30 March 2008

The one with orhestral mayhem

The last night at the Proms.

The one where I rediscover my Alexander

1983: started playing the French horn at the Green Hill Music School in Bloemfontein
1989: my mother bought an instrument made by the Alexander Brothers from a horn player in Bloemfontein (Mr Roohde? - I remember his daughter was an excellent violinist)
1989: Horn damaged during Free State Youth Orchestra tour to KZN.
1989: After several local failed attempts to repair the instrument, I took the horn to Mainz to be repaired.
1991: I stopped playing.
1998: Karen Brink bought the horn for one of her students at Durbanville High School in Cape Town
2008/03/28: Found! The Alexander now belongs to Jane. The irony is that we have been playing together in various orchestras for almost two years! She bought the horn from someone in Johannesburg!

The one under the tree

Teaching the bass African style: two new pupils and and lots of free air conditioning.

22 March 2008

The one where Dirk crosses the line

Dirk completed his second Two Oceans marathon (56K) today. Who-hoo!

19 March 2008

The one about a new place to explore on Kloof Street

Any ideas?

The one with more sushi on Kloof Street

Feeling peckish, Braamie and I walked down to Long Street to find dinner. As we passed Tong Lok we reminisced about the good old days when Tokio Sushi's 'eat as much sushi as you can' was more than just rice. Tamara has been raving about Tong Lok's sushi and we investigated. I opted for the udon noodles with chicken and some sweet and sour pork. Braamie ate as much sushi as he could. It turned out to be a case of 'eat while you can' as the sushi disappeared as soon as it was set out. The Braamie'ometer: 6/10.

16 March 2008

The one about new and old favorites

There is no alternative: Origin Coffee Roasting (28 Hudson Street, De Waterkant) remains our first choice for coffee and breakfast. According to Abraham's friend, Cuth (fourth in the 2008 SA barista competition) their bagels (served with with or with smoked salmon) are baked on site.

TK recently introduced me to Jardine (185 Bree Street, CBD). The coffee and pastries are served on the go or on the curb. Time and quality is of the essence here.

The one about a fun night out

My only resolution for 2008 was to walk into the new Louis Vuitton store at the V&A Waterfront with a melting chocolate ice cream. As of last Thursday, the deed is done: no more anxiety, no more failure. And yet, I feel strangely empty. Sure, I achieved a goal and, yes, the chocolaty smooth creaminess was dripping all over my hand. Then why I am feeling no afterglow?

Prior to the main event I met up with Jannie at the sushi bar in the Cape Town Fish Market and ordered the standard pre-event meal: a steak sandwich (rare) and a chocolate milkshake. Jannie was on a mission to find a birthday gift for Boerseun. Unfortunately all of my suggestions were ignored. Jannie remains an elusive shopper.

The one about the new double bass

The first glimpse of my new full-sized double bass, AKA "The Beast", was in a garage in Goodwood. The bass was advertised on Gumtree Cape Town and after some email negotiations I traveled north, with Abraham at my side, to inspected the goods-for-sale. The bass belonged to a member of the new band, aKing, but he never played.
I took the bass to Hout Bay last week. It has a longer neck and Odwa had to perform gymnastics to play his scales. The bass needs to be refitted for orchestral playing (new bridge, better strings, ebony finger board, etc) but has a big, warm sound.

09 March 2008

The one with a photo of Tolkien's father's grave

My family maintained Arthur Reuel Tolkien's grave in Bloemfontein from 1992 to 2007. My mother photographed my youngest brother, Alexander, with his two sons. My father had discover the location of the grave and assisted the Tolkien family to celebrate JRR Tolkien's 100th birthday in Bloemfontein, his place of birth. The tombstone was erected in 1994.

08 March 2008

The one about the Mission Bay Jazz&Blues Streetfest

On my first evening in Auckland, we strolled down Tamaki Drive where jazz and blues bands, spaced about 20 meters apart on opposite sides of the street, competed for an audience. The mussel pot at De Fontein bested even my capacity for NZ seafood. The nearest band was just 2 meters below our seats.

The one with exciting possibilities on Kloof Street

Spot the difference:
1. 'Kunst House' where Chef Pon's used to be (with white floors et al)
2. New restaurant next to Arnold's (you can see the smoking section?)
3. Studio 91 (not a work of art as yet)

The one about New Zealand

Long time, no blog. I wish I could, but I just didn't want to blog for a while.

January flew past as I prepared to explore New Zealand (including preparing an abstract, poster and presentation for the meeting in Dunedin). On February 5th, I entered the autumn shades of 30 (i.e. I am now closer to 40 then 30), and promptly left the country two days later.

As you can see, New Zealand is completely different from South Africa.