Mixed herbs and other leafy things

Mixed herbs and other leafy things
Kerry-Anne's brother, the family horticulturist, started a business growing herbs and other leafy salad things from their little farm in Langebaan a little while back. I visited the Market at the Palms (a bi-monthly market in Woodstock, where he sells some of his produce) on Saturday to touch base with the family and (I have to admit) indulge in chocolate from the chocolate fountain operated by Rococoa, the most insanely-awesome chocolatier I've ever visited. If you have a chocolate addiction, then be warned, I'll share those photos tomorrow!

But for now, if you're interested in doing the healthy thing and buying seedlings to start your own herb-and-salad-leaf garden, visit the Mixed Herbs Facebook page and leave a message on the wall, or email John directly for more info.

2012 Fair Cape Downhill Challenge #2

Yesterday I posted a few photos from SAGRA's Fair Cape Downhill Challenge. I thought I'd post a couple more today. If you'd like to see even more photos click here - you'll find dozens more.

Something that surprised me was the number of woman who I saw competing in the event. Skateboarding, and specifically downhill racing, is traditionally such a guy thing that it's to be expected that one would find almost exclusively guys competing. But it really does seem as though a good number of woman in Cape Town are getting into the sport!

I'd really like to see more woman take part, so if you're keen, visit SAGRA's website for more information or contact me and I'll put you in contact with a few pros. They'll have you racing in no time! :)

Skateboards of the 2012 Fair Cape Downhill Challenge

Skateboards of the 2012 Fair Cape Downhill Challenge
I spent this morning at day 1 of the Fair Cape Downhill Challenge, a downhill skateboarding event held on the super-smooth Malanshoogte road (map) that leads to Durbanville's Fair Cape dairies.

Sunday's action starts with practice runs between 09h30 and 13h00 with the race starting at 14h00. If you think downhill skateboarding may be your thing, stop by the event - I suspect you'll be convinced. :)

EDIT: See my follow-up article and more pics here.

2012 Cape Town Pride festival

Cape Town Pride festival
It's well-known that Cape Town has a large gay community, and it's also well-known that the largest concentration of gay bars, like Backroom Bar, can be found in Green Point. So, I guess it's no surprise that this year's Cape Town Pride festival will open on 2 March at Green Point's Amsterdam Bar.

The Pride festival will move from venue to venue each day from 2 until 11 March and funds raised at the event will be donated to the Pride Shelter Trust, an organisation that helps gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual people by providing them with short-term shelter in times of crisis.

If you would like to support the initiative, or if you're simply keen on 10 days of fun, check out the itinerary, grab a friend, and have some fun!

It was really, really, hot at Moonstruck

People at the beach wading into the sea
You would think that after living in Cape Town our entire lives we'd have know that it would still be crazy-hot on the beach after 6pm. Only about 30 minutes before the sun finally set on Clifton 4th beach did it start to cool down - and then only by a few degrees.

Read more about Cape Talk, the NSRI, and Moonstruck in my previous post.

Moonstruck 2012 at Clifton 4th beach

Moonstruck 2012 at Clifton 4th beach
Each year 567 Cape Talk radio hosts Moonstruck on Clifton 4th beach. A medium-sized stage is erected on the beach and about 7000 people turn up between 5 and 6pm to have fun with friends, picnic under the setting sun, and listen to live music until long after the sun has set.

In case you're wondering, Moonstruck isn't only about the awesomeness of a huge beach party. The event is run to raise money for the National Sea Rescue Institute, better known as the NSRI. I've written about the work that the NSRI do a couple of times - read more about the organisation, and how you can help, here and here.

I'll post a few more photos tomorrow, but right now it feels like my eyelids are flapping around my knees and it's become apparent to me that it's probably time call it a night. 'Night folks! :)

The Traffic fashion show at Trinity

The Traffic fashion show at Trinity
If you follow Cape Town Daily Photo closely you may remember that I wrote about Traffic Clothing's 2011 Winter Collection in March this year. Well, as you may have noticed, summer has arrived and consequently Traffic timed the release of their 2011 Summer Collection just perfectly.

