In fact, we had a few more flakes again late that night. It was so damned cold, however, that no one really wanted to go outside and enjoy it.
Naturally, South African newspapers played up the snow as if it were the second coming.
This is Beeld, the big Afrikaans-language daily published by my clients. The headline says:
Apparently, the couple in the secondary picture had vowed to get married the next time it snowed in Johannesburg. Kind of like saying “when hell freezes over.”
Well, it snowed in Joburg. So they kept their promise.
Personally, I think the editors passed up a great opportunity to play off of the larger picture with this headline:
Its snowing! No lion!
Ah, maybe not.
The Star with with the ol’ “icy grip” approach.
I don’t think they got quite that much white stuff here in town. That would be points south and southeast of here. In fact, I’m told a number of the cross-country roads have been closed.
Which is also the case for the Witness of Pietermaritzburg, where I’ll be later today. It didn’t snow much in PMB. But roads through the mountains northwest of there were impassable.
The New Age went with “Winter wonderland” in blue, punctuated with little tufts of snow.
The best headline of the day, however, was by the Citizen.
It’s hard to top that one.
After a whirlwind day Tuesday consulting here at MediaPark in Johanesburg, Wednesday flew by even more quickly. I spent the morning meeting with my old friends at Sake24, the business section that inserts into the Afrikaans-language newspapers. I helped them brainstorm an upcoming package — taking time to point out ways to conceptualize such projects — we critiqued a few recent pages that fell short. And we carved out time for me to give a quick slideshow lecture on alternative story forms.
After lunch, I met with a designer from Volksblaad, the company’s smaller paper in Bloemfontein. I critiqued a number of pages and we discussed what design devices set into play in the paper’s last redesign — late last year — are working and which are not.
It wasn’t until I got back to my hotel last night that I discovered — with horror — that I had been so busy Wednesday that I had failed to take any pictures at all of my three sessions. In particular, I would have liked to have a souvenir of my late Wednesday meeting with City Press — one of my favorite papers here in South Africa — and it’s legendary Ferial Haffajee. D’oh! I’ll have to check with the newspaper group’s typographical editor Arlene Prinsloo. Perhaps she took a few she could loan me.
I did, however, get a snapshot of the gorgeous boardroom there at City Press were I held court Monday and Wednesday.
The room is surrounded on three sides by glass walls. Those two you see look out into the front parking lot and Kingsway Drive, beyond. The wall to the left and behind me, as I made this picture, looks out into the MediaPark complex atrium.
This was a hell of a place to call home for two days this week. I’ve felt like such a VIP.
I got back to my hotel late last night completely exhausted with the intent to blog and pack for my trip. Instead I ate a quick dinner, laid down in my bed and fell asleep.
As I said a moment ago, Arlene and I are leaving bright and early this morning for Pietermaritzburg, roughly 300 miles southeast of here and near the coast of the Indian Ocean. And where it’s considerably warmer than it is here in Johannesburg.
The flight is only an hour. As you can see here, it’s roughly the equivalent of flying from Pittsburgh to Norfolk.
We’ll meet this afternoon and Friday morning with editor Angela Quintel — whose work I’ve admired for years — and the staff of the Witness newspaper.
I should add that today is a national holiday here in South Africa: It’s National Women’s Day.
Friday afternoon, Arlene flies home to Cape Town and I return here for one more night in chilly Joburg before I begin my long, long trek for home on Saturday: Joburg to Nairobi to Amsterdam to Boston to Norfolk.
I’ll arrive home late Sunday night. And my brain — what’s left of it — will be fried.
My blog for this trip, so far…
- Friday, July 20: Leaving today for my next consulting assignment: Kenya
- Saturday, July 21: Hello from Paris
- Sunday, July 22: The last leg of my trip to Nairobi
- Monday, July 23: A Sunday stroll around downtown Nairobi
- Thursday, July 26: Why manufacturers of customized hotel towels need a copy editor
- Sunday, July 29: A Saturday spent at the famous Thorn Tree Cafe
- Sunday, July 29: The Exchange Bar here in the Stanley Hotel has a new fan
- Monday, July 30: Life as a traveling infographics instructor and evangelist in Kenya
- Wednesday, Aug. 1: Good day, Sunshine
- Thursday, Aug. 2: Here, ‘KFC’ stands for Kenyan Fried Chicken. I think.
- Sunday, Aug. 5: My final few days in Kenya went by very quickly.
- Monday, Aug. 6: My weekend in Johannesburg
- Monday, Aug. 6: One of the two sports teams staying here in the hotel this week
- Tuesday, Aug. 7: My week — so far — consulting in Johannesburg