Thursday, March 26, 2009

Still staying within the winelands just outside Paarl on a wine farm called Seidelberg Estate. {next to the famous Fairview Estate with their goats,cheese and wine}

Our own little” Venice”. Serious glassblowing to hypnotise and leave you in awe with further mesmerizing magic on the finished vessels and lights in the gallery. Have a look at more fine examples and more about the operation on

Lovely views and restaurant preparing more traditional type Cape meals and obviously wine tasting. { Almost sounds like a travel blog and as if I’m getting paid for it} No, just appreciate the glass art and it’s a fairly reasonable place for locals to visit too.

In this image the repetition of the garden sculptures, in the shape of the vessel caught my eye.

Striking patterns as mounted glass-lights.

The twirly glass pieces presented a feeling of roots from the enormous old oak tree.

Last but not least and because I can, something from Venice.

Glass sculpture of a ‘squashy’, magic balloon creature, you know the ones that get knotted up from a blown up balloon from the magician. It just makes you smile, the colour and the idea to remind you to keep that inner child alive. Snapshot from the water taxi on the main canal, nearly 3 years ago. Not sure if this is a permanent fixture?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yes, it’s me and the grapes again. For some bizarre and certain reasons we decided this last weekend to tackle the wine lands in as far as the Hex River Valley. I was hoping to find the patchwork of vineyards of the various autumn- coloured leaves. Well, due to certain time constraints etc. we ended up in the hea[r]t and soul of one of the many “furnaces” available in the Western Cape. Phheeewww, is still a mild form of expression. Hot, bothered, mesmerized and confused I sheepishly ask hubby:”what’s with all the table grapes, there are still tons hanging on the vine and the leaves are proudly displaying their greens of green ?”…They hide these special grapes from the shelves of the city folk as these are all for the export market. {go figure}.

We feel like stalkers as we investigate accommodation on a “zimmer frei” {room available} kind of concept as some paths lead you into the depth of really private wine farms towards the slated Karoo mountains. All to no avail as the valley happens to be full of grape inspectors? That was some serious grape packing happening there, on a Saturday, in the heat…

Our exploration continues and contemplating further off the beaten tracks back to the Worcester area in pursuit of a farm getaway kind of thing. It’s not that easy anymore the romance of the search for good , friendly, wholehearted plaashuis {farmhouse} accommodation is disappearing as everyone is climbing on the fancy 4 to 5 star bandwagon for tourists.

Going through Worcester,nope,{ its so busy here just like a small city}slowly having the urge to throw our toys out of the cot and thinking of heading home. There in front of us it just popped up, in another very small dorp { village} Rawsonville. That big, green I for Information centre. Oops, its closed but wait a very descriptive map on display with all the necessary info, that’s a welcome start…Ahh, we in luck, must have been the tired desperation in my voice accompanied with a peculiar German accent in the Afrikaans language via the cell phone waves.

Memorize the map and away we go. Oops, we can’t find it, hubby says we too far, I say it's here on this road, had to turn around and we passed it, so inconspicuous, no fan fare just small letters.
What a place, original Dutch gabled homestead.

Meet the very friendly owner and she says we must follow her with the car; oh no I can’t handle more strange surprises.

Few more vineyards further and hiding behind shady, old oak trees another beautiful original homestead.

Oh wow, this to ourselves, a whole big old farmhouse to get lost in, high ceilings, wooden floorboards, big bathrooms lovely cool due to thick walls that have a whole history to tell. Check all the lovely attention to good old fashioned country house detail.

Finally, we can relax. Sweet wine from the farm, homemade rusks, attention to comfort, a home from home and it feels like you’ve been having a whole weekend already. Just switch off and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the country, birds, sunsets, clear open starry skies, sunrises unwinding to all the little things that count….

