The Hissing Tree 2012
I took this photo in 2014, en route to Bulawayo from Mozambique. I wanted it as a cover image for the first version of my book - called The Hissing Tree. I liked to think that the tree in the photo was the Mobola plum tree aka the hissing tree. In Southern Rhodesia when I was growing up, the tree was never cut down for firewood. It was spared because of its 'magical' properties––It foretold the rainy season; its medicinal bark prevented malaria et al; the fruit, white-fleshed plums tasting a bit like a lychee but more exotic, so delicious and refreshing, and the shade, of course, provided shelter from the unforgiving midday sun. Travellers may observe that the tree might be the only one standing in the many rural kraals of what is now Zimbabwe.
A Whistling Girl / 2020
2020 The Hissing Tree now revised and renamed has a new cover and I love it! I bought this lovely piece in 2014 in a craft shop in Bulawayo (my home town). The artist signed the painting with his single (and English) name - Brian. I have tried to locate him to ask for permission and offer payment but up until now without success. The yellows and ochres, swirling population under the bluest of skies bring back my childhood memories and such salty-eyed nostalgia.