Saturday. Springboks v All Blacks. Soccer City (or whatever they call it now), Soweto. Historic event. The first time the Boks play a Test in the most famous “township” on the planet.
It also happens to be Springbok captain John Smit’s 100th test for his country. Our beloved country. Barney Smit, widely considered the best rugby skipper in the world. And you all saw the pictures of him standing alone in the centre of that phenomenal calabash of a stadium, holding his son and daughter. Ninety thousand fans waving The Flag. The captain was almost blubbing, wasn’t he? Quite acceptable.
If ever a stage was set for the under-performing Bokke to find their redemption, this was it.
But you all know, or should know, what happened next. Sickening. Especially for our Captain Fantastic. Even All Black captain Richie McCaw graciously said that “rugby can be a cruel game”.
But we move on. A year away from the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand. There could be no sweeter redemption than to retain our World Cup in the backyard of the mighty All Blacks.
But let’s have a slightly unusual look at Saturday’s Tri-Nations heartbreaker. I’ve been playing with the 360 deg imagery that the Vodacom Player 23 Fan Cam put out after the match and, despite not having a clue how this technology works, captured three freeze-frames for your delectation.
Hold on to your Bok beanies, babies…
Worm's view of The Calabash on Saturday. Stunning, hey? But let's pan down a tad to see what's happening on the ground...
Ja, look, sorry about that bar thing above the players' heads... but I know diddly about Photoshop and couldn't shift it. Anyway, you'll see the All Blacks doing that haka thing they like to amuse us with before rugby matches... let's zoom in on that, shall we?
What's this?! The All Blacks doing their quaint little pre-match warm-up, sure... but who is that Bok player lurking behind them? What is he doing there?
And could somebody please tell the nation why, when presented with a green-and-golden opportunity like that, our Bok didn’t sneak up behind one of those Kiwi blokes at the back and give him a moerse skop (good kick) up his fat jacksie?
That would have given us a lekker start to the game, hey?
I’m an utter sports nut. Well, a football, rugby and cricket man. Liverpool FC, Lamontville Golden Arrows, The Sharks, The KZN Dolphins and, on the international front, Bafana Bafana, the Springboks and the Proteas. Non-negotiable. Arguing with me about my choice of teams is like arguing with the ref after he’s made his decision. And like Grand Prix racing, the Tour de France and that WWF malarkey – totally pointless.
So, we’re talking sport this morning. Especially some not altogether widely-known trivia to do with South African sport. Fascinating stuff…
“When Vincent Tshabalala won the French Open in 1976, he became the first black golfer to win a major tournament on the European Circuit.”
“Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan won 57 career doubles titles, including three Wimbledon crowns. After teaming up, they played 45 matches before being beaten.”
How cool is Frew's cap? Pic: Getty Images
“Grant Khomo captained the National Soccer XI, won the SA singles and doubles tennis titles, represented Transvaal at cricket and rugby and captained the SA Bantu Rugby Board first team.”
“Ernie Els was the first non-US golfer in 90 years to win the US Open twice, a feat repeated two years later by another South African, Retief Goosen.”
“More than 50% of the world’s paragliding records have been set in South Africa.”
“Football (soccer) is South Africa’s most popular sport and is followed by 78% of South African adults, according to an SABC Markinor survey in 2004. Rugby is next most popular at 47%, followed by cricket (39%).” Er, followed by wrestling (25%). Eish.
* If you scroll up to your right on this page, you’ll see a big fat badge saying something about the 2010 South African Blog Awards. I’ve entered your “diagnosed SA-positive” blog into three categories: Best New Blog, Best Personal Blog and The Kulula Best Travel Blog. I wouldn’t be at all offended if you clicked on that there badge and nominated http://www.fredhatman.co.za in any of these categories (be sure to type in your e-mail address on the blog awards site for your nomination to be registered). In fact, were I to amaze all of us by winning something, the Birkenhead is on me down the Stanford Arms! Cheers!
The staff here at Hatman Mansions have brought to my attention a report that British actress and Austin Powers stunner Elizabeth Hurley is on the lookout for a new child to add to her meagre sprog-count of one son (Damian, 8).
I think I can help. In fact, sod that, I know I can help. I want to.
Here is why. Given that Liz is now 44 and her bio-clock is making a tick-tock like an African elephant crashing through a never-ending series of drystone walls, I wish to remove the possibility that the broody babe may casually pick up the latest catalogue of “African Orphans Seeking A Comfy Upbringing In A Filthy Rich Actress’s Country Pile” in her dentist’s waiting-room and go off on a shopping spree.
