Needless to say the media this week was filled with the passing of MJ and Farah Fawcett. Dad and I took great interest in a lesser reported event that also took place this week: Kodak announced that it was discontinuing the production of Kodachrome colour still picture exposure media. The reason for this is that this product globally now only contributes less than 1% to Kodak’s total sales as both professional and amateur photographers adopt digital storage media. Dad spent some time reminiscing about this era that is drawing to a close. In 1973 Paul Simon paid tribute to this marvel of technology in his song ‘Kodachrome’ (hence tonight’s blog title – a twist on the original Paul Simon lyrics). National Geographic’s Steve McCurry also used Kodachrome film in 1985 to shoot the award winning cover featuring an Afgan girl with piercing green eyes (pictured below). Kodak, in honour of McCurry’s award winning photograph, will be offering him the opportunity to shoot images on the last roll of Kodachrome ever to be produced.

Closer to home, those of you that have known my Dad since his pre-teen years will recall that he too has always fostered a passion for photography. His first few cameras were Instamatic, i.e. no settings, and the only way you could adjust the ISO was by buying and installing different speeds of film. Black and white photography as well as colour photography could be accommodated by these cameras, but was dependant once again on the film. When Dad was 15 years old, my late Oma presented him with her camera which she had acquired when she was 21 years old (i.e. a long time ago) during a visit to East Germany. It was a Kodak Retina I B, which Dad still has today (pictured below). This was the first fully adjustable camera Dad owned, but did not have SLR technology (single-lens reflex), i.e. what you see through the eye-piece is what the lens sees. In fact, Dad had to estimate the distance to the subject, set it on the camera, and shoot the picture. This however did not deter him from taking star trails, fast moving objects, and all sorts of artist photographs. I’m hoping Dad will show me he’s collection of photos one day.

Dad went to tell me that this prize camera malfunctioned when he was about 17; the wind-on lever stopped working. Being ever resourceful, Dad disassembled the camera to find the cause of the malfunction. It turned out to be a gear whose teeth had worn away over the years. Since this was the time before Internet and easy access to spare parts, Dad hopped on his bicycle, road into Jo’burg with the offending gear in his pocket, and in the downtown parts of the city he found a small engineering shop run by an Italian machinist who was prepared to make a new gear for Dad. It took about two weeks, and Dad doesn’t remember the cost for the bespoke made gear but does know it was expensive, and he had a shiny brand new gear. He fitted this in the camera, and viola, it still works today. In fact, in the interest of nostalgia, Dad and I are going out to buy a roll of film and shoot some original types of photographs this week. Given that they then need to be developed and scanned, I may only be able to post them on my blog in a few weeks.

Now back to my week. I must say Mommy made it evident at the start of the week that “Baby Bootcamp” was back on my schedule, and on Monday she did nothing but make me exercise, but at the same time, she let me explore all my lovely presents, the books and the toys. I had quite a good time, but moaned through every hour of exercise Mom put me through.

Tuesday however was much better, as I got to see my little friends at Mom’s club. I played with Nkosi, Caleb, Melissa, Lieben and Charlie. I even moved a little bit on my own, resulting in two head bumpings on the floor. Mom had an appointment on Tuesday afternoon, which she took me to so we visited there for a while. We rushed home, because my little friend Morgan and his Mommy Tanya were coming to visit. It was really exciting. Morgan and I played and we had a little evening snack together while our Mommies chatted and then Daddy joined in. Tanya and Daddy went to university together, so there is always tonnes to talk about and catch up on.

Wednesday saw my penultimate music class for this term, we had a whale of a time in ‘Africa’ again, playing on the drums and exploring the rhythm sticks. The afternoon was taken up with my kiddies club, where we were giving support to Josh and his Mommy Briony, who was headed back to work on Thursday. The Mommies chatted away with their tea, giving Briony support as we gave Josh support. Fortunately for him, Claire from our group has already been exploring his new school for the past few months, so she knows the ropes. He’ll be in the same area as Claire, so we know she’ll look after him. Although let me say, she’s the only girl on our team, so I hope there is no competition there now.

Our evenings through the week, have been sedate and working on my routine, especially after the excitement of my birthday last week. However I am testing my parents to see what they are indeed made of. Pushing my bedtime by an hour, waking up early, just seeing what they have in their arsenal. I must say I haven’t tried excessive crying or screaming yet… I’m saving that for later. I’m sure most of you know that protein is the thing that keeps us babies asleep after we’ve started solids, at about 6 months. I eat lots of protein during the day because Mom is clearly determined to get sleep. Mom puts 3-4 water bottles in my bed, each of 150mls to make sure I don’t wake up thirsty as I still breath heavier and faster than most babies my age resulting in my dehydrating quicker than my peers. In the mornings these are finished and I use the last one to rattle the bars on my cot to wake up Daddy. He is much better in the mornings than Mommy. If Mommy comes through at 5am what I do is humour her, and get into bed with her, snuggle up and go straight back to sleep. Daddy says it’s because I’m scared.

