I spent the latter part of the festive season at home in Johannesburg, South Africa with a vague interest in getting out of the city for New Year's, but it wasn't until two days before that plans materialised. I'm going through a phase of really hating big New Year's parties: the screaming, the music, the drunk-driving, the fireworks and the crowds, especially since living in London, so this was perfect...
|A peaceful New Years on a farm in South Africa near the Drakensberg. The pink flower is a protea, the national flower.|
We stayed in the very basic farm house which had no electricity, and we used fire to cook our food and heat our water. I've been to campsites with power points before, so I felt quite stupid for bringing my hairdryer and hid it in my bag without telling anyone!
|1. Iconic enamel crockery|
2. Outdoor shower
3. Farm-house interior
4. Blanket store
On the night we melted marshmallows on the fire and no doubt swallowed some insects that fell into our champagne. On New Year's day we went on a hike to look for the San rock paintings which have been spotted on the farm. Along the Drakensberg Mountains where we were, there are some 35 000 rock paintings, the oldest being 2 400 years old.
You may wonder what a fan of the glamorous 50s silhouette like myself wears while roughing it in the bush and hiking, and it was actually exactly what I wore when hiking in Wales: a tunic over leggings. Accompanying us on all of our walks was a little pug named Plato (his owner is a philosopher) who had never been outside of the posh Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg. I was surprised at his agility in the long grass and on the rocks, and in fact he was so at home in his new surroundings he even charged a herd of cows and caused a stampede in his direction.
|1. Road trippin'|
2. Plato, with a silly leg
3. Rain on a tin roof: wide-screen TV with surround sound
|1. Moss on a boulder in the shape of Africa.|
2. Our mountain
3. 40 year old sleep bag ("slaapsak")
4. Natural vase: there were plenty of these little rocks with holes in them
I'm not much of a resolutions person so all my resolutions this year have been pretty nerdy and PhD related: keep a more detailed and organised lab book and devote a full day each weekend to writing. Other than that, this year I vow to get my sewing machine out more often and get round to altering all those vintage dresses.
How about you, would you say your New Years parties are on average better or worse than any other party?