The challenge dealt a cruel blow —

I’ve nothing Delta I can show;

The nearest to it I can come

Is this one of our Stadium;

It looks lots better since that day —

Can’t find more recent to display.

© July 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Knysna, rising like a phoenix

This gallery contains 7 photos.

Originally posted on JessGS:
All Photo Credit to Makayla McGarvey The Damage The Knysna Fires have wreaked havoc and destruction across the town and the entire landscape. In times of great trouble, the community has shown an inner strength, and…

Gallery | 7 Comments

Aloe and Good Buy Choo!

Garret GM steam locomotive 63 years old used in the movie ‘Cry the Beloved Country’.

Oh, I do like to travel with a choo-choo,
Oh, a choo-choo’s the thing for me and you,
Oh, I do like to listen to that chug, chug, chug
While I take in sherry with a glug, glug, glug

So just let me travel with a choo-choo
The best way that you can go online,
At the whistle’s whoo-whoo-whoo
You’ll esteem to line up too:
Steam on a train line, is simply fine!

(Parody on old Music Hall song ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside’.)

The Creighton Aloe Festival train excursion from Creighton to Riverside costs R200-00 per ticket, but for the experience and spectacle it is a good buy indeed. Even when the aloes aren’t at their best, or not even blooming at all, it is most pleasant to travel past fields of cattle with cranes, duiker and reed buck also in them, and then follow the river while occasionally crossing from bank to bank on ancient iron bridges. This time round, the aloes hadn’t yet come into full spectacular bloom, but were pretty enough.

Creighton station may have a rural touch …

… but it still houses the local Municipal offices. There is a full-scale boardroom inside, and this rather lovely artwork in the entrance foyer.

It also enjoys roses blooming in midwinter.

Some aloes, and showing the old SA Railways springbok on the window.

More aloes. The whole hillside beyond is covered in them, but they need to be in full bloom to show up properly.

River views were lovely.

The river is called the Umzimkulu.

The train stopped and let the passengers off so that it could do a show-off steam-past at speed.

I risked being in a cattle stampede to get the shot.

The Riverside destination …

… where we got danced at …

… and I visited this once-thriving hotel. There used to be a big timber mill in town.  but they used up all the timber and it went down the drain.

The blackwood stairs are now a bit difficult to get onto. If they were going to be swiped, why not take them from the top down?

Impatient whistles from the engine indicated that I’d better do a sprint.

We last undertook the trip in 2013 (looking back at that, I think my camera equipment was far better then) and much is the same, except that the derelict hotel is more plundered, and Riverside is more run-down. Dancers did turn out to give a show for the tourists, but I think it would have been worth their while to do it with greater numbers and enthusiasm. Still we, and some (more) visiting friends from overseas did enjoy the whole experience.

The weather tended to be a bit nippy, but some sherries on board did much to warm the cockles of our hearts (I won’t attempt a Spoonerism on that!).

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Excursions, Parody, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme, Wanders | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Cloud Iridescence Transience

The Wednesday Weekly Photo Challenge gave a prompt of Transient and I immediately remembered the wonderful sight we had seen in Romsey, Hampshire, last December. I shared one of the photos on 1st January, but this gives me a chance to show the rest. Attention was drawn to it by then 5-year-old J, to whom I am eternally grateful, and I lost no time in deploying my phone camera. This was as well, for the sight was transient indeed. Here one minute and gone the next.

The cloud iridescence or irisation phenomenon is described as ‘rarely seen and seldom photographed’ by some sources, and a ‘fairly common phenomenon’ by others. I must admit that in my 76 years it is the first time I have noted it. Apparently this rainbow effect is caused by an accumulation of frozen water particles of uniform size gathered together in an optically thin cloud.

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Challenge, Nature, Photography, UK, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Overshare from an Edit

I thought I’d overshare this by reblogging it at the meerkat colony.

Leslie Hyla Winton Noble

In a novel I recently edited set in 1930s, the main character asks another to stay in his home with a young girl while he is out, and is asked what they should do:

‘… “I don’t know,” he said sardonically. “She’s a girl. Overshare your feelings.” …’

Me, as editor: It is a good line, indeed. However, the word apparently dates from internet and social media times, so doesn’t quite fit the period.

Author: I did check the origin of the word (I was curious, myself), and it seems to have popular roots in the early 1800’s, as well as a strong reassurance in the online age.

I did more research without running to earth the earlier roots, but I did find:

1. Webster’s Dictionary Chooses “Overshare” as the 2008 Word of the Year.

     2. Described as “beautifully British”, the “subtle yet devastating” put-down “overshare” was today…

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Posted in Africa | 10 Comments

Another independent bookshop comes to The End —

— and the cups will run dry.

In 2009, a young girl named Kerry returned to Amanzimtoti from Cape Town, where she had first been employed, filled with experiences of boutique bookshops found in that area and determined to start one of her own. With the help of her parents and her own entrepreneurial skills the dream was realised as ‘The Book Boutique’, which became a thriving business combining excellent selections of books with fine coffee and cakes.

Book launches and Saturday readings of books to children became regular features.  At one of the former, some five years ago, I met ‘Spud’ author John van de Ruit. He was fresh from the success of the movie made from the first book, and with great tales to tell about interactions with John Cleese. I bought his latest Spud book ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’, which he autographed for me.

Anyway, this month came the shock announcement that on 24th July The Book Boutique will close down. Kerry is bitterly disappointed at needing to move on, but as she says, ‘… also a business decision in terms of the financial feasibility of an independently owned bookstore in the current economic and technology driven environment.’ (By the same token, it is becoming increasingly difficult for authors such as myself, published by small ‘indies’, to find outlets. The chains are generally serviced by agents who are notoriously inaccessible.)

It is sad indeed that, as with the era of the family grocer, baker, butcher and clothing stores, one finds that the age of neighbourhood bookshops is also gone, replaced by impersonal warehouses run by chains in shopping malls. I remain unconvinced that the economies of scale widely accepted as reasons for this revolution are truly justified on macroeconomic and cultural analyses. So many inefficiencies come about in time and travel and expenses involved in the construction and running of the mall monstrosities, and the personal touch is all but lost. Not to mention their ecological impact.

The charm of bookshops like this one was again brought home to us when we recently attended another book launch, when I took the pictures and about which another post is forthcoming.

© June 2017 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Books, Colonialist, Writing | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments

Backing up your Blog Content


I just read some great advice from Hugh W Roberts blog, hughsviewsandnews.com. Its something that I’d never thought of – backing up your blog content – especially if you have a lot of posts, images, comments etc. Who wants to lose that?

So here are some easy steps that will prevent that and ensure you have a back up in place.

Backing up your blog content:

1. Go to the WP Admin (your dashboard)

2. Click ‘Tools’ and a side window will open

3. Click ‘Export’ – ‘Choose what to export’ -click ‘All content’

4. Click ‘Download export file’

5. All content will be downloaded – you will receive a message from WordPress, saying that they will email you a link to the file

6. Go to your email box – look for the email

7. Click on the link in the email and the backup will be downloaded to…

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Posted in Africa | 19 Comments