There was one thing about the weekend in Tulbagh that wasn’t much fun at all – Saturday’s weather.
We woke up before dawn to the sounds of a hurricane ripping through the world outside. Well, at first I thought it was a hurricane because it felt like the house was about to be scooped up and whooshed off, and the wind and rain were like demons unleashed from the depths of hell. (I was a bit scared, okay?!)
The gazebo that Tina had put up in her garden and decorated with turquoise silk, crimson ribbons and silver brooches like an Moroccan wine bar had disappeared completely. The chairs (wrought-iron so quite heavy) had been blown across the garden into the fence. Ceramic bowls and purple cushions lay randomly scattered. The hammock was a rag. The rain belted down and the wind shrieked like a thousand banshees. Tina howled and shook her fists at the sky. The cats and dogs trembled under the bed. I put the kettle on and made coffee. What else, really, was there to do? (It turned out that there was actually something else to do, but it seems that Tina is quite used to cleaning up dog poo and it doesn’t faze her any more.)
Things didn’t look good. I drove into town at 8h30 where I was to set up the Jam Tarts stuff in Church Street, but clearly that wasn’t going to happen. All the other traders had been moved to the church hall round the corner but Tina’s extremely kind sister, Susan, came to my rescue – she runs a shop (the Marmalade Angel) from her house in Church Street, and suggested I use her garage to set up. We both doubted that anyone would even see me, let alone actually walk up the driveway at the side of the house to get to me. But they did!
The Tarts ended up selling loads of things and having a really excellent day. I truly wish it had gone as well for the other traders, but apparently the church hall was pretty empty because people didn’t know about it. The lousy weather also meant that people in Cape Town and surrounding areas who would have driven to Tulbagh for a lovely sunny Festival day no longer wanted to venture out.
By Sunday the bad weather had cleared up. I could finally erect my gazebo. Or not. I had managed to leave behind a crucial piece of the structure, so no gazebo for me. I made do by stringing Anne’s bunting across the bushes and hanging my light fittings and bags from the trees. Blankets and shawls were cleverly arranged along the wall (Rob’s idea). Seems someone managed to get a pic of him doing just that:
One last highlight: a sweet lady from Namibia bought a necklace from me, and also seemed keen to buy a crochet flower brooch. She eventually decided against the brooch but as she was leaving I remembered that we once offered a free brooch to the first 20 purchasers at a Kirstenbosch market, so I ran after her and pinned the one she liked onto her bag. She was so pleased that she made her husband walk up and down Church Street two more times, waving at me as she passed, and the third time he surrendered and hauled out his camera and took a photo of the two of us with the flower! It turns out it was her 60th birthday so, in honour of that, I took a pic of Naomi myself:
It’s funny how there are some things one never forgets, even if they seem relatively inconsequential at the time. I have a feeling I will never forget giving Naomi that flower.
To be continued…