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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 week’s parenting in Hout Bay

A pair of peacocks – extended part of the family.   Our parenting days are well behind us, but every now and then we do a run of acting in loco parentis – and we always enjoy such occasions whenever and where ever they occur – in France, Germany or like now in Hout Bay. It makes us …

A walk down Lower Main Road Observatory, Cape Town

We were staying in Adam and Thekla’s lovely house in “Obz” this week and they and Bob and Dominique have not stopped pummeling us with the most wonderful treats all week, all around Colleen’s and Walter’s birthdays. The weather has been wintery throughout and both Texi and Adamski were a little under the weather with …

Travel postscript

Editing our collection of photographs, we thought to share a few more pics from our recent travels. Morija schoolchildren On the road to Malealea Malealea valley Ascent to Swartberg Pass – Oudtshoorn approach Swartberg Pass – descent into Prince Albert With love Colleen & Walter Betty’s Bay Friday 27 April 2012

Walk on the Beach

The weather was just too irresistible not to walk on the beach. And the autumn light seduces the eye. Nothing ever is the same. Our cottage by the sea – or what you see of it in the “fynbos”. Dune scape I Dune scape II Dune scape III Dune scape IV The Beach I Strandlooper …

Wilderness

This is Wilderness on the Garden Route just about half-way between George and Knysna where we had the good fortune to be invited by our friends Karin and Michaela to stay with them in a cottage they had hired on the Touw River lagoon. We explored Knysna and went on a ferry trip to the …

Im Haus der Sprache wohnt das Sein

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) argued that we as people cannot assure a secure foothold because everything we produce is potentially capricious and because of that we have to allow our Being domiciliary rights in the home of language. Of that nature was our discussion with Herman Perold, philosopher friend from Prince Albert who together with his …

Mission Trail’s End

We had left Morija and were travelling South to Thabana Morena where the Baccuet girls had been living after the war. Their father, the Rev. Ernest Albert Baccuet was commissioned as chaplain to accompany the Basotho regiment in the British forces during World War II in the Middle East (Syria) until they were fully repatriated …

Lesotho Impressions

Lesotho impressions – they all were coloured by accompanying our friends into their missionary past. We let them lead us ahead and in a way stood back and observed rather than explored. Such are then our impressions of Lesotho – a land of utter beauty, a land of poverty, a land of thousands of eager …

A Massive Intervention – Mohale Dam

Mohale Dam (completed in 2002) together with the earlier constructed Katse Dam (completed in 1989) now form part of phase I A and B of the envisaged three phases of the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme which was conceived mainly to supply the South African industrial centres on the Witwatersrand and the Free State with water, …

In our Father’s Garden – under the Pepper Tree

Our friends from France – Eliane and Arlette together with her husband Richard – are on a nostalgic journey to places in Lesotho where they were born and grew up as children of Missionaries of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, today called Lesotho Evangelical Church – the second largest faith group in Lesotho after the …

Johannesburg

At the end of a long day’s journey sweeping into metropolis: Jo’burg has its very own unmistakable magic. The air, the light, the people, the trees, the birds, the parks, the walking proud, the smiles on faces, the pace, the vibe. With love Walter & Colleen Johannesburg, Friday, March 2, 2012

Roadside encounters

We are on the road again, travelling from Betty’s Bay to Johannesburg where we are scheduled to meet up with our friends from the Cevennes in France. They were born and grew up on various mission stations in Lesotho and that is where we will take them again. And we are as excited as they …

Domestic Goddesses – a Foodie Blog of Note!

Named, for family reasons, after St. Thekla – a 1st century Saint and convert to St. Paul himself – our Thekla has, we feel, many characteristics in common with her saintly namesake. Passion, commitment, fascination, open-mindedness, intellectual engagement, charm and enduring humour are some of these qualities. Most saintly, probably is that she is a …

A summer’s day walk-about in Kalk Bay

Kris, Anni and Leo are visiting us for a month and what better occasion than to use Valentine’s day to do an outing from Hout Bay via Chapman’s Peak to Simon’s Town along the coast to Kalk Bay. The weather was perfect, the mood festive and Leo, the little fellow all bright-eyed filled with curiosity. In …

The National Planning Commission (NPC) in South Africa

Trevor Manuel, former South African Minister of Finance and currently Minister in the Presidency in charge of the National Planning Commission (NPC) listing and outlining the 9 biggest challenges South Africa is facing: Trevor Manuel‘s Diagnostic Report We will be commenting on Trevor’s nine challenges in one of our next blogs. Cheerio! Walter & Colleen …

A Christmas Story

A CHRISTMAS STORY for all our dear ones! Yesterday, the 21st of December, the day before the shortest night of the year, we had to phone the glazier about some panes of glass. The man, Johan Cloete, who we did not know, told us, exuberantly that he had just finished loading 500 panes of security …

Alpacas at Helderstroom

Colleen had diarized the Villiersdorp Alpaca Open Day on Sunday. A good opportunity to give Michaelene and Gary an outing and for ourselves an excuse for a little excursion into the countryside. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas and were bred for their wool whereas the llamas served as beasts of burden. However, “Llamas, along …

Summertime – at long last!

What a wonderful weekend we have had, busy but so very enjoyable. Summertime – at long last! Michaelene, Colleen’s goddaughter and her boyfriend Gary, both cerebral palsied, flying in from Jo’burg for their annual holiday with us and Thekla and Adam giving us a midday treat at Casparus. This stretch of beach will soon be inundated …

West Coast Rock Lobster

It is open season now until December 31 and people are diving for West Coast Rock Lobster, generally referred to as “crayfish”. We also name them cockroaches of the sea – to give us an excuse – kind of vermin whooshing through the kelp beds – and we need not feel too guilty while being …

Backstage – on stage – she’s got the rhythm

Backstage at the Kronendaal Primary School in Hout Bay where the Audrey Anderson School of Modern Ballet had its annual presentation – beginners to advanced. The School Hall at Kronendaal was filled with moms and dads, grannys and whoever else had an interest in seeing the girls perform. We were allowed backstage to capture the …