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Yes we can

When approached to speak on a cruise which began on my birthday in Durban, we leapt at the opportunity. Stops including PE, Cape Town, Luderitz, Walvis, St Helena, Ascension and ending for us in Dakar, Senegal. What a time it has been onboard the recently refitted...

Wonderfully busy days

Thankfully dam levels across the country are generally better than they have been over the past 4 or 5 years, most are some way from full with winter not far off. Areas across the country still desperate for rain - Grahamstown in dire straits. The battlefields have...

January is almost over

Today being the 140th anniversary of the Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift provides much food for thought. After David Rattray invited me in 2000 to join him sharing stories on these famous battlefields, the rest as they say is history. These stories having...

Road tripping

Last year World RallyX championships were held in Cape Town for the first time. I came to see the likes of Kristoffersen, Loeb and Sjolberg race their 4x4 cars which accelerate from 0-100 in 2,5 seconds. It was a magical weekend, petrol-head heaven. I booked...

This year is almost over

After our extraordinary trip to the UK, Italy, Paris and the Somme, we hit the ground running back home. A BA captain brought his family on tour, including his son-in-law who has never been to Africa previously. Observing the delight and wonder of this young man...

Reflections on France

After an outrageously good time in Italy, we flew to Paris. The weather was fantastic, so we walked from the Bastille past Notre Dame and the Louvre, all the way to the Eiffel Tower. Being Sunday Parisians were out in droves, enjoying their open areas, the sidewalk...

Italy thoughts

Italy has been a revelation on so many levels. Litter, what litter? The places we have visited have been spotlessly free of litter. Elevation. So many towns and villages are situated on hilltops or high on hillsides. We are unsure whether this has to do with...

Florence, Pisa and Tuscany

Florence has a population of 400 000, yet hosts 7 million tourists annually. I wonder how that makes a local feel, especially pulling a grocery trolley along the cobbled, narrow sidewalks wrestling hordes of foreigners? Nevertheless, we pulled our cases along the same...

Venice a city of dreams

After what has been our best UK lecture tour in history, there is so much to be grateful for. We took the train south from Edinburgh to Reading, yet still racked up 1800 miles or 2880 km in the burnt orange Citroen C3. The past week found us in Suffolk, York,...

Last week on lecture tour in the UK

IT IS NOT HAPPY PEOPLE WHO ARE THANKFUL, IT IS THANKFUL PEOPLE WHO ARE HAPPY. This lecture tour began in Scotland, with 3 nights in an apartment on St Andrew’s Square off Prince’s Street. The tail end off the US hurricanes produced some heavy weather, and with it all...

Spring is here

After the dreadful drought over much of the country, some areas have received good rains and dams are generally at better levels than two years ago. Many regions are still desperate for rain and drought relief; here's hoping this Spring improves their lot. This past...

Natal people and passes

Cape Town appeared impossibly green after recent good rains, and we loved being back in the Mother City. The following weekend special clients, Jaguar Land Rover in Durban, planned a weekend at Three Tree Hill Lodge. Along with the battlefield tours, nature walks and...

Sardine Fever on the South Coast

June has been a veritable smorgasbord for sports lovers. After the Comrades Marathon, where South African athletes excelled - the ladies winner attended Howick High School, international events once again became centre stage. Thrilling tennis in Halle and Queen's Club...

A goal without a plan is just a wish

One reason I love Life in the Midlands, is enjoying four distinct seasons. Somewhat confusing however is the notion of mid-Winter Solstice on 21 June, yet the coldest weather generally comes thereafter? The first frosts have arrived and the country hereabouts assumes...

Are you watching?

In my last blog, I wrote about Harry Wolhuter killing a lion with his sheath knife in the early days of the Kruger Park, attacked whilst executing patrol duties. In the last few weeks a caged lion attacked his keeper, and a giraffe killed a photographer. Timely...

The intrigue of Intuition

I consider myself as a master storyteller, expanding my repertoire and offerings considerably over the past few years. Epics of human struggle and triumphs of the human spirit resonate very strongly for me, believing powerful lessons can be learnt from the experiences...

What does a legacy mean?

The past 10 days have been incredibly busy, and filled with mixed emotions. We spent 5 days in Cape Town, seeing family and I had two talks at Quentin's at Oakhurst in Hout Bay. Visiting the Mother City at present reminds one unequivocally of the importance of water....

139th Anniversary of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift

Today marks the 139th anniversary of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, both iconic for completely different reasons. It seems a shame that this anniversary finds Rorke's Drift completely closed down on account of violent protests and road closures. Locals are demanding...

Across the Drake Passage and sailing the Beagle Channel

Andrew Denton wrote "If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart, Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on Earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it!" Standing at...

Returning across the Drake Passage

"And now to conclude. Is it worth doing? Ask any member of Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, and you will receive the reply - Yes, I wouldn't miss it for the world. Would you go again? Rather, such is the call of the South!" TH Orde-Lees, diary of the...

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