Saturday, January 26, 2008


We had rather a good day on Thursday...

Ted's opinion? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Maggie in her finery.

My dad broke out the Taittinger.


My mom packed us a Champagne (more!) picnic and we set off to Clifton's 3rd Beach with it. While the wind raged in town, Clifton was serene and suspended in early evening light.

What was the picnic? Crayfish cocktail ( in the Cape we call spiny lobster 'crayfish'), chicken liver pâté , toasts, little pork sausages, dried mango for the Canadian, fresh cherries, and some pretty fine bubbly.

Vince wearing his new accessory...


Sunset on the 24th of January.

And the last glass of bubbly by candlelight... were worth the wait. You were worth everything.

Boulders Beach. Better.

The previous pictures I posted of Boulders were messed up. I'd accidentally set my camera to tungsten and, well, too blue.

We packed a picnic and returned on a calmer day to this beautiful little bay beside the penguins, set up camp on a lick of beach reached via a crouch-height tunnel between two boulders and some clambering over some more, and swam and watched the funny birds who were quite unfazed by our presence.

Something lurketh in the deepeth. Vinceth?

With a full moon approaching, so did a very high tide. The rock we'd moved to after our beach disappeared under water was now surrounded by blue and we waded out and through the now-wet passage between the earlier boulders. Then we drove home the long way, into Cape Point past Smitswinkel Bay (below), where we visited Buffels Bay, scene of my baboon-hijacking at the age of 14. This time we saw only oystercatchers and seagulls.

And on past Scarborough (below) where the sea is always this intense turquoise. Yesterday Scarborough started to burn, down from the mountain and six houses were lost. Four firefighters received third degree burns to hands and faces, and this morning the fire choppers continue tirelessly to bomb the fire that crossed the mountain towards Ocean View.

Victoria and Albert Waterfront

We dropped my mom off for what we thought would be an interminable wait for her new drivers license application, and went off to the Waterfront to look for seals and coffee while we waited for her call.

One of the yacht basins with apartments beyond. Not a bad view.

The working dry dock at 8.30am.

Seals! yay....sunning themselves beside a catamaran.

Mine! Mine! Mine! Bloody seagulls.

Then the phone rang. Application filed successfully within three quarters of an hour. Something in South Africa works. The Greenpoint DMV had no ESKOM issues that day and order reigned.

Kirstenbosch revisited

Vince gets into the mood with a mandevilla flower at breakfast on the patio...

Later, before noon, Fern Buttress looms over the upper entrance to Kirstenbosch, where we had lunch with Mama and looked at the gardens on the lower slopes.

Agapanthus "Graskoppie", now becoming a familiar sight, but still lovely with its tight flower buds and deep colour, quite unlike the old-fashioned, pale-flowered version.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Boulders Beach

Vince really wanted to see penguins, so we went on a howly-wind day to Boulders where we were blown about by the ridiculous southeaster along with a lot of stomping, sheeplike tourists. We fled to the next door beach, where thankfully, the tourists do not venture, and crawled, climbed and swam our way to a secluded spot along with some very friendly penguins who felt the same way we do about crowds.

Ah, Tungsten setting on camera: visit this post to see pictures of Boulders in real colour!

Day 2, Cape Town style

Vince with Julie Atkinson, at Atkinson's Antiques (213-215 Long Street), where he bought something...nice.

We took our supper up Lion's Head, not to the top but to a bench with a view of the Twelve Apostles and Table Mountain. The Diemersfontein pinotage is very, very lekker. Thank you Guy and Jay: we had it with Serrano ham and fresh nectarines, with runaway brie and provita biscuits for dessert. A lady walking down the mountain checked out our spread, patted me on the shoulder and said, That's the spirit!

Welcome to Syouth Efrica, ESKOM-style

When coffee time rolled round on Vince's first real morning in South Africa, we had a power outage. One of many scheduled and unscheduled rolling brownouts to preserve what's left of our ailing grid before it is fixed in, er, 5-10 years' time.


I hauled out an ancient paraffin stove and Selina showed me how to light it without singeing my eyebrows. Bialetti pot plus Illy plus flame plus hot milk = pretty good coffee. We had it on the patio with Andre Khamel, below...

Where's my milk, man?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Vince est arrive

Two nights before Vince arrived Guy knocked on the front door (always the better door to knock on, one finds) and presented this Orange Bag, from him and Jay, for Vince. It killed me to look at it for two days and not peek. Well, I peeked a little.

Vince's first lunch and the bag's contents revealed: biltong and droewors! - we saved the delicious Diemersfontein [thanks Guy!] Pinotage for last night - pictures to follow. With our biltong sandwiches we had a glass of Steenberg bubbly.

Beence acclimating...

Later, at Cecilia (his first day on land, after three days sleepless, he goes for a hike!), overwhelmed by corgis, or, as Vince calls them, The Caterpillars.

Disa Falls
Now we're off to check out some penguins...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

With wings of angels

Air France Flight 45 has taken off two minutes ahead of schedule from Seattle and is heading NW in the direction of Calgary en route to Paris. It carries precious cargo: a French Canadian soul loved by me and known by a Dominican black cat as Beence. But that's a long story.

Beence will arrive in Paris with less than two hours to spare before transferring to his inbound African flight. May his tailwinds be sweet.

(I say that about Ben the labrador, too...)

01/16/08: 8,000 kms later:

Air France Flight 994 en route to Johannesburg left its gate forty-four minutes late: is that because it was waiting for Vince's luggage and paraglider to be transferred??? They will fly over Africa in daylight, missing the beautiful electric storms on the horizon that accompany nightflights but seeing the beautiful northern desert.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Corgi wrasslin'

Maggie: I'm going to strangle you, Ted!

Maggie: You taste funny, Ted!

Ted: If you touch me there again, Maggie, I'm going to bite your nose off!

Maggie: Ted, you idiot, we're running off camera. How can we be famous if we're off camera??

Maggie: Act natural! This is a money-shot, Ted!

Ted: This is exhausting.

Maggie: You smell funny, too.

Ted: This isn't funny!

Hey! Hey! Hey!

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