Johannesburg is almost empty.

Everyone has gone down to the coast.

I am content to stay; I love the peace that descends here at this time of year.

Someone, another stay-at-home, is having a braai a few doors down, with rowdy friends. I can smell that it is an inelegant affair; people will eat sinewy lamb chops, straight from the fire, with their hands. Lamb chops that have a thick strip of fat on the side and which have been marinated in a store-bought mixture, standing in a Tupperware dish in the sun (for hours) Β while the braaimaster gets the fire going and gets a few stiff drinks down his throat.

They’ve got all the house doors and windows open, so that the music can drift out onto the lawn to them from the lounge. Tonight, it seems, they are having a Creedence Clearwater Revival Marathon.

I like it, once I put my snobbery to bed, and rather envy them their charred meat and bonhomie. But it is a mild envy and I take a sip of wine, pull my legs up under me on my chair and turn back to my book and escape to tales of Morocco.

Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.

Paul Tillich


55 thoughts on “EMPTY CITY

  1. I have to agree with you, Cin. This time of year is some of the best to be in Jo’burg. Two years ago a friend and I did a lot of cycling around the holiday season and you could literally smell it in the morning air when Jo’burg had arrived back from their holiday by the sea. It was my first year at home in many years and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I miss the smell of ‘braaivleis’. Hope you’re enjoying your book!

  2. Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.

    Love that quote and I revel in solitude ~ the glory of being alone.

  3. Decent Lamb chops (imported from SA and Aus) cost an arm and a leg and a second bond on your home here in Mauritius so needles to I am very jealous about your neighbours braai, although I could skip the marinade.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  4. I newish (normally never seen or heard) neighbours had a Juanita revival over the weekend! LOL Was actually good to hear that people live there and were having a good time πŸ˜€ *hides bottle of Lappies Sauce*

  5. Great quote πŸ˜€ I too love solitude – and it seems I appreciate it more the older I get. Is it summertime for you guys? It’s getting pretty cold here in the UK xx

  6. With each passing year I become less enamoured with December holidays away from home. Since I live in Cape Town we’re usually inundated with visitors as well, which tips me directly into hibernation mode until at least the middle of January. This year seems unusually quiet, though, or perhaps it’s just the stretch of seaboard where i live. NOT THAT I’M COMPLAINING! Solitude should be treasured, all too soon the new year and all its attendant mayhem will be upon us. Enjoy Cindy, and thank you so much for your kind support.!

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