Nice Things No.21! just click through to be taken to the sweet stuff.
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last week my husband and i decided to go on a spontaneous road trip from Durban to Cape Town. he had just bought a new car from a dealer up country, so we put it through a 1800km journey on some serious gravel roads and epic mountain passes to see what it could do.
instead of doing my usual iPhone photography along the way i decided i wanted to test out a camera that i have had my eye on in the past while. i’ve been wanting to get a mirrorless camera that’s small enough to keep in my handbag, but that has the functionality & flexibility of a DSLR for a variety of uses. i’m not a professional photographer, so spending a bundle on a high-end camera is not a priority for me. but i do LOVE taking photos, and i also love editing and sharing them as quickly as i get the shot. so i wanted something that was compact with good lenses and that allowed me to edit and share the images almost immediately if i wanted to. like a smartphone on steroids, i guess.
in comes Cape Town based photography experts Orms, who were kind enough to lend me a Samsung NX300 for the week. this little camera kind of hit the sweet spot for me: it’s small (and so light!), good looking, can be used with a variety of lenses and – this is the best part – it can upload your photos directly to any of your devices via its built-in wi-fi. it can also share images to instagram and facebook etc if you connect to a wi-fi network, but i prefer editing the photos on my iPad before doing any sharing. the price is also nice, not as expensive as the other high-end mirrorless cameras on the market – so you can start off with the body and a pretty basic lens, then add to your collection as you go.
so on Friday i flew to Durban and Anton was waiting for me with our new car (a second hand Toyota Prado which eats those dust roads like you won’t believe) and we set off on our journey. first stop was Mbona Nature Reserve just outside Howick where we stayed with Anton’s aunt Willemien and her amazing dog Rukker. this area is actually know as the Mist Belt, which is appropriate considering the entire place was shrouded with mist when we arrived (and left the next day). I have never been to the Midlands, and naively expected rolling green hills – but of course it’s winter, and their rainy season is in the summer. it hasn’t rained there in months, so everything was dry and brown… which still makes for good photo opportunities.
the next morning we left Mbona and started on the most interesting leg of our journey – travelling the road that runs along the southern border of Lesotho and crosses from Kwa-Zulu Natal into the Eastern Cape. we were heading to Tenahead Mountain Lodge, and it took us almost the entire day to get there. we ended up climbing the second highest mountain pass in the country (without even realising we were going to!) which was pretty harrowing in parts, and cooooooold. so incredibly cold that the waterfalls along the road were frozen all the way up.
the next day we left Tenahead and made our way down Naude’s Nek to Rhodes, a small village at the bottom of the pass. it actually took us hours to finally hit a tar road again. then we did a not-so-interesting stretch of road, bombing down the N1 towards Beaufort Wes. anyone who has ever driven from Joburg or anywhere up country down to Cape Town would have done this long stretch of road. it just goes on and on and on, and while the landscape is beautiful it is also pretty uninteresting – unless you veer off the beaten path to explore the countryside. but we didn’t have time, we wanted to make it to the Karoo National Park before dark. our last stopover before heading home.
the Karoo National Park is one of the smaller parks in South Africa, but by no means less interesting. there is a pack of lions in the park that visitors often spot around the camp, which we unfortunately did not see. they were reintroduced 180 years since the last wild lion was shot in the area. it is pretty alarming to think that almost all of the terrain we drove through was once teeming with wildlife – not just buck, but lions and elephants and every matter of wild animal that you now only find in nature reserves.
after an entire day’s drive we arrived in the dark (you can see the shot above that Anton took with the camera’s long exposure). so the next morning i woke up early to watch the sunrise, we had our coffee, and then we headed home.
all photos taken with the Samsung NX300 and edited with VSCO. Samsung NX300 provided courtesy of Orms. you can see the photos i posted on Instagram using the hastag #missmossxorms. for all my local readers: if you’re interested in buying the NX300, Orms currently has some sweet specials running. if you’re looking for a compact run around camera that packs a punch then i would highly recommend it - i’m going to buy myself one as soon as possible.
in light of yesterday’s post you can probably imagine that things are quite busy around here, so in lieu of a regular blog post – here’s another lately. these are all taken in my iPhone 4S and they are usually always posted on Instagram.
first, i have a poll of sorts running on this photo i posted on Instagram, asking if people would potentially be interested in buying bags like this on the blog. please weigh in!
