Living the permanent seaside holiday lifestyle on the south coast of Africa
Depending on the climate conditions and lighting on the day, my outdoor hiking trail along the south coast of Africa can appear particularly dramatic sometimes. On a sunny, clear day the sky and sea are such shockingly clear blues that the scene appears dazzling and idyllic. The similar scenery on an overcast or cloudy day can appear quite different. The landscape is the same but the light shifts the mood of the scene considerably.
Any photographer will know how important lighting is to a scene. We are subject to the conditions on the day and simply have to work with what we’re given at any particular moment. Another potential influencer of overall impression and mood is angle. The angle at which we capture the image of a scene can also affect the overall impression. As a total amateur, I learn things by experiment, or trial and error.
An amateur is someone who does something for the love of it. The Latin word “amor” (love) is the root of the English word “amateur” suggesting that it is a person who approaches a subject for the love of it and not as a professional who is making money out of it. My amateur appreciation of nature and the outdoor scenery here on the southernmost shores of Africa, as well as my photography thereof, all aim to capture the epic and awesome beauty and uplifting atmosphere and mood via the little smart phone camera.
Obviously the camera only captures small slices of the vast surroundings so never does true justice to the overall scene and impression. Nevertheless, as a photographer, the aim is to find just the right lighting and angle to capture as much of the mood and setting as possible so that the viewer will get the picture, pun intended. It’s not as easy as it looks but then true art is to make something difficult look easy apparently.
Cloudy days make my surroundings appear much more dramatic than sunny days, which are also epic though in a less dramatic way. The mood becomes more foreboding of excitement or a certain tension when the sky is darker and there is a chance of rain. The sea also loses all its reflected blue and becomes equally slate grey. The surf may well be more choppy too with bigger waves crashing onto the shore.
With the more monochrome shades all around, and the bright blues and sunny yellows removed, the landscape becomes externally colder but also the mood becomes more serious. Compared to the northern hemisphere, where the predominating shades are probably grey and wintry, here in the deep south of Africa, along the coast, the primary default setting is bright and sunny with dazzling yellow and blue. This may also affect the default personalities of the inhabitants over the centuries I presume. Perhaps less nowadays with our artificial lighting and indoor environmental conditions.
Still, there is no SAD (seasonal affective disorder) here in sunny South Africa, where people become depressed in winter due to lack of sunshine. It’s more like we’re generally more relaxed and carefree, like life is a permanent summer holiday at the beach. That’s my personal subjective experience of it, having been born in a coastal city and lived right by the seaside since the age of three. Most of the world’s population are probably settled along the coast of any continent because it’s a nice place to live, and international trade is easier via port cities. In fact the reason my birth place of Cape Town was established originally, was as a refreshment station for ships who sailed past on their way to the East as traders for the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century.
So the island lifestyle is very much a part of the laid back personality of my compatriots, who are not inclined to hard work here in South Africa. I think we have been pampered by the mild climate so never needed to make hay while the sun shone or we would freeze to death in winter every year, as it is in the northern hemisphere. None of that exists here. Thus locals are probably quite lazy and in no hurry. No wonder it feels like a permanent holiday in paradise all year long. None of those depressing and deadly winters to worry about.
Which is why I’m regularly inviting you all to join me here in paradise for a lifelong holiday by the sea. The south Cape coast of Africa is the ideal climate to have an uplifting lifestyle which is extremely healthy and relatively carefree. I guess lifestyles are shifting more and more online and into cyberspace and the metaverse now, but I recommend keeping one foot firmly in nature and outdoors surrounded by the elements. It’s the healthier alternative, as any sports person will agree. Remember that – as with anything in life – the balance is important.
(photos my own)