My experiences living in Cape Town and travelling in Africa

Posts tagged “review

One of the first to see ‘Into the Mind’

Into the Mind feature film

Recently I got the opportunity to watch the worldwide premiere of this feature film. In fact, thanks to time zones I was the one of the third group of people in the world to see it. From this auspicious beginning the night just got better.  Having been invited by a friend I didn’t know that much about the film but I trusted their judgement and knew it would be worthwhile. Some research the afternoon before attending the screening revealed the Into the Mind “is is a story of rising to the ultimate challenge. Having the courage to risk fatal exposure and the perseverance demanded on the quest for achievement. These are not solely physical feats, they are mental conquests.”

Intrigued I watched the trailer (see below) after which I was really looking forward to seeing the movie. Shot on location in Alaska, the Himalayas and Bolivia the cinematography was beautiful, the scenery breathtaking and the sound track moving. The movie looks at why we are inspired to rise to challenges in our lives and what we learn on this journey to attain them with a series of chapters that I didn’t always follow and there were a few sequences which I feel didn’t fit with the tone of the piece but on the whole it was a really interesting film.

I am not sure when it will be screened again in South Africa but there are still screenings going on around the world but if you get the chance I would recommend you watch this film of for nothing else but the scenery, cinematography and sound track. Find out more at http://intothemindmovie.com/ otherwise here is a taste of what to expect from ‘Into the Mind’.

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Looking back at Rory in South Africa during 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


CHAMP is f*#^ing brilliant

Champ follows three actors, struggling to get real theatre work, behind the scenes of their current gig working in a shopping mall as entertainment for all the little kids. The premise of this play is actually very close to home for me and here’s where I’ll let you in on a little secret. click here to find out what my secret is


A Faulty dining experience

I am not a die-hard fan but I did watch several episodes of Fawlty Towers growing up and think John Cleese is hilarious, so I was excited when Guy McDonald invited me to join him for Faulty Towers The Dining Experience which forms part of the inaugural FNB Variété Festival from 6th-20th of October 2012.

The venue was The Villa at the Cape Sun Hotel, a perfect location for what was to unfold. We were having a drink and chatting when Basil Fawlty appeared. He was hard to miss, being close to 7 ft and a remarkable resemblance to John Cleese in the original TV show. Then I noticed Sybil standing by the ticket desk with an old phone wedged between her left ear and shoulder chatting away while scurrying between all the other guests, collecting empty glasses, was Manuel the waiter.

We weren’t even inside and the show had begun. Basil called for Manuel to bring out the hor d’oeuvres but Manuel’s English isn’t very good and so he replied quizzically ‘Orders?” Basil a little frustrated repeats “hor d’oeuvres” but Manuel still only manages to hear “Orders” and isn’t sure what he’s supposed to do. So Basil simplifies the request to “Nuts” and Manuel finally gets it ‘Oh, yes the nuts. I go” and disappears round the corner. A little while later he returns simply carrying a tray of nuts and weaving between the guests. Basil notices that Manuel is just carrying the nuts around and not offering them to the guests. “No, no, no. Manuel you have to serve the nuts. Serve the nuts.” Manuel nods and Basil continued greeting the guests. I then watched Manuel who proceeded to pick up a single nut, throw it into the air and (more…)


Exploring the greater Swellendam area

I was up early the next morning and while there was still a thick blanket of cloud across the sky it had at least stopped raining. I had a quick cup of tea and ventured out with my camera, eager to get some photos after the terrible weather the day before. Although there was no sunrise to speak of I really enjoy shooting in the soft morning light and had some fun experimenting with depth of field on these thorny specimens. Before long the others started emerging from their chalets and we climbed into the bus to begin our tour.

First stop was Rolandale Restaurant and Farmstall, on the side of the N2 highway, for a full breakfast and you know you’re in farm country when the bacon is twice as thick as the stuff you get in the supermarket. Ready to tackle the day it was back on the bus and through the village of Suurbraak. This village is nestled among streams of running water and sheltered by giant oaks with history dating back to the ancient trade routes of the Quena (Hottentot) people of Southern Africa. From here we made our way up and over the Tradouw Pass. It is hard to capture the scale and beauty of the Tradauw Pass, even more so when the weather isn’t ideal, but it is definitely worth doing if you are in the area.

