Southern Rock Pops


Today Dave Drummond and I swung by the almost-but-not-quite-yet-open Southern Rock Climbing Centre in Pinetown. Dave and I have been mates since we were in high school, were he climbed at Maritzburg College as a school sport and I did the same at Carter High. Throughout the years, it seems that Dave’s hemisphere and mine tend to orbit in and out of close range; and when we’re in a range that’s close enough for high fives and partaking in ‘extreme’ sports we usually touch base on weekends for a year or two.

I guess it was the end of last year that we started hanging out a bunch more when I settled back in KZN and started fiddling with Down Hill MTB. Dave took me under his wing and showed me the ropes (sent me off a firkin’ big rock on my glorified BMX and I landed on my arse and head at the same time, on the World Cup track). But that’s okay because I’ve seen him fall pretty hard a few times now, so I guess we’re even.

Anyways, I’ve wanted to go check out the gym for a while now, as many of my friends are involved with it. Also, I used to climb with Roger Nattrass every single Thursday for about 8 months…before I got bronchitis, which lingered for three months, which somehow led to me getting a full time job. I bet you never knew germs were that subversive?

Dave needed to see Tristan Firman about some Julbo purchases (lucky Dave) and I needed to see him because he gives good back massages (and I was hassling him about a Vaude pack with a water sleeve…); so I collected Dave in Kloof and we rolled down the hill.


Man, what a cool climbing spot! You know when something completely defies your expectations? I was kind of expecting, I dunno what…like a mix of the UKZN wall with the PMB wall; but it’s completely different. Firstly the gym feels like you’re waltzing through Roger Nattrass’s brain, but secondly it feels like…that wall I always wanted but never quite discovered. It’s new, it smells good, it’s higher than I am comfortable climbing which is awesome because it’s a challenge and a ‘this is not sensible’ tweaker and it has this bell curve design that is just…sweet. It’s like you’re climbing in an enormous 1/4 wine barrel covered in neon grips. That wall will make you strong. Probably sad on occasion too, as it will effing show you whose boss, but mostly it will make an honest person of you.

All I can say is that I want to go back tomorrow but I can’t because I have to drive to East London and teach something to 26 students about the Tbilisi principles and making worm tea. I should really read my notes a bit more thoroughly.




Kei Shy

This woman was waiting for a taxi on the other side of the Kei River on the Wild Coast, having travelled across on the Pont for a R2 fee. She is Sangoma in training, apparently second level according to my friend Ncami from work at SustainEd. Ncami says the first level requires red soil to be painted on the face, and when you progress to second level you must paint it white. She was very patient with me snapping away, and nodded with stern approval at the pictures on my camera screen after they were taken. I always feel very shy to ask people if I can take pictures of them, and actually it was a friendly dude who asked her for me. We met through my complete cowardice, as he packed up laughing when he noticed me trying to sneak up on some enormous Nguni cows lying on the muddy river plain nearby. The laughing part came from me galloping away as soon as they moved a muscle…their horns were massive! He yelled at me to be brave and charge them if they ran at me…

Girls are weird

I sit here and scratch the last bit of scab off my elbow; it’s irritating me as it rubs on my Great Auntie Joan’s antique writing desk. It was quite a substantial roastie actually; a nice deep burgundy rose colour and I acquired it when clobbering my elbow climbing ‘Xena’ (19) during the night climbing session at the Roc Rally in Waterval Boven a couple weeks back. Crikey it was eina, but I tried not to moan about it lest I sounded like a…girl? Continue reading

Hunter S. would’ve downed a handful of change with bourbon

Hey yo, please click on the highlighted link if you’d like to read a three page story.  Raging Bulls of Change. It sure as shit ain’t poetry and it’s too long for a regular blog post, but maybe it’s relevant for some. Plus I have nowhere else to put it.

Green balls of curiosity in Waterval Boven

Green balls of curiosity in Waterval Boven

Garden Service Fail

Garden Service Fail

Garden Service Fail

Balls of Steel

Take 11 minutes out of your day to reassess what scary really means. Jeezlaaik.

Gentlemen to bed, for tomorrow we rise at daybreak, and we battle…at 9:30…ish

There is a movie out there, that is probably not going to make it to any mainstream cinema in South Africa. It is called The Trip, and it is quite possibly the best movie I’ve seen all year. Continue reading