Thursday, 31 May 2012

Girlfriends and coffee

Boyfriends and husbands have come and gone, tears have been shed and celebrations planned, pregnancies anticipated, children have been born, money comes and money goes-  but if you're really lucky your girlfriends stay the same.

In the old days it was a daily ritual, now 20 years on...ok, maybe a teensy bit more... we're fortunate if it's every 3 months. It doesn't really matter though, it could have been yesterday, everyday or last year- we simply start where we left off.

Sharing, commiserating, celebrating, solid advice given and taken-all honed by years of familiarity and wisdom, but let's not forget that other necessity........ a delicious dose of good old-fashioned juicy gossip!

Haas in Rose street, Bo-Kaap- a fabulous place for cosy winter coffee chats

Monday, 28 May 2012

Beef Oxford

All things British are trending at the moment- the Olympics, the Queen's diamond jubilee and.......Beef Oxford.

After a couple of weeks of describing the beef stew, as well as emailing me the recipe, the art teacher realised he needed to take matters into his own hands and chose mother's day for the occasion.

I thought it was delicious, (I had a fabulous mothers day) he thought it a bit bland and boring- next time we're going to 'tweek' it- some more green pepper, a touch of tomato, something to lift it? disrespect- all in the Crown's honour of course!

Recipe- a standard stew recipe. Toss the stewing beef in seasoned flour, brown, (the art teacher was very authentic and browned in lard), set aside, add onion, garlic, 100g  mushrooms, 1 green pepper, saute, throw the meat back, add stock and wine, more wine than stock of course! Finally 1 tablespoon of apricot jam and some new potatoes, simmer on the stove for 1 1/2 - 2 hrs.

Perfect for those cold, wet days, when the clouds hang heavy and the trees have few leaves left.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Diaz, Kimberley hotel, Dave and Them tornados

Bright city lights- not our Cape Town, not this part of town,

Like someone who has seen it all, subtle and forgiving, dark corners accepted and secrets a given.

Dinner at the Diaz with the renaissance couple- (remember the cool Barrydale hotel)- great start to the evening, this time overflowing, see it quieter here, exuberant party table in the centre, a Stormers win on the telly and Trinchado to die for.

Not forgetting an unlikely trio in the corner that belted out a kick-ass 'Walk the line' - then we were off to hear Dave Ferguson's familiar version at the Kimberley Hotel.

The end of Dave's whirlwind visit and as always a roof-raising send off.

We arrived to the great sound of Long time Citizen, then the balcony cleared to hear Dave, sadly only a glimpse of his head- but we've seen him plenty.

Somehow missed Wind up Wanda- too much balcony time. Them Tornados arrived with a flourish, the art teacher standing on the couch for a pic by this stage.

A gorgeous wee bit of a lass joined them for a few songs-  no mistaking the chemistry with the front man, but perhaps a trio is best for a while longer.

A very satisfied drive by- drive home

Monday, 21 May 2012

New Hout Bay Market revisited

It's almost a year since the Bay Harbour Market opened its doors and I peeked in on that first Saturday.

Friday evening was perfect for a revisit, the cars were still parked most of the way up the road and throngs of happy families were strolling towards the light and the warmth.

The warmth is quite literal, a huge hearth to warm the benches with an equally large stack of tree stumps to feed it and if the fire isn't enough to warm you, there is plenty to drink from the bar.

Lots more stalls to splurge on, clothes, antique jewellery, curios and home ware, not forgetting the food- glorious food- loved the look of the bunny chow, the Tunisian's schwarma and lamb curry looked and smelt scrumptious, but thought the oysters at R20 each were a bit pricey, so sadly declined.

A hypnotic reggae beat in the background, smiling friendly faces, tinkling of glasses, appetizing smells and little people safely whizzing around on wooden scooters- it's a bit like a home party.

Friday, 18 May 2012

counting canapes

The last week has been a whirl of shopping, cooking, counting, garnishing, wrapping, delivering and then collecting.

The art teacher grabbed a few platters before they flew out the door-  some pretty pictures for you.

Here's to a weekend filled with good food......that you get to eat!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Tibetan prayer flag gardening

Awhile ago the yacht builder and her daughter came back from India bearing gifts of colourful Tibetan prayer flags, I strung one up to decorate the old grey privet who is strewn with subtle hues of equally grey air plants.

Funny thing......a month later the air plants flowered for the first time in 15 years, delicate long pink flowers- and yes, the old tree shot out 2 brand new glossy green shoots where the flags had hung- all quite unnecessary, as we adore this special little tree just the way he is - more about him later.

Our flags carry pictures of the galloping Wind Horse, four corners displaying Garuda, Tiger, Dragon and Snow Lion, sacred animals depicting wisdom, strength, confidence and joy.

Sacred Mantras are printed between, the bright colours depicting the five elements.

I've moved the flags to my veggie garden, their whispers free to blow in the wind, I'm unable to hear them, too busy to stop, but the plants are listening.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Liza Grobler- White Termite

What is there not to admire about a woman who had two gentlemen effortlessly crocheting on the floor of Brundyn + Gonsalves on opening night last week.

Liza Grobler's exhibition White Termite, loosely taken from Eugene Marais's Soul of the White Ant - similarities between our human bodies organs working separately but with a common purpose parallels the ants nest.

Its mixed media, from crochet performance, to the intricate beadwork below, as well as painting, sculpture and drawing.

Different artist- caught everyone's eye- very fresh

and here's our very own living art treasure Bruce Gordon, its true - complete with a tattooed SANG acquisition number- doing a very nimble...that's all folks!

Drive by  drive home

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

a good day for gardening

We're enjoying a few hazy warm autumn days to entice us back into the garden, the leaves are falling gently in rhythm with the breeze, carpeting everything- thick and crunchy.

That tightly packed punnet of broad beans is for tasty shoots, I feel guilty pinching their little heads off, but now that I know how good they taste- the poor things haven't a chance.

As you can see, we worked up quite an appetite, sauteed some of those broad bean shoots in a splash of olive oil along with a couple of tatsoi leaves and our last two tomatoes- breakfast anyone?

Monday, 7 May 2012


 'God of the bushmen'- In Khoi mythology, the praying mantis is thought to be a manifestation of God.

I can see why, ferocious and brave whilst their stillness gives them an eerie Zen- like quality.

We each have one at the moment, the art teacher's is in his studio and mine is meditating in the bathroom- poor thing, he has a lot on his mind, mirrors are confusing things.

We'd rather they were outside feasting on aphids, but I suspect my lack of good housekeeping has lured them inside.

I just hope they don't find each other....riveting reading this morning- some controversy as to whether the female devours the male's head first in order to make for more rigorous mating, oh, and it seems that the males not eaten whilst mating were clever enough to avoid the hungry females- enough said!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Barbara Wildenboer- Canaries in the coalmine

Barbara Wildenboer's new exhibition opened at Heidi's Erdmann Contemporary last night.

This is the 3rd of her exhibitions that we've attended and I'm still mesmerised by the intricacy and fragility of her pieces.

Although difficult to choose, I'd have to say the above map paper cuts with clock mechanisms were my favourite,.

Her works really need to be viewed up close to appreciate her craft, the skill involved and their beauty- 'Canaries in the coalmine', see them before they all fly away.

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