The fire at Jakes on the Common welcome on a rainy Cape Town day. Books, wine, good food (grateful for the diabetic sensitive menu option) and easy company, insulated from the stormy weather. Energized, tranquility, looking through the fresh spring leaves of the ancient oak trees.
The building of the Norval Foundation is as impressive as expected. Vast gallery spaces for the large works of art. Most of which I found, disturbing.
They were changing exhibitions which was a tad disappointing as we could only access two of the galleries. The sculpture garden, impressive. My red face the proof to heed the warning about protecting yourself against sunburn. Even on a chilly spring day.
Prince still didn’t manage the crashing sea noise. Full moon. Spring tides. Howling winds. Beach not inviting. He did manage to walk to the Green Door. An achievement in itself.
The wind blew us back to Knysna. Roads busy with holiday traffic. Green, golden and yellow after the rains. We passed the ‘solar challenge’ cars – struggling into the wind – sandwiched between the hurtling steel of impatient road users.
Waking to the ringing of church bells, after the evening call to prayer ended the day. Soulful comfort carried on the wind lowing out of clear skies.
Our Airbnb accommodation in Fishhoek, spotless and comfortable. Within easy walking distance of the beach and a short commute to Lesa and Alan’s new home in Kommetjie. Special times, particularly with the changes ahead.
Kalkbay. Unexpected installation art of butterflies against the wall at the Olympia Cafe. Flights of fantasy. The art galleries less exciting.
Good food at Live Bait, the sea at our feet with a spectacular sunset. The service beyond terrible.
Hole in my hand trying to catch a wine glass that I somehow managed to knock over. One of those, double bounces that ended up in spraying glass shards across the floor. At least there wasn’t wine in the glass, and the blood didn’t add to the mess.
Newstead Wine Estate on a day of storms. Blazing fire that touch of magic. The meticulous vineyards evident in the delightful Sauvignon Blanc and the bubbles full of joyful abandon. Fresh bread, cheese and a crispy walnut and pear salad made for a fabulous lunch.
Van Gogh sitting on my shoulder as I fought with the sunflowers in my painting ‘Sunday Commute’ of the old man on his bicycle. Thrilled that it’s Sold and will be heading to its new home in France, together with the painting of the Irises.
Portrait of Donavan, ’Story Teller’, safely delivered to its new home.
Stunning walk along the valley of the Berg River dam in the shadow of the towering Drakenstein mountains. Necessary after an evening of marvelous food and great wines. The final evening at Ruben’s before they move to a new location in Franschhoek.
Truth, is still a delight. However, be warned that wanting to add sugar to your coffee is greeted with horror. Almost as much as asking for hot chocolate!
Back in the studio, the admin list is almost at an end and it’s time to mess about with paint.
The rain has arrived, settling in for what feels like a damp few days. Did manage to get a jog in. Necessary after the indulgent few days in the vineyards and Cape Town.
I have been a tad distressed at the unpleasant ‘foot odor’ emanating from my shoes after a year or so in havaianas. I tried changing socks a couple of times a day, with little improvement. This until I realised that my running shoes smell disgusting after a year of jogging! Hopefully the washing machine will sort it.
Oil on canvas 153cmx90cm
Accepted as a donation to the art auction for the Cart Horse Protection Association that looks after, educates and monitors the cart horses of the Cape Flats.
Warm late summer days in the vineyards. Fish Eagles calling from blue skies. Unhurried dinners watching the stars come out as the evening cools enough to warrant a rug for that last glass of wine.
On emerald grass, dusted with gold, stark ribs of garden sofas, squat beneath heavy skies, braced for winter. Maison, for their season ending lunch. Probably a tad too much wine, well anticipated by Terry and Hesta with Nicholas driving us.
An unexpected afternoon of sunshine, demanded a braai. My lack of practice evident in a fire that was too cold to give any colour to the steak, while mushroom skewers were cremated. Patient, tolerant, friends and Black Rock the antidote.
With rain sheeting down, sorting cupboards in the studio seemed a good use of time. Interestingly, there were more electronic bits to sort than paint supplies. Filing of painting pictures organized and old discs and drives cleaned and tossed. The paintings from Juba removed from their travel wrapping, and the print of Mina’s portrait prepared for her.
Lunch with Dad and Mary at Willow Creek on a stormy day. Mountains tinged with snow. Perfect weather for the excellent oxtail Terry prepared, accompanied by Crozes Hermitage. The heat from the fire making short work of the wine.
In the garden, clivia’s are starting to bud and the first of the camellia’s are in bloom. Wild Irises, spots of whiteness amongst the foliage. Lush after the first of the winter rain. The sage is still flowering, attracting sunbirds who somehow manage to cling to storm tossed stems.