Friday, March 13, 2009


It all starts with a bunch of flowers and the curiosity of how to capture the natural sunlight on a sunflower. {Have to still experience a field full of over- towering, smiley, sun- turning sunflowers. Must go to the Free State Province for that, make mental note.}

In this slow thought process {still warped from the heat} the post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh springs to mind. The Sunflowers surely are his; as quoted from one of his many resourceful letters of his art to his brother. He also explains how he was drawn to the colour yellow and the life stages of the sunflower from full bloom to the final wilt. Paul Gaugin’s {another impressionist painter and friend} room was to be filled with sunflowers and the painting had to happen vigorously as the flowers were wilting. {I realized this too with the camera}

Going through my own resources of books and prints {this man did paint a lot} I was dismayed of not finding any of his sunflowers. Then I asked my computer, the mighty brain, that heavy head on my shoulders, look under Amsterdam, 1990, centenary of his death, brochure of Vincent van Gogh Museum,the opening, Aunt Ingrid taking us , it was very special, face to face with these paintings…oh ,Anja, you are quite a squirrel, voila there it is in it's original state, in Dutch and sunflowers, in luck, lets shoot…

Wilting, real sunflower 3D meet van Gogh’s expressive 2D…

This thought process awakened my observations to his paintings again and why we are drawn to it and that the sunflower even in its final stages evokes interesting sculpture like features, stark shapes and colour.

Can you imagine if he only went more south, to Cape Town with the Dutch ships how he would have painted our proteas, the Namaqualand in spring and all the other fauna and flora etc. etc. Just another thought….

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We are experiencing some pretty hot days in the Western Cape and in this moment in time the heat is starting to warp my brain works. All I want to do is take my goggles, snorkel and flippers and put this head under in tropical water. {Glug, glug, glug} Just escape for some time and look for Nemo. {Animation} and all those other colourful, exotically, patterned fish that are so curiously cute that you cannot help but smile. Oops and there the water starts seeping through the mask, did no one tell you not to smile or move a facial muscle under water???

The Atlantic water unfortunately does not really tickle my snorkelling habits. The Aquarium at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town has fine examples of our oceans specimen in their tanks, I know it’s not the same but they are impressive never the less.

Triggerfish with cleaning companions at the aquarium.

Atlantic Ocean specimen like the yellow tail, the cape salmon, red stompneus all happy in this tank with kelp.

So, while we getting the last of the hotter than hot summer days with some strange autumn leaves lurking around to remind us in what season we are actually in, let me join the rest that are squarreling {squirreling} around and go to that big “pool”{ the ocean} with waves to cool down. {Blub, blub}

Friday, March 6, 2009

And the heat is on...
Last years race {march 2008} also extremely hot. Main Road with Muizenberg beach in the background
And the heat is on.

Cyclist from all walks of life, shapes and sizes are gearing up for the big race, the famous Cape Argus Cycle Tour.

And it has been extremely hot.

To convey heat one can really be descriptive about it, it still needs to be felt, the message is really not be the same on a photo or a video. This stifling hot air we really only experience 5% of the time in the year in this area of Muizenberg. Spinach and Celery are being compared to the fossil plant, the Welwitschia, in Namibia …Lying low is really of essence here or back to ice-cold ocean, I knew there was a purpose for that somewhere along the line.

So here is to all the brave, crazy, cyclists, hope all goes well and that it will be much cooler on Sunday. My thoughts also go out to the fire-fighters who are struggling in this heat with the fires that are still raging in the mountains.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

According to heard it through the grape vine, meaning an indication that a piece of information was obtained via informal contact. Important news sent via telegraphs. Farm workers obtaining and sending out news while working the vines? Sounding familiar with today’s applications… Let’s see: Telephones, Cell Phones, Radio, Television, Printed Media and the Internet that’s really a lot of communication and information going about.

When taking these images of the late harvest of the “Hanepoot” grapes it only occurred to me afterwards one could start writing a book and indulge on information overload just alone on the origin of the vine,{in the Cape Region} the grapes , the area, where & how it is grown, the architecture of the original wine estate like “Groot Constantia”, how the grapes are harvested, when , what quality, how the muscadel wine or any other wine gets made etc etc etc and all that just around grapes.

Now my information to you via the click of a mouse {could that be a new song:" heard it through the mouse click?"} These deliciously sweet hanepoot grapes were bought from a street vendor near Muizenberg beach and some locals would say: “ hanepoot as sweet as “honey pot” it’s that characterful type of information {play with words} that surrounds us and really is the essence of the Cape.{apart of all the grape stories of course}