Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lunch under the tree

I have many pictures from Cape Town that I have not posted, and was looking through some, remembering, wondering, missing. I don't remember this lunch.

That's what I like about the picture. The light, the hands carrying glasses (my father's?)...Vince's arm poised, ready to carry, fetch, assist. Five glasses of bubbly on the table. Why five? Who else was there? Marijke? It looks like samosas from the market at Porter School, and bread, too; my mother's chutney.

A table laid for any meal is such a beautiful, promising thing. Cloth napkins, proper glasses, cutlery, China plates. Whether it's a picnic on a sandy beach, supper outside under stars, or a blanket on a lawn - making it beautiful rewards the effort. Nothing has to be expensive. The glasses can be mismatched, but real glass or crystal, the plates from junk shops.

I really think that eating properly makes us better people. As though sitting up straight to sip from a long stem improves our moral backbone, clinking knife against plate sharpens our wits and buttering our bread graces our hearts with possibilities.


  1. I love your idea of "eating properly".

  2. beautiful table and i agree a hundred percent-it's funny, i just posted last night about a similar idea-not exactly put as eloquently though...xo

  3. snicker. You obviously don't eat with small children at the table...

    It's hard to be a better person when you're shreiking at a toddler to PUT DOWN THAT GLASS RIGHT NOW, MISTER! ;)

  4. Lily hydrangea - proper is my middle name :-)Love me or loathe me.

    Deb - your post is gorgeous.

    Tzipporah - snicker, indeed. But Mister can have his own picnic on the floor.

  5. In university I ate from a plastic bowl and plate for years. One day I bought a set of cheap stoneware and, even though I was eating the same food, I tell you the heavens opened up. The weight of the plate on my hands as I served myself, the clink of cutlery against the stoneware were a revelation totally unexpected. I ate for the first time again.

  6. I'm sitting up straighter as I write this.

    This is a lunch I'm sorry I missed.

    I'm usually sorry to have missed any of your meals.

    Fell free to drop in om us any meal. Our napkins are cloth and our plates are china. There are always flowers about. You'll feel at home.

  7. Indeed. Our tableware is china, our napkins cotton and our glasses, well, glass.Flowers on the table? Seldom, but sometimes a pot of herbs.Also, I admit, my "piling" system. But I pile elegantly ;-)

  8. I will never bring you plastic plates and glasses again!

  9. Good bread, good butter, good heart?


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