Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Paris, London, Bonnievale

We arrived in Cape Town from Paris via London on Saturday morning. Finding our Cape Town homes in good order, we decided to follow the lead of our friend Heinrich, who collected us at the airport, and head off for Bonnievale.

Vineyards in Provence
We loaded our luggage as is and headed for our home at Towerwater. The drive was familiar, but we viewed the landscape with new eyes. Where we came from a sun-soaked France with the green vineyards of Provence fresh in our memory, the cold-blackened and bare-pruned vineyards provided for a stark contrast with the French summer season.

Winter landscape in the Breede Valley
The wintery landscape was as beautiful as ever. We gazed at it with new appreciation for the magnificent mountains that tower above the towns and villages, cold as they appeared in the winter sun. The contrast of the monochrome winter landscape was worlds away from the lush and green summer landscapes we had enjoyed less than a day earlier.

Towerwater greeted us with an explosion of Narcissus under the oak tree. The rose-bushes and fruit trees were cold and in a deep sleep in a garden ready for pruning. The house was deliciously cold, shocking us out of the French summer into the reality of the Cape winter. We had no interlude into winter this year. We missed the days growing gradually colder, gently acclimatising one for the deep winter that lies ahead.

The days are cold and short and the blue skies above, deceptive. Saturday turned into a day of unpacking and laundry-washing while intermittently exploring the garden to determine what might be served for lunch and supper.

The observations confirmed that the onions are looking healthy and will be ready for transplanting in a month. The carrots and beetroot are ready for harvesting. They provided a rainbow of vegetables for the boys to harvest on Sunday. The peas looked cold and sorry for themselves. I now question the wisdom of my decision to delay their planting to just a few days before we left for Europe. The garlic, potato and sweet potatoes seem to be doing fine.

Rainbow carrots and beet harvest
The citrus row is looking very promising with lots of marmalade, cordial and liqueurs waiting in the wings.

Sunday started out misty and cold, but the day turned into a bright sunny one, luring us out onto the lawn for lunch.

Celebrating our visit to France, lunch was a Coq au Vin prepared in the antique bowls Keith bought at an antique market in Sault, Provence.

Lavender fields in Provence
Our extended visit to Europe will still unfold in our memory as we go through the thousands of photographs of Paris, Provence, St Mon Michel, Limoges and Bruges and so much more in between. The time spent with special friends in Europe, a treasured warmness in our hearts.

Lunch on the lawn
Observing our friends sharing our first home-cooked meal at Towerwater after our travels, we are reminded that we are truly blessed having so many amazing friends spread out over the continents.

The boys were tasked with removing the leaves from the carrots and beetroot and to separate them into heaps of vegetables for eating and leaves for composting. Clearly the harvesting had been far more exciting than the task at hand. The task proceeded with questions from the huddled group around the vegetables on the lawn as to why certain jobs get assigned to certain people.

Paris, London, Towerwater. We are truly blessed to have such diverse experiences in our lives. Celebrating each new experience and treasuring the old familiar ones.

1 comment:

  1. We're glad you're back Thys! Looking forward to some more European inspired blogs.


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