I am further alarmed by the fact, should OK! magazine be in the business of reporting facts, that her alleged hubby, allegedly one Arun Nayar is allegedly shooting alleged blanks. According to the OK! story, La Hurley told Zest, allegedly another magazine: “We haven’t had any luck so far. Arun would love another one. Damian does not want another one. And I think it would be great if one came along.”
Very worrying. One can only extrapolate from this sensational bit of information that, if he is any kind of man at all, Nayar and our very agreeably constructed former Austin Powers stunner have been rumpy-pumpying around the house 24/7. It’s just as well little Damian has any number of Playstations and X-Boxes to distract him from interrupting and possibly derailing Mum’s efforts to conceive.
Still the couple’s marriage remains as barren as the dustbowl 400km north-east of Kuruman. But all is not lost. I can certainly help. But let us first hit “Refresh” on the anatomical assets of Ms Hurley…
Elizabeth Hurley: not entirely unappealing
Yes, I’m most certainly up for this. I’m willing to – how do I phrase this? – um, stud myself out in order for Damian to have somebody to whom he can hand down last month’s computer games. I think Liz and I (and I’m sure her hubby is a broadminded and evolved kind of oke) can tick all the boxes here.
1. Liz and Arun get the second child they so badly want.
2. I get the first child I so badly want.
3. With me being African and all, they get the African (well, half-African) designer child that is so trendy in the Western world right now. And they don’t even have to stump up the cash to build any schools in Kenya in exchange for that privilege.
4. They can save all that dosh to cough up for an English public school education and all the trimmings which come with privilege over in Old Blighty and I, as a penniless blogger, won’t have to spend anything. Apart from a night with Liz at The Ritz (on Arun’s account).
5. Our sprog, when old enough, can spend his (you don’t think my highly butch chromosomes will allow for anything other than a boy, do you?) school holidays chasing dangerous wildlife around barefoot in the South African bush near Hatman Mansions and thus enjoy a healthy respite from all that time Britons spend indoors cocooned from their horrible weather.
6. Due to my having a South African passport, said sprog can look forward to playing fly-half for a world champion rugby team as opposed to mincing around rather pointlessly in mud and slush for the bunch of wusses the English like to pass off as an international rugby team.
There. I could go on and on but I think that’s enough boxes ticked for Liz to sit bolt upright and see the value in my very decent proposal.
I shall now sit back on my sunkissed verandah and wait for her breathlessly written e-mail to plop into my inbox. Crikey, what a ripper of an idea!
It’s happened! Who knew this blog had such influence, such power? Last week I suggested that Julius Malema, president of the ANC Youth League, might be well served by appointing a public relations person to improve his image in the media. And he has! He has appointed Hugh Mangazi, former Editor of The Limpopo Larynx and massage therapist to the Springbok netball squad, to this post and, what’s more, Mr Malema has insisted that his press releases be fed to the world’s media through this humble but reputably “SA-positive” blog.
I am thus hugely honoured to publish Mr Malema’s first official press release, written by Mr Mangazi, in the wake of the media feeding frenzy directed at Mr Malema since the unfortunate fracas witnessed at Luthuli House. the headquarters of the African National Congress, in Johannesburg yesterday:
From the desk of Mr Hugh Mangazi, official public relations officer for Mr Julius Malema, president of the African National Congress Youth League. For immediate release on April 9, 2010:
“I am not amused by the way the media have responded to the fact that I had to have that BBC journalist removed from my press briefing at Luthuli House yesterday.
Like most white journalists, and especially the ones from Britain with their imperialist agenda, he clearly came to cause trouble with me. And he had the insolence and colonial arrogance to think that he could come to my place, the home of the ANC steeped in the proud tradition of the struggle, and carry out his mischief. He is just a small boy from Britain, one of those pimply whites who still keeps a train set under his bed.
But this British boy agent comes here and tells me I’m talking “rubbish”. Why should I tolerate this? Did I go to 10 Downing Street and tell Gordon Brown in his home that what he is saying is rubbish? Did I go to 10 Downing Street to ask Gordon Brown where he lives? No. I didn’t. Because I don’t care where he lives… as long as he doesn’t try to steal my people’s land in Africa and grow rhubarb on it and pay my people R20 a week to grow it. And as long as he doesn’t let that Victoria Barkham with no bum come here with her right-wing agent husband to our World Cup and colonise our TV news.
