66, Cape Vidal

No, 66 Cape Vidal is not an address. 66 is the age I turned yesterday; Cape Vidal, or somewhere like it – open skies, wide open spaces, carefree and at ease like the geezer with his fishing rod – is where I should have been on my birthday. Needless to say, I wasn’t. Just another…

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Pied Avocet, Marievale

I like the harmony and balance, the silent concentration, in these photographs of pied avocets with their swooping bills wading in the waters at the Marievale Bird Sanctuary. Time for a break, I thought, in the Spanish series…  

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Blacksmith Plover

From photographs of birds, taken during my recent field trip to the Marievale Bird Sanctuary, this blog will see a change of scene, to our travels in Spain – but only when we are back, Rob and I, towards the end of September, from Andalucia and Madrid. Meanwhile here is one image – a blacksmith…

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Against the light

From the corner of the hide, you looked out across the water, directly into the light, where the coots were squabbling and giving chase, and I knew at once that this was an image made for black-and-white. I took several photographs, aware of how tricky the light was, and struggling with the heavy lens to…

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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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Travelling Light

First up: Do not panic! You have come to the right place. You have arrived at the blog known formerly as ‘Keep Calm and Carry On.’ It now goes under a new name, ‘Travelling Light,’ but it is the same, I assure you. Same web address, same blogger and photographer, same as ever. So why,…

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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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