Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Joyce in Jo'burg

Joyce flew in from Whistler for Christmas, and after three days of the Buzzard family goings on (Christmas lunches on the 24th, 25th, and 26th), we decided to pop up to Johannesburg for some peace and quiet.

Joyce riding a WWII German 88mm antiaircraft gun, and about to get us thrown out the Johannesburg Military Museum. Take that Ken Melamed.

We had lunch in the arty suburb of Melville, and while Jo'burg is a huge cosmopolitan city, it never quite lets you forget you're in Africa.

Finished the day off with a great meal on the patio in Sandton.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Durban Club

A close family friend invited my father and to lunch at the Durban Club, the self declared final bastion of the British Empire. It's an exclusive men's club located in downtown Durban. The club has been operating since 1861, and has been in the current building since 1903.

Arnold is my sister Joanne's father-in-law. He and my father have been doing business together since long before Joanne and Simon ever met, and now have the pleasure of having their children married to each other.

Head waiter Dennis Zondo, chef Khanyisile Mhlongo, and waiter Bernard Khuzwayo

My host, Arnold Taylor

The Blue Horizon Club

I had the pleasure of attending the retirement party for my father's friend, Colin Govender, at the Blue Horizon Social Club. Colin was a shift supervisor at the chemical plant my Dad ran on the Natal South Coast. There was a terrible accident where a huge chemical reactor failed, and Colin crawled on his hands and knees to the control room to shut it down, saving the plant, and everyone in it. After 43 years of service with the company, he's retiring, and he asked my Dad to speak at the party. I thought it would be interesting, so I tagged along.

Funny enough, we came directly from our lunch at the Durban club. We had two fantastic curries, back to back.

Burning the Cane Fields

Before the farms harvest the sugar cane, it's burned to remove wide grass blades, or trash from the cane, leaving the bamboo like cane behind. This saves a lot of work for the cane cutter, and clears the area of snakes and rodents.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

South Coast Sugar

A worker climbs between two sugar cane haulers.

This week I had the pleasure of touring the Rhodes sugar cane farm on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast. The owner, Craig Rhodes, and his father Chris were kind enough to let me have the run of the place for two days. It's a large operation, with over 300 workers, mostly Xhosa speaking Pondo's from the Eastern Cape, and stretches for more than 25 km's across the rolling hills.

Loading cane onto trucks for the trip to the nearby Sezela Mill

A tractor is pulled out of a flooded access road

Craig Rhodes checks the oil on an ailing tractor.

Sugar cane cutters at work. Cane is burned, and then harvested by hand.

Craig Rhodes confers with his foreman.

A cane cutter at the end of the day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

some of the locals

A couple of the locals around the Limpopo region, around Kruger Park.

Nothing but rain and cold weather here in durban, nothing much else to report.

Caspir in Action

It took some searching, but I knew I had a shot a Caspir Armoured Car on patrol, to add to the one that's in the museum. This was in KwaMashu, a Durban area township, in June 1996.