiny dogs. Being under 7kg himself, this is a bit of a cheek and I wasn’t prepared to deal with the wrath of the Sea Point blue-haired handbag-dog owners elite on such a lovely winter’s day.

They loved  it – it’s doggie heaven with masses of stinky stuff to roll in and bits of crayfish all over the place and tramps eating cheap snoek. They ran the place ragged, frightened off a smooching couple (how anyone can be scared of such small dogs is beyond me), scampered over the mountains of kelp, paddled in rock pools and just generally sniffed themselves silly. As if being together for such a long period of time (3 days now!)  hasn’t exhausted them already, they are now completely knackered and, as I type this, are passed out next to me.

goblins

Let sleeping dogs lie next to me. Mine is the black minx, the other is the visiting goblin and he’s all shiny because I’ve just brushed him. I call them goblins because that’s how they behave when together but their names are Vida (mine) and Bijou (visiting).

Mouille Point is the beach of my youth, I wrote about it here. I’ve mentioned it’s not a glam beach and gets a bit yucky but it has a special place in my heart and I was horrified to see the mess today. It is particularly full of large items of litter; not the usual bottle caps and minor stuff but big stuff like broken cooler-box lids, empty cardboard boxes, streams of plastic bags – in other words, not your usual beach picnic detritus that may have been dropped by accident or blown in, but blatant dumping. And chunks of cement no doubt left over from the recent repairs to the sea-wall. Most of this litter has clearly been there for a very long time.

I have lodged a formal complaint, in 140 characters – we’ll see what response I get. I’m hoping a general clean-up is in order soon because the seaweed also needs removing. It could be a lovely beach, it doesn’t have to be a forgotten poor cousin – there are some very expensive apartment blocks over the road and the rock pools make it a fun beach for children. And dogs.

My photos don’t show the full extent of the litter but here they are anyway – you get the picture.

mouille point beach 2 mouillepoint beach 1

UPDATE: I’ve already had a response to my Tweet to Bev Schafer, the Ward Councillor for the Atlantic Seaboard. Apparently that beach is under some sort of protection, being a non-nodal beach, and kelp cannot be removed. She will attend to the litter but the job of removing items entangled in the kelp is another story as it’s more difficult. Watch this space because I am thinking of maybe organising some sort of citizens’ clean-up. I’ll look into that, and find out what a non-nodal beach is.

Sunset on the prom

After the drenching rains of last week, we’re back to normality for April – sun and not too cold, and … NO WIND!

Today was especially lovely and after a meeting at the V&A Waterfront I detoured to Mouille Point to watch the sun go down next to the lighthouse (which is not called the Mouille Point lighthouse, by the way, but the Green Point lighthouse, because the Mouille Point lighthouse used to exist near what is now Granger Bay but was demolished  yonks ago. But you knew that, right?)

The Promenade was full of joggers, strollers and lovers; the sea was as calm as a lake, kayaks and sunset-cruising yachts completed the picture of a city where no-one seems to work because it’s just too darn pretty to stay indoors!

I’m becoming unsatisfied with my camera phone but it still does a better job than my regular camera at this time of day.

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NEW trees and sail ship

There’s a magnificent tall ship moored right next to the Table Bay Hotel and it’s open to the public but there were too many people queuing so I decided to abandon that idea.

I’ve been co-opted to organise a school reunion (more on that later) and in the process of tracking down some people I discovered one of my old classmates is a great photographer. Check out his work here.

Mouille Point and sea urchins

Copy of Mouille Point 1

Mouille Point is not the most glamorous of Cape Town’s many beaches. It’s small and full of kelp and not always very clean. It’s close to the harbour. It doesn’t have lifeguards and you can’t rent a beach chair.  No-one goes there to get a sun tan.  There’s some activity happening at the moment which I will go and suss out soon but in the meantime I’m indulging myself because it’s my birthday in 5 minutes and there is one thing Mouille Point Beach has, for me.  Childhood memories.

We used to live on Surrey Place, directly across from the beach, and on Sunday mornings my father would take my siblings and me down to the beach to mess around in the rock pools, paddle in the ice cold water and collect sea urchins. Papa carried a pair of scissors, salt and pepper, and tea spoons, and we would cut a circle in the top of the urchins and eat them right there and then on the beach. This is one of my most cherished memories of what one could cornily call an age of innocence, before life became Hard and Tough and Challenging.

MouillePoint Kelp

Lots and lots of kelp. I recently picked up a piece of ceramic which I have convinced myself is from an ancient shipwreck.


MouillePoint Beach 3 flowers

Because the beach is not used much, there are pretty wild flowers.


Surrey House house

This is the house we lived in. My brother and sister are standing on the right and the family limo out front. The name “Surrey House” is written in that block above the front door. After we moved out it was razed to the ground, along with the block of flats next door. For over 30 years the ground was empty.


This is what stands on that corner now.

This is what stands on that corner now. One of the most upmarket block of apartments on the whole strip, with a trendy restaurant downstairs and several more across the road, where my friends lived. The large, square, ‘place’ on which we safely played has been reduced to a narrow road. Newport Deli is on the right – I quite like going there sometimes for a beer or a coffee, and I still marvel at the change and remember the sea urchins.

Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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