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Posts Tagged ‘Table Mountain’

 

 

I’m 15 for a moment

Caught in between 10 and 20……

My gaze followed the shape of the giant Stellenbosch Mountain that etched itself against the clear blue sky. It stood out in front of me as I walked up through the vineyards close to my house.

I often wandered there in those teenage years as I contemplated my future. Some of these thoughts were not profound as I would often merely dream about the weekend that lay ahead. It was a wonderful place to grow up! There were trips to the beach with friends, gatherings on the local farms and often a ‘braaivleis’ in the backyard. Whatever the activity, it was always sociable and usually outdoors. The breeze rustled the pine trees close by as my feet echoed over the sodden earth. I do remember those Cape winters with all that rain!

Camping 'hippie' style

Camping ‘hippie’ style

I’m 22 for a moment

And she feels better than ever….

The giant Table Mountain towers above me as I drive my mini along De Waal Drive. I am adept at taking those corners at quite a speed. My little car hugs the edges while I gaze across Table Bay. Huge ships from far away places dwarf our Table Bay basin. The flags of Norway, the United States and Great Britain flutter in the South Easter and I envisage myself visiting these places one day…….one day.

 Life was careering along at quite a pace. The years of studying were complete and I became involved in the demands of a teaching post. There was seldom a free moment but that did not take away any of the joy of imparting knowledge and hopefully teaching some life skills to eager faces along the way. There was much abundance in so many areas of my life. But we learnt to cope with less and had to wait for ‘things.’  Still don’t know how I managed to rent, eat and live on a teacher’s salary! But we did it…..life was simple and we were happy to entertain ourselves.  There was time for a long walk along the beach at Kommetjie and there were sunsets across Sea Point to enjoy……usually with a glass of red wine.

A new teacher.....

A new teacher…..

I’m 33 for a moment

Still the man, (woman) but you see I’m a ‘they’……

The Pilanesburg Mountains stood silhouetted against the morning Highveld sky. There are plenty of happy thoughts that fill my head.

The joy of parenthood has certainly been a highlight in my life. The wonder of watching a little being develop into an adult fills me with awe. I take ownership and delight in their strengths and their weaknesses. They are manifestations of one of my purposes here on this earth…… ‘Go forth and multiply.’ My 3 beautiful sons chose me as their mom.

While all this growing up was going on, I was also trying to establish my career as a teacher. It was a busy time with us flying down the William Nicoll Highway to school. The little blond heads bobbed at the back of the car complete with a mobile breakfast. Sometimes one was still dressed in pajamas! The world had moved just a bit too fast for the brain that morning! On reflection, the world was spinning just a tad too quickly for me as well. But it still brought me joy, intrigue and a feeling of accomplishment.

A new mom....

A new mom….

I’m 45 for a moment
The sea is high…….

 The ‘Koppie’ stands proud as our bastion.

 It grounded us for many years in Lonehill as we walked up to the top and gazed out across ‘our world.’ This is when life got interesting! We juggled 2 sons actively involved in their senior years while we still had one just starting out. Waterpolo games, cricket matches and a band rehearsal were all part of the day. Somewhere in between I had to fit in my after school commitments! We adjusted after school meetings and rushed from one side of Johannesburg to the other. Life was busy but so productive. There were times when I felt stretched but I loved it! There was purpose and I felt like I made a contribution to the lives of my pupils. It was a hugely satisfying time.

'Our Koppie' in Lonehill

‘Our Koppie’ in Lonehill

 

Half time goes by

Suddenly you’re wise……

Our Koppie still stands steadfast as we enjoy the wonders that live and grow beneath it.

This was a time to question where we were at and where we were going. There were bumps and falls but we got up and carried on. We kept our family close and learnt many lessons. Forever changed by the events of our 50’s we savoured the gift of wisdom and forgiveness. But our journey was by no means over, we still had a new adventure which lay ahead….. the GROOT TREK to Canada was about to begin.

Another blink of an eye

67 is gone…….

I see no mountain! Instead we have the immense and fascinating Ontario Lake. It stretches on into the distance like a sea. It is fickle with huge waves that crash against the lighthouse and breakwater. Other days it is like a pond, still and mirror like. I watch the reflection of the Canadian geese as they fly down south for the winter. Is the lack of mountain indicative of the ‘no more mountains to climb?’

One thing is for sure….there is still so much to discover and learn.

A new country to explore...

A new country to explore…

 

Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live……

 

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The curtain let in a bright stream of light. I realised that it must be morning. It had been a disturbed one with the South Easter blowing a gale and the rattling of the apartment windows. The dustbins had crashed into the street and there was a feint howl from a neighbour’s dog. 

My view from the window...

My view from the window…

I drew the curtains and settled back into my bed to enjoy the view. Table Mountain filled my window with all its glory. The soft morning light cast shadows on its giant grey folds.  What a sight! The city was already beginning to bustle with cars racing down the street and the cheerful sound of early risers making their way up to school.
My kettle whistled on the stove. It was time for the morning ritual of a cup of steaming hot tea and a Woolies rusk. I touched and savoured the bunch of proteas and fynbos as I leaned across for the tea caddie. The soft hues of pink and the furry leaves were reminiscent of Boland country walks.

 

Leo

Leo

 

I settled back into bed with Leo at my feet and the gentle purr of my children sleeping upstairs. I contemplated my day……
What is on my agenda today? It could be an amble at Rhodes Memorial, a laté in the sun in a street cafe or a stroll along the seafront. Some window shopping in one of my favourite haunts also touches the spot!
She would say………It’s good to be back!

A favourite haunt.....Rhodes Memorial.

A favourite haunt…..up at Rhodes Memorial.

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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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