“[South Africans] are on friendly terms with time, and the plan of beguiling or killing it does not come into their heads. In fact the more time you can give them, the happier they are, and if you commission a [South African] to hold your horse while you make a visit, you can see by his face that he hopes you will be a long, long time about it. He does not try to pass the time then, but sits down and lives.”
Out of Africa (with a bit of poetic licence) by Karen Blixen
Breaking news this morning was that the ANC has officially decided to recall Jacob Zuma. Journalists are calling it Zexit (thanks David Cameron) and Z-Day (thanks WW2).
My poor South Africa, sunny and bright though she is, has been on a rollercoaster ride of drought and water shortages, Finance Minister hiring and firing, Gupta-leaks and Bell Pottinger-Gates, and the most politically volatile currency in the world. Are things finally looking up for SA? Continue reading Brexit, Frexit, Grexit … and in true African time, Zexit!
“Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary that we all carry about with us.”
Says Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
My father-in-law is writing his memoirs and I can’t wait to read them!
“How do you remember all the places and names and details?” I asked him.
“You’d be surprised what comes to mind when you start digging around in the past. You open a drawer, look through a photo album, talk to an old friend, read a letter…” he replied.
Now I know what he means. Continue reading Memories
“It is always hard to see the purpose in wilderness wanderings until after they are over.”
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
By popular demand, I give you our 12 fellow travellers on our South African #roadtrip:
‘Petrol Man’: outside Bloemfontein:
We took a country road towards the Lesotho mountains. TomTom was not pleased. Petrol Man explained that his car had run out of petrol. In parts of the Free State you get the feeling that you’re driving from the middle of nowhere to the middle of nowhere. So we drove on. Eventually we came to a juncture. There was’t even a tiny pin-prick of a suggestion of a village, but with nothing else to suggest we turned down the dust track. What materialised eventually was a twilight-zone-like-derelict-one-stop-hamlet consisting of a road, 6 dwellings, a couple of people and a petrol station! Continue reading Our short interlude into the lives of 12 walkers
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone,” said Gandalf.
“I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them,” said our Mr. Baggins.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
We were about 60km outside Port Edward when we realised that we might actually be in real danger. Continue reading The Journey, not the Destination: Goats, Wine, Mountains and Mafia #SAroadtrip
“”No!” was the word that awakened us, “No!” being shouted in a man’s loud voice from every house on the block. It can’t be. No. Not for president of the United States.”
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
A tutorial for my British College of Journalism course considers the writing of columnists and bloggers:
“… the columnist or blogger presents their interpretation of what is happening in society. Ideally, readers will return each week to find out what the writer has to say. Some writers do their best to polarise their audience, with half strongly agreeing with what they say, and half vehemently disagreeing. They might do this by making controversial statements which spark outrage and debate. Continue reading Primaries, Brexit, Mayoral elections, #Zumamustfall: Do we get the leaders we deserve?
“Today, given a 35mm camera and a built-in exposure-meter, anyone can be an expert photographer, but it was not so easy fifty-years ago…. Clicking the shutter even once was a serious business that had to be carefully thought out beforehand.”
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
I’m eavesdropping on a table of paint-spattered construction workers in my local cafe. As they hungrily devour their ‘full English’ they are cross-examining one another’s attempts so far at keeping to their new year resolutions.
Have you made some new years resolutions? After examining my own year in photos, the mantra, ‘get back into my photography’, seems to ring out boldly and would appear on my list if I had one. I have long neglected my photography and sadly my big Nikon and expensive lenses have spent a shameful amount of time in the spare cupboard. The curse of the iPhone – so very small and convenient – sadly the results are somewhat disappointing. Bear with my poor efforts as I take you through my year in pictures:
We saw the new year in (2014/2015) with a group of special friends in a cottage on the cold Yorkshire moors doing a murder mystery dinner – in full costume and character. “Such fun!” (Miranda voice).
Continue reading 2015: my year in pictures and snippets
“The Go ‘way birds do not feed on ticks and have nothing to do with the game; you find them where there is no game, and it always seemed to me that it is not concern for the game at all, but simply a combination of vulgar curiosity, disagreeableness and bad manners, that makes them interfere as they do.”
Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpatrick
In some strange supernatural way, the ‘bush’ ‘calls’ to me. I’m not sure that this is a concept anyone but South Africans can truly understand. When I’ve been away for some time I begin to have dreams of giggling hyena and hooting owls – both by day and at night. My heart grows a little achey and a restless feeling mounts in my spirit. It beckons ruthlessly, and eventually I must answer. Continue reading Heat, dust and the ‘Big Four’: unlikely lessons from the Pilanesberg