This boy from the BBC, an agent for imperialism and the whites who occupied Zimbabwe and tried to run South Africa… who had the cheek to say I live in Sandton… why did he come to my press conference to do that? Why does he want to know where I live? Does he want work as my garden boy? I’m sure he stays in a nice house in Windsor, or wherever white people like to live when they’re at home, and has a Sony Playstation 4 and his own collection of toy Ferraris… so why does he come here and insult me? No, he had to go. Why didn’t all the media follow him out? Because they need me, they feed off me, they eat up my words. I don’t need them. That BBC boy can work in my garden, if he behaves himself and plants my mielies in a straight row and listens to me in my home. Then I will even give him lunch. He can have samp and rice. And I’ll even pay him his wages on time.
I live in Sandton because I can. I’m not a garden boy. I am a leader. My people want me to live where I like. Because I am an inspiration to them and show them what they can become. The media dig around in my life because I have money to buy a big car and wear good clothes. They think I must ride a bicycle to work in those white shorts with the red piping around the legs like a garden boy. They want to know where I got the money from. They think I am corrupt. They don’t understand how a black man can have these things while they drive around their suburbs in big cars and wear a Rolex. I can do what I like in my country. This is my home, not theirs. I am not their garden boy.
Look at this skeleton that has been dug up in Maropeng. A white boy dug it up. The whites are always digging around in Africa for what they can find. These are the bones of my ancestors. African people. My people. These bones could be my relatives but white people have dug them up… do they want to take my dead family back to London? They must dig around in their own backyard and see what they can find. Maybe they’ll find their Churchill and a few dead kings and queens there. If they want to dig here, they can find their colonial emperor Cyril Rhodes and take him home. He was the worst white gold-digger of them all.
These colonialists have taken enough from Africa. They must leave us alone. A white boy found our bones because he has nothing better to do than dig around in Africa, looking for what does not belong to him. Like that BBC agent yesterday. Why wasn’t it a black boy who dug up this skeleton? Because he has to go to school so that he can get a proper job, not digging around in a white man’s backyard. I have had enough of these whites who come and dig up Africa and make trouble. And I will not apologise for sending that BBC agent home with a big fly in his ear.
No, my friends. My comrades. My fellow Louie Vittons. We must stand up and say enough is enough. As the imperialists’ own William Shakingspear said: “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock. The meat it feeds on.”
Everybody knows that I hosted the party of the year in 2009.
I just love celebrating my birthday properly. So I invited Frikkie, Lofty, Tich and old Farquaharson round to the Bush Tavern in Umdloti and we had a right skinful while watching the rugger.
Never mind that the Boks lost. Never mind that Lofty got bounced out for trying to snog the barmaid. Never mind that Frikkie fell down the steps on the way out, ricocheted off a really big oke’s girlfriend and took a mighty right to the ear for his trouble. Never mind that Farquaharson, as is his custom, deposited his zooosh kebab on Mrs Hindmarch’s Morris Minor. And never mind that I had to be reminded of all this the next day after being rudely woken up at 2pm in a zinc bath full of what had been ice at the bottom of Tich’s mother-in-law’s garden. Great night out.
But it appears that my party-hosting skills have been usurped.
And, once again, it is that young bounder who goes by the name of Seth Rotherham who has dared to upstage me in the partytjie stakes.
How, you ask, has Camps Bay’s premier blogger and unparalleled sex symbol managed this? Good question.
Well, the little blighter has only gone and hired some posh club in Camps Bay, secured the services of, in Seth’s breathless words, “South Africa’s Most Exciting Party-Pumping Entertainment Act – The Wedding DJs” and then reeled in every one of his infamous Weather Girls (read excruciatingly gorgeous swimwear models), hasn’t he?
It'll be a nice change to sip a cocktail with Gen instead of getting rat-arsed with old Frikkie
The slick-on-the-draw mind behind 2oceansvibe.com has left no stone unturned in his quest to trump me and for this I am, like, totally stoked. Because he’s invited me along to witness it all.
Something you will not be privy to if you haven’t yet snapped up a ticket. There weren’t that many left at 10.30pm last night (Thursday) so if you want to be rubbing snakeskin boobtubes – or whatever the fantabulous wear these days – with the fantabulous and the even more fantabulous and watch me totally chopping up the floor with my terrifyingly suave Umdloti Wardance, then you had better get on to Webticket like quicksticks. Eighty ront a shot gets you in. There will be zero tickets at the door so don’t even entertain the idea that you can sommer rock up and swan in.
