The tide has turned and our furniture and bits (far too many) have been moved (efficiently and quickly) from Leisure Island to Thesen Island. For now, we straddle both islands as the staircase at the apartment isn’t finished and the rails around the patios still need to be painted and strung with their stainless steel wires.
Rain pouring. One part of the studio turned into a box room. Furniture, either into the apartment (up the staircase, or over the patio railings) or into the garage if we weren’t sure where it would fit in the apartment.
A bit of blood. A bunch of stiff muscles.
Power Van, a railway trip up the Outeniqua Mountain with Dad and Mary. Quaint, interesting and gentle. Fabulous views through the mountains as the line twists and turns through tunnels, cutting and across bridges. The flowering plants along the route, stunning. The picnic stop is too short and we should have planned to eat at the dinning car in the railway museum.
Amongst the general chaos of moving, we managed to finalise the sale of the painting of Ernest to a collector in Johannesburg. The first sale from the studio! The painting was also a winner of an Honourable Mention at the 2015 London International Creative Competition.
The first storms have roared through the apartment. Rattling windows, and finding weaknesses. A few issues to sort. Mostly with what we leave out on the patio, to be ravaged by sun and rain. For now, the wind has gone to rest, the sunset is brilliant, and the lights shine, creating pictures in the reflection of the lake.
Our lives defined, by the the sound of halliards knocking against the masts of the yachts moored in the deep water channel of the lagoon. Changing light in the water and grasses of the estuary. And, surprisingly, given that we have no garden, bird song.
A semblance of order has been achieved in the house on Leisure Island. The movers arrived. Off loaded, and left. With seemingly, the only broken bits in one of the boxes I packed. Apparently, martini glasses don’t like having vases packed on top of them, and then being squeezed under a ton of other stuff. As the box hadn’t been unpacked since our move to the vineyard a bunch of years ago, it’s difficult to know which move was responsible! The paintings all seem to be ok, and the piano and clock are still sleeping in their special crates.
We have a functioning kitchen. Cold bubbles and have set up a sitting area in the sunroom that looks out onto a bit of garden, with the gentle sound of a waterfall. Starlings are playing in the bird bath, and the wind is rustling the trees. Polly has found a spot in the garden, although for now she isn’t budging from where she can keep an eye on her ‘sheep’ in the house.
Steenberg Park, the afternoon dog playground on the edge of the lagoon. Cricket, kite flying, golf and simply watching the afternoon light on the marsh, interwoven between the chaos of all sorts of dogs.
Plans for the studio apartment progressing. A few issues waiting to see how the aesthetics committee rule. The kitchen area a tad larger than expected. The deck smaller. All more than sufficient for two people and visitors to enjoy a glass of wine, mesmerized by the yachts in the lagoon.
The Heads are closed. A curtain of cloud locking us into the amphitheater of forests and mountains. Grey, wet skies our foretaste of the winter that lies ahead. The sunroom, a haven of lightness.
The challenge of painting mist. Easel setup and painting bits unpacked. Neck and shoulder unhappy with the different exercise of painting.
Note to self. Leaving the plug in the basin with the tap not fully close and going out for dinner is not a great idea.
Selling bits and pieces that we won’t need in Knysna through Gumtree has been quite successful. Although, I did end up caught up in a police investigation into a syndicate selling stolen cell phones. We met the person who was interested in buying my phone at the gate to the Estate, only to find out that it was undercover police, accompanied by one of the people whose phone had been stolen. All very professional, as were the detectives in another vehicle who came across.
Stellies market on a blustery day, with the mandatory Easter rain marking the official end of summer. It’s been a regular spot for the years we have been at the cottage and something we will miss in Knysna. Bubbles, roses, and biltong for Polly.
A bunch of paintings to new homes. It was wonderful to see how the painting of the elephants too command of the room. Providing different aspects depending on where you sat, and how the light caught the painting. The Cart Horse Protection Association with their paintings creating a buzz of excitement. A gentle coffee with the small doorway painting. Very special.
Last, of last, packed. The cottage of boxes silent. The clock stopped. This adventure, over.
It’s National Poetry Month, and with a box of paintings from Afghanistan, the painting ‘Shattered Dreams’ of a guy with his kite caught in the tree came to mind.
A boy stands
A kite, caught, tattered
In the cottage garden, the sage are in full flower. Their purple spikes above the patio wall, a magnet for sunbirds. The fuchsias have their last late summer burst of flowers. Pink lanterns in the afternoon sunlight. Double yellow hibiscus creating a corner of brilliance.
A charcoal illustration of fuchsia flowers in the garden. Simple lines with my left hand. My body contorting itself to try and get it be the right hand!
Managed the Manor House jogging route. My legs finding the hills impossible. My shoulder managing. Polly not sure of the break in her daily schedule.
Packing in the cottage is into its last week, the throwing about becoming more ruthless and our lives move inwards to only the few essentials. With the walls bare of paintings, it’s interesting to see how the sofa has become the focal point. The sweeping flow of the sofa throwing shadows like a sculpture. Something to remember for the studio apartment.
It’s olive harvesting season. Nets spread beneath the trees that are stripped by acrobatic, rake wielding, workers. The upper branches needing ladders, while the lower branches are stripped by hand. The squirrels have ensured we have no olives in our trees!
There are new sculptures on the streets of Stellenbosch. While they provide an interesting walk through the streets, it needs a misty, grey, sort of day to transform the sculptures into life. Mist moving through, and around the works. Wet, polished surfaces, light sources. Touching, irresistible.
With my concentration on the sculptures and keeping my shoulder from being trashed by Polly’s sudden movements for that ‘must stop smell’, I managed to walk into a head height broken tree branch.