As wondrous as Stanford is, stealing lemons from the neighbours and flogging them down the Saturday Morning Market doth not many boxes of Ouma’s Breakfast Rusks buy. So I went to Cape Town to reintroduce my being to work. W.O.R.K. Heavens to Betsy! My village mellow was well and truly destroyed. But it did give me the chance, inbetween nocturnal enslavement at The Argus and shards of sleep, to photograph things other than sheep, rivers, mountains, birds, butterflies, children running barefoot and freely in paradise and the most beautiful woman in the village. You might want to check these out…
I hear Seth Rotherham has a pair on order. But Aubrey got there first.
Love the dresses, love the hairbunches, love the little girl...
There was this incredible woman on the train. She looked like a prima ballerina who had fallen on hard times. I thought her shoe and rose worked well together...
There was music in the air...
Sometimes you only have to look up...
My friend Helen has this bunny in the window...
Back to the train... and the best of British.
I wonder where they took their kitten for the day?
Another railway sleeper...
I followed Cape Town's yellow tile road to the Open Book Festival...
... and, on the way, I thought this late-afternoon sliver of light quite poetic...
... until my ears were caressed by the exquisite prose of the mercurially wordful Isobel Dixon.
After all that, light relief...
So it is. So it is. Pics: Hatman Photography
I’m so looking forward to delivery of the redesigned “SA-positive blog”. Then I can do this picture thing much more effectively for you. Until then…
The Swinging Sixties might have swung like an army of chimps on speed elsewhere in the world but, here in South Africa, life under apartheid was about as titillating as being stuck in a lift (elevator) with Margaret Thatcher.
“In the 1960s it was ILLEGAL for sunbathers of the opposite sex at municipal swimming baths to be closer than a specified distance from each other. To ensure that this legislation was enforced, an official on duty carried a ruler to assist him with his inspection. Any two persons not adhering to the specified distance were charged accordingly.”
I defy any of the boys down at the pool to keep 11 feet 6 inches away from Genevieve Morton on a hot day
I always wondered why, after asking my Dad if I could get a Schweppes Creme Soda from the pool tuckshop, I then had to walk 11 feet 6 inches over to my Mom to grab the money from her.
Now it all makes perfect sense. Doesn’t it?
* A red hat tip to the boys over at the Socialyz blog for lending me that lekker pic of Gen. Which I think they nicked from Seth.
* Dear Hatpeople, if you look up to your right on this page, you’ll see a great big fat badge saying something about the 2010 South African Blog Awards. I’ve only been around for a year so it may be a tad cheeky of me but I’ve entered your “diagnosed SA-positive” blog into three categories: Best New Blog, Best Personal Blog and The Kulula Best Travel Blog (well, I think I’ve been parping the vuvuzela big-time for people to travel to our Beloved Country!). I wouldn’t be at all offended if those of you who quite dig reading my stuff clicked on that there badge and nominated http://www.fredhatman.co.za in any one of those three categories. In fact, were I to amaze all of us by winning something, the Birkenhead is on me down the Stanford Arms! Cheers!
What do Hollywood, USA, and Stanford, SA, have in common? No, hills is not the right answer. Stanford has mountains. And, no, not good-looking people and money, either. We’re far better-looking.
The correct answer is, cue much-missed paaarps of a small orchestra of vuvuzelas, celebrities.
Yes, celebs. Don’t act surprised. You knew this. But, should further proof be needed, here it is. I have two huge celebrities for you, snapped on a sunny winter’s day in Stanford yesterday. Seth Rotherham of 2oceansvibe blogging fame and Mariana Esterhuyzen of Marianas cooking legend. And me.
This how I roll in Stanford... hanging out with celebs such as Seth and Mariana Pic: Perez Hilton
That is all. Oh, apart from wishing Mariana and Pieter Esterhuyzen a very restful annual holiday. Don’t even try to book a table until mid-September. Mariana will be teaching and passing on her unmatched culinary expertise. Pieter will be refining his vast repertoire of jokes, no doubt.
Lucky fish. Bloggers aren’t allowed to do holidays!
PS: During my previous life in London, I was lucky enough to eat at places such as The River Cafe and The Ivy. Top-notch restaurants. Marianas is in the same league. Only with a far superior view. And vibe. If you would like to enjoy a food experience second to none, write down this number and keep it safe: 028-341 0272. Or e-mail email@example.com. Remember, only after mid-September.
