Tag Archives: sunshine

Letting Cape Town’s best kept secret out the bag…

When you first mention that you live in/are moving to the Western Cape, folk-not-from-these-parts treat you with suspicion. They’ll always end a grudging comment on the sunny summers with something along the lines of “But the winters? No thanks. The wind howls and it doesn’t stop raining for months and months and months…”

Truth is, they’re wrong. I’ve only lived in Cape Town a few fingers’ and toes’ worth of months now but I know Capetonians are excellent secret-keepers. Because the ‘months and months and months’ of solid rain and howling wind those folk from ‘Up North’ speak of? It’s more like a few days here and there. Broken by days of the most wondrous blue skies, sparkling seas and light breezes of excitement and hope that blow away any grey-thought cobwebs still hanging around.

This past weekend was one such weekend. The kind you think of when you hear the lyrics to ‘June Afternoon’ by Roxette (that’s pretty old school, I know). It was the “Wah wah, here comes the sun, playing in the park, never getting dark…” kind, with the magical sunset glow adding a special filter to everything. (I wasn’t the only one to think so – click here for proof).

And of course, this winter wonderland is when all the whimsical ‘winter specials’ come into play that are long forgotten when the December hoards grace our lovely seaside towns – when it comes to Blouberg beachfront alone there’s two for 1 sushi and more on offer at Catch22half-price pizza all day on Monday at Col Cacchios in Big Bay (click here for a reminder of how much I love this special)… and the list goes on, stretching as far afield as Stellenbosch if you’re so inclined.

And so, frolic in the winter sunshine we did. You’ll see there’s a natural sunny ‘haze’ in most of these photos, that’s what I’m talking about – sometimes a picture really is better than a thousand words when describing something.

Sun-dappled head of my dear, sweet girl in the car on the way to the beach
Sun-dappled head of my dear, sweet girl in the car on the way to the beach
Doggies running up the beach path ahead of their dad
Doggies running up the beach path ahead of their dad
And run they did! If you squinch up your eyes you can JUST make out a little doggy-shaped dot on either side of hubby in this sunny shot
And run they did! If you squinch up your eyes you can JUST make out a little doggy-shaped dot on either side of hubby in this sunny shot
Bassie baby noticed I hadn't kept up the frantic jog so turned back to keep me company
Bassie baby noticed I hadn’t kept up the frantic jog so turned back to keep me company
Later that day - a beer on the sun-drenched patio of the Big Barrel pub at Mountain View Farm, while the crowds cheered on SA vs. Wales rugby inside
Later that day – a beer on the sun-drenched patio of the Big Barrel pub at Mountain View Farm, while the crowds cheered on SA vs. Wales rugby inside
Later still - soaking up more sunshine at the lovely outdoor eating bit of our local Food Lover's Market in Sunningdale - had a delicious nut-brittle type slice of cheese cake and pot of spicy cinnamon tea. Divine weekend treat.
Later still – soaking up more sunshine at the lovely outdoor eating bit of our local Food Lover’s Market in Sunningdale – had a delicious nut-brittle type slice of cheese cake and pot of spicy cinnamon tea. Divine weekend treat.
Even the plain white teapot was positively glowing with sunny goodness - probably because of the hot liquid sunshine it held. Silken teabags are always a win
Even the plain white teapot was positively glowing with sunny goodness – probably because of the hot liquid sunshine it held. Silken teabags are always a win
Sunday dawned even warmer than Saturday, if possible - here is the friendly local cat at McPherson's Garden Centre, where we tried out the Sunday lunch special
Sunday dawned even warmer than Saturday, if possible – here is the friendly local cat at McPherson’s Garden Centre, where we tried out the Sunday lunch special
Not sure of his real name, but I've named the cat 'Furry McPherson' because he lives at McPhersons :) He reluctantly hopped off the bench when our food arrived
Not sure of his real name, but I’ve named the cat ‘Furry McPherson’ because he lives at McPhersons 🙂 He reluctantly hopped off the bench when our food arrived
See what a wonderful view we had? Hard not to relax when there's such a picturesque sight on offer
See what a wonderful view we had? Hard not to relax when there’s such a picturesque sight on offer
And then the food came! I am always at my most excited in food pics - this plate of 3 meats, rice and veg was R59, but that's not all...
And then the food came! I am always at my most excited in food pics – this plate of 3 meats, rice and veg was R59, but that’s not all…
The price also included this tasty block of malva pudding and creamy vanilla ice-cream drenched in custard. Tabasco sauce an optional extra
The price also included this tasty block of malva pudding and creamy vanilla ice-cream drenched in custard. Tabasco sauce an optional extra
Bassie sat proudly on her Grampa's knee that afternoon as they told each other about their recent walks
Bassie sat proudly on her Grampa’s knee that afternoon as they told each other about their recent walks
And later still we collected coal from the beach. Yip, that's genuine coal washed up with all the mussel shells, perfect in the fireplace... makes the house smell like a steam-train
And later still we collected coal from the beach. Yip, that’s genuine coal washed up with all the mussel shells, perfect in the fireplace… makes the house smell like a steam-train
A very curious seagull followed me along the beach as I added more coal to our collection
A very curious seagull followed me along the beach as I added more coal to our collection

See? Winter in Cape Town’s really not about gloomy grey skies and rainy moods. Well, not all the time.

