Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A Nicola Spurdle original

I went to Nicki's student exhibition a while ago and admired her work, then a week later she gives me  this divine necklace. M'wah! Thank you, my angel.

The best art fair by far

Honestly, every year I go and, again and again, I thoroughly enjoy the Turbine Art Fair. The venue, atmosphere and quality of art makes it an event to look forward to.

We were there at opening time on Sunday and left well after lunch.

It is so inspiring and there is so much to absorb. So many pieces I loved. I had to fight the urge to make an impulse buy. And I won ;-)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A place in time (at Nirox)

The winter sculpture exhibition closes next weekend, end July, so we spent Saturday afternoon at this wonderful park. Strolling along the paths, around the dams and on the banks of the river, from exhibit to exhibit. The sun just warm enough to make you mellow and slow your pace, taking the time to look at everything properly. Although looking didn’t bring clear understanding on some of the pieces.

I am also sure we missed a few, although not number 11, which you could have mistaken for a real spider’s web if it wasn’t numbered. I bought a catalogue but didn’t really consult it. I thought I would read through it later but I haven’t yet. Sigh.

There were monkeys running around, up the trees and a cat crouched in the grass not wanting to be seen. Benches and chairs placed to the edge of the water invited you to sit and indulge your laziness. Close your eyes and listen to nature. Bliss.

Fook Island

On 702 Hugo Fraser raved about the Walter Battiss exhibition at the Wits Art Museum. Last year Trish and I saw a very poorly curated Battiss exhibition so I was hoping Hugo Fraser’s review would not disappoint. And it didn’t. The exhibition is fantastic.

Walter Battiss wanted to be a good landscape painter when he started out and his incredible journey eventually created the most amazing and diverse art.

The exhibition is called: I invented myself.
He also invented his own alphabet and Fook Island. Awesome stuff.

There’s plenty of time to see it but please don’t miss the exhibition, on until October.

Walter Battiss: “I invented myself”. The Jack Ginsberg Collection. 6 July - 9 October 2016.

Field and study, without the studying

To tell you the truth I had nothing in the house for breakfast and didn’t want to sit indoors at a restaurant so we took ourselves off to the Field and Study market. What a great surprise. It was casual and comfortable, nice vibe. Unhurried and engaging. A great family market.

I meet the two ladies at the Umba stand. They make crocheted soft toys, really beautiful and with lots of personality. We swopped stories on toy making and I would like to get together with them again. Their group meets every Friday in Parkhurst and I might take a day off work to join them.

I bought proteas, a goose, a gift for a friend and ordered some Christmas decorations. A man on the guitar provided background music. A sweet young woman tried to persuade me to have a draught of beer for breakfast. No thanks. Loved her display, though. We settled for an almond croissant, eventually.

We will most certainly be back here. You should go, take the kids, there are activities for them and some horses to ride.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Another Saturday morning, another nursery

We had no real plan for Saturday morning so when we found a post for Schläfflers on Facebook and they have a tea room we decided to go there for breakfast. Nice ambience, warmed by a fire and wonderful niknaks and paintings. Under the trees, it's called. Good services, good food. Two Jack Russels come around, greeting everyone, making sure everyone is happy, a big smile and wag of the tail.

Afterwards we walked through the nursery - selected two tickey creepers and another plant I like the look of. I helped myself or stole, depending on your view, a cutting from a lovely creeper on their wall. It's in water now where I  hope it will sprout roots and grow.

Rhinos trot and lions feast

It was a family outing to the Rhino and Lion Park this past Sunday. It's still winter, so a chill in the air but not a cloud in the sky. The veld is the colour of liquid gold and its edges strawberry gold from the red dust the vehicles churn up on the road.

Of course we would immediately see guinea fowl and as luck would have it my camera wasn't ready so there's no photo of one of my favourite things. Usually they run for cover but this group was also curious about meeting us.
At the first waterhole we see roan, zebra, warthog and ibis. A little further on ostrich, buffalo and rhino. Then another roan, another group of warthog, more zebra and some waterbuck. We are enjoy every moment.

Driving towards the lion camp we see a group of rhino in the valley, so that our next stop. The rhinos and eland are feeding it the same area. From further up the hill a young rhino trots down with the mother close behind. As soon as the little one gets too far ahead he pauses and waits for his mother to catch up, then they travel on side by side but before you know it the little one is trotting ahead again because he just can't wait to get to the feeding station.

Into the lion and predator camps, read the long indemnity form and soon we see wild dog in a group to the right and another group to the left on the hill. The group on the right runs up the hill through a field of aloes so that eventually all the wild dogs are gathered on the rocky outcrop. Gorgeous image.
You can't take a picture of every remarkable moment, you miss engaging with the experience if you do. 

