Monday, August 26, 2013

Spring Chicken.

When you spend a few days in a place like Moorreesburg, you need to snap out of your city ways fast. The townsfolk greet you in shops, on pavements, in cars. Yes, as you drive down the main street, other drivers nod and smile. There is the doffing of caps and much friendly gesticulating: No, you - you go first.

This is the small town mentality of my childhood and now that I am back in the city I miss it.

We shot in a few different houses - it always amazes me that people let us in so easily. You get to see bits and pieces of other lives - something I will never tire of.

And you hear stories. I wish I could go back with my notebook, but mostly there just isn't time. 

In a living room with rosy wallpaper, there is a sepia portrait of a movie-star-handsome man with a twirled moustache. Her father, she says. He escaped from one of the prisoner of war camps by sewing himself a khaki uniform and casually walking away. Then he became a spy in the British Navy.
When she was born, he attached the cockpit of a fighter plane to his open Willys Jeep, so that he could transport her in safety.

After the shoot, she says to me: "I'm so proud of my dogs and my chickens... they behaved so well." This after we had a huge crew eating lunch in the garden, wardrobe and make-up and extras lounging about as if they owned the place.

It was a commercial for a colonel. We were divided into two groups: us - the worker ants and them - the chicken people. The chicken people could not talk to us, would deign only to speak to the director.  I noticed a little voodoo doll tucked into the wardrobe lady's bag. It steadily filled with pins.

It's a tough world sometimes, this film business, and so disenchanted have I become, that when the director walked onto our second set and whooped with joy, I thought for a moment he was being sarcastic. After that, the day turned sunshiny and the Namaqua daisies opened wide. 

Home was on the outskirts of town, on an ancient farm. The dogs followed as I walked down to the dam. It was covered in waterblommetjies - the edible flowers of an aquatic plant, similar in flavour to a French bean. If I had known, my supper menu would have been different.

It had been a long time since since I cooked a meal for eight. The Saint Bernard watched mournfully from the threshold.

Every day I drove past a field of juicy clover and saw a strange sight: a single bay stallion with his own flock of sheep. They did everything together and made me ring with delight.

In the dark mornings, there was ice on the cars. The mountains are still snow-capped. But there's that feeling of Spring, just around the corner.


Rosie said...

Lovely x

Marie said...

What a wonderful post.

The chicken people.

Liewe aarde.

the sourcerer said...

thank you kind ladies!

tanja wllmot said...

you keep your heart focused on the blommetjies and the mirrors with flowers chiseled into them and the stories and all good things, the chicken people gotta find their own way in the world...such a great read, this blog of yours ma'm.

the sourcerer said...

thank you Miss T.
I am in dire need of a spot of travel writing from you. the bug has bitten, and as I am now footloose and fancy free....