Night photographs, Etosha

I have been experimenting, in B&W, with some of the images I took after dark, in Etosha, hoping to suggest something of the elusiveness, silence, otherness you sense when creatures materialise out of the shadows, and go about their business, before melting back into the darkness again. All of this is work towards an ‘at home’ that Rob and I are planning for the fall, when we will hold an open-house event to show some of my pictures, along with some of the artefacts we brought back with us from our trip in April to South Africa and Namibia: for those […]

Family Updates

Kathy (my eldest daughter) just promoted Associate Director at Khulisa Management Services and, just invited by the Department of Peformance Monitoring & Evaluation in the South African Presidency, to join a panel of 13 other evaluators to help design the 2o17 national evaluations Eve (my youngest daughter) continuing to make progress on her PhD while preparing to present our families (ours and Shaun’s) with (in our case) our first grandchild, due 3 days after my birthday, on 5 August. A Leo!

A visit to Motown

You know that dream where you are about to sit for an exam, and you realise you haven’t been studying – worse than that, you realise that it’s maths, or chem, or even worse still, you don’t actually know what subject you’re writing? Well, there’s a variant on that nightmare, which is where you realise that your students are about to sit for their exams – and you haven’t actually been doing any teaching: you haven’t been in class, you haven’t marked their assignments, you haven’t prepared them at all. This must be a throwback, I think, to my guilt […]

Rhino

We are off to Detroit in the morning, to spend the weekend with my favourite sister-in-law – Cindy to her friends, but Cynthia to her sister. I thought – considering where we are going – I should leave you with a photo, as I will most likely be maintaining radio silence until we are back home after the weekend. No, it’s not Trump – it’s about as good-looking, but it’s a helluva lot smarter. It’s a rhino, heading down to the waterhole at Halali in Etosha, Namibia, for an after-dark rumble. Which about fits the bill, doesn’t it?

The Canada Day Weekend

Just so you know, the two photos below have nothing to do with the content that follows. I’ve included the photos, taken in Etosha, for no more reason than the fact that I have been having another trawl through my images, to see if there are any good ones there that I might have missed. It’s my blog, right? I can do what I want with it. So, ahem, we had a good Canada Day long weekend, eh? Yes? Everyone? Canada Day itself, the Friday, played itself perfectly. We had been planning a braai, or barbecue, so of course it […]

Canada Day

No, the old dude in the old coupe is not me – d’you think I’ve just won the lottery? Canada may be a Fair Country, but they don’t just hand out the lottery money to anyone. I’ve got wads and wads of unpaid tickets to prove there is bias. No, the old dude is just an old dude, in an old car – the car is pretty cool though, huh? – riding along in the Canada Day Parade on Pelee Island, on the first day of July 2012, four years ago. July 2012 was my first Canada Day in Canada, as […]

Scenes near Rice Lake

Our friends Chris and Paul live on a small farm near Rice Lake, not far from the small village of Bailieboro, in the direction of Peterborough. We go there each year before Halloween for pumpkin carving, with a big gang of friends, and to eat, drink and hang out. Other times we just show up, perhaps for a game of croquet and a braai (barbecue to my fellow Canadians) and a walk in the fields or along the lanes. These photos – like the picture entitled Farm, near Rice Lake, that I posted yesterday – were taken on our most […]

A picture of sanity

Given the madness in Britain (I have subtracted the word ‘Great’ as it is no longer applicable) and the lunacy in Trumpistan, not to mention some irregular goings on in my own Beloved Country, I give you an image of sanity from my new, adopted home, here in Canada: Farm near Rice Lake, Ontario.

Second High Park capybara recaptured

A couple of enterprising capybara made headlines a few weeks ago, here in Toronto, by escaping from the High Park zoo and disappearing into the surrounding greenery. My theory is that they simply dressed up as tourists and mingled with the crowd, and ambled out of the zoo enclosure unchallenged and unspotted. One of the capybara – we shall call him Stupid – was recaptured a while later, but capybara number two has remained on the lam – until now, that is. Clever Boy was picked up this morning – according to the authorities, near Grenadier Pond. But that is […]

On photographs and writing

One of the things one tries to do with words, I think, when writing fiction, is to convey a sense of a world – of many worlds, perhaps – behind the immediate reality, or surface meaning. A gesture towards the immanent rather than the obvious. This is something that distinguishes the great photographs, too, I suspect, from the merely ‘good’ or ‘excellent.’ Easy to say, as a reader or critic; much harder to pull off oneself, of course. And who is to say when one has succeeded? Perhaps this is what drives the ‘inner critic’ that leads some writers, both […]