I do understand what this headline means, but…

Ooer. Drama at the golf.

And the headline to go with it:

Look, I get it. The player (Kyle Stanley) hit the ball into the crowd and didn’t warn them that it was coming. The lady who got hit with the ball happened to be the mother of the caddie of Stanley’s playing partner that day, Bob MacIntyre.

Golf etiquette dictates that golfers should always yell “fore” upon hitting a shot that carries the risk of hitting another golfer. As long as you yelled “fore,” you did all you could to warn the other golfers. Convey this message to them in as polite a manner as possible.

MacIntyre was irritated that Stanley never warned the spectators that the ball was going their way.

But that’s not quite what the headline says, is it? That word “after” really doesn’t fit very well, because now for me, the suggestion is that Stanley should have gone over to Mrs Caddie Mum, who was by now nursing a very, very sore hand, and shouted “fore” at her. And I mean, there’s no point in doing that once the ball has hit someone, is there? In fact, some might call it ‘adding insult to injury’.

Seriously, if a golfer whose ball had just fractured my metacarpals, then strode purposefully off the fairway, across the rough and over to the gallery (look at me with all my golfing terminology, innit?), I’d be expecting some sort of sympathy or apology, not for him to shout “fore” at me at very close range. I’d likely consider that rather sarcastic, and, given my recent and clearly still very painful injury and subsequent troubled state of mind, I might even swing for him with my remaining good hand.

The subheading doesn’t really clear it up either, does it? It almost makes it sound as though MacIntyre was encouraging Stanley to go and scream “fore” into the face of the injured woman. Which he clearly wasn’t, but you wouldn’t know that by reading that second line.

There’s no point to this post except maybe to point out how weirdly my mind works sometimes. And that if you do play golf, and your ball looks like it’s going to hit someone, warn them before it happens, rather than after. Because that’s the way that warnings work best.

Untouched

Sometimes, you take photos which you need to edit a lot.
Sometimes, you take photos which you want to edit a lot.

But this isn’t either one of those sort of photos.

Sugarcane Sunset

I was actually running through the fields of sugarcane near the Mozambican border to take a photo of a tractor, leaping gazelle-like over irrigation piping, because that’s the sort of thing I apparently enjoy doing. But then I glanced to the left and there was this, and I stopped because there are just some moments you simply have to record.

It’s the sort of point-and-shoot nonsense that always looks amazing at the time but never quite makes the grade when it comes to actually reviewing  the image later on. Except, for me at least, this one does. And yes, it did go into Lightroom as a RAW file, but it came out the other side without being touched at all, because I couldn’t find a way to make it prettier: even with my new Sharples #RBOSS™ preset.

Sadly, this is one of very few images I took this week that doesn’t need editing. And that’s why I’ve already spent quite a lot of my Sunday in front of the computer. And there’s plenty more work to do.

So let’s leave this here and get back to it, shall we?

The journey home

It’s been an educational week up in the far North East of South Africa, but now it’s time to head West. We were on the road by 5:30 and now we’re racing towards the highveld, past the filthy power stations of Mpumalanga.

If all goes well, I should be Chez 6000 before 2:30. SA is a big place.

I’ve worked really hard, met some great people, heard some fascinating stories – some heartbreaking, some incredibly positive – and seen some amazing things. And I have some half decent photos, too – look out for them soon.

With my previous trip, the kids’ school holidays and our Karoo adventure, the last six weeks have been very unsettled, and I’m actually really looking forward to getting back into a bit of a routine.

That’s not too say that I haven’t enjoyed the opportunity to have some different experiences, though. 🙂

Nelspruit guest house

[Written soon after arrival last night]

Nelspruit guest house. Mbombela guest house.
Same same. Despite the name change, everyone here still seems to call it Nelspruit. All the signs say Mbombela. I can see how foreigners might get confused.

And here in my room, once again, Afrikaner interior design is at play. They haven’t gone quite as far as the relief-tiled ceiling of last night’s place (in adhesive we trust), but we’ve got the obligatory overly ornate headboard and a glass sink perched upon a faux Roman concrete surface, raised by two faux Roman concrete columns.

It’s rather special:

And once again, I am cursed by faulty bedside lights and a barking dog outside the window.

I shouldn’t complain. The welcome was warm and the bed feels like it might be the most comfortable on this trip thus far. I intend to test this theory very shortly.

One more day of work up here, and then a Saturday morning dash to Joburg and a flight back to the cold of Cape Town. It’s been another fascinating experience, but I’m tired and just about ready to head home now.

Dawn flight experience

Just a quick note for anyone flying at dawn. I’ve discovered something quite special.

You will need: A flight at dawn (I used FA128 CPT-JNB, but any early morning flight will work) and Ólafur Arnalds Island Songs album.

What to do: If, when you see that beautiful peach gradient beginning in the distance; that radiant glow stretching up from the horizon prior to sunrise, you switch on Ólafur Arnalds Island Songs album, you can enjoy a magical moment as the sun gently rises into view like some resplendent Nadorcott, accompanied by the mystical sounds of Ólafur and the Icelandic Chamber Orchestra.

It’s really quite something. I was lost in wonder for a few moments, and then when I glanced up again, sustained immediate and severe retinal damage. The sun comes up much more quickly than you might think, hey?

Maybe try to keep that fact in mind.

For me, flying – whether for business or pleasure – remains a special experience. This serendipitous discovery made this particular experience even better.