Wednesday, May 09, 2018

late season camping

I'm not sure how it is that we often end up camping in April. It seems quite late in the season and the chances of being rained on (we were) or it getting really cold at night (it did) are fairly high.
Nevertheless, we often camp in April.

We are of the get dirty, don't brush hair, sleep in, play with bugs school of campers. It wasn't camping if we don't come home reeking of wood smoke, with mountains of laundry and a couple of scrapes and bruises.
However I've also always come home really, really tired. The one thing I don't do well camping is sleeping - this despite us having a super-comfy mattress in our trailer tent - far more comfortable than most people would be on hiking mattresses and the like - but I still struggle. I worry in the night if my babies are cold, if a dog's going to slip away and cause a nuisance in the campsite. I listen to the wind and wonder if we extinguished the fire well enough. I strain to remember if we put the milk away, or imagine I hear the rustle of a small creature in our bread rolls. I wonder if I need a wee and then balk at the thought of getting up and finding shoes ... I wonder if anyone else needs a wee...

But this time, in addition to tons of food and warm clothes and swimsuits and first aid and and and ... all the other camping clobber, I packed ...  sleeping pills.
And that my friends, made all the difference.

Fabulous long weekend camp with old friends, lots of sleep, great food, some sunshine, some rain (ha ha quite a lot of rain), one stinky sewer, a full moon, some cows and a chameleon named Steve.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018


Much has been written about how women of a certain age gain an indisputable confidence and general whatever-fuck-you attitude.
Much has been written about whiteness, and how one of the undeniable privileges about being white is gaining access to all kinds of places without anyone questioning your validity for being there.
There's also been a few things written about Dutch courage, and the kind of bravado which can only be found in the bottom of a wine bottle.

This is a tale in which all of these collide ...

'Twas friend Y's birthday and three of us popped out to a nearby wine farm for a little fancy dinner of a rainy Wednesday evening.
En route we passed a mammoth big glass building - finally completed after months of building and traffic disruption - and noticed a little soiree happening inside.
'Is that my surprise birthday party?' quips friend Y.

We proceeded to dinner - a delightful selection of small dishes of fancy delicious things - and two very nice bottles of a wine which was not called 'Panties' despite my dinner mates continually referring to it as such. Lots of giggles, some silly selfies in the parking lot and we were on our way home thinking we'd had the most fun the evening had to offer ... until we passed back past the big glass building, and decided to just 'pop in'.

We swung in the gates and through the doors with all the self-assuredness of 40-something white ladies two bottles of wine down. And nobody stopped us.

Not one of the black-tie, ball-gowned, silver-heeled, well-oiled guests, nor any of the beefy, bull-necked, bruiser security-types even tried to stop us. Not even that slim black-clad blonde lady in the middle pic who turned out to be the gallery director and definitely gave us some quizzical glances dared actually approach us.
We were in sneakers for gods sake, but we were wearing them with a mighty confidence.
We were pigging out at the divinely decadent dessert table - the only people pigging out there I might add (I'm pretty sure the staff were on to us then) - and nobody even thought to engage us in conversation and find out who the heck we were.
We were taking photos and giggling at artworks and clearly misbehaving at the sponsors wall - but we got away with it.

Turns out it was the art event of the year. Turns out it was the patron's evening before the soft opening before the hard opening before the VIP opening of Cape Town's latest ra-ra gallery and art collection. Turns out it was quite a big deal.

Don't ever think old gals don't know how to have fun.

Monday, May 07, 2018

camera roll: April

April. I like April, always have.

At the beginning of the month I astounded myself - and a few others I think - by passing my motorbike drivers licence on the first attempt!
My learner's licence would expire in June and I was determined to get my drivers before then. Buying a gorgeous new bike was very motivating (more about that later) and while I was still not working to any extreme deadline and had the time I decided to get it done.
3 hours at the traffic department to book the appointment, a 3 hour training session with a highly-recommended local motorbike training school, another hour or so arsing about in the road outside our house practising emergency braking and stuff - and I got it. Yippee!

Awetumn continued in all its magnificence. I don't think I'll ever tire of taking photos of this view. I've been thinking I should be collating them somehow ...

My wee nephew turned one. Actually he turned 1 in March but everyone was away and his party delayed by a few weeks. My sister-in-law asked her mum to make a sugar-free cake - and this was the utterly amazing result!
All the elements came to his beach party in various tupperwares to be constructed on site - watermelon, sweet melon, pineapple, dragon fruit (totally tasteless, but very pretty), kiwi, grapes, gooseberries, naartjie, strawberry, pomegranate. It was so delicious and indulgent, and very, very impressive!

Frieda and I squeezed in another night away with my parents in Betty's Bay. We'd so enjoyed our stay there before that we had to get out there again while they were still in residence.
We left on a Saturday morning - the plan was for both girls to go with me -  but Stella was dragging her feet, still sloughing around in her pajamas when I was ready to leave. 'Actually I think I'll stay with Dad' she declared. And so she did. We split 50/50 and I had a great time with just my big girl, Stella and her Dad an equally good time without us. Funny that we hardly ever think to do that, but so good for us all. 

23 April - first fire of the season! It was lovely (especially for dogs) and got us all excited about cooler days and wintery delights.

Of course being Cape Town that didn't actually mean it was winter yet. We've still had glorious still sunshiney days.
A national bus strike left me without childcare for a week or so, necessitating doing the school lifts myself, and reminding me how fun it can be to kill time between pick-ups with just one daughter and a slushie at the harbour down the road from the school - spotting seals and boats and cheeky seagulls.
I'll never need to be reminded of how lucky we are to live here though, and be able to do these things on an arbitrary Tuesday afternoon.

And then some REAL rain, bringing joy to all our hearts. The 5000l rain water storage tank we installed in mid December is finally nearly full! It's only taken nearly 6 months ...
Apparently good rain in April sets the tone for the rest of winter, we're holding thumbs this is the case!

And then, just at the end of the month, this little girl turned 1. Nacho the Naughty she is - from a very mild-mannered puppy she's become quite headstrong and stubborn, chewing furniture and any unattended toys. We've had to be very vigilant of late, but we still love her to bits and she's a real member of the family.