This past weekend, we celebrated my mom’s birthday with a family picnic in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve.

Following a little meander along the Palmiet River Trail, we settled on some rocks close to a rushing waterfall and enjoyed fresh Portuguese rolls, coffee, tea and home-baked goodies courtesy of Imar and Tamara. This spot also happens to be a designated swimming zone that I’d love to revisit on a sunnier, more summery day.

After the picnic, Imar and I decided to head back to Betty’s Bay along the 6km Oudebosch trail, which connects the Kogelberg Nature Reserve with the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens. After being damaged by the devastating fires in January, the hike has been closed for much of the year. It was reopened to the public recently, but with much of the path back down into the garden not fully restored just yet and a couple of rusty tools scattered along the trail, we suddenly doubted whether this was really the case.

We were very pleased and excited to walk alongside two sets of Cape Leopard tracks – possibly a mother and a cub – for quite a bit of the middle section of the trail, though, and kept our eyes peeled for the elusive creatures. Sadly they were in no mood to be spotted (Lol lol).

Either way, it was an invigorating and memorable experience. Here are some photos I took:

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It’s been a heady few weeks for us South Africans since the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup at the end of October.

The team returned home last week and received a well-deserved heroes’ welcome at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, followed by more of the same in the various cities they’ve visited as part of their Trophy Tour.

Today was Cape Town’s turn and, of course, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

After an early wake-up to get some work done, I grabbed my camera, got on the MyCiti bus and headed into the streets just before 11am.

I wended my way from Strand, through St. George’s Mall and all along Adderley, turning down into Darling Street where the celebratory atmosphere was practically palpable. All along the way, fans waved South African flags and burst into spontaneous renditions of Shosholoza and the National Anthem. Most were kitted out in green-and-gold, but sadly some couldn’t escape their workwear. No matter what they were wearing, though, not a soul was left out of the festivities!

It was truly a sight to behold and I relished capturing some special moments on camera.

Here they are:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Springboks Trophy Tour"

Last year, I discovered my old point and shoot film camera in a drawer. Believe it or not, I actually still used it to capture my first few months at university back in 2004!

Anyway, since I had started dabbling in film photography, I decided to pop one of the expired Kodak Gold films I had recently acquired into the sturdy little body and decided to keep it in my handbag for spontaneous shots.

Well, over the next few months, it became my constant companion and ended up accompanying me on work trips to Maputo and Mpumalanga, as well as random adventures all around Cape Town. Sadly, one fateful day, it must have decided that it had served me loyally enough for long enough and simply gave up the ghost.

Fortunately, I could still wind the film up and have it developed.

The result? Super grainy snapshots – some overexposed, others under and yet others completely covered in light leaks. Not great photos by any standard. Yet, somehow, the more you look at them, the more charming they seem to become.

Or maybe I just feel loyal to them.

Maybe you should judge for yourself:

Continue Reading "Snaps: Super Grainy 35mm Point and Shoot"

For the past few days, my creativity has been at a bit of a low ebb.

Since I’m quite comfortable with the idea that things move in cycles and we can’t always be at peak performance, it doesn’t alarm me too much.

However, I don’t like wallowing in this state for too long.

Something I enjoy doing to help myself snap out of it is leaving the confines of my flat and heading out into the city for a walkabout. Cape Town’s streets always have something interesting, thought-provoking, humorous and beautiful on offer to get those creative juices flowing again.

Today, was an especially good day to seek out the Mother City’s streets, as earth warriors from across the peninsula gathered to participate in the Global Climate Strike.

In all honesty, I hadn’t intended to join the march – not because I don’t love mama earth, just because taking to the streets in protest isn’t really something I do.

But, when I found myself falling deeper into the creative funk, I thought being part of something bigger might just offer me some much-needed perspective.

Also, I’ve always loved protest photographs, so this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at taking some too. (I do, of course, also realise that my camera, notebook and observation skills often serve as a safety blanket in situations like these).

