Monthly Archives: July 2007

Can you say “cheese”?

Can you say

Does anyone remember where the rumour started that the moon was made of cheese? I guess that it must have had something to do with those meteor craters making it look something like a big Swiss cheese... only without the wax coating.

Speaking of cheese, once Spring comes around we'll take a drive to the winelands and visit some of the cheese and wine farms to bring you photos of what's on offer.

That reminds me of one of the shops in the area that used to have free cheese-tasting. I remember making several turns around the cheese table "tasting cheese". We always ended up buying something, but always made sure we got our money's worth first :).

Needless to say, the shop wised up, and free tasting became paid tasting a couple of years ago. Sadly, these days the students at Stellenbosch University go hungry over their lunch break.

Going nowhere slowly

Going nowhere slowly
I stopped to grab some lunch at High Street Shopping Village, and thought a shot of this mini-carousel might be in order. There was not a single child to be spotted anywhere - I suspect the weather was just a little too cold for them - so both the carousel and the teeny-tiny ferris wheel nearby were standing empty and motionless.

Lions in Cape Town?

Lions in Cape Town?

I can't tell you how many times we've heard of international visitors to Cape Town being surprised that there are no lions to be found walking the streets of the city. It seems as though many believe that we keep Lions and Cheetahs in our back yards and have elephants strolling the streets. Nay I say, it is not so. This photo illustrates the only kind of lion you'll find wondering our streets.

If you find yourself in Cape Town one day and would like to see the king of the wild up close - and if you can't afford the time to travel to a game farm for a safari, then perhaps you could visit our local lion park, Drakenstein Lion Park, about 40km outside of the city. This park serves as a rehabilitation home for lions that have been saved from canned lion farms. Visitors can view the lions for nominal entry fee of about 3 euros per adult, so do make it a stop on your way to the winelands of Stellenbosch (though I do suggest you visit the lions before visiting the wine farms ;).

To quote from their web site: "Drakenstein Lion Park is involved in the re-homing of lions which are kept in intolerable conditions, both locally and overseas."

Sky-blue pink

Sky-blue pink
I think this might be what my mother was talking about when she used to tell me that something was "sky-blue pink with yellow spots"... Paul tells me that he's never heard that expression before, but I used to hear it all the time when I was growing up, usually just after I'd asked my mother a particularly silly or overly inquisitive question, or one she just really didn't feel like answering.

Mothers have all kinds of clever ways of deflecting difficult or irritating questions (questions like "What's for supper???") - do you remember any from your childhood, or do you have any that you like to use on your own children?

Avocado green

Avocado green
Remember the restaurant Avocado? Well, I got to spend another rainy Friday afternoon there today, this time with a few more people, and with food.

And this is the outside of the restaurant building - the name kind of makes sense now, doesn't it?

The approaching storm

The approaching storm

Another of those promised cold fronts hit us today. A little while after I took this shot, the wind picked up and the rain came bucketing down all around Cape Town. CapeTalk radio was inundated with calls and text messages from people reporting flooded roads, mudslides and overflowing rivers. There were even reports of rock-falls on Victoria Road, which runs along the base of the mountain past Camps Bay and Llandudno.

Check out Lynn's pictures of the floods in Cheltenham, England - I'm pretty sure that there's nothing that Cape Town's skies could produce to compete with that!

Which way?

Which way?
An archive shot today, since I'm still sick (thanks for all the kind thoughts, by the way!) and the weather is very, very grey, wet and chilly. Apparently we have four cold fronts heading our way, with snow expected overnight and gale-force winds tomorrow. For the last month or so the weather has been remarkable - we really have had a beautiful winter so far.

Oh yes, the picture... this signpost can be found near the bottom of Government Avenue in the Company Gardens. I guess it could be a little overwhelming at first, but at least you wouldn't need to ask anyone for directions!

Deur die blare

Deur die blare
The title of this post is an Afrikaans expression that roughly means "confused" or "spaced out". If you translate it literally though, it means "through the leaves". See that man's head? No? That's because it's through the leaves. :)

And that's pretty much how I've felt all day today, because the winter sniffles finally got me, giving me a runny nose and a foggy head. I'm very deur die blare.

Twinkle twinkle little star

Twinkle twinkle little star
That's the dome of Cape Town's Planetarium peeping through the trees - isn't it pretty?

It's even prettier INSIDE when there's a show on: the Planetarium hosts spectacular educational shows under that big dome, complete with a simulated night-sky full of twinkling stars.

Green fingers?

Green fingers?

Having a lovely garden can cost a fortune. Kerry-Anne and I have started trying to plant mostly water-wise plants in our garden. They're cheaper to maintain, good for the environment and easy to keep alive! ;). This photo was taken at a local nursery - Kerry-Anne loves nurseries... just not the baby kind.

Football again…

Football again...

