Another Easter has passed and we are headed into winter again. I don’t know about you, but I have never really been a fan of winter…this is no doubt as a result of having been born and raised in what used to be called the Highveld, the industrial heartland of which was seriously cold in winter.
The birdbath in the garden of the home I grew up in in Benoni, was often frozen solid and icicles hung from garden taps sometimes forming little ice columns to the frozen grass below. Black frost was a regular event and we wore woollen gloves to school.
Fireplaces were popular back then, fuelled by coal that was delivered in sacks by terrifying men blackened by coal dust who Esther Kubheka said would catch me and take me away in a sack to a very cold, dark place if I was naughty…and I was quite naughty as a little boy. Especially at Easter time, when the Easter Bunny had hidden chocolate Easter eggs in the garden for my sisters and me to find. I was the eldest and the spoils were never really equally distributed…not even the prospect of being hauled away in a sack by the shadow men, moderated my disproportionate share of the Easter spoils.
I loved those chocolate eggs…actually, I still do, which made Easter disappointing for me this year because the Easter Bunny passed me by completely.
Perhaps he was working in collusion with my beloved, Sue, who is very keen on a healthy regime of exercise and diet which I wholeheartedly support, but as a traditionalist, I find it hard not to embrace the chocolate aspect of Easter when it comes around.
Still, there are many who tell me that Easter eggs are not the reason for the season and of course, they are quite right. To all who believe, I hope that this Easter was a blessing to you in every respect – and if you happen to have any Easter eggs left…well, remember that it’s okay to share them!
Winter on the North Coast is of course nothing like the bitter affair that it is in the Big Smoke or in Cape Town, for that matter.
Sue and I were in Cape Town last week to attend our younger son’s graduation ceremony and I have to say that every time I visit that lovely city, I am delighted to come home to Ballito. Cape Town is vibrant and exciting but its main attractions are largely geared for the tourist trade which makes it an expensive destination for South Africans. And then there are the people…as the old showbiz saying goes, “Cape Town – great set…pity about the cast!”
Gin bars are still very much in vogue in Cape Town and part of their attraction seems to lie in finding the right location. In Cape Town Gin bar terms, the right destination is what the used car trade might term somewhat “rubbed” and if you can find a place that has been seriously “rubbed” for the past fifty of more years in one of the more derelict parts of the city bowl, you could be sitting on a gold mine. People in Cape Town will happily pay handsomely for the experience of quaffing a trendy concoction in what could easily pass for the set of Les Miserables.
But hang on…I am now beginning to sound like my dad…and as much as I loved him, he did tend to dwell on the more practical side of the scale while I was always way off over on the other side, so to speak. Now I can see where he was coming from…and where I am going to if I don’t change tack, so let me rather say that Cape Town is a great place for a quick trip through the looking glass or down the rabbit hole, but it is rather cold, damp and windy right now, so I am happy to be back in Ballito.
Welcome to another edition of Life & Style coming to you from out of the blue!