Saturday, July 2, 2016

When a quinuagenarian retire in Gansbaai

Ons is nou vir die derde keer in Gansbaai. Nie om te leilatov of laag te lê nie, maar om huis te koop. Ons eerste aanbod om te koop, is aanvaar, maar toe verkoop ons huis in Bloem nie betyds nie.
Die eienaar van die tweede eendom waarvoor Christo ‘n aanbod gemaak het, het onwettige aanbouings gedoen en wou ad-infinitum hê om ‘n ander vakansie-huis te soek . . . terwyl ons R30 000 betaal om ons meubels te stoor. En intussen weet ons nie wanneer ons ons eie huisie-by-die-see sal kan okkupeer nie. En nou is ons by nommer drie. Met 6 ander op die kortlys.
Toe byt ‘n spinnekop my. Op 6 plekke op my lyf. En ek jeuk my malle-maai af.

Ekt geen saak met gasstoofplate of ongeglasierde vloerteels of groen-verhitting nie. Ek jeuk. Ek smeer salf en sluk pille, maar ek bly jeuk. Later begin die blasies bars en lek, en ek jeuk. Rooi bult-stepe loop onder my vel, en ek jeuk. My dokter gee antibioltika, en ek jeuk. Die apteker halfwegoppad na Gansbaai gee salf, maar ek jeuk. Nou krap ek sommer ongeskik en onbedek, want ek jeuk. Tot ver verby malwordenstoe verby; ek jeuk myself mal.

And Google translated it as follows. . .
We are now for the third time in Goose Bay (or rather: Gansbaai). Not to leilatov or layer to lie,(or rather: relax) but to buy a house. The first offer to buy was accepted, but on the condition that the buyer sold his house in Flower (or rather: Bloemfontein) in time.
The owner of the second property that Christo had made an offer on, made illegal additions to the property and wanted ad infinitum to find another vacation home. . . while we pay R30 000 to store our furniture. And do not know when we will be able to occupy our own house-by-the-Sea. And now we are at number three - with 6 others on the shortlist.
When a spider bit me. 6 places on my body. I itch my crazy-reap (or rather: like crazy).
I don't care about gas cookers or unglazed floor tiles or green heating. I just itch. I apply ointments and swallow pills, and I itch. Later my skin blisters, bursts and leaks, and I itch. Red upheaved trails run under my skin. But I itch. My doctor gave antibioltika. But I itch. The pharmacist halfwegoppad (or rather; halfway on route) to Gansbaai gave ointment. But I kept on itching. I scratch rudely in public. Far beyond malwordenstoe (or rather: crazyness) past; I itch myself crazy.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What if a year takes longer than 365 days?

When I started with my gap year towards the end of 2013 I borrowed a few definitions for GAP YEAR and YEAR.

A GAP YEAR: In the professional or career world, a gap year is a year before or after taking a new direction - or even during the same old direction, when a gap year is known as a sabbatical.

A YEAR is the orbital period of the Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun, almost precisely 365 days.

And therefore, like Lewis Carroll and any project manager would confirm, did ‘begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: Then stop’.

But what if the end is not the end? What if a year takes longer than 365 days?

I learned that the Great Year, or equinoctial cycle, which corresponds to a complete revolution of the equinoxes around the ecliptic: Its length is about 25,700 years. And I learned about the Galactic year which is the time it takes Earth's solar system to revolve once around the galactic center: It comprises roughly 230 million Earth years.

Therefor, I'm consciously continuing my gap year and the documenting thereof, because like Wonderland's Oraculum, it illustrates and tells of adventures - happenings and thoughts - during the gap year of an quinquagenarian.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Beyond the pairs of opposites . . .

The unemployment rate in Denmark is 3.4 %, which is the lowest in Europe. The literacy rate is at least 99%. The Danish national norms for pupil-teacher ratios are, primary in Denmark are 9.93 for primary schools and 10.5 for secondary schools. As education is free and all students get very attractive government stipends, the average Dane is well educated, and have good job with one of the highest salaries in Europe.

The unemployment rate in South Africa is 25,2%, and the literacy rate is 7,1% -according to SA’s real level of literacy available at The South African national norms for pupil-teacher ratios are 40:1 for primary schools and 35:1 for secondary schools. As education is not free and the average student's don't get a bursary and the only financial assistance is from family members of which most are not literate themselves.

Our mind is capable of passing beyond the dividing line we have drawn for it. Beyond the pairs of opposites of which the world consists, other, new insights begin.

