2018 has been somewhat of an emotional roller coaster ride for me with many happy times, great achievements, involvement in some awesome projects, lots of Jozi related aggravations and disappointments. We were blessed with the arrival of a brand new little granddaughter, Lea, but two of our children left for Australia – Mandy and family to Sydney and Jason to Perth (and we wish them all the very best in their new adventures).
After walking the streets of Joburg for the past seven years, and now having a huge collection of photographs, I decided that it was time to do something with my photography so I started this blog, my aim was to focus on the suburbs of Johannesburg and what would make me want to go back to those suburbs. I’ve managed to post up 25 blogs this year, not all are of suburbs but all Joburg related. I was also fortunate to get some of my photographs published in ArchSA and Johannesburg in your Pocket. A couple of articles in the Heritage Portal carried my photographs as well and the City of Johannesburg used my photo’s in their brochure and poster for their Remembrance Day event at the Cenotaph.
We did two Land Art events this year, one at the Johannesburg Botanical gardens in Emmarentia and one at The Wilds. Both were very successful and attracted a good amount of people. I would love to do more of these events in different parks in the city… if it was not for all the red tape in applying for permission from City Parks. There could be a possibility of starting up a “Land Artist Group” that meet up throughout the year at random places to do some land art.
Victoria Yards opened officially and has become a firm favourite of mine on First Sundays as it is great to chat to the resident artists and see what they are up to. The Joburg Photowalkers along with the Joburg Sketchers held an exhibition there in September and I got some good feedback on my seven entries. It is also a great place to meet up with friends, plus it’s close to home.
Besides helping with the archiving at the Children’s Memorial Institute (CMI), I have also got involved with two cemetery projects – “Friends of the Cemeteries”, which falls under the auspices of the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation and basically maintains the burial areas and gets people to visit historical cemeteries such as Braamfontein and Brixton cemeteries, and the “South East Witwatersrand Family History Society” where we take photographs of the graves for the Genealogy Society of South Africa.
With Johannesburg Heritage Foundation I got involved in assisting with a few historical walks at the zoo during its birthday month. I really enjoyed these and hopefully we can repeat them this coming year. I went to the amazing Kedar Lodge and Meerhof Lodge with Kathy and even though these were just one night stays away from home, both trips were well deserved breaks from the norm.
Besides all the political issues that we have here in Jozi and the rest of the country, we still live well with so much to be thankful for. I promised myself that I would get rid of stuff in 2018 – well that did not happen, maybe I should try harder in 2019.
I wish for a greater understanding of, and empathy with, the people of this country, a cleaner, safer inner city, less moaning, more action, more positivity and less negativity in 2019. I do favour odd numbered years, so may 2019 be good for all of us.