Month: September 2017

Whales, Walker Bay

We were in Cape Town last weekend, the Heritage Day long weekend, and on Sunday we took my mother out to Hermanus and Gansbaai to see the whales. On previous occasions we had seen them close in, near the Old Harbour, but not this time. We were lucky, however, to spot one or two far out, way across Walker Bay, so we drove round to Gansbaai, another 40 kilometres along the coast, in hope of a better view, and were just in time to see a pod of humpbacks quite close in, before they tired of us and slipped beneath […]

Nirox Jazz Festival

A couple of months ago I posted a blog, with photographs, of the Winter Sculpture Exhibition at Nirox, in the Magaliesberg, a lovely spot folded into the hills about an hour north north-west of Johannesburg. Just two or three weeks ago we were back, this time for the Nirox Jazz Festival, a harbinger of Spring, under appropriately sunny and warm conditions. A large, white, floating cover, like a quilt of clouds, sheltered the crowd who gathered over the course of a lazy Sunday morning to listen to the music, on a green hillside that looked down onto a meandering stream […]

Drakensberg Wrap

In previous posts I’ve shared a few images of the Drakensberg landscape, in the area around the Amphitheatre and the Royal Natal Park, both in colour and in black and white. This final post on our holiday last month focuses, instead, on what we did, and where we were. We stayed, as I might have mentioned, at Berg View Cottages, high on a hill overlooking the distant Amphitheatre. The owners keep miniature horses, a source of infinite entertainment and delight to the children of a Dutch couple who were visiting. In the evening, hares came down from the hills and […]

Drakensberg, dawn and dusk

I was out in the evening, and up early in the morning, as I observed in my last post, chasing the light in the Drakensberg, hoping for something dramatic. What the ‘berg gave me instead was a picture of calm, of light peaceably moving over a silent landscape, as the slow world turned. In the end, I quite like these images.

Chasing the light in black and white

With the Natal Midlands behind us, we headed west, toward the northern Drakensberg, for the final three nights of our holiday meander. We’d booked ourselves a cottage at the Berg House, high on a hillside overlooking the magnificent Amphitheatre in the distance, up a winding dirt road that twisted and climbed and simply called out for the Land Rover. Not a place for city cars, for sure, but with careful driving we got up there, and were suitably rewarded. Here is a shot of Rob, with the vast sweep of the Drakensberg before us; and here are three black and […]

‘Detroit’ – Distilled

‘Detroit,’ it could be argued, is the story of race and racism in America, bursting onto our screens at a painful moment in America’s painful history. Think Charlottesville, think of Trump’s pardoning of Sheriff Arpaio, think of – how many? – black motorists in towns across the US pulled over and shot for some (sometimes imagined) traffic offence. But this movie, of course, is set fifty years ago, in 1967, during the Detroit riots: that tells you something right there, doesn’t it? Focusing close-up, in almost unbearable detail, on the murder by police of three young black men at the […]

Ardmore Ceramic Art, Midlands Meander

Ok, so you’ve meandered through the Natal Midlands, you’ve stopped off for a coffee, or a glass of wine at Ardington Winery, you’ve pulled over to take photos of hills, of valleys, of dairy cows contentedly doing whatever it is that dairy cows do on an August morning or afternoon, and then you turn down a winding dirt road, and swing off into a driveway, and there – across a placid pond and beneath the bucolic hills in the distance – what do you find? You find the wildest, craziest, most lunatically imaginative art at Ardmore Ceramics. Now, if you […]