Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bread and Baby Sitting!

Here I am, home again after my cat-sitting weekend! I must say that they were all very well-behaved, they came when they were called, ate all their meals without (too much) fuss and allowed me to sit around reading and relaxing and really enjoying myself. The views from the house are spectacular, the mountains are majestic and the vines covering the slopes look like a patchwork quilt joined together with farm roads.

The view from the patio, vines in the far distance.

'Mum' drove home on Sunday and from then until Thursday morning when I left to come home, Catherine and I explored and found a few new places to eat, and returned to a few favourite places that had impressed us the first time around!

The little squirrel didn't have pizza though!

While I was there, Catherine showed me a cast-iron bread pan that Stu had bought to bake his amazing 'no-knead' bread. I have tried this once before, but the combination of wrong flour and wrong-size baking pan, put me off trying again! But, being a person who loves cooking and baking and getting it right no matter how many times I have to do it (ja right!) I was keen to try again, especially when we found the exact bread pan in their local Builders Warehouse! Add to that the fact that I got a really nice pensioner discount, and I was hooked!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Boats, Cats and Crayfish!

Sorry that this is a tad late, I seem to be saying that a lot lately...

Today Rob and I took ourselves off to lunch. The reason being that we met eighteen years ago, on the 19 February 1998 to be precise!! Mutual friends decided that we 'deserved each other' (we are still trying to work that out...) and finally managed to get us in the same place at the same time. It has been a wonderful eighteen years with Rob, and hopefully we shall celebrate a lot more years together before we shuffle off this mortal coil.

So, off we went to Paternoster to a fabulous restaurant that is literally on the beach. Called 'Voorstrandt Restaurant'  (it really does mean on the beach), it is a bright green and red corrugated iron building that serves some of the best seafood around!

Voorstrandt Restaurant.

While we were there we watched at least fifteen fishing boats race to shore and our waiter told us that they were offloading crayfish! Closely watched by the fisheries men I might add. Each boat was being followed by a cloud of gulls fighting and squabbling over the debris that was being thrown over the sides as the crayfish were being cleaned ready for sale.

Somewhere out there are fishing boats!!!!! Our view from the restaurant.

The sea was a calm, flat line, the beach was clean and empty with a few dogs racing up and down on the sand and it reminded us of the first time we drove into Paternoster, many years ago now. The beach stretches for a good few kilometres and the wind blew my straw sun-hat off my head, onto its brim and sent it bowling along the sand with me in hot pursuit! Right past the restaurant! Once I had retrieved it, we sauntered back with me trying not to pant, and had our first taste of their delicious meals.

Crayfish being offloaded.

Anyway, today, once we had completed our meal, we drove to the beach where the boats were by now empty and lolling around on the sand, waiting patiently until they head out again tomorrow.

And the reason we are not waiting until Friday to celebrate? Well, I am a granny, and grannies babysit.

Tomorrow I am driving to Catherine and Stuart as they are going away for the weekend.

So I shall be 'babysitting' the three littlies.......William, Harry and Jemima.

Jemima is the tabby. William is behind.....or is it Harry?

Their much loved and well travelled cats!

And then I shall stay on for a few days after they return to 'kuier' properly!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Oppiwa = #%$^&*@!!

We have just returned from a somewhat shortened trip!

Read on!

Once a year over the first weekend in February, (apart from those manic few weeks over Christmas), Jacobsbaai becomes a frenzied village, so we do the right thing and leave!

It always amazes me how, once people have moved here exclaiming loud and long about how quiet and peaceful it is, they decide that it all must be changed and that Jacobsbaai 'must be put on the map'. So a few years ago, a few people (hoteliers and estate agents mainly...) put their heads together and 'Oppiwa' (meaning 'on the wagon') was born! This festival consists of some obscure singers and the odd poet or two, each sitting on a wagon being pulled by a tractor, singing or reading or quoting or whatever, while a bunch of visitors and villagers, who have paid handsomely for the privilege, sit in awe on said wagon, drinking their wine and getting covered in dust from the road, especially if the wind blows! While they are being trundled around the village they stop off at various demarcated homes for coffee, a braai, a loo stop, tea and biscuits etc, and then on the Saturday evening they all end up at one of the Guest Houses for dinner and more wine.

On Sunday they all go home.

So, in order to avoid all this unpleasantness, we head off on the Thursday and stay away until it is safe to return.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Foggy, Foggy Night!

We woke this morning to thick fog. Beautiful thick, white, damp fog that condenses on leaves and plants, that drips onto the soil and runs down the roof into our rain-water tanks, adding precious millimetres to their dwindling levels.

The sea is there........somewhere!

Every now and then the sun tries to burn through and the day lightens. I am sure that in another hour it will all be gone and the sun will have won the battle, but for now it is beautifully cool and we have the doors open wide and the fans switched off!

The sea is still there, I can hear it, and the seals are also loud this morning. And the fog horn is bellowing its warning from Cape Columbine Lighthouse near Paternoster.