Stories about pictures

Stories about pictures

If you have been following along on Facebook on our 3700km road trip through the small towns of the Karoo, the Western Cape and all the way back to Johannesburg, you will have been following a story written partly in pictures - pictures taken, not for the photography but for the story, and on an [...]

The Slow Road Back

The Slow Road Back

Traveling at Sixty was the topic of my last post - a post about slow travel, about taking the time to observe and relax, think and reflect. Now, a week later, we are on our way back, after nearly two-and-a-half weeks on the road and over 2000 km (so far) on the clock, with a [...]

Traveling at Sixty

Traveling at Sixty

Traveling at sixty - 67, to be precise - is a much slower affair than it used to be. This is partly by choice, by design, but also by force of circumstance. The chief circumstance, Covid, is of course much more than circumstantial. It is an Act of God, a force of nature, something that [...]

Big Easter Road Trip

Big Easter Road Trip

BERT - the Big Easter Road Trip - is at last under way (Bert was my paternal grandfather’s real name, by the by - we called him Pooch). We have mapped out the trip in easy four-to-five hour driving segments, starting this morning from Johannesburg, heading south on the N1 to Bloemfontein, to spend our [...]

Something Unreal Right Now

Something Unreal Right Now

Rob and I agree, there is something unreal about our lives right now. This odd sense of unreality rests, uneasily, on a simple fact: after more than four years of living in South Africa, we are just six months away from packing up our rented townhouse in Johannesburg, moving out and - Covid willing - [...]

1972 and all that

1972 and all that

In 1972 I became a first-year student at the University of Cape Town, an epochal event that may or may not have had something to do with the fact that massive student protests broke out that year at white, liberal, English-speaking campuses across the country. While the events at UCT, and Wits, and the other [...]

When is a rhino just a rhino?

When is a rhino just a rhino?

Sometimes a rhino is just a rhino. This big fellow, bringing up the rear of a group of white rhinos as they lumbered up a rutted track to the top of a ridge before disappearing down the other side, maintained a watchful eye as we jolted along in his wake, in the open LandCruiser, last [...]

African Fish Eagle

African Fish Eagle

This was not one of thoseSwooping soaringPhoto opportunities, you know,Where the bird glides in fromStage left andExits beautifullyTo the rightWith a pristinePink and silverSalmon or somethingA missile ready to launchFrom its clawFlakes of morning lightFalling from its not yet barbecuedFlesh. This was murder, a brawl in the shallowsWhich ended badlyFor the thrashing creature in the [...]

Stories on Stones

Stories on Stones

At a time like this, when half the world is on lockdown because of the pandemic, when civility and decency and the very foundations of democracy seem at risk in the face of racist populism and rabid know-nothingness, when the planes are grounded and we can barely venture out of our houses, when our ‘advanced’ [...]

Life in Lockdown

Life in Lockdown

I am startled and yet not surprised, in returning to my blog, that almost a hundred days (of solitude, I am tempted to add, in the spirit of Marquez) have passed since my last post. Last time I wrote we were 10 days into the lockdown, and the number of reported cases in South Africa [...]