I love living where I do...............
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The magnificent maples on the square are old and moody, almost melancholic. They're drawing me in and affecting my mood: the town's spirit is also drawing upon mine; it's mingling with my being like it always does when I visit here. I'm at home here. Personally, it's a pity for me that the place is so popular...
The leaves, which are turning, are rustling in the autumn wind and whispering of the mist and cold still to come. But for today it's a scorching hot day reminiscent of the height of summer and I'm basking, baking in the sun.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now the smell of someone's deoderant here at Nelspruit's Jock 'n Java is takin me back to a place I can't quite put my finger one. The danger of scent.........
Tonight I'm staying at Louis's before heading back home early tomorow morning. A night in the Lowveld.
I'm all alone here this afternoon, mine's the only car in the parking lot... I needed to come here to be restored and centred. This botanical garden is magnificent, the grass cool and soothing beneath my feet despite the perspiration on my forehead and my clammy chest and armpits.
From here, with Bongani Tshabalala of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, I'll head through Nelspruit and on towards Mozambique... unwrapping delights all along the way. I could not think of a better way than to spend this magnificently sunny autumnal Thursday.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Here, through the three dimensional lens (yes!) of a tall cafe mocha (no cream) I make sense of today, yesterday and sometimes tomorrow. Today, just before getting into my car to travel home I took this photo facing the sunset as I gave thanks for the day.
There's an unusual not-quite-chill on the air: the leaves are turning, they are falling from the maples, the sun is setting earlier, birds are packing up home and heading north. I'm looking forward to a time of much less light, hibernation, rest and contemplation. I'm ready for the winter.
Tomorrow, while researching the book, I head down the N4 and past Nelspruit and on to Komatipoort and the Mozambique border. Especially after Nelspruit, relatively unchartered territory for me, I want to take in as much of that heavy-with-history road just south of the Kruger National Park, and to the eastern edge of the country - especially the Lebombo mountains that triangulates Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa.
On Friday I'm expecting to fly to George and then, at the ocean's very edge in Mossel Bay and with my beloved Klein Karoo at my back, write up the parts of the book already researched... and again seek guidance and inspiration beneath the St. Blaize lighthouse.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Yeah, I love the emerald green countryside at Christmas time, the height of summer, in particular when contrasted against turbulent, low slung elephant gray storm clouds.
And the khaki of mid-winter in stark contrast against cobalt blue skies is breathtaking.
But, most of all, I love the voluminous whites, pinks and mauves of cosmos time, which for me heralds a time of autumnal introspection, also speculation, and of course, lent. My arms bristle with the chicken flesh that comes from sniffing the winds of change... of knowing that no matter what befalls the world, I have an intimate relationship with the One that is the writer of The Story. That's when I imbibe the electricity in the air of knowing that, a long time ago, I walked right off my map....
*In fact the N4 straddles the entire subcontinent, right across from Walvis Bay in Namibia, through Tshwane in Gauteng, across to Maputo in Mozambique. Trans Africa Concessions (TRAC) has a 30-year concession on the section of the N4 between Tshwane and Maputo.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
And just before dusk, walking along the now turbulent Elands river, I had a stunning view over the old 'veld school' (before that it was the high school), which was my first introduction to Waterval Boven - exactly 30 years ago.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I'm just back from the Heartlines sponsored soccer tournament at the Vusi Masina soccer park in Emgwenya, Waterval Boven. After a days of rain it was an afternoon of sunshine and football. Now I've downed a Castle Milk Stout and rubbed my stubble in the fur of my most favourite dog, Serra. The sun's baking down, burning my bare legs, while the wind of change is blowing and warning of a rapidly approaching winter. The peach trees' leaves are yellowing and rattling on the still emerald green lawn. Now we're off to Stone Circle Bistro for a pizza. I couldn't be happier... God is good.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Lying on a blanket at the bottom of my garden, writing my morning pages and having quiet time I had a suprise visit from a yellowed, velvet soft leave from the peach tree above. In that moment a life time of autumns fluttered past my eyes: army days, walking with Linda Marais in the park at Albert's Farm, Hampstead Heath, Emmarentia Dam, Grahamstown, Nature's Valley, Nieu Bethesda (contemplating the end of a relationship), Easter time in Philipollis and then Port Elizabeth, also Schoenmakerskop... walks along the ocean with my long hair tousled, salt air on my lips, in my eys, gulped deliciously deep into my melancholy lungs.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I'm leaving here for Nelspruit and a day of work, meetings and researching the book there. Then hopefully on to home tonight, where there is chest tightening amount of work to catch up on.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Pico Iyer is one of the most revered and respected travel writers alive today. He was born in England, raised in California, and educated at Eton, Oxford, and Harvard. His essays, reviews, and other writings have appeared in Time, Conde Nast Traveler, Harper's, the New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, and Salon.com. His books include Video Night in Kathmandu, The Lady and the Monk, Cuba and the Night, Falling off the Map, Tropical Classical, and The Global Soul. They have been translated into several languages and published in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. His latest work, due for release this month, is Abandon.
Lying in bed I'm reading renowned 83-year old travel writer, journalist, historian, essayist and novelist Jan Morris's 'Spain'... who I've only just discovered that between 1964 and 1972 underwent a sex-change.
James Humphrey Morris, as she was then, originally tied the knot with Elizabeth Tuckniss in 1949 and the couple had five children together. Then he had a sex change and they got divorced, but continued to live together. Then last year Jan Morris remarried the wife she wed as a man. At the age of 36, Morris had already visited and recorded his impressions of more than 70 of the world's major cities. But it was his 'Venice' (1960), 'The Presence of Spain' (1964) and 'Oxford' (1965), which really established him (then) as a major 20th century travel writer.
I spent most of yesterday, again randomly, in electronic 'conversation' with someone from and living in Malta. Etienne has piqued my interest in visiting the ancient Meditteranean group of islands.