Sunday, May 23, 2010


The school Kermis happened last weekend. We were very busy and a trifle stressed - and to top it all I had flu. Looking back I think my flu added something to the Kermis experience. I have always been one who suffers from fevers. Rudolph Steiner is very positive about all that - saying something along the lines of fevers helping on to move from one milestone to the next. I think I believe him.

I had been asked to do decorate Grade 10's stall - the Teetuin - probably because I bailed when it came to having any talent in baking - peppermint tert, melk tert, souttert or any other tert. I went at it with a will, basically packing up my kitchen, and raiding others' farmyards - stating that the theme was going to be 'Shabby Chic' or 'Oumas Kombuis' or something along those lines.

L and I arrived to set it all up at 6 in the morning. It was still dark and I was coughing, but we both felt a strange excitement, which we realized, watching the pink and orange sun rise, was because we felt like we were on a shoot. With the car piled high with decor bits and pieces, we could have been rushing ahead of the actors, cameramen and crew - memories of another life lived, not so long ago. Still, a teacher arrived with a huge abundance of lavender hacked from her farm garden - which provided the final finishing touches to a rather quaint tea garden setting - even if I do say so myself. Feverishly working took on a whole new meaning, and it was only 7 o clock!

I worked at that stall until about half past one, dimly aware that I was surely doling out my virus with just about every cup of coffee, tea and slice of lemon meringue I served. I doubt if I have ever spoken Afrikaans so well, it peeled effortlessly off my tongue, together with some English for the visiting few.

L slaved away over a hot braai all day at Grades 7's stall. I wandered over at some point seeking anything that was not sweet and we shared a sosatie amongst the smoke. By 2 I was feeling pretty grim. We had sold out every slice of every tart or cake, and I had been released to teeter to the side lines to watch the match of the day - the first rugby team playing some school from PE. I don't, as a rule do rugby, but somehow a casual glance turned into total involvement, and I found myself joining THAT mother (every school has one) who paced the line cheering like a banshee. Only I was hoarse to begin with, but I joined my croak where I could. Probably it was because of 'my' koshuis boys who were playing and I care about, suddenly. It all ended in fisticuffs and a yound lad being carried of on a kermis table with his neck in a brace in the true spirit of the game. He is okay now, thank God.

I heard from someone before I left, to go and climb into bed, that our stall had won, being the best in terms of decoration. My head was spinning, but I felt absurdly happy about that as I sank down into the pillows.

This Saturday morning saw us rising up to attend yet another Fees - this time in Misgund. Autumn is busy being particularly fine and we drove the half hour, with orchards turning yellow and red on either side of the road. All these fairs are Harvest Festivals really, held by the NG Kerk in the small dorpies, and the Misgund Fair was no different. We bought pockets of oranges very cheaply, homebaked bread and the obligatory roosterbrood, pancakes and bakkie of curry and rice. We sat with friends and drank coffee out of styrofoam cups, while Georgia cheered on the first netball team which all her friends play in. The music was loud , and is the one thing I struggle with. Platteland dorpies have a certain taste in music which takes me back to those 'Springbok Hits' records of the 70's - something I had pleasantly forgotten - until now. L and I had enough pretty quickly, but we left Georgia to hang around and hitch a ride home with a friend. Looking back I saw her with her new gang, demonstrating her skill in throwing up popcorn and catching it in her mouth!
There is little sophistication in the Langkloof, I thought, regretting not having had a portion of 'Bazaar Pudding'. Never mind, there might be another Fees next weekend, and we will be there.

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