Laverne V

Life Through My Lens



Mystical places make my heart so happy…quiet, tranquil settings far from the madding crowd…. where breathing is a pleasure


The Fat Kid…

9 November 2015

O…k… blog… how to do this… I created this website and it came with a blog page, which has remained empty till now and since I don’t read blogs I have no idea where to start. Also, I usually research everything, but I’m not passionate enough about creating the perfect blog to go and do research on it, so my own version will have to do.

Hmm…what to write about……………………………. ok, got something………. fat kids……………. they’re everywhere, eating(fat food), and drinking(fat drinks)… carrying cooler boxes to school everyday, waving goodbye to their fat parents as they drag their cooler boxes along slowly, breathlessly, climbing the stairs to get through the school gate. As I drive off, I wave goodbye to my sons, thinking fat thoughts, wondering how these kids got this way.

The day goes by and I get a reminder on my phone… “swimming gala”. I arrive, try to get a good seat where I can get good shots of my boys in the pool, and I settle in, reading the gala programme. The races begin and soon it’s time for me to take the shots I actually came for. I grab my camera, point it in the direction of the next group of swimmers as they make their way past me, to the start positions. I see my youngest angel, Judah, through the viewfinder and he has this huge smile because he has spotted me. Obviously, I take at least 100 shots of that one moment because I am besotted by this baba, when suddenly he disappears from view and…. a… boob… is in my viewfinder… a boob that is naked, and gently bouncing along… I’m intrigued (which mom has decided to abandon societal restrictions and just let it all hang out?), and simultaneously confused, wondering if the heat has affected my vision.  I quickly zoom out to get both boobs(great set of boobs I might add), then the whole person…. It’s a kid, a girl, topless, quite chubby, ok, fat, walking towards the start position…

I drop my camera and look around to see if I’m the only one who has seen this. Apparently I am… everyone else is going about their business of cheering and being supportive, whilst I frantically look around for an answer to why this girl is the only one going topless. I spot my older son, Alex, and signal him to come over. My anxiety must have been clear because he raced over… “what mom?? what’s wrong?”… I whispered “didyou seethegirlthetoplessoneshe’sabouttoraceshehasgreatboobsbutwhyisshetopless?”… “Speak slower mom, what are you on about, did you just say boobs??”… sigh…men… that’s all he heard… I signal with my eyes, and his face is a picture of confusion, then startled realisation, then his eyes start to twinkle as he holds back laughter… “mom… calm down, that’s a boy…”

If I was confused before, this just messed me up. I couldn’t, wouldn’t, believe it. I kept muttering “…but he has boobs…boobs…” repeatedly. Alex walked away, shaking his head and giving up on me.

I spoke to my boys later that evening, and they laughed at me, saying I was silly to think it was a girl, and a topless one at that. “He’s just fat mom, that’s all.” They carried on as if it was nothing. I started thinking that maybe I was making this bigger than the kids boobs. Well that lasted for all of 5 seconds before I started preaching about how unhealthy it is to be so young and so fat. This led to my boys telling me what was in the cooler boxes… “…they get to have coke, fruit juice, cakes, muffins, sweets, chocolates, crisps, their lunches are waaaay better than ours mom”….. And of course, my mature response to that was “…yeah, so are their boobs, and that boy couldn’t even swim one lap, would you like a cooler box too?!”.

They fell apart laughing, and I sobered up, explaining how embarrassing it must have been for that boy to have been stuck in the middle of the pool, breathless and tired, unable to finish the lap,whilst all of his friends had already completed it, dried off, and were waiting for him on the stands with a crowd of peers and parents watching. They asked “but how did he get so fat mom, how?”

Well, this is how I see it. You can’t argue the fact that being overweight/fat (whichever you prefer) is unhealthy, bottom line. His parents are to blame. They fed him the wrong things from the time he could eat and he got used to it, and that is all he wants to eat now. In addition to this, he is clearly allowed long periods of inactivity. It’s just another form of child abuse. You see, a baby cannot make food and exercise choices, that is what the parent is there for. For example…. When my boys were babies, I made sure that their diet consisted of only healthy foods(not always easy but I did it so it’s possible). As they got older I allowed them to taste sweets, but because they were so used to eating healthy, they never craved the wrong stuff, even when it was freely available, they would choose the healthy option. When we go to a restaurant or a movie, they always order water as their drink. If I buy a bottle of fruit juice, it stays in the fridge for over a month because they opt for water. When we go to parties, they ask for water from the host. They choose fruit over sweets every time and I never have to force them.

