Thursday, July 08, 2010

The Fairest Cape

We have all fallen in love. Again.
To explain - the four of us have just returned from a 10 day break in Cape Town. Enough said.
By way of apology to the Langkloof I add the following. We do not choose those we love in life. It just happens. Love is sneaky. So:
It is not our fault that -

  • we lived in a friends flat on the slopes of Fish Hoek mountain and 
  • the sea was spread out before us everyday like a huge expanse of smooth satin or with straight lines of white tipped waves 
  • or decorated with fluttering hankerchief sailboats 
  • or painted barbie pink and Netherlands orange 
  • or supporting a HUGE grey battleship 
  • or inviting us up a lemon path reflecting a yellow moon leading up to our door...

It is not our fault that -

  • Kalk Bay has lost none of its charm and Olympia Cafe has the same waitrons, dressed by lost property, who still remember us, and served us croissants to that familiar sound of eggs being whisked in a stainless steel bowl.
  • we had the best cappuccinos up a cobbled lane, with the coffee brand written on the foam by a true artist 
  • Kalk Bay has the best bookshop in the world with just enough books on wide wooden shelves ( those huge bookshops overwhelm me so..) It was there that we happened apon an interview with Andre Brink who inspired me by sharing insights about writing, and at 75 has just published his 25th novel - and we sipped wine and nibbled snacks leaning against the bookshelves, the dust of Joubertina still powdering our boots.

It is not our fault that -
  • we have been blessed with the very best of friends who invited us out to dinner, lunch, breakfast and coffee. The sight of their dear faces over tables groaning with food, candlelit, or dappled, lit by sunlight through trees, or dazzlingly lit by sun reflected off the sea...filled us with happiness. What fun they all are, giggling into their wine glasses, or seriously considering a thought , poised over a teapot, or pausing a moment between animated speech to chew that muffin, braaied fish over hot coals, or apple crumble and freshly whipped cream...

It is not our fault that -
  • Cape Town was in the middle of the biggest party ever. Everywhere flags where flying, vuvuzelas were blowing, people were smiling , cheering, laughing... We witnessed the Orange Army on the day they whipped Uruguay, felt the 'gees' were part of the 'Fehvah'. We watched the games on TV, and ofcause we talked soccer, had our favourite players, favourite teams, shared in the agony of Ghanas defeat, the glee of 'Jan van Riebeecks se mense' se victory. In other words - 'die Kaap is Hollands'.

It is not our fault that -
  • my parents are getting older than I can bare, and a day spent with them, and my sisters family and G and J left the sweetest taste on my tongue.(Although the Swedish rhubarb pie with Woolworths Vanilla Custard could have accounted for that.) Watching my Dad watch my two playing soccer with their young cousin under the oak tree, rope swing strung out of the way of the goalposts, is a treasured memory.
  • saying goodbye to the two of them, waving from their gate under the garden light can hardly be thought of without a lump appearing, as it did then, in my throat, so that I could only look ahead, at the road.

It is not our fault that -
  • Cape Town, after an absence of a year feels like home to us, still.

We took the long road home. We needed the many hours to make the necessary shift. We opened our front door to the smell of roses. Our dogs leapt to greet us. Our friend greeted us with joy, as we did her.
But it felt like a seed had been sown. A corner turned. Our eyes are looking back, over our shoulder, but, for the moment, we are here.

1 comment:

  1. What a vivid summary - I loved reading it, especially as we get ready to say goodbye to this fairest Cape ourselves. It was wonderful to see you and blessings!!