Tag Archives: cape town

ScrapHappy May 2022

We’re solidly in the middle of autumn in Cape Town, but we still get to enjoy some beautiful sunny days with just a hint of cold when you’re in shadow. Nights and early mornings are much cooler of course, but the winter rains haven’t set in yet. The poppies and nasturtiums in my garden are sending out their first little leaves but they’re going to have to put up with a lot of wet before they see spring!

At the Spier Craft Art market, the ground is fairly thick with autumn leaves. Below the top level of the leaves, the soil is damp. Boots are needed, despite the sun. Boots, tights, scarves, and a new furry leopard print hoodie to keep out any surprise nasty cold winds.

Love my new jacket. Nothing like fake fur!

Anyway, enough of the weather, back to ScrapHappy. Many of the crafters work with beads. It’s easy to lose a few when you’re making things – and there was once a memorable occasion when Bongani accidentally tipped over a 2-litre box of black beads that he was using for a wire elephant.

The scavenger in me can’t help but give in to the temptation to scratch around on the ground for beads. Yesterday the pickings were particularly good, and at one point I was on my knees with a stick getting at lower-level beads that must have been tramped into the soil over many years of markets. I felt like a forensic anthropologist or archaeologist or whatever you call those clever people in crime fiction.

Once washed, the beads are good to go. I turned them into three memory bangles last night, and the only rule is that there are no rules – whatever gets picked up gets used, in no particular order. I noticed that there were more white beads than any other colour then I realised that this is most likely because they are easier to spot than darker colours.

There are a few plastic letter beads in there. I didn’t find a J for Jill so I get to decide what a letter may stand for. See the G? Today that stands for Grumpy. Grumpy because some twerp was in such a hurry to get in and out of the supermarket last week that she grabbed decaffeinated coffee instead of the real thing. How is decaf even coffee? It isn’t, is the answer. It’s ground-up brown stuff and doesn’t count in my book. Never again!

Spier Craft Art market

Late last year I joined the Craft Art Market at Spier. It’s a permanent set-up on the very exquisite Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch (the “wine route”) and run by Sue Heathcock Projects. There are 32 makers/traders in total, designing and producing an incredible range of handmade items.

Some of my new colleagues are Zimbabwean, so I have learnt how to say Hi, how are you? mhoro, wakadii?“, Thank you “ndatenda“, and Please cover for me, I’m going for a smoke breakndokumbira undivhare, ndiri kuenda kunozorora” in Shona. Okay, the last phrase needs a lot of practice and I have a long way to go. I’m pretty sure that what I come out with is more likely to be along the lines of I’ve just seen a spaceship landing near the railway line or Please help me, there’s a dead frog in my underpants. Whatever it is, everyone just smiles and nods their heads.

These photos really don’t do the place any justice. Part of the estate is wetland, so there are ponds and ducks and reeds; there are also restaurants, wine tastings, gift shops, coffee shops, play areas for children, and masses of huge trees with beautifully maintained lawns and garden-scaping. Naturally, being part of the “hospitality industry”, everyone has taken a huge knock when it comes to the consequences of lockdowns and bans on international travel. But we persevere, and there seems no end to peoples’ creativity and adaptability.

And, in the end, that’s what keeps us all going, isn’t it? It’s a little late but Happy New Year to all of you :)

this and that

I had my second Pfizer vaccination yesterday and had been warned that there might be some adverse side effects. But, apart from feeling flat and tired last night (which may have had nothing to do with the jab at all), I’m 100% this morning. A surprising number of people I know (and know well) are opting not to have the vaccine. I’m not going to judge them but based on what I’ve read I believe that it’s the most sensible thing to do under the circumstances, and I wish they would change their minds.

In the Western Cape province of South Africa, the provincial administration (under the Democratic Alliance, i.e. the official opposition party) has begun rolling out vaccination programes for homeless people, many of whom do not have ID documents or birth certificates. The pilot session was in Cape Town two weeks ago, and was very efficiently managed. This is really really great news! *

On Saturday Loraine has invited Vicki and me for a get-together at her home in Durbanville to drink a toast to our mutual friend Shona, who died on 25 June. Loraine and her husband Raymond arranged for Shona’s beloved dog, Cayley, to be flown from Port Alfred to Cape Town so they can adopt her. Cayley is now firmly entrenched as part of the family, which makes us all very happy. Loraine has long covid (well over 15 months now) and is tired most of the time. She sent us this gorgeous pic of Cayley giving her a get-well kiss.

All I know about Saturday is that (a) Raymond has been instructed to cook prawns; (b) there will be wine and whiskey; and (c) Vicki and I will have the use of the two guest bedrooms so we will be taking our pjs. The only thing missing will be Shona.

I’m not sure what possessed me at the time but I’ve booked to take part in an evening market at the Brass Bell in Kalk Bay next Wednesday. I’m a bit over lugging tables and chairs and boxes of stock around, and am really hoping that they provide the basics. I’m going to keep it simple – just my fabric necklaces and boot accessories. Karen and I did a recce at the beginning of August, which ended with whiskey and coffee (not respectively). It’s a stunning venue, as you can see, and attracts a great mix of people. I think most of them are under 25 (for the market, at least) so I’d better leave my walking stick at home.

If it’s a flop for me money-wise, at least I’ll have made some new contacts and also get to make sure the old pub has remained un-revamped. That’s important, to keep some things as they are. Especially pubs, right?

  • Molly, Rolinda, Freedom and Dubs all gave their permission to be photographed.

fire and destruction

Bereft.
Table Mountain and surrounding areas in flames, large parts of the University of Cape Town and Rhodes Memorial and Mostert’s Mill burned to the ground. All students were evacuated and there are no fatalities, although four firefighters had to be hospitalised.
The air was already thick with smoke by 11h00 yesterday morning over the entire southern suburbs.
I never expected to experience grief at the loss of buildings, but as a student at UCT for over six years and a member of staff for five, I find myself in tears.

Cape Town’s firefighters are incredible, by the way, and, while many people have exhorted those to pray to whomever they choose to believe is in control of things for the fire to stop, I didn’t see anyone resembling god or Jesus or Mohammed or whoever on the back of a fire engine rushing to the scene to help.