23 July 2007

THE CATHEDRAL PEAKERS and the GREEN MAMBA! Thursday to Sunday, 19-22 July 2007
This was a scrapping and photography breakaway that will definitely go down in history earmarked by an ever present Green Mamba alias Beverley. To make matters worse, the Green Mamba celebrated her 40-something birthday on Friday disguised as you know what ... The Mamba's charming partner, Graham made sure that all the Mamba's snaky friends got treated to a lethal Blue Job i.e. Turquoise Dakari cocktail, resulting in all the Mamba's snaky friends slithering into the dining room the next morning for breakfast, with serious barbies onboard. A big thank you also to our conference co-ordinator, Friedhold of Cathedral Peak Hotel who saw to it that the Green Mamba was spoilt with a quaint little tin with a photo of Cathedral Peak on the lid and filled with lots of yummy stuff.
The breakaway was even more special with six faithful and patient husbands accompanying their scrapmad wives. A big thank you to all the DH's (darling husbands) for assisting in hauling all the photographic equipment, lunch packs and water along during our 9km hike to and from Neptune Pools on Friday, and that in somewhat hot winter conditions of 31oC. Without you such stunning photo compositions (see pics below) would not have been snapped so easily. It was also quite pleasing to see the DH's also partaking in utilising as many photo opportunities as possible and making a good job of it as well - sure evidence that they were actually attentive during the photographic theoretical brief Thursday afternoon.
Serious scrapping commenced at 4pm on Friday afternoon (after the 9km hike), leaving the DH's to fend for themselves - an opportunity they grabbed without arguing, scared that they might have to haul some more equipment up the mountains.
See the previous post 'One Template 3 Designs' below for pics of the three layouts the girls did. I must give the girls a tap on the shoulder for the stunning layouts they produced by just following the notes included in their kits. Tha Teacha (yours truly) idled around and only had to give limited guidance to her well trained students.
One of the girls, Retha had a serious head start in that her DH, JC asked permission to join the scrapping girls under the false pretences that he had work to do on his laptop. We however discovered that it was not 'work that he had to do on his laptop', but more like 'work he wanted to do on his light box' which he designed himself. His light box was equipped with a special glass top on which one can cut directly. The two of them had a sure success recipe going to complete the three layouts. Retha did the photograph selection and cutting and her DH did all the paper measurements, cutting, inking and sticking down - everything done perfectly (welgedaan JC)!
The other girls (wanting to know what the hidden agenda was) could not believe Retha's luck and wanted to rent her DH scrapper, but unfortunately his fees was a bit on the steep side, so everyone stopped chirping him. Retha and JC definitely made a super team, they even had her parents, Alta and Chris coming with on the breakaway to keep their two adorable kiddos, JC junior and Nicola company whilst they could spend quality time with each other. Now if that is not being organised, I don't know what is.
Friday afternoon's scrapping went on uninterrupted until 7:30pm after which a sumptuous dinner was enjoyed by all, followed by some die hards enjoying shooters in Harry's bar as well as others enjoying a night cap in the more formal Albert's bar - a definite split in taste was detected here?!
Saturday kicked off with everyone feeling a bit green at breakfast facing the Green Mamba in her full disguise, Johnsons' Overalls and all. The whipped was cracked by Tha Teacha chasing everyone down the hill to make full use of the soft early morning light for portrait shots. One or two poor souls opted to descent the hill via four wheels, nurturing blistered feet caused by the hike to Neptune's pools the day before. Tha Teacha said thanks to the blistered feet, which saved her from carrying a step ladder and wooden chair from Alberts bar down the hill.
Everyone enjoyed frolicking in the shade which included scaling a step ladder held still by the Green Mamba and Retha's DH's in order to take portrait shots at an angle from above. The models were anyone who was willing to be a famous model for a moment. Yours truly don't want to disappoint any of the models who perhaps thought they had a career in the making, but I think everyone will agree that Nicola and JC junior were the most photogenic of all! Girls you all did yourselves proud. Everyone had a few stunning portrait shots. See below.
Amidst all the excitement whilst taking all the portrait shots under the trees, the girls plotted a future group photo opportunity for later that afternoon. The girls and one DH scrapped from 10am until 4pm when everyone was summonsed to meet at the same tree spot of earlier that day. Little did the men know that they were literally going to be ditched! On our way to the tree spot, the party was signalled to make a roadside stop at the chapel for a w'holly' relaxed group shot, which proved to be a gigantic task for yours truly. Just getting some 'Henry's' on their knees proved to be a challenge on its own, but nothing that a cuddling bum from a Henry's partner couldn't resolve.