I, and a few hundred other folk, spent the evening at Trinity Supperclub (a restaurant in Cape Town) being entertained by DJ's and treated to delectable chocolate delights from Café Le Chocolatier in Franschhoek. After a little patient waiting the first of the 10 models descended from an iron staircase to the catwalk to display some of what Traffic Clothing's store will be stocked with for Summer.

If you'd like to see a few more photos (besides for those below) - I've uploaded a few of the models in action to a Facebook album here.

View my article about Traffic's 2011 Winter Collection for info on where and how to buy Traffic's designer gear.

Breathing space

One of the things that I liked most about J&B's Start a Party at the Castle last weekend was the fact that there were so many different mini-venues within the main venue, each with their own character and layout. I generally avoid nightclubs and jam-packed bars, because I find the combination of low light and jostling crowds quite unsettling. (And yeah, I realise that makes me sound old, but honestly, I've always been that way. I'm rather fond of my personal space. :))

So it was a pleasant surprise when we arrived at the Castle and found that there were several different areas set up as part of the party. We spent the evening moving from room to room: from the entrance area with its small bar, to the main dance floor, to the chill room, to the sophisticated and spacious bar area upstairs, to another chill room, to the media centre, to the more crowded bar downstairs, back to the dance floor, and so on and so on.

I loved the fact that we could spend a few minutes on the dance floor, and then go upstairs to a chill room where we could still hear the music, but could actually sit down and talk. Now, if only all parties could be like this...

Memories of the Football World Cup

It's a party
A integral facet of J&B's Start a Party Republic is that each year they take some of the people who attended the previous party along to the next one. Since the last party was in Mexico we were privileged to have an awesome group of Mexicans join us at the Castle of Good Hope.

It took an hour or two for our foreign friends to warm up sufficiently, but once they did they ruled the dance floor and ignited a party with an atmosphere that reminded us of the month-long party that erupted when the world came to visit us last year for the Football World Cup. I hope this party sent our group of foreign visitors back home with memories that'll last a life time.

Rock on Mexico!

Detroit’s DJ Carl Craig at J&B’s Start a Party

Detroit's DJ Carl Craig at J&B's Start a Party
I'll get to Carl Craig in a second, but first, don't you love that HUGE mirror ball? You can't see in this photo, but there were green lasers bouncing from its shiny surface all the time - it was totally awesome!

Carl started his set after Culoe de Song ended off in spectacular style. Even though I'm not a regular listener of electronica/techno music, I immediately picked up that Carl's style was different. I've just read a little about him and have found out, in fact, that the thing that makes his style different from other Detroid-based artists is that he often remixes worldbeat and jazz music into his techno. Interesting, hey?

Having been in the business for about 22 years, it's clear that Carl's a far more seasoned muso. What was cool about his performance was that he interacted with the crowd on the dance floor far more than his peers - he clearly got into the party vibe; see the second photo below.

Carl Craig was the last of the DJs that we saw performing at J&B's Start a Party. Even though he was great and interacted with the crowd well, in terms of musical performance Monique Pascall, Culoe de Song, and Carl Craig were pretty much on par - or this is at least what my untrained ear tells me. :)

Culoe and the drums of Africa at J&B’s Start a Party

The African house beats of Culoe de Song
Culoe de Song (aka Culolethu Zulu) was the second of three artists performing at J&B's Start a Party on Saturday night. This super-tallented DJ and producer from Durban took over from Monique Pascall, paving the way for Detroit city's famous DJ, Carl Craig, to make his much-anticipated appearance.

Don't be confused by the photo - that's not Culoe - this is Culoe. The man in the photo was one of two drummers who added the distinctive African sound to Culoe's electronic music. I'm not sure if this applies only to us who've grown up in Africa, but African drums always seem to awaken the spirit of African in us, it's like we're drawn to the sound, to the beat, by some innate force. They're awesome. :)

Culoe's set was by earwitness accounts brilliant - and I guess that's to be expected. He's about 20 years old now, but at the age of 18 he was selected to attend the Red Bull Music Academy in Barcelona, and subsequent to that was asked to submit a mix Resident Advisor - the world's premier online electronic music magazine. Isn't that something - especially for an 18-year-old?!

