Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf

Whenever I see the Slangkop lighthouse in Kommetjie, on the other side of the Cape peninsula, I'm reminded of my joy at reading Virginia Woolf's 'To the Lighthouse'.

For some perspective, and to escape the Table Mountain hunchback that's constantly slouching at my back no matter where I am in Cape Town, we drove to Kommetjie on Sunday, via Chapman's Peak.

For a down-to-earth pub lunch and beer at The Lighthouse Pub & Grill, which I find enormously relaxing and free of the pretentiousness and superficiality of the mother city.

There the long-haired and sunbleached children are barefoot in baggies, on bicycles or skateboards and longboards. And surfboards.

I've been on vacation since Friday and have five weeks of summer ahead.

I've not left my flat since Sunday evening; it's my second day naked and unhindered at my PC and behind the drawn cotton drapes that I sourced a year ago for R15 a metre at a favourite and olde worlde Indian fabric store in Upper Main Road, Woodstock. The drapes are shut against the encroaching summer and the south-easter that's tormenting Windsock (my term for the suburb I've chosen to live in).

I'm heading, with D, to my home in Waterval Boven; it'll be the third time that I've made it to my paradise this year: Can't wait! To sink my hands into the soul of the soil; to wake up to the wonderful screeching of steel-on-steel of the 3am train en route from the big smoke of Gauteng to Maputo on the eastern coast of Mozambique.

It will be time punctuated with intense thunderstorms, also lightning and torrents of rain. Looking forward to gulping in deeply the mountain air, also to the unpolluted night sky like black velvet sprinkled with carats of diamonds, gems; to braaing meat on the fire at the private back of the house while lifting my glass of wine to the setting sun, which goes down a helluva lot earlier than the one that sizzlingly sinks  into western horizon off Camps Bay.

Nights of quiet, the only sound being the nightjar, which haunts me in a way that I want to be haunted.

No WiFi, never TV, not even radio, only piles of books. Many of them gardening and nature related.

It'll be the first time in years that I won't be alone there.

I'm not afraid of Virginia Wolf, or of retreating to my lighthouse.

There will be a deep recharging of batteries.

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