Back Row Standing, from left to right: Karen and Riaan van Staden, Conroy, Graham Dow, JC Oelofse and Dereck and Michelle Ramsay. Front from left to right: Carolyn Lynn, Shelley Candiotes, Yours truly, Denise and Henry Pienaar, JC junior and Retha Oelofse, Nicola Oelofse and Sheila Corfe. Lying on ground from left to right: Beverley Dow (the Mamba) and Rayna Winson

Once the w'holly' group shots were in the bag, the party continued down the hill towards the famous tree spot where everyone was court marshaled onto their back sides into a ditch filled with autumn leaves. Some took the idea like a fish to the water and flopped down without blinking an eye, but others had serious doubts about degrading their bodies with leaves and the thought of a bug or two crawling over them was just too horrifying. But once they noticed that those who were already lined up in the ditch seemed unscathed, they cautiously made their way down next to the others. Once everyone was ditched, a lot of wiggling and giggling ran through the ranks. I had the camera on a tripod with the timer on and had to negotiate a few quick runs down the embankment of the ditch and aim my fall into the ditch next to my DH within 10 seconds each time and if you don't believe me, the bruises are there as evidence. Just to annoy those 'prim-and-proper' bug-fearing ditchers everyone grabbed handfuls of leaves and threw it in the air just as the shot was taken. It really made for some fun action shots - see the photos below.

After everyone had got themselves out of the ditch and made sure there's no leaves or bugs in strange places under their clothes, the party set forth for sunset and reflection shots at the golf course. The blister bearing members (i.e. Shelley) of the party who used their wheels earlier in the day to get down the hill, even braved the few km's by foot, but not without a plan up her sleeve. There was a moving suspension bridge over a river to negotiate before getting onto the golf course and everyone was cautious not to become frog food, the DH's included.

The party ambled around attempting to get that perfect reflection shot in the pond. Lots of laughs went round the ranks when the paparazzi i.e. JC, Dereck and yours truly lined their cameras up on tripods whilst the whole party sat down next to the pond facing the paparazzi. The paparazzi all put their self timers on at the same time and dashed a 50m stretch of hilly ground to take their spots with the group within 10 seconds. Some members of the party caught the dashing paparazzi on camera.

Everyone started making their way back up the hill to the hotel, with darkness setting in fast. Half the party went ahead, whilst the other half was still taking some shots before they also made their way back. Fortunately yours truly had the blister bearing, Shelley in her party who executed her POA perfectly. Just after the suspension bridge was scaled, she waived down a handsome young lad in a 4x4 with a wiggling thumb. No sooner had her thumb raised and the young lad shrieked to a halt. Everyone eagerly utilised this opportunity to get back up the hill without effort. The 4x4 party passed the very exhausted by foot party along the way just before they reached the top of the hill with loud cheers, but their punishment was the sponsoring of cocktails in Harry's bar later that evening.
The breakaway was concluded on Sunday morning with a 3 hour slideshow of everyone's photos taken as part of their photographic practicals. Congratulations to everyone who applied the 'thirds rule', 'move in closer', 'frame the subject', 'open a path' and 'use angles' principles excellently.

Thanks once again to all of you, who made this breakaway so much fun and I trust that all of you at least learnt something new and came back with batteries recharged.

There was quite a few bribes during the scrapping sessions for that Teacher's Pet position. So, to the real TP - watch out there's some serious competition around.
To everyone who have not yet guessed the average age of the Cathedral Peak Ditchers, you have until Sunday, 29 July 2007 to go and take a guess (see entry below) and stand a chance to win the scrapping hamper!
- Ditching Paparazzi Signing Off


  1. Anonymous10:59 AM

    Wow, you guys look like you had an absolute blast! I know Libby and I would love to have been there and feel quite jealous of the good time you had - not so sure about all the hiking involved - I would probably have had to join Shelly in the 4 x 4! As for the Green Mambalina I hope you had a wonderful birthday and wish you many more.

  2. Desire you have a natural talent for arrangement and organisation. Thanks again for a fantastic week-end away - Dereck and I really had a great time and learnt a lot regarding the perfect photo composition!!

    Now to use the new templates to scrap these photos!!


  3. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Wow you all look like you had so much fun, when is the next weekend away darling teacha??? I'm gonna start saving now :)

    Hope you made it clear to all those teacha's pet wannabe's that I am the only teachers pet around X X X

    Can't wait to get the new stencils and packs. See you tomorrow.

  4. Wow. AMAZING scenery... Looks like a great time was had by all and I'm sorry I missed it... especially for the beautiful land... You are blessed.


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