Monique Pascall – the real party-starter

Monique Pascall - the real party-starter

We arrived at the castle for J&B's Start a Party at around 9pm which is just about the right time to start getting a party going, wouldn't you say?

As we walked into the venue, we were greeted by the electronic sounds of the lovely Monique Pascall - which her bio refers to as being "Minimal and Techno with tough, dirty, progressive, rolling bass lines". Now, I'm not a huge techno/electronica geek, but on reflection and after critically listening to her tracks on sShadoworkss I'd say that the description is pretty accurate, and well deserved.

The most difficult time for a DJ to perform is at the start of a party, when everyone's still a little tense from the day and has had just a little too little alcohol to relax the inhibitions. Up for the challenge, Monique picked up the beat and got the party started, enticing the first few party-starters onto the dance floor. By the time she handed over the reigns to Culoe de Song, the party was pretty much tripping.

In case you're wondering who the guy in the photo below is, that's Ivan Turanjanin, a DJ who's pretty much synonymous with Fiction nightclub's Killer Robot.

Mirrorball Man! He knows how to start a party.

Mirrorball Man!
We were transported by bus from the fabulous Pepper Club hotel to the castle - and guess who was there to greet us as we stepped off the bus for the J&B Start a Party? Yes! Brighter than a candle, faster than a dingo, more flexible than Kerry-Anne's pilates instructor - it was the one, the only, Mirrorball Man! (I can hear your collective roar as I type this.)

Mirrorball Man loves parties, hates drunk party-spoilers, loves revelers, hates drink drivers, and loves conga-lines! Mirrorball Man and his men-of-yellow have a simple philosophy: don't drink too much alcohol, drink lots of water, and don't freegin' drink and drive - ever.

Keeping by Mirrorball Man's philosophy meant that we could actually remember every detail of the party. We remember the awesome Joburg peeps that we met, the wild Mexicans who raged on the dance floor, the beautifully-spoken French men who always make Kerry-Anne's knees wobbly, and even Bogun, the crazy and sometimes confused Korean (who spoke no English) in the top left of the photo. :)

Don't you think it's kinda odd for J&B to create a "responsible drinker" like Mirrorball Man? Naa, I didn't think so - I guess you can see the logic in it: live to party another day (with J&B of course). ;)

What made J&B’s Start a Party awesome

Refresh with Valpré

As you may have gathered from my articles on Friday and Saturday, Kerry-Anne and I joined about 350 other people at the Castle of Good Hope for J&B's annual Start a Party party.

Given the title of this article (and if you were actually at the event) you're probably wondering why I posted a photo of an ice box with water when I could have posted a photo of the dance floor, bars, or DJs. If so, well then hang ten - I'll get to the party in the next post. This post is about the little extras that made Start a Party so memorable.

The first thing was that J&B made sure that there was always ice-cold water available, free of charge. Notice the text engraved in the ice pictured below? "Refresh, rehydrate, and remember the party." In addition to encouraging party-starters to drink plenty of water, they provided everyone with only 5 free coupons for mixes and cocktails (to discourage over-indulging). And, since 5 drinks would set everyone except perhaps Chuck Norris over the limit, J&B provided a free taxi service to anyone who wanted to make use of it.

The theme of the party was "party of the future", which brings me to the second thing that was awesome about the event. The halls and rooms of the Castle were filled with coloured lights. Bright-green lasers from along the floating stage cut through the smoke bouncing against mirror balls - and even mirrorball man on occasion! J&B had even arranged digital photo stations that took snaps of our faces, which were later used on huge touch-screens to bring life to our virtual cyber-party characters.

There were many more ancillary aspects that made the party different, and worth remembering; however, if I were to write about them all I fear that I'd eventually fall asleep on top of my laptop and awake with a keyboard embossed on my forehead. So, I'll leave it at that for now. But stand by, I'll post a couple more photos soon!

