It was a glorious day today, so we decided to head off to the Cape Outdoor Adventure Expo for the afternoon. We saw all kinds of things, from luxury tents and quad-bikes to paintball guns and climbing walls; we tasted delicious wines and liqueurs (and bought a bottle to bring home, of course); and allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we need a holiday - to Mossel Bay, the Wild Coast, Namaqualand, Mozambique AND the Seychelles, if all those exhibitors are to be believed...
The evenings are getting warmer, the days are getting longer, the sky is getting prettier, and moods are improving all round. We really are a nation of sun-lovers, and I think we've all had quite enough of winter, thank you.
Isn't the colour of the sky in this shot absolutely beautiful?
On Wednesday I took my mother off to the annual O Magazine Tea Party, which was held at the Vineyard Hotel and Spa in Newlands this year. It was a very genteel affair, complete with cucumber sandwiches (and plenty of other absolutely decadent tea-time treats), pretty outfits, hats (obligatory, and such fun), and lavish pink table-settings. We were treated to a performance by the lovely Lira (pictured at the top right), who got everyone to their feet and even made a few of us become part of the show ourselves... It was a great opportunity for women of all ages and races to bond over a cup of tea and to celebrate our common strength. I can't wait for next year.
I've mentioned previously that, for the most part, South African men (and some ladies) expect to drink at least one beer at a sporting event. I ran out of time to find a new picture for the day so I've posted this shot taken at one of the recent T20 Cricket matches.
As you can see, besides for the safety aspect, it's become quite tradition to have drinks from plastic glasses - it would just not be the same to drink from a bottle at these events. I'm not sure if this is the case world-wide, so leave a comment below and let us know what people drink from at sporting events in your country.
These guys have been playing music at the V&A Waterfront for years. While wandering around between shops I spotted them having a smoke break. I've never been able to understand the phenomenon of a smoke break. Colleagues at work always seem excited to share their smoke breaks... it seems to be a really social event.
To get back to the musicians - in and out of their smoke breaks they add a lot of atmosphere to the Waterfront. Their music has a very holiday-like feel to it and I doubt the walkways would feel quite as festive without them.
Everyone knows that when a lady demands cake the only place to visit is Limnos Bakers. This branch can be found in Greenpoint's Somerset Road, at the foot of Signal Hill.
It's just wrong that cake can be so good. Kerry-Anne and I usually mutually decide on two different pieces of cake and then share them. The portions are simply too big to eat an entire slice of caramel cheesecake without feeling somewhat ill.
I'm sure that there's much debate around which country has the prettiest girls. I guess the perception of beauty is to a large degree cultural - still, with this in mind, I believe South Africa has somewhat a monopoly in this department. I only have to cast my eyes across our dining room table to have this again confirmed.
Disclaimer: This photo was taken at the V&A Waterfront and since we have many tourists visiting all the time, I guess I can't assume that the girls in the photo are South African.
We took a leisurely Sunday afternoon drive out to the back of Durbanville today (about 30 minutes from Cape Town city centre). We stopped to take a few shots here, near the turn-off to Clara Anna Fontein, a private game reserve. Although we don't live too far from this area, we'd never actually stopped here before. This spot is about five minutes from the town of Durbanville, but feels like it's miles out in the country - quiet and serene, with wide-open spaces.
Alright then, this will probably be our last cricket-related shot for a while. Today was semi-final day in the T20 World Cup, and it was New Zealand in action against Pakistan at Newlands. (South Africa sadly didn't make it to the semi-finals, after being beaten by India on Thursday evening. I'm still a little sore about that, so the less said the better...)
Paul managed to capture this unusual painting-like cloud formation while the rest of us had our eyes on the game this afternoon. (For those of you not familiar with cricket, the subject line of this post is a reference to Elton John's song "Daniel" - the New Zealand captain's name is Daniel Vettori, and he happens to be my favourite overseas cricketer to watch.)
Pakistan won today's game, and will be meeting India in the final on Monday - it promises to be an absolutely fantastic game, full of big hits and sneaky wickets.
Looking at these trees you wouldn't say it's spring, would you? Well, it officially is, and the weather over the last few days seems to be confirming that - warm, with mostly blue skies, and most telling of all, wind. Spring is our windiest season here in Cape Town, although on most days the wind only comes up in the afternoon and subsides by about 5pm.
I'm not too keen on wind myself, but I can live with it because it means... yes... you guessed it... summer is around the corner!
