Miscellaneous Ramblings by Tony Clegg-Butt

Posted on April 9th, 2012
Categories: News

A long time ago in relevant terms, I had my first stint as Editor of the then-in-print Travel News. I was not a happy puppy; I was supposed to be happily on holiday in Ireland.

I had pages to fill, it was chaotic, which is not much different from today; the chaotic part, that is.

My next-door neighbour’s son had sent me a CD of his photo portfolio. He was just starting out on his new dream career as a photographer. From the get-go I realised I was looking at something special. The feel, the light, the depth of field, the composition and the subject matter were all there together in natural harmony. We liked them so much we published a two-page spread of his images. He had talent in spades, as was to play out in the years that followed.

Others also liked his work and the boy next door became a recognised commercial photographer in his own right.

Despite his in-demand status, he continued to do work for us on various photo shoots and was the Photo Editor of the gone-but -not-forgotten About Kenya magazine.

His name, of course, was Charlie Grieves-Cook. Charlie has sadly gone to the big studio in the sky, ripped from our lives by circumstances that do not bear repeating.

Life is not fair – at times I hate it.

Our current guest photographer pages bear a direct link to that first two-page spread of Charlie’s. Our hope was and has always been that we can possibly help budding photographers achieve recognition and hopefully success by showcasing their work. We did it for Charlie, so there is no reason we cannot do it for anyone else.

We take massive pride in what Charlie achieved in his photography career in his brief time on this earth. Even more so that it started here.

I’ve had a busy month travelling the globe, which has only re-affirmed my present dislike for all things that start with an airport.

As luck would have it, both my trips started at what could be termed off-peak times. My travel agent could not have planned it any better. Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is as always a mess, although to be fair it is less of a mess than it used to be.

Tired and over-crowded it is, but the aircon now works – as do the departure boards and the cleaning crews seem to have had a new lease on life. The new Terminal 4 with its multi-story car park is taking shape – there is even talk of an all-new for Kenya Airways only Terminal 5 and a second runway. We live the dream.

Long-term parking at JKIA used to be a reasonable Kshs. 250/- per day, which made it a viable alternative to taking a taxi for stays of less than 16 days. Safe, too.

Not so anymore; the new prohibitive charge of Kshs. 700/- per day is now only viable for a stay of 4 days. That’s a 280% increase – good grief.

My trip to Oz was part business – our digital partner Realview lives there plus, of course, my almost annual visit to the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. We are planning a trip to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the first weekend of November and will be putting a package together for those folk that would like to experience to true thrill of motor racing. Earplugs included.

But the real highlights were two trips to rural Victoria, first to the southwest of the state to the Camperdown area, and then on to a 4wd High Country safari of which an article is on the way coming.

There is no better place to be than in Kenya, but Oz does run a close second, in my humble opinion.

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