A family affair, Theewaterskloof. Matt called me. Said his wife Britt had the family coming over to good ol’ Zuid Aaaafrika and all. Flying in from all over the world he said. Quite a few of them he said. Could I do a family shoot with them? ‘Noooo problemo’ I told him. ‘Where would you like it?’ The answer was a beaut – ‘Theewaterskloof’ said Matt. Now this was good, because I’ve been wanting to get a few people shots down that neck of the wood ever since the drought really started hitting us in earnest. So I did some planning. This was properly exciting stuff hey – treestumps and all those good things, but instead of emerging out of water, they’d now be emerging out of sand. Awesooooome bro. So Matt and I decided on 12 noon as kick-off for the shoot. Nice, I headed out from Cape Town, swung a left at Peregrin Farmstall, headed Theewaters way. A couple of kilometres out I noticed this huuuuge fire in the distance. The wind was fanning the smoke Hermanus way. ‘That’s a lot of smoke brother,’ I said to myself in a kind of poor American Southern-drawl as I swigged some Energade. As I neared the smoke I realised that it wasn’t smoke. It was sand. Tons and tons and tones of sand, sweeping across the landscape as the wind lifted it up off the Theewaterskloof Dam bed and flung it unceremoniously into the air. I looked left. Theewaters resembled something out of a sci-fi movie. Barren, desolate, eerie. I looked for Zombies – they’d defs be coming across this trecherous, unforgiving land sometime today to eat a cow or two and a few people. I reached the Theewaters bridge. The road was unnervingly deep in sand. The traffic fellows had closed the one lane. I could see 3, maybe 4, at a complete push 5 metres ahead of the car. ‘Sloooowly cowboy.’ I guided the car over the bridge and finally onto the other side of the worst of the nightmare. Then I just did something completely stupid. I thought it would be a lovely idea to get out of the car and take a shot of the non-existent water with my phone. So I got out. Well kind off. The wind smashed my head against the roof, crushed my leg to the door and then pushed me into the bushes. I felt a bit silly. So I got back to my feet and it then pinned me to the side of the car. I was laughing a lot at this stage as I made my way back into the relative safety of the cabin.

I arrived at the Theewaters Golf Club where the mob were finishing off pizza and beer. Then I had a quick scout around while they all got dressed, wondering how on earth I was going to EVER get this photoshoot right. I must say, under the circumstances, I was quite impressed that everyone hung in there, because this was without a doubt, extremely challenging. That we got one photo is a small miracle. But we did. Without anyone blowing out to Cape Agulhus or beyond. Okay, so we didn’t get down to all the tree stumps, but hey, there’s always next time.


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