No, really. Seth has taken The Party of the Year standard up a few notches with this little soiree and, with the help of Marina Nestel, uberbabe behind The Little Black Book, tonight’s fandango should cook like Jamie Oliver on, well, whatever, Jamie Oliver is on.
I’m so looking forward to hooking up with my close friend Gen Morton (don’t listen to what people are saying, we are only very good friends and that’s the end of it, right?) and hearing how her very hectique modelling career has been going and, y’know, just chilling in the VIP suites with all of my other model, photographer, film and general celeb connections. I’m not dropping names because, as you know by now, I like to keep it all below the radar. Makes a refreshing change from getting slaughtered with Frikkie and the boys though.
I’ve got it. Why don’t you read what Rothers himself is saying about his own party by sliding effortlessly over to his very entertaining, if a little cheeky, 2oceansvibe blog and reading all about it. Hang on, you’ll need to scroll down a bit, past the pics of Candice Swanepoel “jumping around in her underwear” – Seth rolls like that, to the bit about The Vibe and what will be going down at St Yves in Camps Bay from 6.30pm tonight.
How did you get on with that? He’s got a hilarious turn-of-phrase has our boy, hey? Yes. OK. So let us look forward to a lethal cocktail of glamour, terribly subtle body language, immaculate grooming and terribly good-looking people in very tasteful clobber. I’ll do my best to fit right in. But I can’t promise anything.
So what are you waiting for? Shimmy on over to here and grab your tickets now. Check you later.
Look. There you are minding your own business on the side of the road and trying to get a 2,000km unicycle ride from Durban to Cape Town out of the way when a German comes along and steals your deckchair. Um. Well, not exactly. I don’t do stereotypes on this blog, do I? No. Correct answer. Well, Martin Schroder has made a big impact on the Heart and Sole Tour anyway.
Unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink and I went into the Oudebosch Farm Stall near Tsitsikamma to get a coffee and came out with a coffee and a German. Not just any old German. This one has been riding his bike (the more common two-wheeled version, mind) from his hometown of Cologne (Koln to Germans) in Germany through Europe and Africa to Cape Town. He’s doing a good job. But before I bang on about his little trip, let’s have a look at this crazy character…
That's him. Martin Schroder. And the bike that has carried him from Germany to here. Which, right now, is Knysna. Nice.
Even ignoring the Abe Lincoln vibe of his beard, Martin is a bit odd. Especially for a German, a nation known for machine-making precision, lederhosen, being annoyingly shrewd at winning football matches, drinking beer at an unacceptably early hour but otherwise keeping things absurdly tidy.
At 22, he has visited 69 countries around the world instead of going to university, finding himself a girlfriend with flaxen pigtails and a name like Heidi and settling down over his books like a good boy and drinking barrels of beer before 11am. Fair enough. Even Germans have a right to dare to be different. So he hasn’t used the usual modes of transport when swanning off to these 69 countries. He tends to run, cycle and, for all I know, toboggan into strange places blowing a flugelhorn.
Yes. He’s wired a tad differently from your run-of-the-mill Herr and Fraulein. In fact, he’s getting along very, very well with The Heartman. So I suspect that, as kindred spirits, the Big Kahuna Creator Guy took a little time out to have some fun when putting together these two. So, in no time at all, old Heartie and his new mate were doing this…
Yes. Pretty big, huh? You're rolling with the big boys now, Herr Schroder!
Oh, yes. Martin fancies his extreme sports. Like us, extreme gardening, extreme card games and extreme origami are right up his street. and so is fooling around with crocs. Not the dodgy shoes, silly. Crocodiles. He played nicely with one in Mozambique until it bit him on the arm. Lucky to still have two. Heartie and I love this story. So much so that we have named him Crocodile Cologne. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, has a far better ring to it than Crocodile Dundee. Or Crocodile Melbourne. Or Crocodile Wagga Wagga. Crikey, what a ripper!
OK. So then, before I, as super-responsible back-up driver and, er, chaperone and nanny to these two madventurers, had time to intervene, this happened…
Er, anyone seen The Heartman? Oh, I see. Well, too late to do much about that then...
And you know how it is. Anything anybody can do, Germans can do better. Or louder. So off he goes...
