A general Consensus about Grandparents

Nikki wasn’t too pleased with this addition to her pool early in the morning. Cute as the sight might be – proud parents presenting their off-spring to the world – Egyptian geese are great grazers and subsequently poop a lot like cows in a meadow – and would eventually have to be herded to find …

Snoek Run and Sushi

Last week the snoek (pronounced: snook!) [Thyrsites atun] were running in great shoals in the coastal waters off Kleinmond and plenty of fishing boats went out for a catch. The local fishermen enter the sea with their basic ski-boats without fear and often enough without adequate safety equipment. Strong currents created by two oceans merging …

After the storm, again

Taking life at face value – the wind, the rain, the hailstorm – and then the quietness throughout the night, not a single sound, and the next day with sunshine throughout – is that okay? How does one approach life? Do I look at things as they appear to be taken for what they are? …

Is there a Blog?

Colleen said the other day: Wasn’t it time you wrote another blog? My answer: I am blogged out. After 120 blogs I have come to an end. Colleen: Come on. That’s not true. Perhaps because those 111 blogs (108 to be exact) are now all printed in hardcover book format,* that I have the feeling …

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 …

Doors of St. Tropez

Windows are at times referred to as the eyes of a house – what then would doors be – the mouth? Closed door. In the throng.   The battered door – having stood the test of time.   The enigmatic door.   Oriental door. The occupied door. The dark blue door. The kicked door. Door, …

200 years of Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Arthur Rackham, Little Red Riding Hood A Father comes home from work one evening and asking his wife and daughter for the whereabouts of his son, hears that he has gone to visit relatives. The father is saddened by the news: “That was not good of him to not say good bye.” With that he …

Cape Winter Food and Caribbean Girl

“I quickly glanced at my watch; 4:45 a.m. Zulus have a word for this time of the morning – uvivi – which means the darkness before the dawn. And it’s true. In the Zululand bush, the darkness is most intense just before the first shreds of haze crack the horizon.” (Lawrence Anthony, The Elephant Whisperer. …

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 …

The Jungle and I: Notes from Gabon

1670 map of West Africa by English cartographer John Ogilby. Depicts the African Gold Coast, Ivory Coast, and Slave Coast from Guniea south through the modern nations of, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Ogilby modeled this map after the 1639 Hondius / Janesson …

Approaching the city at dusk

Approaching the city at dusk from Betty’s Bay via the N1 on our way to Bob and Nix in Hout Bay where we will be in loco parentis for a week while they are attending a legal conference in Tokyo. With love as always Colleen & Walter Hout Bay, Sunday 27 May 2012

A case of burnout – reading Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” (Die Verwandlung)

Kafka’s third book, The Metamorphosis. The first edition, 1916. The cover illustration is a lithograph by Ottomar Starke. (www.kafka-franz.com)   Franz Kafka (1883-1924) in 1912 wrote his story “Die Verwandlung” (The transformation or, as it has become known in the English speaking world: “The Metamorphosis”). The story is conventionally read as a story about an overworked …

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 …

Cape autumn light

The autumn light in the Cape has a special, poetic quality. The summer heat has waned, the winter with its storm and rain is yet a distance away. A quietness and stillness warms the heart, soothes the eye and all the senses. The wine has been harvested and the grape juice is gently fermenting in …

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 …

Culinary Photography

When we cook, we often photograph the result, while it is on or brought to the table. The eye so very often is overwhelmed by the beauty of a successful culinary creation and the photographer wants to capture the moment. Not shooting for a food publication project, you want to hold the beauty of an …

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 …

Return to Dorp Street

With Dirki and his Katie Jane back in the country for a good long spell, last Monday the opportunity presented itself to have a picnic in the garden of our Dorp Street home which is presently leased to Retha and her little daughter Rood. Dirki wanted to show Katie Jane around Stellenbosch, his old stamping …

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 …

Thekla and Adam

Adam and Thekla decided on a very private wedding ceremony at their home in Observatory and an opportunity for family and friends to congratulate them at her sister’s home in Hout Bay. Nothing fancy – a glass of MCC (The Cape’s version of Champagne – as good as the real stuff), bread, dips and cheeses. …

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 …

A country baptism

Percy and June had asked us to be present at the baptism of their first-born son to be christened in the community hall on the Sutherland Trust Farm in Elgin, a major farming community in the Western Cape. The child is baptized with olive oil. We enjoyed this lively event of a charismatic baptism in …

Hannetjie de Clercq – Violet and Cinnamon …

Finally, a book is to be published, about one of South Africa’s great contemporary artists – Hannetjie de Clercq. Of greatness …? She would, laughingly, whip away any such pretensions. I paint. Make with it what you like but don’t give me any of your intellectual drivel. Stand up to me. Let me see who …

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 …