I’ve been thinking about developing a personality. No, not mine. I gave up on that some time ago. Earthworms have got the jump on me. Not my fault I like to wear an anorak, write down the engine numbers of passing trains, have a massive collection of pet rocks and have taped every episode of Noot vir Noot on VHS.
No, I’ve been thinking of developing a character, like sex symbol blogger Seth Rotherham has done so cleverly with TBG (Tall Blonde Guy) over at 2oceansvibe.com. And very charmingly too, if I may say so.
I did have one. A character. A strange, eccentric, reclusive one called The Bushguy. But then I left Umdloti to go on a unicycle marathon, found Stanford and lost him. Not difficult. Last I heard, Bushguy was still living in the thick coastal bush above Umdloti Beach with his dogs and existing on mushrooms.
So what to do. Where to find A Character? As always, one doesn’t have to go far. He’s been on my doorstep. No, not at Hatman Mansions. But on the doorstep of my conscious. And characters don’t come any bigger, colourful, tougher, crazier, more beautiful than “The G-man”.
Are you feeling strong today? Are you up for this? Sure? OK. Let’s take a look at him…
No sooner had he been introduced to Miss South Africa and The G-man takes a call from a fan
OK. Now I can’t speak for you but if I had just been introduced to Miss South Africa Nicole Flint, I wouldn’t take a call from anybody, not Nelson Mandela or even my close friend Gen Morton. Even if I had just bought one of those phenomenal new iPhones that look like a crayfish.
But this is how he rolls, The G-man. The man for every situation. So cool you need to wield an icepick to get near him. A man you’d want alongside you in the trenches in a particularly brutal and unconventionally-fought war.
The G-man is an ADD-addled action hero. He’s seriously feral. A natural-born actor. He’s South Africa’s Bruce Willis, Woody Harrelson and, er, Lou Reed all rolled into one unpredictable, fearless and insanely cool package. And you don’t have to take my word for it.
He lives noisily in a quiet village north of Durban. You might see him barking like a dog at the La Mercy Lagoon. He can convincingly imitate 36 animal sounds. I know. I heard them all during this madcap adventure.
I could go on. But I’ve used up all of my G-man force for the day. So this what I’ll do. Send me a photo of you with The G-man and, every Friday, I’ll choose the craziest one. The winner will receive one of those brand-new, totally insane Special Edition Crayfish iPhones. Yes, just like the one The G-man is using in that pic!
How cool is that? Yes, yes, I know. Please try to remain calm. OK. Here’s a tip on how to find The G-man. He really digs the coffee that Judd “Juddy-poo” Campbell purveys at the absurdly groovy Corner Cafe in Glenwood, Durban. You’ll find him there most days, high on caffeine and getting up to mischief.
Brace yourself, introduce yourself, get in a picture with our boy and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it’s the nuttiest one of the week, you win a Crayfish iPhone and I publish the pic on here. Well. Why are you still sitting there, staring at this word. Vamoose, babies!
I was having a day off, listening to Seth\’s stunning 2oceansvibe radiostream and trying really hard not to touch myself at the same time, when this little gem rolled into the collective unconscious of Hatman Mansions on a Saturday morning… oh, this carries a “You Might Fall Off Your Chair And Crush The Cat You’ll Be Laughing So Hard” warning…
Beautiful! I think all SABC TV news reporters should be ordered to get stoned before getting their hands on a mike. I might actually understand what they’re saying.
* Red hat tip to Anne Bussio of Joe’s Restaurant in Stanford for sending this beautiful baby my way.
Over at my mate\’s blog he features a little something every Tuesday which he calls Tuesday Tabs. It involves a gratuitous peep at some or other rather well-known female not altogether clothed and it usually meets with my private approval.
Now, this is not quite the thing in which your “SA-positive” blogger indulges but since there’s a World Cup going on and my Google Analytics stats indicate a surprisingly high number of female visitors to fredhatman.co.za, why would I turn a vuvu-deaf ear to your increasingly hysterical demands…
There. Are we all happy? Divine. Can we go back to watching the football now?