Nice. We couldn’t pass the 216m bungy jump vibe at Bloukrans Bridge, allegedly the highest in the world, near Storms River without trying out the local freefall facilities.
OK. Two other things to tell you about. Well, I have 202 other things actually but you’ll have to wait for the book. First, Bob Skinstad’s in jail. No, he didn’t forget to pay his speeding fine. He put himself in a cell. As you all should know by now, Bob, after playing quite a lot of more than half-decent games behind the scrum for the Springboks, is doing some good. He’s heading up bobsforgood.co.za , an organisation dedicated to providing schoolchildren who walk around barefoot with much-needed shoes.
The Heart and Sole Tour, dedicated to fitting people who have lost legs to landmines with prosthetic limbs, likes this very cool initiative. We like it so much that, when Bob asked us to get involved with his “Walk This Way” series of events, we jumped at the opportunity to help. So when Bob’s been released from his self-imposed “jail term” at Cape Town’s Waterfront at the end of this week, we’ll be joining up with him on his road trip around the Western Cape to help raise awareness of this extremely good cause. More details later.
OK. One last thing. The Heartman and I have stayed at some wondrous boarding establishments on this tour. I can’t mention them all in this blog post but we would like to thank Tyrone and Tara for giving over to us part of their sublime oasis on the beach at Jeffreys Bay for three days.
It was immense. Their spot is called Beach Music, nestles among the coastal bush at Supertubes and its vibe is so chilled that even a Brazilian surfer called Flavio could forget that he had travelled hundreds of miles to catch as many of J Bay’s legendary waves as possible.
This pic probably sums up the Beach Music vibe…
Buddha among the boards. Yup. If that's the vibe you are trying to achieve, look no further than Beach Music. It's positively soporific.
Too many people to thank. But I’ll try… Clayton, Paula, Matthew and James Whitaker of Port Elizabeth, Earl and Jenny Lawrence of Wild Spirit Lodge, a beautiful backpackers phenomenally situated on the edge of the Tsitsikamma Forest (more about them later), Penny of Oudebosch Farm Stall who so generously fed and watered us, and Pieter and Sue Oosthuizen and Mike Mills of Rotary International (Knysna) who are extending the extraordinary hand of hospitality we have come to expect from Rotarians everywhere. Beautifulnesses all round!
* Right. Due to The Heartman’s very costly addiction to the finest champagne (that’s a porky pie (lie), OK?), The Heart and Sole Tour is scraping along on the bones of its bum. If you’ve got a bit of small change (or very large notes) to send our way, please do. We are relying on public donations to finish this hairy monster of a road trip. The bank details are…
G. M. Brink
Account: 056 706 804
Branch code: 042 626
You might think that my driving behind our Heart & Sole unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink for 1,700km from Durban to Cape Town next month is to be, apologies to Nelson Mandela, a “Long Stretch to Boredom”.
I don’t think so. If our training rides are anything to go by, it’s never ever a dull moment, my dear Hatpeople.
Take our late afternoon (and somewhat into the night) ride from Umdloti to Mount Moreland on Monday. Overcast. Damp. Dirt road. Bumpy. Heartman plenty time on bum. Hilariousness!
Allow me to run you through this unicycling sitcom in a series of pictures. Bear in mind that, never mind my nutty unicyclist friend wobbling around up front, I’m negotiating a heavily rutted dirt track in second gear, left hand on steering wheel, shooting these pics freestyle with right hand out of the window. OK. Seatbelts on? Here we go…
Gotta love The Heartman! One moment he's styling it over the bridge and the next...
... he's taking a little nap with AmaOneWheel on the side of the road
Wait! It's woken up. Oh, I see. I know that smile. It fell off (again). And you say you want to ride 1,700km to Cape Town?
Mmmm. There are lots more where those came from. But let’s keep wheeling on. OK. Funny anecdote alert. Funny then. Funny now. Funny forever. I’m focusing so hard on trying to get a decent shot of Heartman weaving crazily around and over the ruts in the dirt road to Mount Moreland that I don’t immediately become aware of a double-cab truck buzzing around behind me. When I realise that I’m holding up the double-cab driver, I swing off to the side and stop to let the vehicle go past. As I raise my hand in apology, the female driver halts alongside me, looks at me in a manner which suggests I might be something really nasty which has crawled out from the sugar canefield and says: “What about you?”
Er, what about me? I thought of starting with my birthplace and birthdate and then telling her about being dropped on my head by the doctor but, seeing the look on her face, thought better of it and explained that I was driving in support of the unicyclist ahead who was about to ride from Durban to Cape Town to raise awareness of landmines.
