Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Pilot

I'm sweltering in a cigar tube parked on a remote runway in a tropical country. Machete props like two smashed starlings are inches away from the window, threatening to cut us in half. The only safety briefing I've ever wanted to listen to is in a language I don't understand. We're a tense but obedient lot, deserving of life and landing based on the exorbitant fee to be sitting here in the first place.
A lurch to the left and a shadow grows as our pilot pulls himself up the creaking stairs to the door. It becomes obvious that the reason we're all halfway back is to compensate for his impressive bulk. A hulking fist of a man, with a coked up swagger, he faces us through bling Aviators without acknowledgement. The look of a man happier to be on a bombing mission than a flying creche. A man who likes his patties fatty and his hostesses lean. The cabin door ricochets off his shoulder, smashing into something important. People his size should be butchering buffalo, not tweaking sensitive equipment. But, like buffalo, nothing holds fear for our pilot. No sky, no ground, nor the transition between the two. Within seconds he's beaten the props to life, sucked bucket loads of jet fuel down the pipes and faced us into the hot breeze. Our brutal, fearless, flying man thrusts us over the goats at the end of the runway and punctures the sky with force. He takes us up, he counter punches storm clouds and he smacks us down an hour later. No calming music, no piped niceties, just a guy who grabs a plane by the balls and shows it who's boss.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Glenn Hughes

So last night I was compressed in the golden circle with old hairy okes in leather while Glenn screamed and jammed and Slash slashed and it was just all rock n roll and stuff with the Kings of Chaos. Def Leppards and Blind Elephants and a veritable challenged herd of the Big Five. And it was crazy, and my tympanae rang mutely as I crawled back home at some time this morning. Oh please, begging for one last riff,  I searched for another hit of 'Burn' on Youtube... this is what I found. While Glenn was probably clean by the time he jammed with 'Kiss and the Power Rangers' he probably felt the Sake was a little strong that night...
Rock On!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tea please

"Come, lets brew up a nice pot of tea". It used to be simple. Pungent, woody tea leaves covered the bottom of that teapot you always burned your knuckles on, boiling water stirred in and left to simmer. A minute pause and you'd pour into thin china cups through a strainer, dark and strong.
Now, when the call is for "A cup of tea, please" - you need a T.LLB degree.
If you thought you had it nailed with Earl Grey, you're not even close.
The offer begins with a variety of infusions, with ginger and lemon, mango and acai, Herbal teas, chai, green Rooibos with added star anise, maybe a little apple and cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon and a whirl of hibiscus, rosehip with a crush of rhododendron, peppermint tea and new chrysanthemum blossom with a pinch of bergamot oil. A tea for all seasons, antioxidants to promote wisdom, health and happiness.
I'm so spun out with choices...I'll go for the coffee!
Certainly sir, percolated or french press, Costa Rican or Brazilian, cup or mug...
What about a glass of water...well there's tap, spring, still, added minerals, flavoured...
Jeez! What does it take to get a drink around here?
Twitter: deon_bing

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Scatter Cushions

The showgirl music rises and that spiral graphic with the top hat swirls onto screen - yes, you poor bastard, this could have been your life! Somebodys' billion dollar mansion is Top Billings latest square abode with wrap around views and a water feature. The stairs are somehow suspended above a terracotta warrior and the catering wing has no dishes on the runway marble counter. Two beaming, well groomed children have additional creative space to pursue their entrepreneurial venture, ensuring a Forbes listing before they're five.
We're introduced to the myriad designers that conceptualised the space, with manicured facial hair matching their topiary installation.
You shift uncomfortably on your 30 year old Gomma Gomma, your TV lounge cum home office, sports bar, admin ironing room bathed in a blue glow. You consider how many arms deals must be pulled off to live like that. But at least you gain a free insight into current colour and design trends.
Which starts and ends with a scatter cushion that no one else notices...
Twitter: deon_bing

Thursday, April 11, 2013

And the children played on...

North Korean kids wave across the border.
 Joint military exercises with the combined South Korean and US forces are getting a response. Musudan missiles are being raised and North Koreas nuclear threat is looming. So B2 stealth bombers fly over, patriot missiles, naval destroyers and spy drones move closer in readiness for war.
The standoff endures as threats are traded.
And North Korean kids wave across the border, offering a viable alternative...
Pic: Reuters

Monday, April 8, 2013


Natures got it tough. A 6:45 sunset is shot from every angle, on phones, ipads, digital cameras. Perched on the rocks and dunes, at cocktail bars and rooftop terraces, they're held high in reverence to the West and the flashes go off. Then a finger drag or pinch, a contrast tweak and a colour slider to 100%. Maybe a cool filter and edge vignette before uploading. A surreal image goes viral.
Or you can feel its mustard hued foam spray swirling up the beach on a stiff onshore breeze, waves crashing onto shallow mud banks, spewing fans of grit. Varied clouds bubble and wisp and streak at different heights, dragging a dark new storm behind them. Backlit rain drifts horizontally across a muted sun, outstretched rays struggling to pierce the ominous dusk.
360 degree views in realtime, more beautiful than a frame grab.
Take off your shoes and put the phone down...
Pic credit : deviant art

Monday, March 25, 2013

SA Troops killed in Central African Republic

What happened? 13 South Africans were killed on the weekend in the Central African Republic. 27 were wounded. Apparently they were there to train President Francois Bozize's army as part of an old agreement. Put another way, to support them. Convenient double speak. Who took the decision to pick a side in what was meant to be a power sharing deal that 'Boz' reneged upon? And why? The Libreville Accord set a time period to integrate the Seleka Rebel Coalition into the army, plus send SA troops home. Nothing happened. 'Boz' focused on staying in power by strengthening his army. So the 2000 + rebels had enough, massed forces from their 5 diverse groups, and advanced on Bangui, intent on ousting him. 'Boz' flew out to the Cameroon. And a pointless firefight ensued, killing South Africans left behind defending their base on the outskirts of the capital. A rebel white flag was raised a few hours into the battle. With their objective achieved, there was no point in continuing. Michel Djotodia has taken over with a view to elections in 3 years, the regional forces of Chad, Gabon and Congo remain, coordinating a regional peace force, and France expediently continues their involvement in a country rich in uranium, diamonds and gold. Business as usual.
Whose fight were they fighting? So sad...
Twitter: deon_bing
(pic - Reuters)