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 […]
The Midlands Meander in KwaZulu Natal – well, meanders, criss-crossing the N3 that links Johannesburg to Durban, offering the traveller a network of scenic routes that winds through hills and valleys as it folds into its embrace potteries and chocolatiers, breweries and cheese-makers, leather workers and artists. It is the land of dairy – and, along a nondescript stretch of the old Johannesburg road, beside the railway line not far from Howick, the area where Mandela was captured, in August 1962, following a tip-off, it is believed, from the CIA – those friends of democracy everywhere. These images, I hope, […]
Two sets of gates on Beverley Farm, in the Dargle Valley; two interpretations. The one gothic, the other more bucolic. The landscape shows the Karkloof, where we spent a lovely morning hiding in bird hides, on a farm, hoping for cranes.
We left Johannesburg on the last Saturday in July, around ten o’clock, for a much-needed break – five nights in the Natal Midlands, followed by three nights in the Drakensberg. The traffic was light, the day was sunny, the wind was at our backs as we drove across the highveld, stopping at Harrismith for lunch, before descending the escarpment. We turned off the N3 near Howick, not far from Pietermaritzburg, passing the Mandela capture site, of which more in a future post. A short while later we turned off the old Joburg road, the R104, towards the Dargle Valley, and […]
There are two new dads in our immediate family – my two sons-in-law, Shaun and Gareth. Fathers Day this year was the first for both of them, and I wonder what went through their minds, about their new status in life, their new roles and responsibilities. Or did they simply shake their heads in wonder and surprise as they got on with the business of changing the nappies? No nappies for me, mind you – not on this particular Fathers Day, anyway. Instead it was off to Roots, at Forum Homini in the Magaliesberg, for Rob and me – the […]
When you come to a fork in the road, take it, said Yogi Berra – and if that isn’t a piece of advice befitting Samuel Becket and Waiting for Godot I don’t know what is. Kinda sums up the existential dilemma. Problem is, we live our lives forwards, not backwards, so we never know whether the choices we are making are the right ones, at least not until it’s too late, nor do we have any idea whether the road not taken would have been better, or worse, or just landed up elsewhere. Which is why, I guess, the path, […]
The eye picks up patterns everywhere; pattern, lines, composition are the basic elements of a halfway decent photograph, along with (especially in black and white images) form and texture. Look beyond pattern, however, and what you see is signs: not necessarily symbols, which are more potent, and harder to create, but the signs – literal, enigmatic, ambiguous, suggestive – that are littered everywhere. The world in that sense is coded, as much cleverer people have pointed out. In my photographs, I find I am increasingly trying to ‘see’ beyond pattern and form and the traditional elements, to the landscape of […]
For fifteen years, maybe longer, our friend Chris has been the organizer and convenor of an annual pumpkin carving. For the past couple of years, this has taken place at the farm she and her partner Paul live on in the hills above Bailieboro, overlooking Rice Lake. Friends drive up for the day from Toronto, or in the case of Mark and Heather and their two children, from Hamilton. There is always food, drink, and a walk in the woods. This year the fall colours are not yet in their full glory, but the hills and fields were still peaceful […]