Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dolls House

We have featured No 7 Castle Hill before. In the old stables, one room has been set out with period toys, and this delightfully detailed dolls house. In the corner you can just see an old dolls pram.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Swinging in the street

This swing and the flowers around the base of the tree in St Phillips Street add a friendly feel to the neighbourhood.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chimneys #2 + moon

A final 'mooning' shot and another in the chimney series. This is an old chimney in Richmond Hill.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Moon + tower

The attractive red roof of the old Erica Building has a cute little turret feature, and the moon nestled up to it...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bill made a name for itself as a restaurant serving high quality meat at very reasonable prices. They became so popular that, in addition to the original branch in Westering, they opened a large one on the beachfront. They also do a really good buffet.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Moon + Light (with bird thrown in for good measure!)

Another in the lamp post series. This one is very close to the previous one with the cameras, on Pollock Beach, but altogether more attractive.... the seagull thinks so too!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Necessary accessory to the lamp post

Another in our ongoing series on lamp posts around town.... this one at Pollock Beach is not the most attractive, but it is certainly functional. It has strong halogen spotlights to shed light onto the beach and rocks , in front of the Something Good Roadhouse, so that even at night, this attractive scene is visible, and you can safely walk around down there.

At the same time, CCTV cameras keep an eye out for muggers and other undesirables who like to hang around places like this!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

well... autumn gave way to winter rather quickly!

Westbourne Road, Saturday night, on our way to eat out. In a stroke of genius, Max elected to go to the Carolina Spur in Greenacres Mall, we were able to park undercover, and go in and out without drowning or freezing to death. We had a good meal too.
This week the shorts and T shirts are lying neglected on the shelf while bulky jerseys are making a comeback!
To see overflow pictures from this post, and also the previous 2 (especially the coelacanth sculpture) see this post.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Burnt Out

Such a shame... another historic cottage in Port Elizabeth, neglected by the owner and rented out to Nigerian drug dealers, has burned down. GRRRRRRRR. Another little bit of our heritage needlessly lost. I featured this house in my "Now and Then" series a while ago, you can see how it looked recently and in the 1880s.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sculptor at work

Graham Jones is one of the really good Eastern Cape sculptors. He has almost finished a wonderful commission which is to be placed at the East London Museum. Luckily he lives just around the corner from us, so I was able to get a photo of it before it leaves P.E., all 4 and a half tons of it! It is made of cast iron with all sorts of fascinating bits and pieces attached. This is another in a series of sculptures being commissioned by the Sunday Times, and being put up around the country as memorials to prominent South Africans . This one is in honour of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, at one time curator at East London's small museum, who is credited with discovering the fascinating coelacanth, a pre-historic fish which even pre-dates dinousaurs.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Threatened Species

There are old electrical substations like this scattered all over the city. We originally photographed this for the 'mural' monthly theme, but ended up using something different. The building may be dirty, but it is also in danger! The oil-based curcuit breakers are not designed to be switched on and off regularly. Each area in the city has a daily 2 hour power outage that is part of the load shedding schedule imposed on us due to the complete ineptitude of our National Power Supply company, ESKOM. (Eskom or its alternative version Eishkom, is becoming a swear word in SA!) So on Friday, after the daily outage in Walmer the power went back on, and a few minutes later the entire substation blew up! Thankfully the municipal employee had just left the building, but had to be treated for shock. The building is in ruins and a large part of town is now having a blackout until it can be rebuilt and power restored. The nearby Pick 'n Pay, a major supermarket, had to remove all refrigerated goods into hired refrigerated trucks, and run them all night. The store manager we spoke to said the cost in diesel alone was frightening! When we were there yesterday, they had just received a giant generator that had been trucked up urgently from Cape Town, and were repacking the fridges. But smaller businesses throughout the area were not so lucky, and had to remain closed.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rainy Day in the Bay

Ok, just so you don't get the wrong impression from this blog, and think this is permanently a tropical paradise with endless blue skies and turquoise seas, here is the other side of the coin! We get days like today, when the wind is so strong that the cold rain is horizontal and umbrellas have to be held in front of you to ward of the blast!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stanley Street Sunrise