She twitched her Nip ‘n Tuck nose, tossed back her Terry Scott hair, adjusted the Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses and screwed up her Revlon lips before shooting me a “I live in a huge Zimbali house and drive a very expensive double-cab. I’m very important so don’t screw with me, bru” look. This cabaret interlude gave me time to glance at the name plastered over the side of her vehicle. “Dick Muir… sponsored by Blah Blah and Blah” it read. Wowness! This was the vehicle of our massively-esteemed Springbok rugby team assistant coach! Now I’m a huge fan of former Natal Sharks and Springbok centre Dickie Muir and know him to be a top-notch guy so, instead of concocting something horrible to say to the female driver of Dickie’s double-cab, I smiled sweetly and waved happily as she sped off past a bemused Heartman…
Let's not have any Muir of that, please!
As I say, never a dull moment. Now, where were we? Oh, right. Yes. Our spirits were almost immediately lifted when a canecutter strolling along the road saw the man riding on AmaOneWheel and exclaimed “Hau Nomzaan!” This is what ensued…
Our friendly canecutter clearly thinks there's work to be done on Heartman's Zulu war dance...
... and Heartie reckons Canecutter has some way to go before mastering AmaOneWheel!
Coolness. That’s more the kind of vibe we like to cultivate on our rides. In fact, come to think of it, I am noticing a pattern forming. The more expensive the vehicle, the greater the disdain of the driver. The more dodgy the car, the greater the interest and support from the driver. As is the case with the unsophisticated farm worker standing by the side of the road… pure joy at seeing somebody crazy enough to ride a bicycle with only one wheel. Phenomenalness from the common man. We love it.
OK. So I’m sure you have work to do. Let’s wrap this up with a couple of pics of us making our way back to Umdloti along a cane farm road in the dark. Because we had so much fun, we didn’t realise the time. We roll like that, Heartman and I. Big kids. Enjoy, good Hatpeople…
X marketh our nutty unicyclist! By the light of Hatman's back-up truck does Heartman unicycle home through the canefields...
Our Heart & Sole training ride neareth Umdloti and a hot supper. But by this time, I think Heartman's walking and I'm weaving all over the dirt track so much that this is the result of the camerashake. Good fun. Good night! All pics: Hatman
Slick on the draw. South Africa and neighbouring independent state The Republic of Cape Town put on quite a show when hosting the Fifa World Cup 2010 finals draw.
Star of the show – and she certainly wasn’t leaving anybody in any doubt – was former Benoni bokkie Charlize Theron who was incredibly self-assured and didn’t sound or act like any Benoni bokkie I’ve come across (and there have been at least two).
Springbok skipper John “Barndog” Smit proved to the world that South Africans and rugby players do have a sense of humour when he said he didn’t mind South Africa facing tough opponents France, Mexico and Uruguay in Group A. “We’ll get in some good practice before we hit the semis and final,” said The Barndog. Yeah, right.
David Beckham, who everybody raves about more because of what he wears and the stick insect to whom he’s married than how he can bend a football behind defences, showed his London East End-bred humour by greeting our Benoni bokster with a “‘Ello sweetheart” and displaying his latest hairdo confection in the shape of a badger that’s been dragged through a hedge backwards. Nice, Becks.
