A Dozen Toms

The country has been busy these last days and weeks with the unedifying spectacle of Jacob Zuma’s slow prying loose from the carcase of the state he has so wounded and savaged – there will be a collective sigh of relief once he has gone, and not much sympathy, either, when he is finally hauled before the Commission of Enquiry into state capture, and hopefully, in due course, before the courts. Meanwhile the new man, Ramaphosa, has already begun to clean house, sweeping aside the old, corrupt Board at Eskom, wakening the long-dormant National Prosecuting Authority from its long slumber, putting the corrupt and venal, and the incompetent, on notice.

There is a hunger in this land for justice to be done, and the guilty to be exposed and punished. And before anyone rushes to say, but! we let off the criminals who enforced apartheid, let’s understand that we live in a democracy now, and we hold people to a different, and higher, standard. Nor are we in a perilous transition, from a cornered and dangerous regime – this is peacetime, folks, and what Zuma and his gang have perpetrated is not war but a mugging.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us, life goes on more or less as usual, while we wait for the other shoe to drop and Zuma to exit: life, love and family seem more important.

So here are a dozen Toms – images of my grandson, who is not only an entirely different kind of riot, but a wholly innocent heir to the future.

Weekend special

Ahead of schedule, here is the weekend post – another half-dozen images of young Thomas Tjasink.

Family pics, to be sure – but I was trying, also, to show there is something both monumental, and tender, about being a parent, and about being an infant – a moment that is both infinite, and open-ended, yet concrete and immediate.

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.

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 B. Tjasink, Esq., who kindly posed for the camera before we left on holiday.

The images, for those of you who are interested in these things, were all taken with the Nikon D500, 35mm f1.8 lens, and processed in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro.