Thursday, 25 August 2016

Wide open

We got these proteas on the weekend. They are in the kitchen, and while we drink our morning tea we watch as the sun bursts in the window and splashes them with light.
They love the sunshine - look how they have stretched themselves to gather the warmth.

Men in their amazing flying machines

Many, many years ago when we visited an airshow there was a crash and it just left the most unpleasant memories. Not just the horror of the crash but how it changed the mood of every spectator, how we all just wanted to leave, to escape what we had witnessed and how it took hours to get out of the resulting traffic chaos. When they showed it on the News that evening you realised that it's not just information that you can accept was an event of the day.

So, every year since I want to go to the airshows but don't. However, I love planes, I enjoy flying. I imagine how incredible the feeling must be to race through the sky, to go in this direction and that, to try to touch the moon and then plunge to earth but knowing at which second to turn the plane away from gravity. 

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that we went to the Rand Airshow on Sunday.
At the entrance we used they had the field they were using for the helicopter flips. Why would we not. I have flown in helicopters before, to art direct photographic shoots and had enjoyed it.
This was a 2 minute flip to the farthest edge of Germiston Lake and back. Wonderful, until we hovered in one spot for a moment and then made a sharp, I mean sharp, turn right to return. I was wearing a seat belt but I still put my hand out against the door to steady myself, to prevent myself from falling in the pilot's lap, and to settle the contents in my stomach. I think I might even have started a prayer. Ha ha, wow, yes. Of course, once my feet were firmly on the ground again I could say it was a wonderful experience.

A thousand kiosks selling food, drink, hats, bags, biltong, shirts and slushy and at the end of these an exhibit of some planes. The Harvard was my favourite.

Then the show started. The planes went up, up, up, up, they came down, upside down. They flew in formation and at one another, on their sides, they did all sorts of incredible things and made it look effortless. The crowd gasped and was in awe. Cameras and cellphones pointing skywards to capture the wonderful displays. I took 397 photographs and won't be sharing them all here. Thankfully, I hear you say.

Some like it hot

Starting the weekend

Last Friday we started the weekend with an evening braai, as we say in South Africa: tjop en dop. Lovely to sit outdoors and chill.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Mall of Africa

I am not someone who enjoys going to malls, but curiosity eventually got the better of me and so we went to the Mall of Africa last Sunday to see what is was all about.

My advise would be go early, you'll enjoy it then. Then there is time and space then to appreciate everything. Of course we tried the Krispy Kreme's, the children bought something at Hamely's but we refused to queue for a coffee at Starbucks.

I liked the outside area, the park, that extends beyond the restaurants outside, the most. You can see from the layout that there is a lot more development to come.

It's really convenient to get to from my house and we might return to go to the cinemas there, and perhaps a meal at Kream.

Gold! It's the Olympics.

I bought this book on Wednesday at one of those bargain book places. It’s not second-hand but it was cheap. I even got a further discount because (apparently) it looked as though I was having a bad day. Listen, lady, just take my money and give me the book.

On Thursday I started the book during my lunch hour, while drinking a cappuccino at the Norscot Secret Garden, got to page 40 before I had to return to work. It happens to be about Olympic athletes, and with the Olympics in Rio right now...

When I got up on Saturday I thought I would read a few pages as I lay in the bath. I topped up with hot water 3 times before I got out and returned to bed. Then I continued reading outside, sitting in the sun. I had many mugs of tea and had nachos with peanut butter for lunch because there was nothing else. I kid you not. Okay I did make 2 pancakes for breakfast, with sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.
Eventually it was too hot outside and I finished the book on the couch.

What a great Saturday. I never left the house, I loved the book and enjoyed being the sloth. LOL!

She tried to smile back. The smile came out like a newborn foal - it’s legs buckled immediately.’ 
© Gold. Chris Cleave. 2012.


After I walked into the pillar at work, and asked it how it got there, my colleagues put up some warning signs. Yes, I know that pillar has been there since we moved in, it just surprised me yesterday. LOL!

Vote local

The vote has come and gone and now they are trying to build coalitions (without having to compromise), but these were my thoughts then.

