#weekendcoffeeshare: Anticipating the Cape Town Jazz Festival…

If we were having coffee today I’d tell you that I’ve done the editorial calendar for the blogging from A to Z Challenge. It’s the first time I’m participating and I know how it goes…life gets in the way and I miss one day of blogging, then another, then another…I want to be prepared for those days when I get home too late and too tired to blog.

Oh yes, and for the first week or so of the challenge I’ll be on holiday in Cape Town and may be too tired from exploring to blog. Or not…we’ll see.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you how excited I am to be going to Cape Town at the end of the month. Che and I are going to the Cape Town Jazz Festival. We try to go every year and have missed it for the last two. It’s such an amazing festival, the vibe indescribable.  It’s the 16th year that it’s been running, initially known as the southern hemisphere version of the North Sea Jazz Fest. Check out the amazing lineup here.

From Al Jarreau to The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, from Victor Masondo and Friends to Yvonne Chaka Chaka. I’m getting goose bumps just writing about this :-)! It’s two nights of music spread among five stages. CAN’T WAIT!

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that spending time with family was the most precious time I spent this week. I upgraded my Dad’s iPad to the latest OS, and am trying to get the photos and contacts from my Mom’s HTC onto her laptop (or her Google account) so that they can be transferred to her new iPhone. Yeah, I’m a shameless Apple fan and am succeeding in getting all of my family onto Apple products too – well, except Che and my brother and sister in law. Clearly lots of work to be done there.

In any event, I’m searching for the HTC Wildfire device driver for Windows 7 so if you can point me in the right direction I’d be grateful. I’ll buy the coffee for the next month.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I got to day seven of the Photo 101 course and because I was away from home, didn’t complete the last three assignments. Maybe I still will and use them as posts for next week. I have some of the pics lined up already.

If we were having coffee I’d mention how excited I am that my toastmasters friend, Tracy has joined Sparky’s Blog Challenge – welcome Tracy and I am so looking forward to your witty and authentic writing. If you have a moment, go on by her blog Trasles, and check out Sparky’s too.

(This conversational coffee post is part of a weekend link-up hosted by Part-Time Monster. Join in the fun!)

 

WordPress Weekly Photo: Wall Gallery

This week's theme is Wall: "This week, consider the walls you’ve erected and decorated, the halls you walk down each day, or the exteriors you’ve ignored or neglected. What do these walls reveal about a place, people, or you??"

 

Gnarled Ent

Ent-like, the gnarled branches of the tree in the photo belie its age. I have no doubt it’s been around for many many decades.

When I took this pic I was cognisant of the fact that all I had was an iPhone. There was a wall behind me preventing me from walking backwards enough to capture the immensity of the outstretched branches.

IMG_1895

I tried to show how far the branches stretched in the pic below.

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Who Wouldn’t Want to Go on this Ride?

Day Seven – Big and Point of View

Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is a magical place at any time of the year. Last year the Christmas decorations and fun rides went up in October.

This is one of my all time favourite pics, not only because of the time of year, but the PoV is one I love playing with.

The ferris wheel at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, a magical place at any time of the year.
The ferris wheel at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, a magical place at any time of the year.

 

Part of WordPress’s Photo 101 Course.

 

The Connection of Marriage – Wedding Season in India

Day Six – Connect and Tags

Connect: to join or fasten together, to associate or consider as related, to become joined or united.

In India, there are times of the year that are most auspicious for getting married. During these times, weddings happen 24 hours a day. This is known as “wedding season”.

Because of the traditions in North Indian Hindu weddings, the time of a wedding is determined by the availability of horses, the wedding venue and the musicians for the bridegroom’s procession known as the baraat parade.

The stated time for the ceremony is very loose because it’s dependent on many external factors – some outside the control of the wedding party.

What I understood to be outside the control of the wedding party is the time of the baraat parade. It starts at the bridegoom’s home when the horse and baraat band arrive, weary, from another baraat parade at another wedding.

The baraat parade can get very large, as the procession winds, slowly, to the wedding venue. The groom’s friends and family dance alongside him on horseback, with the band in front. The procession can get larger (and slower) as more people, presumably strangers, join in as the procession makes it’s way in the street.

I was told to be ready to travel to the wedding venue at 8pm. At the appointed time I received an SMS:

“Baraat parade not yet started”

It eventually got to the wedding venue at 11pm, when the ceremony took place.

The food was delicious, the wedding guests welcoming and friendly and the colours riotous. I loved every minute of this wedding.

The bride and groom place floral garlands on each other in a symbol of the connection of marriage
The bride and groom place floral garlands on each other in a symbol of the connection of marriage

 

Submitted as part of the WordPress Photo 101 Course.

