Tuesday, December 22, 2009

James Stewart/Sting/The Police

I recorded my album "Live to a mic" by virtue of a barter deal with James Stewart from Streetlevel Studios. Here is what he bartered for: a 70's looking pop group poster much like the cover of "Regatta le Blanc" by the Police. Below the exciting detail from James and the pic.

The Suikerbossie, Hout Bay

presents

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James Stewart is best known as the lead singer for The Usual. Remember The Shape that I'm in, Like a Vision? His solo Hits like Shine, You don't stop turning me on and Beautiful Mistake have made him a household name.

(More artist info? www.jamesonline.co.za)

After 3 sell out shows on the coast, hear James pay tribute to one of his biggest influences THE POLICE & Sting - featuring Johnny Clegg's drummer Barry van Zyl.

Where : The Suikerbossie / Hout Bay

When : 3pm - Sunday 27th December 2009

How much : R80 pp (children under 12 free)

Booking : on 021 790 1450 | dave@suikerbossie.co.za

James Stewart : Vocals | Bass Guitar | Keyboard

Barry van Zyl : Drums | Percussion | Shaky things

Lee Radmall : Guitar | Backing vocals | Bass Guitar

Monday, December 21, 2009

So I shot something today...

 

with an air-fun. In fact, my wife gave it a severely disabilitating shot in the lower back. Then I gave it another 4 shots. When it finally fell out of the tree, Lucky (who spot it the whole time and kept us supplied with ammo, and who has the best eyes by far), whacked it with a pool cleaning pole. The hunt took 2.5 hours. It was hot. It was humid. It was strenuous. The adversary was dangerous. In fact, the most feared of its size in Africa.

Today, I shot something. I shot a black mamba who was playing in the trees above my kids' swing at my in-laws' house. It was hard work. It needed focus. It needed teamwork. It seriously needed more caliber than the air-gun we had. We seriously needed to improve our aim. But after almost 3 hours, we conquered the serpent.

 

Generally the Black Mamba is shy and won't attack humans. However, as it will remain in a tree for days if there are enough birds to hunt, it poses a serious threat if that tree overhangs a balcony and you pass under it every time you leave the house. Black mambas become very aggressive when cornered or threatened, and as the most poisonous serpent in Africa, it's better not to risk the lives of the inhabitants of the yard. Generally these animals perform a great task in keeping rodents and pests under control. But they are dangerous, and especially to my kids. And then, I'm sorry, it's going down.

 

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Lucky has amazing snake spotting skills, because to follow the movement of a brown snake at about 6m in a tree, perfectly camouflaged like a branch itself, is not easy. My eyes started watering seriously after a while and my neck nearly broke off backwards with all the craning my head up, but eventually, after 5 direct hits (one courtesy of Nellie, my wife, who used to be a competitive markswoman in school)  it decided to come down to the ground where Lucky finished it off with a pole. I stayed clear. Even in the pic above I was still nervous.

More of Libya, our amazing 3 day road-trip through the Karoo, Eastern Free State and Mpumalanga and all the other adventures at Danie Nel Photography cc... next time.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy holidays

So, did a shoot this morning on the Clifton 4th with brave lifesavers, and now to some portraits, and then off off off. I'll be checking in now and again, but let me take the oppurtunity to wish you the best holiday and may the spirit of community, love and friendship make this a memorable time.
Also, please travel safe!

Philip is on the Orange River already, river rafting, and I'm off to Barberton. I will be checking on my blog, and mails, so do contact me. Expect about 24 hours for a reply, though.

Also for the holidays, I recommend this book:

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Best.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Our Xmas Greeting Card

Philip and myself thought it should be a good idea to do some Christmas cards this year. So we ended up doing this one. Tell us what you think, because you might be receiving your copy soon!

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We're still here till the 17th of December, and should be back around the 7th or so. I'll be checking mails and will be in Cape Town from about New Year, so do phone if you need anything.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Libya Day II Part 1

Leptis Magna. Unesco World Heritage Site. Roman Ruins. The oldest blinking buildings I have ever seen. Things predating Christ by quite a margin. East of Tripoli, about 110km. Buried under sand for a millenia or so, excavated by Musselini in the 20's. Apart from his dubious associations in the WWII, he seemed to have accomplished one or two worthwhile feats, like unearthing the most prestine and well-kept ruins you'll live to see. 3km sq of cobble stone, marble, granite, ruins of such quality, it leaves you astounded pretty much the whole time.

But first we drove east towards Egypt on the highway. It's amazing. Tripoli is one sprawling, stretched out peace of urban development, all along the coast. You never actually leave urban or suburban areas. For more than a hundred km's it's just buildings. You pass into Al Khoms and other towns without realizing you left Tripoli. More on Al Khoms later.

Anyways, we arrived at Leptis Magna sort of suddenly. Most of us needed a toilet rather urgently and was surprised to find that the toilet facility cost us 1 LD. That is R6.50. The other option was having your hand chopped off for urinating in public or public indecency charges in a Muslim country, so we all sort of paid willingly. Then we encountered the charming ablution facilities. Libya's public toilet systems still leave a lot to be desired. In South Africa we're used to clean toilet facilities, especially at UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Well, here they seem to still argue, your crap, your problem.

Anyways, enough about the Leptis Magna tourism corridor, and more about the really really cool ruins.

Marc Anthony, I think, was responsible for a lot of these buildings. The arches in the back are still standing after two thousand years. The road leading through it extends for 1.5km right to the beach, where later I had an illegal swim. What is amazing of these ruins and its uncommercialised nature, is that you can still touch everything, get onto whatever you like, and really experience it. In the court area, I was able to go and stand still in the judge's chair. Inscriptions in marble, still as clear and refined as daylight, clearly showing the name "Marcus Antonius" is scattered through the area.

There is so much to see there, it is amazing. I was clicking away at like a madman. Finally we made it to the ocean-side, 1.5km down the site. Here someone had the idea to catch a quick swim. Only to be met by security after we got out to say it was illegal. But they were really nice about it. I've always wanted to swim in the Mediterranean Sea. I never thought I would do it from the African side. Well, I did, and the water was amazing. The rocks under the surface was scathing. After the quick refreshment, we went on to the slosh slosh to the rest of this huge site.

After seeing the main site, we moved on to the Amphiteatre, about 2km's away. But more about that, and the really nice little lunch we had in-between next time.

In "Long Way Round" with Ewan McGreggor, you can see some awesome footage of this site. Really it was amazing. 80 000 people living and working in this area. What became apparent to me walking among the ruins and the marble and granite and HUGE buildings, was that we have little grasp of how powerful and rich the Roman empire must've been. We don't have a modern equivalent to the ridiculous amount of money, man power and man-hours they had to their disposal to build such place, so far from Rome. The details in the walls and decorations, the mosaic floors, the incredible architectural details..., it gives me the impression the Romans must've been an exremely proud, and probably very obnoxious and arrogant, but very successful people. Their God-syndrome is very evident.

I wish I can post more images, but it's better that you go and see at nelimages.com.