Monthly Archives: December 2010

Dog Whispering Decision

Full credit to Dave for making the final call and getting it done. In fact, his nickname among certain work associates is get-it-done-Dave. Not for nothing. I might well have faltered, muddled by a mix of emotions. I’m talking about returning one of our puppies, Quilla, to their breeder. Regular blogging friends will remember her pretty little face. Well, that disguised unmitigated mayhem – mostly due to the dynamic between the two.

Sibling rivalry resulted in her inappropriately submissive behaviour, and constant hounding of our cat, and older dog. That’s when the puppies weren’t riling one another up. The peace that was impossible around both of them, has been palpable since she left, a few months ago. (Roof of Africa, re-opening our photographic studio and hosting a constant stream of visitors put blogging on the back-burner for a while.)

Don’t get me wrong, though. Quest is no angel, as you may see from his expression:


QUEST with both his ears up!

He had his sister’s help to disassemble the entire electric gate motor and distribute the sorry pieces around our property. Not so for the heap of hose ends, drain pipes, assorted car parts and my special pair of Silhouette glasses . . . the list goes on, but we love him 😀

We’ve also learned something about canine behaviour. You’d think we’d get it first time around, with Tex and his sister Pippa. She never seemed happy, succumbing eventually to ailments that plagued her from puppyhood. We put it down mainly to her personality, and the fact that she was a far more hyperactive, working dog type than her brother. In hindsight it was probably, at least in part, from being dominated by him.

The same scenario was playing out with Quilla. Our fabulous dog whisperer, Justin Jardim of Echo Personal Dog Training, our vet and various others in the know endorsed the decision to let her go. While siblings together can sometimes work, it’s apparently not the best idea. Understandable when you imagine spending your whole life with your own!

She is no doubt happier in her new home and Quest isn’t complaining. He’s spoilt with personal attention and one-on-one training. Here’s Justin in action, teaching him “Down”:


JUSTIN teaching QUEST the dynamics of “Down”

He’s catching on quickly, but we have a way to go with the chewing issue. Vix vapour rub isn’t standing its ground, so we may try chilli, following a post by the hilariously brilliant Kate Shrewsday. Visit her blog for outstanding writing and a serious LOL!

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Blessings

Blessings abound.


Arms outstretched towards the sun

BLESSINGS

Ever present,
all around,
they bathe us in love
and radiant light

If our eyes
simply see,
our hearts hear,
and fingers feel

Apart from attitude,
the primary prerequisite
to receiving Blessings
is open arms

And all at once
it’s crystal clear:
we aren’t just “in the flow”;
we are the flow

©Naomi Estment

Quotes to consider:

“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.” – Indira Gandhi

“When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.” – Joel Osteen

“Do you know what a blessing it is to make movies that make people happy?” – Kate Hudson

“Prayers go up and blessings come down.” – Yiddish Proverb

“May God grant you always…A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you, a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you. And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.” – Irish Blessing

MERRY XMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS & richest blessings to you and yours 🙂

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SA’s Champion Lady Racer

Petite Nicole van Aswegen is perfectly at home mixing it up with the men. On the race track, no less. She and Janine Mitchell are the only two women who regularly compete in South Africa’s National Super Sport motorcycle racing class. As the 2010 – and first ever – winner of our all ladies’ 600cc class, Nicole was featured in last month’s issue of MCSA (MotorcyclingSA Magazine). Here’s a scan of the article:


Scan of Motorcycling SA’s article on Nicole van Aswegen

It was my pleasure to do Nicole’s promotional shoot, producing the two studio pics in the spread. Here are two more, for a little fun and glamour:


Nicole van Aswegen (photograph by Naomi Estment, OV&P Studio)


Nicole van Aswegen (photograph by Naomi Estment, OV&P Studio)

Nicole has achieved a lot, since starting out in 2006 on a 50cc bike. Gym and kick boxing keep her in peak condition, while she also works in the motorcycle industry, as a successful rep for MotoSport Distribution. Completely committed to racing, her heart is set on the international arena. In the meantime, she’s focused on defending her SA Ladies Champ title here at home. Way to go, Nicole!

For info about our studio, or to view portfolio images, please visit www.ovpstudio.com.

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Celebrating Southern African Getaways

Sincere thanks to the fabulous Christine Searle at SA-Venues, for including me in her awesome post: South Africans share their favourite local getaways! It’s a total treat to participate and discover what’s special to others too 😀

Picking only one favourite was impossibly tough, given the abundance we have here – as well as how privileged Dave and I have been, thanks largely to friends, family and our professional photography. I narrowed it down to the African bushveld, because I believe that nothing compares to the ‘soul vacation’ this offers. Here’s the longer list, incorporating more of Southern Africa and a few of the countless highlights we’ve enjoyed:

Londolozi private game reserve, SA – leopards:


LEOPARD CLOSE-UP – Londolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

Madikwe private game reserve, SA – wild dogs:


