Three poems from Staffrider

I was going through a box of old diaries and papers last night (there are things in there that will go with me to my grave!) and came across a few copies of New Coin, Sesame, Staffrider – small South African literary magazines from the 80s and 90s. I knew there were a few old poems of mine in there somewhere, one that I remembered in outline, and others I had more or less forgotten about (though I doubt you ever forget these things, these words you have struggled over, completely). Here are three that I published in Staffrider, in 1989 […]

Contemplating Havana’s Malecon…

The Vedado end of the eight-or-so kilometre Malecon in Havana has a very different feel to it, from the more grandly built-up and fortified stretch toward the harbour mouth. Crumbling apartment buildings face across the dual carriageway, and the sea that crashes coldly into the rocks seems a metaphor for isolation and banishment. People sit on the battered sea-wall, or stare in vain at the horizon, as if waiting for something – the future? – to appear. Here is a final set of images.

Out and about in Habana Vieja

I thought I was done with my Havana portfolio, but I’m not – at least not yet. I had planned, this morning, to pull up a final set of images of the Malecon for processing, but decided to go through the complete file, just in case – and came up with these photos instead, which I hope you will agree deserve a life of their own. After this past ten days in South Africa – a midnight reshuffle of the Cabinet, two ratings downgrades to junk status, by Standard & Poors and Fitch, after protests against Zuma all across the […]

The Malecon, Habana

You may recall that I had said that I wanted to post a final set of photographs of Havana’s grand and crumbling esplanade, the Malecon; you may also recall that I’d  said that it might be some time before I got to this, what with the move back to South Africa, finding a house and a car, moving, settling in and so on and so on. This doesn’t mean I had forgotten: so here, then, is a first set of photographs, taken one mild and mellow evening at the beginning of our stay in Havana, as the sun was going […]

South Africa in the news

For our overseas family and friends: South Africa is in the news again, and for all the wrong reasons. President Jacob Zuma’s “night of the long knives,” in which he purged a third of his cabinet, including the respected finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and Gordhan’s deputy, Jonas Mncebisi,  has caused consternation and a growing backlash, not least amongst members of his own party. The country’s Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has spoken out openly against the decision, as has the party’s Secretary-General, Gwede Mantashe. The South African Communist Party, which is in alliance with the ANC and has a number of ministers […]

Baby Shower

Kathy’s baby shower, the Sunday before last – where does the time go? – was a relaxed, happy, sunshiny affair, a garden party hosted by friends and planned and executed by, amongst others, my daughter Eve, with help from Rob. Love, laughter and vino – such a promising moment, after all the preceding drama. A lot to be grateful for. Here are some photos, which I hope are equally relaxed and unaffected.

HarperStevo

Canadians who might be wondering where their late, unlamented prime minister has gone to ground can be assured: he is alive and well and living in our townhouse complex here in Parkmore, Johannesburg. He has even gotten a little funky, or funkier – his wifi router, which comes up whenever we log in to our own wifi, is HarperStevo. And you thought Stephen Harper was such a boring guy! In other news, we have moved into our new hOuse (as you will have deduced): Rob has been an absolute hero, unpacking and finding homes for things, while I sit in my […]

Dateline Johannesburg

Dateline Johannesburg: Tuesday, 28 February With Rob arriving tomorrow from Toronto, and moving house on Friday – not to mention my workload – there will be little time over the next week or ten days for photography and blogging. So I thought I should get in early, and schedule a post for Sunday: (almost) my last post of images from Havana. I have one more series of images in mind, of Havana’s Malecon, the 8 km esplanade that runs from the harbour mouth in Old Havana along the coast to Vedado. And, when I have time, I will set up […]

On her way!

Almost on her way, is our Rob, to Johannesburg, South Africa. She leaves Toronto on Tuesday, arriving at O.R. Tambo International by way of Schiphol at ten Wednesday night. Thursday she can rest; Friday we move house! If you look in the rear-view mirror of this Habana taxi, you can see her – seems a fitting image, in all sorts of crazy adventurous ways, for this next phase of our journey.

Modernity bypassed…

Another Sunday, another post. Once again, Havana – a few images, this time, a sampling, of some of the marvellous Art Deco and modernist architecture that flowers, unexpectedly, amongst the colonial ruins of old Havana. Their homage to the airplane, the machine, jazz and the cinema, a striving for escape velocity. How ironic, then, to see them stranded. I’ve chosen, on this occasion, to present the photographs in colour – I’ve a feeling they might work as well, or better, in black and white also.