Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Aventures

Oxtail perfection only possible with Terry’s three day stock, and Kirsten ensuring bubbles were plentiful. The fire necessary on a blustery evening at the cottage.

Around Stellenbosch are sculptures of people sitting on benches. Part of the ‘Kom Sit’ street art installation connecting people. I used the installation, together with one of the street men who roam around the city for my painting, ‘Kom Sit’. The inclusive, connecting people of the couple in the installation reinforcing the superficial nature of racial integration, with the black figure only present in silhouette. The street walker. Excluded. Discarded. The canvas probably a tad small.

After the market, we sat under the oak trees, enjoying pavement life of bubbles, gelato and sushi.

The wind whistling in the pine trees, and the chimes tinkling under stormy skies. Not this affected our lunch at Jordan. The menu intriguing. The setting, stunning. The wine, delectable. Far too much food in the three course ‘Winter’ menu, but worth every mouthful. The service was a tad sloppy, which was an irritation. The starters, looked fabulous on the plate and soon had us savouring each bite. I should have stopped halfway through the main dish, as the lemon soufflĂ© is mesmerizing.

Terry’s insistence that I see the dermatologist has ensured that there is no additional treatment needed for the melanoma that was diagnosed and removed. A week before they can remove the stitches and the nitrogen burn bits are healed. The ‘Body Mapping’ has confirmed that I’m not a Men’s Health cover, which is a tad humbling. No place to hide under the bright lights and computer enhanced imagery. Not even sure an airbrush would sort it! Interestingly, the specialist isn’t interested in the other dodgy spots, but rather in any new ones, which are at a high risk of being malignant.

The weather has ensured that my clothing smells of braai fires most days. Blue Sky Organics, Herb salt creating a masterful chicken on the weber.

Advertisements
Messing About with Paint

Kom Sit

Oil on Canvas 60cmx40cm

Around Stellenbosch are sculptures of people sitting on benches. Part of the ‘Kom Sit’ street art installation connecting people.

I used the installation, together with one of the street men who roam around the city for my painting, ‘Kom Sit’.

The inclusive, connecting people of the couple in the installation reinforcing the superficial nature of racial integration, with the black figure only present in silhouette. The street walker. Excluded. Discarded.

The canvas probably a tad small

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

‘Confusion’, oil on canvas. Under painting for a painting of the gardens at Rustenberg. A smear of colour that seems to hold its own. And now???

Beach, sun, and the grizzled collection of locals drinking drafts first thing in the morning. A sound decision on their part as the coffee was awful! Polly waded in the the ripples of low tide, the colours of the water mesmerizing. Cape Town at its seductive best.

In the cottage garden, the clivia’s are showing off, while the pincushion protea flowers preen in the sunshine. Yellows, golds, red and oranges dominate the spring garden, with only a hint of the gentler blue, mauve and white summer colours pushing through. Moles actively messing up the green lawn.

Polly not sure about being transformed from her ‘Farm Dog’ look into an ‘Airport Date’ Border Collie. Something about the wild tangled bit she prefers. Happy enough to see Kirsten. All the hair tugging forgotten.

Mangwenani. The Spa not my favourite place. Soothing hands, and fingers of magic merged us into the sunset over the mountain. Mesmerised by the flow of dance. Carried to a different space by the singing.

Filtered sun, perfect for the gardens at Babylonstoren. The clivia walk, spectacular, and the rest of the garden magnificent, bursting with vigor. Not a contemplative visit, as the garden is bustling with activity. New growth is pulled into shape, and the ravages of winter storms repaired. We sat outside the glasshouse restaurant for very good scones and a plate from their charcuterie and cheese selection, with their gentle Chenin. Spoilt only by sullen service that seemed focused at ensuring our sit was so unpleasant that we left to make way for new people.

Evenings of premeditated, unscheduled, wine and snacks with friends at the cottage. Kirsten spoilt us with her famous burger patties, and we have a mountain of bottles for recycling.

Rain streaming through the valley, the cottage isolated by dark, brooding, pine trees dripping with water. Flames dancing in the fireplace carrying our laughter to the heavens.

My time in the vineyards extended by the need to have minor surgery for a melanoma. The result of a lifetime spent in the sun?

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

Grey skies over the vineyards, clearing as we drove over the mountains to see Dad and Mary. Their new Prado very impressive, ready for the safari to Kariba.

Watching the mini-bus taxi stopping at a random spot, before rejoining the traffic in wild abandon, reminded me of Eddie’s observation of the taxi services in Juba Town. Which could be considered as perfect Customer Satisfaction. They stop where the client wants them to. Either to be picked up or dropped off. Waste the minimum amount of time in transit. Have a schedule that perfectly meets customer demands. When they are needed, without having to wait for some arbitrary time bound schedule. My perspective changed forever.

