Shall we soldier on – or cancel the show?

Alas, I had spoken too early, when I published the previous blogpost – The Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 must go on – despite the rain!

I believe it is for the first time ever in the history of the Cape Town Military Tattoo that a show had to be cancelled because of the rain. Last year, we had a bit of rain too, and some terrifically strong winds, but the show went on nonetheless because the rain cleared up in time.

The Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 must go on – despite the rain!

The spectators who arrived for the dress rehearsal of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013 at the Castle of Good Hope were treated to an absolutely brilliant show. Any problems that had manifested in the run-throughs of the previous two evenings seemed to have been ironed out, and I was blown away by the quality of the performances.

And this was despite the fact that it – thankfully intermittently – drizzled and spat, poured and bucketed with rain, throughout the evening.

The second evening rehearsal for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

Tonight was the second run-through of the entire show, and the levels of excitement – and stress – behind the scenes were running high. The previous night, I had run out of energy, after a long hot day on my feet, and so I had missed the second half of the show. Tonight, I was determined to stay until the end.

Another day of rehearsals for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

On my way down to the Castle of Good Hope on Tuesday morning, I was suddenly struck by how wonderful it was that I was allowed behind the scenes again this year.

I still clearly remember how I sat on the seating stands at the Castle during the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Tattoos, absolutely riveted by the performances, the solemn ceremonies, the thrilling re-enactments, the colourful uniforms, the tough-looking soldiers with their weapons, the stirring music, the thunderous salvoes from the guns during the 1812 Overture, and the extraordinary venue of the historic Castle, with its backdrop of iconic Table Mountain lit up at night.

The first evening rehearsal of the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

After all the bands had had an opportunity to go through their routines in the front arena during the day, it was time for all the different acts to be assembled together into a well-structured programme, with one act flowing nicely into the next.

A long hot day of rehearsals for the Cape Town Military Tattoo 2013

When the early morning mist curled around the buildings and streetlights of Cape Town, creating a slightly eerie atmosphere, it gave no indication that it would become such a hot Monday. By mid-morning, the heat of the sun had burned off the mist, and a brilliantly blue sky was bringing out the ochre-yellow hues in the walls of the Castle of Good Hope. By midday, everyone was looking for shady spots to shelter from the harsh sun, and glancing hopefully towards the western skyline, where just the hint of a cold front was starting to appear.

Looking back on an exciting year of being published!

Last year, I wrote and submitted a number of articles to the Pinelands Muse community magazine and the Reserve Force Volunteer magazine, as well as the Equestrian Express and the Sawubona in-flight magazine of South African Airways, our national carrier. In order to update my CV at the start of January, I compiled a list, which I thought I’d share with you, in case you are curious.

A colourful and thrilling display of marching skills: The Western Cape Schools Drill and Marching Festival 2012 at Florida Park in Ravensmead

On Saturday morning, 20 October 2012, I made my way to the Florida Park Sports Ground in Stroebel Road, Ravensmead. I had been asked by WO2 André van Schalkwyk of the SA Army Band Cape Town to take some photographs of their performance at the Western Cape Schools Drill and Marching Festival 2012. I had attended and written about last year’s festival in Vygieskraal Stadium, Athlone, and was looking forward to what promised to be a very exciting event.

Defence Force Imbizo at Nomzamo in The Strand: The Defence Review Committee engages with Western Cape communities

Update: The article I wrote about this event has been published in the Reserve Force Volunteer magazine of Summer 2013. Here is the PDF document. The article was also published on the Reserve Force Division website – here is the PDF document. On Saturday, 15 September 2012, the Defence Review Committee (DRC) held the final…

Photographs of a historic imbizo at Nomzamo: A personal perspective

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to be a roving journalist-photographer at an unusual and historic event that took place in the township of Nomzamo outside The Strand, near Somerset West. The Defence Review Committee, which is chaired by Mr Roelf Meyer, was holding an imbizo, or public meeting, at the local hall…

A thrilling and informative Women’s Day Event creates awareness of the Defence Reserves among women in business

Update: An article I wrote about this event was published on the Reserve Force Division website. Here is the PDF document. In a previous post about some of the challenges of taking photographs at military events, I mentioned an exciting Women’s Day Event that was organised by the Defence Reserves Provincial Office Western Cape (DRPOWC)…

The Drill Squad of WP SMDEA visits Fort iKapa: Home of the Reserve units in the Western Cape

The dedicated boys and girls making up the drill squad of the Western Province School Marching Drill and Exhibition Association (WP SMDEA) (see previous post) gave up their mid-term holidays, in order to participate in an intensive week of training by members of the SA Army Band Cape Town. The drill squad is part of…