Tuesday, July 22, 2014

They travel together once again.

In silence I watched the naked body of a dead baby in a open stretch of land. Everything in the scene was wrong. No movement. No parents. No blanket. The baby did not even cry. So unreal.

But it was very real. And very wrong.

I read the passenger list and realised hat it could have been anyone of us, or our loved-ones on that list. I listened to the rebels' excitement as they hit the target. I saw how locals stole the valuables, even before the bodies were removed. And then, in silence, I saw the train leaving with the passengers who boarded MH17 a few days ago. They travelled together once again.

Police officers secure a refrigerated train loaded with bodies of the passengers as it arrives in Kharkiv.

I watched all of it on Aljazeera - which I consider the most objective news channel available.
And the war continues, and the killing of fact  . . .

Aljazeera just reported that the MH17 Wikipedia entry was edited by a Russian government IP address. After Russia edited changes about who is responsible for the disaster, their motives are questioned.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

The house I call "home" now . . . (5)

Jou kombers en my matras

A tassel is a pendant ornament that is seen in varying versions in many cultures around the globe, according to the Webster's Complete Reference Dictionary and Encyclopaedia of 1949 that I saved from the waste paper pile last week.
The earliest reference to tassels, fringes or zitziot (singular: tzitzit) is made in the Bible. Around 1406 B.C. God gave the Israelites the design for their prayer shawls or talitot (singular: tallit).

. . . tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the LORD and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God. Numbers 15:38-40 (NKJ).

The purpose of the tallit is to bear the fringes (tzitziot) commanded by God in Numbers 15. The tzitziot are therefore far more important than the tallit itself. The tzitziot at the four corners of the tallit are tied into knots using a complex procedure with number-related symbolic meaning.
To make tassels remained serious business.  Passementerie or passementarie (the art of making elaborate trimmings or edgings for clothing or furnishings). In the 16th century an apprenticeship of seven years was required to become a master in one (only one!) of the subdivisions of the guild of passementerie.
Tassels illustrated in A Handbook of Ornament (1898)
Last week I took this picture of postgraduate students in ceremonial wear at the graduation ceremony of the University of the Free State. The tassels or liripipes are clearly visible on the mortarboards.

And after this elaborate introduction, thanks for holding you tassels (being patient), I'll gladly introduce you now to some tassels in  our home.

I was the passementerie weaver of this tassel.

and of this one . . .

and of this one . . .

This black beauty was a gift from my sis Magda.
The white feathery reminds me of a cabaret costume! 

Is this magnificent, magnificent or munificent?

Perfect combination between this vintage tassel and the drape (made from a sari we bought in Singapore's Little India).

Some of our  embroidered Chinese charm tassels.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Perpetual tea-time. Perpetual winter.

 Alice approaches a large table set under the tree outside the March Hare’s house and comes across the Mad Hatter and the March Hare taking tea. They rest their elbows on a sleeping Dormouse who sits between them. They tell Alice that there is no room for her at the table, but Alice sits anyway.

The March Hare offers Alice wine, but there is none. Alice tells the March Hare that his conduct is uncivil, to which he rejoins that it was uncivil of her to sit down without being invited. The Mad Hatter enters the conversation, opining that Alice’s hair “wants cutting.” Alice admonishes his rudeness, but he ignores her.

The tea party sits in silence until the Mad Hatter asks the March Hare the time. When he discovers that the March Hare’s watch, which measures the day of the month, is broken, the Mad Hatter becomes angry. He blames the March Hare for getting crumbs on the watch when the March Hare was spreading butter on it. The March Hare sullenly dips the watch in his tea, dejectedly remarking that “It was the best butter.”

The Mad Hatter calmly explains that Time is a “him,” not an “it.” He goes on to recount how Time has been upset ever since the Queen of Hearts said the Mad Hatter was “murdering time” while he performed a song badly. Since then, Time has stayed fixed at six o’clock, which means that they exist in perpetual tea-time.


I have not murdered time, but since I approached December 2013, I'm in perpetual winter-time.

I landed in an icy hurricane in Copenhagen in the beginning in December, lived across the frozen Emdup lake, could not believe my eyes when I saw the frozen Nohavn (a 17th-century waterfront close to Copenhagen), tried not to slip on frozen snow in Gentofte , and got soaking wet in an just above zero hail storm in Aarhus.

And since Im back in South Africa, we experience a harsh winter. Sutherland's  -13 is cold, and Bloemfontein's -8 is also quite uncomfortable.

Rooikloof Guest Farm (Picture from www.rooikloof.co.za)

Snow on the Drakensberg Mountains at Champagne Sports Resort
(Picture from Snow Report SA)

Snow-capped Protea at Jonkershoek
(Picture from Snow Report SA)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hold your pee!

I saw this very cute sign at the Diamond Pavilion Mall (Kimberley) and thought it was very original and, unique . . .

But once again, Google proved me wrong: its cute not that original and unique

Friday, July 4, 2014

Feeding the president a bite of apple.

At this very moment, Australian artist Cigdem Aydemir is busy to vacuum pack the Pres Steyn monument on the Bloemfontein Campus’s Red Plain – in pink. Aydemir’s project, ‘Plastic Histories’, forms part of a public art project that encourages us to evaluate public monuments in their historical context.

Aydemir is physically vacuum packing the monuments of President Steyn and President CR Swart on the Bloemfontein Campus in pink plastic. By vacuum packing monuments, Aydemir alludes to their significance and preservation. At the same time, though, it reveals the nature of their contentious and gendered historical function. This is because most monuments in post-colonial countries typically celebrate men’s achievements in serving their nations.

In response, this project acknowledges the contribution of women from all races, communities and sexual orientations to the grand narrative of a post-apartheid South Africa.

Plastic Histories #PinkPresidents 

Live streaming of the process 
Video clip

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Today, at the 2014 graduation, I was an official photographer (a title that I am so very proud of!). I took pictures of the postgrads for future use of the UFS Postgraduate School (the department that I'm contracted at)

I thought back to last year's autumn graduation and of my promoter, who recently tumbled to another Wonderland, with new personal and professional locations.

(And in-between all the thinking, I wondered if I really received that tap-on-the-head? or have I dreamed that I did?)

And when I looked up,
there she was,

A mentor to many,
A guide to those who desire to follow her,
A PhD promoter for the fortunate ones,
A friend to me,
A person who helped me to grow,
and developed,
and survived,
and achieved goals I treasure.