Month: June 2018

The girl in the doorway

There are some scenes that are a little uncomfortable to photograph. Sometimes even write about. For different reasons, I find the Darajani Market in Stonetown, Zanzibar one of those scenes. The writing comes more easily, but the process, the moment of capturing it all on camera not so much… There is the dead fish problem. This is not a metaphor. It’s not that people with vegan-leanings shouldn’t go to fish markets; it’s just that photographing the departed is never easy. Whatever they are. There is also the matter of people. Photographing people who haven’t offered themselves up for photographing feels sneaky. Wrong. I can feel it in my blood and bones. This probably is a metaphor. The point is to take some kind of “natural” photo, not posed, but the minute permission is requested, the subject stiffens or smiles or shows off. There’s also the problem of why. Why am I taking this person’s image? What am I saying in the image? What am I saying about the person I’ve photographed to the person who …

You Never Forget the First Tree You Plant

As published on the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog The mountain stretched out its path before us. “Follow me,” the winding red clay road said. Small rocks, like unruly tortoises, scattered the trail. With each roll of the tyres, down the declines, along the flats, up the climbs, I saw the drop beside us grow. We were headed up into the mountain but it’s never really as simple as that. When it comes to climbing mountains, when it comes to getting to the top most peaks of the Cederberg, one must go down too. Up and down, up and down. I watched the cliff, the sun and the clouds, the ups and the downs, the tyres on the left of the vehicle – Bushmans Kloof’s game vehicle – like an eagle getting the lay of the land. We weren’t here to see animals, we were on our way to plant the endangered and endemic Clanwilliam cedar tree (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis) in the mountains named after them. The Cederberg. But there is something about a game vehicle – an …

“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” ― Anaïs Nin

One Night With The Parlotones As written for the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog   Musicians are just like us. They too are travellers. Adventurers. Their sunshine and starry nights are also often seen in new towns, with new people, while drinking in the unfamiliar. Like us, it’s not uncommon for them to fall asleep in one time zone and wake up in another. Sometimes, there’s no sleep at all. For us both, there are always new minds to encounter around tables, in the clear light of breakfast and the dizzy daze of dinner. There are always strangers who feel a lot like home, and strangers who get stranger. Every trip, every gig, is different from the next. Each one finds a way to open your mind a little more. Sometimes, with the right combination of thrill and soul, one day, one night, can feel like a lifetime. It can fill the heart with all the spirit it needs to go on. On every trip, every gig, there are moments you can’t shake, moments that linger …