Day 138 – Long and Winding Road

Stuart and I have always loved road tripping. We’ve done a few epic trips – most memorably an 5-week drive across the USA, an 8-week trip across Northern Europe, and a few different 2-3 week trips in Mid-and South Europe… There is nothing better than a holiday with a car and no plans. We split the driving equally with Stuart doing the driving during the day, and me driving back to the hotel from the restaurant. Even without reservations, we have always found a place to sleep eventually.

With no opportunity for a proper road trip at the moment, hopping into a car and driving to a secluded new restaurant somewhere in the vicinity is definitely a good way ro rewind on a Sunday.

 

Day 137 – An hour in the 50’s

I think any relationship needs mini-vacations. Stuart and I try to take a regular day somewhere new – preferably out of the city. In fact, we decided this year to do 24 ‘new’ things to keep exploring Joburg and surroundings. (Although, I admit we have already lost count…)

Anyway – today’s excursion was to Hartbeespoort dam, more specifically to a ‘live-movie set’ called Pretville. It was the film set for an Afrikaans film of the same name – a musical set in the 50s. They have preserved the film set for an attraction and a setting for events.

As I have never really been that into Afrikaans music or movies, most of the plot escaped me. But it did make some great photos of 50s cars.

It does say something about Stuart’s patience that he is still keen on going to these outing with me, knowing a lot of the time will be spent on finding the right camera angles…

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Day 133 – Calm Before the Snooze

It’s not hard to ‘suffer’ through a winter in Johannesburg. It can get very cold at nights, and I complain about it as much as the next person. Probably more, as I still – after 7 years – have not gotten used to how cold it gets inside the houses.
But still, with no rain and blue sky every day, the temperatures can rise over 20 C during the day. And that fleeting moment, just after sunset when it is still relatively warm, almost makes you think it’s summer.

Day 129 – In the Eye of the Beholder

Close to our house there is a very sweet statue of a sister and a brother – or maybe sweethearts – leaning to each other and smiling.

Change the angle, have a few dark clouds in the background and add some contrast – and the scene changes. Something threatening is approaching and the brother is wrapping his arms protectively around his sister…

It’s all in your point of view.

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Day 128 – Time to get back home

The combination of early sunset and the safety issues in South Africa make it a challenge to take Merlin to the park during weekdays. Luckily he is such a curious little chap that he keeps running in our back garden all day long – and our domestic helper also takes him out several times a week. As a result he is (with a wide margin) the fittest creature is our household. Admittedly, that is not a high bar.

 

 

 

Day 113 – Worrying Kind

In winter it does not rain for 6 months in Johannesburg (Or at least it shouldn’t…). This means that by mid-winter, it is dry. And dryness inevitably means grass fires – some natural, but most of them not.

I continue to be puzzled on how casually South Africans treat these small fires. As long as they are under control, they are left to burn. For example, there was a small tuft burning in the neighbourhood park. The first time I saw it, there was a park maintenance team standing next to it, but after careful consideration they left it to burn. It was still smouldering the next day (unless somehow there was a second, unrelated fire at the exact same spot.

The Hadida found it quite worrying, tho. Although a little less worrying than a little puppy charging him from behind.

Day 111 – Red Bloom

I love plants and flowers, but I have no green thumb. I have managed to kill a cactus. Twice. (and one of those times I over-watered it) Luckily the previous owners of our house created a garden that is full of blooms year round – and seems to require very little beyond basic maintenance. And Stuarts helps to solve the rest of the problem by buying me cut flowers often. They are expected to last only a limited time.

Day 109 – Mall Life

In the past, a big portion of social life in Johannesburg has revolved around shopping malls. The security issue in South Africa has made it difficult to create a ‘street culture’ worth mentioning. Thus it has been such a pleasure to see how there has been more and more interesting neighbourhoods and outside restaurant popping up in the past 2 years. Security is still an issue, but people find ways around it. And that leaves shopping malls for what they are good for – shopping.