Monday, December 29, 2008
For the small, family Christmas dinner this year we banished the books and returned the room to itself. Flowers from the garden and lots of candles, the old Waterford crystal hauled out for its annual airing, the silver unwrapped and placed on clean white damask.
Absurd, perhaps in the light of photographs in the newspaper, bombings and burnings, cholera and Gaza...
On days following a storm piles of kelp may be washed up on shore and the little kelp flies and decaying seaweed smell keep one away. But after the kelp has dried or washed back out to sea the striped shades of turquoise and azure, caused by various shallows and deeps close to shore, are unsurpassed by any other, I think, around this lovely coast. A 25 minute or so drive from home, it is not the closest beach, but one of the emptiest, and a frequent picnic site.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I opened the covers and could not believe what I was seeing. Brigitte had made a book about 66 Square Feet, with the help of her Mac's software, and had had it beautifully bound. Software is one thing and wonderful, and now I want a Mac, but what it can't do is impart taste, or do it in its own time. The photo's and layout with occasional quotes from posts are so thoughtful and done with such a discerning eye that I believe Ms Mounier should consider a new career in publishing.
A husbandly hand looking through the pages...
I brought the book to Cape Town to show it off and my father said, having been right through it (a testiment to its appeal, since he is always nose-deep in work with no patience for distractions): I have never heard of a more intelligently loving gift.
And that about sums it up.Thank you, Brigitte. You have collected my flowers, food, cat, and memories, and made them last forever, beautifully.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
There is a house up the road, here in the cul de sac in Constantia, recently renovated by its refugee owners from Johannesburg, and omsingeled by a new 8 foot stone, brick, mortar and electric wire wall. The house has a name, stuck onto the wall in big brass capitals.
Ag no, man. Maybe it's a joke. Maybe they forgot the word NOT, after the rose...As dit is wat julle will he moet julle verder trek.
We can't see any roses through their parallel wood-barred gate. I see a lot of pink gaura. Texan native. The owners told the builders who made the wall that snakes would soon be introduced to the garden. Night snakes, day snakes, and, especially, wall climbing snakes.
There are some grass snakes in my mother's garden, and there are some roses. There is no wall. Above, the 8 foot tall David Austin rose, Graham Thomas.
Below, Rosa "Sharifa", with cat. The rose has a famously strong scent, but I find it no more lovely than Abraham Darby's...Below, in bud, Rosa mutabilis - like the nicotiana in the previous post, its colours fade over several days, starting off deep fuchsia and becoming a blown-out pinky yellow.