Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

That spot in the afternoon sunshine at FSC. Cats, or the impression of cats, wonder through the house turning themselves inside-out, before curling up in the shafts of sunlight. Champagne dancing. 

Franschhoek, for the Literary Festival. A lunch stop at the Tuk Tuk Microbrewery. Tapas, those tiny excuses for food that leave you hunting for a pizza delivery. That said, the variety of Mexican inspired flavours with their various beers, or wines, was delicious and interesting. 

The De Villiers Chocolate Café should, as all WMD, carry a warning of global destruction. Making a choice, being the first impossible task, before the taste of pure deliciousness forces you back for that next, something.

Amazing they had the statue of the lady on a bench that I had used in a painting, ‘Kim Sit’, when it was in Stellenbosch. This was a bronze work, while the one in Stellies was white. For my painting, I used the installation, together with one of the street men who roam around the city.

The inclusive, connecting people of the couple in the installation reinforcing the superficial nature of racial integration, with the black figure only present in silhouette. The street walker. Excluded. Discarded.

I overnighted with Lesa and Alan after spending a day running about Cape Town for chores. Saturday ParkRun with Alan. The course, while not along the coast was challenging and fun. 

Terry managed to get us into the last seating at The Vine bistro at Glenelly, where our favourite Chef, Christophe Dehosse, is creating magic. It’s an Estate we hadn’t been too, with a contemporary building amidst the historic Cape Dutch homesteads.

With a French owner of the Estate, May de Lencquesaing, his French-inspired dishes are perfectly settled and delicious. That extra crust of crispy bread to mop up the last of the Filet Mignon wine sauce. This despite the over generous portions.

Our wine choice may not have been the best for the variety of dishes. The 2015 Cab Franc, and the 2016 Chardonnay a tad young. However, the light freshness perfect for the warm autumn day looking out over the vineyards.

The new gallery space at Ebony-curated in Franschhoek is spectacular. While the art needs to be carefully chosen to benefit from the space, light, simplicity and perspective, I doubt if any artist wouldn’t be thrilled to have their work in the gallery. 

It’s probably even worth a ‘Damien Hurst stunt’ where a buyer walked in and bought all his work to effect a ‘Sell Out’, even though he was buying (predictive text ‘burying’) his own work.

It’s been ages since I jogged up hills, and certainly the steep undulations Craig decided to add into the jog along the estuary had me short-breathed, with my legs complaining.

In the studio, the painting of the group of boys on their Odyssey adventure in taking space. A bunch of elements on a smallish canvas (90cmx60cm). Keeping the details to a minimum to reinforce that these are boys in their formative years, as well as the collective ‘Band of Brothers’, where there aren’t individuals. 
Knysna-Plett Herald article


30 Paintings in 30 Days

Day 22 thirty paintings in thirty days

La Petite
Oil on Canvas 20cmx20cm

The gardens at La Petite Dauphine in Franschhoek, are immaculately kept and are a riot of colour. Artwork is scattered throughout the garden, with French urns at focal points.

The painting is very different from the turquoise and red Frieda Khalo sort of painting I had in my head. Rather it’s a gentle painting, that reflects the restful ambiance they have created.

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

Tucked into the folds of the Langeberg mountains outside of Rooiberg, sits the Saggy Stone Restaurant and micro-brewery. It’s a busy spot for something that is 20km, much of it dirt, from the main road and the fierce sun no doubt contributed to the large volumes of beer being consumed, not lease by a party of gratefully hikers. Our food was generous and tasty, the service excellent and only the need to drive two hours back to vineyards stopped us from spending more time with Dad and Mary.

The Da Vinci exhibition at the Chavonnes Battery Gallery was intriguing. The gallery space that has been built amongst the stone foundations of the original battery buildings is stunning.

News coming out of South Sudan of the scale, and brutality of the violence, horrifying. Our humanitarian operations now the focus, and how to implement them with the staff safely relocated.

Wind chimes stirred by the breeze, a special sound bringing memories of Christmas in Tazzie. Christmas lunch under the trees at the cottage. A menu of Terry’s pâté’, Stilton, tomatoes and salad bits, with Moët and 2011 Black Rock. Indulgent and scrumptious. We sat on the couch with Lesa and Alan watching the lights come on across the valley.

Website updated, with the customary sprinkling of errors which seems to be an inevitable consequence of making a bunch of changes each time I’m home. Still haven’t found a way to do the updates remotely, particularly from South Sudan.

Carpets spread under the pine trees, cushions and carpetbags. Dogs, people, wine, food and sunshine. The family day setting at the cottage.

My cold (no malaria thank goodness) is driving me nuts!

We wound our way through the pretty Elgin valley with its hidden blue lakes amongst the green mountains, across the pass to Franschhoek and our lunch spot at La Quartier Francais. The patio provided shade, the menu a host of intriguing options and the colourful yellow and green umbrellas, a cheeky cheerfulness against the blue skies.

Diary of an Adventure

Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF)

Among the many 'bucket list' experiences, attending the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) should become a constant, and priority item. Irrespective of whether you are an artist, reader, writer, critic, tourist or resident. The FLF is exceptional and special. The craftsmanship, language, technique, tenacity, guts, inspirations, entertainment, humour, and fascination of being amongst those at the pinnacle of their abilities is heady.

Dinner with George, at the Salmon Bar did not disappoint. The service was attentive and intelligent. The food excellent. Polly was well looked after and I’m sure, the conversation unintelligible. As it should be after the amount of wine we drank.

Walking through the streets of Franschhoek on glorious autumn days, with skies Midi Blue (in the words of bestselling author Kate Mosse), and the leaves, golden, was unbelievably special. This between talks that challenged, enticed, entertained and stimulated.

On a quieter day, we had a very good late lunch at Le Quartier Francais where the food held attention. This within the glorious garden setting, while international bestselling artists strolled past. Rhubarb and goats cheese risottos. Squid in a light saffron, coconut and curry sauce. Beef short rib and bacon crumble. Tempura beans and a bottle of Môreson bubbles our menu choice. Simply sensational.

We visited the galleries, with the portraits by Luhanri Bekker arresting, and then surprisingly bumped into Lindsey, after seeing her work in the excellent The Yard Gallery space.

I even have a new book to read!

Alexander McCall Smith in Franschhoek