-  Diary of an Adventure   -  Vineyard Adventures

A breezy, autumish sort of day in the vineyards. The patio covered in leaves from the grapevine. The wind unsettled, in that ‘Chocolat’ vein, driving changes. With our summer visitors over, packing has started in the cottage. A spot or too of blood not unexpected.

Something special about wrapping paintings and sending them off to their new homes. Edith agreeing to act as courier for those heading to Switzerland.

Mum’s fractured pelvis after a fall not great news. Fortunately it isn’t as severe as it could have been and she is out of hospital, but needing care for a few weeks. Does mean that I’m in Jozie for a couple of days.

Vineyards shrouded in smoke, an ash storm irritating eyes and lungs. Another surging fire, this time in the Jonkershoek valley. 

With smoke still heavy in the air. We went up to Hidden Valley, where the mountains were covered in flames. No danger where we were, the fires, a mesmerising backdrop to our dinner. The demonstration meal from the Overture head chef, Bertus Basson, was focused at autumn and winter ‘comfort’ sort of foods. 

Clean simple flavours, of which the squid wasn’t my favourite. Interestingly, to remove the salt from the duck (the salted duck is left in the fridge for 12 hours) he recommended soaking it for 25minutes. To ensure you have removed the salt, licking the duck will tell you if it’s still too salty! He also noted that when doing a confit, you should not remove the lid of the pot when it comes out of the oven, but leave it to first cool, as 10% is lost through steam by opening while it’s hot.

With my painting ‘Baobab Dual’ completed its time to pack away my oil paints for a month as nothing will dry sufficiently to be moved and stored. Charcoal smearing lies ahead.

Balboa Balcony Bar in Stellies for a Blues and Jazz evening. Open, looking down through the trees to the street, for a relaxed evening listening to seriously strange music that didn’t really fit into my idea of Jazz or Blues. An off-beat, with lots of electronic assistance that had the artist doing a crane sort of act as he fiddled with the dashboard at his feet. It did change coloured running lights with each of his dips, bobs and sways. The overuse of the reverb unit may have trashed what vocals there were, but it couldn’t hide his mastery of the harmonica. Great pizza, a decent wine list and stunning service made for an entertaining, if not my sort of music evening.

Sensationally, Craig has organized for the tenant in the apartment at the studio to end his lease early giving us access in June to start the renovations. Now all we need is to sort the plans and go through the Thesen approval hoops.

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.

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