Made in South Africa

A bit funny …. Yvonne is wearing Tsonga shoes for several years now and many South Africans make remarks as if these shoes are made in Europe. If she tells them that Tsonga is a South African product they won’t believe it. Negative self-reflection does not contribute to nation building. Buying locally made does!

The sandals she’s wearing (approx. 100 days per year) in the picture are 3 yrs old and are far from ‘wearing out’.

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At last: Wine Tasting

This week I had two posts about the grape harvest and the grape processing at Springfontein Winery. I promised to keep the tasting ‘in the barrel’. Well …. tasting is something personal for everybody has his/hers own taste buds. The majority of overseas tourists in South Africa choose for tastings at cellars of which the wines are commonly known in the supermarkets abroad. And also most South Africans go mainstream. If you are as stubborn as I am go for a surprise. Who has ever heard of Reynecke in Stellenbosch? Sumsare in Robertson? Or Veenwouden in Drakenstein? And have you, until my first post about this subject, ever heard of Springfontein?

If you like the wine of an ‘unknown’ cellar just buy a bottle for a special occasion at home. If you can buy these ‘collectors items’ in Europe or where-ever you live you probably pay a fortune. The average price of South African mainstream wines in the mainland of Europe is, for whatever reason, 20 to 30% cheaper than at the cellar. Sounds strange but is true!

But also from a visual point of view the ‘unknown’ cellars can surprise you. See here the tasting room of Springfontein reflected…

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After the harvest and tomorrow we taste

Growing grapes is one thing but creating excellent wines of grapes demands at least as much craftmanship. Although modern technology helps the wine maker he/she still needs the, as the Germans say, ‘Fingerspitzengefuhl’. At Springfontein in Stanford, South Africa, the grapes are first manually graded (no machine can do it that good) and next the stalks and (partly) skins are automatically removed… well to keep a long story short: via cooling, pressing and (temporary) storage, etc. the wine matures in wooden barrels (and after that some wines mature a few extra years in the bottle in an optimal environment  such as a cellar or climatized room).

You can read between the lines that wine-making is a kind of magic and I don’t understand any of it but I can tell you the difference between a good and not so good wine.

Let’s keep the tasting for tomorrow. Here a few post-harvest pictures.

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Light conduct

There are spot lights and spot on lights. It all has to do with ‘streamlining’ light. Libar in The Netherlands always has been (since the eighties) on the forefront in the development of transparent conductors and later in the design and engineering of upmarket high quality light elements. Not easy to acquire them for these elements are only for sale in selected shops around Europe but you can also try online.

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Toes from a different perspective

Recently I submitted some pictures of toes I shot during a stroll along Grotto Beach in Hermanus, South Africa. Today I did some simple photoshopping resulting in these  imaginaries. All have a hint of surrealism.

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Horses in the mist

It rarely happens that I go out without my camera to take pictures where-ever I go (except shopping and parties). Yesterday we were at the Grotto Beach in Hermanus (near our village in South Africa) and I shot some images in the mist. The next days you’ll see more pictures I took during this hike along the beach and the lagoon.

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The mystery of The Red Bike of Stanford

South Africans …. well … there are no better story-tellers in the world and sometimes the truth is something different although the best stories always have some truth in them….

But now they are stuck. Everybody I ask about the background of The Red Bike stands with his/her mouth full of teeth (as far as any left in many cases…. dental care is unaffordable for the majority). Even the local historian, who wrote an awesome good documented and illustrated book about Stanford, doesn’t know. The Red Bike is ‘walled’ against the Caltex petrol station at the entrance of the village and the local tourism bureau advertises it amongst the many things to see in and around the village. Is the story too gruesome to tell? Is there something about this bike that people are ashamed of? Well one can think of numerous questions. Maybe there is a simple answer to all this such as “there was no green paint” or “they just put the bike against the wall for decoration”. Maybe the answer is not that simple. It just remains a mystery and that explains this imaginary (second picture is the original).

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Ain’t this Hottentots God beautiful?

Insects, none domesticated animals alike, are not patient when posing for a photo shot.  What the people of Cape Town are for other South Africans is the Hottentots God for insects; Relax, tomorrow is another day…

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