Sunrise this morning looking down Stanley Street, Richmond Hill towards Algoa Bay

Autumn at City Hall

Yup, it's that time of the year, when our trees turn brown. Trees require very cold weather to turn the real rich autumn colours, ours basically go brown, but if you backlight them you can cheat and get an autumn effect. So those of you who have just suffered through a long freezing winter, and are now celebrating the arrival of spring bulbs, bear in mind that the miserable weather is what gives you the best autumn displays! We lose out on that, but make up for it by having a really "easy to live with" climate!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shark Rock Pier #5

It's been a while since we posted a pic in the Shark Rock Pier Series, but we are about to make up for it.....

....this weekend she was all dressed up and ready for the big event.... Ironman SA started on Hobie Beach, and the pier was crammed with spectators. (You can see a whole lot moreironman images here and also there is an overflow post of pier photos here.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

while we are on the subject of metal bars.....

Church Fence
Originally uploaded by Firefly Africa

This is by guest photographer and passionate Port Elizabeth fan, FIREFLY. Thanks FF. It is the wonderful cast iron fence around Holy Trinity Church in Central. You can see more of his pix here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Behind Bars

I went to Prison today............. really!

I was one of the delegates who attended a "Business against Crime" outing to St Alban's Prison, to see the work being done by Correctional Services in rehabilitation of prisoners and helping with their integration back into society. It was really inspiring. I have written about it, and yesterdays Ironman in detail, with lots of extra pix here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ironman SA

Yesterday we told you about Ironman SA, here are the 1600 swimmers waiting for the starting gun at 7am today. ......

and they're off, for their 3.8km swim which is the first stage of the event.

As there was a bank of clouds over the sea, the sun was not yet up. The pier was thronged with crowds waiting to cheer the competitors on, while the press hovered overhead.
We will post lots more pix of the event on our personal blogs during the coming week.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


This is a big weekend for Port Elizabeth.... the Ironman SA contest is being held here, and the beachfront is all decked out for the occasion. It could not have been a more perfect day for the first stage, which was the corporate and Ironkids events.

Here is Duncan, who we met walking along the promenade, proudly wearing his well earned medal.

Tonight the beachfront was buzzing with people and activity, and a brilliant sunset greeted our visitors.
Tomorrow is the main Ironman event, with 1600 contestants taking to the water next to the Pier at 7am. They begin with a 3.8km swim, then hop onto bicycles for a 180km route and finish it off with a 42.2km run to end up back at Hobie Beach. Pretty impressive! Hopefully your intrepid City Daily Bloggers will manage to wake up in time to record it for you!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Old Cape Road, 5-ways

From the 1820s, this used to be the road that led from the little settlement on the hill, to Cape Town . As the town grew, and the freeway system developed to bypass town on the way to Capetown, it remained as one of the main arterial routes. This is the intersection that leads across Cape Road, down Target Kloof and into Walmer, which used to be a seperate village, but is now a suburb of PE. It is known as 5-ways, (which is pretty literal, because it is a 5 way intersection!). The photo was taken a few months ago, and the lights were working! Trust me, you do NOT want to be at this intersection at rush hour during load shedding! I had the experience earlier this week, and have no desire to repeat it. Clearly, when the lights are off , the concept of treating every intersection as a 4-way stop doesn't work at a 5 way intersection! Apparently due to a staff shortage, not a traffic officer was in sight to direct the chaotic situation.(For the in-initiated, load shedding is the latest catch-phrase used by our power supply monopoly, Eskom, who have messed up badly and are unable to supply enough power for the country, so they just switch it off for big chunks of the day, creating unbelievable snarl-ups, not to mention the impact on our economy.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Got any Questions about Port Elizabeth?

There is a great interactive website called MyPE, on which you can find pretty much anything you need to find, pertaining to Port Elizabeth. They have a lively forum, and a great new feature has been added, called ASK A LOCAL. It falls into 3 categories, business, tourism and general.

