Saturday, January 31, 2015

Have you lost something?

A strange pair we make - walking, bent over, scanning the veldt. Concerned people want to help us find what it is we are looking for. How to explain the thrill of finding fragments of a distant daily life? 

On a ramble three weeks ago, I found a particularly intriguing shard of porcelain - the letter "O"...
Exactly one week later, I found the entire plate at the Milnerton Market. That's the kind of synchronicity that makes one gasp.

Tunstall, England, 1890's.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Curcuma Longa.

The name is a caress.
In all the years that I've been growing Turmeric from rhizomes, I've never had a plant that bloomed.

But look!

 It snuck up on me - the buds are shy and initially only visible from one side.

After a day or two, as if that wondrous bloom was not enough, from each furled green bract popped a fanged yellow dragon.
Hermaphrodites I am told.

I can't wait to see what happens next...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let me count the ways.

The names of the Karoo towns are spelled out in white stones upon the hills. Not only the names, but also slogans: DRA WOL. Wear wool.
For this is sheep country.

Many have come this way, then left again.

At sunset we crossed the Orange River and passed some locals drinking cocktails on the bridge.
Later we had a cold beer under a loquat tree at the Bethulie Hotel, bats flitting and swooping through the leaves above us.

It was very hot and during the night it rained.
I had forgotten how much I like this warm summer rain and the smells and the sounds that go with it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Yugo Stores.

Sunlight soap, paraffin, lighthouse candles, mielie meal and marshmallow mice. The smell is a combination of these things and it transports me straight back to childhood summers, when my mother used to take us to buy slip slops at Dups - the ones that only came in blue, with little fish shapes pressed into the rubber.

The same shelves covered in gift wrap. Bicycle spares, plastic dolls in cellophane, razor blades, enamel mugs, zam-buk salve in tins, lifebuoy soap, vicks cough drops and tokoloshe salts.

Opened in 1946 by Archie's parents, long gone now. We left with a red enamel dish, stoney ginger beer and a small glass bottle of coca cola, ice cold.

56 4th Avenue