At the northern end, just over the pass, is the small town of Barrydale and we had the privilege of continue reading + 7 more photos


Avro Shackleton MR.3 engine run at AFB Ysterplaat

Last Saturday I joined Hilton Mundy of ShortFinal.TV at the SAAF Museum Ysterplaat in Cape Town to film the engine start of the only remaining airworthy Shackleton MR.3 aircraft in the world. I was also lucky enough to be inside during the event filming the action from inside the cockpit. Here are a few of my photos from the day as well as the videos edited by Hilton Mundy.

The SAAF Shackleton being towed out of the hanger

see 6 more photos + 2 videos


Quad biking on the dunes in Lamberts Bay

…The next morning we woke early, got dressed in our new Hi-Tec gear and gathered at the Green Bus for the next instalment of our Wild West Coast Adventure.

The sun rose to reveal a beautiful dawn with just a few clouds in the sky proving the old adage correct. There had been talk of cancelling the morning’s itinerary if it was wet but now it looked certain that we would get to do what was probably the most anticipated  activity of the weekend  – quad biking on the dunes in Lamberts Bay. We did first have a two-hour drive to get there but we had Piet, a West Coast Tour Guide, ride along with us who was a font of information on the area. He explained how the dunes in the WCNP are moving inland at a rate of 3 metres a year and may one day cover the R27 and how the trains on the Sishen-Saldanha railway line that are up to 4km in length, including 10 locomotives and 342 cars, are some of the longest production trains in the world.

By the time we got to Lamberts Bay the weather had closed in but it wasn’t raining so the quad biking was still on. At West Coast Safaris and Quads, we were greeted by Johan who gave us a quick demonstration on  how to operate the quad bikes, which were fully automatic so even a complete novice would have no trouble. Then a safety briefing and we were ready to go.

I had been quad biking before but this was different. continue reading + 6 more images


How to cook Lamb Shank – Timelapse

Those of you who know me will testify to the fact that I’m not the world’s greatest cook. It’s not that I can’t cook, nor that I don’t want to; I guess I just haven’t had to cook that much in my life. I can follow a recipe in a book but mine never comes out like the life-size picture on the opposite page and my logical mind is left wondering why the garnish wasn’t included on the ingredients list.

On the recent camping trip I took to the Kgalagadi we met to discuss the shopping list. It was decided that we would share the load and each person would be in charge of a dinner at which point I said “hold on, I’m not sure that’s going to work.” After some debate I agreed that I was happy to cook a meal as long as someone told/showed me how to do it, the deal was made. I was going to be taught how to make Lamb Shank. I only discovered some time later that Lamb Shank has to be cooked for hours and I started thinking that I had lost out on this deal but I also started thinking that it would be a great opportunity to take some, or thousands, of photos during the process and make a time-lapse video. Plus I could then show it to all my friends who would otherwise never believe that I had actually cooked a meal.

grinding pepper over the onion

(more…)


Kicking it at Kirstenbosch for New Year’s Eve

I know it’s been a while but since New Year’s Eve but the start of 2012 has been a busy one for me; more about that in posts to come. Right now though it’s time for a bit of catch up so I’m going to let the pictures do most of the work.

As a group of friends we had started discussing plans for New Year’s back in October with nothing being set in stone. Time marched on, suddenly it was December and we still hadn’t made definite plans when my mate, Guy McDonald, said that he was MC’ing the Kirstenbosch Concert and that we should all join him there so that’s what we did. We made sure we got there early, as the gates opened, to get a good place on the grass. Then all that was left to do was sit back, relax and enjoy the music. Meanwhile Guy had to keep going up on stage to introduce the next act and here he is, doing what he does best, entertaining with no less than 3 costume changes over the course of the evening.

Guy McDonald, our MC for the evening

I took along my camera as I continue to experiment and improve my photography. This was going to be my first experience of photographing a concert which was tricky with the low light and lots of movement but it was fun none the less and I got these few shots that I was pleased with. continue reading & see 8 more photos