My birthday is on Tuesday. On the actual day I’m going to be in Knysna — a lovely seaside town in the Western Cape — as a guest of the of the Knysna Oyster Festival. I’ll be participating in countless exciting activities in Knysna and I imagine this will be a pretty fun way to spend my birthday. (It’s a big one, by the way.) But of course I am also a little bit sad that I won’t be celebrating in Jozi.

I more than made up for that this weekend though.

Last night my favorite Jozi band, BCUC, played a gig at Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng. This gig was more or less organized in honor of my birthday. I don’t know how to explain how great it was. Here’s the only decent picture I got:


BCUC forgot their sound equipment so they performed without microphones. “We’re improvising for 2Summers,” said Jovi (center). At least I think that’s what he said. I was too busy swooning to hear him properly.

The lack of sound equipment made BCUC’s performance about 100 times more awesome, in my opinion, although I suspect that they’ve all lost their voices today. (Read my other BCUC posts here and here.)

Thanks so much to BCUC, and to Bheki and all the guys at Curiocity. I can’t tell you how much last night meant to me — it was absolutely the perfect Joburg birthday celebration.

Then today, this happened:

Full piece

It’s tricky for an untrained eye to see, but it spells Heather.

Heather and mural

Me and my epic birthday present. Note the shout-out.

I’ve received quite a few nice birthday presents in my life. But never before have I received my own graffiti mural. This was pretty cool.

Name detailThe big letters spell “HEAT” and then the smaller letters (you can see them in the middle of this shot) spell “her”. Clever, hey?

The mural (actually the proper term is “piece”) is in a tunnel somewhere in Jozi. I’m not allowed to say where, as graffiti artists (actually the proper term is graffiti “writers”) are secretive like that. The tunnel is wet and we had to wear gumboots to go in.

My piece was painted by a writer called Bias. I referenced him and his work in a recent post about Joburg graffiti. Bias (not his name in real life) has become a rather special person to me lately. You’ll be reading more about him.

Bias and mural

You won’t be seeing his face though. Graffiti writers are secretive like that.

Bias in tunnel

Tunnel vision.

I’m glad I fit in my Jozi celebration this weekend because I’m going to be away for most of the next month. I have a LOT of traveling to do over the next few weeks, so please bear with me if my blogging is sporadic. I’ll have a lot to say when I return.

So…yeah. This is shaping up to be an excellent birthday. In fact it’s shaping up to be an excellent year. I can’t remember the last time I felt this happy.

Life starts at 29, right?

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