Well, here I am, logged in again to this site after nearly a year. I was prompted to log in after finally remembering my password to my gmail account, and to my great surprise, found hundreds of emails waiting there for me, going back months and months.
If you have written to me, my apologies. I am going through all the emails and will answer each one in due course.
Amongst the emails I found a batch from some crank at IDASA, with a batch of pictures mainly from the lower Fox Street end of Johannesburg, near the old Anglo-American head office. With these pictures he was trying to persuade me that the city was actually wonderful and I was just a liar etc. etc.
Well, as anyone who is familiar with Johannesburg knows, of course the part of the city around the AAC offices and lower Fox Street is almost (but not quite) the same as it always was.
In fact, one could actually say that the whole city used to look a bit like that.
The fact that private enterprise has managed to more or less keep that one section like it was, merely emphasises the mess of the rest of the city!
Anyway, the one valuable thing that my IDASA crank friend did send me, was a picture of a 'rescued' building in Marshall Street. This, he said, was proof that the city was being rejuvenated.
My original picture looked like this: (taken in 2006)
According to my IDASA friend, the same corner now looks like this: a cheap restaurant, which nonetheless has a coat of paint:
Now I thought, let's give credit where credit is due, that is an improvement, even if that is a 'restaurant' in which I would not want to eat.
But then to my astonishment, the very next picture my IDASA friend sent me was this one, which is the building right next to the 'refurbished' eatery. You can see the end of the 'restaurant':
Oh dear, it seems as if the slum was not quite eradicated after all! Tough luck, IDASA sock-puppet, try again next time! Still, thanks for the effort.
These pictures above, by the way, should be clickable through to larger size and better definition. I will soon be starting to replace the pictures on the rest of the site in the same way, so that those of you who want better definition pictures will be able to get them without having to email me.
My apologies for taking so long in getting all your (hundreds and hundreds) of comments approved. They are all now done.
I intend to fully update this site with new pictures in 2009, so keep checking back!