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 […]
We had barely taken our seats at Coobs in Parkhurst last night when a seeming explosion rent the air, as if from the street two feet from the patio where we were sitting. Moments later the sky opened up, torrential, rinsing rain emptied the sky, the wind grasped the trees lining the sidewalk and shook them. Meanwhile dinner was served, platters of confit duck legs and pan fried duck breast with Asian salad for both of us, which, accompanied by a bottle of Vergenoegd Merlot, were pronounced delicious. Think of it as a gift from Nora, our friend in Vancouver, […]
The new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa – Zeitz-MOCAA – is an instant architural landmark, both global and local, and an extraordinary addition to Cape Town’s cultural scene and to the V&A Waterfront. Rob and I were lucky enough to get in on the opening weekend (there were 1 ½ hour line-ups, but we bought memberships, and skipped the queue) but the place was way too crowded to enjoy the artworks, and in any case the architecture itself was a thing of wonder. So we wandered around, gazing up into the cathedral-like concrete flutes that rose towards the skylights, […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
You reach Lindsay Scott’s Hillfold Pottery in Lidgetton in the Natal Midlands by following a dirt road into the hills, climbing through forest, then turning off down a narrow rutted track that makes you wonder why, oh why, do you no longer have the Landy, until suddenly the woodland opens and you are in a sunny clearing where a low bungalow awaits, and the studio beckons. The man himself was there, reserved but gracious, and while he might have been of few words the work spoke volumes. We bought a piece for ourselves, and one or two smaller pieces for […]