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Heritage Day 2013: Braaivleis and sunny skies… no rugby or Chevrolet though

Confused by the title of this blogpost? Clearly you don’t remember this jingle for General Motors South Africa from the 1970s!

On the topic of songs, “Wake me up, when September ends”, sings Green Day about the end of Summer in the US of A (if you just skim the surface of the song, that is. It’s actually very deep and tear-inducing, especially if you watch the official music video). Well you can wake up now, boys. Not only has September almost bitten the dust, but it looks like Spring is finally (FINALLY) on its way to the Cape! 🙂

Fittingly, we had the Heritage Day public holiday this past Tuesday. Some call it Braai Day, as that’s how most of us end up spending the day. Few realise it was originally called Shaka Day.

But, Braai Day it is, and any braai worth its braai salt has a few standards to live up to. For it to be seen as a truly successful South African braai by all attendees, there are certain rules to follow. (Confused? See here for an excellent cartoony explanation by one of my favourite SA expat bloggers.)

So, you’re wondering how we celebrated Heritage Day in the Andrews household? With a braai, of course! While we’ve lived in our housie for a good long while, we’ve not had much chance to braai here yet. And while there were only 4 of us in attendance – six, if you count the dogs, even though Bertie escaped all the photos – it was still a really lovely day.

Alas I took no pics of the food, so you’ll have to take my word for what we ate…

There was potato salad (Mum’s potato salad is the best), a green salad brimming with avo and mini tomatoes, wors rolls, ribs, chops. And for dessert? We had strawberries drizzled with toffee yoghurt. A bit healthier than the choc-dipped strawberries I made for last year’s Braai Day!

The only pic to show Clifton (my husband, not the beach) - he was the Braai master this time around, and also held the title of Chief Photo Taker
The only pic to show Clifton (my husband, not the beach) – he was the Braai master this time around, and also held the title of Chief Photo Taker
Mom and Bassie enjoying the sunshine - we soaked it up all afternoon!
Mom and Bassie enjoying the sunshine – we soaked it up all afternoon!
Some of the interesting drinks - craft beers Dad received for his recent-ish birthday, as well as a bottle of white (green?) Laid Back wine
Some of the interesting drinks – craft beers Dad received for his recent-ish birthday, as well as a bottle of white (green?) Laid Back wine
Bassie, Mum and me, with Dad's arm photobombing the shot
Bassie, Mum and me, with Dad’s arm photobombing the shot
Me, mum and dad with my birthday swing chair in the background
Me, mum and dad with my birthday swing chair in the background

And… that’s all, folks! Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

Bassie and Bertie go to the beach

So much to do, so little time. We’re loving Cape Town life – it’s so hot and there’s endless sunshine in summer, from 5.30am to about 8.30pm so the days are longgg. We’ve taken the doggies to the beach every day so far, we’ve learned not to go on windy days though as the sand stings us.

Here are some pics of the doggies’ first beach experience. We went to a doggie-friendly beach 10 minutes from home, which is usually empty. I’ve since gone and dunked the camera in the waves, so no more pics for a while, alas … but I’m getting Clifton to take lots with his phone so I should still be able to upload bits and pieces.

Bassie pretending not to be excited on the way to Kreeftebaai
Bassie pretending not to be excited on the way to Kreeftebaai
Bassie sees the sea sand for the first time
Bassie sees the sea sand for the first time
Presenting ... Table Mountain
Presenting … Table Mountain
Bertie meets the sea
Bertie meets the sea
My happy place - on the beach, at sunset, with doggies. Check.
My happy place – on the beach, at sunset, with doggies. Check.
Not sure what time the sun finally set, but it was late and we were happy.
Not sure what time the sun finally set, but it was late and we were happy.

Next blog will be about our first few adventures in CT – see you then 🙂

Quincy the quarter-moon cat

I find the secret life of animals fascinating. Spurred on by Craig Smith, I’ve written another short story – a really short one this time … enjoy the tale of Quincy, the quarter-moon cat:

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Quincy the quarter-moon cat sat and watched the butterflies flutter by. He stretched his back legs in turn and waggled his whiskers, picking up the scent of sunshine in the breeze.

This week’s house was one of his favourites – the little one kept jumping in fear when he entered the room, while the older one would dab at her nose with a tissue and offer him a bowl of milk or an entire tin of tuna at a time (an entire tin! At a time! He couldn’t get over this.) It was no wonder Quincy was starting to get a little, well, plump. He purred contentedly and licked at his already meticulous nails.

Quincy never outstayed his welcome (a quarter-moon was his limit per household) … but maybe this time, he’d stay.

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