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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

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 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 …

Images – some of our favourites and why

Going through one’s collection of images, there will always be some that one holds for a moment longer. This one and all the others form part of the Stations of the Cross leading through the meadows of the village up to the pilgrimage church St. Ursula on top of the hill. The pilgrimage church (Wallfahrtskirche) is in itself a …

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 …

Riebeek Kasteel afternoon

Riebeek Kasteel Many artists, culinary, of craft and fine art – have chosen Riebeek Kasteel as their place to work and be, away from the city – Cape Town. The neighbouring town of Riebeek West has brought forth two sons of the nation: Jan Smuts and David Francois Malan – both Prime Ministers of South …

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

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

Pióbesi Torinese – a visit in Piedmont

We were invited by the family of Barbara and Filippo Gautier di Confiengo to spend a weekend with them together with Dirki and Katie in their home in Piedmont. Dirki had formed a close friendship with their son Carlo. Last year, in a freak accident Carlo fell to his death. Since then Dirki has become …

Game spotting – ways in the wild

One has a general idea of what it means to visit a game reserve. You get up early. Shortly before dawn. On one of the open Safari vehicles you need to dress warmly or you freeze your butt off even with lots of blankets provided. The driver/ranger is a trained and knowledgeable person, spotting game …

Harvesting Coffee

Flesh of the de-pipped fruit. Dear Darryl who had invited us to his house in Margate, showed us among other places of interest, the Beaver Creek Coffee plantation in Port Edward. It was too late for a guided tour, so we tasted their various blends of coffee, bought a packet of the finest for our …

Ride along the Wild Side

The wonderful countryside beyond the Kei River, denuded as it has become over the centuries of all trees, is nonetheless blessed with deep dark fertile soil and could in fact feed the whole of South Africa – if the people themselves were geared for agricultural activity, which they are not – they are pastoralists – …

Fairview

We had a special reason today to celebrate and went out to “Fairview” on the outskirts of Paarl for lunch. It is a most accomodating place any day or time of the year. Most deliciously, you are greated by a goat, goat-greeting from his tower above. Such is the vibe and the atmosphere there, the …

A Walk in the Garden

The Garden here is the Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay – a sister garden to the big one in Kirstenbosch. Whereas Kirstenbosch is splendidly spread out against the inland side of Table Mountain, Betty’s Bay Botanical Garden is beautifully laid out between mountain and sea. The fault lines here seem to run parallel to sea …

Laingsburg – a Karoo town in distress

In the middle of the Karoo town of Laingsburg, on the main road, there is a sign indicating the height of the 1981 floodwater. Colleen recalls her emotions passing through town a few days after the flood with trees and muck flung about, gras and branches sticking out of windows. Walter read and heard about …

The Myth of the Winemaker

Visiting with Marco and Caitlin on a farm in the Voor-Paardeberg district, just about equidistant from Paarl, Wellington, Malmesbury and Durbanville, where they have hired an old farmhouse. From their bedroom and stoep they have a view of Table Mountain in the distance. This is a shot from our bedroom at 5:30 in the morning. …

The voice of thunder

The voice of thunder is a powerful thing. It awakens you at night. And you have nowhere to turn. The voice of God in its many disguises. And you are full of fear. What if? What if the roof caves in under the weight of water thundering down. What if lightning strikes your neighbour’s shining …