Primaries, Brexit, Mayoral elections, #Zumamustfall: Do we get the leaders we deserve?

“”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

Mayoral Elections 5th MayA 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?

2015: my year in pictures and snippets

“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:

Jan new year murder mystery

JANUARY

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

Heat, dust and the ‘Big Four’: unlikely lessons from the Pilanesberg

“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

dangerous animalsIn 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

Itchy feet: the suspense of saving, dreaming and planning

“Akaky Akakievich was taken away and buried. And St. Petersburg was left without Akaky Akakyevitch as if he had never been there. Vanished and gone was the being, protected by no one, dear to no one, interesting to no one, who had not even attracted the attention of a naturalist – who does not fail to stick a pin through a common fly and examine it under the microscope.” 

The Overcoat by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol in The Collected Tales

Planning a holidayPoor Akaky Akakievich, I thought, while reading this story. A copy clerk with nothing in life, but the excitement of skimping and saving every possible rouble he could spare in joyous anticipation of having a new overcoat made with chintz lining, small silk double seams and a cat fur collar.

Oh, the happy months spent, in an otherwise dull life,  dreaming of such an overcoat!

I am sitting in my usual coffee shop drinking tea. Continue reading Itchy feet: the suspense of saving, dreaming and planning