Arriving back in Johannesburg after a full month away in Cape Town is always something of a shock.  We drove back, covering the 1200 kilometres two days and breaking the journey at one of our favourite Karoo farm stops.  One of the benefits of the long road trip is the opportunity to change up a gear from the more laid-back (and much better organised) Cape, to the frenetic, unpredictable energy of Gauteng.  But despite all those hours on the road, exiting the motorway and finding oneself back on Oxford Road in Forest Town still pulls one up short.  The traffic lights are malfunctioning and the challenge of trying to avoid all the potholes brings one back quickly to the reality of Johannesburg.  This time we drove in under looming, threatening thunder clouds which lent a disconcerting sense of impending doom to the afternoon and one of my first thoughts was ‘Why on earth are we building another house here?’

But you’ve got to live in Johannesburg to love it.  It has its own unique and stealthy charm and within a day of getting back, I’m happy once again to be here and this year is no different.  By Tuesday morning we were ready to inspect our building site and to check on any progress that may have been made in the builders’ first week back at work.

This is a quick photograph update for interested faraway family and friends:

Surveying the Situation...  After a month away.

Surveying the Situation… After a month away.


Standing on the downstairs patio, looking west.


Taken from the laundry, looking through the scullery into the kitchen.


Taken through the ‘front door’ looking north over the Treetops – which is a word that comes to mind whenever I think about the new house and which might become its name.


Seven of the nine builders who were on site yesterday.


Taken from the kitchen looking out through what will be an informal seating area and a bay window.

The walls are now just higher than ground-floor ceiling height and overhanging branches from the neighbours’ properties will have to be drastically cut back soon.  Watch this space…