Friday, October 28, 2011

The King of Gentlemen.

Rex Cleaver. He's right there at the top of my list. So kind and polite and so very, very talented. Sign writer extraordinaire. Artist.

Flip-around washroom sign for African Children's Orphanage Set.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I am working with Germans. I love their turn of phrase... they call fans ventilators. The female lead is an artist, so they refer to her as the paintress. Mobile phones are cellophones.
We are barely touching ground.
Few hands and a mountain of work.

On a different note:
this is sunrise in Dalaman, Turkey:

And sunset from my window in Cape Town:

4928 miles apart, we are under the same sideways smiling moon.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bittersweet Sunday.

 A good haul at the boot sale, for work and for me. A composite doll in a handmade Dutch dress. A cigar box - the price tag could have been written by my long-gone Grandmother. It reminded me of the papery skin on the back of her hands and I missed her. Another Chinese carved cork diorama (14 x 12 cm). A bunch of king proteas, from the seller outside Kwagga Books. He smiled and handed me a bunch of poppies as I left:
"met liefde my nooi".

And farewell to my honey at the airport. An important thing unsaid, now said. It was hard to let him go. Until 12 December. Istanbul.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Christmas Turkey.

In between running around, changing the CTICC into an airport in Vienna, turning a farm building into an orphanage somewhere in deepest darkest Africa, miles of curtains and furniture and wind pumps and graveyards and and and... the lists continue into eternity and I dream of them at night. In between all of that, I dashed to the travel agent during lunch today and bought a ticket to Istanbul. Just like that!
There is a Turkish photographer/film director whom I admire greatly. It's not so common to find photos of Istanbul in Winter, but Nuri Bilge Ceylan has taken some beauties.

He won the award for best director in the 2008 Cannes Festival for his film Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys). At the end of his acceptance speech, he said: "I dedicate this award to my beautiful and lonely country, which I love passionately."

Simmering excitement.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The way we live.

Not much time to write. Or sleep or cook. A quick meal at The Kitchen today. Even though Michelle Obama lunches there, it's still the best deal in town - R40,00 for a truly delicious, fresh plate of food.
As for the Frangipane tarts...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The way we live.

He has a junk shop. He lives across the road, above a restaurant. He's an ordained priest, but he has faith issues. We speak, but he can't meet my eye. He's shy, he's intense. He paints.

The way we live.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's all real.

Sometime last week I sent this image to my friend Elsibe, because when I look at it, I think of her.

Renée Perle photographed by Jacques-Henri Lartigue,1931.
It's those dark eyes and the sense of occasion. I try to imagine what this woman's day must have been like. Her lips painted with such precision. What on earth did one eat for breakfast in Paris in 1931?
Even living in the same city, even in the same profession, we have such unique lives. They are all real - a million different universes.

I thought of you on Wednesday. I was out at the Stellenbosch studios bright and early. About two years ago, I worked on a film about a U-boat, set in the forties. Back then we packed a container full of props and dressing and it's been standing in a corner of the lot. 

While I waited for the truck, a herd of goats passed by on the other side of the fence. Two Pied Crows wheeled overhead, flying very low. The truck came. The key didn't fit. The set builders from next door had to grind the locks off for us. Sparks flew.
So strange opening this time capsule. Bits and pieces of submarine, beautifully painted. Old dials and mattresses and sheets. A crate full of documents. And in the doorway, a letter on the floor. Stamped with an eagle crest, it starts: Guten Tag, Mein Führer.

On a koppie in the distance they are building a Medieval Village for someone else's fantasy. I spoke to one of the scenic painters, her clothes stiff with paint spatters. Then I drove back to town, listening to Ethiopian jazz.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wonders of the Modern Age.

I used to send this Cyanide and Happiness cartoon to my friends with iphones.

A small case of sour grapes perhaps, because now that I have one I'm hooked. (I still think it's really funny when a bunch of people are together socially and they're all glued to their phones instead of talking). One of the most fun things to play with is the Hipstamatic app. It's so easy to take atmospheric photos without spending hours in Photoshop. The square format, the colours - it all appeals to my sense of nostalgia. Of course the Canon is still my baby, but for capturing quick images and being unobtrusive, the phone wins.

The pincushions were birthday flowers from my honey - they turn electric at night. The toilet bowl is at the Daily Deli, around the corner from where I live - it's ancient and very beautiful. The Liberty lawn turned into pillow slips on Sunday night. They are so smooth and soft - I highly recommend. As I sewed them I thought of my grandmother telling me that her mother forbade her to sew on a Sunday - it would be like poking a needle in God's eye! What a thing to tell a child...