AFRICAN WILD DOG – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Schotia Safaris, SA – lions:


MUFASA – Schotia Safaris, South Africa

Welgevonden private game reserve, SA – rhino’s & elephants:


RHINO SILHOUETTE – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


ELEPHANT SILHOUETTE – Welgevonden game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

Timbavati private game reserve, SA – buffalo:


BUFFALO BULL – Timbavati game reserve, South Africa

Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana – abundant game and raptors:


HIPPOS AT SUNSET – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana


FISH EAGLE TAKING OFF – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana – wide open spaces and occasional cheetah:


DAVE checking photo’s on our roofrack – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana


CHEETAH RUNNING – Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

Mozambique – scuba diving, especially Guinjata Bay’s manta rays:


MANTA RAY WITH REMORA FISH – Guinjata Bay, Mozambique


ME SCUBA-DIVING – Mozambique, Southern Africa

Lesotho – enduro riding, in particular the extreme Roof of Africa:


ROOF OF AFRICA 2010 – Lesotho, Southern Africa


VIEW OF MALUTI MOUNTAINS – Lesotho, Southern Africa

Cape Town (where I grew up) – family, fun, Two Oceans & Table Mountain:


TABLE MOUNTAIN from V&A WATERFRONT – Cape Town, South Africa


VIEW OF CAPE POINT – Cape Town, South Africa

As far as wildlife goes, we’re planning perhaps the pinnacle trip for September next year: Serengeti under Canvas in Tanzania with &Beyond Africa, which follows the migration in luxury tents. CAN’T WAIT, especially since it will probably include scenes like these:


WILDEBEEST RUNNING – Masai Mara, Kenya


HOT AIR BALLOON ABOVE MIGRATING WILDEBEEST – Masai Mara, Kenya

I wasn’t lucky enough to accompany Dave to Kenya, where he shot these last two pics, so that’s high on my wish-list of wildlife destinations, along with others in Southern Africa, such as Namibia (where I was born), Zambia (where my father was born and raised) and Zimbabwe (where some of our special friends come from). And that’s just for starters. Ah, AFRICA…what’s to do but LOVE YOU?

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Raising ‘The Roof’!

What a WILD few days – The Roof of Africa 2010, which concluded on Saturday in Lesotho. Fittingly tough for “The Mother of Hardenduro”, it took no prisoners, conceding twenty-two gold medal finishers from a field of about two hundred and fifty. Twenty-four riders earned silver medals and a mere six took home the bronzes. Phenomenal achievements all! The war stories brought tears to the eyes and huge respect to the heart. This event that traverses the massive Maluti mountains, is not for sissies! Unfortunately, after a solid start, Dave’s race ended in a DNF when his motor blew halfway through Friday’s gruelling stint. Here are a few photo’s that tell a snippet of our story:


Team Ysterperd’s opening pit talk – Roof of Africa 2010


Bike Prep – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE racing ‘around the houses’ on Thursday – Roof of Africa 2010


Parked in Friday’s boggy pits – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE’s bike in Friday’s starting queue – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE pulling off on Friday – Roof of Africa 2010


Team Ysterperd pit crew doing their thing – Roof of Africa 2010


Team Ysterperd pit crew at another DSP – Roof of Africa 2010


DAVE in good humour at the end of his race – Roof of Africa 2010


Ramabanta DSP – Roof of Africa 2010


Chilling at Ramabanta DSP – Roof of Africa 2010


Photographing on the dreaded Bushman’s pass – Roof of Africa 2010


Another view of Bushman’s pass – Roof of Africa 2010


Rider’s view of the finish line – Roof of Africa 2010

All in all, this year’s ‘Roof’ raised the bar. It was way better organized and more spectator-friendly than last year’s, drawing crowds of fans and some top international competitors. These were headed up by New Zealander Chris Birch, who won spectacularly for the third time in a row, followed by South Africa’s own Jade Gutzeit and Germany’s Andreas Lettenbichler, ‘Lettie’ for short. Here they are at the Red Bull finish line:


CHRIS BIRCH at the finish line – Roof of Africa 2010


CHRIS BIRCH’s smile after winning the Roof of Africa 2010


Jade Gutzeit at the finish line – Roof of Africa 2010


JADE GUTZEIT with his wife Rina after the Roof of Africa 2010


LETTIE tossing his bike – Roof of Africa 2010


LETTIE punching the air – Roof of Africa 2010


LETTIE after finishing The Roof of Africa 2010


Champagne on the podium – Roof of Africa 2010

To read more about all the guts and glory, visit: www.roof-of-africa.com, and for loads more photo’s, here’s a link to Dave’s Facebook album: Roof of Africa 2010.

Sincere THANKS to all our friends who helped us tremendously, huge CONGRATS to the winners and WELL DONE to everyone who took part! One thing’s for sure: our deposit will be paid the moment booking opens for next year.

Now, just in case you’re thinking the event is all about the riders, this video explains a whole lot more: Continue reading

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