If you have anything you want to know about Port Elizabeth, you can find the forum index Here.

The plan was to leave the threads open for unregistered users, so that you could ask a once off question without going through the hassle of registering. But sadly it was no time at all before the morons in the blue pill brigade, and those who are obsessed with making sure every male on the planet is over-endowed, jumped online with their usual seedy offers. So unfortunately the forum is for registered users only.

However, if you read this here, and want to ask anything but do not feel like registering for a once off query, you can post it in the comments and we will post it on your behalf, so that the large and friendly community at MyPE can chip in with their contributions. Then you can follow the thread and get your answers.

Enjoying the last of Summer, and the last few days of school holidays!

The beachfront is a favourite spot for kids to unwind in the school holidays.... make the most of it guys, the cold weather is definitely on its way and so is school!
One of the fun things about doing this photo blog is the way people react when they see you with a camera, these guys insisted on posing, even though none of them have access to the internet, so they are unlikely to ever see the photos!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chimneys 1

There are so many different styles of chimneys around here, and in our recent walks we have tried to capture a selection for you..... this one is on an old age home in Richmond Hill, built around 1905, and as you can see, the moon added extra interest!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Men at Work

The other morning there was a sudden racket outside our front windows, and investigation revealed that the edge of the park was being dug up. Later on, I saw the orange pipes being dragged along, which confirmed my theory.... this is our turn in part of a huge operation to lay an entire new network of telephone lines throughout the country, for Neotel.

Our telephone system was always government owned, but in 1991 it was partly privatised (the state still controls 39%) The resulting entity was called Telkom, and, to be honest, due to the fact that it has held a monopoly for all these years, not much has improved since so called privatisation. The service remains iffy, and they control all telecommunications in the country, including their competitors, in the form of cellphone and internet providers. They therefore set a minimum price that can be charged by these companies too, and this makes our telecommunications quite expensive. This has led to much anti-Telkom sentiment in the country, where people relieve their frustrations with websites like "hellkom" and "telkom sucks"

Finally, after many years of wrangling (and goodness knows what sort of shady dealings will emerge from the woodwork in time to come) a contract was awarded to another entity, Neotel, to set up in competition to Telkom. And this is the result, orange pipes and digging up of streets are a prelude to (hopefully) improved telecommunications. Still reeling from several cases of corruption and/or bungling of vital services, the South African public seems to have a "we'll believe it when we see it" attitude to this...........

Diane, you asked where exactly we live............. this should give you an idea, this was taken from our front door and in the background across the park is the Old Erica, now an art college.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Blue Orange

Confusing name for a restaurant, especially as there is a furniture shop called the Orange Apple nearby!! What does make this a great place to eat, apart from the good food and service, is the outdoor area set in a real jungle of a garden. The ambince is lovely, and if it is a tad windy (as PE is known to be) there are lots of seats indoors too.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

big tree

In our recent wanderings around St George's Park (running the gauntlet of would be muggers, with pepper spray firmly in one hand and cameras in the other!!!) next to the Conservatory we walked under an amazing tree. It is a Ficus, but whether it is an actual rubber tree or just a close relative, I am not sure.
What I do know is that it was HUGE! Even with several photos stitched together it is impossible to convey the span of the branches, or the height of this tree. The trunk is surprisingly narrow to support such huge branches, but it has enormous buttress roots. (You can see one on the right of the top picture.) In fact the parks department even built a bridge so that the footpath could go over them. If you look very closely at the middle two, you can see Max, in a blue shirt, on the bridge, and that might help give you an idea of the scale of the thing.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

lamp posts and music!

