Category Archives: South Africa

RIP Madiba

madiba

I am filled with sadness today, even though in some ways we lost this amazing man months ago.  But I am also filled with gratitude and hope, for what he showed us we are all capable of.

My friend Lara summed it up perfectly:  “He carried so bright a light, I hope we honour him by keeping it burning, each of us, with just a spark of his integrity, commitment, decency, humility and true compassion for all.”

RIP Madiba.

Day Three at the Waterfront

Day Three was yesterday, Sunday, and it was AMAZEBALLS (as Lisa would say).

I’m loving being at the Waterfront, interacting with customers, and chatting to the other vendors.

red shed 009

My favourite new friends are the little band of tailors at Tidy Tucs, just across the way from me.  A steady (and I mean steady) flow of customers keeps them busy twelve hours a day, and they are always pleasant and efficient and sweet.  The lead singer, Ritesh, is about 26 or 27, and moved to South Africa from Pakistan seven years ago. He says he loves this country and the opportunities it has given him.  He tells me he’s on the market for a wife. He watches cricket on his DStv Walker which is presticked to the wall next to his steam press. He made some extremely helpful suggestions about my display yesterday and, after I’d made the changes, three customers in a row bought a pair of slippers. We high-fived six times (once for each slipper!)

Ritesh is in business with two of his uncles. An older man came by to visit and, when he’d left, I asked if that was one of them. No, he said, but also yes, because in a vay everyone’s my uncle. But vat I really vant is father-in-law. You have daughter?  

Back soon x

this little piggie went to market(s)

Thank heavens it’s Monday. Jam Tarts did two markets this weekend and all I can say is that I’m ready for some R and R.

The Harfield Carnival was a mixed bag for us – the intermittent downpours and high-force winds didn’t bring anyone any joy, but in the in-between bits it was wonderful: Karen completely sold out her rice-bag pillowcases and shorts, plus one customer sent a mail ordering a further ten. We felt Karen deserved the day off yesterday – so she could stay home and make more. hahaha

Yesterday was the Kirstenbosch Market, always a pleasure to be there! The weather had sorted itself out, and the steady flow of holiday shoppers and tourists was very welcome.

You’ve seen a zillion pics of Jam Tarts’ stuff, so I’m not going to bore you with more.
Here is other stuff: we all fell in love with these meerkats, made from jacaranda wood. Gran bought a whole family of them, I think.

We had a new neighbour, Carolyn from Car-o-Shop, who makes car seat covers at incredibly reasonable prices. Since crocheting a car seat cover is going to take too large a chunk of time, I think I’ll ask her to run something up for Mini-me. I’m thinking lime and shocking pink zebra stripes…

Dear friend Lara came to visit, with three lovely boys in tow. She’s good like that. The boys loved our owl monsters, and Max and Noah took it upon themselves to name any owls who had made it to the market without name tags. On the left in the middle, you can see a little turquoise chap who became “Snowflack”, and I had meant to put him in my basket to take home with me. But alas, I got distracted – and Snowflack got purchased by a complete stranger.

Lara tried on a button bangle and it looked so nice that I gave it to her as an early xmas present.

The only reason she is covering her pretty nose is because she’d just smeared thick white sun protector on her face – the South African sun is a real killer, so take note and take care. Seriously.

Last but not least, here is our amazing mountain in the background. The Kirstenbosch market is held right across the road from the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and the entire area is – what can I say? – like paradise. Life would be very flat indeed without our Table (no pun intended).

To be continued…

PS. I finally returned the fixed-up stool to my across-the-road neighbour. Seems I had timed it just right because her mom was visiting her at the time, and was overjoyed to see it – she says she remembers her gran sitting on it in the kitchen back in the day. So it belonged to my neighbour’s great grandmother.

Marmalade Angel

This is Susan’s shop in its new improved premises in Tulbagh, my favourite town away from home. The photos really don’t capture the atmosphere of the place and, although it’s slightly off the beaten track of Church Street, there was a steady flow of customers during the time I was there. And they all had cash on them. (Yip, cash, I tell you – love that stuff!

    

And if you go to the Marmalade Angel now, you’ll be able to find the unique Jam Tarts lamps for sale. Hoo ha.

And … some of my crocheted bracelets and button bangles:

Obvious enough to say, but it is enormously reassuring when someone else actually likes your stuff enough to give it shop room. Self-doubt can be a real creativity killer!

Right, enough of that — I have two markets this weekend (tomorrow is the Harfield Carnival and Sunday is Kirstenbosch), so I need to have me a power breakfast with extra caffeine, and get cracking.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

To be continued…

I <3 Tulbagh

I took an impulsive, unscheduled break in beautiful Tulbagh this week. I am home now, but I think I left part of my soul behind.

This is what I found there:

1. A wonderful friend with a wonderful cottage in the middle of nowhere, a sleeper couch, peace and quiet.

2. A lot of cows. Early in the morning, this one didn’t seem to want to have her photo taken. But I was intrepid.

I felt like a genuine wildlife photographer getting this shot. I’d silently tracked her a good 10 metres along the garden fence, and was rewarded by this split-second itch-scratch.

3. Apparently I was being tracked myself. Mia kept a beady eye on me from the roof.

4. A thousand mountains.

(Don’t worry, I won’t show you them all).

5. A little girl called Lila-Raine, for whom I made a quick headband:

 

6. A peacock who, with a display like this, must have mistaken me for a peahen. I was flattered.

7.  Garden creatures that had my heart stopping with horror when I first laid eyes on them. Tina assured me they were grasshoppers, but they looked like prehistoric human eyeball-suckers to me.  I kept my car windows tightly wound up at all times for fear that one of these things would fly or jump inside my car.

8. An amazingly gorgeous shop that belongs to Susan, Tina’s sister, in new premises in Buitenkant Street. More about the Marmalade Angel tomorrow.

Now you see why I didn’t want to come home.

To be continued…

a Stellenbosch day

Alex and I took some time out yesterday and spent it in Stellenbosch, a university town in the winelands about 25 mins from Cape Town (university…get it?! nudge nudge….)

We stopped for coffee, strolled up and down the streets, window shopped, visited Verbatim, the bookshop that a friend of mine started with her partner a few years ago, bought Howard Jacobson’s latest novel, had a picnic down by the river (grilled haddock and baby tomatoes and salticrax and grapes), got a bit lost, got caught up in school traffic by mistake in the afternoon, enjoyed the views, the art galleries, the library, the people. A very relaxed pace of life out there, for the consumer at least!

We had recently heard that Stellenbosch was going to be South Africa’s first entirely ‘free wifi’ town, so Alex had her ipad permanently clutched in her paws to test this out.  I stopped to look at some crochet crafts in a window, and just then two reporters from the Sunday Times popped up with cameras and notebooks to interview Alex for the story they were doing on the subject.  (Note to self: buy 10 copies on Sunday….daughter = famous!!!)

It was a hot sunny day (29 deg), and by the time we got home mid-afternoon, along the businest N1 I’ve ever known, I was ready for a little nap.

To be continued…