Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beneath the rain

The rain, the rain has washed away my tracks,  not unlike butter spread on cat paws; now I'm under the wonderful disillusion that I've lived here all my life, nowhere else. Cape Town has been like that me, which is why - this time - it feels to me that I've been adopted, not the other way around.

They've been big-fat-splat drops that have made a defenite, welcome impact against the windows and the roof. Juicy and ripe drops that have fallen heavily. Then burst.

I'm living above a house now,  just beneath the heavy-sky rain. It's a wonderfully odd shaped room of many angles, precise triangles. It's a broken white painted wood-panelled room, floor straight to ceiling,  with a lead paned window and a double lead pane French door that opens onto a medium sized roof deck that's all mine.

It's a delicious attic room with a stand alone wooden wardrobe that gives me unfettered access to the Newlands Forest,  the Rhodes Memorial, and Narnia; I've my lion and a witch. I moved in here on Thursday. At last I'll have time to ingratiate myself with my 6 year-old God daughter,  Lily Rose.

There are four books on my bedside table, three of which are intricately linked to Cape Town. The fourth book, Werfsonde by Kleinboer, harks back to Yeoville, Johannesburg, and reminds me that I do in fact have Transvaal tendrils and roots.

I've moved back into the coffee shop, amongst the people and books and coffeearoma. Next to a young couple tentatively feeling around themselves: "If you ever hurt me...", I'm worried that his deep nasal voice and wandering mind might put me to sleep. I'm automatically protective of her youthful wholesomeness, in memory of mine (long, long gone), not ever wanting it cracked or broken. I'm not made to bring offspring on to this planet, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

I moved into Newlands on Thursday;  right beneath The Mountain, it's known as the southern suburbs 'burb with the most rainfall. I've no problem with that of course: red wine, good coffee, books, wood smoke and soot blackened hearths. Not to mention my attic room.

In brackets: "The flâneur has no specific relationship with any individual, yet he establishes a temporary, yet deeply empathetic and intimate relationship with all that he sees--an intimacy bordering on the conjugal--writing a bit of himself into the margins of the text in which he is immersed, a text devised by selective disjunction." (

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Lounge delights

Lauren Beukes (of The Shining Girls fame) and Charlie Human, author of 'Apocalypse Now Now', in conversation - at the book's launch - at The Book Lounge in Roeland Street, Cape Town.

It's my first literary anything in the city, and I'm without doubt, not the last. It's just one of the many reasons I chose to leave Waterval Boven for last August.

I love how the street characters (read crazies) meander in and though the shop,  straight off the pavement. Gracefully they greet the arty farty yoga practicing vegetarian majority. I'm at home.

This is undoubtedly one of the great bookshops of the Cape.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Cape of Good Hope

After a long weekend in the Drakensburg - sans electricity and mobile phone signal,  relying on solar polar (which suited me perfectly) - celebrating two birthdays and saying goodbye, we returned to Durban.

I packed hastily and left early afternoon via the backroads for Cape Town. I had great intentions for the journey. I wanted it to be a lingering one via places I'd not seen before, and to nostalgically revisit places that impressed my heart and mind. Like Hogsback in the Amatola mountains,  and Grahamston to see my friend Mathe and to experience the annual arts festival.

An unexpected challenge was that I had to be Cape Town by 14h30 this past Wednesday, for a meeting with the HR department of the university. If I mised that I would not be included on the payroll this month. Considering that I was employed from 1 July and that I would begin lecturing on the 22nd (my number from God), I decided that I'd better put foot.

Two thousand kilometers later I got into bed in Cape Town at 4am. Exhausted from both the journey and a gruelling month of  wrapping up a relatively new life, and work, in Durban and Salt Rock (I was there 10 months).

These photos I took on Wednesday afternoon: they are of  the Camps Bay suburb of Caoe Town, the sun setting on the nearby Twelve Apostles, and then of the sun dipping into, this time, into the icy Atlantic. I will, however, truly miss the exotic and warm and wild Indian Ocean.

It is surreal being in a city that im passionate about, one that I've only ever visited as a tourist amd on vacation, but to know that I won't be leaving.

How blessed am I!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Deliberately living

I'm doing well. I spent my long weekend in the Drakensburg, mostly reading next to a log fire; tonight, my first in Cape Town, I'm again sitting next to a fire drinking red wine and listening to the tick-tock of a black and white clock.

The Drakensburg was awesome,  it's over a decade since I was last there. And within two nights I am just over two thousand kilometres away from the heavy but never oppressive silence and its champagne clear air.

In the corporate world,  before I left it, I always steered clear of fire smoke and eating garlic... because I was always thinking of clients and colleagues, and off putting smells. Some of life's finest moments are intertwined with fire smoke and garlic I've learned.. now I shy away from neither, they are my ecstatic celebration of life.