1

However intimidating motorbikes, leathers or facial hair might be, no-one could possibly deny that Harley-Davidsons are damn cool. And I have ridden one! [Read more…]

More
1

The clear highlights were the portraits, both for me and for Joseph. He loved picking out the blue highlights of the skin and seeing how the red of the lips might be the same colour as her hat or as a flower on her dress.

More
0

We all have days of being Data Deficient, but to be globally listed as such could be rather an insult. Yet such is the fate of the Bryde whale. On further investigation, the implication is not so much that it is naturally blonde but simply that there is insufficient information about the species. This very shy mammal is estimated to number just 90 000 – that’s approximately the population of Hemel Hempstead – sprinkled throughout the vast tropical and temperate waters of the world. There have been more sightings of the Loch Ness Monster. Probably. [Read more…]

More
0

For all the adrenaline, beauty and culture on offer in Cape Town, for true inspiration you can’t do better than to head to the townships. Most people assume that these are places of crime and squalor which should be avoided at all costs. But go with the right guide and you’ll find that behind the rows and rows of shacks that line the road from the airport there are real life stories full of proud, positive and caring entrepreneurship.

More
0

Acutely aware of my own mortality I teetered on the edge of a sheer cliff-face, face green and legs trembling. It astonished me that I should have volunteered myself into such a situation. It seemed so easy while in the depths of pregnancy to promise that one day I would abseil down Table Mountain. But now that day had come. [Read more…]

More
0

I’ve found a whole new chunk of Cape Town to love. Newlands is the most wonderful cricket ground I’ve ever been to. OK, so it’s the only cricket ground I’ve been to, but I’m a very recent convert to the game, and finding myself sitting in the sun by a large green field with Table Mountain as a backdrop, I knew this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

More
0

Lonely and neglected, Candy was sitting in a dark corner of a Chinese army depot when Tim Clarke first set eyes on her. Instantly smitten, he resolved to make her acquaintance. He was sure that, given time, he could coax some life into her and restore the pride and vitality she’d clearly once enjoyed. [Read more…]

More
1

I know that liking a politician for their appearance is as shallow as choosing a racehorse for its name or a wine for its label, but, well… I am that shallow. I am more likely to be found reading the derring-do exploits of The Four Marys from the Bunty Annual 1965 than perusing the political pages of the papers, but for what it’s worth, I liked the fact that Thabo Mbeki was always immaculately tailored just as I liked his upright posture, his quiet demeanour and his reputation for academia. [Read more…]

More
0

“Ooh I’m not sure actually. Looks a bit nippy.
Maybe we should wait a bit.
See if it warms up.
(Pause)
Let’s ask Gladys… She was in earlier.
(pause)
… See what she says.
(pause)

More
0

“I love the smell of Cape Town in the morning.” I haven’t even seen Apocalypse Now, but I know the line well enough to misquote it. I spoke gruffly, with a dodgy American accent. I couldn’t help myself – I was in a Huey, the iconic combat air vehicle and star of so many films, and I was revved up for a Combat Mission flight. The rotors were settling into steady whump whump overhead, and the sound system was playing The Doors’ This is the End. [Read more…]

More
0

For a minute I thought I was hallucinating. But then I saw it again – a vast purple octopus floating in the heavens. It lured me closer and drew my attention to its companions, a colossal frog, a lumbering caterpillar and, as you would expect, a gigantic penguin.

More

Coals to Newcastle, ice to Eskimos… teaching Capetonians not to take themselves so seriously. Hmmm, someone should have told Ben Zander that his Rule Number 6 is a slam dunk in this neck of the woods.

More
2

I hadn’t gone topless before. How alive it makes you feel to have the breeze caress your skin! How the senses are re-energised by the thrill of the tingling nerves! [Read more…]

More
0

Contemplating the vastness of the universe has always been a great chat up technique. Since the dawn of speech, men have been making things up about the stars in the hope of getting lucky. So in theory, what with 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy, 2010 should be a baby boomer year.

