Wednesday, August 27, 2008

There are so many cliches attached to speaking about the weather but at the end of the day it does affect our well being in so many ways, positively and even negatively.

Take this season for instance, the ending of winter and beginning of spring. It's like a roller coaster ride, one cold front after another arrive at this southern point and once in a while there is a breather rewarding us with a warm, tranquil, windless day. Its the Carp Diem day because the next one will be wet and windy.

In the previous post spring was in full swing and then we get a chilling reminder caused by snow capping the mountains nearby.

This is the scenic route in my neighbourhood were we do have the pleasure of the sight of snow even if it's distant. The possibility of a sunny, blue and colourful flowers with snow in the background is not so far fetched. (lovely paradox)

Anyway, I found 'snow' on my beach today. It's a small patch on the dunes but it's the popular coastal daisies nonetheless and when you see them in abundance it looks just like snow; with a figment of your imagination.

So many visitors use this very same scenic route to get to Cape Point and travel so far to steal a glimpse of these flowers that only open once a year with the sun and don't forget the whales that reach these very shores in the same time fragment.

We have all this on our own doorstep...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Promise of my own strawberries and whipped cream?

Blossom of a myrtle.

The arrival of Spring: Just like bulbs finding their passage to burst into a display of colour and fragrance, green buds unfolding from 'dead-like' twigs and millions of fruit blossoms filled with pollen awaiting the birds and the bees to promise the bearing of all delicious summer fruits; we celebrate the arrival of my one & only sister from many moons and springs ago, today. Just like the burst of spring, nothing can describe that little bundle of energy that unfolded and grew in front of our eyes and into our hearts.

Happy Birthday little, big sister. [the tallness]

So with the 'tools' available to us today we can now move beyond the birthday card tradition! We take chicken wire mesh heart, some butterflies [flutterby's], flowers, a wind still day [tricky, as they only a handful around here], a camera and action.

I think tradition still prevails, candles on a cake... but hey; my sis keeps me on my tip toes: totally up to date and warns me to 'chill out' all at the same time. So when can we close this distance of 1500 km?... Enjoy... Alles Gute...

Friday, August 15, 2008

We need colour, tons and tons of it. How many tons are these whales again? Their sightings in False Bay still very elusive to my eyes, have not spotted a single one yet. Although if you check the link of the whale route/heritage, there are people spotting whales in False Bay as we speak. So for now I use table mats that I found some time ago by Elmien Kotze where one can appreciate the "naive" approach in her artwork.

Arum Lilies, our indigenous bulbs, flowering in abundance everywhere except in my garden. Tons of them, to me a sure sign of spring being just around the corner. So, once there is more sun I'll be chasing tons of 'Namaqualand' daisies, carpets full of colour, every time it just takes your breath away. It's time for a whale of a weekend...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The onslaught of my aunt's, Ingrid, birthday today made me dig up some archives. { Thanks to her husband for making them digital } I have a weakness for old black and white photos, especially from my parents and their family when they were young. I always pester them to tell me more about the story behind the story.

Look at her, you just want to reach out and hug her. Yet in that vulnerability is a sense of strength. Its in those sturdy legs and those boots were definitely made for walking. Today she is walking, no, more like climbing, and that at age of, no, not gonna tell you.

This one is fun, not quite sure what happened here but knowing my father, who is in the pram, I think someone needed to take control of the situation. I just love the pram they had here, its sassy design, the curve of the handle and the "chubbiness"...

This remains the famous family photo. Omi and her two kids; my dad already clearly character distinguished, as in always up to mischief in what's next. [der schelmische Blick] And Tante Ingrid the sensible and sensitive one. To this day she also has created some beautiful art pieces and enjoying California. Although both of them moved to far away places, they simply cannot deny their roots in Europe. I can just hear her saying: "Are you kidding me". Tante Ingrid, enjoy your birthday and I hope all your children and grandchildren will spoil you...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Oh dear, what neglect, its already Friday and the 08/08/08; the opening of the Olympics in Beijing and for more "historicalness" I'll focus on woman's day for tomorrow.

