07 December 2013

Melville Crossroads

It's that time of year when it gets dark early in the northern hemisphere. The time of year where I feel laden with the weight of the many jumpers I have to wear to keep warm. The time when I longingly look at my photos from South Africa and dream of returning to my beloved Johannesburg.

Until that day comes, I want to show you a series of photos I took earlier this year. To explain: I spent a lot of time in this one cafe down the road from my flat in Melville, the Cafe de la Creme. The corner window table was much sought after by itinerant writers like me, but occasionally I managed to grab it. Staring into space being an integral part of my writing routine, I began to notice the life passing by outside. Soon I had started a collection of mini events occurring on the crossroads in front of me. Here is a selection:

These guys trudge up and down the streets of the city collecting recycling.
Hard work.

One of the many street sellers

These ladies pass through Melville most days, selling baskets

'Ice for Africa'. I liked the eskimo with the sign, and the incongruity

Someone is moving house, perhaps?

The tuktuks have become a popular attraction around town

These tough guys handle private security, a subject on everyone's mind in

While all the other shots are caught as they happened, I asked Heather to go
out in the rain for me for this one. There just weren't enough people
passing with umbrellas.

Training guide dogs for the blind

Pikitup, the wittily named refuse collectors

This lady passes through most days, selling 'mealies'. I used to think
she was shouting 'Henry' for her lost pet.


I am not trying to find deep meaning in these images, or reflections of South Africa's current political landscape. I just revel in the memory of warmth, friendliness and normality.

(You can also find these photos on Instagram by searching for #melvillecrossroads or in a set on Flickr)