Sunday, January 18, 2015

The motherland of all coffees

The manager in a clinical book store up the road said that a five-day long heatwave was arriving in the Cape tomorrow. I overheard her and my heart sank, even while savouring today's coolness.

The Minstrel's Carnival (it used to be known as the Coon Carnival, but's considered derogatory now) razzled and dazzled through the heart of the city for most of yesterday afternoon. Right now I'm sitting peacefully and contentedly not very far from where I watched it, on the edge of The Taj and across the street from St. George's Cathedral.

At Motherland Coffee it's cool and shaded by the shimmering trees along the mall; I'm plugged into their electricity so as to charge my phone, and connected to their wifi so that in turn I can connect to the world. It's a win-win moment in time: The coffee is awesome, as are their carrot cake muffins, they're relativel deserted, also I'm left in peace for hours at end.

A Zimbabwean acquaintance who I'm hoping to get to know better, even to go on a date with, is visiting his family in Bulawayo. He's just sent me pictures of Rhodes' grave in the Matopos, which he's visiting for the second weekend in a row.

His bushveld photos jangled a deep chord within me, reminding me of how inaccessible the African bushveld is from Cape Town. It was always very reachable when I lived in Johannesburg also while I distanced myself from the world for years in Mpumalanga province. Perhaps I took it for granted: I never knew that I would miss it this much, as well the Highveld's BIG SKY - so unlike here - that becomes packed with at first purple and then angry elephant-grey cumulus that's thunderous and electric almost daily, every afternoon, every summer. I miss those awesome and inspiring thunderstorms more than I miss anything else from when and where I grew up. 

I began today on a wooden bench in a quiet and shaded section of the Company's Gardens, directly in line with the SA National Art Gallery, reading Sue Monk Kidd's 'The Secret Life of Bees'. I intend to end it in not a dissimilar way. That will be in keeping with one of my new year objectives: to have enough time every day to relax in the sun or shade reading.



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