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.

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