Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Came home and found you gone.

Tonight, three years ago, I went on a date with a very tall man. Lonesome Dave crooned on a rooftop on a crisp autumn night.
We ate Tandoori lamb chops with our fingers.
I wanted more.

There's a road and we are walking. It's quiet on the outside only.
We love and we laugh, we fight and we learn.

He is far away now, his day is my night. 
Who knows what tomorrow may bring.
But I'll send this letter over the oceans and the lands.

Ek mis jou, langste man. Soos asemhaal.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dog Days.

The first days of a feature film job are all about planning and plotting and budgets and head-scratching.
And will we ever be able to do all of this??

Then there are the location recces... which I find very tedious and mostly leave me chomping at the bit, as they take so very long. We dawdled through mansions and hotels. Loitered at hospitals. Lingered in the bowels of the SABC, the projection rooms in cinemas. And then, to make up for it all, we went to a farm called Altona. It's been on my wish list for a long time - ever since I heard an interesting story about it... rumour has it that if you shoot in the dining room of the old homestead, you sign a clause stating that if anything happens to the antique chandelier in the dining room, the owners will be flown to Murano to repair or replace it. Great-grandmother's dowry.

It was smaller than I thought.

These old farms near Philadelphia are some of my favourite places on earth. Vissershok and the Occultdale Road. There's a formula here: a wide, dusty "werf" or yard, a clutch of blue gums, then the old main house, surrounded by a low whitewashed wall, and contained within that, a verdant Shangri-La. You can smell the water. And other things: a tangle of head-high lemon verbena, yarrow, dog roses, aloes, loquat, vigorous mint and zinnias. Jakop-Regop.

There are always a few lumbering big dogs. They come out to greet you and then they wander away again. The great dane took me for his own and leant against me, growling at the others.

Scattered around the yard are rambling outbuildings housing incredible old cars that haven't run in decades. The farm equipment of generations is not discarded, it gently rusts away in a field.

The owner of the farm was born in the bed he sleeps in at night.

Lying in a room in a different city, bedevilled under a bright blood moon, I wondered why I felt so rootless. Would it be different if I still had a family home to go back to? An old childhood room?
Perhaps my deep-dyed habit of collecting stuff also stems from this want. But I tell myself not to fret, I go to the market, I stop and I talk to the dogs.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April bytes.

On the first, forgetting completely about April fools, I popped in for some sushi on my way home. The waiter brought me a large plate of the tiniest maki I have ever seen, some paper-thin slices of sashimi... served with a huge lettuce leaf. We looked at each other and then I caught the chef's eye and we all burst out laughing. The regular stuff arrived a minute later.
My day was made.

Back at the ranch, the birds are eating me out of house and home. Twice a mourning dove has wandered through the kitchen, down the passage and into the lounge to come and fetch me. Up until now, they've ignored the fruit I have offered. They look at me a little accusingly, as if to say: did you not KNOW
that we prefer Golden Delicious? 

A litre of nectar goes down those tiny gullets every week. Six cups of seeds a day. The early birds get the peanut butter.

Upon my travels, looking for odds and ends, I went into a rattan furniture warehouse and spied this! They are making a coach for an African Cinderella.

And then, last night, I came upon a poem by Robert Frost.

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.