Hands, feet and faces

Rob is in Toronto, squaring up to face the damage to our house from the recent ice-storm; I leave tonight for London, to spend a weekend with Jonathan and Hayley and the impish Gabriel, before heading down to Kent to spend Monday night with Mike Hanson. Tuesday, I fly out from Heathrow to join Rob in Canada.

All of which means that normal blog service will be disrupted. To leave you not entirely bereft over the next fortnight, here are some photos of Tom Tjasink – hands, feet, smiles and bums.

Cape Town, Table Mountain

We have for today only one offering, photographically speaking: a tongue-in-cheek image of Table Mountain, masked by a garage forecourt – the city undisturbed by and unaware of its extraordinarily beautiful and majestic natural surroundings.

The image may mildly amuse you, or it may leave you stone cold – I offer it merely as a pictorial token of life’s little ironies.

For friends and family, all well on the home front here, and on the work front too. Oh, and we are booked to fly back to Canada via London on the 20th of April, for a two week visit (me) and a slightly longer stay (Rob). Details to follow, via the appropriate channels.

 

Cape Town, Table Mountain

Fair winds from the Cape

Because I have just, literally, arrived back at our house in Johannesburg, and because I have been away in Cape Town since last Tuesday evening, and because I have not had chance to process any of the photos I took – not that I took too many – of the newest of my three grandsons, Gabriel, or of his parents Hayley and Jono, all I will say for now is that the little lad is a delight: alert, engaging, blue-eyed, a wriggler, and doted on to distraction by his adoring mum and dad.

Pending Gabriel pictures, here is a last batch of images from Paternoster, to keep you (I hope) on board with this blog.

 

The President’s Keepers

‘The President’s Keepers,’ by Jacques Pauw, published by Tafelberg, has caused something of a sensation here, not least because of government’s clumsy attempts to suppress it – the best publicity that Pauw and his publisher could ask for. Copies of the book have sold like proverbial hot cakes – I had to place a copy on order, and picked it up at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park yesterday. I have hardly been able to put it down since.

Apart from anything else, it is damn well written – fast-paced, vivid, more best-selling thriller than sombre analysis. And yet the story – already so depressingly familiar – of Zuma’s utter corruption and malfeasance, surely treasonable as well as criminal? – comes off the page in a blaze of anger – the Zuptas and the rest of the whores who prostrate themselves before the gods of state capture naked in their greed and criminal impunity.

It’s in the anger and revulsion of the common citizen that South Africa’s hope lies. The rot in the system has gone too deep to cure itself. Let’s see what 2019 brings.

To remind you, and myself meanwhile, that there are still people who do honest work for a living – and as a reminder that there is more to this beautiful land of ours than scoundrels in office – here are some images of the crayfish boats and fishermen at Paternoster.

 

 

Paternoster

With Rob safely and warmly (well, warm indoors I guess) back in our little house in Marchmount Road in Toronto, my thoughts somehow turn to our last days here, back towards the end of 2010, when we had packed up our home in Johannesburg and were doing one last road trip to say goodbye to South Africa, before the big move to Canada, where I would descend into Pearson as a landed immigrant, and set out on the road towards becoming a Canadian.

One of the last places we stayed before our departure was the little fishing village of Paternoster, up the West Coast from Cape Town. Well, it had been a fishing village, was still, in one marginal corner, but to all intents and purposes it had become, for some years already, a playground of well-to-do – and therefore mostly white – holiday-makers.

And yet, on that distinctive coast, with its blinding contrasts of sea-green Atlantic, sand and sky, the lobster fishermen with their traditional boats – with motors now, not just oars – maintain a toehold, and the sea and the sky and the expanse of beach retain their simplicity and a little, still, of their wild innocence.

So for Rob, and her safe return to our other homeland, here are a few photos of Paternoster.

More will follow. With boats, this time.

 

 

Nirox Jazz Festival

A couple of months ago I posted a blog, with photographs, of the Winter Sculpture Exhibition at Nirox, in the Magaliesberg, a lovely spot folded into the hills about an hour north north-west of Johannesburg.

Just two or three weeks ago we were back, this time for the Nirox Jazz Festival, a harbinger of Spring, under appropriately sunny and warm conditions.

A large, white, floating cover, like a quilt of clouds, sheltered the crowd who gathered over the course of a lazy Sunday morning to listen to the music, on a green hillside that looked down onto a meandering stream across from which was a grassy knoll where, in the shade of some trees, musicians played. There was food, wine, champagne on offer, there was South Africa’s rainbow nation gathered to listen, there were African and Afro-American rhythms in the air, and there were the children of the rainbow nation happily playing – an escape, for a day, from South Africa’s grittier realities, and an absolute joy and pleasure.

It was my grandson Tom Tjasink’s first concert.

Here are some images.