Saturday, 15 October 2011

Little angels

Lee and I are not at all religious, and have chosen not to christen Goran. But today I got to enjoy all the pomp and ceremony - not to mention awesome photographic opportunities! - afforded by our friends' baby's Romanian Orthodox baptism.

Julian is Lee's business partner, and about four-and-a-half years ago we attended his and his wife Egina's first son Luca's baptism. Today was the turn of Luca's brother, Toma. There is (as yet) no Romanian Orthodox church on African soil, so it was held at the Greek Orthodox Church in Melrose, followed by a big celebratory lunch at La Rustica restaurant in Houghton.

A very special and memorable day. So glad we were able to be a part of it.

Little Luca is one of my favourite subjects to shoot - he is super photogenic and just the most awesome kid ever. You'll find another series of images I captured of him a few months ago here.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Goran's man cave

Lee and I have spent the past several days babyproofing Haus Gruben. Well, it wasn't so much babyproofing as it was re-arranging and re-purposing furniture, getting stuff up off the floor and out of harm's way. Everything now has a home - in a box or a basket or a file, in a cupboard or a cabinet or a drawer, on a shelf or a hanger or a hook, or simply nailed to a wall. It's taken a crapload of lifting, lugging, sorting, chucking, hammering, drilling, and polyfilla'ing, and I'd say we're about 90 percent of the way there now. By the time the December holidays roll around I want to have every single room in order, so I can relax and get stuck into doing more peaceful things, like my two very first scrapbooking projects for which I've been buying and collecting supplies for ages now - our wedding (2005), and Goran's first year (20 December 2010 to 20 December 2011).

A few pics of Goran's newly re-arranged room I snapped this afternoon

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Addington Children's Hospital 2007 - 2011

Addington, in its entirety, has always had a magnetic, somewhat spiritual, pull on me. The hospital, the beach, this whole little node of Durban actually. It is a reminder of my sunny childhood growing up in the city "where the fun never sets", during 1970s and 1980s South Africa. The Apartheid era.

But that was a long time ago, and a lot has changed since then. Some for the better, sadly a lot for the worse  including the abandonment and shameful neglect of the once lively Children's Hospital. Absolutely not one smidgen of progress seems to have been made on the much-hyped R118 million restoration and relaunch project of this crumbling landmark in a now poverty-stricken and crime-ridden part of the city.

I took these pics in January 2007 (on my very first digital camera – a little Sony T1, which I lost one drunken night on the Red Room dancefloor)...

...And I took these pics yesterday (on my current Nikon D60).

All images Copyright © Paula Gruben

My dad actually worked as a paediatrician in the Children's Hospital for a period in the early Eighties – when we moved back to Durbs from a two-year stint in Oranjemund in the then-South West Africa – not too long before the Children's Hospital had to shut its doors in 1984.

And I was born in Addington Hospital itself, just next door, a decade prior, on 18 August 1974. It was where my birth mom and I were parted, only to reunite 21 years later when I traced her through Durban Child Welfare.

But that is a story for another day.

Gotta go get me some shut eye now. I'm absolutely knackered.