As avid readers of this “SA-positive” blog will freely tell you, I seldom post about glamour. I like to keep it real. OK, so I might make a rare exception when my close friend Genevieve Morton, when she’s not palpitating the hearts of the world’s photographers, pops around. But more of Gen later.
Yes, unlike another good friend Seth Rotherham of 2oceansvibe infamy, I’m not very into glamour. Let’s immediately get down to changing that.
Have you noticed how South Africa’s media are getting just a tad excited about the so-called WAGs (wives and girlfriends for those of you living in Kakamas) of the footballers about to arrive here for THE World Cup of all World Cups? “Football fans will struggle to keep their eyes on the boys,” pants TimesLive, usually a rather sober commentator on all matters South African.
I think not. In fact, sod that, I strongly disagree.
Take two footballers widely exhorted to be the best in the world. Lionel “The Flea” Messi (Barcelona and Argentina) and Wayne “Garden Gnome” Rooney (Manchester United and England). Now neither of them are themselves oil paintings, or even vaguely appealing watercolours you might expect to pick up in the bargain bin at your local arts society fundraiser.
I mean, have a butchers at this…
Lionel Messi: so ugly that I had to publish a flattering cartoon image
I’m sorry. Being unkind is not at all my vibe but… Gerard Depardieu’s ugly little boet or what?
And it’s not about to get much better. Here’s Rooney…
Wayne Rooney: About to attempt a self-makeover by gouging his own eyes out
Look. That was a bit harsh but you are getting my point, right? Right. But, actually, the fact that both Messi and Rooney look like the back of a vintage Putco bus is not the point at all. The point is, well, their partners.
As a true football fan, the looks of footballers is not at all important. It’s all about the skills, isn’t it? The way Messi can dawdle around the pitch for an hour, lulling the opposing defence into an all-encompassing sense of false security, then latch on to the ball, effortlessly sidle past several players and dink the ball over the goalkeeper for the most sublime of goals. The way Rooney can pinball his gnomish frame around a pitch for every one of 90 minutes, bouncing off any opponent who dares to get in his way, roundly abuse the ref every time the whistle blows and still find time to arse a winner by getting his big bum in the way of a cross. Sorry. I’m a Liverpool supporter.
But you do get my drift. What I don’t get is how, given that these okes earn a few million rand a week and thereby have supermodels salivating over their wallets like flies over a boerie roll, they dare bring fifth-string WAGs to our country.
Our girls at Caprice aren’t exactly going to engage reverse to let this lot through to the loo, are they?
Colleen Rooney: No flies on her... despite eating all the boerie rolls
I’m ashamed of myself. That was just cruel. Let’s see if we can show off Mr and Mrs Rooney in a kinder light…
Wayleen: all dolled up for a braai in Bellville
Aah, that’s better. I’ll stop apologising now. And I make no apologies for introducing you to Antonella Roccuzzo, Messi’s girlfriend…
Leo's choice of chica with childbearing hips is unlikely to have South Africa's top-tier angels staring miserably into their Pinacoladas
Safe to say that, blessed as we are in South Africa with the world’s most outrageously gorgeous women, our men will be totally focused on what’s happening on the pitch. And I suspect the much-trumpeted WAGs will take refuge in their hotel rooms, furiously texting friends back home about how terrified they are to venture out to the bars and clubs. And we, dear Hatpeople, will – nudge, nudge – know the real reason for that…
All South African Gen Morton: just one of the real reasons for that.
Everybody knows that I hosted the party of the year in 2009.
I just love celebrating my birthday properly. So I invited Frikkie, Lofty, Tich and old Farquaharson round to the Bush Tavern in Umdloti and we had a right skinful while watching the rugger.
Never mind that the Boks lost. Never mind that Lofty got bounced out for trying to snog the barmaid. Never mind that Frikkie fell down the steps on the way out, ricocheted off a really big oke’s girlfriend and took a mighty right to the ear for his trouble. Never mind that Farquaharson, as is his custom, deposited his zooosh kebab on Mrs Hindmarch’s Morris Minor. And never mind that I had to be reminded of all this the next day after being rudely woken up at 2pm in a zinc bath full of what had been ice at the bottom of Tich’s mother-in-law’s garden. Great night out.
But it appears that my party-hosting skills have been usurped.
