I’m a nature girl

Some people are animal people. Some people are ocean people. Some people are wildlife people. But me, I’m a nature girl, through and through. I love mountains. And rivers. And dams. And vegetation. And blue skies. And trees. And sunsets.

I recently took my camera to some nearby farmland, about 10 kilometres from where I stay, and I took the most GORGEous snaps. I live for landscape photography. Capturing nature is what I love most about photography, and I believe my passion reflects in my pictures. I can literally stare at these pics all day and still be completely flabbergasted at how infinite and great God is and how insignificant and small I am.

I hope you’ll enjoy my pics as much I do.

Till next time…. xoxo

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Mind over matter

Jacob's ladder

There’s a staircase in Muizenberg, Cape Town called Jacob’s Ladder. Although slightly hidden away, it’s generally open for public use and it has around 200, very steep steps, I kid you not! Sometimes on the weekends, when I stayed in Cape Town, I’d tackle these stairs early on either a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Frustrated by being clogged up in a four-walled gym all week, I’d fly down the shoreline at Muizenberg beach on the weekend. The coolest sea breeze against my face would provide some solace and relax my stiff, tense muscles. It was heaven!

The very first time I climbed Jacob’s Ladder, I swore it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I could literally not even walk the last few steps before having to take a break to catch my breath. My legs were wobbly as mushy jelly, it was excruciating. But I made the promise to be back.

And so I did. Several times, in fact. Each time better prepared than the last. There are few things in life as indomitable as the human spirit. I was going to conquer Jacob’s Ladder, if it meant the end of me. And that was exactly what I did.

On one particular Saturday morning, while running down the Muizenberg shoreline again, I knew that this would be the day. When I got to the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder my mind had already been made up. Today was the day. I ran from the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder all the way to the top without stopping once. My lungs and my legs obeyed my mind. It was stronger than what it had led me to believe. I was stronger.

While putting one foot in front of the other and focussing on the task at hand, I consciously told myself the same thing over and over again; “mind over matter, mind over matter”. My strength does not lie in my legs, or my muscles, or my lungs. It lies in my mind. Whenever I’m faced with a tough situation I keep reminding myself of Jacob’s Ladder. If I could conquer Jacob’s Ladder, I can do anything.

Till next time… xoxo

Happy birthday Tata Madiba!

 

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Today South Africa, and the rest of the world, celebrates #MadibaDay, the birthday of former president Nelson Mandela. It is commemorated by donating 67 minutes, the amount of years Tata spent sacrificing his life towards the struggle for democracy, in aid of goodwill. This year we celebrate the first Madiba Day without him. He would have turned 96 today.

In honour of this great man I’d like to share a poem of late South African poet, Ingrid Jonker. I have studied some of Jonker’s poetry in the past and although her work mirrored that of a dark, deeply troubled soul, it was also very profound. She was talented beyond her years. Jonker committed suicide by walking into the sea at Three Anchor Bay. She was 31 years old.

The significance of this particular poem, Die kind is nie dood nie (The child is not dead), is that Nelson Mandela read it, in the original Afrikaans (nogal!), during his address at the opening of the first democratic parliament in South Africa, on 24 May 1994.

Of Jonker, Madiba reportedly said : “She was both a poet and a South African. She was both an Afrikaner and an African. She was both an artist and a human being. In the midst of despair, she celebrated hope. Confronted by death, she asserted the beauty of life.”

I will include the English version of the poem at the bottom for my non-Afrikaans followers.

Enjoy! xoxo
Die kind is nie dood nie –  Ingrid Jonker

Die kind is nie dood nie
die kind lig sy vuiste teen sy moeder
wat Afrika skreeu skreeu die geur van vryheid en heide
in die lokasies van die omsingelde hart

Die kind lig sy vuiste teen sy vader
in die optog van die generasies
wat Afrika skreeu skreeu die geur
van geregtigheid en bloed
in die strate van sy gewapende trots

Die kind is nie dood nie
nòg by Langa nòg by Nyanga
nòg by Orlando nòg by Sharpville
nòg by die polisiestasie in Philippi
waar hy lê met ‘n koeël deur sy kop

Die kind is die skaduwee van die soldate
op wag met gewere sarasene en knuppels
die kind is teenwoordig by alle vergaderings en wetgewings
die kind loer deur die vensters van huise en in die harte
van moeders
die kind wat net wou speel in die son by Nyanga is orals
die kind wat ‘n man geword het trek deur die ganse Afrika
die kind wat ‘n reus geword het reis deur die hele wêreld

Sonder ‘n pas

 

The child is not deadIngrid Jonker

The child is not dead
The child lifts his fists against his mother
Who shouts Afrika ! shouts the breath
Of freedom and the veld
In the locations of the cordoned heart

The child lifts his fists against his father
in the march of the generations
who shouts Afrika ! shout the breath
of righteousness and blood
in the streets of his embattled pride

The child is not dead not at Langa nor at Nyanga
not at Orlando nor at Sharpeville
nor at the police station at Philippi
where he lies with a bullet through his brain

The child is the dark shadow of the soldiers
on guard with rifles Saracens and batons
the child is present at all assemblies and law-givings
the child peers through the windows of houses and into the hearts of mothers
this child who just wanted to play in the sun at Nyanga is everywhere
the child grown to a man treks through all Africa

the child grown into a giant journeys through the whole world
Without a pass

 

If winter had a colour…

Although I was born in the southern hemisphere summer, for some reason I’ve always been drawn to the melancholic side of winter. I think it has largely to do with the dark, rich colours that coincide with this cold season. Hmmm… Think rich browns, burnt oranges, avo greens, navy blues not even to mention my absolute favourite; 50 shades of grey! I have the widest variety of tops, pants, skirts, scarfs and just about everything in all shades of grey! (And yes, sadly I’m boring like that.)

