Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Merry and peaceful Christmas to all.

Phosphorous waves at sunset out in the lagoon, from the red-tide that has swept down the coast, creating mayhem for the shellfish industry.

Weather stunning for the mile swim (I didn’t swim) and the Blues Festival at Mitchell’s brewery. Guess I shouldn’t have expected the wine, at a brewery, to be anything other than subnormal, however, it was the only disappointment on a great afternoon. The line-up of bands (eight of them) was varied. The music excellent. The showmanship, complete with spinning guitars, outstanding. A sprinkling of protest songs about the economy, corruption and incompetence, unexpected.

Yellow cotton balls of colour on thin read stems (Biesiegras) caught my attention on the turnoff to Springer Bay. With the summer heat, the fynbos has changed. From the rainy season greens to grey renosterveld, sprinkled with a gazillion blue flowers like Christmas lights. Against the sky, a small farm house dwarfed by the tree protecting it from the afternoon sun. Thrilled with the new French Yellow and Lemon Yellow Intense artists oils from Chavrin.

Christmas week and the studio is busy with visitors. The curious and those merely browsing as part of their holiday recharging. An unexpectedly large number of fellow painters interested in my technique and use of colour, happy to sit and talk about my paintings. Experiences relived through the paintings from different parts of the world.

Caprese salad, with sun drenched tomatoes and basil leaves from the struggling herb pots. Seared salmon with bacon crumble and green beans in nutty butter with cream cheese and Parmesan sauce for Christmas eve dinner. The sleigh festooned in flashing lights, brought Father Christmas and his helpers to Harbour Town to add that touch of magic.

Polly played in the waves at Brenton on Christmas morning. For the first time, the steps back up from the beach too much for her wonky legs. 

Diary of an Adventure

New York City Adventure

Macy’s. Fleeting madness on their One Day Sale to search for the elusive wide fitting shoes that only seem to be available in America. The assistance as knowledgable and useful as I’ve previously experienced. A special visitors discount. Grateful escape to the tranquility of Bryant Park behind the Library.

My moment of fame on NY1 TV, as I passed the protest outside the Embassy of Nigeria for the abducted girls.

Central Park. The Boating Pond. Cherry blossoms in the wind. Music and sunshine. Spring blooms. Impossibly green grass. Blisters and bruised feet. Knee complaining. Achilles wondering what it’s been put through? Brooklyn pale ale. Breeze cooling pink faces. Graceful white yacht sails.

With images from The Goldfinch in my mind, I made my way up the staircase at the Met, turning left at the top to take me through to the Impressionists. In a daze of wonder I moved between Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet. The collection, overwhelming. Tried the William Kenridge exhibit. Couldn’t sit still watching what seemed like a badly made Charlie Chaplin movie with broken sprocket, lurching images.

Grand Central food market. Amazing how what seemed incredibly exotic a dozen years ago, has become normal. Still special, but not exotic. Underwood Pinot Noir a great companion wine to the seared salmon.

I’m sure the cleaning people at the hotel will think they have arrived at the home of street person. Broken shoes, old clothing, empty boxes and shopping bags piled in the corner. Some I’m sure still with Juba dust!

Breakfast at the all American Andrews Coffee Shop. Stewed, brown coffee. Formica table tops. Booth seating. Heinz ketchup. Frenetic. Bright. Noisy. Subway rumble. Far too much. NYC.

Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Diary

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Clear, sunny autumn weather enabled us to enjoy the Gugulethu Tenors, an Afro Pop Quartet, on the lawns at Zevenwacht. Hesta kept us a spot, a bottle of wine, as well as blankets to stop our bums from freezing. The music was great, the setting spectacular. The weber has had a good workout, with remote instructions from Coreta.

Looking out at the mist enveloping the vineyards, the wind chimes breaking the stillness, it’s difficult to believe that a few hours ago we were walking on the beach in brilliant sunshine. Polly, very happy to paddle and chase seaweed. Exercise that she now thinks justifies staying in bed long after we should have been out walking. That she was awake at midnight to ensure the security guards on their circuit knew that she was alert, thrown out as additional justification.

Not having spent much time at the cottage the past few trips back home, the chore list (haircut, computer, globes, tumble dryer, wine, visas) has dictated that we circuit daily through Stellies. Wild Peacock still a favourite breakfast, lunch or cappuccino stop.

Terry’s lamb shanks in three day stock, magnificent. Black Rock ’05, and the ’08 Radfordale Chardonnay excellent.

A golden grapevine waterfall bubbling from the dark arches of the modern winery at Saronsberg. On a green canvas, the lake, a reflecting pool for the mountains against which the statue a lady stands in contentment. The gallery is a superb space, the paintings by Paul du Toit stunning. The service was a tad disappointing with no effort made to entice a clearly keen bubbles drinker.

Not so at Rijks down the road, where we would still be if we hadn’t needed to get back to the cottage. Our lunch on the patio was uncomplicated, tasty, with the exact dose of autumn sunshine. We left with the mobi-kennel full of their Chardonnay which they are discontinuing.

Julia Child’s recipe of the classic French dish, Boeuf Bourguignon brought to life by Terry in the cottage kitchen. Despite the best intentions, it was impossible to have more than two servings. Another reason to ditch vegetables, as they take up too much room.