OK. Time for a pic before I remind you of the full draw and give you the most authoritative assessment of the draw you’ll read anywhere (on an Umdloti blog)…
Fifa minion Jerome-ah Falcke-ah gives-ah us-ah a draw card action while David "Hedgehoghead" Beckham tries to catch our Charlize's attention with a handy signal of how big he is. Ooh, bee-have Dave! Pic courtesy of guardian.co.uk
Without any further hair-do, here’s that draw (with my hometown Durban’s fixtures in bold)…
Full groups for the 2010 World Cup finals
Group ASouth Africa, Mexico, Uruguay, France
Group B Argentina, Nigeria, South Korea, Greece
Group C England, USA, Algeria, Slovenia
Group D Germany, Australia, Ghana, Serbia
Group E Holland, Japan, Cameroon, Denmark
Group F Italy, New Zealand, Paraguay, Slovakia
Group G Brazil, North Korea, Ivory Coast, Portugal
Group H Spain, Honduras, Chile, Switzerland
Provisional match schedule
Match 1, June 11 1500: South Africa v Mexico (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 2, June 11 1930: Uruguay v France (Cape Town)
Match 17, June 16 1930: South Africa v Uruguay (Pretoria)
Match 18, June 17 1230: France v Mexico (Polokwane)
Match 33, June 22 1500: Mexico v Uruguay (Rustenburg)
Match 34, June 22 1500: France v South Africa (Bloemfontein)
Match 3, June 12 1230: Argentina v Nigeria (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 4, June 12 1500: South Korea v Greece (Port Elizabeth)
Match 19, June 17 1500: Greece v Nigeria (Bloemfontein)
Match 20, June 17 1930: Argentina v South Korea (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 35, June 22 1930: Nigeria v South Korea (Durban)
Match 36, June 22 1930: Greece v Argentina (Polokwane)
Match 5, June 12 1930: England v USA (Rustenburg)
Match 6, June 13 1230: Algeria v Slovenia (Polokwane)
Match 22, June 18 1500: Slovenia v USA (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 23, June 18 1930: England v Algeria (Cape Town)
Match 37, June 23 1500: Slovenia v England (Port Elizabeth)
Match 38, June 23 1500: USA v Algeria (Pretoria)
Match 7, June 13 1500: Germany v Australia (Durban)
Match 8, June 13 1930: Serbia v Ghana (Pretoria)
Match 21, June 18 1230: Germany v Serbia (Port Elizabeth)
Match 24, June 19 1230: Ghana v Australia (Rustenburg)
Match 39, June 23 1930: Ghana v Germany (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 40, June 23 1930: Australia v Serbia (Nelspruit)
Match 9, June 14 1230: Holland v Denmark (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 10, June 14 1500: Japan v Cameroon (Bloemfontein)
Match 25, June 19 1500: Holland v Japan (Durban)
Match 26, June 19 1930: Cameroon v Denmark (Pretoria)
Match 43, June 24 1930: Denmark v Japan (Rustenburg)
Match 44, June 24 1930: Cameroon v Holland (Cape Town)
Match 11, June 14 1930: Italy v Paraguay (Cape Town)
Match 12, June 15 1230: New Zealand v Slovakia (Rustenburg)
Match 27, June 20 1230: Slovakia v Paraguay (Bloemfontein)
Match 28, June 20 1500: Italy v New Zealand (Nelspruit)
Match 41, June 24 1500: Slovakia v Italy (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 42, June 24 1500: Paraguay v New Zealand (Polokwane)
Match 13, June 15 1500: Ivory Coast v Portugal (Port Elizabeth)
Match 14, June 15 1930: Brazil v North Korea (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 29, June 20 1930: Brazil v Ivory Coast (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 30, June 21 1230: Portugal v North Korea (Cape Town)
Match 45, June 25 1500: Portugal v Brazil (Durban)
Match 46, June 25 1500: North Korea v Ivory Coast (Nelspruit)
Match 15, June 16 1230: Honduras v Chile (Nelspruit)
Match 16, June 16 1500: Spain v Switzerland (Durban)
Match 31, June 21 1500: Chile v Switzerland (Port Elizabeth)
Match 32, June 21 1930: Spain v Honduras (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 47, June 25 1930: Chile v Spain (Pretoria)
Match 48, June 25 1930: Switzerland v Honduras (Bloemfontein)
Match 49, June 26 1500: Winner Group A v Runner-up Group B (Port Elizabeth)
Match 50, June 26 1930: Winner Group C v Runner-up Group D (Rustenburg)
Match 51, June 27 1500: Winner Group D v Runner-up Group C (Bloemfontein)
Match 52, June 27 1930: Winner Group B v Runner-up Group A (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 53, June 28 1500: Winner Group E v Runner-up Group F (Durban) NB: Probably Holland vs one of Paraguay and Slovakia.
Match 54, June 28 1930: Winner Group G v Runner-up Group H (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 55, June 29 1500: Winner Group F v Runner-up Group E (Pretoria)
Match 56, June 29 1930: Winner Group H v Runner-up Group G (Cape Town)
Match 57, July 2 1500: Winner of Match 53 v Winner of Match 54 (Port Elizabeth)
Match 58, July 2 1930: Winner of Match 49 v Winner of Match 50 (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Match 59, July 3 1500: Winner of Match 52 v Winner of Match 51 (Cape Town)
Match 60, July 3 1930: Winner of Match 55 v Winner of Winner of Match 56 (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)
Match 61, July 6 1930: Winner Match 58 v Winner Match 57 (Cape Town)
Match 62, July 7 1930: Winner Match 59 v Winner Match 60 (Durban)… NB: Most likely Argentina vs Germany!
