Blueberry Hill


You may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately. I would like to say that I’ve been too busy but the truth is quite the opposite. Yes, I’ve been playing a shitload of bridge and volunteering at the local farm school but when I’m not out and about, I’m sitting at home and twiddling my thumbs. I feel a bit stuck and Annie Dillard’s words “how we spend our days is how we spend our lives” are starting to haunt me.

When Peter joined me here on the farm we employed a young woman, Thandi, to clean the house and do the ironing. Before that I did all my own housework and, if truth be told, we should be doing it ourselves, we have the time. Njabulo looks after the allotment and rest of the farm and I’ve kind of handed it over to him because he “does it so well”. And since I decided to let the indigenous bush swallow up the garden, there isn’t that much for me to do there either. So really I could use all this spare time to be more creative and productive, instead I don’t. It feels like all my focus has become diffused and even my camera lies gathering dust.

So I’ve decided to post a little something just to keep the blog alive until I get my mojo back. Please don’t expect too much!

Recently I saw a notice in the Notties Network newsletter that the nearby Bosch Hoek golf club was looking for waitrons. I immediately phoned and sold Njabulo to them as an ideal waiter (I’ve always felt that, with his engaging personality, he should be in the hospitality industry and not a farm worker).  I was told to bring him in the next day and that he was basically going to be thrown in the deep end as the club was hosting two major events, back to back. I was also informed that he had to wear black and white, so we rushed off to Mr Price in Howick in the morning and kitted him out with black jeans and white shirt before dropping him off at the club. I was then treated to a tour of the kitchen and what was being prepped for the special event (which was a Ken Forrester wine pairing) and I must say it all sounded quite delicious. I’m definitely going to the next one now that I know about it, it’s a Delaire Graff wine pairing. I think they’ve got a gem of a chef at Bosch Hoek, just hope they can hang on to her.

We’re hoping that Njabulo will be offered a full time job at Bosch Hoek not only because it would give him a bit more mobility than if he stayed on the farm but also because our regular farm worker has indicated that he would like to return to work after being on sick leave for the past year.

We had our first frost this morning, about a month late, and firebreaks can now be burned. What a relief – it’s always a bit scary come fire season because we have a thatch roof. But there is something very earthy about living under thatch that, despite its drawbacks, I wouldn’t want to change.

I’ve been playing quite a lot of bridge lately, perhaps too much but I do enjoy it. My best is Friday afternoons at Blueberry Café: the venue is so sublime, the cappuccinos and cookies are delicious, the atmosphere is very laid back and we have a lot of fun. It’s the perfect end to the week and, to top it all, the sunsets from Blueberry are magical. Afterwards, when I’m driving home along the old Curry’s Post Road, I really couldn’t wish for a better place to be.

Njabulo, looking very dapper

Njabulo, looking very dapper in his waitron kit

Ah ye, this is what it's' all about

Ah yes, this is what it’s all about

yin and yang

snuggles in front of the fire


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6 Responses to Blueberry Hill

  1. Chris Ammann says:

    Creativity cannot always be turned on like a tap – it ebbs and flows with our changing moods and circumstances. For me, the dry spells have often been associated with depressive episodes but even in low times, the right stimulus at the right time can shift a stubborn block. I often find that after I’ve visited a vibrant art exhibition, ideas start to flow even if the artistic medium is different from my own. Keep reading. Buy a new book on photography (Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye” for its composition ideas is worth a look) and you’ll soon get the urge to snap away again.

    My own blog writing too has taken a temporary back seat as I concentrate on watercolours, paper cutouts, guitar, singing and photography. I’m finding these really exciting at the moment but know that the momentum can be fleeting.

    So you will either have to feed your muse or, in the spirit of “it too shall pass”, just sit it out.

    • Cathy says:

      Chris, I think you have hit the nail on the head – I have been neglecting my muse. Too much time spent playing bridge and nothing to stimulate creativity. Unfortunately I can’t muster the energy to do anything about it right now; I’m at a low ebb. But part of the solution is at least knowing what the problem is. So I’m sitting this one out until the tide turns and when it does, I’ll be prepared to go with the flow. How’s that for a whole bunch of mixed metaphors!

      • Chris Ammann says:

        Cathy, at least South African tides are a little more manageable than the British ones. We’ve just come back from a week in Cornwall (much better cottage this time!) and we watched the local tides advance at an astonishing rate. No wonder people get into trouble. Anyway, the great thing about the tide going out is the opportunity for beach-combing – found objects can sometimes be as stimulating as carefully constructed art. So, extending our dreadful run of metaphors … at low tide take the opportunity of observing just what flotsam and jetsam has been left behind, take what’s useful, perhaps building a secure raft to help you go with that inevitable flow.

  2. Chris Ammann says:

    BTW, I’ve lost track of which country is more politically correct: the UK or SA. South Africa has at least some excuse for treading very carefully and SA certainly seemed to lead the questionable trend in ordering a coffee without (or with) milk instead of ‘black’ or ‘white’ coffee. It does get tortuous at times though and one of my pet hates is the awful word ‘waitron’ (see here for an interesting discussion on this I see no reason why the terms ‘waiter’ or ‘waitress’ could be offensive as long as both genders are treated equally. After all, a cursory glance will confirm the gender of the neutral serving person. Talking of which I have noticed the increasing use of the term ‘server’ over here which is surely more demeaning. Surely context is everything but if I politely request (not order?) a black Americano while smiling respectfully at my waitress I start to feel like a racist, sexist, philistine. It’s much safer to order an espresso …

    • Cathy says:

      Can’t say I’ve come across any antipathy towards the terms “black” or “white” coffee and I’ve never heard the word “server” used instead of waiter / waitress / waitron. But then I don’t get out as much as I should! In fact the word “waitron” seems to have gone out of favour without me noticing. I don’t suppose I should get you started on the use of waitperson / waitstaff?

      • Chris Ammann says:

        Well to be fair, I extrapolated my ‘black/white’ coffee rule from a fairly small (but highly politically correct sample) and I don’t get out that much in SA! I am relieved that waitron in on the way out but shudder to think what might take its place (waitperson??). I propose Gender-Non-Specific-Beverage-and-Comestible-Service-Provider though it might need a little work.

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