The Colour of Cupcakes


Piet’s daughter turned 21 earlier this year and we celebrated the event on a wine farm near Stellenbosch.

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Happy 21st cup cakes

Happy 21st cup cakes


Click here to see more interpretations of the Sense of Taste.

 

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Two Very Different Items


My Dad wrestling with a crocodile – not something you see every day.

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These penguins look very much alike, but there are two of them and they do look very cute.

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As do these adorable young vervet monkeys.

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Man and machine – applying lime to the wheat fields.

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Have a look at Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge to see more entries in this week’s challenge – Two Very Different Items or The Number Two.

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge (Day Two): Clouds


Slow internet aside, I am having a lot of fun with this challenge and also getting to know many new bloggers in the process. Thank you to Cee from Cee’s Photography Blog for inviting me to join in. If you haven’t already, do give her blog a visit – she posts some wonderful photos and her challenges provide constant inspiration.

“The rules of Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge require you to post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo (It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or simply a short paragraph) and then nominate another blogger to carry on this challenge. Accepting the challenge is entirely up to the person nominated, it is not a command.”

Today I am inviting Aletta from nowathome to play along. Aletta is lucky to live in the ‘Mother City’ of Cape Town and her photos are always a treat to see.

Today I am going to combine my post with two other challenges – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Clouds and Jude’s Bench series, Bench with a View.

You can see my first post in the challenge here.


Clouds

I love clouds!

When I was at university my meteorology lecturer was passionate about clouds. He asked us students to give him copies of any cloud pictures we took and he would pin them on the notice board for everyone to admire. Even though I never got to submit a photo, I think that is where my interest in photographing clouds began.

One of the first photos I ever took was of a cloud on a National Bird Count exercise I took part in in the Gona re Zhou National Park in Zimbabwe, probably in 1988.  I have since lost that picture but I clearly remember that it had uncannily taken on the shape of a dove, flying high above us while we scurried about below looking for birds.

Since then I have taken thousands of cloud pictures and I have found it quite a challenge today to select only quite a few for this post. (I can see I am going to have to do more than one ‘cloud’ post!)

This first photo was taken on the grounds of the Royal Livingstone Hotel.

A bench with a view

A bench with a view

This is the view from the bench – the spray from Victoria Falls.

The Smoke that Thunders

The Smoke that Thunders

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Oh How I Love to Be By the Seaside


Rio Savanne was a favourite holiday place for us to visit when my children were small.

Situated just north of Beira in Mocambique it was far away enough from civilization for us to completely unwind and relax and getting there was relatively simple and quick.

I say ‘relatively’ quick but it was still close to a twelve hour drive from our home. However, compare that to the 18 to 20 hours it took to drive to Coconut Bay – our other favourite destination – and you will get my point.

Then, there was the ‘relatively’ not so simple issue of the Fronteira, or border crossing.  The first time we crossed over, just after the civil war in Mocambique had ended, I think we were the first customers they had had for many years – no-one really seemed to know what to do with us (although in subsequent years that air of puzzlement and feeling of ‘organised chaos’ didn’t change, so perhaps that is just the way it is done).

We had managed to squirrel away a few US Dollars for the trip and our first hurdle occurred when we tried to use that to pay for our visa.

Não! Não! Metacais!” the clearly frustrated Immigration official told us.

Ok, so where can we exchange Dollars for Mocambican Metacais?

Banco! Banco!” The bank, we assumed (correctly).

He gesticulated wildly towards a scruffy building adjacent to the equally scruffy one we were in and we started walking off in that direction.

Espera!“, Wait! He was becoming more and more flustered. So we waited while he took his pen (the only item that had been sitting on the counter) and locked it away in a room at the back.

He returned with an enormous bunch of keys and together we all traipsed across to the Banco. We had to wait while he muttered under his breath, rummaging through all those keys and trying them one by one in the door lock (there were only two buildings at the Fronteira, what all the other keys were for was anybody’s guess) until he finally exclaimed “esta aqui” and scurried inside.

He now obviously had his Banker Hat on. He went behind the counter and once there he put out his hand for the $100 bill, took it over to a till, opened it and rummaged around for a bit, all the time mumbling something to himself.

Then he shrugged, turned to face us and with a triumphant “non” he held both palms upwards, that universal gesture which means “there’s nothing”.

Now what? We can’t pay in US Dollars and the bank has no Metacais! Our holiday is doomed to never start! My children’s father started to become hot under the collar (and it was hot – we were all sweating) and one of the boys started to cry.

Another “espera!“.

Our immigration official-come-banker crossed back to the other side of the bank counter, removed that metaphorical bankers hat and put on his Money Tout Hat. He dug his hand deep into his pocket, removed a whole fistfull of notes and we entered into an illegal currency exchange right there*. In the bank. With the immigration official.

Looking at the current Rio Savanne web site it seems things have changed a lot since those early days, when we used to park our vehicle on the other side of the river and have all our camping gear ferried across in a small wooden boat.

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Here you can see the village on the other side of the river where our vehicles were parked

1-boat 16 1-boat 14 1-boat 17 It always impressed me how effortless it seemed for these men to move all that stuff! 1-boat 13 In those days the only accommodation was the tents you took with you and the only food you ate was what you cooked for yourself on a wood fire. 1-sunset rio savanne 2 When the tide was low we could walk for what seemed like miles along to the mouth of the Rio Savanne, the boys always taking along their fishing rods and me my camera. 1-rio savanne 1 I love the patterns the retreating water makes in the sand. This was the days before digital photography, so I had to take pictures sparingly. But I was quite pleased with some of the results and thought these next few pictures will fit in very nicely with this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme, Abstract Photography. Pop over to have a look – there are some wonderful entries this week. 1-abstract 5 1-abstract 4 1-abstract 1 1-abstract 2 * In case you’re interested, a hundred US Dollars got us approximately twenty three million Metacais.

This Land: Namibia


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this week asks us to find a theme in the second and third verses of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”.

In 1999 my family and I went on a camping trip to Namibia. Three weeks and seven thousand kilometers later I was convinced that country is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and I’ve selected a few of the pictures I took for my contribution.

NOTE: These are scanned copies of photos I took with my ancient Canon A1, before I owned a digital camera (had they even been invented then?). Unfortunately the quality is not great (and I am completely clueless when it comes to picture enhancing programs like Photoshop) but hopefully you will get an idea of the grandeur and beauty from the few I have chosen for this post.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway

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I saw above me that endless skyway

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I saw below me that golden valley

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This land was made for you and me

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I’ve roamed and I’ve rambled and I followed my footsteps

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To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts

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And all around me a voice was sounding

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This land was made for you and me

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