Truth Coffee Shop should be on everyone’s list of Must Stop places in Cape Town. Being served excellent coffee by attentive staff in a setting that resembles a ‘League of Extraordinary Gentleman’ film set turns the experience into entertainment. The Croque-Monsieur on a wet, cold day should be mandatory.
As part of International Design Capital, the Castle of Good Hope was the setting for Karmers. Amongst the exhibits, spots of design flair. Casually discarded against the stone of the castle. Unexpected brilliance.
De Grendel, for their very good Pinot and excellent bubbles, watching the storms across the mountain. A charcuterie platter to nibble on as we watched the distant activity in the harbour that could, with wine fueled creativity, been sailing ships of the first settlers.
UCT Graduate School of Business
Quiet contemplation. One of the values around which the UN Leadership Training is structured. Recognizing that they have a room full of frazzled field people who need space in coming off their ADHD lives. Within the fantastic facilities of the UNCT Business School, courtyards, gardens, art and the myriad of corridors rough the former prison, a natural maze in which to loose oneself.
My single expectation of the course, as highlighted on the Board of Truth, against which sessions are measured for relevance and application to our jobs, is to ‘Change the Paradigm’ – You can’t get different results if you keep doing things the same way. ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do’ – Alice in Wonderland.
We have a small, moldy cottage, on the steep slopes of Signal Hill in De Waterkant. Trendy, beautifully restored and a short walk down the hill to the Business School. The lawns next to the sea at Moullie Point for Polly’s walks. An abundance of coffee, wine and eating options.
The Piano Bar has a comfortable, if narrow, terrace from which to watch the sky turn ultramarine blue. A menu of interesting, tasty, snack options to keep the wine company. Music and people, a constant swirl.
A fascinating discussion by Dr Ramphele on leadership in Africa and the entitlement, rather than responsibility models. Challenging us to affect a Mindset Change in Leadership, as it’s in our hands to make lots of small changes that have a collectively large impact.
A whole new view of leadership based on Steward Leadership (being the best leader you can for the world) that looks at Leadership Maturity.
Jazz by the UCT Jazz Ensemble at the Mahogany Room. An intimate jazz bar that, although new, has the feel of jazz masters woven into the fabric of the walls. Good wine, at an affordable price, was unexpected and the sound quality excellent. Great music, the tenor special. The absence of Cape Flats jazz influence in the program, a disappointment.
Structured model of leadership behaviour, a neat package in which to look at the different traits required in different aspects of the organisation. Contrasted against the loose, seemingly disconnected role of Art in leadership. Emphasizing the Trust aspect of leadership. A mirror of our chaotic, changing, unpredictable worlds that run contrary to set targets and systems. Beneficiaries, and what should be our focus often lost.
Not sure I’m any further forward in integrating Human Centered Design with the dimension art brings to sustainable decision making.
The different aspects of art and Africa were extended into a noisy evening at Gold, which included drumming (participatory) and dance, enhanced into food flavours, colours and textures.
25 January 13
A day of sorting the studio, packing the new wine fridge, which is a tad small, probably perfect? The new, lemon green Weber is ready for action, waiting for Fredy to arrive from Switzerland and Coreta from Knysna.
Polly is recovering from her surgery and although moving with much less pain, tiers easily and stares at us with huge eyes. Short walks in the vineyards al, that is possible for now.
The cottage garden is suffering in the heat and wind. Even the rugged agapanthus are taking strain and many of the vineyards are showing signs of heat stress. For all that, the drive through to Stellies was stunning where we enjoyed excellent sushi at Genki’s.
On the patio, with Francolin’s and their chicks visiting, Terry’s superb terrine, accompanied by bubbles and Bein Merlot rose. Perfect on a scorching day. The question, being implemented by the ever patient David. What is the optimum length for the wind paddle of the wind chime?
Dentist sorted, we stopped at Wild Peacock for a pre-lunch cappuccino and a haircut. Jordan Estate for a stunning lunch, the valley golden in the sunlight. Dad and Mary drove down from Montagu and Hesta managed to join us. We made a fair amount of noise, the Syrah was very good, and the lemon and poppy seed soufflé with vanilla, outstanding.
Mum’s for a brief visit after a morning in the Regional Office. Lesa and Alan came across for one of Mum’s table-groaning meals and it was great to see Lesa so rested after her trambolic year and recovered from the fall from her horse.
To counter the triple assault of searing summer temperatures, sea sand and pine tree roots in the garden, I’m going to try planting in cardboard boxes, sunk into the ground filled with potting soil. By the time the cardboard has disintegrated the plants should be established enough to to withstand the roots. We stopped at Delios to see what garden bench, urns and other elements could be used in some of the areas where the plants are struggling.
Twelve Apostles, where Polly is welcome with her own menu and the blue sea stretches to where it falls off the world. A few seals to keep us entertained while we enjoyed a glass of wine and a light meal before dragging ourselves back to the cottage for a well earned nap.
My painting, confined to the wooden garden furniture!