Here is another in our series of different lamp posts around town. These are relatively modern, found at the Boardwalk Casino complex at the beachfront. They can be found right around the centre lake, and are adorned with hanging baskets of climbing geraniums, which flower for most of the year. In the background is the studio of our regional radio station, Algoa FM. I doubt that there can be many radio stations with their studios in such picturesque settings!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Mannville Open Air Theatre

The outdoor theatre at St Georges Park was established in the early 1970s by Bruce and Helen Mann, doyens of the theatre in PE. An annual production of Shakespeare, often linked to the current school setwork, has taken place since then. 2002 saw the 30th Anniversary production, which was The Taming of The Shrew.
To find out some of the background to this, see this interesting page about Shakespeare in South Africa

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Feel Like A Kid Again!

Does a scene like this take you back to your childhood too? It is school holidays at the moment and many parents are at their wits end trying to keep the kids entertained. This carousel is at the Boardwalk Complex on the beachfront. We went there with our grandson yesterday, the little guy loved the jets!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Conservatory again......

This is such a photogenic building that I couldn't resist sharing a few more of the MANY shots we took the other day. (By the way Diane thanked us for "risking life and limb" to go and photograph it..... and she wasn't entirely exaggerating, it has become a bit scary! To see the story behind the pictures, see Max's post "rats in the park")

I thought it was quite clever the way the marigolds were planted close together, with big flowers at the back and small ones at the front, so that the whole bed has a similar rounded shape to that of the flowers themselves.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Theme Day: Water

Next time you turn on a tap and clean drinking water flows out, spare a thought for those who have to pump theirs out of the ground! This old water pump is in the courtyard at 7 Castle Hill, the oldest residence in Port Elizabeth still in existence, now a fascinating Historical Museum.

I am sure there will be lots of interesting interpretaions on this month's theme, Here are links to help you pay these participants a visit.

Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Ararat, Australia by Digger, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Barton (VT), USA by Andree, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Paja, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro by Bibi, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Bogor, Indonesia by Gagah, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix - Bostonscapes, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Brookville (OH), USA by Abraham, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Cypress (TX), USA by Riniroo, Dallas/Fort Worth (TX), USA by A Wandering Soul, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, East Gwillimbury, Canada by Your EG Tour Guide, Evry, France by Olivier, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Gun Barrel City (TX), USA by Lake Lady, Hamilton, New Zealand by Sakiwi, Hampton (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Haninge, Sweden by Steffe, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Old Hyde, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jakarta, Indonesia by Santy, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Jogjakarta, Indonesia by Jogja Portrait, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Katonah (NY), USA by Inkster1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Lake Forest Park (WA), USA by Azure, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Las Vegas (NV), USA by Mo, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Maria João, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Mo, London, UK by Ham, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Marseille, France by Alex, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by John, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Mexico City, Mexico by Poly, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minsk, Belarus by Olga, Monrovia (CA), USA by Keith, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montego Bay, Jamaica by Ann, Monterrey, Mexico by rafa, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Magiceye, Mumbai, India by MumbaiiteAnu, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Nancy, France by yoshi, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, New York City (NY), USA by Ming the Merciless, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norfolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Norman (OK), USA by Chad & LaCresha, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Odense, Denmark by ania odense, Omsk, Russia by Nataly, Orlando (FL), USA by OrlFla, Oslo, Norway by Lothiane, Paderborn, Germany by Soemchen, Paris, France by Eric, Paris, France by Gordio, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Pont-à-Mousson, France by Tintin-j, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Townsend (WA), USA by raf, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Portland (ME), USA by Corey, Portland (OR), USA by NWgal, Portsmouth (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saigon, Vietnam by Simon, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Salem (OR), USA by jill, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by Eric, Salt Lake City (UT), USA by atc, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Francisco (CA), USA by PFranson, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sequim (WA), USA by Eponabri, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Shanghai, China by Jing, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Stouffville, Canada by Ken, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Suffolk (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Sunshine Coast, Australia by bitingmidge, Sydney, Australia by Nathalie, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Tacloban City, Philippines by agnesdv, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Toruń, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Turin, Italy by Livio, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Victoria, Canada by Benjamin Madison, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Virginia Beach (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Washington (DC), USA by Rachel, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Williamsburg (VA), USA by ptowngirl, Willits (CA), USA by Elaine, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,