Joburg to Hatfield by Gautrain

“This is Mr Matthews your train driver. Sit back and relax. The weather is sunny, the ride is sweet and everything is Ayyyyyyobbbbba (Drawn-out World Cup speak for “just great”).”
I am a fan of the Gautrain #justsaying. In fact I am a fan of any mode of transport that doesn’t involve surgical gloves, hard stares and taking your shoes off. That’s any mode of transport that doesn’t presuppose I am a mad bomber hellbent on the world’s destruction. I’m more like a one-person economic recovery plan, committed to single-handedly rescuing cities from the economic downturn by spending some hard-earned cashola.

"I made my favourite thing for dinner - a reservation" - Entrance to Papa's, Duncan Yard

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Cullinan’s Greek treasure

Until a few Sundays ago the biggest find in Culllinan was the 3106 carat diamond discovered there in 1905. No doubt much has happened since but I have no idea what it is. On a sunny winter’s morning we made our way to the area north-east of Pretoria now known as Dinokeng, chasing a tale about brilliant Greek food. There is no limit to how far I will travel for a great meal. Add to that – on a winter’s day Pretoria and its surrounds are even more attractive, with weather that’s always a few degrees warmer.

As Greek as it gets (their photo)


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Winnie Mandela and Pretoria’s other opera secret

Pretoria. Just 35 minutes away, and yet the capital might as well be on a different planet for the number of times I venture there. A few weekends ago it was for an audience with South Africa’s struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and some fine Italian food. Continue reading

Blue Bulls not the only victors in Soweto

105 Something truly amazing took place in this country over the past few days.
A collision of worlds and I am not talking about the people who queued for the last round of World Cup tickets on Friday and ended up having to be dispersed by riot police after their appetite for the event was underestimated.
These photographs from last week’s clash between the Blue Bulls and the Crusaders at Orlando Stadium in Soweto have been doing the email rounds. They capture the day Pretoria’s rugby lovers made their way into Soweto (many of them for the first time) Continue reading

Get me that Gautrain

#179. Celebrate the coming of the Gautrain.

The Gautrain at OR Tambo International Airport

On a good day – when the monsoon season is not in full swing, and it has been for three weeks – Joburg’s roads resemble the face of a pockmarked acne-ridden teenager. Crevices and dongas, all flaring and angry. The robots don’t work and if they do the roadworks mock them. I have spent the past few days in the car — not waving but drowning, not really driving but sitting. I have been gridlocked in Braamfontein and Rivonia, Bryanston and Rosebank. I have tried the radio and think I have started to master Sepedi – and listened to an audiobook in record time (an 8-hour one). I have made more calls to my mother than I ever should and been offered everything from cellphone chargers to peaches, badly-spelled werld maps to feather dusters. I have debated the merits of fong-kong school shoes with a street kid Continue reading