 

#weekend coffeeshare: Cape Fires

#weekendcoffeeshare by Part Time Monster

If we were having coffee it would be a leisurely affair – no coffee on the go this week.

It’s been a week of photo blogging with WordPress’s Photo 101 course. I’ve enjoyed interacting with other bloggers in The Commons and posted every day. The post I most enjoyed writing was A Lullaby for my Senses, where the assignment was to play around with a photo’s orientation using the theme of Water.

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If we were having coffee I’d tell you about the Cape Peninsula fires that have devastated a large part of one of the most scenic parts of the Cape.  In January I was taken on a drive from Kalk Bay, past Noordhoek half-way up Chapman’s Peak. We stopped in the middle and looked over at Hout Bay. The photo below shows the view to Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak a month ago.

View of Hout Bay from Chapmans Peak Drive
View of Hout Bay from Chapmans Peak Drive
View of Hout Bay from Chapmans Peak Drive
View of Hout Bay from Chapmans Peak Drive

This is what the area looks like now – click on the image or here for one of the many stories and photos.

Chapmans Peak Drive after the fire – photo from Globe and Mail article on Cape Wild Fire

So that blaze was controlled but more have sprung up. It’s exceptionally hot and dry in the Cape Peninsula – and thunderstorms have not helped quench the fires but have started new ones.

Firefighters, professional and volunteer, have worked many long hours, heroically. The communities have helped with keeping them sustained with food and drink. Sadly, a helicopter pilot was killed this morning when his chopper crashed while extinguishing a fire in Cape Point.

If we were having coffee I’d say that while fires happen every year, this year it’s been particularly devastating.

 

WordPress Weekly Photo: Celebration of Orange

Orange you glad it’s photo challenge time? I mean…really..?

Click on any photo to see the gallery – captions tell the story behind each photo.

Click here for more photos depicting other blogger’s entries in this week’s challenge.

Solitude at Thandeka

Photo 101 – Day Five: Solitude & the “Rule of Thirds”

I remember a movie, many many years ago, about an explorer couple who’d set up a tent in the middle of the bush. They were plagued by mosquitoes, it was hot and they looked sweaty and miserable, drowning their sorrows with gin and tonic, hoping that the minuscule amounts of quinine in the tonic water would protect them from malaria. One can still rough it like that in Africa.

My idea of roughing it, however, is an upgrade from that of yesteryear. This tent came with air-conditioner, wi-fi and a corner bath.

I’m an explorer of a different sort and the solitude afforded me by this tent, spaced well apart from the next one, enabled me to relax and pretend that I was an intrepid explorer armed with a panga slashing my way through the bush. With all the mod-cons.

Does it count that I could hear the lions roar in the distance and the bush around the tent had a few black mambas slithering around?

Solitude at Thandeka luxury tented camp
Solitude at Thandeka, Bela Bela District, Limpopo Province , South Africa

I first posted about Thandeka in Cee’s Black and White photo challenge – Fences and Wild Animals.

Finding bliss at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Photo 101 Day Four: Bliss & Captions

Bliss: complete happiness, great joy, paradise, or heaven.

Via the shortest route, Cape Town is 1 399,6 kms from Joburg. 12h53 minutes by car on the N1. I prefer the 2 hour flight, after all my bliss place is waiting, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town, South AFrica
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town (photo taken with iPhone 4S)

A lullaby for my senses

WordPress Photo 101 Day 3 – Water and Orientation

“You must like the sea very much,” the man said to me as I stepped off the pier onto the sand, “I’ve been observing you and you’ve been following the waves with your eyes for a long time.”

I looked at his work clothes and suntanned face and reasoned that he had stopped by the beach during his lunch hour. I did not feel creeped out in any way. He looked like a good honest man and sounded sincere and curious.

I decided to take the opening and continue the conversation. When I travel, it’s the unexpected conversations with strangers that anchor a lasting memory to the place.

“Oh I love the sea. It is a part of me. I love watching the ebb and the flow. The force of the waves makes me feel like a part of something bigger than me. It washes through me and makes feel alive. It’s like a lullaby for my senses,” I responded.

“You’re not from here are you?” he remarked.

“I’m visiting my friend, I live in South Africa. I come to Swakopmund as often as I can – the desert grounds me to the earth and the sea restores the flow to my frazzled lifestyle in Joburg.” I smiled.

He smiled too and we parted ways.

These photos were taken on a cloudy day with my iPhone 4S camera.

Which orientation works better -landscape or portrait?

Swakopmund Pier, Namibia Swakopmund Pier, Namibia

Welcome to my personal blog. I write about a lot of different things so if you like eclectic then you'll like being here. Sometimes I'm #justsaying.

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