A weekend in images

Back in Dullstroom, and more warm weather!  I don’t know the place in all its balmy sunshine and t-shirts and shorts!
It was a deliciously lazy weekend with old friends and midday naps and tears induced by Cards Against Humanity. The sweet resident farm dog (renamed ‘Sally’ by our crew) joined us for most of the time, exuberant and grinning from ear to ear on river jaunts.
Time moves a little slower out of the city (and when there’s no wifi or cellphone reception!), and I was able to fully enjoy the heady scent of pine needles, the squawk of guinea fowl and the background babble of the Crocodile River.  I sat for a while with my feet in the cold water and watched the frothy river run over my skin, and in that moment I felt a little lighter and a little more connected to the flow of life.
There are also some resident fallow deer on the farm.  When I first saw them and there gorgeous antlers, I did a serious double take … it’s like I’d stepped through a doorway into the English countryside!
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The 12 Decades Hotel

Val-Day has its perks, like a night at the 12 Decades Art Hotel in Maboneng, a place I’ve wanted to visit for ages!  It feels totally indulgent staying in a hotel when your house is 20  minutes away, but also a lovely break from the same old same old.
We stayed in the MineHaus room, where Bauhaus meets Joburg mining town, designed by a long time favourite of mine Dokter & Misses.  Below are some pics from the room, the installations on the 7th floor, and Joburg’s famous skyline from the rooftop bar (most from my Instagram).
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Constitution Hill

Over the weekend I visited Constitution Hill (side note: for some inexplicable reason I tagged photos from the visit ‘constitutional hill’ … I’m holding thumbs that one day soon Instagram will have an after posting text editing option).
I’m really not sure why it’s taken me so long to visit this place that holds so much of our history. It’s architecturally beautiful – with amazing views over the city – and the prison and fort have been incredibly and sensitively restored.
I felt that the stark emptiness of the cells and courtyards, almost scrubbed clean, emphasised the missing collection of people that once inhabited the space.  I walked into cells expecting to hear voices, be hit by odours.  It was a harrowing morning … and yet another reminder of the places that human beings, in fear, can go.
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Autumn

Johannesburg winters are not my favourite.  They have redeeming qualities – like warm midday temperatures, blue skies, and lack of snow and ice – but they are also so dry that the countryside, and my skin, turns to a scratchy, dusty husk of its former plumped-up-with-humidity summer self.

At the moment though I’m about ferreting out silver linings, and Joburg’s autumn colours and lovely wintery light fit the bill.

Pre winter's frost

Pre winter’s frost

Golden

Golden

An autumn cat

An autumn cat

Tree atop tree

Tree atop tree

Autumn sunrise

Autumn sunrise

Picnicking light

Picnicking light

 

 

 

 

Warm and sultry

Autumn has fully settled in, and my skin – slowing drying out as the Highveld turns from green to yellow to all shades of dusty brown – tells me that winter is just a few weeks away.  It seems sudden this year, but maybe every year I have the same selective memory and the same disbelief at the rapid passing of time.

These crisp Joburg mornings make me long for December, which must be my favourite month in South Africa, with its lazy heat and countrywide inactivity.  In an effort to recapture those carefree feelings, I went through my December 2013 holiday snaps – a blissed out, snooze fest of a time in Zinkwazi, on the Natal north coast.

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