Archive | February 2012

JUST A FEW THINGS

My chief concern was finding a solution that allowed me to continue living with Our Alice and Lullubelle. Separation from one another would have been traumatic enough for the two of them, but a three-way split would have been unbearable for all concerned. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made: I would move into the cottage and Grandy would come into the main house. Her increasing frailty had long been a concern. The prime benefit in the arrangement, though, would be that my daughter would continue to have both her parents on the same property.
There are all manner of ‘firsts’ happening every day, not least of these is the logistical nightmare that is ‘dinner for one’.


Pears in red wine with blue cheese. Lunch for one!
I’ve been tagged by mynakedbokkie to answer these questions. Because I’m not around the blogs much at the moment, I am not tagging anyone else.
1. What was your favorite holiday ever? Where did you go? What did you do?
Mozambique, 1997:
We got to the border post too early; it was still dark; we’d have to wait a few hours. I don’t know why we slept underneath the pickup truck; perhaps it was too loaded inside with all the provisions, the tent and the diving kit? But we did, and your shoulder was my pillow.
There was a storm on our first night, my first experience of a monsoon, but our tent held fast and – oh! – how we laughed in the morning when we saw the others’ bits and pieces hanging like Christmas decorations in the trees!
I’ve still got the speckled cowrie shell you gave me, but I had to throw the dress away long ago, it was threadbare from wear. It was the dress I lent Shasta to get married in, that same dress I wore on the beach that night. Do you remember how we laughed when the tide almost washed it away from where you’d thrown it aside? That was the night we made our beautiful child.
Later, when we sat by Gabriel’s fireside and listened to Terry sing American Pie and you grazed my shoulder with your beard and said this is perfect, this is what I’ve always wanted.
Do you remember?
2. Could you see yourself as a biker? (You see I could see myself as a biker, but it would seem that my entire social range thinks not. I want to know how many people I enjoy across the world share the same dream of one day being able to be a biker.)


Not really, my frock would fly up and everyone would see my knickers. This a picture of the rosy dress you all asked to see. Not exactly biker gear, is it?
And this is a picture of my new tattoo.


3. What is the worst lie that you have ever told? Did anyone ever find out?
When my daughter was very small, we had a cross-fox terrier named Rufus. Rufus was a rogue dog, a fighter and a sneak. He started snapping at her and gave her a really nasty bite. The next time he went for her, he aimed at her neck. I phoned my vet to ask for advice on training the dog. He said that he had observed Rufus’s behaviour on the beach and that the hound would eventually do some serious damage. He suggested I have him ‘put down’. A work colleague offered to take him, but the vet opined that I could not, in good conscience, ‘pass the problem on’. After much deliberation, I took Rufus in to be put to sleep. I told my child that he had gone to a special doggy-camp where he would learn to be good. Some months later, my step-daughter was visiting and she bluntly told my child ‘your mother killed your dog’. I felt perfectly dreadful and I don’t think my daughter has ever quite forgiven me.

4. Do you remember your first kiss? Tell us more?
Summer holidays. Bonfire. Sunburn. His name was Quentin Hepburn. The kiss lasted for two whole songs. As I remember it, one of the was Nights In White Satin, which is a very long song.
5. Do you still have a love that is no longer in your life, but that you often think about? That you perhaps wander what if…..?
Don’t we all?
6. What is the one thing that you would change about your physical self? Something that you can’t change through work and goals.
I’d like to have been a little taller.
7. Do you remember the first time you got absolutely trashed? Remember anything about it?
My friend and I were 16. My parents were away and my gran was looking after us. When she went to bed we raided my dad’s pub and made a ghastly cocktail of all sorts of liquor. We were outrageously sick. It was a good lesson.
8. When you were a child, what was the one thing that you always thought you could be or wanted to be? (Before life blind sided you?)
A florist.
9. What food would you not eat, because you are too busy thinking about what it used to be? (When it was alive.)
Brains.
10. If there is one person that you could ask God to bring back for a little while longer, who would it be? (I would battle between choosing my gran and choosing my brother. I would be grateful for either.)
My mother.
11. What is your favorite day of the week? Why?
It used to be Sundays, but – now – not being married means that I have a lot of time which was once spent on doing the slap-up lunch. I’m still to find my new groove. For the moment I’ll say Saturday, because we are so busy at work and the time speeds by.


Sunday lunch for one: Chicken breasts stuffed with feta, basil and tomato and wrapped in bacon.

POMEGRANATE AND ACHIEVING SATISFACTION

I was stony broke. It was my last day of my mini-vacation and Tandy said she wanted to take me to see a boutique she thought had my name written all over it. We’d walked the dogs on the beach early in the morning and, having washed the sand off our feet, we set off from Gordon’s Bay to neighbouring town Somerset West. True enough, every item in the shop was irresistible and I emptied my bank account on a most-fetching rosy frock.
My flight wasn’t due for a few hours yet, we were beginning to get a little hungry and Tandy suggested we get some lunch. I envisioned a cheap sandwich somewhere, but she set her car in the direction of Stellenbosch. “We’re going to see my favourite chef in the world. It’s my treat.” She said.
Now, during my years as an implementation strategist with an advertising agency in Cape Town, I worked mainly on the Distell account. (Distell is South Africa’s leading producer and marketer of fine wines, spirits, ciders and ready-to-drinks (RTDs). Almost every day I would drive from Cape Town to Stellenbosch for meetings and the gateway to Vergenoegd was my halfway mark to my destination.

The farmhouse at Vergenoegd

Vergenoegd, the website tells me, has been owned by the Faure family for six generations. Historic “Vergenoegd”, the Dutch word meaning “satisfaction has been achieved”, was granted land rights in 1696 and the Faures have been on the farm since the 1820’s. The Cape Dutch homestead is a historic monument and dates from 1773.

The old slave bell on Vergenoegd estate

The historic buildings on the tranquil farm and the delightful bird life are, alone, worth a visit, but the jewel of this estate is Pomegranate; chef Michael Israel’s iconic establishment.

Very cross duck. Perhaps I was eating his cousin's liver?

I was chased about by an aggressive duck for a while, but that did not detract one bit from my bliss. Tandy and I decided to share an amuse bouche of starter dishes and to let Michael choose our wines.

Michael Israel's duck liver starter at Pomegrante Restaurant

 

Venison carpaccio at Pomegranate Restaurant on Vergenoegd Wine EstateDuck risotto by Chef Michael Israel

 

Satisfaction achieved? Oh my goodness, way beyond … Thank you, Tandy, you never fail to provide the most precious memories.

Our litmus test for any restaurant : the perfect Creme Brule. 5 stars to Michael Israel.

Footnote:
I am currently making a very significant life-change. For several reasons, blogging will take a back-seat and I shall be scarce. The character of The Only Cin will change fundamentally, but I will be back. Don’t know when, but I will.
In the meantime, if I can visit your blogs, I will. If I can’t I won’t.
Thank you to each and every one of my readers for your unflagging support.