20181231

MY CITY - ASHES TO ASHES

                                  photograph copyright anabela lourenco

   My city; the one l grew up in, the one l went to ballet in as a child, the one

   whose library was a quiet haven for a bookworm, the one where l tasted my

   first espresso, the one l studied fashion in, the one that smelled of bus brakes,

   the one that had ancient   gobs of bubblegum stuck on the pavements, the one

   that we dressed up to go  shopping   in, the one we looked down on from the

   tallest building in Africa, the one whose grand   cinemas* were a matinée treat

   or an evening out, the one with fancy hotels where rich   Northern suburbanites

   filched accoutrements from expense-account restaurants, the one we stood

   halfway into the road to get some Winter sun while waiting for a bus, the one

   of the glittering lights seen from afar...........that city, my Jozi, is burning down,

   bit by torturous bit.                                                                                   

   * fire at His Majesty's Building at the office block that topped a once grand
     cinema

20160605

ICE-CREAM 4 - MAKING IT

SOFT-SERV, without an 'E', would simply no longer cut it. That soapy commercial

stuff - no!

I remember a few great Italian Gelaterias out there. PAPAGALLO in 'Little Italy' 

(a.k.a. Orange Grove) was a go to for a cone.  Others came + went. There was 

simply no icecream culture in S.A. - after all this is not Italy............

I designed some super edgy icecream parlours only to discover that Italian 

icecream was REALLY Italian. It was an imported powder to which cream and/or 

milk was added. 

A well-known brand, sold by the tub, manufactured anything from the most

mundane, with the name of an educational institution we have all spent time in, 

to high-end stuff. The high-end stuff, Scandanavian-sounding, opened 

a small outlet that sold scoops in SUGAR CONES - at last. lt was creamy, dreamy......

then it too disappeared.

Better to make my own. First a palaver of semi-freezing & beating several times. 

Then a machine with a paddle in the freezer, the electric cord stopping the 

door from closing? I even tried an old -fashioned wooden churn, ice kept from 

melting with what seemed a mine of salt. Not romantic, good for the pectorals

though.

I made delicious (if l say so myself*) icecream in sophisticated flavours. 
MAKING DEEP DARK DOUBLE
CHOCOLATE

A friend had a machine that churned & froze at

the same time. I still use such machines to make

my icecream........

* A WHOLE OTHER TALE


    



ADDING THE MILK














20160424

BLUE GUMS

They loom, they overshadow the newly planted indigenous trees in a 

parking lot. They will either be removed or keel over in a storm.They do that - 

keel over in a storm. They are grand, majestic, smell fragrant after a rain. 

They are part of my childhood, my life. 

When it is dry, they are dusty + can become Brobdingnagian torches from a tiny 

spark. In early Summer they buzz with bees, making smokey-tasting honey

from their pom-poms of cream-coloured, stamen-burst flowers. Their strong 

trunks shed long curls of grey bark; behind is left a virginal skin, smooth, white.

They are not rooted in this country. They are a problem, a declared weed.

They suck up more than their fair share of our precious water. Working for 

Water has been removing them for years.

Eucalyptus grandis they are grandly named. Native to Australia, they settled

easily here. Stands of them can still be seen around old mine shafts, grown

for mine props. 

Their uses are many. One fell over during an electric storm alongside the 

swimming pool at a holiday resort when l was a child. It became our ship of

pirates. There was that smell of its oil put onto mosquito bites to ease the itch.

They made trips to Pretoria + back exciting as uprooted by the wind, they 

blocked the avenue of trees that was 'the Old Pretoria-Johannesburg Road'. 