This shot was taken at the V&A Waterfront, above the amphitheatre. Free concerts are often held here, drawing plenty of tourists and locals alike.
Another shot from the T20 World Cup... Two matches were played at Newlands Cricket Ground today - Australia beat Sri Lanka in the first, and Pakistan beat Bangladesh in the second.
This shot was taken during the second game. There was a great atmosphere in the stadium by that time, with supporters of both countries taking turns to run in front of the crowd urging us to shout for their respective teams. These students seemed to be having a really good time in the sun and were only too happy to pose for photos. Looks like fun, doesn't it?
Summer is on its way... :)
If you like Coca-Cola and plan on visiting Cape Town, then allow me to set your mind at ease - yes, we absolutely do drink Coca-Cola in South Africa ;). In fact, for many it's the default soft drink - they've managed to make Coke curiously addictive haven't they?
The favourite drink of many South Africans (particularly while braaiing [barbecueing] and watching rugby) is fondly known as "Klippies 'n Coke". It's a mixture of Coca-Cola and Klipdrift brandy - and usually as the evening wears on you'll find that the mixture leans more and more heavily towards the Klippies...
As with yesterday's post, this photo was taken in Cape Town's buzzing Long Street.
If you're keen on doing something in Cape Town central at night, then Long Street is one of the places that you may want to visit. Lining the bright, buzzing street are several clubs, bars and restaurants. Even though I wouldn't recommend that members of our fairer sex wander Long Street alone after dark, it remains pretty safe for a couple looking for a good night out.
Following on from yesterday's cricket theme, it truly has been a time for fun under the African sun. Cricket matches are synonymous with laughter, shouting, singing, and of course beer... after all, what would cricket be without beer?
Interestingly enough, even though beer flows freely at cricket matches, nobody seems to get too out of hand. Our police force remain absolutely vigilant and maintain a good amount of visibility. Spectators tend to respect each other and even though their team may lose, nobody shows anger at this. One would be more likely to see lower lips dragging along the floor as sad fans make their way home.
There's been great excitement over the start of the 20/20 Cricket World Cup. Twenty overs a side makes for a really quick-paced game - fun to watch for cricket-lovers and non-cricket-lovers all round.
We spent the day first watching Bangladesh and Australia slogging it out (with the men in yellow winning comfortably), and then seeing South Africa getting off to a slow start, but ultimately beating England.
Congratulations Albie on winning Man of the Match!
Kerry-Anne and I took our Polish visitor on a quick tour around the city as the sun's final rays were disappearing. One of her questions to us was regarding the large number of lights and whether or not we have electricity supply problems. Perhaps it's just perception on her part and perhaps she's just not used to seeing Warsaw from a vantage point like Signal Hill - though I must admit that we do have our fair share of bulbs glowing through the night... it makes us feel all safe when driving from party to party ;).
As you may already know, the Rugby World Cup is currently being held in France. Kerry-Anne and I (along with a couple of friends) took a Polish visitor to Long Street Cafe in the city centre to watch her first-ever rugby match. This photo was taken at half-time as Springbok supporters were excitedly chatting about the comfortable lead that the Springboks had managed to establish, while the handful of England supporters ordered another round of drinks from the bar.
In the end England (the reigning champions) were subdued with a final score of 36-0. Go Springboks, you guys rock!
In case you missed yesterday's post - we asked readers to guess what the object in the photograph from 12 September was. Here it is, a water wheel. This wheel is located at the Old Biscuit Mill (the old Pyotts biscuit factory).
The factory was recently converted into an array of shops where artists, photographers, crafters and other creative people could display their work. In addition to the various shops, the Neighbourgoods Market is open on Saturdays between 9.00am and 2.30pm, where farm-fresh and organic vegetables are sold to health- and eco-friendly Capetonians.
Kerry-Anne and I went along to a gathering of freelance writers, designers, photographers and programmers tonight, organised by Freelancentral. While taking a moment away from the buzz of all those creative people, I came across this rather intriguing wheel. Can you guess what it might be?
Kerry-Anne and I attended a wedding on Saturday at the beautiful La Provence wine farm on the Polkadraai road, between Kuils River and Stellenbosch. Located on a hill, it's an absolutely awesome venue looking out over vineyards, the Boland mountains and False Bay. We spent the evening enjoying good wine, great food and plenty of dancing - an awesome evening it was.
So I discovered today, when we took part in the Blisters for Bread event in Green Point. 10km is in fact a really, really long way to walk!
