‘Dunkirk’ – Distilled

A technical tour de force but an artistic failure, ‘Dunkirk’ contrives to combine cheesy dialogue and cardboard characterisation with the terror and immediacy of war and violence. You are in the cockpit of a stricken Spitfire as it swerves towards the grey greasy  Channel and ditches; trapped in the cockpit, you struggle for breath as […]

Hillfold Pottery, Midlands Meander

You reach Lindsay Scott’s Hillfold Pottery in Lidgetton in the Natal Midlands by following a dirt road into the hills, climbing through forest, then turning off down a narrow rutted track that makes you wonder why, oh why, do you no longer have the Landy, until suddenly the woodland opens and you are in a […]

Midlands Meander

The Midlands Meander in KwaZulu Natal – well, meanders, criss-crossing the N3 that links Johannesburg to Durban, offering the traveller a network of scenic routes that winds through hills and valleys as it folds into its embrace potteries and chocolatiers, breweries and cheese-makers, leather workers and artists. It is the land of dairy – and, […]

Not such good bird photos

Bird photography is one of the most challenging areas of photography, at least in my experience. Finding them in the first place – birds, I mean – and getting them to sit still, or hover in one place, just where you want them, is the damnedest business, never mind getting your images sharp and properly […]

Trees, Beverley Farm, Dargle Valley

We left Johannesburg on the last Saturday in July, around ten o’clock, for a much-needed break – five nights in the Natal Midlands, followed by three nights in the Drakensberg. The traffic was light, the day was sunny, the wind was at our backs as we drove across the highveld, stopping at Harrismith for lunch, […]

Lunch with my mother

My mother, at 85, likes a good lunch, and likes to be spoiled. Cucina Labia, the official home of Count Labia, envoy to South Africa of the little Italian dictator, Mussolini (Trump’s clownish forebear) ticked all the boxes when we went there – appropriately enough – on Women’s Day, last Wednesday. ‘I like this. I […]

Master Thomas B. Tjasink, Esq.

We are back from our week away in the Natal Midlands and the Drakensberg – got home last weekend, in fact. I have since been down in Cape Town on business, and because Wednesday was a holiday, was able to take my mom out to a rather fabulous lunch at Cucina Labia in Muizenberg, the […]

Parkmore Field Market

It’s becoming a meme, I guess, at least of this blog – the notion that Joburg, and South Africa, is a study in contradictions. Creativity and enterprise flourish, the place is dynamic and happening – but it is also a dead-end of fraud and corruption, crime and incompetence. There is warmth, love, vibrancy in human […]