2010 has been a quite a year and one which will go down in my personal history as the year I achieved the one goal I was most determined to make a reality: to resign from my job and pursue a career in freelance writing and I am so glad that after years of putting this on my list of new year’s resolutions it has finally been ticked off to be replaced by other things for 2011. My business, which I have called Keyboard & Quill is growing slowly and steadily but what I have lost in regular income I have made up for in peace of mind, which as my hubby always says, is priceless.
I am also really proud of this blog. Started in 2009, I only really began to focus on creating something that people would genuinely want to read, and enjoy, when I moved Durban Diva to the current platform on 18 October. Since then I have had almost 2000 hits. Definitely something to smile about and I hope you will all continue to use DD as a resource for what is interesting, exciting and worthwhile in Durban, even if you have to be subjected to my musings from time to time.
I had some fantastic experiences in 2010. I think I echo the sentiments of most South Africans when I say that the World Cup was one of the highlights of the year for me. I went to two matches: one at our own marvellous stadium by the sea and another in Port Elizabeth. I was wearing orange to support the Netherlands in both instances and enjoyed being on the winning side when “my team” beat Slovakia at Moses Mabhida and then Brazil (!) in PE.
The atmosphere at the Fan Fest on the beachfront was phenomenal and we had such fun sitting on the sand amidst thousands of football fantatics watching the action on giant screens. The build up to the kickoff of the tournament was also something special. Almost every car in the country sported a flag or mirror covers and on Football Fridays, everywhere you looked was awash with luminous yellow in support of Bafana Bafana. Even the most stylish of us broke down and wore the once-reviled soccer shirt to show our patriotism and it was goose-fleshingly wonderful!
I also enjoyed exploring South Africa a little more this year through trips to the ‘Berg, the Midlands, the Garden Route and Cape Town. The Garden Route is such a breathtaking part of the world and I couldn’t believe how magnificent Knysna is. We did all the touristy things along the route and had such a fabulous time. One of my favourite experiences was a freezing few hours spent in Oudtshoorn at the big cat sanctuary. Although there are lots of other animals at the park, the attraction is the big cat breeding programme and a litter of cheetah cubs was at just the right age for us to play with. The fact that it was so icy meant that they were in a heated wendy house to keep from catching cold and so it was in this very confined space that we were able to interact with them. They were so like kittens, playful and inquisitive and we had such fun.
Our other animal-related memory of 2010 will be of Addo Elephant Park. This National Park is home to hundreds of ellies and we feel as though we saw them all. After our first sighting, which we photographed extensively, we couldn’t believe it when we came around a corner to find a grassy plain on which roamed about fifty elephants. There just seemed to be more and more elephants around every corner we drove and to see these magestic creatures up so close was a rare treat for us city slickers.
I have also loved exploring Durban in the name of my blog in the last few months, making it my business to let you know what is happening in this city often relegated to the position of lesser than its big sisters Jo’burg and Cape Town. There is a lot on the go here, though, if you are prepared to seek it out. Durban won’t just open up to you, it is necessary to get to know her a little better before she will allow you to experience her nuanced personality in all its glory. I believe things that don’t come easy are just that little more satisfying when achieved and Durban is a wonderful place to be if you know how to burrow under her skin. I plan to bring you much more magic from my part of Mzansi in 2011.
Happy, happy new year to you all! Cheers to an exciting ’11.