You should let yourself be carried away, like the clouds in the sky. You shouldn’t resist. God exists in your destiny just as much as he does in these mountains and in that lake. It is very difficult to understand this, because man is moving further and further away from Nature, and also from himself.
Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
Swiss poet, novelist, and painter


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Feastival (3)

Hanging bunting is a prime way to show involvement in a celebration. And I just love bunting, so, I glue-gunned off-white bunting in our entrance hall for our white Christmas Eve dinner.

My first real experience with bunting was with the Christmas card bunting of my primary school years.

Then I was in England with the Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and bought my daughter - whose name derives from Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth - a string of Jubilee bunting at the Bolton market.

This 1953 image shows bunting for the Queen's Coronation celebration in Newcastle, England.

Then I bought my grandson Jonathan a string of Cars-bunting . . .

And my Ozzie granddaughters Nina and Gweni took part in bunting fun . . .

And I found myself a string of crochet doily bunting . . .

And the guest bedroom went hessian bunting . . .


And then Ina Steyn, my sister-in-love, gave me blackboard bunting . . .

Bunting was originally a specific type of lightweight worsted wool fabric manufactured seemingly from about 1594, certainly from 1605, and used for making ribbons and flags.

The origin of the word is uncertain. Today, "bunting" is a term for any festive decorations made of fabric, or of plastic, paper or even cardboard in imitation of fabric. Typical forms of bunting are strings of colourful triangular flags and lengths of fabric. The term bunting is also used to refer to a collection of flags.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Feastival (2)

our Christmas-eve menu


pilchard and olive bread rolls

salted butter


picked beef rolled in black pepper corns

smoked pork layered with peppermint leaves

chicken breast slices

mustard sauce

pepadew sauce

françoise cream cheese sauce


variety of salad leaves





mission olives

coconut flakes

cherry tomatoes

glazed pineapple

dried banana


sweet potato & butternut bake in cumin & cream custard

marinated mushrooms (uncooked)



fruit salad

soft serve ice cream

My co-chef & daughter Emmy

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Feastival (1)

In South Africa, the Christmas and New Year holidays fall together with the extended summer holiday, various public holidays and the academic year end. This is a time for reflection, relaxation, recuperation and indulgence.

We indulge in what the added leisure time offer us: FEASTING. Long hours filled with family & friends & food & fun.

We take the time needed to cook good food properly and recognizing that reliance on fast food damages our health, social fabric and cultural food traditions.

We create menus and shopping lists with ingredients suggested by our recipes. Some traditional and trusted. Some elaborate and exotic. Others modest and momentous. Then, at last, we pamper ourselves by enjoying being in the kitchen. Alone or with partners, children and grandchildren. We go slow, we sip wine as we cook and bake, we wear our aprons, we go the extra-step by soaking the cherries in liquor, we stuff the roast with dates, beacon, basil, thyme and some of the soaked liquor, we make tiramisu in the timely way, we daily add one layer to the trifle.

The glorious trifle

The earliest use of the name trifle was for a thick cream flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater, the recipe for which was published in England, 1596, in a book called "The good huswife's Jewell" by Thomas Dawson. Sixty years later eggs were added and the custard was poured over alcohol soaked bread.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things can change in a day.

 Mary Elizabeth, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, is the wife of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. The couple met at a pub on 16 September 2000 in Sydney.


Mary, Crown princess of another well-to-do family of the middle-class family, is the wife of Vincent Kenneth Rowe. The couple met at a pub in Ugie.


Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day.

That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes.

The Day Before You Came


Must have left my house at eight, because I always do
My train, I'm certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial, no doubt I must have frowned
I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read, and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch at half past twelve or so
The usual place, the usual bunch
And still on top of this I'm pretty sure it must have rained
The day before you came

I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two
And at the time I never even noticed I was blue
I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day
Without really knowing anything, I hid a part of me away
At five I must have left, there's no exception to the rule
A matter of routine, I've done it ever since I finished school
The train back home again
Undoubtedly I must have read the evening paper then
Oh yes, I'm sure my life was well within it's usual frame
The day before you came

Must have opened my front door at eight o'clock or so
And stopped along the way to buy some chinese food to go
I'm sure I had my dinner watching something on tv
There's not, I think, a single episode of dallas that I didn't see
I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten
I need a lot of sleep, and so I like to be in bed by then I must have read a while
The latest one by marilyn french or something in that style
It's funny, but I had no sense of living without aim
The day before you came

And turning out the light
I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
And rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
The day before you came