And, once again, it is that young bounder who goes by the name of Seth Rotherham who has dared to upstage me in the partytjie stakes.
How, you ask, has Camps Bay’s premier blogger and unparalleled sex symbol managed this? Good question.
Well, the little blighter has only gone and hired some posh club in Camps Bay, secured the services of, in Seth’s breathless words, “South Africa’s Most Exciting Party-Pumping Entertainment Act – The Wedding DJs” and then reeled in every one of his infamous Weather Girls (read excruciatingly gorgeous swimwear models), hasn’t he?
It'll be a nice change to sip a cocktail with Gen instead of getting rat-arsed with old Frikkie
The slick-on-the-draw mind behind 2oceansvibe.com has left no stone unturned in his quest to trump me and for this I am, like, totally stoked. Because he’s invited me along to witness it all.
Something you will not be privy to if you haven’t yet snapped up a ticket. There weren’t that many left at 10.30pm last night (Thursday) so if you want to be rubbing snakeskin boobtubes – or whatever the fantabulous wear these days – with the fantabulous and the even more fantabulous and watch me totally chopping up the floor with my terrifyingly suave Umdloti Wardance, then you had better get on to Webticket like quicksticks. Eighty ront a shot gets you in. There will be zero tickets at the door so don’t even entertain the idea that you can sommer rock up and swan in.
No, really. Seth has taken The Party of the Year standard up a few notches with this little soiree and, with the help of Marina Nestel, uberbabe behind The Little Black Book, tonight’s fandango should cook like Jamie Oliver on, well, whatever, Jamie Oliver is on.
I’m so looking forward to hooking up with my close friend Gen Morton (don’t listen to what people are saying, we are only very good friends and that’s the end of it, right?) and hearing how her very hectique modelling career has been going and, y’know, just chilling in the VIP suites with all of my other model, photographer, film and general celeb connections. I’m not dropping names because, as you know by now, I like to keep it all below the radar. Makes a refreshing change from getting slaughtered with Frikkie and the boys though.
I’ve got it. Why don’t you read what Rothers himself is saying about his own party by sliding effortlessly over to his very entertaining, if a little cheeky, 2oceansvibe blog and reading all about it. Hang on, you’ll need to scroll down a bit, past the pics of Candice Swanepoel “jumping around in her underwear” – Seth rolls like that, to the bit about The Vibe and what will be going down at St Yves in Camps Bay from 6.30pm tonight.
How did you get on with that? He’s got a hilarious turn-of-phrase has our boy, hey? Yes. OK. So let us look forward to a lethal cocktail of glamour, terribly subtle body language, immaculate grooming and terribly good-looking people in very tasteful clobber. I’ll do my best to fit right in. But I can’t promise anything.
So what are you waiting for? Shimmy on over to here and grab your tickets now. Check you later.
Only now am I able to deliver the Last Post on The Heart and Sole Tour saga.
And it is delivered in pretty much the same key as Peter Sellers used to such diabolical effect in the opening scenes of The Party.
I hope that you, dear Hatpeople, will find this as funny. But I doubt it.
Because it’s not. It has taken me damn nigh a week to even begin to drain the porridge from my stultified brain and start to order some thought process about the rather epic two-month unicycle ride from Durban to Cape Town, which ended in dramatic fashion at The V&A Waterfront last Friday.
In the case of our phenomenally gutsy unicyclist, Geoff Brink, it was utter physical exhaustion which enveloped him once the adrenaline began to ebb from his body at the end of his record 2,000km one-wheeled feat. But it was the mental pressure required of us to focus on finishing our cavalier mission, amid some distracting sideshows, which led to us spectacularly falling out at the finish line.
Kim, Geoff's fiancee, joins the Heart and Sole Tour at Peregrine's Farm Stall near Grabouw on the penultimate day of the crazy ride
And only now can this story be told.
Please know that we were always mindful of the fact that the Heart and Sole Tour was about raising awareness of the awful devastation that landmines continue to wreak on the lives of innocent civilians around the world. And, of course, it should always have been about that alone. But Geoff Brink and I are only human. And very fallible humans at that. So it was that, early in the tour, when pressure was brought to bear on us from back home, that the ugly spectre of the male ego leapt to the fore. The jostling for position in the Heart & Sole roadside pod of the alpha male instinct began to permeate the high-spirited vibe of our beautiful roadtrip.
