How about we start from the beginning? The first weekend of November was an incredibly busy one, but in the best way possible. The Saturday was spent taking photos for the Rhodes Chamber Choir (the people who have kept my photography going throughout the year) in my studio. I really enjoy spending time with people in my studio, so it made for a fun afternoon with lots of laughter. The photos were being taken for adverts that will be used to find new choir members next year, and they had a mugshot theme. This meant a lot of fun for the people involved, and a lot of post-production to make the white background seem a little more like a police station. You can check out the results on my photography blog.
Sunday saw more time spent with my camera as Lwando and his girlfriend, Nonkosazana, who was down from East London for the weekend. A new challenge faced me as I have never had a couple session in my studio, and found it a lot more difficult to co-ordinate while trying to stop the shadows from the lighting getting in the way. After half an hour in the studio, and around 40 photographs to work with, it was out into the sunshine as we made our way to the Botanical Gardens. It was the perfect day to walk around, and I took them to the spots that I am used to being the small bamboo jungle, the romantic pond and the river. From being hyper-aware of the camera in the beginning, the two started relaxing more, posing easier and just have fun. Have a look at the photos that came out of the session on my photography blog.
With the weekend out of the way, it was back to work for a slightly shorter week than normal. Grant’s dad and stepmom came down on Wednesday in preparation for our roadtrip on Thursday, and they came bearing many a gift. Having just moved into a new house in Johannesburg, they had a lot of extra bits and bobs that they didn’t need any more and decided to bring down to their incredibly grateful (step-)son and his girlfriend! This included an extra fridge, a gas braai and a tortoise named Tommy, Grant’s childhood pet.
The new house in Johannesburg doesn’t have a big garden (hardly any garden at all, in fact), so it was decided that Tommy would be far happier in our backyard nomming on the fruit as it falls (because we are entirely useless at picking it) and having a Puddims to play with. For the first few days, Tommy was entirely unimpressed with his new situation, hissing and spitting and threatening to chew on any hand that got near him (though for a toothless animal, his beak certainly does pack a punch). But he seems to have come around to it with the help of some tomatoes, apples, strawberries and cuttlefish. He is undergoing an entirely new diet regiment consisting of less veggies and fruit, because apparently tortoises struggle to process sugar, but more hay. Which he seems entirely unimpressed with. But we keep trying regardless!
Grant and I jetted off
on Thursday, leaving Jono to look after the new addition to our family, and
made our way to George for a long weekend away, stopping off in Plett for a
night on the way to visit family friends and just rest considering that Grant
and I only managed to leave Grahamstown close to 6pm. The Plett leg of the trip
was very short and not particularly eventful, being only one night, but from
there Sharon and I made our way to Knysna for the day on Friday while the boys
carried on to George for their first day of golf. Knysna meant shopping and
time spent by the seaside, which was greatly appreciated by me, and it was a
lovely, relaxing day spent wandering from shop to shop, without buying too much
to Grant’s relief.
|The view of Robberg Beach in Plett.|
|The view of Knysna Quays.|
|Sunrise from one of our balconies. To the far right, you can see our lounge and further in our bedroom.|
|Sun setting over the Hyatt Regency.|
The room itself was bigger than our entirely three bedroomed, two bathroomed house. With a lavish lounge, an office area (as part of the lounge), a dining room, a kitchen, two bathrooms, a giant bedroom and three balconies (all with amazing views, of course), we were set to never have to leave the room again. But then, there were others things to coax us out and convince us that we were still in the real world with shopping downstairs, an infinity pool, a spa and the Ernie Els designed Oubaai golf course all being part of the resort. Grant and Rob made full use of the golf course, while Sharon and I perused the shops and the local area, stopping into Heralds Bay for lunch on Saturday and sitting by the pool with the boys for the rest of the afternoon. The breakfast that the hotel provided was also phenomenal and out of this world, but unfortunately I only got to make use of the restaurant for the breakfasts. On Saturday evening I started feeling completely out of it, losing feeling in my arm and feeling disoriented and nauseous. After taking a few pills, I was out like a light and only managed to wake up for a few minutes to grab a bite of the divine grilled chicken that had been ordered from room service as part of the dinner. I got told the next morning how the meals that Grant, Rob and Sharon had ordered (also through room service) came on silver platters. The next morning, we were slow to wake and reluctant to leave, but were out of the hotel and back on the road by midday, stopping briefly to grab a token or two and some lunch on the way back to Grahamstown.
The view on the way back into Grahamstown
And thus ends part one of November thus far. Watch this space for part 2.