Friday, December 28, 2007

Finding family

I have always joked that in the Viljoen family it's every man for himself. We're not exactly what you call close. You fall alone, you rise alone. Combination stiff upper lip and Dutch Reformed insularity. One of the reasons I love the movie Moonstruck is that the whole family gathers around the table and eats no matter what. Yells, screams, subsides and then everyone still loves each other, if grudgingly.

So it's nice to meet fresh blood and an instant cousin. The last time I met Andrew he was a little boy, visiting from and missing the States and asking plaintively for hamburgers. He was here with his mom Judi, my dad's half sister. Our hamburgers didn't cut it.

Yesterday he and his new wife Christine showed up with his (and my)Uncle Peter (my dad's half brother) and Co., for lunch, and after glasses of Pierre Jourdin Rose on the patio we went round the corner to the Cellars-Hohenhort for lunch. It has one of the loveliest gardens in Cape Town.

[It is also home to very good martinis, which I have promised Vince...]

Possibly one of the prettiest parking lots in the world? Castle Rock to the left of the cypress; Fern buttress to the right.

A view through the layered Australian cherry hedge to the citrus garden and ancient (circa 1700's) camphor trees beyond.

The original little vineyard in front of the Hohenhort. Roses are typically planted at the ends of rows of grapes because the pests, especially fungal, that attack grapes show up earlier on the roses, so they act as an indicator of vine health.

Vietnam, Rwanda, Cote d'Ivoire, France, have their fields of sorrow. This is a field of sorrel. In the terraced herb and vegetable garden. Good for soup and sauces for salmon...

Walking down the lawn of the Cellars, my dad giving Andrew a hug.

One shouldn't crop the, er, plumper members of one's extended family from a picture, but one does...Andrew and Christina, side view...
Hopefully, next time I'm in Chicago to visit Lisa, we can hook up.

1 comment:

  1. I have a smart comment about the last paragraph but I think I'll refrain... ;-)


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