Other People’s Holiday Pictures

Sunrise on Summer. Churchhaven.  (Pam Parkin.)

Sunrise on Summer. Churchhaven. (Pam Parkin.)

They can be enlightening, amusing or interesting.  They can also be tedious or downright boring, but when other people’s holiday photos are of your own country, they can be inspiring and revelatory.

View from Table Mountain.  Robben Island in the distance. (Kate Merchant.)

View from Table Mountain. Robben Island in the distance. (Kate Merchant.)

For some reason, many of us seem to view South Africa through a glass darkly.  Perhaps it has something to do with the burden of guilt – so hard to shrug off –  our chaotic crime rate and equally chaotic politicians.  Perhaps we’re simply too subjective, colouring every view with our pervasive uncertainty;  ‘What If?’ in invisible ink, etched on the back of every photograph.

Cedarberg Mountains. (Alastair Moore.)

Cedarberg Mountains. (Alastair Moore.)

But when presented with a visitor’s perspective, there’s a sudden jolt of recognition: we see our country for what it is, one of the most diverse and beautiful places in the world. I had this experience recently when family and friends shared their summer holiday ‘snaps’ with me and with Johannesburg already adrift on a russet leaf sea, I thought it would be a good time to put them out there, these reflections of just one small part of South Africa.

Avenue through the Gardens at Vergelegen. (Kate Merchant.)

Avenue through the Gardens at Vergelegen. (Kate Merchant.)

What is it about Autumn that draws out a sense of nostalgia? Our suburbs are awash with leaf-fall, our pavements crunch beneath our feet. With the drawing in of days, and the  shaking out of down duvets comes the daunting prospect of power cuts and long, dark nights, Summer bows out and leaves one wondering how it could have seemed so fleeting.  So now seems like a good time for a Retrospective Summer Review.  All these photographs were taken in the Western Cape; probably the best place to be during our summer months.  Some were taken  by my niece, Kate, who was visiting from England…..

My niece Katie, on the right.  Walking through The Company Gardens. CT.

My niece Katie, on the right. Walking through The Company Gardens. CT.

……….some by a great friend, Alastair, now living in the States, who was showing his new Texan relatives around….

Alastair, visiting from Texas.

Alastair, visiting from Texas.

……and some by my gifted sister-in-law, Pam, who has the ability to capture images of her beloved West Coast in a way that makes one yearn to be there.

Pam, an intrepid beachcomber.

Pam, an intrepid beachcomber.

 

Sunbird. (Pam Parkin.)

Young Sunbird. (Pam Parkin.)

Table Mountain as seen from Signal Hill. (Kate Merchant.)

Table Mountain as seen from Signal Hill. (Kate Merchant.)

 

Table Mountain Cable Car (Kate Merchant)

Table Mountain Cable Car (Kate  Merchant.)

 

View from Table Mountain.  (Kate Merchant.)

View from Table Mountain. (Kate Merchant.)

The Twelve Apostles under cloud.(Behind Table Mountain)  Camp's Bay. (Kate Merchant.)

The Twelve Apostles under cloud.(Behind Table Mountain) Camp’s Bay. (Kate Merchant.)

 

On the Rocks - Camp's Bay. (Kate Merchant.)

On the Rocks – Camp’s Bay. (Kate Merchant.)

Fishing Boat in Kalk Bay Harbour. (Kate Merchant.)

Fishing Boat in Kalk Bay Harbour. (Kate Merchant.)

Kate made her way all around the Cape Peninsular, from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Indian Ocean and inland to the vineyards of Stellenbosch and Franschoek.

Penguins at Boulders Beach. (Kate Merchant.)

Penguins at Boulders Beach. (Kate Merchant.)

Kite Surfers over Blouberg Beach.

Kite Surfers over Blouberg Beach. “Table cloth’ over the mountain. (Kate Merchant)

Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West.

Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West. (Kate Merchant.)

Sunset over Franschoek (Alastair Moore)

Sunset over Franschoek (Alastair Moore)

Vineyard near Wellington. (Kate Merchant.)

Vineyard near Wellington. (Kate Merchant.)

 

Road to the Cedarberg (Al Moore)

The Long and Winding Road. Cedarberg. (Alastiar Moore.)

Cedarberg Rock Art (Al Moore)

Cedarberg Rock Art (Al Moore)

View from Klipbok Lodge in the Cedarberg (Al Moore.)

View from Klipbok Lodge in the Cedarberg (Al Moore.)

Starry, Starry Night. Cedarberg Sky. (Al Moore)

Starry, Starry Night. Cedarberg Sky. (Al Moore)

Elephant in Aquila Reserve. (Al Moore)

Elephant in Aquila Reserve. (Al Moore)

 

Draaihoek Lodge (Al Moore)

Draaihoek Lodge (Al Moore)

 

Sunset over Draaihoek Beach.  (Al Moore)

Sunset over Draaihoek Beach. (Al Moore)

 

Draaihoek Beach Walk (Al Moore)

Draaihoek Beach Walk (Al Moore)

Aloes at Churchaven, looking over the Langebaan Lagoon. (Pam Parkin.)

Aloes at Churchhaven, looking over the lagoon. (Pam Parkin.)

Zebra in the daisies - West Coast Reserve. (Pam Parkin.)

Zebra in the daisies – West Coast Reserve. (Pam Parkin.)

Spotted Eagle Owl, Churchhaven. (Pam Parkin.)

Spotted Eagle Owl, Churchhaven. (Pam Parkin.)

 

Cloudy Day Lagoon.  Churchhaven. (Pam Parkin.)

Cloudy Day Lagoon. Churchhaven. (Pam Parkin.)

Iconic View of Table Mountain taken from Blouberg. (Kate Merchant.)

Iconic View of Table Mountain taken from Blouberg. (Kate Merchant.)

Sun Setting on Summer. (Kate Merchant.)

Sun Setting on Summer.
(Kate Merchant.)

Sometimes we just need a little distance; someone else’s eye to the lens, to keep things in perspective.

Thank you Al, Katie and Pam for sharing these memories of a special summer. Please keep taking beautiful photographs –

                                                                               To see a World in a Grain of Sand

And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand

And Eternity in an hour.       

 (William Blake)

 

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7 thoughts on “Other People’s Holiday Pictures

  1. Also what you say is very true no matter where you call home, seeing somebody else’s pictures gives you a different perspective on what you see every day.

    Like

    • Thanks Marietjie. Glad you find you have the same reaction. It was good to post something positive especially as we lurch towards another election. 20 years of Democracy. Can you believe it?

      Like

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