Thursday was my physio session, then I was left in my Granny’s care, as Mommy had an important business meeting. Mommy took my doughnut with, with a ton of toys for me to play with. I was fast asleep when Mommy arrived back having eaten a good lunch. Granny shot out to pick up Tammy from school and I was very quickly being entertained again. Mommy was kind enough not to fly off again and let me play with Tammy for a while.

Friday saw us heading off to Morningside Medi-Clinic to say hello to Gill from Mom’s doctor’s office as we missed them last week. Mom also stopped in at Sandton City to get me some leggings for under my slacks as winter has definitely hit the Highveld and while nowhere near the Northern Hemisphere, it still has been 6 degrees till about noon. We chatted with Megan and Nadene until Daddy came home and quite soon it was time for dinner.

Saturday was an exciting day as Daddy and I had been planning a mission codenamed Operation ALW (which I’ll chat about a little later). First we had to set off to Cappello’s in Greenside for lunch with Aunty Beebs and Opa and Barbara. We had a great afternoon and after lunch it was time for a nap; I ultimately fell asleep in an armchair curled up like a cat in the sun. Aunty Beebs and Wayne bought me a little UFO spinning top which lights up and moves around, very cool stuff. After we had been home for a while Daddy couldn’t hold himself in and he told Mommy about Operation ALW. He had arranged for tickets to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s (hence Operation ALW) Aspects of Love at the Jo’burg Theatre. Mommy was very excited, and soon Granny and Tammy (willing participants of Operation ALW) were at our gate to look after me for the evening. They had all been in on the secret and Mommy didn’t suspect a thing. This is quite strange as Mommy usually hates secrets and manages to sniff them out far too easily for them to remain a surprise.

Pretty soon after Granny and Tammy arrived, Mom emerged from the bedroom looking glamorous and ready for a ‘night on the town’; Dad didn’t look too bad either. Granny, Tammy and I bid my folks farewell and I settled in for a moderately quiet evening.

Sunday morning Dad slept in a little, and Mom, helped by Tammy and Granny, took care of my morning cares. We all felt that after Dad spoilt Mommy so nicely the night before he deserved a little sleep-in. Tammy and Granny had already left for their house when Dad emerged from the bedroom. Since the cold weather hadn’t lifted yet, we decided to cocoon for the day and stayed home, in our pyjamas, the entire day! It was such relaxing fun – Dad and Mom reading and watching some TV, with me paging through some of my new books and also peering at the TV from time to time.

Well, that’s it for tonight. We’re hoping the week ahead warms up a little, given that the days are starting to get longer again as we head toward spring and summer. We’re not used to, nor too keen on, midday highs of 6°C, as was the case on Thursday!!! The week ahead holds some major excitement for me as Aunty Shazza is flying in from Australia for the (extended) weekend to attend a wedding. Of course we will meet up with her, and I can personally thank her for the wonderful birthday gifts she sent me, and more importantly, to thank her for the first chapter of the book that she is writing. She emailed this first exciting chapter to me on my birthday, and Dad has been reading it to me since. I’m getting excited about the next few instalments.

All my love and brrrrrrr kisses


Figure 1 The award winning National Geographic picture shot by Steve McCurry using the now discontinued Kodachrome film

Figure 2 Dad’s first fully adjustable camera – a Kodak Retina IB, that uses Kodachrome film

Figure 3 All my birthday cards proudly displayed on the mantle piece in the lounge

Figure 4 Dad feeding me my morning bottle

Figure 5 A reflection in the mirror of me bathing

Figure 6 A nice warm and foamy bath on a cold winter’s night

Figure 7 Playing on my latest musical instrument -a triangle

Figure 8 As with all things, I need to taste it to see if its real

Figure 9 Giving Sonic a head rub

Figure 10 My warm winter leggings proof to be a challenge to get off

Figure 11 Thirsty!

Figure 12 Quenching my thirst

Figure 13 Getting some glass in my diet!

Figure 14 Dad getting ready to feed me at Cappello’s

Figure 15 Chilling!

Figure 16 My first UFO – a birthday pressie from Aunty Beeps and Unca Wayne

Figure 17 Play time, at the head of the table!!!!

Figure 18 Happiness

Figure 19 With Opa and Barbara at lunch

Figure 20 Cat napping in the afternoon sun at Cappello’s Greenside

Figure 21 Feeding Dad a Tennis Biscuit

Figure 22 My proud Daddy

Figure 23 Daddy hugs

Figure 24 Keep warm!

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