Match 63, July 10 1930: Loser Match 61 v Loser Match 62 (Port Elizabeth)
Match 64, July 11 1930: Winner Match 61 v Winner Match 62 (Soccer City, Johannesburg)
Hey, are you still here? Coolness. My point-form summary (for what it’s worth):
* South Africa in a humungously tough group with world-class cheats France (who handballed my Irish mates out of the finals), Mexico and Uruguay and unlikely to progress further than their training ground due to fear and anxiety about letting down a nation which has no expectations of them at all.
* We in Durban will get to see playing live at our truly world-class new ground, the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Portugal vs Brazil and, probably, Argentina vs Germany in one of the semi-finals. Awesomeness overload.
* Durbs-on-Sea (and me in particular) will witness Holland play twice… which is totally epic as very tall and gorgeous blondes will travel over with the Dutch and undoubtedly romp in bikinis in our sub-tropical winter-warm bit of the Indian Ocean. I’m completely fine with that. And, as a bonus and as you can see right here, the Orange People have, unlike the whale-murdering Japanese and the odd Spaniard, embraced our vuvuzela like it’s their own. I offer a massive doff of the old red hat and a loud paaaarrrrp of my vuvu to our friends from Amsterdam and any other urban conurbations which exist in the Netherlands. Jy’s vreeslik welkom hier in Durban, maatjies. Especially your flaxen-locked Amazonians. *Insert winky face*
I don’t know if it’s in the water but Durban – and Umdloti in particular – has sprouted some scary moustaches for Cansa’s “Mo-vember” campaign to raise awareness of those cancers that nibble lethally away at men… prostate, testicular and, yes, breast cancer can pick on men too. You didn’t know that, did you?
So a lot of guys are strolling around South Africa and sporting ‘taches which are terrifying the living daylightsness out of their womenfolk. Hang in there, ladies, you can order him to de-tache in just six days’ time. Meanwhile, an update on the “Great Umdloti vs Camps Bay Mo-off”, a friendly tussle between Heart & Sole marathon unicyclist Geoff “Heartman” Brink and Cape Town’s “sex symbol” blogger Seth Rotherham.
So without further hair-do (OK, so I’ve used that line before but I like it too much, all right?), let’s brace ourselves for the second phase pics of their top-lip turnouts… first up, Seth “I’ve gone for the Porn Star vibe” Rotherham…
Hmmm, I'm not entirely convinced many porn stars are looking over their hairy shoulders in fear at Seth's paltry turnout... but, hey, I don't want to influence the judges' decision here!
Next up, and I suggest you cover your children’s eyes for this one, our nutty Umdloti marathon unicyclist, Geoff “MuthaTrucker” Brink…
Golly gumdropsness! He does look rather terrifying, doesn't he? In a kind of "Umdloti Has A Village Idiot And I'm It" kind of way. Actually, he's quite harmless... without a razor in his mitt!
Well. I’m not sure what to say. Except perhaps Camps Bay’s sexiest blogger might have some catching up to do. Not that I’m taking sides. No. I’ll leave that to the judges. Er, that will be me. And I’ll make my decision next week. End of Movember, right?
Right. Now for a little light relief. If that wasn’t light enough for you. Last time out, my guest Mo Bro was Springbok rugby legend Bob Skinstad. The last I heard, he had taken refuge in a snug in a Dublin pub ahead of the South Africa vs Ireland match and was dyeing his moustache with Guinness. So who to feature this week?
With all the fallout after Ras Dumisani’s Rastafari-style anthem-mangling debacle, may I motivate for the orphans of Indlovu Creche and the members of Youth for Change in Khayelitsha (Western Cape) to sing our beautiful Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika before the rugby international against Italy in Udine on Saturday?
I give you a little taster of what you might expect…
You may cry. It’s OK. I am. Isn’t that just pure beautifulness? And aren’t these kids a little more deserving of the attention that has been handed out to poor old Ras for singing our anthem so diabolically last weekend. I think that they are.
So get to it, rugby unions, embassies, whoever it is who decides on who gets to serenade our rugby boykies into battle. I back the kids of Indlovu Creche to do a truly “SA-positive” job!
* An emotional doff of the red hat to Lindwall Releasing, a South African outreach project for the heads-up on this video