-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Vineyard Adventures

Birds out chasing the day to wake up. New Francolin chicks adding their high pitch whistles to the bickering.

Fields of white flowers in vlei areas around the vineyards celebrate. In the cottage garden, perfumed by the Brunfelsia, the purple sage is blooming above the blue riot. Joining the lavender, with Shasta daisies and agapanthus spears starting to make an appearance.

All sorts of insects are also enjoying the arrival of summer, seemingly enjoying feasting off me. Must be all the wine they are after?? Dealing with a bunch of bumps and itchy bits.

Rust en Vrede for dinner at their superb restaurant in the old wine cellar. There is something mysterious about walking along the pathway to the restaurant. Even with construction of the new tasting room going on, it feels as though you are being transported into a different world. Perhaps the personal welcome, before the double glass doors are opened and you are escorted to your table???

The one wall of the cellar is painted brick red, a perfect backdrop to the large white tables, set with Reidel glassware that dances in anticipation. The service throughout was superb. The food complex, with subtle flavours woven through it that have you concentrating to remember what was included in the menu description.

While there is a wealth of expertise available to assist on wine selection (there is a pairing option), it’s worth going ahead to page through the wine list, of biblical proportions, so you have some idea of what is possible. The 06 Radfordale Chardonnay perfect with the scallops, and held its own (I had their very good Shiraz) with the blesbok fillet with roast chestnuts, shin sausage, shiitake mushrooms, celeriac and apple matchsticks. Scrumptious isn’t even a place to start.

My highlight being the pre-desert dish, of strawberry soup, with fennel meringue, a vanilla ice cream with a pineapple flower. It looked stunning and although only a single mouthful was perfectly balanced. Not there was anything wrong with the sweetcorn soufflé with caramel popcorn and baby sweetcorn chunks I had for desert.

I would have been so much happier if they had changed my glass between each course, which they do if you have different wines. By the end of the evening my glass looked abused. Revived only when I had a new glass for the last drop of Chardonnay Terry shared.

Kirsten’s saying “tomorrow better watch out as it needs to be envious of being better than today’

Brenda’s observation that the branches over the clivia’s at Babylonstoren looked like a basket, was the inspiration for my painting, ‘Clivia Basket’. The large canvas (150cmx120cm), is exhausting and creates its own brand of mess as I try and get to the extremes. Tough not to get drawn into detail, and concentrating on tone, form and energy. Creating calm within the brilliance of the flowers, a pathway of energy.

Shopping centre bustling with end-of-month shoppers. Family groups trying to stay in touch as they each move in the direction of their favourite shop. A women stopping to pickup a dropped child’s dummy and then darting through the centre looking for the baby who dropped it. The mothers relief like a starburst of gratitude for a simple consideration.

Art at the Heap, an exhibition of beautiful fabric art and interesting painting and prints. The Rhino poaching installation particularly good. Buitenverwachting with Brian and Janet for an after exhibition bottle of bubbles and excellent lunch.

Stitches out, and the wound healed to the point that I don’t even qualify for a Disney plaster.

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.


  • Gorgeous!

    October 4, 2014

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