More
0

It had been a big gig at the castle the night before, and leaping around to the pumping sounds of Prime Circle while downing vodka shots had seemed a good idea at the time. Less so now as I found myself rinsing large chunks of raw meat under an industrial tap in a converted container.

More
0

It’s an accent that lends itself deliciously to comedy, and two masters of its every melodic twist are Kurt Schoonraad and Marc Lottering, both born and bred Capetonians with a wicked line in observational humour.

More
0

If you look up at Lion’s Head from the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay you might just make out a small patch of not-quite-natural green on the seaward slope of the mountain. With a pair of binoculars last week, you might even have been able to see the form of a hapless English housewife teetering on its brink. [Read more…]

More
0

Hooray for the ancient art of story telling. When did you last come across someone who could use a phrase such as “that long, dark, desperate night…” and keep a wide-eyed audience enthralled for over an hour?

More
0

Thanks to a lift with a mind of its own I’d managed to get a bit lost in the tangled maze of corridors behind the Opera House. It was fun to imagine them on an ordinary working day, filled with a buzz of scales and arpeggios, toe tapping and Kids from Fame-like shenanigans, love trysts and leg warmers. I stopped short of doing a little samba, á la Patrick Swayze, down the length of the deserted hallway… but it was tempting.

More
0

As each one hit I felt myself black out for a millisecond. It was as though the dust in my head was being forcibly ripped out from between my eyes. It was hard to gauge my own sanity. [Read more…]

More
0

Apart from the occasional gumming of an air stewardess’s ear Joseph behaved himself pretty well on his first flight. Clearly a budding engineer, he mastered the seat belt buckle in seconds and once he had been transferred to the bassinet, he made repeated attempts to get at the screws which held it to the bulkhead. When awake he gahhed and burbled, noises which were lost in the white noise of the engines. When asleep he lay stretched out and tucked in, and I gazed at him partly in awe but mostly with the exponentially increasing envy known only to the economy traveller. [Read more…]

More
0

Rounding a precarious bend I hit an unexpected dip in the rough road and was thrown forward in the saddle. Feeling sheepishly amateur, I looked up to see the shape of the inscrutable trail boss silhouetted against the late afternoon sky, one foot up on a rock, motes of dust swirling around him as the sunlight streamed across the mountaintop. [Read more…]

More
0

OK – I confess, we do get winter in Cape Town. In the last couple of weeks it must have rained at least twice and the temperature at night has plunged to as low as three degrees. But even the weather succumbs to Cape Town’s laid back attitude. As I write this, I am sitting in the sun under our lemon tree, thermal vest long since discarded. [Read more…]

More
0

Groomed to a lustrous finish the magnificent creatures pranced on the grass, their silky skin gleaming over well-toned bodies. Glossy manes flicked through the air as they aimed the occasional playful nip at one another… and that was just the race-goers.

More
0

Easing past the lesser seen parts of the Waterfront – the wharfs and berths where the real work takes place – the scenery was theatrical. In the foreground there was the activity of unloading the trawlers onto the hard from which rose up a line of brightly painted warehouses.

More
0

That is, not very well. I like to think of it merely as lack of practice and thereby neatly sidestep the issue of ability, but now a full 12 years after obtaining my driver’s licence (at the third attempt) I actually own a car. Not only that, but I am living in a city where public transport is minimal and as a result I find myself driving at least a little bit almost every day. Much to my surprise I am enjoying being a part of the Capetonians’ cheerfully haphazard driving jamboree. [Read more…]

More
0

With a houseful of dusty bits of junk and mismatched furniture and a wardrobe that includes my old school skirt (yup – still going strong after nearly two decades) I am not necessarily the best person to judge what is groovy and cool and This Season’s Must-Buy. But believe me – if you weren’t at the Design Indaba last week, you should have been.

More