Looking for flowers – finding stone!

  We took two days off near the end of August to see the yearly explosion of wild flowers in Namaqualand. With relatively good and early rainfalls in July and August the landscapes above and below would normally have have been spread with carpets of yellow, orange, pink and red wild flowers. This year however …

The de-colonization project – a pretty prickly issue

z Where to begin? Colonization is as much a thing of nature as it is of culture and is happening all the while we read and write here. Bacteria colonize organisms. Vikings raid and colonize foreign lands. Comets are colonized. In scientific parlance: DARMSTADT, Germany — For the last two years, the Rosetta spacecraft has danced …

Caperitif – a Cape revival

Ideas are born out of desires to change the world. Not necessarily to improve it, since you cannot really improve it – it runs as it runs – as good as it comes – but to bring something new or the forgotten old into it again. To add style, comfort, chic … Ideas rise from …

Into the New Year

Dear friends, Contemplating The Ship of Fools could well serve to alert us to the follies in our own lives if not the world at large at a time when all our good New Year’s resolutions have dulled away. Bosch’s work speaks to us as freshly as it must have moved people at the turn of …

Cape Town’s Waterfront on a sunny winter’s morning

    Albert Luthuli (1898-1967) President-General of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1952-1967. He was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Price “for his fight against racial discrimination”. Luthuli House – the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg – is named after him. – Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu (born in 1931) received the Nobel Peace Price in …

The Curse of Racism

We belong to the human race. The classification of humans according to essentially distinguishable traits is part of 19th century anthropology, subsequently throughout the 20th century, exploited as a political tool. Behaviour among the human race that today still uses such classification openly or in subtle ways, is justifiably branded “racist”. When and where the …

Happy days – happy souls

What are happy days? Days of lightness are happy days. Lightness of colour in your heart. Evenweightedness in feel, of mind and will. Watching the moon, at dawn, solitary, mid-sky, I knew myself completely: no part left out. (Shikibu)* May your 2016 bring you many happy days of summer clouds and fairy ways. With love as …

A Sunday afternoon stroll in Hout Bay Harbour

A visit to Hout Bay harbour is always a worthwhile diversion, especially on a Sunday afternoon. Watching people walking leisurely along the harbour mole gives one a feeling of being at peace with the world. A myriad of ways – seemingly at rest. Red yellow green at the end of the harbour mole. Freshly painted …

A walk through the garden at Babylonstoren

The garden at Babylonstoren is one of our favourite places to be. It is a place of perfect serenity where you can almost see and touch the balance of energies love and respect for the land and the people who work it have created. Dutifully and carefully the garden is tended throughout the year. Smallest …

Namibia Impressions – II – Lüderitz – ǃNamiǂNûs*

The town of Lüderitz, named after the German merchant Adolf Lüderitz (1834-1886) who bought stretches of desert along the Atlantic between Angola and South Africa from various Nama captains, is a unique town. It still bears some trademarks of Germany’s ill-fated colonial ambitions. Without any hinterland to support it, it would eventually have been covered …

Namibia Impressions I – The Great Wide Open

We took friends to a conference at the University of Namibia in Windhoek and used the opportunity for a short ten days journey into Namibia. You might think – ten days is not that short, but, be assured, for Namibia it is. Your are rushing through it, madly, almost. At first, the impression is of …

The Agony in the Garden

Reading Mark, the evangelist’s account afresh and meditating on the agony in the garden and on the corporeality of the man there meeting his fate, we have tried to empathise and to find words for it. The German text is the original and the English a kind of rendering in thought. With oil of nard …

Miss Molly

Miss Molly, though a little overweight, is a handsome beast. Within the parameters of her species, one might add. Dogs and cats are lovely companions and so are steady friends. Pete and Toets are relations and such friends and when they invited us the other Sunday for a meal, we used the opportunity to capture …

The Good, the not so Good and the …

                      Our wish list for 2015, jotted down and in no particular order, is very short: Staying in touch with family and friends and meeting personal challenges with courage and integrity. What more, really, can one do or wish for. The debate about global warming …

The white washed walls of Stellenbosch

                  For the more politically inclined, the title of this blog ought to be ambiguous. Ambiguity is not intended here, but words have this political thing of revealing and/or concealing divergent aspects of truth (see Pablo Neruda’s “meta’fore!” – in the film Il Postino). Here, however, I …

Autumn colours land and sea

    Autumn is a very special time for people living in temperate latitudes. It is the time for gathering, reminiscences and awareness of change in light, in colour, mood and being. Autumn says: you have lived and these are the fruits of you labour, your ambitions, your dreams. And what you see and have …