Where the wild things are next - the white lions. OMW, they are so big. They were lazy as all hell and looked like they couldn't eat another morsical, except the one male who was still feasting. Then the one female decided another bite would do not harm, but the male said: no ways bitch, this is mine. A tug this way and that and then they sat down together to eat. Minutes later the male gets up, yawns, licks his lips, looks at the scene in front of him: hmm, a lot of cars and humans today, this is all so boring. I am doing to lie down over there away from all this fuss. He walks towards us and we assume he is going to cross the road in front of us. But no, he is headed straight for our car. I swear he brushed the dust off the side of our car that how close he was. Although logic tells me he wouldn't fit in the gap of the window I still wind it up. We all hold our breath and there is total silence in the car as we each try to process what has just happened. There is nervous laughter, just the other side of a hysterical giggle, once we allow ourselves to blink again. Wow.

We take the road less travelled and see no lions, so up the road most travelled and there they are. Ordinary lions. Magnificent lions. One by one they get up to move into the shade under the tree until they are all lying under it and you could drive past the tree without even noticing them.

More eland in the dry river bed, crows flying off the mountain, we are on the road between the two.
We avoid the vulture restaurant, I went there before and is was a revolting sight and the smell.... no ways. Stopped to watch zebra rolling in the dust. Wildebeest, hardebeest, impala.

Drove to the day visitor's camp where we had our picnic, although we had been snacking in the car throughout our drive. The kids wanted to see the snakes. So we strolled over to the enclosures.

Okay, so for me personally, this almost ruined the wonderful day we had thus far. I didn't like the small areas the snakes were caged in. I didn't like the enclosure for the Eagle Owl, his head was touching the ceiling. Bad planning guys. The enclosures for the other animals - black leopard, cloud leopard, lynx, tiger, cheetah - no, guys, no. All were identical and no efforts was made to create an environment native to the animal. The exchange of cash for selfies with cubs. Ag nee man. Bitter taste in my mouth. Sadder conditions than a zoo, in my opinion. Sorry.
Sigh! Every day ends, so a slow drive before the sun bows out for the day. The light brushes the grass with pale yellow, and the horizon with white. On the way to the exit impala, springbok and guinea fowl line up to say goodbye. Thank you.

The narrative and the photos don't follow the same sequence but your eye should marry up the right image to the correct part of the story.

Holy cow, the food is so good

To celebrate Chris' birthday he wanted to go somewhere new, somewhere he hadn't been before. I suggested the Holy Cow. He wasn't too sure about it, uhm he said, but that's where we went. We started with a cappuccino, because they don't have a liquor licence. Good coffee. Chris had Chicken Korma while Peter and I ordered the Sri Lankan chicken curry, although we had no clue what it meant. What it meant was incredibly delicious, lick-the-bowl scrumptious, we were so happy with our choice. A nice hour and a bit then back to the office.
In an ideal world we would have spend the afternoon there. Waited a few hours and ordered dessert with more coffee. Sigh!

I am sure I took almost the same photographs as before but no matter, I can't help myself, the place is lovely.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Romeo and Juliet Open Day

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning.

To raise funds the Joburg Ballet held an Open Day. The public was invited to observe the class in preparation for Romeo and Juliet that opens in two weeks, well in a week from now.
It was so beautiful. The music so good for the soul. In my mind I danced along with them, in my mind I was as graceful as them, in my mind I was able to stay on my toes, balanced, as I turned and turned in a wide circle around the studio. A lovely escape after the week we have had.

Waiting for a wedding

We're still at Ludwig's Roses. There is a barn near the dam that serves as a venue for functions, mainly weddings, I am sure. I love the colours, the warmth. I can imagine it all set up - the music, the dancing, the laughter, the love.

A rose is a rose, is one of thousands.

On Saturday morning I missed my exit on the highway, and because I had also googled Ludwig's Roses in Pretoria North, I decided this would be my new destination. That this was not my plan and that it was now 30km from where I wanted to be did not matter. A cappuccino and a slice of cake and a slow walk amongst the roses. Bliss. I bought 3 climbers. I hope they make it, I have not very successful with roses in the past, but it would be so divine if they would spread themselves across the walls of my house and flower, flower, flower all year round. Ha, ha. 

I only remember the names of two of them: Wedding Garland and Butterscotch. The another one is a small cream/apricot coloured rose.

A deal is a deal. A promise to keep.