Don’t get me wrong. There were bucketfuls of banter, a chuckling stream of laughs and a camaraderie that one comes to expect of two friends combining to achieve something both mad and magnificent. In fact, many of you might question whether the flipside of our tour should be told at all. The Heart & Sole Tour undoubtedly achieved its objective and what purpose is there in hanging out the stinky unwashed laundry for all to sniff at? What goes on tour stays on tour and all that crap.
Geoff "Heartman" Brink negotiates the downhill treachery of Sir Lowry's Pass. A moment of respectfulness, please!
I’ll answer that. I have mulled over this for nearly a week. I am fascinated by the human condition. That is why I chose journalism as a career. I am equally captivated by the human spirit. And this piece of introspection – should that be “retrospection”? – is about wanting to understand how Geoff and I managed to complete our trip despite our differences as much as because of the unity we displayed when it really mattered.
I have talked with people about this since I emerged blinking into the bright Cape Town sunlight from the highly buffered bubble that was our “hard shoulder crawl” across our great country. Some have drawn comparisons with “The Long Way Down”, Ewan McGregor’s and Charlie Boorman’s motorcycle jaunt from Britain through Europe and down to the foot of Africa.
I must confess that I have yet to watch the whole movie. Geoff and I began to watch it as an entertaining aside to our minimal preparation for the Heart and Sole Tour but, dismayed by the showiness, grandstanding and, quite frankly, over-indulgence displayed over what amounted to a pretty easy ride, fell asleep.
I don’t see the similarities. Yes, Geoff’s fiancee, Kim Millar joined us towards the end of our ride, a development that, for me, was both unexpected and temporarily gripped me with trepidation… but, such was my determined hyperfocus on getting our unicyclist safely to the Mother City that her presence in the back-up truck proved to matter not a jot. And I know that Geoff was greatly motivated by his sweetheart to bravely finish what he had started.
Mmmm. "Cape Town, 40km"? Take that!
What caused our “Skirmish at The Clock Tower” was the result of two very tired minds and one exhausted body melting down after 58 days of intense concentration and unbelievable strain. So what happened, you may ask? OK. Fair question. But I’m not saying. I have too much respect for what Geoff achieved and, yes, for what we as a team did for people who deserve a better life than to tarnish in detail the magnificent outcome of the Heart and Sole Tour.
Never mind the bollards which prohibited myself and the back-up truck from following our unicyclist – and our final-day amaonetya.co.za escort of unicyclists Alan van Heerden and Johnny Cronje down to the Clock Tower. After watching Geoff’s back for 58 days and nigh on 2,000km, a row of concrete bollards stopped me from seeing the boys home. Emotions spilled over. There were harsh words. It was unsavoury. It was, after what we had been through, almost inevitable. It happened. It is over. It’s gone. Gone, gone, gone. No regrets. We move on. We have learned lessons.
Johnny (left) and Alan (right) of amaonetya.co.za and OddWheel Unicycles escort Geoff into Cape Town and safely down to the V & A Waterfront. Awesomeness, guys!
Before we set out on December 28, 2009 on a mission which many called impossible, both Geoff and I knew that there would be challenges for which we could not prepare, that lessons would be taught that might make better people of us. And so it proved. And I am massively thankful for this gift. I remain privileged to have had the experience of supporting Geoff Brink on his incredible journey.
Crikey, what a ripper, Nige! You are a total mensch.
All pix (apart from this one): Hatman
* I will be working with Kai von Pannier of The Sole of Africa to draw up a full list of individuals, companies and establishments which should be acknowledged for the part they played in helping The Heart and Sole Tour to achieve its objective.