I was so thankful when we voted on the 3 August because it was getting to a point where we couldn’t bear to watch another politician slinging mud, not listen to another false promise, not look at another poster with an insincere smile.

So the morning started with our neighbourhood vuvuzela blower calling us to vote at 6:00, just as the birds were starting to chirp and the dogs went out to pee. He blows that vuvuzela often but never this early, usually it’s late afternoon or before a soccer match. I have pulled out my vuvuzela from time to time to converse with him. He often sounded so lonely, like a Black-collared Barbet trilling uninterrupted all day and getting no reply.

Then Helen phoned me. I thought Mmusi Maimane was the DA leader, so why on earth would Helen be phoning me. Although I must admit I did not let her finish her recorded message, for all I know she wasn’t even canvassing for votes but trying to sell insurance.

Soon after I received an SMS from both the ANC and the DA. Another thing that had been driving me crazy during the election period, the constant SMSes with no stop option. STOP.
So the queue at the voting station seemed long but I had only got to page 3 in my book before I had to pluck my ID out of my handbag. 15 minutes from the back of the line to back in my car.
Last time it had taken two hours so now I had the rest of the day off. Yay! I bought jeans, plants and had a nap.

As I was driving to the nursery they were discussing, on the radio, whether families all voted for the same party, was there this shared loyalty etc. Whoa, the calls were so entertaining. The one girl had proudly put on her DA t-shirt and her mother told her to take it off, she can’t go out dressed like that. Another woman phoned in to say that her and her husband have never discussed politics in all the years they were married, I think she said 37 years, I can’t remember the exact figure. It reminded me of the time I went to lunch with a friend and before the bill even arrived we were no longer friends. She was screaming at me eventually because I was too thick to realise things were better before. For whom, I asked. Politics, dis ‘n lelike ding. A hateful email received and a hateful email sent. Then the end. I have seen her once since, in Woolworths, I pretended I hadn’t and she probably did the same.

Anyway, back to the present. So the next day you would have thought we had the IEC as a client at the agency because every screen was open on that map tracking the vote. Some of my colleagues were more enthusiastic with this process than I have ever seem them. Let see some of that on the next project please.

They interviewed a professor from Unisa days later, after the official results, and he said yes, the writing was on the wall for the ANC. Another statement he made that provided food for thought was that history has shown that liberation parties don’t survive. And why is that?

The local elections are behind us now and they were pretty intense. I wonder whether the next national elections will surprise. Wait and see.

Monday, 1 August 2016

July snapshots

In order of appearance, from left to right.

For Mandela day 27 PrettyUglys volunteered at the Johannesburg Children's Home. Hope it makes the children happy. Love the swirly, twirly design of this creeper, at Nirox. Revisited the Mosque in Midrand. I really wanted a meal at the Turkish restaurant but one look at the menu made me think I would be disappointed. The food didn't look anything like the food I had in Turkey. Such sadness about all the happenings there lately. Goose, flowers and child bought at the Field and study market. I love the attention to detail, that they put as much effort into the price tag as in the hanging of the artwork. Got these flowers and they never opened for a week and a half because they thought they were still in cold storage. I had to move them close to the fire to get them to open. A fire almost every night, we have burnt most of our split tree we chopped down earlier this year. At Wits Art Museum they asked the group visiting to comment on the African Art display. This card asks you to speak to the security guard to speak about his favourite piece. inspiring. A new quilt that I have started, African in every way. Yippee, yay, the sun is travelling south again. Our the earth is turning, I think the sun is still in the same spot. A moment in the garden before work. It's aloe season, love it. And then it got really cold, rained and hailed. And ice on my windscreen. Pretty table display at the Irene market. Ceramic display at Irene market. Wire cactus at the Irene market. inside the Clay Oven Cafe. Would like to go back there when it is not a market day to explore it properly. the stone elephant at the Big Red Barn. Made these twins for a baby shower, Saami and Salma. Yes, the lady is having twins, a boy and a girl. the party is almost over, the kitchen at the Artists Studio. A nice display at the Studio Collab exhibition.