These hand painted tiles are on the old Post Office of Noordhoek and have been painted by Joyce Ordbrown. It depicts the story of Christina Rousseau on receiving this land as a grant/gift by Baron Gustav Wilhelm van Imhoff, Commissioner Extraordinaire of the Dutch East India Company in 1743. Apparently she grew impressive veggies and they were supplied to the ships anchored in Simons Town. I once had a farm in Africa. Anyway, the whole story with wonderful images is on this with a difference, artistic website of under the history section.

The farm is still to this very day buzzing with activities for the whole family, with a farmyard and the farm buildings have been converted to farm shops, working art studio's, shops with local craft and if you visit the cheese shop, there you will get to know a dynamic cheese maker or is it maker'ess'. Still did not try their camel rides yet...

What is most enjoyable, to me anyway, is the restaurant [housed in a traditional Cape Dutch style, with historical photos] which has the most magnificent view towards Hout Bay and there is a feeling of grandeur as you stand on the traditional "stoep".

See, what did I tell you. Now lets do this in style, where is the waiter. Cheers, here is to the women, enjoy your day, woman's day... and every other day...

Monday, August 4, 2008

The previous post made me aware of another 'iconic' item that I was wondering if it still could be found. Needless to say you forget about things until it pops up out of nowhere and your observant obsessions suddenly run parallel with other findings at the same time.

Chappies bubblegum: , [post of 2 august 2007 the story of 'Did you know?'] I found myself at the Noordhoek farm village, on Saturday, where this little bric brac/antique shop also sells candy, the old fashioned way, and there they were the iconic bubblegum chappies. The main conversation always revolves about the price:" I remember buying them for half a cent each." These ones were 20 cents each and that after 35 years. Okay the inflation rate cannot be measured to a sweet and that's not the point.

It was the wrappers, where everyone read out their Did you know...while blowing these enormous bubbles. Was that our Internet? Information overload? Pity they never got filed. As kids we found such simple pleasures. Anyway, the realization today is what an incredible way to market a simple bubblegum when there were plenty others to choose from.

So the next day in the Sunday Papers I came across this ad making use of the Chappies Did you know ... wrapper.

Its an advert for entrants to be aware of and enter the marketing excellence awards of 2008. Brilliant.

So, do designers/artists subconsciously 'work' in their marketing tools, in their work? Is the 'name' and the exposure still an important and sufficient marketing solution?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Winter rainfall is difficult to get used to when your origins are from a summer rainfall area. My mind often wanders to the fauna and flora of the north of South Africa especially the wildlife. In short : I miss the bush.

Then it dawned on me, that we actually exchange and work with the Big 5 [lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo & leopard] every day. There they are still in my purse [lucky me] .

How many of us actually pay attention to which animal is on what note. Obviously, the credit worthiness amongst us will use plastic or electronic banking but I always liked the colour and design of our money. [noticeable, especially when abroad]. It might not have the value like it used to, but it is really not that long ago when the lion, R 50.00, the buffalo R 100.00, and let alone the leopard R 200.00, got introduced. [1990] Jaaa, we only worked up to the elephant R 20.00 for a long time and a rhino R 10.00 still filled a fuel tank. And I bet you that most of us still use 2 buffalo's before we even use or keep a leopard.

Well, we had confidence in our monetary value, it was once very strong and equal and the Big 5 were sufficient. I would really feel uneasy with a R500.00 note in my purse and if they would place Penguins on it, I would never spend it. Subconscious brainwashing from early days , perhaps?

And then, wildlife that remained of iconic value; the infamous Springbok. More designers are re-inventing this one.

You can stop holding your breath, I know butter is poison, but when my German mother searches far and wide for unsalted butter in Africa then you know it will be imprinted on your taste buds forever. This graphic slightly changed now but it has been with this Springbok butter for as long as I can remember. To this very day there is only one unsalted butter with of course the introduction of the 'Woolies' one but that really costs a small fortune. We could always immediately taste the difference especially in a cake, cringe. [So, Ma, wo ist mein Zitronenkuchen?]

A truly, internationally acclaimed, successful ceramic venture that also portrays the African Wildlife at its best, is Ardmore. You can indulge more on

There is so much more , so don't take away my wildlife icons, EIKONA...