Lights, cameras, and a J&B party-starter

Cameras, lights, and a J&B party
Even though the weather's been particularly chilly and wet over the last few days, there was a huge gathering of local and international celebrity party-starters and guests, as well as a fairly sizable entourage of media at J&B's Start a Party launch last night.

We were pretty excited about the party, but are now even more so after hearing about the video mapping, LED dancers, video dance floor, and floating stage (although, I'm not sure where the stage will be floating - it's not like the castle is filled with water!).

Any party needs an awesome DJ - and we'll have four of them tonight. The well-known Detroit-based DJ, Carl Craig will be headlining the party, with backup from South Africa's Monique Pascal, Culoe de Song and Ivan Turanjanin.

Tonight's J&B Start a Party is going to be legendary - over the next day or two I'll share a few stories and photos from the event; but right now, I think it's about time to start suiting-up for the big gig. :)

About to Start a Party with J&B

Mixing J&B cocktails
You may have heard about the outrageous party that J&B's planning on hosting in Cape Town's Castle of Good Hope tomorrow. If not, I'm sure you'll remember the ad campaign for the last one - it was held on Mexico's Caribbean coast and the theme was Under the Mayan Sun. Remember? Didn't you wish you were there?

From what I've seen and read, tomorrow's J&B Start a Party party at the castle could be the biggest, most energetic and extravagant party that Cape Town has ever seen. Through some good fortune, Kerry-Anne and I were invited to the party. We'll driven from the Pepper Club hotel to the Castle; we'll be forced to party hard (how terrible); and then Road Trip will drive us back home in the early hours of the morning (assuming we've partied too much ;) )! Doesn't it sound awesome?!

I took this photo of a mixologist preparing one of the J&B cocktails designed especially for the party tomorrow. This one, called Ellicious, is made from J&B whisky (obviously!), peach schnapps, mango puree, lime juice, and pineapple juice. Doesn't that sound like one crazy-hardcore drink?

From teenager to dad – once a skater…

Graffiti at Son Skate Park
Once a skater always a skater - even if only at heart. It feels like it's been forever since I last touched a skateboard, and going along to Red Bull Manny Mania really got me excited about skating again - it's awesome.

If you missed my previous two posts about Red Bull Manny Mania - click here to read a little more about the event, and hey, you may even decide to dust of your old board and compete in Durban or Johannesburg. :D

Notice how the dad in the photo is keeping his young-one focused on the ramps? I'm sure he's going to be a champion some day!

Reach for what life is all about – Red Bull Manny Mania!

Skateboarders relaxing
Aren't skaters just awesome? I took this photo just before the start of Red Bull Manny Mania got underway - clearly the guy on the left had worked hard on his tricks and was taking a well-deserved rest before the competition started.

If you're in Durban, try to make it through to the competition on Saturday; it's going to be awesome!

Isn't that a great piece of wall art?

Red Bull Manny Mania 2011

Skateboard in flight
I recently went along to the international Red Bull Manny Mania skateboarding competition at Son Skate Park in Stellenbosch.

Red Bull Manny Mania is an international skateboarding competition that focuses on skateboarders performing tricks (vs. downhill, or street luge). The competition started in Cape Town and is working its way up to Johannesburg through Jefferys Bay and Durban. Durban will, in fact, be this coming Saturday (18 June) at the Wave House Skate Park and the last SA leg will be held at Revolution Skate Park in Johannesburg on Saturday 25 June.

The tree best skaters from all four cities will contend in the SA finals in Johannesburg (on 26 June), and the winner of that event will find themselves competing against the rest of the world in New York in August. Imagine that. New York in August! :)

A shiny metal elephant

A Shiny Metal Elephant
Imagine how long it must have taken to build this elephant. Imagine all the effort that it took to cut and then weld the bits and pieces together... imagine how long it took to shine this enormous metal proboscidea

You'll find this and many other artworks outside the African Trading Post at the V&A Waterfront.

