Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Quiet streets of Harbour Town reverberate with pulsing exhausts of vintage Bentley’s. Fabulous looking vehicles passing the studio.

A woman stopped me in the street to thank me for keeping her spirits up with my vibrant paintings and to keep painting.

Straight lines the bother with my fingers, particularly as the large canvas flexes. ’Hold the Open Heart’, a William Kentridge work from his series of ink drawings on found paper. From a photo taken at his Zietz MOCAA exhibition.

In his painting, the images of the irises merge with text sourced from Chinese parables, Tang Dynasty poetry and Maoist slogans. I used text from the Action Ads Coronavirus shutdown notices in Knysna, and iris images from our trip to Japan.

Emergency lighting in the studio to ensure we still have a studio filled with light during load shedding. Not that much load-shedding expected in the next few months.

Terry used a bunch of leftover stock for the slow-cooked lamb shanks, served with sweet potato gratin. The Ottolenghi recipe worked a treat. Foie-gras starter and a spot of cheese with one of the last bottles of 2011 Radford Dale Black Rock.

Lock-down. Needing to manage by diabetes under the no movement ban. Marathon challenge over the 21 days. First jog around the apartment and down through the studio. About 6 loops per km. Prince unimpressed after joining the first loop.

Ottolenghi Sweet Potato Gratin


6 medium sweet potatoes

5 tbsp coarsely chopped sage, plus extra for garnish

6 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tsp coarse sea salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash the sweet potatoes (do not peel them) and cut them into disks ¼ inch thick. A mandoline is best for this job but you could use a sharp knife.

2) In a bowl mix together the sweet potatoes, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Arrange the slices of sweet potato in a deep medium-size oven proof dish by taking tight packs of them and standing them up next to one another. They should fir together quite tightly so you get parallel lines of sweet potato slices (skins showing) along the length or width of the dish. Throw any remaining bits of garlic or sage from the bowl over the potatoes. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, place in the oven, and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and pour the cream evenly over the potatoes. Roast, uncovered for a further 25 minutes. The cream should have thickened by now. Stick a sharp knife in different places in the dish to make sure the potatoes are cooked. They should be totally soft.

3) Serve immediately, garnished with sage.

*Note you can also use thyme in place of the sage, or use both. Serves 4-6.

Total time to prepare: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 65 minutes

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Carefully, the composition takes shape on the canvas. First lines. Dabs. Smears. Paint starting to give the painting form. Composition too far left!

Grateful for the support of clients in the studio. Particularly at this time of turmoil. Studio, quiet. In sharp contrast to the chaos unfolding at supermarkets. And we have free wine! The world has gone crazy.

Yet we have our emergency insulin, dog food, Nespresso and wine.

Mountain bike magic. Fabulous ride through Homtini Pass. Mist banks, cuddling the trees in the early morning. River, gurgling with glee as the sun probes it’s mysterious coloured depths.

Chef Hirsch outdid himself with a dinner that had delicious steak tartare, stuffed aubergine rolls with Labneh and chorizo hummus, followed by a baked sea bass main dish.

All this after slashing his thumb and dealing with an errand recipe book that kept flipping between pages, creating Disneyesque mayhem.

Seems like our Viennese Regulator has the virus. No amount of adjusting will keep its pendulum moving. While its chiming will not be missed by some, the absence of its rhythmical beat feels like the heart of the apartment has stopped.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

’Palette Leftovers’

Acrylic on canvas 70cmx200cm

Marathon day. Singing and dancing supporters turning it into a street party, which Prince didn’t appreciate. Especially after another night of lightning storms.

The cheese-based crust (using a different recipe) for the Beef Wellington didn’t hold its shape in the Kamado Jan, resulting in a sort of mush. Fortunately, it still tasted great, but I think that had more to do with the foie-gras than anything I did. Terry did an Otto Linghi avo based salad that was simply scrumptious, served with grilled tomatoes that used a gazillion herbs. A burst of colour and flavour.

The Knysna Literary Festival provided it’s mix of weird, thought provoking, and inspiring talks.

Shoulder, doing it’s ’click-and-grind’ after the ride to Buffel’s, on a fabulous morning. Fortunate that my front tyre expired at the top of the hill and not during the decent. Two new tyres needed as both wheels now have punctures where the plugs aren’t holding.

Decided to change the tyres myself as taking it to the bike shop for something so trivial seemed unnecessary. Tyres arrived and I hit the first problem as the tyre tape on the one wheel was damaged and needed to be changed. Thisi also required a new valve, none of which I have. While the wheel was in to have that sorted, I did the other wheel. My shoulder not enjoying the strain of getting the tyre onto the rim, and neither did my hands.

The second wheel was even tougher and despite pumping like a maniac, I couldn’t get the tyre to sit properly on the rim. A visit to the garage provided the necessary oomph, however, the tyre was leaking at the new valve. Enough.

Not the cleverest thing to chose to do when I need my hands to paint with, not bruise them changing bicycle tyres.

Sunrise outer Thesen Island loop 7km run with the high tide next to us. Quite spectacular.

Diary of an Adventure

Jozie Adventures

A few small paintings of Knysna seahorses, with the residue paint being applied to my canvas ’Palette Leftovers’.

Airport eerily quiet. No frantic queues through security, chairs available in the departure lounge and an absence of aircraft on the apron. The shrinking of SAA’s domestic routes culling planes, and the slowdown in international travel as the world deals with coronavirus. This before the first reported case in South Africa.
Sunrise, noticeably later and cooler, making for glorious running and cycling. Conscious of the lingering effects of my cold, as evident from my still whacky blood sugars, ensuring I don’t do anything crazy.

Buonissimo! For an age, Buonissimo was our our restaurant, coffee stop, fun stop, cheese cake and carrot cake stop, when visiting Mum and Dad in Modderfontein.

At some point, the small village centre was destroyed to provide space for another shopping centre, and Buonissimo was relegated to a hole-in-the-wall at the new service station. There were advantages, as you could get great coffee at 7 in the morning!

Fortunately, they have transitioned into the new Flamingo Vlei shopping centre, and while not the intimate village restaurant, there is still that something uniquely Italian. Great food, attentive service an an interesting wine list made for a relaxed, enjoyable evening. The ’Salto’ (beef strips with Parmigiano shavings and rocket) was tasty and the Scaloppini (beef cutlets with provolone cheese and white wine) was delicious. An unusual tasting sangiovese from Koelenhof added that element of mystery.

Knysna Seahorse

Acrylic on canvas 20cmx20cm