The de-colonization project – a pretty prickly issue

z Where to begin? Colonization is as much a thing of nature as it is of culture and is happening all the while we read and write here. Bacteria colonize organisms. Vikings raid and colonize foreign lands. Comets are colonized. In scientific parlance: DARMSTADT, Germany — For the last two years, the Rosetta spacecraft has danced …

Caperitif – a Cape revival

Ideas are born out of desires to change the world. Not necessarily to improve it, since you cannot really improve it – it runs as it runs – as good as it comes – but to bring something new or the forgotten old into it again. To add style, comfort, chic … Ideas rise from …

Cape Town’s Waterfront on a sunny winter’s morning

    Albert Luthuli (1898-1967) President-General of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1952-1967. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Price “for his fight against racial discrimination”. Luthuli House – the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg – is named after him. – Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu (born in 1931) received the Nobel Peace Price in …

A walk through the garden at Babylonstoren

The garden at Babylonstoren is one of our favourite places to be. It is a place of perfect serenity where you can almost see and touch the balance of energies love and respect for the land and the people who work it have created. Dutifully and carefully the garden is tended throughout the year. Smallest …

Views of Betty’s Bay

There are many aspects of life in Betty’s Bay, which are worthwhile exploring. Looking across the fence, there is an artist’s studio and next to him a chef, former owner of the then only worthwhile restaurant in the immediate area, now a full time chocolatier; next to us a couple retired as we are, she …

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals Click here to see the complete report. Dear all …

A courageous voice of a new South African generation

The face of Africa is changing. All the time. And has never ceased to capture the imagination of adventurers, poets, sailors, artists, traders, writers, warriors, film-makers, scientists, musicians, explorers. Exploited by outside forces as much as by its own, it never lost its allure. Africa is, after all, our motherland – the paradisical place of …

Snoek Run and Sushi

Last week the snoek (pronounced: snook!) [Thyrsites atun] were running in great shoals in the coastal waters off Kleinmond and plenty of fishing boats went out for a catch. The local fishermen enter the sea with their basic ski-boats without fear and often enough without adequate safety equipment. Strong currents created by two oceans merging …

The Jungle and I: Notes from Gabon

1670 map of West Africa by English cartographer John Ogilby. Depicts the African Gold Coast, Ivory Coast, and Slave Coast from Guniea south through the modern nations of, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Ogilby modeled this map after the 1639 Hondius / Janesson …

A Massive Intervention – Mohale Dam

Mohale Dam (completed in 2002) together with the earlier constructed Katse Dam (completed in 1989) now form part of phase I A and B of the envisaged three phases of the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme which was conceived mainly to supply the South African industrial centres on the Witwatersrand and the Free State with water, …

Roadside encounters

We are on the road again, travelling from Betty’s Bay to Johannesburg where we are scheduled to meet up with our friends from the Cevennes in France. They were born and grew up on various mission stations in Lesotho and that is where we will take them again. And we are as excited as they …

A summer’s day walk-about in Kalk Bay

Kris, Anni and Leo are visiting us for a month and what better occasion than to use Valentine’s day to do an outing from Hout Bay via Chapman’s Peak to Simon’s Town along the coast to Kalk Bay. The weather was perfect, the mood festive and Leo, the little fellow all bright-eyed filled with curiosity. In …

The National Planning Commission (NPC) in South Africa

Trevor Manuel, former South African Minister of Finance and currently Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission (NPC) listing and outlining the 9 biggest challenges South Africa is facing: Trevor Manuel‘s Diagnostic Report We will be commenting on Trevor’s nine challenges in one of our next blogs. Cheerio! Walter & Colleen …

Harvesting Coffee

Flesh of the de-pipped fruit. Dear Darryl who had invited us to his house in Margate, showed us among other places of interest, the Beaver Creek Coffee plantation in Port Edward. It was too late for a guided tour, so we tasted their various blends of coffee, bought a packet of the finest for our …

Our man from Gabon – a man for the future

Born as the second-eldest of twelve in a small village surrounded by jungle, finding living quarters with the convent sisters while attending high school and later University in Franceville, Christian steps out of the rain forest in Gabon to do post-graduate work in South Africa and is now registered for his PhD in sustainable management of …