Messing About with Paint

Customs Market

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Customs Market
Oil on Canvas 40cmx30cm

Alongside the busses departing for Kampala from Juba, women sit on the edge of the road, their wares spread around them for the inspection of people rushing past. Their vulnerability and bravery, amongst the chaos, were the key elements I wanted to capture, using a small canvas to emphasize the multidimensional constraints. Scarves providing movement and life to the painting.

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Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

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Glass of red wine and storm skies over Juba Town

Storm filled skies to greet me back to Juba Town. The roads flooded and empty as they had been closed to traffic for the departure of President Bashir of Sudan. The troops and police allowed us to walk, and so with suitcase in tow, I sweated a couple of kilometers until I could get to a side road which Nelson could access.

The metal roof of the office shakes under another strike. Noise echoing through the roof space. Its mango season. Falling like grenades from the trees. The air, full of the smell of rotting fruit in the pools of water following the latest storms.

Jog time. Calves complaining. Suitcase pulling?? My face, a glazed doughnut, my throat scratchy. Not impressed.

First light at the customs circle intersection, the busses to Kampala stand like lumbering beasts, enveloped by a swarm of people. Passengers trying to cram the last luggage through windows, boxes being strapped to the roof, and food sellers offering roast nuts, mandazi (fried balls of dough), and sweets. Loud, colourful and the subject of my next painting.

Diary of an Adventure

UN Leadership Training

UCT Graduate School of Business

Quiet contemplation. One of the values around which the UN Leadership Training is structured. Recognizing that they have a room full of frazzled field people who need space in coming off their ADHD lives. Within the fantastic facilities of the UNCT Business School, courtyards, gardens, art and the myriad of corridors rough the former prison, a natural maze in which to loose oneself.

My single expectation of the course, as highlighted on the Board of Truth, against which sessions are measured for relevance and application to our jobs, is to ‘Change the Paradigm’ – You can’t get different results if you keep doing things the same way. ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do’ – Alice in Wonderland.

We have a small, moldy cottage, on the steep slopes of Signal Hill in De Waterkant. Trendy, beautifully restored and a short walk down the hill to the Business School. The lawns next to the sea at Moullie Point for Polly’s walks. An abundance of coffee, wine and eating options.

The Piano Bar has a comfortable, if narrow, terrace from which to watch the sky turn ultramarine blue. A menu of interesting, tasty, snack options to keep the wine company. Music and people, a constant swirl.

A fascinating discussion by Dr Ramphele on leadership in Africa and the entitlement, rather than responsibility models. Challenging us to affect a Mindset Change in Leadership, as it’s in our hands to make lots of small changes that have a collectively large impact.

A whole new view of leadership based on Steward Leadership (being the best leader you can for the world) that looks at Leadership Maturity.

Jazz by the UCT Jazz Ensemble at the Mahogany Room. An intimate jazz bar that, although new, has the feel of jazz masters woven into the fabric of the walls. Good wine, at an affordable price, was unexpected and the sound quality excellent. Great music, the tenor special. The absence of Cape Flats jazz influence in the program, a disappointment.

Structured model of leadership behaviour, a neat package in which to look at the different traits required in different aspects of the organisation. Contrasted against the loose, seemingly disconnected role of Art in leadership. Emphasizing the Trust aspect of leadership. A mirror of our chaotic, changing, unpredictable worlds that run contrary to set targets and systems. Beneficiaries, and what should be our focus often lost.

Not sure I’m any further forward in integrating Human Centered Design with the dimension art brings to sustainable decision making.

The different aspects of art and Africa were extended into a noisy evening at Gold, which included drumming (participatory) and dance, enhanced into food flavours, colours and textures.

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Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

Hi Jan,

You said that you wanted me to write you up something about what it was like to try and follow you driving through Juba. Seeing how I’m not exactly in my best form today I have put together a document using pictures to best describe my take on the experience last night.. please see below.

Jan, Steve and Annie,
Thank you for a lovely evening last night, it was wonderful to get to spend some time outside of the office with you guys. I’m so happy to be here in Juba with you all, you have made being here a great experience.

Thank you!

Kind Regards,
Katie

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Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

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Sparkling blue seas, the silhouette of flukes before they are slammed into the water, billows of white foam. Whales we did not expect to see. We had travelled up to the West coast National Park to catch the end of the flowering season and a million tortoises, only to find the area barred by a padlocked gate. As its a military controlled zone, it’s only open in August and Sep, which we had missed by a day. Our planned lunch stop at Groote Post was also closed. Wild Peacock ensured we still had a great, if late, lunch where Terry could still get the bits she wanted for her evening function.

On a a gorgeous day, .. Drove around the coastline. Red velvet cupcakes in Kalk bay, Hout Bay, V & A, and then back to the winelands for a long walk through the vineyards with Polly. Her legs are a bother and she has been happy to do her cappuccino visits and sleep in the sun. Unless there is mischief on offer!

David and Heather have a new spot in Stellenbosch, Oppie Dorp, where they have been frequently enough to have a preferred spot and are known by the staff. Away from the breezy front door, which on a chilly evening is important, in the red wine room. You are allowed to bring a bottle of wine without being charged corkage, which is unusual but great, and the wine list has an interesting selection most of which were from estates I did not know.

Our starters were excellent. Duck breasts with curry and litchi, a Cape Malay twist. The sole was a tad disappointing, the lamb shanks tender and delicious, which went well with the Beau Belle – a new boutique wine and olive farm in the Stellenbosch Valley – Shiraz. They certainly weren’t shy with the salad! Service was friendly, if a bit slower than was comfortable.

A fun, relaxed spot that will see us again.

In the garden at the cottage, the protea are in full flower and the air is still heady with jasmine. Perfect for braai time, even if its still too cool to sit out and eat. I did manage, somehow, to burn my arm. Gaps filled in the garden beds that will hopefully survive the moles. The water feature near the patio has started life. One of the decisions made in France, as we so enjoyed having the sound of water from the small fountain they had in a garden tub. It has also sorted the piece of garden outside our window that was struggling.

A visit to the Bartinney Wine and Champagne Bar that we have walked past a dozen times. The abundance of protea flowers on display, magnificent. The inability to get a glass of bubbles confounding.