I dip into my phone gallery…

2019 in my rear view mirror


The beginning of a New Year is in many ways time for introspection and reflection for me. Many of the organizations and companies that  I work in conjunction with have either just returned to work, or they are still on holiday. Therefore, as a freelancer, January tends to feel like I am in limbo, stuck with a closed 2019 diary and a predominantly empty 2020 one. But, that is not to say that I am not trying to fill it, it merely means that I have to get that extra dollop of motivation to head out into the new year with confidence. It is also the time where I go through my downloaded phone images to do a retrospective posting like this…


I discovered this gorilla during a visit to an art gallery in Kigali, Rwanda. I was not allowed to take a picture with my “professional” DSLR camera, but using my phone camera was acceptable. If you have a spare $50k lying around that you did not spend over the holiday season, the gallery will ship this stunning work to you. Named “Living Treasure”, it is by Emmanuel Nkuranga, a local artist and is constructed out of recycled computer parts.


This plant lives outside our front door and was a gift from a manager at a game lodge that I visited. He forgot to mention that it would flower and to do so as beautifully as this.


I was Batman for the entire year.(Actually, I am Batman every day of every year) This particular collectable accompanied me on almost all of the trips that I undertook during 2019. He got much attention in places where Batman is not that well known.


I was introduced to Wagu biltong. Considered by the biltong experts to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of biltong and at R800.00 per kg, it certainly lives up to that expectation. A little too rich for my taste, but eaten in small quantities it is sublimely delicious. A great gift for the carnivore in your life.


And then the rains came…somewhat later than usual, but they did eventually arrive. I do enjoy staring out of my study window while the rain gently falls on our garden. I find the smell post the rain to be inspirational.

Did you know? Petrichor is the earthy smell produced when rain falls on dry soil. It is constructed of two Greek words, petra, meaning ‘stone’ and ichor, the fluid that flows in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology.


I, together with almost everyone else in Linden, really miss Archie and this shop. An iconic supermarket that opened in 1946, and closed in 2017. Yugo Supermarket (the link will take you to an article that I wrote about the shop and includes an audio interview with Archie) was where you went to get that special item you could find nowhere else.


Who knew that I would be immortalized in a cup of coffee. Not a bad likeness either!


In November, a 53-year search came to an end when I FINALLY go to see my first pangolin in the wild. To mark this momentous occasion, I commissioned this tattoo.


Lots of travel for me during 2019 and hopefully more on the cards in 2020…


Many more unique African sunrises and sunsets. Which will be all the more relevant as we have more load shedding in the year ahead.


Hop on board, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!


I laughed in the face of adversity and survived the year, relatively intact! May 2020 be a good one for each and every one of my readers. Did YOU had a memorable experience in 2019? Have you got a story and a photograph to share with me? Email it to me at david@travelandthings.co.za and it will form part of a guest posting that I am currently working on.



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