Friday, 28 April 2017

Love is a mystery

Faithful. Alice Hoffman.

Winter preparations

Looking forward to winter. Hmm, are you sure?
Log fires, soup, hot chocolate and books.
I have been gathering books over the past few months and I can't wait to get started.
I have put a recliner in a sunny spot in the garden for reading (and napping).

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The family fryingpan

I bought a book once, The Family Frying Pan by Bryce Courtenay. I realised we also  have a family fryingpan. Not with a long history like the one in the book but nevertheless a cast-iron pan that was used to create many great meals and memories.
I'll just share one of these memories with you. My father played skittles, a game like 10-pin bowling but requiring more skill and strategy, one night a week. It goes without saying that during the sets a beers or two, maybe four, were enjoyed. My father would arrive home as hungry as a labourer would be after spending the day in the fields or as hungry as the wolf in Red Riding Hood. We would all be asleep but would wake up abruptly as soon as he opened the cupboard to get out the frying pan. A man who has had a few beers is in a good mood and oblivious  that any noise he makes in the middle of the night is amplified. He would fry up onions and two eggs, strong smells to have in the house in the middle of the night. We all lay in our beds waiting for the familiar routine to play itself out.
No one got up to join him because there was an understanding that this night was his night off. This understanding was not verbalise or spoken of, it's just something you know, something you sense intiatively.
As soon as my father went to his bedroom the calm and quiet of night was restored and we all went to sleep. Well, sometimes he could be heard sharing the events of the evening and the gossip of the past week with our mother but it was a soothing sound, like a lullaby.

De-cluttering the home

We all, I am sure, at one point or another, think of getting rid of some of our clutter. I do too. I am very good at tossing out things I no longer need or use. But having said that I have a lot of 'meaningful' clutter I cannot part with. Ha, ha. The paper mache bowls I made from egg trays, my mother's salad bowls, my mother's vases, Protea wine bottles, stones and shells from my travels, the list seems infinite. Sentimental old fool, I know.
So to declutter my home I move things onto the patio. It works well in this space, creating a natural extension from the inside of the house. So clutter inside and outside, I hear you say.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blocks of colour

I got this gorgeous little tiled table from Trish's mother. I really love it and had said so when I was at her home. Now it's mine. Thank you. Trish's grandfather made it.

See how the plants are thriving in the crate I repurposed as a planter.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Rhino and Lion Park revisited (again)

Went along to the Rhino and Lion Park with another group of friends. Always a great day out, I would recommend it. Better than a zoo. Great for kids. We had some wonderful moments watching the rhino and the lions. Pack a picnic or have a braai.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Client shoot, on campus

We had to do a shoot for our client on their various campuses, 3 days of running around with 20 students trying to get some great shoots. My images are mostly sans students, more structure and landmarks. Great opportunity that doesn't come along ever day.

Home for the weekend

Sometimes, even when you have plans, you wake up on Saturday morning and decide you just want to stay at home, stay in bed, sit on the patio and drink tea, read a book, binge on a Series, do nothing else. You don't care there are no groceries, as long as there's milk for tea and food for the dogs, you can make do with that leftover in the freezer, that rye cracker that is no longer crisp, that apple you were going to feed the birds. Then on Sunday, what the hell, you enjoyed Saturday so much you do it again and it turns out to be a pretty fine weekend, best one you've had in a long time. home sweet home.

Regrets on clearing clutter 1

I am not a hoarder, when I think something has served it's purpose I get rid of it. But I now have sympathy for hoarders, and understand they will have no regrets over things they have given away or even ruthlessly thrown away.

I completed my studies, okay I don't want to tell you how many years ago, and some years later I threw out my books, projects, the silkscreen frame etc.

When I was helping G move his office I came across a copy of a book I had thrown out. My heart was sore. I wondered how it was possible that I could not have valued that book. I asked G if I could have it and so now I have a replacement. Although to be honest it doesn't feel quite right.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

African Republic of South Africa

By Prince Mashela from the Sowetan Times.

In the midst of the political confusion that has gripped our country many people are wondering if we have come to the end of South Africa.

The answer is simple: the thing called an "end" does not exist, not in relation to a country. SA will be there long after Jacob Zuma is gone.

What Zuma has done is to make us come to the realisation that ours is just another African country, not some exceptional country on the southern tip of the African continent.

During the presidency of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, some among us used to believe that the black people of SA are better than those of other African countries.

We must all thank Zuma for revealing our true African character; that the idea of rule of law is not part of who we are, and that constitutionalism is a concept far ahead of us as a people.

How else are we to explain the thousands of people who flock to stadiums to clap hands for a president who has violated their country's constitution? Such people have no idea of constitutionalism.

Now that we have reclaimed our place as another African country, we must reflect on and come to terms with our real character, and imagine what our future portends.

In a typical African country, ordinary people don't expect much of politicians, because people get tired of repeated empty promises.

In a typical African country, people have no illusions about the unity of morality and governance. People know that those who have power have it for themselves and their friends and families.

The idea that the state is an instrument for people's development is a Western concept, and has been copied by pockets of Asian countries.

Africans and their leaders don't like to copy from the West. They are happy to remain African, and do things "the African way".

The African way is rule by kings, chiefs and indunas in a setting of unwritten rules. Is there anyone who has seen a book of African customary laws?

The idea that a commoner can raise questions about public money spent on the residence of a king is not African. The ANC MPs who have been defending Zuma are true Africans.

Asking a ruler to be accountable is a foreign - Western - idea. In a situation where there is conflict between a ruler and laws, Africans simply change the laws to protect the ruler. This is why no single white person has called for King Dalindyebo to be released from jail.

The problem with clever blacks is that they think they live in Europe,where ideas of democracy have been refined over centuries.

What we need to do is to come back to reality, and accept that ours is a typical African country. Such a return to reality will give us a fairly good idea of what SA's future might look like.....

This country will not look like Denmark. It might look like Nigeria, where anti-corruption crusaders are an oddity.
Being an African country, ours will not look like Germany. SA might look like Kenya, where tribalism drives politics.

People must not entertain the illusion that a day is coming when SA will look like the US. Our future is more on the side of Zimbabwe, where one ruler is more powerful than the rest of the population. Even if Julius Malema were to become president, it would still be the same.

African leaders don't like the idea of an educated populace, for clever people are difficult to govern. Mandela and Mbeki were themselves corrupted by Western education. (Admission: this columnist is also corrupted by such education.)

Zuma remains African. His mentality is in line with Boko Haram. He is suspicious of educated people; what he calls "clever blacks". Remember that Boko Haram means "Against Western Education".

The people who think we have come to the end of SA don't realise that we have actually come to the beginning of a real African country, away from the Western illusions of exceptionalism. Those who are unsettled by this true African character need help. The best we can do for them is to ask them to look north of the Limpopo River, to learn more about governance in Africa.

What makes most people restless about the future of SA is that they have Western models in mind, forgetting that ours is an African country.

The idea that a president can resign simply because a court of law has delivered an adverse judgment is Western. Only the Prime Minister of
Iceland does that; African rulers will never do that.

Analysed carefully, the notion of SA coming to an "end" is an expression of a Western value system - of accountability, political morality, reason, and so on.

All these are lofty ideas of Socrates,Kant, Hegel, and so on. They are not African.

All of us must thank Jacob Zuma for introducing us to the real African Republic of South Africa, not some outpost of European values.