Johannesburg Parkhurst

I took a nasty fall, last month when we were in Clarens – my heel flew off the wet iron edging to a step in the paving, and I landed heavily, one hand up in the air still clutching a jar of cherry jam I’d bought, and the other trying to break my descent. I had the Leica – fortunately in a protective pouch, as it was drizzling – on my belt, on the side on which I fell, and it was only when I sought to check the camera, some hours later, that I realised it wouldn’t start up properly. An error message came up, several times, and my heart sank. Like me, the Leica had taken a helluva bang.

I removed the battery, and when the camera relaunched, delicately assisted the lens barrel to project, and after two or three tries – again, like me – all seemed well enough, although, in my case, the bruises persisted for a week or two after.

This morning, with my mom returned to Cape Town and our house returned to peace and quiet and relative sanity, Rob and I betook ourselves to Fourth Street, in Parkhurst, for a spot of lunch and a stroll up and down what has to be one of the funkier little ‘hoods in Joburg.

I took the Leica with me, and I took these images, more with an eye to spotting any signs of damage than to making images or art. And I have to say I like what I see – not just the Leica doing its job as wonderfully as always, but the images too.

See what you think.

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 time you read this, and see them, Rob and I will be walking somewhere very different, out in the valleys and fields of the Midlands Meander, in KwaZulu Natal. Anglo-Boer War territory, for those of you who are history buffs – and close to Howick, where Nelson Mandela was captured, betrayed to the apartheid government by the CIA.

We have a week’s holiday booked (yeah!) first at Beverley Country Cottages, on a working farm in Dargle (Dargle is a name, yes, this is not a mistake) and then in the Drakensberg, at Berg House Cottages, near the Royal Natal National Park.

Google them if you like, but there will be photos aplenty once we get back, on the 6th of August, and I resume blog service.