Out of Season. Out of Time.

February. We’d arranged to look after Sophie and Bobby in the New Forest. Two labradors. One golden. One chocolate. Both gorgeous. Sophie is nine. A dog with selective hearing. Always hanging back, rolling in something unsavoury, eating something disgusting. She’ll come back when she’s ready, tongue lolling, looking up at me as if she’s laughing; sticking her nose into my pocket hoping for a treat. … Continue reading Out of Season. Out of Time.

Kate’s Story.

‘I’m naughty Kate’, she said, extending her hand, and looking at me over the top of her glasses. Her eyes sparkled, but it was clear she was a force to be reckoned with. She continued making her jewellery,  painstakingly threading beads onto cotton, as she told me her story. ‘I have two children,’ she said, a boy and a girl, but there’s sixteen years between … Continue reading Kate’s Story.

A Market Within Sight of the Ocean.

Travelling so much has it’s downsides. Lack of regularity, lack of habit, lack of roots. To compensate we establish our own traditions when we stay a while. In Cape Town, visits to the Oranjezicht City Farm market every Saturday morning became a looked forward to treat. It was (nearly) all about food. And mostly about eating it. Some even took their own plate! The raw stuff looked … Continue reading A Market Within Sight of the Ocean.

The Kruger Bubble.

Kruger National Park is a bubble. A fantastic bubble. But a bubble nonetheless. Real life is suspended. ‘Won’t it be nice to get back to a normal routine? You know, get up, have a cuppa, slow breakfast and a shower, instead of shooting off looking for animals’, said Jim. Some things to think about during a trip to the park. The Early Bird Catches The … Continue reading The Kruger Bubble.

The Power of a Tea-bag.

‘If a tea-bag can be given a new lease of life, I think a human being can’. Lynette Torbit. Tucked away in Hout Bay, just along the road from Imizamo Yethu is a heritage Cape Dutch property. Set back from the road, it’s not so noticable, but inside magic happens. Lives are transformed along with the tea-bags, rubbish becomes art, creativity and confidence surge, and … Continue reading The Power of a Tea-bag.

A Tale Of Two Hoods: The Bo Kaap And The Waterkant.

The Waterkant ‘Second palm tree on the left please’… that’s what we tell taxi–drivers. I love ‘living’ in the quaint Waterkant, a.k.a. ‘the village’, a Disneyfied version of the Bo-kaap. It’s quiet, genteel, an ex–pat enclave, and supposedly Cape Town’s gay quarter, but you’d hardly know it. It’s rainbow-shaded eighteenth century cottages are a kaleidoscope of colour; they are also gated, barred and patrolled by … Continue reading A Tale Of Two Hoods: The Bo Kaap And The Waterkant.

A Cottage On The Wild Side.

‘You will see the best and the worst of Africa in four hours’. Never before have we received such a list of instructions to reach anywhere. We were driving through the old Transkei to reach Melissa’s cottage. Here, her words, in italics, are mingled with my own impressions of a long, very memorable journey. Dead dogs – 6. Corrugated iron churches – 1. Accidents – … Continue reading A Cottage On The Wild Side.

Far, Far From The Madding Crowd.

‘We will take what nature gives us. I’m not going to squeeze the nature’. We were about to step into the wild. I felt a mixture of emotion. A thrill of excitement. A whole lot more fear. ‘Whatever happens don’t run. It’s not good to die tired’. Aron, the head ranger was holding forth. ‘You too are very bright’, he said, nodding at the Germans, … Continue reading Far, Far From The Madding Crowd.

Gamkaskloof: To Hell And Back.

‘First I’m going to show you Heaven and then we’re going to die hel’. We were driving through the Swartberg mountains up to the top of the Pass with John. ‘I’m a man of nature. This is my special place’, he said, stopping his 4×4 at what he called the amphitheatre. We were surrounded by mountains, with their intense colours and more swirls than a … Continue reading Gamkaskloof: To Hell And Back.

In Search Of Alf.

‘As you get older you begin to look back; you think of your roots, because you know you’re soon going to be a part of those roots’, Henk mused as we bit into biltong and drank coffee out of tin mugs. Maybe that’s what the search for Alf was all about Alfred Faulding Tomlinson was – like me – a ‘yellow belly’: a Lincolnshire lad, hailing … Continue reading In Search Of Alf.