“The first exhibit of its kind in South Africa, the I&J Exhibit holds 1.6 million litres of seawater, stands 6 metres deep and includes a 10-metre long tunnel. The first thing I did as I walked into the tunnel was to gaze up through the glass as a giant guitarfish floated across the sky.”More
It’s funny what we’ll do for an adrenaline rush. Recently I was telling some clients about my abseil down Table Mountain. Their eyes lit up when I whispered, “I nearly died I was so scared” and they couldn’t book themselves in fast enough. [Read more…]More
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
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
I once had a client, a charming Essex girl, who asked me where she could buy clothes in Zanzibar. I explained that within the nearby villages she may be able to buy the local material, but there were no clothes shops or tailors to be found. She looked at me blankly and said, “No, sweetheart. Cloves. Like the spices, innit?”More
We were still at the polo farm* and the unaccustomed exercise along with the heat and the wine were beginning to make me hallucinate. At one point I could have sworn I saw Baroness Thatcher slip into the house behind us. And yet… that unmistakeable hair, the power suit, the pair of sensible yet elegant heels disappearing through the door… I moved a little closer and could hear a distinctly low-pitched, enunciated voice giving orders. Surely it couldn’t be? [Read more…]More
They say it’s a crime to leave Cape Town without having been to Mzoli’s.
This meat “restaurant”, the brainchild of entrepreneur Mzoli Ngcawuzele, can lay claim to being the township spot most frequented by non-locals. It’s in an area of Gugulethu easily accessible by taking one of the minibus taxis on Main Road and, when we arrived around 1pm, the streets in front of Mzoli’s were already jammed, with some people sitting on the sidewalk or hosting mini parties in their cars with the music turned up loud.More
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
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
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
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
It almost felt as if I was in an underwater aquarium. Seeing the sharks in their natural habitat, browsing around for food and utterly uninterested in me helped me to understand that these are mighty creatures who are vastly misunderstood by the general population.More
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
The sea water reflecting the blue skies, the cotton wool-like clouds and the shifting shadows caused by the setting of the sun were more than worthy rewards for my successful endurance of the thick Rugby traffic en route. A cheerful crowd of people was assembling, many individuals joined by four-legged friends wagging their tails. I didn’t bring a pet, but I brought my boyfriend and he too looked happy to be by the sea.More
It took a few attempts to convince the fish but by the third try I seemed to have figured it out. Bam! The rod bowed down to the force tearing on the other end of the line. Finally! The fish was clearly not going to give up without a good fight, which was great fun on the fairly light tackle we were using.More
I’m the type of person for whom the distinguishing feature of a car is its colour. I empathise with the girl at a dinner party who, when asked what kind of cars she liked replied, offhandedly, “Oh any old thing so long as it gets me from A to B” only to later discover that she had been speaking to Ayrton Senna. [Read more…]More
“Cancel all your plans and come – the weather is perfect.” That was the extent of the phone message.
Suddenly the light-hearted idea of a fun activity for the indistinct future had become the dauntingly solid reality of the present.
During the journey my thoughts rollercoastered between abject fear and mounting excitement. All of which could account for the number of times we got lost finding the place. But eventually we were in the halls of Skydive Cape Town.
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
The Clay Café consists of a long warm room (there’s a fire on cold winter days) with shelves along one side piled high with raw pottery – plates, bowls, mugs, fairies, the options are limitless. On the other side are paints, paintbrushes, sponges, stencils etc… All the makings of creative happiness.More
No doubt you remember the episode of Hart to Hart when Mrs H gets kidnapped by the baddie. Held in a room with a glass wall, she uses her large diamond ring to cut her way through the glass to freedom. It is surely the perfect example (note to husband) of just how useful diamonds can be in day to day living. [Read more…]More