Notes from Fathers Day

There are two new dads in our immediate family – my two sons-in-law, Shaun and Gareth. Fathers Day this year was the first for both of them, and I wonder what went through their minds, about their new status in life, their new roles and responsibilities. Or did they simply shake their heads in wonder and surprise as they got on with the business of changing the nappies? No nappies for me, mind you – not on this particular Fathers Day, anyway. Instead it was off to Roots, at Forum Homini in the Magaliesberg, for Rob and me – the […]

Family Business

A lot can happen in three months. It’s a little less than that, in fact, since we shipped my mom up from Cape Town, to meet her great-grandson, before he was wafted away by his parents to start a new life in Canada. “He’s going to speak with a Canadian accent,” I told Eve and Shaun brightly. They looked at me, disbelievingly. We had a nice day, as I believe I have blogged about previously, at Kathy and Gareth’s, and given the nature of the occasion, I took lots of photographs, which I loaded onto a memory stick and gave […]

Time out

There comes a time, readers, friends, and family, when a little time out is needed. The almost two weeks since Rob arrived here in Johannesburg from Canada has been weirdly disjointed – wonderful to be together again, after too long an absence, but on the work front, the kind of disfunction and toxicity (not with the company I work for, or the government department, or the funder, fortunately) that I had thought – hoped – not to have to experience again, at this stage of my life and career. So – after working all Saturday – this Sunday is time […]

Man meets man, Nirox

I throw this image onto the table – Man meets Man, from the Nirox Winter Sculpture Festival – like a playing card, to signify risk, a gamble, a certain funkiness of things. Look at the silver boots on the winged feet of the old geezer with his back to us: that could be me, facing an inscrutable future. A quick counting of the cards: Rob landed safely at O.R. Tambo on Monday evening – Queen of Hearts a calm, contented, autumn afternoon this mild Sunday at the Ale House in the Magaliesberg, in the highveld sunlight – Ace of Hearts things coming to […]

Sunday constitutional

I was taking my Sunday constitutional, last weekend, at the Emmarentia Dam, just down the road from where we used to live, and on my way in to the Botanical Gardens, just over the dam wall where there is a little harbour and model lighthouse, I saw yachts – a dozen or two model yachts, racing each other in the autumn sunlight, while their owners/sailors watched from the shoreline, completely rapt and intent, and content to allow me to clamber around taking photographs. Here are five images, taken hand-held with the little Leica, which I hope do something to capture […]

The moment of departure

Lost in my confusion and tears, as I processed the photos from Eve and Shaun and Joshua’s departure for Canada, was this one image. Perhaps it deserves a post on its own: it says something about the bustle and excitement, not just the tears, of leaving one home to start life in another.

The Kroukamps leave for Canada

It is hard to believe it is just on a month since my daughter Eve, her husband Shaun, and grandson Joshua emigrated to Canada. The day of departure was full of drama and emotion, as you may imagine – the hardest thing in processing these images was not getting the colour balance right, in the shade at Kathy and Gareth’s house, before we got into our cars, or under the fluorescent lights at the airport – not the usual decisions about cropping, and contrast, or black point or white point – it was keeping the tears from my damned eyes […]

The Cape, Mothers Day

I had had my misgivings, as readers of this blog will know, about the weather expected across South Africa on Mothers Day, last Sunday. But, contrary to expectation, the Cape was in glorious form – warm, bright, still, the sea on both sides of Cape Point calm as a pond, the waves turning crisply white as they reached the shore. I took my 85 year-old mom – she could pass easily for 70, and a pretty nimble 70 year-old at that – for a variant on one of our usual drives, this time over the high road above Kalk Bay, […]

Thorns, Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition

I was wandering around, as you know, last Saturday, with my camera around my neck, at the Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition in the Magaliesberg. The spirits were warm, though the day was chilly and wet, the people as varied and interesting as the sculptures, and then, at the edge of a field, near the entrance, I saw these thorn trees. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to capture them, but I had in my head the idea that they were their own form of sculpture – there was something playful, perhaps salutary, or ironic, in the concept  – […]

Nirox Sculpture Exhibition, Winter 2017

Winter it was – cold, wet, and muddy. But the Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition, spread across rolling fields and streams in the folds of the Magaliesberg, was full of relaxed, contented crowds – poking around the sculptures and installations, watching as their children played beneath the trees, filling up on the good eats from some of the Cape’s finest wine estates and restaurants. In warmer weather the scene must sparkle, with the late autumn light glancing off the leaves, the water in the ponds and streams laughing – but this grey day with its flat light had its own charms, […]