The other one

francoise 2

Rainy Day

I can’t get over how there’s a Vladimir Tretchikoff painting that I recently saw for the first time that I really really like.

I saw this little postcard-size print at a hotel gift-shop and wondered why a painting of Françoise Hardy was being sold as a post card. On closer examination I saw it was a Tretchikoff, titled ‘Rainy Day’. I liked it and was amazed at the subject’s resemblance to the French singer.

Then popping in at Delaire-Graff recently, as one does, I finally got to see the Chinese Lady on display, in the flesh so to speak; remember I wrote about it here.  It looks just like the millions of prints (haha) and it’s behind glass and a frame I don’t like. It’s not awesome.

Anyway, there’s a book on the artist and his life for sale; it was a tad pricey so I just flipped through it and guess what I found? The story behind the Françoise Hardy painting.

Because it is her, after all.

When she toured South Africa in 1968 she agreed to pose for him. From his website: “.. he realised that she was just the right model to pose for the subject he had long wanted to paint. Of this canvas the artist says: “It was inspired by the knowledge that there is a rainy day in every young girl’s life, a day when she feels insecure, imprisoned within herself, and the world seems wet and bleak.”

Maybe he saw something – she went on to become extremely ill as a result of anorexia for a number of years but seems to have recovered now.

So, this kitsch artist I’ve always mocked and loathed once painted my namesake, one of our most loved French singers, and one to whom I owe thanks for helping me get my name (sometimes) recognised in this country all those years here with a foreign name.

Are these two paintings a contrast, or what? Which would you want on your wall?

Chinese Girl1

The Chinese Lady displayed in all her glory in the foyer of Delaire-Graff.
There’s a wine tasting lounge very close by where you can erase this picture from your mind if you so desire.


New year  resolutions are not my thing at all, but today does symbolise a fresh start of sorts, and it’s not a bad time to plan things and create a wish-list and maybe dust some cobwebs away.

1Jan_2014 roadtrip

This year’s site visit and exploration roadtrip will be the West Coast and the Cederberg region.
These trips are very useful to expand my knowledge and they double up as a sort of holiday. This year I’d like to have someone with me, as opposed to doing it solo, as I’ve found on previous trips that a second pair of eyes is needed. So, to that end, I’ll be looking for the right person who wants a fairly-cheap mid-year roadtrip. Applicants must have a sense of adventure, an eye for a good photo, valid driver’s licence, and at least a week to spare.


A mandatory stop when visiting the Cape Point Nature Reserve, as do millions of people annually, is a brief visit to the official spot known as the Cape of Good Hope. Everyone has their photo taken at the sign showing this iconic Cape that almost everyone on earth has heard of. No, not this sign, the sign that reads ‘Cape of Good Hope’.
Unfortunately, there isn’t sufficient parking for those extremely busy days – which are increasing all the time. It gets quite chaotic there, as huge buses and dozens of smaller vehicles all stop to disgorge tourists wanting that iconic shot and a walk along the rocks. Despite there being loads of space to create more parking, it’s all pristine fynbos and a very precious conservation area but some sacrifice will have to be made because the numbers are not decreasing any time soon.


There’s no photo to illustrate the cobwebs I need to clear so this one of Table Mountain with the wind bringing the cloth of cloud over it will have to suffice to remind me to deal with a certain personal issue that requires urgent closure. Winds of change and all that.

1Jan_Life rocks

Once I’ve achieved the above, I will own this t-shirt.


Watch more sunsets.
I want to start a sunset club. We’ll meet regularly to watch the sun set from a different place, everyone brings something to eat or drink, everyone takes photos and we choose a winning shot.


This giant wall poster is what greets you on arrival at Robben Island. Three men of extremes.
My biggest tourism wish for 2014 would be to see this island’s organisation take a turn for the better with a visit that is more enriching and stream-lined. I’d see it as a big bonus if new types of trips could be available, such as walking tours and full-day tours.
Cape Town runs a world-class tourist city but Robben Island lets the side down, big time.

1Jan_explore hidden Garden route

Funky is more important than you realise. Funky is a life-saver.
My last visit to Knysna made me fall in love with it again after a bit of a fall-out. This gorgeous corner of a newly-discovered must-return guesthouse had a lot to do with that.
My next visit will be one of deeper exploration into the forests and passes. A second pair of eyes will be required for that, too. Please apply within.

1Jan_Let the children

Can we dare to dream of a world where all children everywhere are treated with care, kept safe and given lots of love?


A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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