Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

The last of summer afternoon jazz at Blend. Bougainvillea flowers sparkling in the sunshine. The cool wind kept away from the cozy seating by the screen of trees and the pizza oven.
Oyster Catchers preening in the morning light. The wet beach sand a mirror for their ‘runway’ strutting. Feet a tad frozen on the cold beach sand.
Hopefully there are not too many gaps in the last of the picture books of my paintings that have been sent to the printers. The correlation with stock lists and prices sorted for the most part. Good to have some of my paintings out that have been hidden in storage for awhile.
The light dazzling. Spectacular reflections. Last of the full moon sliding below the mountains. The owl hooting it’s morning greeting. Fingers chilled. Lungs fighting for oxygen. Hills, ever steeper. Shoulder protesting. My thumb unhappy after being closed in the kitchen drawer. Not my cleverest!
I’m not sure there is a bad time to have pizza, although there are certainly bad pizza’s! The best, are bound with magic. The same magic, with a touch of wine, that ensnares, and binds us around the table. The chill in the air ensured that we didn’t have the last bottle of wine, however the pizza’s at Chatters were of the best. The weather calling for the richer bodied Nabygelegen Scaramanga Red.
Rain bringing some relief to the dry Forest. The fire seeming to evaporate the wine. Fortunately, a fresh supply was delivered to the studio. Just in case the roads flood and there is no access for a few minutes!
Open art exhibition at Metelerkamps, our designer kitchen and home emporium. Painting outside on the pavement something I have not done for ages. A cellist in the garden courtyard, inspiration for life drawing by the artists huddled in the sunshine. 
I painted a small painting, based on the photo taken by Amanda of Aden.

‘Ripples’

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

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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

Copenhagen

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The travel schedules brought us into Copenhagen with enough time for a cappuccino, and a stunning Danish at Lagkaghuse, before we walked across the city to Kelley’s apartment for dinner, along one of the canals in a very smart part of the city.

The weather was too cold to stay outside for long, where the weber was doing the cooking, and we bunched around the table inside chatting about a whole range of crazy issues. The artichoke bake was particularly good. Managed to keep all the red wine in my glass, until back at the hotel, where the wine did its automatic jumping from the glass trick. Trolls brought back from the forests of Sweden?

Spring blossoms, and jazz, on a sunny day in Copenhagen. Still a tad early, with the banks of the parks filled with green sprouting bulbs without flowers. However, in pockets, masses of yellow daffodils catch the eye, while the mauve carpets hint at the splendor to come.

After strolling through the fresh market in Ostre, we made our way to Nyhaven where we sat in a patch of protected sunshine, with a glass of wine, listening to a jazz trio. Our feet happy for the rest after walking for hours across the city.

Our new offices in UN city are dazzling, with spectacular views, and a focus on efficiency and effectiveness. The architectural form, and function – even down to the air vents – are amazing, if somewhat impersonal. The central staircase, looks a bit like a cross between bad air conditioning ducting, and something you want to zoom down on a carpet. The clear, open access areas down five flights, are terrifying for this vertigo challenged individual. All that is missing, beside personal stamping on space, is a great big jazz band to rock the daisies.

Kelleys Artichoke Bake
1 can artichoke hearts, chop them
1 can water chestnuts, chop them
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup mayo (the US version of Hellmans mayo)
Bake 175C for 20-30 minutes

Diary of an Adventure

Öbacka Jazz and Blues Club, Härnösand Sweden

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Madam Zendara crystal ball glowing amongst the eclectic decor of the basement, with its backdrop of New York City at sunset. Voted the best jazz venue in Sweden by artists, it’s a space that oozes soul. We listened, somewhat stunned, to a duo ( Ullén and de Heney, pianist and double bassist) doing the unexpected with their instruments, creating a sound that has been described as “a highly personal musical language, organically sculpting sounds into detailed sonic textures”
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=44329#.UW-TocsayK0
A fascinating evening, with the spectacular twilight sky when we left, turning shades of ultramarine blue, the snow iridescent colors of turquoise and rose.

Diary of an Adventure

Juba Adventures

Juba Adventures
16th Feb 13
Went out on my long jogging route, the roads of Juba Town already busy. Rafa and Blackie, the dogs from the UNOPS guest house, joined for a bit which was fun. The traffic meant that for sections of the road it was like running through a dust storm. The churches were in full voice and street vendors had their fires going, the first patrons waiting.

My painting ‘I Have Seen it All’, of a woman in Aweil, South Sudan. She was turned out to meet the Director General of DFID, adamant that she was going to have her say about needing education for mothers. Her intensity, sparkling.

I have seen it all web
Oil on Linen 40cmx50cm

Woke early with shots somewhere in Juba Town. With all the unrest in Jongelei, and the shots, I decided not to head out for my jog in the dark. Probably unnecessarily cautious.

The usual mix of South Sudan craziness. One staff member caught up in the Jongelei fighting. Fortunately not close to where the incidence took place. We had a contractors truck set alight by the guys who have been causing all the drama. The driver and his assistant fled into the bush and we are trying to locate them.

Summer has decided to arrive with a vengeance, temperatures heading into the 40 range. The generator at the apartment decided to quit working sometime during the evening, which gave the aircon – which had been working its heart out – a break.

Still battling to get any assurances that there is a plan to provide water through the dry season to the refugees in Maban. The outbreak of Hep-E is spiking, and dwindling water availability potentially catastrophic. Last year we managed to keep tankers running, but this year there are too many people, we don’t have the funding and we are moving our resources to deal with the Yida crisis. I’m sending a couple of teams up this week to try and get some answers. Not our responsibility, but it will become our problem!

Opening of Kiden Kelle art exhibition in Juba Town. An amazing amount of work, creating textured pieces in paper mache from recycled materials. I ended up in the wrong place in the room, next to the artist who I had no clue about, and hence, all the protocol stuff happened with me in centre stage!

Pizza and red wine next to the Blue Nile, with the Da Vinci Jazz Band playing. Not bad for valentines evening in Juba Town! The weather was mild, the service good, the sound from the band dreadful and the company entertaining and enlightening. They had put out red baloons, there were roses on offer and all the staff were in red and black, as were most of the people who kept arriving. Getting out from the car park was chaotic, with a queue of vehicles waiting to get access. Glad we went, and left early!

The solar powered street lights around Juba Town have been a disappointment, with most dark as I go out for my jog. Having twisted my knee in one of the spots that was slightly darker than the black surrounding it, I have been using my headlamp to avoid further injury. Amazingly, I have discovered that the street lights have light sensors and only switch on when a vehicle or jogger, with a headlamp, approaches! A bunch still don’t work even then, but some do.