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 …

A Sunday afternoon stroll in Hout Bay Harbour

A visit to Hout Bay harbour is always a worthwhile diversion, especially on a Sunday afternoon. Watching people walking leisurely along the harbour mole gives one a feeling of being at peace with the world. A myriad of ways – seemingly at rest. Red yellow green at the end of the harbour mole. Freshly painted …

Back in Dorp Street

Our tenant, Retha, has moved up the road to premisses more suitable for her and her daughter Rood’s needs and now we are back in our old house in Dorp Street. Retha left the place in an immaculate state but the garden is heavily overgrown and needs careful pruning to let in shafts of light …

Is there a Blog?

Colleen said the other day: Wasn’t it time you wrote another blog? My answer: I am blogged out. After 120 blogs I have come to an end. Colleen: Come on. That’s not true. Perhaps because those 111 blogs (108 to be exact) are now all printed in hardcover book format,* that I have the feeling …

The Desert Prince II

Night had fallen. The fires lit from the coals of the previous day had all died down except for one. Youssef checked on the guard keeping the fire alive through the night as had been their custom for generations –  a duty always assigned to one of the young initiates destined to become leaders of the …

Are oysters dumb enough for you?

“Are oysters dumb enough for you?” As a vegetarian you might arguably not eat anything with a central nervous system … then – would snails and oysters be dumb enough for you? They are, after all, living creatures. But, when it comes to Squid – who are reputed to be highly intelligent and are known …

The Desert Prince I

The war council was still in session. Youssef, the leader of the tribe, had withdrawn and was resting in the shade of a camel thorn tree. The elders of the tribe had been trying to persuade the young ones to cool their temper and to consider the various options left to them. A tribe from …

Breakfast at Starlings

Starlings – on Belvedere Road in Claremont, Cape Town – a surprising find in the suburbs, easily missed if you don’t know about it. And knowing about it happens through word of mouth – the best form of advertising! A place for you alone or with one or two dear friends whom you would wish …

The sound of summer

The height of summer all but gone – you notice stronger now the cricket’s calling song. The sand no more so hot as then when naked raw and fresh your sole hardly could touch the path along through reeds and brush and up the dune where mole and shrew had dug and housed their brood. Wayward …

The Ice Princess

Long long ago, when much of the world was covered with snow and ice for long periods, much longer than we can imagine today, people lived in and under ice and snow for most of the year.  They had built Igloos or ice caves to protect themselves from the harsh winds and lived quite happily. …

Disturbing the peace

Who is disturbing the peace? Structurally, the scenario develops as follows: into established ways of living and doing things, “foreign” elements are introduced and the peace is disturbed. The elements are easily identified where the population goes onto the street, calls for reform and/or radical change and for heads to roll. Or they are difficult …

Zanu – Zuma – Zille – Zachary

With things moving in Egypt and Yemen, one wonders why things still are not moving in Southern Africa. Zanu-PF (Zimbabwean African Union – Patriotic Front) hooligans were on the rampage again (www.thezimbabwean.co.uk – Sunday 13th February). After driving out white farmers and destroying much of the country’s agricultural infrastructure, so-called foreign owned retail businesses are …

The Colour Blue

The colour blue has the power to evoke emotions of serenity and transparent happiness. The colour of a cloudless sky, the depth of the universe, the sea below all of a deeply satisfying blue. Disappointingly, the colour of the universe is called cosmic latte, cappuccino cosmico or big bang buff by some experts – euphemistically …

Boomslang and Fiscal Shrike in mock combat

Not a real combat, we think, but quite an annoying encounter – for the snake. The birds around our house continuously watch and guard us against intruders such as snakes. They make a racket and fly and flutter around it until the snake has enough of it and moves away. This time it was only …

Montagu Brunch

Brunch pan for 4 5 ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into cubes (remove the green centre) Herbs – parsley, spring onions (plus fresh finely chopped garlic and fresh garlic only) and/or dried sweet basil, sprinkled over the tomatoes Salt and pepper to taste Some feta cheese, crumbled over the chopped tomatoes All the above according …

Lithium

When the world was formed, when the universe was created, out of no-thing or out of chaos, Lithium was there. A soft silver-white metal belonging to the alkali metal group of chemical elements. One of the three elements synthesized in the Big Bang. And that is the stuff that resides in us and that connects …