Tuesday, September 24
I like that when you go to somewhere new, all the little mundane parts of an environment seem to take on new meaning in their subtle differences to your own. Here the trees have a different look, sometimes contorted by the wind, known as the Cape Doctor, blowing away dirt from the city in a particularly south-easterly direction. Whatever the shapes and colours, it's a beautifully green lung of place thanks to these natural forms.
Thursday, September 19
This week I visited the South African Natural History Museum, and it was incredible. What a collection, just amazing to look at, and even better as you're allowed to photograph. Some were plastic replicas, especially the fish (would be a bit smelly if not I imagine), but the stuffed animals were breathtaking, albeit a little upsetting. Standing next to an adult hippo and being able to see its huge teeth, and seeing a stuffed African elephant killed over a hundred years ago within touching distance was bizarre.
Anyway, it's the kind of place you could visit again and again, but these were a few snaps I collected on the day. So many furry, tentacled, boney, beaky things to see!
Thursday, September 5
Tuesday, September 3
Yesterday was just amazing. We drove out west to the West Coast Nature Reserve to see the flowers that appear in this part of South Africa as if by magic every spring. I have always wanted to do this, so it was a real treat.
The reserve is on the Atlantic side of the Cape so is very different to the previous coastal photos I took at Hermanus, on the Pacific side. Although that was a rough day at sea, and yesterday a particularly calm sunny one, the Atlantic side tends to be wilder and more rugged. In any case, it was stunning.
In the reserve we saw zebra, buck (various local deer), bright lime green weaver birds, huge yellow-billed kites, flamingoes, a snake, and tortoises all going about their normal business in the wild. It was beautiful. And the flowers were just incredible. I don't know how many times I said 'lovely', but it was a lot. Swathes of colour greeted us from the very beginning of our drive, and in many places it looked like someone had sprinkled confetti all over the fields. Many of the daisies I remember from our garden when I was little, my Mum must have brought seeds over when we moved to England, and it was so sweet to see them again.
Sunday, September 1
I've been in Cape Town for two days and I'm having such an adventure already!
I arrived on Thursday evening after quite a tiring journey via Dubai and have been out and about with my amazing hosts since. On my first day we went out to Hermanus, the most stunning seaside town where we did a bit of whale-spotting. The sea was really rough and we had to run for cover as a cloud broke over us, but it was a magical first day. It's winter here so quite cold, but lovely to see the landscape in the off-season.
Yesterday we went to Woodstock, and had breakfast at the Biscuit Mill, which has been transformed into a buzzing collection of stalls selling artisan foods and handmade goodies. Some of the permanent shops like Kat Van Duinen's, contain some of the most beautiful clothing. There's loads to explore outside the Mill too, with a host of antiques stores selling quirky furniture, from repurposed old suitcases turned into padded seats, to traditional colonial wicker tables, and stuffed animals. It's quite an amazing mix.
I'm here for three or four months so this is just the beginning of a very exciting time! I hope to try out life here properly for the first time since we moved to England when I was a toddler. My passport and ID books arrived just last week, so I'm now officially a SA citizen, so I'll be hunting down some freelance work while I'm here too. I hope you'll join me as I find my way about, and give me any tips for things to do too.