Tom

A grandparent with a camera has one overriding mission as a photographer – to photograph the grandchildren. But what do you do when you have, from just one visit, a bucket-full of photos?

You dip in, as if you are fishing for little silver fish in a child’s bucket at the seaside, and you get hold of just one, and give it the treatment.

And then, when you have time, you go back and snag a few more, one batch at a time, until you have found and brought into the light the very shiniest and prettiest of them.

Here is the first one….

Tom # 1

Cape Town, Table Mountain

We have for today only one offering, photographically speaking: a tongue-in-cheek image of Table Mountain, masked by a garage forecourt – the city undisturbed by and unaware of its extraordinarily beautiful and majestic natural surroundings.

The image may mildly amuse you, or it may leave you stone cold – I offer it merely as a pictorial token of life’s little ironies.

For friends and family, all well on the home front here, and on the work front too. Oh, and we are booked to fly back to Canada via London on the 20th of April, for a two week visit (me) and a slightly longer stay (Rob). Details to follow, via the appropriate channels.

 

Cape Town, Table Mountain

First meeting: my son’s son

Early in November, I was in Cape Town on business. Jonathan and Hayley had just flown in from the UK with Gabriel, the last of our three grandchildren to be born within a miraculous twelve month period. We met up, together with my mom, for dinner in Constantia, and a few days later visited them at their rented holiday cottage in Simonstown.

These are a few photos.

Gabriel and Thomas at Urbanologi

This blog’s title might be a bit of a misnomer, but in this age of whoppers, fables, barefaced lies, from Presidents on down, its what you get, right.

Fact: these photos were indeed taken at Urbanologi, the watering hole and yummy eatery downtown on Fox Street where, just last Saturday, the Fishers (me, my mother, Jonnie, Hayley, Gabriel), the Tjasjinks (Kathy, Gareth, Thomas), the Thompsons (Mike, Karen) and the one and only Pazdro (Rob, to me and to her family and friends) gathered for tapas and beer, the former with a decidedly South African inventiveness and flair, and to say our goodbyes.

For the English Fishers were leaving next day for Singapore, en route for New Zealand, while Rob and I were lined up to take Mike and Karen to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, and my mother, as a birthday present from the Tjasinks, would be off with Kathy to have a mannie and pedi.

So it was that the much heralded, much longed-for visit of the UK branch of the family came to a happy and sad end, and I took a few photos.

So: these photos, though taken indeed at Urbanologi, have little if anything to do with the place, focusing almost entirely – as they should do – on the two grandsons. Oh, and the Fisher parents.

Here are the grandchildren, trailing clouds of glory.

Clarens

Like the weather – rain coming down in a steady deluge today in Johannesburg and Pretoria – the last few days have been full indeed.

Thursday, Jonathan and Hayley and grandson Gabriel arrived in Joburg after a stay in Cape Town, with my mom in tow, a few hours behind Hayley’s parents Mike and Karen, who had arrived overnight on a flight from London. Friday morning we were on the road to Clarens, a charming little village set against the backdrop of the Maluti mountains, in the Free State, and the next few days were filled with family time, which translated means braaivleis, wine, coffees and lunches in the village, and a little sightseeing, including a drive up to the magnificent Golden Gate and views over valleys and rock faces, and of course my mom’s 86th birthday on Sunday.

Safely back in Joburg last night – with dinner for all at our house this evening, a night out together tomorrow at Coobs in Parkhurst, lunch at Urbanologi on Saturday, and for us, a trip out to the Pilanesberg game reserve with Mike and Karen on Sunday.

Which is a round-about way of saying, you shouldn’t expect too much by way of blogs or photos at least until the weekend after the next one.

Travel musings

I have written before about Laurens van der Post’s birthplace, Philippolis, in the Karoo – I mention it in fact in the ‘cover page’ to this blog, under the headline, ‘Beginnings’ – the place where I nearly was born, and nearly wasn’t born at all.

I refer to this again only because it was, I think, the last stopover that Rob and I made, back in 2011, on our final road trip to say goodbye to South Africa. We drove through the Karoo, as one has to, and I took only a very few photographs, perhaps because I didn’t want the lens to get between us and the moment. Or perhaps it was Rob who insisted we be present.

However it was, I offer these few images by way of buying some more time – time seems always to be in short supply, until there is no more of it. There are things to share, images to process and photographs still to be made – for example, this weekend, when we travel to Clarens, also in the Free State, with Jonathan and Hayley, and the newest of the three grandchildren, Gabriel, and Hayley’s mum and dad, and my own mum who turns 86 on the 3rd of December.

As I write this, I look out of the window, and hear and see the heavy rain storming down in torrents, and think of Rob who is landing later this evening, after a month in Toronto, and wonder what the roads will be like, when I drive out to meet her….

Fair winds from the Cape

Because I have just, literally, arrived back at our house in Johannesburg, and because I have been away in Cape Town since last Tuesday evening, and because I have not had chance to process any of the photos I took – not that I took too many – of the newest of my three grandsons, Gabriel, or of his parents Hayley and Jono, all I will say for now is that the little lad is a delight: alert, engaging, blue-eyed, a wriggler, and doted on to distraction by his adoring mum and dad.

Pending Gabriel pictures, here is a last batch of images from Paternoster, to keep you (I hope) on board with this blog.

 

O Canada (again)

On the first of the new month Rob leaves (again) for Canada, this time for three weeks, to take care of our house in Marchmount Road – essentially, to rent it out, now that Eve and Shaun and little Joshua have moved to a house of their own, and to see friends, take in an exhibit perhaps at the AGO, breathe in the Canadian air and, perchance, get a taste of early winter.

Our house here in Joburg will feel empty without her, but with the year just galloping along, in no time she’ll be back, followed closely by Jonathan, Hayley and wee Gabriel, visiting from the UK, and my mother, who will be coming up to join us for Christmas.

Jono en famille in fact fly out to SA on Monday, from Heathrow, and will be spending the next couple of weeks in the Cape, where I hope to hook up with them for dinner, before they head north to our little corner of reality.

So much for the news – the family stuff anyway (I am assiduously avoiding the political, which is nauseating – hey, so how are the rest of you doing, in Brexitworld, Trumpistan or, sadly, sadly, Catalonia?!). And for reading so far, here is a photograph – a rather bemusing image, to my eye anyway, taken from the gallery of the Kalk Bay Modern in Cape Town.

 

Gallery, Kalk Bay