In the meantime, I would like to thank these people for the enormous help – and inspiration – they gave Geoff and I: John Fogarty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Kim Millar, Olivia “OJ” Symcox, Rox-ann Govender, Kai and Cindy von Pannier, Mike Kendrick, Toni Rowland, Dilana, Sir Richard Branson, John L. Evans, Alan van Heerden, Johnny Cronje, Sharon Heger Basel, Steve Connor, Jimmy Reynolds, Andre Cronje, Rob Gower, Rich and Sarah McLennan, Neil and Hayley Millar, Kathy Reay, Dennis Theron, Pierre and Elise Brink, Jonny and Jane Roberts, Keith Chapman, Vaughan Raw, Warren Bartram, Donatella Pontesilli, Doc and Maggie Mears, Mama Cordelia, Martin Schroder, Toni Brodelle, Emily Shayler, Paul Chew, Janet Marshall, Marc Forrest, Mike Adams, Mandy Morgan, Fred and Yolandi Roed, Mike Perk, Clayton and Paula Whitaker, Father Matthias, Mama Zondeka, Nic Nel, Marcelle Delew-Kappen, Andreas Kappen, Brett Horner, Julie Davies, Seth Rotherham, Mike Kuttner, Jacqui Daniels, Riaan Manser, Bob Skinstad, Claire Alexander, Dave Duarte, Chris Rawlinson, Mike Saxby, Ken Taytasac, Penny Sandham, Carol-Anne Stephenson, Craig Bettridge, Vicky Nardell, Annette Oberholster, Helen Walne, Brandon McGugan, Martina Gilli, Michelle Solomon, Krista (New York), Neal Collins, Chris Whitfield, Lesley Byram, Marilyn Bernard, Wendy Landau, Dhashen Moodley. If anybody feels left out, it’s because you will be thanked in the full list to appear on both The Sole Of Africa website and this blog.
* One last thing. Both Geoff and I exhausted our savings on The Heart & Sole Tour. He’s a freelance photographer and a very good one at that. We both need to find paid work, he to finance his forthcoming wedding, I to pay the rent for a ramshackle dwelling down near the river. Should you have some paid work to slide our way, that would be completely cool. Ta!
After days of painstakingly assessing the final mo’s in our “Great Camps Bay vs Umdloti Mo-off” contest, Judge Lucy eventually adjudged the “Trucker” ‘tache sprouted by The Heartman of Umdloti as the winner.
Lucy Balona, head of Marketing and Communications at Cansa, the organisers of the “Mo-vember” campaign to raise awareness of cancers afflicting men, sportingly agreed to be the judge in the competition between Seth Rotherham, superstar blogger and sex symbol of Camps Bay, and Geoff “Heartman” Brink, Heart & Sole tour unicyclist and generally hailed as the most macho of he-men in Umdloti.
This is how “Judge Lucy” reported back her findings to fredhatman.co.za:
I am going to have to go with the Heartie’s final Mo. Our Seth’s Mo looks rather frightened, like he’s being caught with his pants down…. oops… and you didn’t send a big enough bribe! So First Prize to supercool Heartie who seems very comfortable with his Mo.
I reserve the right to have my mind changed, depending on the amount of donations that come rolling in ….
Head: Marketing and Communications
The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)
Toll-free 0800 22 66 22
Leading the fight against cancer in South Africa
Right. Thanks, Lucy, for being such a sport of great jolliness and a judge as astute and diligent in your inspection of the evidence presented before you as any in our esteemed Supreme Court. OK, so let’s have a good butchers at the evidence upon which Judge Lucy was asked to make her decision…
Exhibit A: Seth Rotherham's porn star mo, snapped while out and asprout at Frankie Fleck's clothing range launch in Cape Town
Exhibit B: The Heartman's supamuthatrucker mo, captured post-not-so-close-shave in his bathroom at the Bush Palace
Mmmm. Perhaps you’ll join me in agreeing that this was more of a “No Contest” than a “Mo Contest”? But a massively hairy doff of my red hat to 2oceansvibe\’s Seth for taking part and for so strongly and persuasively promoting “Movember” on his hugely popular blog. And to The Heartman for stopping his endless stalking of wildlife in the Umdloti bush in search of a decent breakfast and postponing his early morning unicycle ride to shave and pose for the above pic.
And, to all those womenfolk who endured the tickling action of hairy upper lips on Tom Selleck look-a-likes for one whole month, a thank-you for understanding why a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to highlight the cancers that continue to nibble away at our nuts and prostate glands. Nice one, angels!
And all those guys who were man enough to adjust the flightpath of their Gillettes so as to allow for a top-lip turnout… bristling good work, Mo Bros! You have to say it: South Africa’s Got ‘Tache!