Thursday, June 18, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
So what am I doing here this time of the night? As part of the Cape Town Book Fair Briza Publications (www.briza.co.za) has launched some new titles. These include the revided edition of 'Medicinal Plants of South Africa' and 'Mind-sltering & Poisonous Plants of the World' among others.
However the highlight of the evening is getting my ungrubby (respect!) hands on a publishing masterpiece: 'Earth - The Comprehensive World Atlas' (stand B6 at the Book Fair). It's purported to be the most accurate and detailed atlas of our world today: a 20-year old dream, two years in production, 20kg heavy and 580 pages, it's a hand-bound collector's item...and the most expensive book at the fair: R42 000 a copy!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
After leaving Simonstown at dusk I opted to take the road less travelled via Cape Point, then Scarborough. Windswept and enticingly moody in the soon inky darkness, this was a landscape I'd last traversed in 1983 as a spotty, hormoned teenager angry (but not sure why) at the world.
Sitting indoors next to a fire, and not far from a dodgy gambling area reeking of stale alcohol and old cigarettes, I'm contemplating life. And getting slightly numbed by the draught. It's an opportunity to again make choice: am I going to sow nettles, or am I going to sow corn?
(The photos are of Simonstown.)
The best thing that ever happened to this country was what I call the 'Italian influence' - those immigrants to this country, many of them with prisoner of war origins, refused to drink what was acceptable as coffee here, hence the invasion of the six cylinder cappuccino machines. Life has never been the same again.
This is a time of coffee and contemplation for me. I'm excited at the possibilities open to me, even if it's not even yet clear exactly what they are. I just know that there are open doorways around me just begging to be entered. The only conditions I'm able to percieve right now are that I'm not to look back (my past is redeemed), also that I should spend some time discerning which of the many open doorways are the most right to enter; second best right now is just not good enough.
I'm sitting under a chandelier.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
All-in-all it has been an extraordinary week - between the weekend and now, other than the weather, my world has dramatically changed and done an about turn. I'm grateful to have stuck to my guns about my trip to Cape Town (I'm waiting to board my flight right now): I see this as an opportunity (in one of my most favourite cities) to get some perspective, to look in the mirror, even into the abyss if need be, also to do some soul searching and to consider what direction to be led in for the next chapter. It is almost exactly two years since I moved into my house in Waterval Boven after a particularly challenging and growing two years prior to that. I admit to being childishly and excitedly expectant about the next two years...God knows! Especially as 2009 is about things coming to fruition, cycles finishing. Whatever the future holds, I'm believe I'm completely free and unhindered to head in whatever direction might be expected of me.
In the meantime I'm looking rather forward to spending time at Cape Town's Boof Fair, starting on Saturday. I'm also looking forward to rain gushing in the gutters, also to one of my most favourite sounds - the shrieking of seagulls. And some great views while I sip my coffee fixes at some of my favourite caffeine joints in the city.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Imemeza. That’s the name of the mountain that cradles both Waterval Boven and Emgwenya Township, and can already be seen from the Machado Toll Plaza, if you know what to look for. Imemeza is the siSwati word meaning "place of shouting", which seems an apt name. Petit and shy Sis Magagula, who’s lived in Emgwenya and beneath the mountain all her life, told me softly in siSwati that the old folk say the name refers to the awe-inspiring thunder that ricochets off the mountain during the awesome summer storms: “It causes everyone beneath the mountain to tremble in their beds, wondering if this day is their last.”
The crummy camera attached to my phone does no justice to the magnificent mountain. It's actually inspiring. Well, it will be again in the spring.