Sunday, March 27, 2016

Capable of being filled with air.

I was going to write about my drive home from a small coastal town - the huddles of dusty ostriches, the solitary blue crane in a field.
How depleted I felt to see a place after so many years and find it beyond recognition. Spoilt, a husk of what it was. The youths in town poaching crayfish to support their methamphetamine addiction. Inequality so vast it made me gasp for air.

But of course there were other things as well.

My friend John writes so succinctly:
Days wandering across tarmac between props trucks and craft tables, the director and crew far at sea in rubber ducks and trawlers, the cast ferried offshore in batches to swim in freezing water. They ride out of the surf as knights on horseback, as queens in sedan chairs, a barmy army on inflatable crocodiles, pizzas, pretzels and luminous whales. They float on pedalos, dinghies and lilos or slump in plastic chairs under huge tents waiting to be called into action. Wardrobe assistants wash and dry and iron hundreds of costumes. The sun, wind, too many dark and misted mornings, too much coffee, too much meat, a lot of waiting - days spent pacing and standing - but there is nothing as exhilarating as being part of a really big job that goes well after weeks of preparation .

And off he rows, our intrepid art director.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

In dreams.

One night this week past, I found myself inside the world of a much loved photograph by Thomas Abercrombie. Close to the carpet-covered hillside was a settlement. Women were hanging fabrics to dry over low, scorched bushes. It was that magic hour with the golden light.

Although I knew I wasn't in Turkey, I tried a Turkish greeting. Merhaba! I called. The men ignored me. The women tittered behind hands with henna-tipped nails. They left me to my own devices.
I stood writing a postcard to my dear friend whom I haven't seen in many years. I wrote in pencil, pressing against a rough wall.

The air smelled of thyme. There was the sound of birds.
Orioles, I thought.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The call of objects.

I had some nice little lily pads in the city, back when I was a single woman. Most of my possessions have been packed away for almost three years now, but one day I will unpack my crates and gasp. Sometimes, at night when I lie awake, I walk through those places - peering into cupboards and drawers - wondering if I still have that bent spoon, or the postcard from Japan that was written in spirals.

Of course, as I suffer from degenerate collecting disease, I bring things home all the time.
This week has been a doozy.

 The plate is tilted only because I was not paying attention. I love old porcelain maker's marks.

I popped into Randall Hare's shop in Wynberg. He is one of the last true gentlemen in town. A wonderful collection of old Cape furniture and Boer War pieces. He restores everything himself, beautifully.
The shop smells wonderful: resin, beeswax, wood shavings.

This wee bird box from the early 1900's drew me in an irresistible way.

If I were to stay at home and garden and cook, surely I would want less. But alas, I am working on a huge commercial for a small chocolate bar. The work depresses me and I seek rewards. 

A few weeks ago, on a hot, hot day, I met my friend Niki in town. We sat at Café Mozart, under the trees. Niki remembers those trees when they were small. When he was my lecturer at university, he was younger than I am now.

That's me in my rockabilly dress. I never told him about the black beast who lives next door, but there he is! Zorro the chihuahua.
A few nights later, as the tall man and I sat down to dinner, a bat zoomed by in the garden..

The painting was a Christmas gift from me to the tall man. My friend Mrs Owl gave a loo revamp to Mr Owl for Christmas. I've been meaning to ask her how she kept it a secret.