Tag Archives: Table mountain

Nazareth House Day One

The first day of the Nazareth House 130th birthday celebrations: what a day – blew us all away! Literally. Cape Town is famous for its South-Easters, and when one comes in over the mountain, you really don’t want to be in Vredehoek or Woodstock. We were in Vredehoek.

I took some great pics of the tablecloth rolling in over the top of the mountain (a visible sign that you need to get out of the wind and FAST), but left my camera in the car overnight by mistake under a pile of lampshades so will have post later. Two vendors (jewellery and ceramics) arrived at 12.30 to set up, got out of their cars, got straight back in again and left. The rest of us persevered. It’s not easy when the wind whips the bunting you’ve just hung across the side of your stall slap across your face while you’re trying to weight down other things with little rocks that you’ve had to forage for in the road, but, hey, it’s all in a day’s work. I ended up with a few sales (not too shabby considering the wind was putting off a lot of visitors), some great new contacts, and renewed admiration for Rob. He is so thoughtful – three of the port-a-loos had been blown over and away down the side of the field. We laughed and shook our heads at the silly old wind – until I needed to go. I wasn’t ready to end my life in a plastic toilet being airborne across the foreshore with my pants down. He immediately realised my concern, and propped himself behind my chosen loo like a bouncer at the Moulin Rouge. No budging!

Time for me to log off, put my happy sales face on, and JUST DO IT.

To be continued….

Gail’s turquoise gift and some township art

Gail is a friend of mine who retired earlier this year.  I think she has always been a closet crafter, and one of her retirement presents was a swanky new sewing machine. You’ll see she has been putting it to good use:

At Michelle’s birthday lunch yesterday, Gail gave her this stunning hand-made tea shower, in rainbow colours with turquoise lace.  I was most envious.  (Gail, fyi, my own birthday isn’t too far off….). Not shy, me.

The day before yesterday, I had stopped at the atm to draw some cash for grocery shopping, petrol and other bills (you don’t have to say it, I know I am weird for not banking online, I have an inexplicable antipathy to it); after that, I was on my way to Doreen’s place for a crafting morning.  It wasn’t 10 minutes later that I had been waylaid at the robots by Adam, a most charming young man with a sales pitch and the sort of confidence that even Dale Carnegie could have learned something from.  He was selling his multi-media township paintings, and I was but putty in his hands.  There went most of the contents of my purse.

I now have this on my lounge wall:

and I do love it. Let’s hope I also love living mainly on lentils and government bread for the rest of the month :-)

To be continued…








Deli delicious

I met Karen for a late breakfast today, at a new deli in Woodstock called Salisbury’s. Only open two months, it is already busy and feels well-established. The atmosphere is relaxed but not dodgy (this is Woodstock, remember!), decor straightforward and modern with the occasional touch of pretty (see hearts on wall and birdcage in corner), staff friendly and helpful – all in all, a great space.

And there’s Table Mountain in the background :-)

   Karen grinning inanely for the camera.


Jeanne and her staff make wonderful meals from simple, fresh ingredients.  I had the breakfast roll (minus the egg), and got a few greens to go with it, and Karen had French toast with bacon and maple syrup. Don’t ask me how she stays thin.  All food was F for good, and generously portioned.

We had cappuccinos (mine with a double shot of espresso, because I can), and the entire bill came to R95.  Serious value for money.

There’s also – free wifi, loads of parking, a small stock of essential groceries (milk, eggs, olives, anchovies, spices, pesto, etc), and they stay open til 20h00. And on Sundays.

Salisbury’s is on the corner of Roodebloem and Salisbury Roads. You’ll find me there same time next week.

To be continued…

Book Lounge

Last Wednesday evening I attended the launch at the Book Lounge of a marvellous new book on text editing, one of whose three authors used to be a colleague of mine. As usual, I had my camera with me but when I got home and downloaded the pics, I found none of them were of John, his book, the audience, or even the lovely grub.

The first one was the view of Table Mountain from the window. The Book Lounge is in Roeland Street so, looking up, you can clearly see the cable car station at the top from that angle.

Second one: a very cheerful (if rather meaningless) painting of big fat flowers, perched on top of many shelves of books.  I guess I just like the colours.

Third pic: part of the wall of the downstairs of the shop, which is entirely covered in the most exquisite and whimsical drawing, mainly in black and white but with a bit of colour here and there, against a pale blue washed background. Downstairs is where the childrens’ books are kept, and also Philosophy, Art, Design, and Crime. (No, not really Crime – just wanted to see if you were paying attention!)

I love the girl with her hair and feet in the air watering the plant on the building next door.  I couldn’t find the artist’s signature but I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

And just in case you are thinking that clearly I don’t care so much about the books themselves, I would add that I think John’s book should be a prescribed text for anyone who writes (reports, business stuff, academic theses, etc) and anyone required to edit that writing, particularly in a country where the majority of people have English as a second, third or even fourth language.  (In South Africa, we have ELEVEN official languages, by the way.)  My own comment in discussion time, incidentally, was that some of the most poorly written texts I have ever come across have been written by people who have English as a first language!

To be continued…

Milnerton Market in pictures

I have over 30 scarves, and they are becoming a problem.  They don’t fit properly anywhere and get mixed up with other things in the wardrobe. I had the brilliant idea this past week of having a towel rail put up in my bedroom next to the dresser, so that I could drape all 40 30 scarves in one place and they would all be easily visible and accessible. This is why we went to the Milnerton Market today, to find a towel rail.

The Milnerton Market, which is actually in Paarden Eiland but on the way to Milnerton and is less of a mouthful to say, is a really extraordinary place.   It has grown enormously over the last couple of years,  and there must be over 400 traders on a sunny Sunday like today. You can get anything and everything, from kitchen ware and furry deerhunters made in China, to rusted spanners and vice grips from what might be Voortrekker times, to British royalty  memorabilia (there was a lot of Charles and Diana today, oddly), to handmade wooden furniture, bicycles turned into planters, long-playing records turned into dishes, and cosmetics and clothes and hats and batteries and and and

The buyers are as much of a cross-section as the traders. All classes, all colours, all ages, and I heard at least 12 different languages being spoken.  There were fashionistas, antique dealers, junk junkies (like me), grannies, bike and hobby enthusiasts, shop owners, DIY guys, and even ordinary people just doing their weekly vegetable shop. And cash, of course, is king.  

There is a beautiful view of the mountain from that side of the peninsula, so my gallery of photos will start with that; it ends with a couple of exhausted dogs, waiting for their owners to pack up and take them home, and last of all a picture of my feet in their wonderful new crocheted slippers that I snapped up. I chatted briefly to Jean, who made them, and suggested she try a more up-market market, as it were. She said she will just as soon as she manages to get a new car – her old one was stolen, then her brother wrote off the replacement. I hope she gets one soon.

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To be continued…