Back in Dorp Street

Our tenant, Retha, has moved up the road to premisses more suitable for her and her daughter Rood’s needs and now we are back in our old house in Dorp Street. Retha left the place in an immaculate state but the garden is heavily overgrown and needs careful pruning to let in shafts of light …

Heritage Day – a walk up Lion’s Head

Tuesday was “Heritage Day” – so called to remind us of our cultural diversity and with that to remind us of our unity as a nation. People with Zulu ancestry are celebrating the remembrance of Shaka Zulu (c.1787-1828), once king of the Zulu nation. Others are proposing this day to be called “Braai Day” the …

The End of History

Living in Betty’s Bay for the moment, living in bliss for a while, where the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans overlap, and where at this time of the year, whales, sea otters, porcupines, baboons, leopards, francolins, guinea fowls, mongoose and a myriad of birds share sea and land with us, there is not much of an …

Mutually beneficial communities

Our children are questioning the wisdom not so much of our institutions but of our ways of living together as human beings on planet earth. We live, they say, wastefully and could share with each other so much more of our talents. How true is that and how so very naïve. Much of what we …

Views of Betty’s Bay

There are many aspects of life in Betty’s Bay, which are worthwhile exploring. Looking across the fence, there is an artist’s studio and next to him a chef, former owner of the then only worthwhile restaurant in the immediate area, now a full time chocolatier; next to us a couple retired as we are, she …

Little Camargue at the Cape – Rooisand Nature Reserve

A few kilometres outside Kleinmond on the road to the villages of Botrivier or Hermanus, turn right to enter a wetland area preserved as “Rooisand Nature Reserve” – little Camargue at the Cape. “Kleinmond gets its name from the ‘small mouth’ of the Bot River that seeks to enter the sea at the main beach. Part of …

Dreaming

Much has been researched in the last almost three hundred years about dreams and dreaming, yet, we still do not know where we go when we dream. Looking at early, biblical accounts of dreams in the history of dreams, we see their images and interpretations to be of another world outside the one we experience …

Harbour Road, Kleinmond, revisited

Despite the obvious criticism one must have in respect of sensitive town planning or the lack thereof, Harbour Road, Keinmond, is worth a visit, more than ever before. As with all new challenges in life, they raise the spirit to do well against all odds. With love as always Colleen & Walter Betty’s Bay, 1st …

Depression

What is depression? Depression is the unexpected – a serious deviation from the expected. We expect the economy to continue to perform to our advantage. We expect the weather to fit in with our weekend plans. We expect people to behave rationally and virtuously. We expect to wake up and be well. And all of …

Cloudscapes

Travelling on the N2 between Botrivier, Caledon, Riviersonderend and Stormsvlei last week Easter Monday, early in the morning. Colleen photographed from the moving car and Walter in postproduction cropped and did some careful adjusting. With love from Colleen & Walter Betty’s Bay, Sunday 14 April, 2013

The red sands of the Kalahari

The sand grains of the Kalahari are covered with red iron oxide giving them their colourful sparkle and particular softness. Walking barefoot over the red dunes leaves your feet untouched and clean. We will return to the red sands of the Kalahari. With love from Colleen & Walter Bettys Bay, Tuesday 9 April 2013

Eastern Food Bazaar, Cape Town

Cape Town is just a good hour’s drive away from Betty’s Bay and it leads along one of the most attractive routes in the country. The views over False Bay are always inspiring and apart from weekends and holiday peak times the road is surprisingly open. A troop of baboons gathering in the morning sun …

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 15,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals Click here to see the complete report. Dear all …

Cave of our ancestors

Colleen’s old friend Tim and his wife Di from England stopped by on one of their visits to South Africa. They are always keen on all aspects of South African history – last time we explored Genadendaal, which to their and our surprise they hadn’t heard of – and this time we thought we should …

A visit to Babylonstoren

“Babylonstoren” is the name of one of the oldest farms in the Cape. The name tower of Babylon or Babel refers to the ziggurat of Etemenanki  and the photograph below of Bruegel’s conceptualization gives you the ziggurat type mountain side on the farm Babylonstoren. However, there is more to it than just the about shape …

A courageous voice of a new South African generation

The face of Africa is changing. All the time. And has never ceased to capture the imagination of adventurers, poets, sailors, artists, traders, writers, warriors, film-makers, scientists, musicians, explorers. Exploited by outside forces as much as by its own, it never lost its allure. Africa is, after all, our motherland – the paradisical place of …

A walk by the sea

To think that two thirds of our planet is not land but water. And while the land mass seems so enormous – what about the mass of our oceans? At the Cape the waters are rough if not treacherous. The winds are strong, mounting up to gale force strength at times, never ever though threatening to …