Bits n’ Bobs

Out and About – riding shotgun on a delivery.

Old Mining Headgear. Johannesburg in the background with Hillbrow Tower on the far right.

On the way to the flower market. Joe Slovo Drive- formerly Harrow Road (pre-democracy) bordering Hillbrow to the right with the round Ponte Building (residential flats) in the background.

Hillbrow, once  a cool area to visit, very cosmopolitan and vibrant. Great clubs, restaurants, record stores, book shops. take-aways. You name it it was there. I used to spend many a Saturday and Sunday after work in the Jo’burg central city walking around Hillbrow with almost no concern for personal safety.

I even managed a hairdressing salon there for a short while until I had a run in with a van while riding my motorbike. It didn’t go well! It was regarded as Africa’s Flatland and one of the first residential areas where the Group Areas Act was ”unofficially” relaxed prior to elections in ’94.

The result was an unmitigated disaster. As one demographic fled, another moved in. Numerous buildings were hijacked, drugs, prostitution and violence were the norm.

It has improved slightly, (apparently) but has never returned to its former self and has become a run down area. For my English visitors, think Moss Side in Manchester on a very bad hair day!

Now I wouldn’t be seen dead there. Or maybe I would?

1st Avenue, Houghton.

A few murals. These are on Louis Botha Avenue about a km from our spot.

And some cakes …. went out over the past ten days.

This is decorated with real gold leaf. Took a while!

Emily’s Cakes


27 thoughts on “Bits n’ Bobs

  1. Those cakes are beautifully done! I enjoyed seeing these glimpses as you moved through town. Having grown up on a small gold mine, the headgear is a familiar sight of my youth. Murals are becoming popular in our town too – much more interesting to look at than the usual graffitti.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to go wander downtown Jo’burg but even just flashing a cellphone I doubt I would return unscathed.

      When I arrived here in ’79 the streets in the city centre were clean enough to eat off.
      Now … ho hum.


      1. In the unspoken and unsaid you actually say a lot. ‘Nuff sed.

        (Am now back in the UK.) (Spouse’s dream, not mine … I just carry the bags …)

        Liked by 1 person

          1. In brief, Ark — life is too brief a candle to take it too seriously. Spouse felt a wee bit stifled in NZ’s Southland; and being aware that life is too brief etc etc etc I agreed when she suggested we come back here to the UK


            and here we now are.

            As for that email, it shall be done, or at least attempted.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Well, I f ever we decide to flee these shores it will not (likely) be to Mud Island, as I have it disparagingly referred to, but rather Portugal, where we have family dotted all about, and if nothing were to come of that then maybe France, where my sister and her husband have taken up residence à la campagne and are busy renovating their property.

            Meantime …. back at the ranch.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Sidenote to your comment to “dawg” — If/when you ever move, I think you are quite wise to be avoiding a certain continent across the seas from you.


        1. I popped over. Not really a debate I want to get into.
          Our former housekeeper passed away last week less than 24 hrs after receiving her second shot up in Zimbabwe.
          She returned home just before last Christmas to care for her mum and her kids. Its the way it so often is in Africa.
          Within hours she was feeling ill, then began throwing up blood and was hospitalized but didn’t survive the night.
          She had no underlying conditions we – or anyone else for that matter -were aware of and was a healthy vibrant woman of 42.

          This is what her brother told us over the phone and later her husband, our gardener Lucky, told us. He left for home on Saturday.
          We’ve heard nothing official yet.
          She received her shots at a rural clinic so I don’t know what the chances are we will get an autopsy report or anything along those lines.
          We are all due to receive our second shots next week so you can imagine there is more than a little trepidation among the Ark’s crew.
          I will definitely be going but the others are still a bit jumpy.


          1. I researched because I also thought this sounded really weird, but vomiting is considered one of the potential side effects linked to some form of gastric issue.
            The blood thing is another issue. Can’t pass judgment on this as I’m no medic and we have no more details.
            However, in one article of potential side effects the words ‘coma’ and ‘death’ were in there.

            It has been noted and there was mention of research being done to check, but I think this was for the J & J vaccine and according to her hubby they were given Pfizer.
            I cannot remember the site, as I went on loads – proper ones not wacko places.
            After all these years you should know by now that I am not the conspiracy type, but this is a tragedy whichever way it plays out.
            She left two kids and a brand new grandchild.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Absolutely a tragedy! As is pretty much every unexpected death. The thing is, at least from my POV, if the vaccines in toto are so bad, it seems MANY more would be affected.

            I mean, what difference is it from the virus itself? Some can mingle and rub shoulders without a mask and never be affected. Others need only brush shoulders with a symptomless person and end up in the hospital. The same with vaccines. For whatever reason, they negatively affect some people, while others (many more!) don’t suffer from anything more than a sore shoulder — and some not even that.

            IMO, there are innumerable actions we take everyday that could kill us, but we do them anyway … and trust that it’s not our time to “move on.”

            Liked by 2 people

          3. There is little point getting into this with you Nan,
            But one is left wondering … not least were there enough checks and balances to ensure the medical staff knew there was positively no underling condition?

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite!
      However, I have never owned a firearm.
      While there are no guarantees, exercising a common sense approach has so far proved more than adequate.
      I was mugged many ,many moons ago, some time after my bike accident, but I was careless in a crowded mall.


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