On Wednesday morning, after battling through 128 pages, I conceded defeat and closed Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. I’d long resisted reading the book, but felt I ought to give it a bash, given its widespread acclaim. I just couldn’t stomach it though, and was constantly irritated by the author, whom I found to be a self-indulgent whiner. I took a blanket and walked around our cottage to find a sunny spot and was soon lulled into a doze by the cooing mountain doves.
I was woken by excited chirruping in a nearby tree; two tiny birds – no bigger than my thumb – were courting. Too pretty for words; with their plumage flashing emerald green and scarlet. I have no idea what they are.
Soon I became aware that I was being stared at. A very fine hound had come from the main farmhouse to say hello. He was so like our Lulubelle, in looks and character and he took up with us for the rest of our stay. We named him Bentley.
I couldn’t help wondering if the peaceful ambience is only informed by the geography of the place, or if it is also a result of the calm – almost Zen – mood that prevails among the Basotho people, with their simple, centuries-old lifestyle. Anyhow, soon the not-altogether-unpleasant smell of a goat stew and porridge came drifting over from the local kraal and I realized that I had been self indulgent myself for long enough, and it was time to go back to the cottage and start preparing our lunch.