Joburg Water and the DA City Council

Our water is off again, in Parkmore – not, in this case, on this umpteenth occasion, for some dramatic, globally important reason such as drought or climate change, but simply because of an aging infrastructure, a lack of maintenance, the incapacity and incompetence and lack of responsiveness of local government…. Not, let me add, an…

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O joy, business travel

Business travel is fun, ne? Take Monday, for instance. Up at 4.30 in the morning, to drive to the airport (drive, because the blerrie Gautrain workers are on strike), attend two (good) meetings with the Western Cape government, go for a (very good) lunch at a brand new restaurant on Bree Street, then head back…

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The Ale House

We headed out, last Sunday, Kathy and Tom and Rob and I, to the Magaliesberg, to our favourite bush-pub, the Ale House – only to find it had moved. How does a bush pub move, one might ask? Very slowly? Anyhow, we tracked the place down to its new home, on the road past Hartebeespoort,…

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Johannesburg Art Gallery – Seven Images

JAG – the Johannesburg Art Gallery – is, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, a once-grand edifice, marooned like an old freighter on the manic reef of downtown Johannesburg. You enter (for free) through a turnstile, and as you do so, the last survivor of the shipwreck emerges from the wheelhouse beside the door,…

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Tuinhuys, in Black and White

Tuinhuys (the Garden House) is the Cape Town office of the Presidency, a lovely piece of architecture with a history that goes back, as everything does in South Africa, to slavery and colonialism. It was from here that FW de Klerk declared the end of apartheid; it was from here that Mandela, Mbeki, Motlanthe and…

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Reflections on Tillmans

The work of Wolfgang Tillmans, a German photographer, seems perfectly housed in the downtown, chaotic, teeming environment in which the Johannesburg Art Gallery has washed up, like a shipwreck on the beach after Fukushima, faintly radioactive. Much of Tillman’s art is seemingly artless – and sometimes, in his work, to my eye at least, art…

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Sea Washing

On the north side of the quay, just across the way from the Cape Grace Hotel, is the Victoria Basin, and a dry-dock where Taiwanese trawlers come to have their paintwork and their bodywork done – like elderly ladies at a beauty parlour. It is a study in contrasts. A contrast I like even more,…

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Various Moments

At the Bryanston Organic Market, these bees seemed to take seriously the organic, back-to nature meme, crawling all over the sticky cakes; in the Company Gardens in Cape Town, a seagull taking flight unsettled the classical stillness and calm of the lily pond and fountain; Rob at the Tuinhuys gates (the Tuinhuys is the official…

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Tea with Mother

I mentioned in a previous post (July 13) that Rob and I, on our trip to Cape Town, had treated my mom to High Tea at the Cape Grace Hotel, at the V&A Waterfront. Here are some photos from that rather yummy and elegant and leisurely ceremony.   I like these photos for capturing a…

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Turbine Hall Art Fair

We have been up and down the country, out and about, these past few weeks – Joburg and Cape Town, art fairs and high teas – so time for a little catch up. On Sunday last week we were at the Turbine Hall Art Fair in downtown Johannesburg. Last year, you might remember, we saw…

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