Gaiety vs grumpy. That pretty much sums up the vibe right now.
As 2019 grinds to a halt, it pretty much seems that I am not the only one with this sentiment. A colleague's facebook status this week reads: If 2019 is the RWC, I am England.
With the Springbok victory as the world champions in rugby last month that swept the country up in euphoria now being an almost distant memory, it took my weary brain a while to connect the dots of her statement.
As the year reaches its pinnacle, it seems like news is getting harder. Or maybe just harder to report on. An acquaintance, well known for his zest for life and love for motorcycles, survived a gruesome accident this week. But lost this leg. With biking being such an integral part of his life, one cannot help but contemplate if his loss is ultimately only that of a limb.
In Herold's Bay, another car plummets down the cliff and into the sea at Voëlklip, tearing at the scabs of a community still trying to recover from the Scheepers tragedy last month.
On Monday, a local business man is shot seven times by armed robbers. He was probably at the wrong tavern at the wrong time. He dies of his wounds shortly after the incident. His own tavern in Civic Park was robbed in October. A discussion we had following the incident, made such an impression on me that it featured in my column. And not just any column, one among my award-winning entries at the recent Group Editors awards.
Reporting on the death of the tavern owner this week, seemingly part of a series of crimes perpetrated by a band of robbers running rampant in KwaNonqaba, I stop my car at the police station to see the investigating officer. It strikes me how many children, primary school age are on the streets.
Before answering my own question as to why they are not at school, it strikes me that, although not officially closed yet, school is out for 2019. The boys look at me quizzing before walking off. They start playing with a make shift ball of paper and plastic. Soon they are laughing and jeering at each other.
Whilst watching them from my car, RSG radio is reporting on Restaurant Mosaic in Elandsfontein in Gauteng. They made culinary history after being named the best restaurant in not only South Africa, but on the entire continent. Head chef Chantel Dartnall, speaks live from Paris in a sweet, light voice about their La Liste World Restaurant award.
As the radio insert ends, the interviewer announces a song. The smoke rising from a street vendor's braai where chicken feet are being prepared, circles past my windscreen in a lazy dance as legendary Edith Piaf croons her signature song, La Vie en Rose. Literally, it means Life in Pink, but can be translated as Life in Rosy Hues or Life through Rose-coloured glasses.
Written in a pavement café on the Champs Elysées in 1945, the song is about giddy romance. But many people still today see it as an anthem of hope as it was released shortly after the end of World War 2.
In other local news, thanks to a competition on radio station Kfm, a mom from Heiderand and neighbourhood watch stalwart will have her son home for Christmas for the first time in 14 years.
For a moment, the dusty sky above the police station looks a little pinker.