Further notes on South Africa
Further notes on South Africa
Since my last blog things have settled into a pretty tiring routine. We are up and have to leave for work well before the sun, we usually don't get back until well after the sun has gone down. There is good reason for the long days. Much of the filming is out of doors and in remote locations. Everyone has to be ready on set for the sunrise to ensure we get as much filming done as possible in a day. We have to allow for all kinds of problems, from aircraft flying overhead to people not part of the production getting into shot. We can control the area local to where we are filming, but distant hills are another matter. This doesn't leave much time for painting, especially as we are currently working a six day week. Still, I have managed to get started on a picture, a view between two rows of vines to a house in the distance and the mountains beyond. The mountains are giving me a few problems as they are so different to any we have in the UK, but I'm getting there. I hope to have a picture in my gallery once I have finished it. We are getting used to life out here. It isn't really so different from home but there are a few interesting things to get used to. On the shopping front many of the brands we are used to in the UK are available here. However, shop hours are a bit different and they don't tend to be open too late. Although we are in the middle of the wine region you can't buy bottles of wine after about 7:30pm during the week, after 5pm on Saturdays and not at all on Sundays. However, you can drink in a bar or have wine with a meal. Driving is very similar and yet different here. If you are planning on coming out for the World Cup I have a few tips. FIrst, keep your car doors locked at all times. Never pick up hitch hikers and don't stop to help broken down cars. Remember that traffic lights are called Robots, not sure why but it caused us quite a bit of confusion at first when getting directions from the production department. There are a few road hazards. Lemmings are numerous, not the cute furry animals, but people who walk at the edge (mostly) of the road and are prone to walking across between the traffic without warning. They are usually easy to spot in the daytime, but almost impossible at night as they tend to wear dark clothing and once out of town the roads are mostly unlit. If it rains during a full moon you may have hundreds of frogs hopping across the road. You can't avoid them and it would be dangerous to even try. Just grit your teeth and don't think about what is happening. Drivers are very polite in the main here. If you are driving slower than the car behind it is the done thing to pull over and drive on the hard shoulder until they have gone past, watching out for the lemmings of course. If you overtake someone who does this for you put your hazard warning lights on for a few seconds as you pass the front of them to thank them. They may acknowledge this by flashing their lights. They have four way junctions here where the car that gets there first has right of way, we find these scary as it can be confusing. Apart, from that things are well. If you do come out here I would urge you to hire a car, the countryside is amazing and it will allow you to get to all kinds of places you would miss otherwise. I will let you all get back to painting now. I hope to write again soon.