Friday, April 25, 2014

Breakfast at Thatchwick


Toast and honey. Grated cheese. Mango juice. "Fine with me", says Kaela. "Just keep dropping those crumbs." 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Long weekends

Bye now. Safe trip home.
Did you give Granny a hug?
Yes, I did.
Last touch, Gran.
She did. Last touch. Got got enough room back there?
Mmm.I sat in the front seat driving up.
My turn now.
It was a lovely weekend. Remember to SMS when you arrive.
Will do. Oh and I think we'll come up again that weekend in July, no matter when the date is set for Cath's baby shower.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wedding at Thatchwick



"I always imagined my wedding as a fairtale...in this beautiful garden", said Elmien in her wedding speech made on the verandah of Thatchwick Cottage on a fresh Saturday morning in November.
Elmien, a friend and member of the life group that meets weekly in my home, had asked me some time back if she could hold her wedding ceremony and reception in my garden.
A wedding sent me into a panic - I thought of long to-do lists, possible bad weather and the logistics of fitting 50 guests onto the front lawn. I learned a lot from Elmien and her friends who organised a stylish and very economical wedding with the greatest of ease. The day before the hired chairs and tables arrived, flowers arranged by her mother to be kept overnight in the cool dining room and platters of finger eats to be stored in the fridge.
Guests mingled on the lawn sipping champagne and tasting savouries and sweets after the ceremony was over.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Must you go?



The Schonbrunn palace, Vienna: home of Marie Antionette until the age of nine

I read books. I listen to books.  Listening doubles my book-acquisition-capacity. Listening in the car makes trips around the suburbs and up to the campus flash by. Listening in the sunroom transforms monotonous sewing jobs like my current task of machine-appliquéing eight panels with intricate cut outs for a  William Morris quilt. My book-listening is made possible by Unisa Library’s audio visual section where I regularly borrow Clipper Audio cds.
At present I am listening to the historical biographer (a very accessible historian), Antonia Fraser’s “Must you go? My life with Harold Pinter. This is an account based on Antonia’s diaries of thirty-three years with Harold Pinter, starting with their serendipitous meeting, her separation from her first husband, her divorce and marriage to Harold and their life together until his death from cancer in 2008. The couple are not ordinary - an upper class British writer with links to the peerage and a celebrated playwright, actor and director – and their lives were not ordinary either. International travel, political activism, the theatre, friends with the rich and famous (a phone call from Jackie Kennedy is just mentioned in passing, rather like I mention phoning a friend for her chocolate cake recipe), country houses, ancestral homes, town houses, swish hotels, luncheons, parties, picnics and poems.
I have read several of Antonia Fraser’s books and they have made their rounds in book club too: Mary Queen of Scots, Charles II, Cromwell, Marie Antionette and others. Brilliantly for their detailed research and brilliant for their accessibility. “Must you go?” captures Antonia’s grief at the demise of a beloved husband. Death is the great leveller: kings, playwrights, shopkeepers, housewives. Ten years ago I  whispered similar helpless words in the same straits: “Please don’t go!”     

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Seasonal shifts



Last night I slept curtains drawn with my window to the garden wide open. The quality of the air that filtered through the space at 5am this morning was different. How do I define it?  Of course, I have noticed the birds are already more active at an earlier hour – round 4.45 am.  Spring is on the way. But this change did not have to do with what I heard. I inhaled a nuanced scent – a freshness, a newness. The draft that touched my cheeks was bracing not chilly. Just a shift on a minutely spaced scale. 
Sprays of creamy blossom on the buddleja are unfolding. Clusters of buds are poking out among the green spears of the clivias.