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 …

Into the New Year

Dear friends, Contemplating The Ship of Fools could well serve to alert us to the follies in our own lives if not the world at large at a time when all our good New Year’s resolutions have dulled away. Bosch’s work speaks to us as freshly as it must have moved people at the turn of …

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 …

The Curse of Racism

We belong to the human race. The classification of humans according to essentially distinguishable traits is part of 19th century anthropology, subsequently throughout the 20th century, exploited as a political tool. Behaviour among the human race that today still uses such classification openly or in subtle ways, is justifiably branded “racist”. When and where the …

The Good, the not so Good and the …

                      Our wish list for 2015, jotted down and in no particular order, is very short: Staying in touch with family and friends and meeting personal challenges with courage and integrity. What more, really, can one do or wish for. The debate about global warming …

Heritage Day – a walk up Lion’s Head

Tuesday was “Heritage Day” – so called to remind us of our cultural diversity and with that to remind us of our unity as a nation. People with Zulu ancestry are celebrating the remembrance of Shaka Zulu (c.1787-1828), once king of the Zulu nation. Others are proposing this day to be called “Braai Day” the …

The End of History

Living in Betty’s Bay for the moment, living in bliss for a while, where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans overlap, and where at this time of the year, whales, sea otters, porcupines, baboons, leopards, francolins, guinea fowls, mongoose and a myriad of birds share sea and land with us, there is not much of an …

Mutually beneficial communities

Our children are questioning the wisdom not so much of our institutions but of our ways of living together as human beings on planet earth. We live, they say, wastefully and could share with each other so much more of our talents. How true is that and how so very naïve. Much of what we …

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 …

Mission Trail’s End

We had left Morija and were travelling South to Thabana Morena where the Baccuet girls had been living after the war. Their father, the Rev. Ernest Albert Baccuet was commissioned as chaplain to accompany the Basotho regiment in the British forces during World War II in the Middle East (Syria) until they were fully repatriated …

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 …

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 …

A Christmas Story

A CHRISTMAS STORY for all our dear ones! Yesterday, the 21st of December, the day before the shortest night of the year, we had to phone the glazier about some panes of glass. The man, Johan Cloete, who we did not know, told us, exuberantly that he had just finished loading 500 panes of security …

The Singing Bone

A dear friend of ours – Naomi – is on a yacht sailing in the Aegean Sea and our own memories of life on the Greek islands were refreshed, among others funeral rites which are foreign to most of us but are still practiced in Greece. After three or more years the remains of a …

O’ Samma – O’ Bamma – O’ Daffi

Bring a man to justice as it’s done in Westerns – it is a good and noble thing. Hang him high, if need be, send him flying – not nice but satisfying. Ceauscescu, Mussolini. Pity that Adolf got away and one Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, aka Stalin. To go in firing from the hip O’ Bammabammabamma, mowing …

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 …

Guilt – where it resides

Guilt. Why in heaven’s name do you want to blog about guilt? Well, with so much “liberation” going on in the Middle East, the question of the guilt of those keeping their people in bondage can no longer be suppressed. When, one wonders, will the people of Zimbabwe rise up against their oppressors? What then …

The feel of summer – an absence of darkness

Betty’s Bay, Tuesday 4 January 2011 The sun has reached its highest peak in the Southern Hemisphere and the hours of sunlight have begun to diminish ever so little. But the summer’s heat is here. Time to open the windows wide and enjoy the warmth which is always tempered by a continuous breeze from the …