I gave myself a new blog for Christmas.

It’s a good time to reinvent myself. It’s been a heck of a year. I’ve experienced immense joy in 2011, along with unimaginable grief and despair.  The last two months in particular have left me feeling like someone removed my internal organs, beat them to a pulp with a hammer, then placed them back inside my body. And the year ain’t over yet.

So. Time for a change.

I loved my old header image of the South African and U.S. flags flapping in the wind. Joe shot the photo in Melville during the 2010 World Cup, just before I moved here. It was a unique image that communicated a lot about who I am and what my blog is about.

2Summers, pre-makeover, using the WordPress Twenty Ten theme.

But to be honest, I’d grown a little bored with the flags. And while I loved my old WordPress blog theme, which was called ‘Twenty Ten’, it seemed a bit outdated for 2012.

I searched the WordPress archives and found a new theme that I like, called ‘Parament’. (I’d never heard that word before. According to Wikipedia, it is ‘a term applied by ancient writers to the hangings or ornaments of a room of state’.) I love the clean, modern feel of the theme.

Then I searched my hard drive and found a new header photo.

Me on the Melville Koppies, August 2010. Photo courtesy of Joe.

I estimate that I’ve posted well over 1,000 photos on this blog since I started it. Ironically, the photo I picked for my new header appeared in one of the first posts I wrote after moving to Johannesburg. I think it’s perfect. It’s a photo of me in Melville, where I live, visiting one of my favorite spots in Joburg, the Melville Koppies. I remember the moment when this photo was taken. It was a happy one.

Here’s hoping my new blog will be the start of a new, happy beginning.

Since my new blog has a Melville Koppies theme, I’ll leave you with a few photos from Carols on the Koppies, which I attended with friends last Sunday. The Melville Junction Church choir performed a Christmas concert on the Koppies, and the whole neighborhood turned up to listen and chow down on mince pies afterward. Good times.

Following colored lanterns to Carols on the Koppies.

A Melville dog waits patiently for the caroling to begin.

Spectators settle in as the sun sets.

Another stunning Jozi sky.

The carolers perform their finale amidst great fanfare. Check out the swirling multi-colored lights that turned into Christmas trees with my slow shutter speed. Not sure if that was intentional or not. Also, the conductor appears headless and there is a green ghost on the left.

City skyline at night. A rare photographic opportunity, as the Koppies normally close at dusk.

Feedback on the new blog is welcome! As long as you say you love it.

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