Tag: Black and White photography

Lunch with my mother

My mother, at 85, likes a good lunch, and likes to be spoiled. Cucina Labia, the official home of Count Labia, envoy to South Africa of the little Italian dictator, Mussolini (Trump’s clownish forebear) ticked all the boxes when we went there – appropriately enough – on Women’s Day, last Wednesday. ‘I like this. I like this. I can do this,’ my mum kept repeating. Here are two photos of her – still pretty sharp, I’d say, at her age. The photo of the ladies doing lunch, at a Women’s Day fundraiser, helps establish the scene and the ambience. The […]

Master Thomas B. Tjasink, Esq.

We are back from our week away in the Natal Midlands and the Drakensberg – got home last weekend, in fact. I have since been down in Cape Town on business, and because Wednesday was a holiday, was able to take my mom out to a rather fabulous lunch at Cucina Labia in Muizenberg, the former residence of Mussolini’s envoy to South Africa and now a place of faded grandeur and fine cuisine. So there are tales to be told and photos to be processed and displayed. First call goes, however, to the grandchildren – in this case, Master Thomas […]

The walk to work, Pretoria

Most days, instead of getting off the Gautrain bus opposite the Treasury, at the corner of Thabo Sehume and Madiba, I get off at Madiba and Bosman, and walk the couple of blocks to work, past the Department of Public Works and the High Court, for what passes these days for exercise. I know, I need to take better care of my health, as Rob rightly reminds me, but at least this is something, right?! I took these images on my way to work one morning, when the sun was still raking across the street, casting long shadows. By the […]

Turbine Art Fair

Joburg, as my son-in-law likes to point out, is alive and kicking. It may be edgy as hell, dangerous to your health, but there’s always stuff going on. The annual Turbine Art Fair, in Newtown, Johannesburg, is one of the highlights. You cross over the Nelson Mandela Bridge and descend into a maelstrom of township  taxis, honking and swerving, while shoals of pedestrians swarm the crumbling streets like sardines on a sardine run. You need eyes in the back of your head to keep from running someone down or getting yourself run into. You park the car on the top […]

Rosebank Sunday Market & Boot Sale

Sundays are craft market days at the Rosebank shopping mall here in Johannesburg. A big chunk of the fourth floor parking area is corralled off for leatherwork, ceramics, beadwork, clothes old and new, jewellery, and of course coffee, food, drinks, African masks and carvings. Once a month, a car boot sale is bolted on somehow, and the market expands to take in old shoes, old tools, old knick-knacks, spilling out from boots and over car bonnets, onto trestle tables and floors. The vendors wait, bored or anxious, while people saunter by, or pick over their stuff, or cast a jaundiced […]

Man meets man, Nirox

I throw this image onto the table – Man meets Man, from the Nirox Winter Sculpture Festival – like a playing card, to signify risk, a gamble, a certain funkiness of things. Look at the silver boots on the winged feet of the old geezer with his back to us: that could be me, facing an inscrutable future. A quick counting of the cards: Rob landed safely at O.R. Tambo on Monday evening – Queen of Hearts a calm, contented, autumn afternoon this mild Sunday at the Ale House in the Magaliesberg, in the highveld sunlight – Ace of Hearts things coming to […]

The Cape, Mothers Day

I had had my misgivings, as readers of this blog will know, about the weather expected across South Africa on Mothers Day, last Sunday. But, contrary to expectation, the Cape was in glorious form – warm, bright, still, the sea on both sides of Cape Point calm as a pond, the waves turning crisply white as they reached the shore. I took my 85 year-old mom – she could pass easily for 70, and a pretty nimble 70 year-old at that – for a variant on one of our usual drives, this time over the high road above Kalk Bay, […]

Thorns, Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition

I was wandering around, as you know, last Saturday, with my camera around my neck, at the Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition in the Magaliesberg. The spirits were warm, though the day was chilly and wet, the people as varied and interesting as the sculptures, and then, at the edge of a field, near the entrance, I saw these thorn trees. I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to capture them, but I had in my head the idea that they were their own form of sculpture – there was something playful, perhaps salutary, or ironic, in the concept  – […]

Nirox Sculpture Exhibition, Winter 2017

Winter it was – cold, wet, and muddy. But the Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition, spread across rolling fields and streams in the folds of the Magaliesberg, was full of relaxed, contented crowds – poking around the sculptures and installations, watching as their children played beneath the trees, filling up on the good eats from some of the Cape’s finest wine estates and restaurants. In warmer weather the scene must sparkle, with the late autumn light glancing off the leaves, the water in the ponds and streams laughing – but this grey day with its flat light had its own charms, […]

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 […]