Many months ago, probably 9 months, in an effort to get the work out I begged the freelancer to also stay late and finish the job she was working on. I said I would get her anything she wanted. Just tell me what you want. Ha, ha. When she said a Noddy doll I thought: That's easy, a piece of cake. Off I go to Hamleys the next weekend and to discover that, no, they don't have. I placed an order for one with them and am still waiting. I tried in every other toy store in Johannesburg - nothing. Sigh! 
Eventually I found this cute little Noddy at the Vintage Fair. Hallelujah! Thank you.
I am so happy that I kept my part of the deal, how ever late;-)

June flashback

1. I bought material to make another quilt. I enjoyed making the one earlier this year. I also want to apply what I learnt to show the improvement. 2. At last I am starting to use all the squares I have tie-dyed. 3. While we were in Durban we walked around the Moses Mabida stadium. I like that it is part of the city and so assessible. They should have done the same in Johannesburg, integrated it better into Joburg or Soweto. 4. Lunch at Weylandt. The food as beautiful was everything else there. 5. I enjoy the zigzag design on these stairs. The metal looks as pliable as a piece of paper. 6. I love the veld grass everywhere  at Freedom Park. 7. Once we were Warriors. This coat of arms, I must assume, once represented pride, loyalty and commitment. 8. Bunnychow at the Oyster Box. I asked the waiter to recommend something and he said it is the best in Durban. 9. Lighthouse at the Oyster Box. 10. Seating arrangement at Moyo. 11. Where we stayed when we were in Durban, on the beachfront. 12. Interior at the Oyster Box. 13. I only had coffee there but another patron ordered another helping of chips to take away because, she said, they were soooo good. 14. Pier at Umhlanga. 15. In bloom, a tree at Tinsel gallery. 16. Yummy birthday cake. Thanks. 17. Entrance at Tinsel gallery. Nikki exhibited her jewellery piece at the student show. Some very lovely stuff. 

Friday, 1 July 2016

Two days with ocean views

Last Tuesday morning we flew to Durban. A spur of the moment thing. We had this desperate need to hear the sound of the ocean.

We packed light because we had seen everyone's pics from the weekend - clear skies, frolicking in the sea and wearing tank tops. When we landed in Durban it was raining. We had thought of Ubering into Durban but then we saw public transport signs and thought let's see what that's all about. After a peanut bomb from Kauai we boarded the mini bus shuttle. OMW, they drop the person that is going the furtherst from the airport first and then make their way back into the city. Argh! no please no! Anyway survived it. But by the time they dropped us off at the Elangeni we were grumpy. Entering the hotel we were carried to the front desk in the ebb and flow of a hundred people. The film marketing fair and film festival were events currently in Durban and everybody was at the Elangeni it seemed. We dropped our bags with the concierge and we're out the front door and off to the beach. It wasn't raining but it was overcast and windy. I wrapped my scarf around my head and hugged my jersey closer for warmth.

We walked more than 14 kms that day. Along the promanade, around Moses Mabida, along the beach, the sea lapping around our feet, all the way to Blue Lagoon. At The Bike and Bean we had a cappuccino and rested, then on again. From Blue Lagoon all the way to Moyo pier and then back to the hotel. Stopped for lunch at Circus Circus, for a cocktail at Moyo's, where we watched someone learning how to surf (he did quite well) and a cup of coffee at Afro's Chicken shop. Checked in at the Maharani, a room on the 21st floor. The windows could open and we could continue listening to the sea. Bliss.

A shower and a nap. Wonderful. Burgers and red wine for supper at V&V then we were back in bed ;-) It had been a great, satisfying day and we were now happily exhausted. 

The next morning we woke up early. So then, more of the same - walking along the beach, letting the sand massaging the soles of my feet and the ocean soothe them. Loved it. There are so many thoughts that develop while walking that I know I will lose before I even have breakfast so I imagined how great it would be if we could record our thoughts and download them later, transcribe some and delete others. That way you keep the true essence and sentiment of them, with the original form, verbatim.

Early morning and the tide was going out and on the high tide the sea had returned all our litter to us. OMW, there is so much of it, we could not believe it. Yes, forget about finding seashells, the best you can hope for is sea glass. Honestly, instead of those signs up every where saying no dogs on the beach, the signs should say no humans allowed on the beach. We are really disgusting, disrespectful towards the great splendour of nature.However, the city has a good system in place so I think most tourists would not get to see all the litter. As soon as the tide starts going out teams arrive with rakes, collect and bag all the litter, doing the entire length of the promanade. In turn these bags are collected and by the time most people come down to the beach it's all cleaned up.

We had breakfast, al fresco, French toast with bacon and syrup, and coffee.Long walk back to the hotel, it was time to check out.

We decided to go and have lunch at the Oyster Box in Umhlanga. I loved the opulence of the hotel. If I had the money I would love to stay there. In the reception area large, flat bowls of apples, at least 60 apples per bowl, tall glass jars with dried apricots all colour co-ordinated with the decor.We sipped drinks outside, upstairs, at the Oyster Bar while pigeons ate our bar snacks. Then we went down for lunch and dessert. I ordered the Bunny chow because that is what the waiter recommended, and I was not sorry. It was all yummy and the service fabulous. 

Last walk on the beach and then to the airport and home. I had a great time, thanks.