As for their activity levels, a major advantage we have over most other households, is that we don’t have a TV. No special reason. It just works for us, the boys love reading, music and playing outside so between all that, school time, homework and extramurals, there is just no space for it during the week anyway. No, we are not above watching a movie, so we have a pc monitor that is hooked up to the PS3 for when they want to have screen time, and they have laptops BUT….only for limited time on weekends.

What I’m getting at, is that its not always easy, but if you help your kids form good habits from a young age, they will benefit from it for the rest of their lives. To allow your child to become grossly obese… now that’s just cruel… and damn lazy parenting… No kid enjoys being “the fat kid”, I saw that at a swimming gala…

The Falls…

You know, getting this pic was a miracle… I was so disappointed when I arrived in Zimbabwe with just my camera… I’d forgotten my tripod and didn’t even have a waterproof casing, and any semi intelligent photographer knows that during the high water season, you and your gear are guaranteed to get soaked from the high spray… anyway, after getting over my depression(a matter of hours) I decided that I wanted my sunrise shot, come hell or high water(no pun intended)… I dug the plastic bag out of my hotel bathroom bin, and fashioned a makeshift waterproof cover for my camera, using my hairband to secure the plastic tightly around the lens… I chose a dark outfit(I’d made peace with the fact that I would get drenched but I wasn’t going to come back to the hotel looking like a wet t-shirt contestant)… told the god of photography to cut me some slack and hold back the water spray… set my alarm for 4:30am and went to bed, feeling very victorious… Woke, and got going, only to be delayed at the gate… when I finally got to the falls I bolted through the trails, stopping briefly at each lookout station to see if it was what I wanted and running as fast as I could to the next one…I had to get my shot and the light was coming over the horizon!… whilst running I realised that I was dry…completely dry hahahahaha! the god of photography obviously has a crush on me… I ripped the plastic off my camera and got shooting… and so you have it, sunrise over the falls, with my bottom of the range Canon eos 1100D…. :)



Some things grow best in clusters or groups… Others grow best alone… I’ve learned to appreciate both dynamics, but personally, I prefer the latter… This is the mighty baobab, a landmark I was privileged to see during my visit to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe


The art of waiting…

I was a backstage volunteer at the Dance For Joy 2015 Show, and captured this fairy waiting in the wings… waiting in the dark, watching others in the spotlight is always a pleasure when you are dressed and ready, prepared for you turn…be ready, you’re next


The Pier

I’ve always admired the professionals, how they get the water to look all magical and misty… I wanted to try it… I figured it had a lot to do with slowing my shutter speed down, which meant I’d have to choose a relatively dark setting to avoid over exposed pics, so I picked the Moyo Pier in Durban, set my alarm for 4:30am and got there when it was still dark…the stillness was so beautiful… and this was my first shot (somehow the brain tells you that if you did so well on your first shot, take 1000 more shots and it will be even better.. note to self: know when to stop!)

the pier

Her perfect imperfection

…man I had tried this the very first night I got my camera and the shots were a disaster(look back to my previous moon pic and see the sad truth hahaha)… I had no idea how to satisfy my craving for a moon shot, and my tiny camera with its not so powerful lenses just wasn’t cutting it… till the night I decided to try every single possible setting combination and maximum zoom capabilities, whilst resting my camera on my music keyboard stand(no time to fight with Reece for my tripod, the moon would be out of sight and I had to master this!)… I couldn’t believe this shot when I saw the craters… there is just something about the moon and her perfect imperfections… :)

perfect imperfection

Divine Dendrites…

…First attempt at lightning shots… I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, it would only have one thing on it… “get a lightning shot”…its not epic but you can actually see lightning so I’m rather proud of me right now…will keep trying, every single chance I get…


Under a bridge…

Still learning how to take perfect night shots… but definitely getting there…

Under a bridge

Treasures…for those with eyes to see

My eye caught this “porcelain flower’ during a walk at the beach… then the colourful gems surrounding it enchanted me…

Treasure in sand