-  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?

In his time Jan has been an electronics, nuclear and power system engineer, a strategist, a humanitarian and an artist. A career path linked by creativity and innovative thinking. Initially trained at the Johannesburg College of Art, Jan has won numerous international awards and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He can be found in his studio ‘Jandreart’ located at Thesen Harbour Town, Knysna.


  • Mark Raats

    Hi Jandre’ —

    Thanks for your update and great to hear you’re having such a wonderful time in the winelands! The pictures of you all tell a million stories and its great to know that Juba and its challenges can more or less be left behind while you are there.

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been under the knife. Has it been diagnosed as Melanoma or is this the first exploratory stage? As you might know they cut out a Stage 2 Melanoma problem from the side of my head about 2 years ago and they have since cut me in so many places that I look like a Sword master’s practice dummy. I am under the care of two specialists (alternating every two months) and although its tedious, I feel as if they have things firmly under control.

    Hopefully yours is an early stage challenge and that with constant care, they are able to keep on top of things..

    Wishing you a good outcome and a speedy recovery.

    Lots of love to you all over there.. The Perthlings..


    September 20, 2014
    • Hi Boet,

      They think they have caught it early enough.

      More tests this week, and then a ‘Body Mapping’, with routine follow up in the years ahead. Good thing Terry was so insistent I have it seen to!

      Thanks for the concern and love to all

      September 20, 2014

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