This is the last photo in the series about the 90 Minutes for Mandela football match. Before the match about a hundred (I think) kids entered the field carrying flags from all the soccer nations of the world. Don't you just love the mountain sticking it's head over the stadium as if to catch a glimpse of the match?

Nelson Mandela, 89

Nelson Mandela, 89
Happy birthday Madiba! As you may have gathered by now, it's Nelson Mandela's 89'th birthday today. This evening we attended a football match at Newlands Rugby Stadium in honour of this day - a "World 11 vs. Africa 11" game. Members of FIFA were present as well as many international stars who accepted the invitation to play.

This photo shows international football icon Pelé coming onto the field with Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon. Though Pelé never actually played (he is 67 after all) he started the match, kicking the ball into play.

Oh, after 90 minutes the game ended 3 all :).

Places of worship #2

Places of worship #2
While driving in and around Cape Town city you'll find many places of worship. This Mosque is located on the corner of Loop Street and Orphan Street. If you look carefully, you'll see the loudspeaker at the top of the tower. Having being a student at Cape Technikon many years ago, one of the things that stick out most about Friday classes is the sound of the lunchtime call to prayer ringing from the nearby Mosque's loudspeaker.

Places of Worship #1

Zippy fun

Zippy fun
This post is for all the fun-seeking readers of our blog. Herme (seen in this photo) recently discovered this new toboggan fun park, called Cool Runnings, close to our offices. If we're not careful we may find ourselves regularly skipping lunch in favour of a quick couple of rides.

The photo is a bit deceptive - the toboggan ride is much longer and cooler than I've shown here. The cart is pulled (about 200 metres I think) to the top of a wonderfully green hill by means of a slick cable and pulley system. Once at the top the high-speed winding descent starts. It took one or two twists and turns before I had enough faith in the cart to release the brake fully - from then on it was "balls to the wall". :o

Kerry-Anne and I will find a gap to go again soon, so watch this spot for a photo or two more from Cool Runnings.

Oh, the website defaults to Afrikaans if you play the toboggan simulator game, so if you can't read Afrikaans... simply go back to the homepage and click "Enter Site" after which "English" will be given as an option.

Heading home

Heading home

These ladies had presumably finished work for the day and were heading in the direction of Cape Town train station. There's not much to say here except that they were having an unusually loud chat in a language I don't understand, Xhosa. Perhaps they were commenting on what a lovely day it was? Whatever it was, they seemed excited ;).

Their name liveth for evermore

Their name liveth for evermore
The inscription on this gun reads "...to the memory of all artillerymen who laid down their lives for their country."

War is never good - people tell me that it's sometimes a necessary evil. I've had the privilege of not having to make that decision, so I don't know; but hats off to all who have died defending those who could not defend themselves.

This 14.5-inch Howitzer can be found above the Company Gardens in Cape Town. It was first dedicated in 1926 to the soldiers who died in France in the First World War and later, in 1970, to soldiers who died in both World Wars.

This memorial reminded me of the Tomb of an Unknown Soldier that we saw in Paris, below the Arc de Triomphe.

Fur with attitude

Fur with attitude

When visiting Cape Town's more leafy areas you're bound to see an abundance of squirrels. Though skittish, they're still tame enough to collect peanuts from children's hands. While I was composing these shots one over-zealous squirrel missed the peanut and nipped a small girl's finger instead. Although... perhaps he didn't "miss" the peanut at all, and was rather expressing his annoyance at a poor-quality nut. All was fine though; I don't believe any blood was drawn :o.

A mountain in my garden

A mountain in my garden
We were wandering through the Company Gardens on Saturday, following the pathways as they dipped in and out amongst the trees, when I turned a corner and suddenly came upon this awesome wide-open view of Table Mountain. Paul had his zoom-lens fitted, which wasn't wide enough to capture the whole of the mountain from this spot... so I did what I could with my tiny point-and-shoot, and here is the result.

A few Capetonians have asked us which "Company" is being referred to in the name of the Gardens (many people here simply know them as "The Gardens in Cape Town"). Well, it's the Dutch East India Company, who laid out a vegetable and medicinal garden here sometime after Jan van Riebeeck's landing in 1652.

The section shown in the foreground of this picture is the rose garden; it looks a little bare because it's not rose season for us at the moment. It's almost pruning time, in fact...

Time passes by

Time passes by
This sundial in the Company Gardens seemed to hold this man's attention. It was a strange sight - he walked up to the clock, quietly stared at it for about a minute and then left. It didn't appear as though he was trying to work out how the clock worked or tell the time - though perhaps he was.

Click on the picture and view the larger version. What do you imagine he was thinking?

Making time to reflect

Making time to reflect
Many visit Cape Town's Company Gardens finding time to relax and reflect. Some draw, others write poetry, yet others while away the hours stretched out in the sun. This visit reminded me a little of our visit to the Luxembourg gardens in Paris. There was no wind, plenty of sun, and yet, the air was cool enough to cause a chill.