my most popular photo on IG lately, this insanely picturesque winter scene at Dornier Wine Estate. go there for the wine and the scenery, but not the food – it’s crap.
speaking of food, we had the BEST MEAL EVER at Hallelujah, a tiny asian tapas / champagne bar in Tamboerskloof. uuuuugh my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
some evening scenes from walks around my neighbourhood, Sea Point.
just another winter’s day in Cape Town.
i am enjoying all the old buildings that surround my office in the CBD.
and the scenes i come across walking around some days.
we went to see Daniel’s exhibition at the Stevenson (now finished) amazing in person.
i got a new desk made by Stokperd – it is white and glossy and beautiful, and i am constantly worried i’m going to chip it.
really enjoying winter….
still buying too many plants.
my husband got into bread baking this month. i’m trying not to blame Masterchef Australia.
not only does he bake us bread, he bought me this beautiful limited edition Momo!
been thinking of getting my scarf from Klaus Haapaniemi framed and hang it on the wall. it’s too amazing to wear around my neck - so big and beautiful and detailed.
got some nice things in the mail lately. a lovely thank you package from Wsake:
and the new edition of Spaces by Frankie Magazine:
and, my incredibly pertinent to-do list:
(i really do have more to do than that, though)
today is a sad day for us. Anton’s beloved grandmother passed away in the early hours of the morning. she was a true matriarch, who lived to 91 and left behind a legacy of 4 children, 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and countless more loved ones. she handmade our wedding rings, even though her hands were crooked with arthritis. she had the best, loudest, naughtiest laugh; a dry sense of humour and a straight forward matter-of-fact manner that made everybody grin. she was the first person in Anton’s family that he introduced me to, a loving and creative woman who made a lasting impression on his life and so many others.
goodbye Marie Jeanne Neilson, Oums, you will be missed.
Nice Things No.20! just click through to be taken to the sweet stuff.
yesterday i listened to an amazing story on The Moth by critically acclaimed author Andrew Solomon about his journey to becoming a father. Andrew is gay, and he got married to his partner John after initial hesitation as he wasn’t sure if he believed in the idea of marriage. they wed in a civil partnership ceremony in the UK (at Althorp, Princess Diana’s childhood home – love that) and what he said in the podcast* about the act of getting married is lovely:
I found that though our commitment had seemed to me to be permanent and declared and established before that, that the experience of having all of these hundreds of friends gathered together witnessing our love shored it up and strengthened it and gave it a new depth, and gave it a new resonance that I had never imagined or anticipated. And I found the fact that we were celebrating that love in a ceremony that echoed in some sense the one my parents had had, and the ones my grandparents had had, and the ones that presumedly went back generation upon generation exalted the feeling between us. And it was very joyful.
The best description of marriage I ever heard was made in reference to architectural structure, that its strength is the result of a delicate balance between stress and support. I like that description because it implies that active forces are required to make it work, a kind of dynamic tension between the mundane and the sublime that makes the act of marriage one of purposeful intention, of daring, courage and high adventure.
i wish i had had similarly eloquent words to express myself on the day we got married, but i couldn’t pull myself together in my rambling thank you speech (emotions, guys!) even now it’s hard to find the words. i’ve always been a more visual person, which is why these help:
* PS: what podcasts are you guys listening to? i have my firm favourites – This American Life, The Moth, Nerdist… but i am always looking for new recommendations. Death, Sex & Money is a new favourite, too. let me in on your podcast secrets!
ooh another of my favourite jewellery designers has just launched their new AW14 collection, and this time it’s local designer Pichulik. i have long been a cheerleader of Kat’s work (since her debut 2 years ago) and love seeing the label go from strength to strength. sporting a fancy new website, it looks like there is an online shop in the works too. in the meantime, you can get your hands on her pieces at plenty of shops locally.
This collection is inspired by the photography of Helmut Newton and his intimate portraits of powerful women in their own personal spaces. Jewellery is worn close to a woman’s skin, brushes her neck, clasps her earlobe. AW 2014 invites our brave lady on some close up encounters. With jewel tones and wooden parts, suede and agate stones and tassels, this collection skirts the glamour of 70s disco, and the soul of psychedelia. Kick those platforms off and dance on those carpeted floors and wooden-clad lounges till the dawn meets your cat-lined eyes.