Dear Melville Cat,
Thank you for sharing the very kind words that Heather @2Summers, your owner wrote about us on what is our favourite Joburg blog. (By the way is owner the right word, as it seems that on some days you are the boss of the house, if not of the whole of Melville?)
We have been fans of Heather’s 2Summers blog from the start. We love that she cares so much for this city and has decided to call Johannesburg home, and that her stories and photographs emanate both from a profound interest and compassion for the people with whom she interacts.
To be honest, until now we have mostly been dog people here at Johannesburg In Your Pocket, but since reading your missives, we have developed a growing fondness for cats, especially cats with a great command of language. Plus we love your cat selfies. While we are at it we thought we might introduce you to Bo (as in Bo Derek) resident hound of Johannesburg In Your Pocket. We caught her on toothbrushing day.
We thought we would also share a little about Heather because we go way back and over the years since we met we have enjoyed exploring the more strange and unusual parts of this city and surrounds together – from an Art Deco trail on the East Rand to testing out a Syrian restaurant in Benoni, and doing the weirdest tour ever of Sandton. We took this photo of Heather on that tour in 2014. You can see she looks amused.
What most people don’t know is that it was Heather who matched up our Johannesburg In Your Pocket team at the start in 2013, bringing together a journalist and editor from Joburg with a dream to publish an In Your Pocket City Guide (similar to one she had seen on travels in Moscow) with the editor of the Moscow guide who just happened to move to South Africa. Complete serendipity. That’s a story you are going to have to ask her to tell. She introduced the perfect match that has powered us through the best of times in Joburg and continues to do so through these, the worst of times.
Still, what Heather wrote about us in her blog caught us by surprise and brought tears to our eyes. These past few weeks have been the most difficult in our little business’s history as we have watched the city we love and live by start to shut down, its stark inequalities heightened, its vital entrepreneurial spirit put at dangerous risk, it’s beautiful energy and diversity under threat. It’s as if this living, breathing vital place is now itself on life support, having to be thankful for each breath it takes as the economic reality of a lockdown kicks in.
So we thank you for giving Heather the space to write what she did and for not being rough with the edits. It has meant so much to us just to be noticed as we try to do what we always have done, in the most trying circumstances, throw our arms around the community of people who are Joburg for us – the dreamers, artists and makers, the writers and the poets, the hustlers and risk takers, the people of the streets and the city, the chroniclers, scribes and those who take images that remind us of what it is about this place that is so captivating.
Heather has always been a champion of Joburg, exploring more of the city than most locals will ever do, and sharing all of her encounters along the way. She has many great achievements that we can mention – of course you are the greatest of these Melville Cat, and don’t you let anyone tell you anything different.
But when we are not totally in awe of your prowess at blogging, we would like to take a minute to tell Heather that we were so excited to see that this week she published her one-thousandth post, a mammoth achievement!
And of course we have been following her daily Joburg COVID-19 Lockdown Journal. For anyone interested in understanding Joburg, we would recommend they start reading from her first post and we guarantee this will be one of the best trips ever taken. With borders closed, no flights and the order to stay home it couldn’t be a better time to follow 2Summers.