Category Archives: South Africa

Receiving 15 aircraft in your back-yard

I’ve always said that I am a little left of normal and this is true of my entire family. Case in point: my sister Christelle is a student pilot, and her love of aviation combined with my mother’s love for cooking lead to this amazing breakfast fly-in.

We proved a while back that the farm where I grew up is the perfect wedding venue, but Christelle took it one step further this past Saturday by receiving 15 aircraft for breakfast.

The morning started with a true Zandfontein wind, blowing everyone setting up to receive guests hither and thither. The weather app on my phone claimed that it was only gusting at 16kmph (just over 8 knots for those aviatory-folk), but it sure felt and sounded like far more.

By 11:00 the wind had calmed down significantly, and the 900m runway had received a number of slings. The helicopters were lined up nicely and Mike Rumble literally dropped in on the festivities.

If you love great food and want to experience something slightly different in the Joburg and Pretoria vicinity, keep an eye on 29 Zandfontein’s Facebook page for the next event. It should be a lovely lunch in October.

 

 

All  images by the author: © catterflyworx 2014. Please contact me if you would like to use any images from this site.

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A cold Easter in the Free State

As I mentioned in my previous post, we spent the long weekend away from home visiting the beautiful Golden Gate Highlands national park in the Free State. Other than gushing about the beauty and complaining about the bitter cold, I thought I’d share my five tips from the weekend.Yes, and some (mostly HDR ’cause I’m a little obsessed at the moment) photos.

  1. If you’re visiting Clarens (which you should!), don’t pay R60 for a pretentious breakfast. Go to the Roter Hahn Bierstube Und Deli and enjoy a very wide choice of German beers with an even better meal.
  2. Pack lots of blankets. Then another one. Also, a hot water bottle.
  3. Take a good single malt with, it fights off the cold.
  4. If you’re camping in a spot that doesn’t get a lot of sun, stay in bed ’till the sun hits your tent.
  5. Visit the vulture restaurant on the Oribi loop drive. Maybe you’ll have better luck than we did and see some of these amazing birds.

 

All  images by the author: © catterflyworx 2014. Please contact me if you would like to use any images from this site.

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Golden Gate in HDR

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We’re spending the Easter weekend in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Stunning mountains and freezing temperatures are the first two things that come to mind. These two panorama images, taken on my HTC One, were a spur of the moment experimentation with HDR. I’m quite happy with the results.

Full report back at a later stage (when not posting from my phone and dependent on patches of signal).

UPDATE: Photos and a few tips in the next post.

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We watched “A good man goes to war” last night, and this poem has been stuck in my head. It’s amazingly sad and incredibly awesome.

“Demons run when a good man goes to war
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war

Friendship dies and true love lies
Night will fall and the dark will rise
When a good man goes to war

Demons run, but count the cost
The battle’s won, but the child is lost”

– Steven Moffat

Moffat gives me chills

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Dîner en Blanc Johannesburg 2013

We spent Friday night at the very first Dîner en Blanc Johannesburg, which was also the first DeB in South Africa. It was fantastic! There are more photos on the Facebook page as well.

All  images by the author: © catterflyworx 2013. Please contact me if you would like to use any images from this site.

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So this is what the end of the world looks like

I discovered this site last week and am loving every bit of it. This game in particular has caught my fancy and it’s a Kickstarter I’d love to see succeed.

1001-Up.com

Hinterland Studio Inc’s project for their first-person post-disaster survival simulation The Long Dark has a funding deadline of 16 October 2013 on the Kickstarter website. At the time of writing it has already received $54,692 CAD of its $200,000 CAD target and, with over three weeks still left to go, we’re getting behind this curious title.

Title - So this is what the end of the world looks like

I initially came across The Long Dark on Emily Clare Afan’s blog earlier this week and then headed over to Kickstarter to take a closer look. To be honest, I can’t say I’ve played many survival games and I’ve found the recent influx of post-apocalypse titles uninspiring (take a look at our Zombies have feelings too video if you haven’t seen it yet). But to come across something in the genre that doesn’t feature the undead – and looks absolutely stunning to boot – then count me in.

Players take on the role of…

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Sunday quick-fixes

After an amazing Saturday night at the zoo, we spent most of Sunday lazing about. We did however manage to tick one of the ‘to do’ items off the list, by finally upgrading a sad patch of lawn into a garden path.

We seem incapable of nurturing grass to grow here, and this section is mainly used as a walkway in any case. We used found materials from other patches in the garden, and I think this is a vast improvement. This week we start on the mammoth plan for our veggie garden.

Sunday home-DIY (that cost zero monies) FTW.

The before and after of a sad stretch of lawn in our garden.

The before and after of a sad stretch of lawn in our garden.

 

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A night tour at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria

We spent Saturday night at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria, better known as the Pretoria Zoo. They offer night tours with knowledgeable guides, focusing on nocturnal animals. The tour starts at 18:30 and ends at around 20:30, where after groups may proceed to designated picnic areas to braai and spend some time relaxing around a bonfire. If you’d like to make a bigger trip out of this, you may also book a camping tour.

The Pretoria Zoo stretches over 88 hectares (roughly 217 acres) and celebrates its 114th year in 2013. The night tour is well worth the effort, as there are only a few other guided tours in the zoo at night and there’s no jostling for a view. The tour is however very focused, so if you want to see a bigger variety of animals it might be better to visit in the day. Photo opportunities will also be better then 😉

I managed to get a few pictures, but with my ISO set to 3200 most of them are very noisy.

An exotic buck seen in a spotlight at the Pretoria Zoo A flock of flamingoes settling down for the night at the Pretoria Zoo

A juvenile eagle owl sitting on a log at the Pretoria Zoo

A male bengal tiger seen at night in the Pretoria Zoo

A view of the union buildings and the city of Pretoria in the background, with a sundial in the foreground at the Pretoria Zoo A pack of wild dogs sleeping under a tree at the Pretoria Zoo

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Look at those feet!

I usually get annoyed with people who post about their pets, but I can’t help it this time!

We’ve been on a waiting list for a new staffie for months now. A new litter has finally been born, and the breeder we’re buying our new addition from sent me some pics yesterday. I cannot wait to bring this little thing home! I know our 2 year old staffie, Gelos will love having a friend (other than the terrified cat).

Red staffie bitch puppy held in her breeder's hand

So very tiny and immensely cute. (Photo by Yolandi van der Linde)

Litter of stafforshire terrier puppies

Only a few days old and fast asleep. (Photo by Yolandi van der Linde)

 

Black staffie dog at age one and a half

Gelos looking attentive at age one and a half. Gelos was bred by Nickelback Staffies.

Brindle staffordshire terrier dog on the lawn

Eating a palm seed on the lawn of our flat in 2012.

 

All images by the author, unless otherwise specified: © catterflyworx 2012.

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