The man in this photo sat for ages, looking at passers-by and scribbling on the paper. We're not quite sure what he was writing or drawing, but he appeared deep in thought.

In memory of…

In memory of...
This fountain, in the Company Gardens, was erected in memory of Howson Edwards Rutherfoord Esq., who was apparently a member of the Legislative Council at the Cape towards the end of his life. He died in 1862, and the fountain was erected in 1864. I know nothing else about him, and in fact, didn't even know this fountain existed until now! But it is rather pretty, isn't it? And I love the way it catches the early-afternoon sun shining through the trees.

Birthday treat

Birthday treat

Aren't I a lucky girl to celebrate my birthday on 07-07-07? And even luckier to have started the day with a slice of delectable cake at Limnos in Green Point! Limnos cake is legendary in Cape Town, but it always presents a problem - they have such a wide selection that it can take half an hour to decide which kind you want. I eventually settled for a slice of Brazilian milk-tart AND a petit four. Both were delicious, and the kind people at Limnos told me that the milk-tart was a birthday present and I didn't need to pay for it. What a treat!

Let it rain

Let it rain
I had several cups of coffee at this restaurant today, and have promised myself that I will go back for a meal sometime. The restaurant is called Avocado (and the reason for that would be obvious if you saw the colour of the outside walls...), and it's situated in an old house in Oxford Street in Durbanville.

I just love all the artwork on the walls, and the unusual selection of furniture, don't you? It was the perfect spot to spend a rainy Friday afternoon.

2010 Football

2010 Football
With the South African 2010 Football World Cup only three years away, stadium construction is well on track. Our own Green Point Stadium has been demolished, along with a neighbouring golf course to make way for one of the modern 2010 stadiums.

To give you a point of reference, this photo was taken from Signal Hill, facing Table Bay. Table Bay Harbour and the Cape Town Waterfront are just out of this shot, off to the right. Isn't this just the perfect location for a stadium?

The atmosphere around the World Cup is going to be awesome, so if you have the money to travel and if you love football, join us! Be sure to book your place early - accommodation will be booked up quickly and tickets will be sold out before you have a chance to reach for your wallet ;).

Isn’t it supposed to be the middle of winter?

Isn't it supposed to be the middle of winter?
The temperature was 25 degrees Celsius here in Cape Town today - it seemed like a good day for an al fresco lunch at Willowbridge open-air mall. Unfortunately I didn't get to stop here for lunch myself (too much to do today!), but I did get to walk outside in the sun for a while, past all the beautiful stores and restaurants lining this shopping "street". It's days like today that make winter totally bearable.

Manchester England England

Manchester England England
We went to watch a production of the musical Hair yesterday afternoon, at this little theatre in Camps Bay (aptly named Theatre on the Bay). The production was brilliant, with loads of energy and spunk (and impressively flawless American accents from the all-local cast).

The Theatre on the Bay is situated just one block up from the beach, so it's always great to go and see a show there.

July Theme Day: The Colour Red

July Theme Day: The Colour Red
Today is a Daily Photo theme day, and the theme this month is "The Colour Red"; so we went out yesterday afternoon and shot a few moody pictures of the Mouille Point Lighthouse. The sea was wild, the wind was bitterly cold and Paul forgot his jacket at home, but it was fun nonetheless.

This is the oldest lighthouse along the South African coast, and was first lit on the night of 12 April 1824. This is a pretty dangerous piece of coast (red means "danger", after all), and a fair number of ships have run aground here through the centuries. The lighthouse became a National Monument in 1973, and is now the headquarters of Lighthouses Services, part of the National Ports Authority of South Africa.

There are 100 blogs participating in this theme day. Take some time to visit them, and see what's red all around the world:
Shanghai, China - Mumbai, India - New York City (NY), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Hamburg, Germany - Stayton (OR), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Hyde, UK - Oslo, Norway - Brookville (OH), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Joplin (MO), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Selma (AL), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Seattle (WA), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Evry, France - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Grenoble, France - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Hilo (HI), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - La Antigua, Guatemala - Brisbane (QLD), Australia - Singapore, Singapore - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hong Kong, China - Sequim (WA), USA - Paderborn, Germany - Saarbrücken, Germany - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Tenerife, Spain - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Sydney, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Mainz, Germany - Toru?, Poland - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - North Bay (ON), Canada - Jakarta, Indonesia - Montréal (QC), Canada - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Baziège, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - New York (NY), USA - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Sharon (CT), USA - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Villigen, Switzerland - Chicago (IL), USA - Torquay, UK - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Paris, France - Seoul, Korea - Manila, Philippines - Milano, Italy - Austin (TX), USA - Chennai, India - Madrid, Spain - Seoul, South Korea - Wailea (HI), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada - Ajaccio, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Budapest, Hungary - Moscow, Russia - Auckland, New Zealand - Torino, Italy