Saturday, January 26, 2013

A winter morning, in sunlight

It's cold on the terrace. The water in the birdbath barbecue braai has frozen. There is still sparkling snow in the pots. In the night, as I lay awake thinking about the lost dolphin, I heard the snowplough scraping the streets, a hollow, metal roar.

The cat insisted on going to the roof this morning. His fur coat did a good job. After he had left the squirrel came and pawed through the dead leaves of the Alpine strawberry. It found what it was looking for - dried berries - and ate them. This is the animal who will not eat them fresh, in summer. I felt bad and put out some almonds for him, in the snow beneath the fig tree.Vince scolded me.

I see things to do: the dry sticks of calamintha, catnip, strawberries and agastache to cut back, roses, clematis and fig to prune, and a tidying of the half frozen tiarella, heuchera and the sodden but hardy begonia. I shall think about ordering some Formosa lilies. I have missed them. The Silk Road and Dunyzades are frozen and asleep in their large pots.

We breakfasted together, all three of us, in the sunlit room, and ate bagels and smoked salmon and drank coffee. We decided that coffee does not go with smoked salmon. Sparkling wine is far better.

Soon,  I'll go and visit the farmers market and then I must do something terrible: buy fresh apricots at Pacific Gourmet. I know. Northern Hemisphere + Apricots = January. No. Although, ironically, this cake evolved in Cape Town, in January. I'm buying apricots because I panicked when re-reading a recipe in The Book where the editor queried a sugar measurement, and I need to re-test my apricot cake instructions for The Book.

And perhaps I'll buy a bottle of something with bubbles in it...


  1. Here's something better to think about - a humpback whale with fishing-line ensnared in its mouth. It would not be able to feed. It was rescued and freed - after 5 HOURS and able to swim away.
    Have a look at "Entangled humpback whale freed"
    off Dassen Island. It's on News 24.
    That's how we do it here, America. Sorry to sound superior but ............ I'm very sorry too about the poor dolphin.

    1. Hm. And I'm sorry to sound sceptical but during this five hour operation no one took a picture of filmed it. Barely plausible in 2013...There is footage of previous whales being freed, and a previous-snagged whale in fishing lines, but not a single image of this one...It may have happened, but I can hardly credit the lack of images. Too odd.

    2. This link clearly states "File Photo":


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