I’ve always loved winter for its cold but mostly because it’s synonymous with neutral, warm and rich colours. That had me thinking, if winter had a colour, what colour would it be? I’d go with rich browns and avo greens. What do you think??

I recently captured some pics of rich colours of trees and grass and soil and mountains.

Enjoy, xoxo…

 

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Schnee auf den Bergen

Schnee auf den Bergen (Snow on the mountains)!

Just when we thought the winter couldn’t get any colder, we were surprised with a fresh batch of snow on the mountain tops here in the Langeberg valley! Burrrrr! Temperatures have dropped to below zero degrees Celsius overnight and we are cuddling up next to fireplaces and heaters and stoves and ovens and just about anything that could provide momentarily comfort and warmth.

One thing I love about the cold is that you’ll rarely see people walk around aimlessly or absentminded. Everyone is off to do whatever they need to complete before they scurry back to their respective homes before the night cold settles in. It’s almost like their lives have suddenly received a sense of purpose. My electric blanket has become my dearest companion, I swear I would not have survived this winter without it.

I managed to get a few snaps of the snow on the mountains. Enjoy!

Till next time…

 

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Hello July!

July_aim

Bam! And just like that we’ve passed the mid-year mark and 2014 is slowly by surely rushing to an end. Oh my, how the time has flown! Do you still remember your New Year’s resolutions? And if so, how are you faring?

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions but I do love lists. So while I don’t have a list of resolutions to share, I thought I’d share a list of things I did accomplished these past six months. Here goes;

1. Started a blog

This has been in the making for some time and I’ve been back and forthing about what I should write about. I’m a big believer in personal branding and even more so for those working in my industry. I believe that if you are not in control of your own virtual branding, that the world will do it for you. If you’re non-existent on the web, people may infer that as you not taking initiative or that you’re not legit. So it became imperative for me to start branding myself digitally. And thus far, I’m loving my blogging experience!

2. Bought a second lens

I’m still relatively new to photography and I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned these past six months. And even though I know I’m still very far from knowing everything, I do know that I’m almost there. And so I’ve invested in a second camera lens; a 50mm, f/ 1.4 prime lens and whoa! What a powerful little monster it is! I did my homework before I started shopping for a second lens but no one told me of the power of this little one. In fact, I struggled to control this lens when I first took it outside. Most of my pics were overexposed but I’m finally getting the hang of it. Thank goodness! Now shooting with my prime lens is so AH-some! #lovit!

3. Earned money from using my skills (and my company).

Leaving my day-job was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life! In fact, just before handing in my resignation I had a massive panic attack, sitting on the bathroom floor at midnight, crying. The uncertainty nearly drove me insane. But as it turns out, many people out there are in need for the skills I have and the best part is that they’re willing to pay me for it! How awesome is that?! I am so blessed to be compensated for what I love to do. There’s no greater freedom in life than doing what you love. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s an absolute must.

4. Visited another African country (Nigeria) and loved it!

I’ve been privileged enough to have travelled to Nigeria, and man, can those Nigerians teach us South Africans a thing or two? Those of you who know me, knows of the passion I have for this continent. I believe in Africa’s economic rising and I believe that it will happen within our lifetime. We are already witnessing a thriving African middleclass emerging and it will only expand in future. So when offered an opportunity to travel to another African country, I jumped, literally! What an experience it was. I admire the Nigerian entrepreneurial spirit, above all. Many of the Nigerians I’ve met were some of the most powerful Africans I’ve ever come into contact with. Not powerful in riches or wealth necessarily, but powerful simply in presence. It was a ‘you-should-have-been-there’ experience.

5. Learned more about photography and graphic design than the preceding two years.

I took up photography and graphic designing about two years ago, but I was never really serious about either. I did only what was absolutely necessary as was required by my day-job. But since going my own route, I’ve invested so much time and effort into fine-tuning my photographic and graphic designing skills and what a journey it has been. It’s been frustrating but oh-so-very rewarding. There’s nothing quite like working so hard on something and seeing your hard work pay off. I cannot think of a greater satisfaction.

6. Read Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist (finally!)

I’ve been one of Brazilian author, Paulo Coelho’s greatest fans for about three years. I follow him on facebook and twitter and I often use his quotes. I stay up to date with his work and often read his book reviews. But for some reason, I just could never get hold of his most famous book, The Alchemist. It always was either sold out or out of stock at most book stores I visited. Then, while flying to Nigeria, I managed to pop in at Exclusive Books at the airport in Joburg and low and behold, it happened to be the 25th anniversary of the book and they created a special edition for this occasion. I started reading while at O.R Tambo airport and I literally closed the book when I landed in Lagos. It was the one book I’ve longed to read for as long as I can remember and it was worth the wait. If you haven’t read it yet, you simply must.

These were some of my highlights for the first half of 2014. I’ve been truly blessed in so many ways. I hope the second half will bring many more adventures.

Till next time. xoxo