I last took part in Blisters for Bread when I was 7 years old; back then I did the 5km route, and as I recall, it was easy-peasy. Paul pointed out sympathetically that many things were easy-peasy when I was 7, lugging around a total body-weight of about 20 kilograms. I won't tell you what I'm lugging around now, but let's just say that it's a tad more than that.
Blisters for Bread is held to raise funds for the Peninsula School Feeding Association, a non-profit organisation that has been providing meals to under-privileged children at their schools for almost 50 years. Sadly, there are many children in our city who don't get sufficient nutrition at home, because their parents are unemployed, sick, or simply don't earn enough to provide proper meals for their family. You can imagine that it's very hard for a hungry child to pay attention in class and succeed at their schoolwork. If you're interested in supporting this cause, you can read more about how to donate money to them here.
We went to a rather unusual birthday party last night. This is our very talented friend Matthew, who plays guitar for a local band called These Three Words. For his birthday, a couple of his friends blindfolded him and drove him to a farm, where about 50 of us were waiting to surprise him. The rest of the band members were already there too, with all their equipment set up, ready to play. Matthew was led up onto the stage, his blindfold was taken off, and his guitar was handed to him. Can you imagine his surprise at finding out that not only were ALL his friends there for his birthday, but that he was the entertainment at his own party?! :)
We went to watch Air Supply live in concert last night, and I have to say, the years have been kind to these guys. They performed with absolute energy and charisma, and looked as though they were having as much fun as I imagine they had when they were just starting out 30 years ago. That's Graham Russell on the left (you'll notice that his feet aren't actually touching the ground...) and Russell Hitchcock on the right.
The best part of the evening? Right at the end, after the encore, Graham tossed his guitar pick to Paul. Both of us play guitar, and we've wanted to start a band for ages - maybe now that we have a "lucky pick" we'll actually be inspired enough to do something about that. Watch this space... :)
No, not that kind of snowflake - in fact, I can't remember it ever snowing in Cape Town - except for the little bit that very, very rarely falls on the top of Table Mountain.
The Snowflake buildings that you see in front of Lion's Head are likely to be full of flour. Snowflake, with its tag-line "Too fresh to flop", is a flour manufacturer dating back to 1877. Here it's more or less a household name in flour, so much so that if you'd ask me to name another brand of flour, I doubt I could.
Auric Auto in Claremont loaned Kerry-Anne and I a Mini Cooper for the day yesterday. This photo was taken from the Mini as we sped past these guys digging a hole (or perhaps a trench) alongside the N1, one of our national highways.
From our vantage point it looked as though only one of the six was working. Perhaps the guy wielding the pick-axe had lost a bet, or maybe he was just really committed to his job and decided to give his tea-break a miss. Who knows...?
It's difficult to see from the cropped photograph that the tin-shack houses depicted in the foreground of this 430x140x16mm chipboard painting have a 3D appearance. They're actually made from discarded aluminium soda cans!
We bought this piece of art today for R100 (approximately 10 Euros); the artist was selling his work at traffic lights on the Newlands part of the M3, at the foot of Table Mountain. Framed it'll look absolutely stunning.
This revolver reminds me of a group that caused a stir some time ago. They called themselves PAGAD, People Against Gangsterism and Drugs. Ironically, they were suspected of a number of violent actions that caused many innocent people injury and even cost a few lives at times. It was a sad time in Cape Town's history.
In the past few years the South African government has been putting in place regulations to restrict the number of guns in circulation. We had an amnesty period a while back, where citizens could drop illegal weapons at police stations without the risk of being charged for having them in their possession. Many firearms were destroyed and many consider South Africa a safer place today for this.
Though I'm not a jazz fan, I'd have to admit that a trumpet in the hands of the right person has a great deal of soul.
This photo of Abie Thomas catches him at his place of work at the V&A Waterfront. He's been a street performer at the Waterfront for many years - since it first opened, in fact. If you visit the Waterfront you're sure to bump into him and his band - perhaps the smooth jazz sounds will even entice you into purchasing one or two of his CDs.
In the daylight there's really nothing special about this piece of road, but at night and through the lens of a camera it seems to have a special quality, don't you think?
(While I was taking photos here a Navy-Seal-type armed response security guard who was patrolling the area came to check that I wasn't plotting a robbery. I received rather a blank stare after telling him that I was a photographer from Cape Town Daily Photo - as if it was CNN or Sky News - expecting that he would know exactly what I was talking about.)
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