Monday, September 27, 2010


 I loved the drive to Matjiesfontein. Flashing by as I drove: black-headed sheep, children waving, rosy mountains in the late afternoon and itty-bitty railway halts with names like Konstabel and Tweeside. The soundtrack was loud and perfect: Dead Man's Bones, Electrelane, Slim Gaillard and a
smattering of Captain Beefheart.

 The Lord Milner Hotel is a Victorian beaut. If you ever go, nab the Honeymoon Suite - it has twin bath tubs! The weekend there reminded me of being on a cruise ship in days of yore - planned activities, breakfast and dress-up dinners in the dining room... 
This was the fifth annual Show'n'Tell, but my first. I plan to go forevermore.

 Photos by Damien Schumann - a great capturer of the moment. He had a secret printer and photos appeared in the foyer as if by magic. He also did a very graceful dance with fire.

 Music, theatre, crafts and general hilarity.

The Magician Dude entertains the tinies before the Bioscope. In the Laird's Arms Bar the night before, he had us crying with laughter in an act that had him multiplying red foam balls, finding money in lemons and stripping down to his boxers.

 Waiting in line, the Folk Singer did some impromptu strumming. He has a voice sweet like honey and takes frequent naps.

 The Speed Confessional Booth by Doctor Ruth. Discretion not a guarantee. So I confessed to being fickle when it came to matters of the heart. That I fell in love at the drop of a hat, but quickly suffered from lassitude. My prescription, drawn from that hat:
learn a foreign accent.

 Croquet was played, as was Boule. Gin & tonics and champagne on tap. A morning of crossword puzzles on the lawn. Things never stopped happening.

 I've always loved the colours and the smells of the Karoo. And the water tastes like copper coins. 
Back soon I hope.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

~ The Duchess Of Wisbeach ~

 The birthday treats continue... I was taken out to dinner last night by the two big P's and one small. (A special thank you to the Tall Drink Of Water for the restaurant recommendation.)
We just loved The Duchess Of Wisbeach. Casually flamboyant, it's ultra-styley without feeling too contrived. Black, white and dove-grey. Small china dogs on each table. FULL of happy diners.

 The grown-ups all had the Karoo Lamb Chops. Three to a plate! They came served with grilled baby eggplant + vine tomatoes and a velvety zesty mint sauce. Cooked to a tee. I had to send my compliments to the chef. Chef Amy is seriously good, she had her dishes flying out of that little kitchen hot and fast. She sent me a nod and a shy smile.
It was a relief when the Duke gave us permission to eat our chops with our hands. Miss Pucci has no qualms - she eats everything with her fingers. Messily, but with great delicacy. Then she dips her hand in the water glass for a quick rinse. The table looked like the scene of utter carnage what with all those bones.
The dessert. Well. I'm lost for words. Baked apricot pudding with toffee sauce and creamy banana ice cream. It vanished in two minutes flat.

 A goblet of Grappa was taken for the constitution.
In the Ladies Room, a gold-framed fax page reads in a hasty scribble:
You are a lousy lover,
a careless husband and a bad father 
and you can cook yourself an egg tomorrow night.

 ❤ Thanks to R, C and the munchkin.
The Duchess Of Wisbeach: Wisbeach Rd, Sea Point, 
021 434 1525

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birthdays & Love Affairs

This from Fraulein M: "Lili, I want you to put this recipe on your faceblog!"
Laughter and the clinking of glasses and spoons against bowls. There's something immensely satisfying about feeding a bunch of hungry friends.  My love affair with food will certainly never end.

 Felt a little delicate the next morning. Wandered through the National Gallery with the Better Halves. They were married in the Gallery last year, next to the painting of the horses. I think their love affair is rather grand.
He inspects...
From Pierneef to Gugulective. An outstanding collection of South African art and photography from 1910-2010. Lovely till the batteries all ran out. How do girls wear heels every day? The red boots are nice but definitely not made for walking. Though they did get me a compliment from a stranger. Thanks guy, you made me smile.

 I was looking forward to dinner at Ginja - I wanted them to blind me with science. But they have closed. Again. So to The Wooden Shoe we went. Still the same, after all these years! Veal cooked with brandy, cream and mushrooms, served with pan-fried spätzle. Hmmm.

 There's much to be said for being taken out to dinner by someone who knows you inside out. Our love affair is over and we've seen the best and the worst and all of the in between but we still have time for each other and probably always will.
Thanks to The Lip. 
The Wooden Shoe. St John's Rd, Sea Point. 021 439 4435

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Annex.

 A perfect Kalk Bay day. My pre-birthday treat of lunch at The Annex. We shared a steak sandwich with caponata and mushroom sauce plus the shiitake mushroom risotto. When I tasted the risotto I said to my friend: 'there's something going on here!' It was obvious that they'd used homemade stock and then they'd hidden baby carrots, peas and mangetout in between the mushrooms. Cunning! The portions were hale and hearty - a good thing, as we were eating for three. :-)
We were surrounded by a low hedge of lavender and mint full of lazy bees and sheltered by a huge umbrella pine. This has to be the best spot to sit and drink a glass of wine and solve the problems of the world.
Thanks D.

The Annex. Main Rd, Kalk Bay (behind the bookshop)
021 788 2453 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Rush Job.

One and a half day's prep. No recce notes. Flying around gathering brandy snifters, sparklers and poker chips. Set builders under duress. A couple of sleepless nights.

 This makes sense to me: you want an end product in ultra slow motion, with plenty of detail. So you need more information. But 2000 frames per second? I can barely bend my brain around that. For everyday film the frame rate is 24. The Photosonics camera is a noisy one... and goes through film stock like the very hungry caterpillar.

 Monster spot lights called Super Troupers. Smoke and mirrors, broken glass. Grips eating boudoir biscuits. Our leading lady: the magnificent Palesa. She has extraordinary grace and always a ready smile. What a star.

  The workday started at 4 in the morning and ended at midnight. Another whole day in overtime. Everyone was talking about $$$. But all I could think of was ZZZz.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coral sets sail.

A very civilized affair. First a little stroll to go and see Elliot, the giant fanman. He is 18m tall and made of 4200 Coca Cola crates. Then a coffee at Bascule.

 The sailing was sublime. An outrageous feeling of bonhomie amongst the people. Twinkly smiles and laughter. Orders from the Skipper in his fine Scottish brogue. Top speed: 10 knots, including large amounts of sea spray and scary angles.

 I came home feeling windswept, salty and hungry. And now for the first time I understand how people get the sea in their blood and become sailors.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Schooner named Coral.

 That's her, circa 1926. A gaff-rigged schooner built in England in 1902, the mistress of her captain for the last twenty years. A pleasure vessel. A day tripper. The Captain: Ozzie Osbourne in casual Friday form. The Birthday Girl: a Polish beauty dressed in black.

 The crowd: mostly architects, eating crostini with salmon, lemon & capers. Carpaccio with roasted peppers and artichokes. All garnished with fat mulberries and Sweet William petals.
Overheard snippets of conversation about Kenyan houseboys and difficult vegan children.

 We didn't leave the marina. Sunday promises a sail proper. November, a long cruise. Crew needed. I have offered my services as cook. Only half in jest.