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So what do you do when you receive an e-mail requesting you shoot someone, or rather something accompanied by a kick ass Olympus E-P3 PEN camera courtesy of mycamera.co.za? You say ‘Hell Yeah!’, naturally.

I’ve been chosen to compete against several local lifestyle bloggers over the next week, each of us armed with a E-P3 camera and the instructions to capture three images encapsulating the words “Joy” “Curiosity” and “Alone”.

The cameras will be collected towards the end of the week (Thursday) and each of us will need to submit 3 images on the provided memory card. These will be judged by a panel of yet unnamed judges and in turn you, the general public.

So what’s in it for us? Well whoever takes the winning snaps gets to keep the camera!

Follow the journey on Twitter with the hashtag #GiveThatBloggerAPen and check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

A New York State Of Mind

October 29th, 2012

This past week my mind has been fixed on New York City.

It started with one of Kathy’s colleagues moving there, then those Virgin Airlines radio ads running their ‘special offer’ and the various posts from both of the lovely Dos Family ladies.

I’ve been blessed to have been to NYC 5 or 6 times over the past 10 years, mostly for music related business.

In 2008 I took Kathy over, her first visit Stateside and I forgot about work and my previous trips. I wanted to see the city with new eyes, tourist eyes, experiencing it with my wife as if I’d not seen it before: strolls in Central Park, street food from sidewalk vendors and reliving some of our favourite moments of movie history, much like Jenny from Dos Family shared in her post here.

Our daily adventures started in Time Square, featured in hundreds of movies. Something I still want to scratch off my bucket list is watching the ball drop on New Years Eve, much like in ‘New Year’s Eve’.

Touristy? You can’t get much more than dining at the Hard Rock Cafe, and dine we did, on budget meals no less, our booth wedged between Han Solo and Chewbacca.

I can’t explain the profound effect that ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ had on my life in the late 80’s, so what a treat to see his Von Steuben Day Parade waistcoat and Cameron’s Dads license plate up on the hallowed wall of film memorabilia.

We took in a studio tour at NBC Studios and popped in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. I was hoping to run into Kenneth Parcell, but his page brethren did a great job of showing us around the place, he was probably home visiting his family in Stone Mountain, GA.

The views from below and above the Empire State Building, who can forget the climatic scene that unfolds on the observation deck in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’!

Kathy and I enjoyed a meal out at Katz Deli, home to that famous scene in ‘When Harry Met Sally’, yes, that one…

In between our travels we popped into Atlanta to visit friends (yes, we went to Stone Mountain as well, still trying to find Kenneth!) and arrived back in New York on 26th September 2008. Lehman Brothers fell a few days earlier and protesters were out in full force against the proposed bail outs.

Looking back now I’m not sure at the time we realized the repercussions of those actions, which we are still feeling years later. The events are detailed somewhat fictitiously in the brilliant ‘Margin Call’.

We ended our time having a Texan style barbeque with a bunch of friends up in the avenues, having strolled through Hell’s Kitchen from 8th to 2nd, eventually ending up in Brooklyn crossing the Brooklyn Bridge at some ridiculous hour of the morning.

I’m glad I took the time to look back at the these photos and recount the memories. Yes, my heart yearns to go back, but we are different stages of our lives. I’m older, greyer and we have two kids! I wouldn’t change it for the world, but hope that one day we’ll be able to get back there and make new memories together.

It’s a jungle out there

October 22nd, 2012

I’ve always been fascinated by tropical plants, in particular Bromeliads. The family is rather large and extends to the largely epiphytic group, Tillansida, commonly called ‘Air Plants’.

We recently reworked out backyard patio, I put up a pergola with a translucent roof and designed and built a small table to enjoy outdoor family meals. I was looking for an accent piece and to make use of the now filtered light and asked industrial designer Joe Paine to create a custom planter for me.

After an exchange of e-mails and designs we came up with final layout and Joe studiously went to work realizing our joint efforts and I couldn’t be happier with the end results!

The large planter contains a Guzmania, Neoregelia, Vriesea and a collection of various Tillansias, there are also a few Ferns and a Philodendron Scandens, which will look even more impressive in months to come as it starts to climb down.

The two single pots tell the story of David and Goliath, the larger pot containing an enormous Aechmea fasciata and in the smaller pot, a diminutive Cryptanthus.

Nathan has come to call it ‘The Mini Jungle’ and I look forward to spending more of Spring and Summer outdoors admiring our joint handiwork.

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