We have spent a fair amount of time at the Zevenwacht Restaurant, in the Manor House on the wine estate, both for its close proximity to the cottage and also for the atmosphere. Complimented by excellent service, an easily navigated menu and their great wines. After the rains, the lake in front of the restaurant is full, and with the oak trees sprouting their new summer growth, the terrace is an excellent late afternoon, or early evening stop. This has on multiple occasions turned into dinner as the lights come on across the valley.

The art in the restaurant is a tad disappointing and doesn’t enhance the beautiful building. Fit with the country style menu or give character to the wonderful wines. The culture of the estate workers, the history of the tin mine, or the unique flora on the farm aren’t represented in any form.

While the majority of the clientele are tour groups, the kitchen still manages to serve food that has authentic spices in the curry that fills the air with the mystery of the Far East. The fresh line fish is from the sustainable Green List, and the servings generous.

The service, is of the best. A place we will miss when we finally move to the studio.

Mountains of presence and strength. Fields of Van Gogh yellow. Cypress trees of Tuscany. ‘Soul Food’, oil on canvas 100cmx50cm. Painting of the view out to the Stellenbosch mountains from Clos Malverne. A large amount of paint made its way onto my shirt, as I moved the canvas around the easel to work more easily on parts. The challenge to maintain simplicity, capture the serenity of spring, and let the scene speak with minimal input, while still engaging the viewer.

Last of the bits from the storage locker sorted. Thrown out, sent for refurbishment or given to new homes.

Scallops Hondash (A bonito fish soup stock, with cream sauce), served in the shell with a sprinkling of caviar the unexpected find at Genki’s.

Awake early after a bunch of strange dreams. Polly restless with the full moon out, and monsters lurking behind every tree. Very brave she is, but I don’t think those who are sleeping appreciate her barking as she puts the world to rights!

‘Black Butterfly’ a movie, about the life of the South African poet, Ingrid Jonker. Beautifully made. Disturbingly sad. I wasn’t aware of her poetry before and may need to be brave enough to read it.

New glasses, sight transformed.

Messing About with Paint

Soul Food

Oil on Canvas 100cmx50cm

Mountains of presence and strength. Fields of Van Gogh yellow. Cypress trees of Tuscany.

Painting of the view out to the Stellenbosch mountains from Clos Malverne.

A large amount of paint made its way onto my shirt, as I moved the canvas around the easel to work more easily on parts.

The challenge to maintain simplicity, capture the serenity of spring, and let the scene speak with minimal input, while still engaging the viewer.

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

An Artists Garden. The vineyards. Jasmine hedonistic, as we watch the sun through the trees. Bubbles, red wine and Simon&Garfunkel while Polly rolls in the grass. Sunset shadows through the trees. Gurgling fountain. Felecia adding spots of blue.

The sun easing its way into a new day. Francolins and Guineafowl, broken voiced, discordant raucous. A quick catch-up with George before we were dragged kicking and screaming into the courtyard at the Salmon bar. Then forced to drink bubbles and enjoy the salmon platter. The only disappointment, for Polly, was that her stream for wading in wasn’t working.

Painting in the garden, my legs hammered by midges as I smeared charcoal and acrylic about the place. ‘Make a Wish’, a carefree illustration of the garden fountain at the cottage in a the vineyards, on a spring afternoon.

Boots tramping through the mud of the vineyards, still oozing water after the last rains. Polly in her ‘Farm Dog’ mode. Mud splattered, wet and happy. My bum less certain after the unaccustomed hills.

A day in the West Coast National Park with spring wild flowers. Mountain sides dusted with yellow and white. Eland walking delicately through swaths of purple and orange. A couple of tortoises forcing the traffic to adapt to their pace, which allowed for that special glimpse of fynbos, and the heady smell of the sea.

An unplanned stop at Durbanville Hills restaurant for lunch, looking out over a hazy Table Mountain. The cavernous interior almost a deck in space. We enjoyed stunning scallops, oysters wrapped in Parma ham. Butternut, spinach and feta spring rolls and a lamb hamburger with bacon, aged cheddar and fig. Lamp sculptures, the standout art in the restaurant. Edgy, without detracting for the main aspect, which is the view. Mirrored in the food, which while immaculately served, doesn’t overpower the wines.

Wine. Laughter. Braai fires. Music. Birds. Red, yellow and orange clivia’s and pincushion protea flowers. Hot days, interspersed with moody, misty weather. Spring in the vineyards.