Sunday, December 25, 2011


A long, long journey, but at last I saw familiar landscape far below our wings. In Dubai, in the waiting area near our flight's gate, South African voices had eased me into the homecoming. Strangers from every corner of the globe, gathered here at this hub, compared notes on favourite rusk recipes, the merits of rooibos tea versus coffee for dunking, the best sort of biltong, and when they would enjoy their first braai.

Outside my bedroom window, the garden in bloom.

My welcome lunch under the tree. Ham, salad with sweet pineapple, the small, golden kind I can never find in New York, delicious bubbly, cherries that my brother picked in Ceres earlier in the week. After lunch I passed out for hours and was woken for supper: braaied lamb chops and wors, a bottle of Nelson Estate shiraz, 2004, opened in honour of the Missing Frenchman, whose absence is keenly felt.

Christmas breakfast this morning on the patio table, accompanied by many birds. My mom had made our traditional Christmas bread stuffed with candied fruit and nuts. Later I walked the garden, sniffing flowers and taking pictures. So familiar, so very different.

It's good to be home.
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