Friday, January 12, 2007

a quiz, and a stroll in the park

Oooh, I've got so much stuff to share now, I've been waiting for Joyce to send a couple of pictures, so now I can show you Philippolis, and her renovations, and of course there is still Graaff Reinet, and also, if you are interested, I could feature the renovations on an old stone cottage, built in the late 1800s, that I did last year. I also have lots of topics for the "African images" photo-essays. I love doing them, but as a ton of time goes into preparing all these, and I am sort of "shooting in the dark", could I ask you for some feedback, before I do a whole bunch of stuff you REALLY find boring? ................
So here is a quick quiz... Hopefully the prize will be posts that are of more interest to you...(unless your answers are out of sync with most others, and of course allowing me some editorial freedom of expression on my blog...), but I will also send an ATC to 5 of you, I'll get the scrupulously fair Max to draw names out of a hat on Thursday next week (18th January) so watch this space! ...include your email so I can contact you for your address, if you want one.
(Janet, :D thanks for the explanation and inspiration, I woke up last night feeling inspired to do some!)

Please grade you interest in the following topics from 1-4
(1 = YAWN, no thanks,
2= I'll read it if I have time, but will probably just skim through it..
3= OK, quite cool,
4 =love it, do more, can't wait!)
If you need to see examples of what I mean by any category, I have included hyperlinks to past posts)
A) African Images (examples can be seen here and here), photo-essays showing aspects of Africa as seen through my eyes over the years.
B) House renovations, showing before and after shots. (example here)
C) Walks down memory lane (old photos, funny pets, travels, family stuff etc) (examples here and here)
D) Decor fun ideas (pix of fun stuff I have done for clients over the years) (example here and here)
E) Social and or political comment and opinions, current events (example here and here)
F) art works (eg here and here)
G) Glimpses into my world, (more personal stuff, memes, stuff I love, stuff that is happening in our lives, where we live etc) (eg here, here and here)
A stroll in the park

One unexpected delight about blogging is that you begin to see everyday things, that you tend to take for granted or just not notice anymore, through fresh eyes. I am finding this especially in my "doo doo doo looking out my front door" exercise.

All of a sudden I am noticing the "cycle of life" all around me... take the park for example. It is there whenever we get home or leave, it is the background as we sit on the patio, or look out of the lounge window, yet I have not, till this morning, really registered some of the changes that have been subtly taking place over the past few years.

So I thought today, I'd share a couple of those changes with you, and in doing so, I ended up taking a stroll around the park, come and join me (you won't need sports gear, energy drinks etc, it is an easy stroll!)

I have already, in a recent post, pointed out the sad demise of the huge pine in the middle of the park. But when I was going to tell you a bit about the lovely old building across the way, I suddenly noticed how little I can now see of it, and how much the trees in front of it have grown! (That's what I meant by 'the cycle of life'.)
This is how it looked in June 2003....
And this was this off we go, to the left, around the park clockwise, till we get a clearer view of the building in question.
on the corner we pass my my friend Paul's home. He is an interesting and delightful person. He is an 80 year old Belgian, but if you had to guess, you'd say not a day over 60. He and his dog Suki are an institution in this area, if there is a green cause, Paul will be there boots and all! He regularly gives people uphill for littering in the park, or failing to clean up after their dogs! For many years he was Port Elizabeth's leading photographer, and over the years has pretty much done portraits of anyone who is anyone around here, including all the mayors and local politicians. (He tells some great scandalous stories with that wicked, gruff chuckle of his!) Then he designed a bed that is GREAT for your back, organised to have them made for him, and in his late 70s has launched a whole new career, cutting out the middle man and selling direct to the public, with great success, so if you are launching out on a new tangent (I'm thinking of Shirley here) take heart, it's never too late! However, I digress (what's new?)
A bit further on, and here it is, originally built, either in the late 1800s or very early 1900s as a hospital. It then became the home of the Erica School for Girls, and is still known today as "The Old Erica Building". Currently, it houses the Art Department of the Port Elizabeth College, and it is great to stroll across periodically and view the public exhibitions of the students' work.
It is really a lovely old building with magnificent architectural details.
Looking back across the park, you can see our home through the trees,
and a different view of the pretty little church which you have already seen from our dining room window a couple of times recently....
but first we look down the road that skirts the park, .....and there is a ship on its way into port

I couldn't resist playing around with this one... gives the atmosphere a certain je ne sais
and there goes a little plane overhead...
Feeling like a little sit-down in the lovely shade under the maples? Here we go.....
OK, got our breath back? Let's carry on. Next to the church is this lovely old slate roofed beauty......
with great cutout wooden details.
Next to us is yet another church, which is SO HIDEOUS that the architect who designed it should be ashamed, and should have been banned from ever designing anything again!!!! It is a gross heavy looking, badly proportioned monster built of blackish face brick, thank goodness we can't actually see much of it from our house because of the wall between us! (OOOh, I feel a rant coming on.... I mean if some inept guy has a bad hair day and puts up a building like this, it is a permanent blot on the visual landscape. There really needs to be more accountability when it comes to the plans that get approved in areas with historic buildings, so that the lovely old ones don't have to nestle between septic eyesores!!! Ok, sorry, back to our stroll!) But I am not going to pollute this blog with it so the only bit I will show you is the steeple (which is also hideous, but look at the game little ficus tree trying to take root up there!!
Which brings us back to Lily O'Dair (named, I am told, after the Irish mother of a previous owner, but we loved the name so we kept it.) She is the left hand side of the semi-detached house. This is how she looked in June 2003....

And this morning, see how nicely our trees are growing ....well, those I haven't managed to kill off with neglect...
Taken in June 2003, as you can see, the pine in the middle still has leaves, but the trees in front of the building are still quite small. Note also the standard roses struggling to survive against our front wall, they lost the battle and were replaced by the three firs in pots.
Sadly, one of these also suddenly turned up its toes and died this week, I'm afraid my gardening is on a par with my housework at the moment!
Oh can't win them all.

WHEW, finally we get to the daily photos....
And this lovely sunset was taken from the banks of the dam in Prince Albert which was featured a few days ago.


Terry said...

I'm not answering your quiz because I like all the things you post! Loved the little walk around the neighborhood.

Sheila said...

I agree with Terry.
I enjoy all your posts, if I have a preference..I do like to see renovations in progress..before and afters.Lovely cat you have..!