No, I never actually knew that elephants were part of the Proboscidea family. ;)

2011 Luxlife Fashion Show

2011 Luxlife Fashion Show
Red Carpet Concepts hosted the 2011 Luxlife Fashion Show at the beautiful 15 on Orange African Pride Hotel. Needless to say - since I guess it's obvious from the photos, Kerry-Anne and I were among the lucky ones to be invited along. :)

The evening started off with us enjoying canapés, drinks (kindly sponsored by Pongracz, Bisquit, Nederburg, and Peroni), and smooth tones from an electric cello - played by the lovely Carol Thorns. As the evening progressed, the music switched to beats produced by DJ Lady M as the models took to the ramp wearing clothes by Stefania Morland, Philosophy, Jagadi Haute Couture and Jenni Button.

If you've never been to a fashion show before, I encourage you to spend the money and do something different. The evening was stylish, filled with beauty, and generally a lot of fun.

Click on the photos below, and visit my new photography site to see more pictures and style from the catwalk.

2011’s International Belly Dancing Day

Belly Dancer
Isn't she just awesome? Isn't she beautiful? Check out a couple more photos in my International Belly Dancing Day album!

I went along to IBDD 2011 to snap a few photos, and ended up taking about 700. The day showcased performances from several dancing studios including The Feminine Divine Belly Dance Studio, The Hip Circle Belly Dance School, Soma, and Rhythm Nouveau Dance Company

If you'd like to attend a show - why not go along to the Feminine Divine Annual Studio Show at Bergvliet High School on 23 July - it's certain to be great fun! :)

Boxing at The Armoury

Boxing at The Armoury
We went along to watch one of Kerry-Anne's online friends fight at The Armoury Boxing Club in Woodstock. That's her, Nechama, in the black. This was the first boxing match that we'd ever attended, so it was pretty exciting - we weren't sure of exactly what the setup would be, and I guess we weren't really ready for the sheer brutality of the sport. That said, it was pretty awesome.

There were nine fights on the night, and even though we only had time to stay and watch two of them - I have to say that it was very entertaining. The interesting thing about the fights were that the contestants weren't boxing for points, or to decide a winner... which I guess does away with some of the complexity associated with the sport and makes it just a little more fun and perhaps less fierce.

This type of boxing (ie. non-competitive boxing) is referred to as "White Collar boxing" because the fighters are regular people - not professional athletes - and generally do boxing as a replacement for going to gym (which, don't you think, is an excellent idea!?).

If you're interested in going along to see a fight, take R50 and some extra cash for drinks to The Armoury in Woodstock on 29 July 2011. It's guaranteed to be a whole lot of fun. Below are a couple of photos that show a little more of the evening, but if you'd like to see a whole lot more, click through to our complete Boxing Night at The Armoury album.

Dude, where’s my bike?

Dude, where's my bike?
In light of a recent comment by Dieter on this post, this post's title makes reference to a silly movie that holds good memories for Kerry-Anne and I. Surely you can guess the movie's name?

Fortunately (well, unfortunately actually) the bike attached to the Wheel of Excellence wasn't a prank. Rather, the bike was an advertisement by the wheel's sponsor, The Cape Epic - an annual MTB race which (this year) started on the 27th of March and ended on the 3rd of April seeing about 1200 entrants complete a 707km journey. And wait for it... wait for it...

Now that's epic! :P

Glitz, glamour and fashion with Traffic

Fashion Show

Traffic Clothing's 2011 winter collection fashion show was the first fashion show that I've ever attended - assuming that we're not counting the handful of amateur high school fashion shows that I sat through while still in school.

The show was awesome: something that you really should attend if you're interested in modern fashion, if you find FTV at all entertaining, or even if you'd simply like to try something out of the ordinary. The evening was a glitzy and stylish affair and had everyone socialising, drinking cocktails, and eating tasty canapés.

The only negative thing that I can say about the show was that it may have awakened Kerry-Anne's shopping demon... in fact, she's already tracked down the location of the two Traffic Clothing stores in Cape Town! Traffic have a store located at 195-197 Long Street (+27 21 426 0465) as well as a slightly more accessible (for us, anyway) store at the Canal Walk shopping centre (+27 21 5519740).