Anyway, so here are some images snapped at the Global Climate Strike in Cape Town:

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Earlier this month, I had the privilege of taking a whirlwind trip around the Overberg as part of #OverbergFam2019 – a familiarisation trip supported by Wesgro and SATSA – to explore this special region in a little more depth.

Veering off the beaten track (i.e. the N2) as far as possible, our itinerary took us from Elgin to Barrydale to Swellendam to Malgas and finally De Hoop. Along the way, we enjoyed an incredible array of experiences – from a chilly morning game drive at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve to an exquisite overnight stay at Schoone Oordt Country House and all manner of treats in between.

While I’m no stranger to the Overberg, this trip introduced me to a few quirky new experiences. Here are five I’d highly recommend to anyone who might be craving a leisurely spring road trip:

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It’s slightly terrifying how fast this year is going, isn’t it?

And also how it’s becoming increasingly difficult to connect and enjoy quality time with the people who matter most. Unless you actually pin down a date, time and venue for getting together, it’s definitely not going to happen spontaneously. (I’m sure the world was different at some point not too very long ago.)

So, when my mom recently managed to round us all up for a quick two-night break at Duinepos Eco Cottages in the West Coast National Park, it felt like nothing short of a miracle!

Continue Reading "Snaps: A Quick Break in the West Coast National Park"

A couple of months ago, a friend shared a post on their Instagram stories with the hashtag #AccidentallyWesAnderson and, immediately, I was intrigued.

Clicking on it, I found myself scrolling through a host of whimsical images from all corners of the globe that, indeed, seemed to have been snapped on one of Wes Anderson’s gently magical movie sets. What made all of them so arresting, however, was the fact that they depicted real-life places that weren’t even *trying* to be anything but themselves.

Continue Reading "Snaps: #AccidentallyWesAnderson in Springbok"

Last month marked my seventh year of living in Sea Point, Cape Town. That’s a damn long time and, to be quite honest, I think a move is probably a little overdue.

Not because I don’t like it here. Quite to the contrary. I like it so much, I’ve gotten quite comfortable indeed. It’s just that I feel an old restlessness returning. The need to expand, explore and try something new. Living and working in a 43m² space does, I suppose, take its toll – no matter how cosy and cute and reminiscent of home.

Although I’m not quite sure about the logistics just yet, there’s no question about it: the next big step looms and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

In the meantime, I’m soaking up Sea Point, making sure I remember every inch just as it is right now. What can I say? I’m a sucker for nostalgia and this place has got me real good.

Over the course of the past year or so, I’ve snapped a few shots on 35mm film that seem to capture this sense of longing while still very much living in the midst of it. In most cases, these were the last few ‘throwaway’ exposures taken on spools filled with pictures of exotic elsewheres.

Looking through them, though, I feel inspired to dedicate a whole project to Sea Point and the complex intersection of life it holds. Maybe I will. Let’s see.

Until then… a few throwaway shots on 35mm film.

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When it comes to dreams of travel, there’s an outright war being waged within my soul.

While one side yearns to explore places unknown – inhale their strange air, indulge in their exotic cuisine, listen to the unfamiliar song of the languages the locals speak – the other side desperately longs for a grand return to so many I’ve been before. To retrace the footsteps of the woman I was back then, to see what she saw and maybe even point out a few of the things she missed; to sink my teeth into the delicacies I’ve never been able to find back home; to stake my claim for some sort of familiarity; but mostly just to be there again.

Portugal is one of the places I wish to return to most poignantly. Porto, in particular.

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About a month ago, we headed to Wilderness for Andre and Danielle’s wedding – a wild and wonderful beach-meets-forest affair.

Despite a storm breaking out in full force on the afternoon of the nuptials, it was a truly beautiful and joyous occasion.

Apart from celebrating their promises of forever to each other, we also got a chance to rediscover a few of the trails in this lush section of the Garden Route National Park.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Walking in Wilderness"