Under what could speed-cops shade themselves waiting to trap the unwary 

racers? How could smalltown folk entertain themselves on a Sunday afternoon, 

if not sitting in their cars under the roadside Eucalipti to watch the passing

traffic? They shelter farm houses from the dust, heat, cold of the African 

grasslands, or maybe just proclaim them in the vast emptiness.
FOOT BRIDGE

GATE POST


















BOARD WALK
these photographs are the copyright of f. d. rubin

20160417

FIFTY SHADES OF NAIL VARNISH

This morning l removed four layers of colour from my toe nails. I opened a new bottle 

of remover, sniffed its odour deeply, soaked a ball of cotton-wool in it & started to wipe.

Off came the top layer - black, the next a dark sagey-green, then bright lime

green & finally a delicate pearly-white.

Seldom do l wear finger-nail polish - it chips given the work l do. Finger-nail decor 

is only for special occasions + holidays; grown-up nails.

Toe-nails, of course, need a new colour everyday to match my outfit/sandals, me 

being a fashion victim. I get through litres of remover.

Some of my nail varnish is nearly 20 (twenty! years' old). They are to be found 

on the topmost door-shelf of my fridge - the fridge is newer than some of those 

bottles. I moved to Mpumalanga & back 7-ish years later with said bottles.

My boss's wife remarked when she saw my collection: 'That is a woman who has 

her priorities right.' My 2.5 year old nephew moved them to the bathroom in

exasperation: 'What are these doing here?', he haarumphed.

I have long worn outrè colours. In the 1970s chrome yellow + cobalt blue - very

arty.  Green, inspired by one Sally Bowles.The mildly Goth look l like needed 

BLACK nails + lips - someone tracked them to a company that sold risquè/risky 

lingerie by  mail/male order.

Most l buy l find in the bargain basket, all the colours no-one else wants.

They have 'evocative' names: CLEAR, LIQUORICE, GRAPHITE, GLITTER-BALL, 

CHIRP-CHIRP (!), 05 (?), PEARLY PINK, FROSTED PINK, COOLIE PINK (p.c.?),

CHERRY PINK, REALLY RED (really), STANDING OVATION (huh?), ORANGE, 

AMBIENTE AMBER, TANGERINE, HYPNOTIZE (gold obviously), SUPER 

NATURE (liiiiiimmme), VICTORIAN CRUSH (sage naturally), 62 (glitter black/

gold/green), PURPLE PARTY PEOPLE, FORTUNE-TELLER (the blue yonder).
YOU CAN HAVE ANY COLOUR, SO LONG AS IT IS BLACK - H. FORD

20160224

ICECREAM 3: DEVOLUTION / EVOLUTION



That substance a.k.a. SOFT SERV - a gloopy, sweet, coldish substance that 

went under the moniker #ice-cream loomed large in my adolescent life. This 

treat was a favourite in its luxury form; the CHOC 99. A little SOFT SERV was 

squirted into a cone, a FLAKE (pronounced flakey) was wedged in vertically & 

then more SOFTSERV twirled in + up. We ate them on every occasion, we were 

not dieting.

We bought them from the childish bing-bong van . We became habitués, on foot 

or in rich-adolescent-males' cars, of a new drive-in 'restaurant'. Our favourites there 

chicken-in-a-basket + hamburgers. What is new? This followed by CHOC 99.

Years elapsed in an ice-cream drought. Then a visit to Cambridge (the English one)

&  there was ice-cream again. It was the real Italian stuff, sold by Italians from a 

stand back onto the Backs. What had I been missing? Then Paris, more street 

ice-cream, then Italy.......oh heaven of gelato.


I again became obsessed. A sojourn in Los Angeles had me rating (toasted almond-

vanilla in a sugar cone, the benchmark), many an ice-cream. Baskin-Robbins (30-

something flavours), so-so; Swenson's in Santa Monica, both creamier + lighter + 

somehow more 'adult'. The top of my list, the then one-off Clancy Muldoon standing 

corner Hollywood & La Brea. It was a one-off; their ice-cream had more bite, had 

the texture of those cones of vanilla l had loved as a child, was less sweet, more 

adult somehow + the almonds were toasted just right.

Then back in Jozi in the 80s things started to take a different route..........