No Inspiration – Creative Block

The recent death of Judith Mason reminded me of and image she created Not Being Able to Paint in 1992 and it reminded me of the blank moments in my creative career. She sits facing us, hands over-sized, thumbs on the wrong side of her hands, eyes closed, almost grown over with skin, almost unable to move. So RIP Judith Mason who expressed without words the horror of creative block.


Wolfberg Cracks

This page old and a repeat from 2004. It is dedicated to the people who helped me fulfill a dream. I climbed up to the Wolfberg Cracks and went through the most spectacular of all of those cracks.

Who are those people?
My sons who cajoled me, blackmailed me and helped me to do the round trip.
Who allowed me to stand on their broad, young shoulders to get through the bits I would never have achieved alone.

My ISIS colleagues and their partners who egged me on, who pulled me through, yelled at me to suck my stomach in and left me in no doubt of their support.
Thank you one and all.
Special thanx to Dave who put it all together and got it all going.

Ok, now follow me into heaven and hell!

We stayed over in the chalets below the mountain Friday night.

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early.

“An hours walk! No more. Three hours for the round trip.”

Those little slits you see at the top of the mountain. Those are Wolfberg Cracks.

After two hours serious slog on a thankfully cool morning, we reached the mouth of the narrowest and most beautiful crack. Who is the “WE”? This is US.

On the inside of the crack looking out.

And in we go. Julia doing a fancy step in the middle ground.

Mike and I taking a breather. Actually, Mike being patient, while I catch my breath.

Yes you do have to go in there and yes, the spare hand is attached to another human further in the crack.

Stepping back and looking at the thing again.

Julia going in first. I had my first SERIOUS misgivings here.

Richard emerging from the crack.

You do actually emerge in one piece. And if you are wondering, yes I did that too.

Here is Dave, he did the round trip twice!

From here on in I will let the pictures tell the tale!.

Front to back: Julia, me, Mike and Richard

Yes, it is me and I am STILL on my feet. Only just, but still on my feet.

And it gets narrower!

And more difficult. That is Fred in the the red teeshirt doing impossible things with his legs, arms and back.

Mike and Julia, posing.

Sunday Relaxation. Maalgat, cold water and huge jumps.


Greyton McGregor Hike

With some friends, I did the Greyton McGregor hike. It was incredibly beautiful and incredibly hot. Join me in a short trip up the Riviersonderned Mountains.

The group.


Here I am looking fresh and enthusiastic.


Greyton in the distance


The paths are good, but narrow.


The Waterfall from above. You can see people walking the ridge above the waterfall.




Strata along the historic trail. The layer in front of the lady is a 2 cm thick ash layer, laid down millions of years ago during an enormous volcanic eruption.

IMG_1638Unidentified plants. Strange but beautiful

4RupertThe end point


Flower along the route.



A black eagle. It was at least 500 m away and so the picture is pixilated, but it is a huge creature.


There is a video of the waterfall on YouTube:

Edison Coffin Lid Cylindrical Record Player

My grandfather bought and used extensively an Edison Coffin Lid Cylindrical Record player. My father inherited it, and I in turn inherited it from him. It looks like this:

As evidence of his usage, there are 180 cylinders. The cylinders look like this

IMG_0954The name of the artist and the “cut” is embossed on the end of the cylinder.

The cylinders were packed in cardboard tubes. This is a tube and a cylinder.


The player was spring driven, here is a picture of the handle and, in the framed photograph above it the original owner of the player. The little baby is me. I haven’t changed much.  The spring drove a threaded bar ensured that the needle moved across the cylinders length.


The sound was produced by a needle causing a diaphragm to vibrate at the apex of a curved pyramid. It was, if you like a mechanically driven horn.


Volume control? You stuffed a piece of cloth into the narrow part of the horn. The cloth you can see in the next picture is one of my fathers old vests. Just maintaining familial contact I guess.

You can see the instrument in action here:


St Augustines Guest House

We are staying at a guest house just outside Ladybrand. I got some great pictures




And more star pictures.




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Platteklip Left B – Climbing Table Mountain one of the more dangerous ways

Cleaning up my website, I found a page that went missing from my memory and from the web for technical reasons.
A group of friends and I climbed Plattekkip Left B some years ago. The climb provided some really lekker pics.
So join some friends and I in a trip up Table Mountain like you probably haven’t seen it before.

Platteklip Left B Face

Be warned. This is not a stroll. It can be dangerous.

There is an easier route, the normal Platteklip Gorge route.


Lady with a flower

I loved her outfit and her tattoo so I asked very nicely and she posed for me with my flower.

Thank you to the unnamed lady.

This is the original full colour version


Then I removed all colour except the flower.


Then I brought back the hat.