on greatness

Saints have their power, their brilliance, their victory, their attraction, and have no need of carnal or intellectual greatness, where these have no place since they neither add nor subtract anything. They are recognized by God and the angels, and not by bodies nor curious minds. God is enough for them.

Blaise Pascal

not pioneers

We were not pioneers ourselves, but we journeyed over old trails that were new to us, and with hearts open.

Who shall distinguish?


J. Monroe Thorington

quite the gang …


o, the wonder!


sharpie art


Sharpie Art.1

mirror paddling


Mirror Paddling copy


Life drawing. I recall Paul Emsley leaning over my shoulder and whispering to me, tongue-in-cheek, “so James, are you going to make another beautiful drawing today?”. Not sure they were ever ‘beautiful’, but this is one of them.

Girl Full cropped

visual faith | 1

Herewith the first Visual Faith Reflection: Mary Anointing the Feet of Jesus. The file can be viewed here: Mary Anointing the Feet of Jesus


of mountains and men | 18

“No man can live this life and emerge unchanged. He will carry, however faint, the imprint of the desert, the brand which marks the nomad; and he will have within him the yearning to return, weak or insistent according to his nature. For this cruel land can cast a spell which no temperate clime can match.”

Wilfred Thesiger on his explorations in the Arabian Desert

snow paddling

One good dump is enough to make a season! The video can be found here.

 Snow Paddling Title Photo Small

no ‘ordinary love’

It is almost impossible to describe in words what Nelson Mandela meant to us as South Africans. Someone akin more to a king than a leader or a statesman, we clung to him because he defined our new identity. What held us in awe was not his political mind, but the power and the breadth of the accommodation of his personality. I grew up surrounded by all the arguments against him, yet how could there ever have been an argument against the power of his humility. As near to a Man of Sorrows as a politician can be, he did not retaliate against the old oppressors, but offered them a home and an African home-coming. He set us free in our own land. I think this is why the world stands in awe of him, and the reason we celebrate his life.

Hamba Kakuhle Tata Madiba!

The sea throws rocks together, but time leaves us polished stones” (“Ordinary Love” by U2)

autumn paddling 2013

A sunny surprise week in autumn. See here.


gale force

Gale force winds round the island? Why not paddle? See the footage here.


round bowen challenge

A long way round …

RBC 2 small

but with keen-eyed supporters and a happy flag, …

RBC 3 small

we sailed in to a top-ten finish. Hooray!

RBC 1 small


spring paddling 2013

One of the challenges of attaching a GoPro camera is that it is … attached. So, a whole lot of orange nose in each of these pics. To see the orange nose submerged but in action, see this clip on vimeo (and this one)


Mist.1 Eagle.1 Keats.1 Group.1