What can possibly beat warm autumn days in the country? We have felt so cocooned here in russet coloured leaves and azure skies that we have not had any inclination to venture out of our immediate surroundings since returning home from our Cape Town trip. Everything seems to have slowed down and, if truth be told, we have been quite slothful. However on Saturday afternoon we managed to find the energy to head on down to the beautiful Caversham Valley where, to our delight we found ourselves basking in the sun, drinking Notties draught beer, scoffing a few boerie rolls and listening to wonderful African rhythms (in celebration of Africa Day). What utter bliss.
The highlight of the day for me was the sublime sound of Oliver Mtukudzi, a Zimbabwean musician, who entertained a very appreciative Midlands audience. I found it impossible not to be moved by his music, despite not being able to understand the lyrics. He has a beautiful deep, husky voice and is very charismatic – he had the audience eating right out of his hand.
The rest of the line-up included David Jenkins, a maskandi musician from Zululand, and the group Shabalala Rhythms, which brought back many pleasant memories of our time spent in the Zululand bush. Of course the parallels between David Jenkins and Johnny Clegg are obvious and he even performs some of Clegg’s songs. When Peter lectured in the department of social anthropology at UND, Johnny Clegg (also an anthropologist) spent a couple of terms there as a guest lecturer. My claim to fame is that he was part of the gang of strong men enlisted by Peter to help move my piano from my parents’ house to our place. Unfortunately I can’t remember anything else about that day other than the piano weighing a ton and a lot of swearing.
I leave for the States at the end of the month – 4 more sleeps! I will be spending 5 weeks with Kiera and James, mostly in Washington DC but we have also planned a trip to Maine. Kiera has organised a fantastic itinerary – we fly to Boston and from there drive up the coast of Maine, stopping at lots of picturesque little harbour towns and including a visit to the Acadia National Park. So I’m hoping to have lots to blog about in the coming weeks.