Posts Tagged ‘Jazz’

The mountain was clear and there was no rain that day.

The wheels screeched on the tarmac and the aeroplane swayed from side to side. I felt a surge of emotion as I traced the silhouette of Table Mountain with my eyes. It had been a whole year since I had seen that majestic piece of sandstone; I was back on South African soil!

It was a typical Cape Town winter’s evening and I drank in the moist, sea air as I jumped into the car. I tried to pick out the familiar landmarks through the shadows as we caught up on all the news. My soft bed was a welcome sight having spent 24 hours in transit. I could still hear the drone of the engine in my ears. I lay there and was soothed by the soft rain on the tin roof.

 The morning brought more rain but that did not deter the enthusiasm to get out and explore. This was after all, my old stamping ground. I had raced around these very streets in my mini all those years ago……

Waar is daardie dae?

 I looked up at the mountain and was reminded of my student days with the sherry and peanut sundowners, we used to enjoy on the grassy banks. What a combination! But we thought it was grand and of course Old Brown sherry suited our pockets too. These carefree memories all came flooding back and I savoured them. But I was brought back to reality with the surprise that my children had planned for me. I was about to be treated to a grown up version of a similar celebration. It was to be a ‘high tea’ at the Mount Nelson Hotel.

 The vista over the formal gardens was magnificent. It came complete with cascading fountains, white roses, blue plumbago and pink hydrangeas. We sipped on our English Breakfast and tucked into the dainty treats that had been carefully laid out on a tiered white china plate. The stately morning room came complete with the sumptuous furnishings of exquisite brocades and soft velvets. It reminded us of a bygone era and we took in the period paintings, carefully selected cutlery and the strategically placed tassels.

One of the guests appeared as if he had just jumped out of a time machine. He had the hugest handle bar moustache that I had ever seen. The ‘grisly white mouse’ stretched from ear to ear and curled up at the tips. He spoke with an air of authority and can only imagine that he must have had a military background. Major or not, he would still have had to pick that hairy appendage clean each night!

The next hairstyle that I was about to admire was that of a jazz violinist who played foot stomping melodies at a local market. This teased pyramid of hair swayed back and forth as the shoppers poured over the wonderful array of home grown goods. There was everything from honey to home brewed beer. I decided to sip on the latter as the taste of tea had already left my palette.

The mountain, the people and the music…….I was back in Cape Town.

Interesting people abound at the local market.

Here’s to catching up with family and friends in SA!

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Moved by Music

The excitement in the air was tangible as we ventured out for a night on the town. It was Friday evening and the streets in the Entertainment District in Toronto were abuzz with people. The anticipation of being able to relax and kick back after a long week added to the pure pleasure of the moment. The stressed faces that walked the same crossings that morning were now beaming with the expectation of the weekend ahead.


There seemed to be many newcomers in town as there was a Caribbean Carnival that was going to take place on Lakeshore the next day.  It is usually a colourful event with many floats, dancers and plenty of music. Guitars, kettle drums and whistles pulsate as the dancers flaunt their bikini costumes. Brightly coloured feathers fly as hips sway and they dance their way along the lake to the delight of all the onlookers.

We weaved our way down King Street and pushed through a narrow doorway into our own bit of rhythm for the evening, a New Orleans jazz bar.

All the great jazz musicians looked down on us from the black and white photographs that donned the walls. There was Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Fats Domino to name a few and they were surrounded by the tools of their trade. Shiny trumpets, clarinets and saxophones were proudly mounted above on shelves void of the Dixieland notes that had once echoed through their chambers. The piano waited patiently against the wall as the patrons were offered a selection of southern fare from blackened salmon to Cajun mussels.


Our jazz pianist had us swaying in our chairs as his fingers expertly traced the notes from memory up and down the ivory keyboard. His checkered hat fell across his forehead as he expertly belted out the sweet

 notes of New Orleans and a Mamma Cass reincarnate accompanied him with her mellow voice. It was true blue jazz in all its authenticity. We were transported to another world and time as we savoured the sounds and flavours of New Orleans.

Savouring the delights of the city.

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