In case you missed the link above, click here to take a look at my small gallery of the models and their clothing.

Football matches of 2010

Football matches of 2010
It's hard to believe that it's been almost a year since the world arrived on our doorstep. This makeshift scoreboard and graffiti is part of the remnant left over from the 2010 Football World Cup.

Besides for us being a football-crazy nation, we were excited to host the world cup event because of the promise of long-term revenue that the publicity around the event would generate. It's a pity that revenue derived as a result of the World Cup is so difficult to measure - I'd be interested to know how much effect the event had, and continues to have, on our economy.

U2’s 360° tour in Cape Town

U2 in Cape Town
We, along with thousands of other fans had the opportunity to see the legendary U2 on their 360° tour in Cape Town at the Cape Town Stadium. The venue was superb (except for the difficult acoustics), the stage and famous Claw (the huge array of lights, speakers, and video displays that resemble the shape of a claw) was spectacular and the performance... perfectly brilliant. The entire event was unforgettable and will certainly be a hard one to beat!

The only negative aspect of the concert was that they had to crank up the volume extremely loud because of the poor stadium acoustics - so much so that I heard ringing in my ears for ages after the concert! (No helpful suggestions now, next time I'll be sure to remember those darn earplugs! :D )

I unfortunately couldn't take my normal camera along to the stadium, so this is the only snap that I have - but take a moment and see this awesome photo (citation) of the stadium, taken during the concert from Signal Hill. Doesn't it just remind you of City of Blinding Lights? :)

Did you manage to see the 360° tour in your city? How long ago was it, and was it also awesome? :)

Public art and the Infecting the City festival

Public Art
I first started to appreciate public art while walking the streets of Paris on vacation in 2006. It seemed that everywhere we looked there was at least one piece of art on display with the gardens and parks seeming to be gathering places for statues and sculptures of all kind. I realised then that in some way art (and perhaps sculpture in particular) conjures up the humanity in those who see it. In some way it draws us from our day-to-day race and reminds us that we're human; not robots made to mechanically step through life.

Although Cape Town has it's fair share of statues, they're mostly political in nature and weren't placed in the public domain for reasons of artistic appreciation (I don't think). However, there appears to have been a gradual move towards public art displays - with the most notable one being the scuptures of girls and butterflies along the Sea Point promenade.

The Infecting the City public art festival is set to take place from 21 February until 26 February in Cape Town. (Here's a schedule). While the main hub will be located on the square outside the Cape Town Station the displays and performances will be spread all over the CBD area. If you're not normally in the city, make a plan to visit - there's going to be plenty to see and admire!

Entertainers at the J&B Met

Entertainers at the J&B Met

Having entertainers like the long-legged air-walker above, the fire-eating hula-hoop-swinging seductress from Vaudeville, and the strange long-legged poodle-people at events must help people to relax and loosen up. Entertainers like these probably help to transport folk away from the normality of day-to-day living, perhaps allowing adults to be less adult, and adopt a more child-like minds. Well, this is the effect that it has on me, so I can only assume that it would have a similar effect on many others.

Please, if you know where to contact the entertainers in the photos, leave a comment below so that we can make their contact details available and thereby have the pleasure of seeing them at more events. Oh, and I promise, I'm not just trying to get the fire-eating hula-hoop-swinging seductress from Vaudeville's number. ;)

Why do people love horse-racing?

Why do people love horse racing?
I was never sure why people loved horse-racing so. I wondered if it was that people just love horses, or perhaps that it was the thrill of placing money with a bookie and the possibility of winning, or maybe even the intricate factors gamblers consider when choosing a horse.

While these are all true, after our time at the J&B Met I've come to believe that the overriding excitement in horse racing is the tension that is built while the horses are on the field. As a dozen horses charge down the field there's nothing quite like hearing the faint sound of 48 hooves crescendo into what sounds like a thousand drums. It's truly an amazing sound!