Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A life well lived

If I think of Gary, it's his laugh and those devilishly twinkly eyes first, even after his strokes, he'd charade us into remembering an incident in the past and laugh heartily - delighting in the memory.

And boy, are there a lot of memories- an adventurer at heart, fear and consequence...please....pfftt...that was for us mere mortals - you don't believe me?

Going way back, how about his 'make it or break it' drive to Sun City, a lot of cash was involved and yes, you guessed it, he placed it all on Red - no half measures, he was an all or nothing kind of guy- and yes, Black came in.

I hear the click, clack, clunk of the backgammon board, Fanie and Gary laughing, playing late into the night.

Then there were the poker evenings- you can tell a lot about a person by the way they play poker.

 He won with delight, lost with grace, rarely sat out - even with a bad hand, enjoyed a good bluff- especially if it was on him, loved to go all in and always gave you a chance to win back your money- a good poker player is a rare find.

He loved hang -gliding, not always successfully- poor Lisa!
 Adored nature, one weekend, combining both at either Beaverlac or Porterville, Gary's- 'let's go for a little walk', turned out...well, as you can see below.....fortunately I wasn't a first time mother.

Passionate about horses, to watch him with his horses on the farm in Prince Albert was almost religious.

He wrote well and with humour, he would have had a great blog- Gulliver's Travels a favourite of his, Siouxsie and the Banshees his best CD at our house- good whisky a necessity.

 So many more tales, schemes and adventures to reminisce - but one thing I know- 
your friends are all better people for having known you.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Al Bairre and Shortstraw at Kirstenbosch

To spread a picnic blanket on the lawns of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on a summer Sunday evening, to sit, sprawl, stand or dance, drink in hand ...this is Cape Town  - is an exceptional experience.

It doesn't matter if you're there for the music, the gardens, the people  - ( so many beautiful people, where do they all come from- no really? )  - it's the combination and then you look up at the mountain and *sigh* - a very deep and satisfied *sigh* and happily pour another glass of wine.

Long ago as young mothers with first, then 2nd and yes, some of us 3rd children, we would get together weekly,  mainly for our sanity, often in Kirstenbosch under the big tree. 

This last Sunday one of  those little tots took to that stage with a bunch of his friends and owned it.
They played with such joy and exuberance-
 We loved them, Cape Town loved them!

After Al Bairre came Shortstraw, another fabulous Indie rock band - by the end of the evening everyone was on their feet...even those who were having trouble finding their feet.

Bless you dear Kyle for giving us moms a perfectly plausible excuse to jump up and down, sing, shout and cheer like our teenage selves would have done.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Fire Tales

Now that the ash has settled and the paintings are back on the wall - minus the spiders and cobwebs behind them of course... there are tales to tell.

Our road leading to the top of the mountain is very long, winding and steep, the properties huge, surrounded by high walls or hedges, almost 30 years on and we only know by name or face, sometimes by both, a couple of neighbours.

This is no Wisteria lane, but last 'fire night' everyone was flushed into the street.

To be fair I'll start with myself, when packing clothes to evacuate, in went those louboutins, my fur stole put it kindly I would have looked like a ditzy old bat the next day in my heels, party dress and fur stole!

My daughter packed responsibly, including the grade 11 maths papers she was to say, I think they would have preferred if they had burnt.

My son packed all this clothes, computer, skate board, basically everything except his school books and school uniform- say no more.

 And in the road....

We were treated to a car show, one neighbour made at least 7 trips - my heart fluttered at the sight of a 1950 silver Porsche 356 coupe, I know.... thou shalt not covet thy neighbours goods- or something like that- but what a beauty.

Around the first corner, a fierce argument about fire etiquette, evidently it's prudent to pack, but not to flee unless told to, instead stay and extinguish any embers on your property- I'm in agreement, the poor firemen needed all the help they could get. 

The neighbour who played the entire 'Grease musical' last party- turned out to be a charming and witty lady.

The gentlemen who we thought was mostly pickled- is always pickled and the Cannabis plantation didn't need to be saved as the cops found it last week.

Strangest comment - ' If a horse comes down the road just direct it to Greens Restaurant'

Strangest sight- at about 6 am a cyclist in full gear, head down, peddling fiercely up the road towards the fire.

That was my blog ..... then this morning I walked up our road to the mountain.

I cried when I stood on the top.

top of our road

My children spent these past holidays setting their alarms for 3.30 am and then hiking up the mountain to the top for the sunrise- they came home at 8 am- flushed and exhilarated from the magic of the forests in the hours before dawn, the sunrise through the trees, the wildlife and birds in the dense tree top canopies in the ravines- surely home to all the escaped parrots.

Don't talk to me about the fynbos- the trees are all gone.

 I missed my chance to share the experience with my children- you won't hear "I'll join you next time" leave my lips again.

The vineyards mostly saved, some are scorched and unfortunately some of the red grapes not yet harvested

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