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Saturday, January 01, 2011

holiday, part three

Three: Napier and Bredasdorp, Waenhuiskrans and Agulhas (Sunday, 19 December 2010 - Wednesday 29 December 2010)

We had a bit of bad luck with the weather in Napier. It was rainy and cold with high winds most of the time, so we were indoors constantly. We visited neighbouring Bredasdorp almost every day, though, since Napier has no proper shops. I bough the newspaper daily, as well as a host of magazines to pass the time.

I also bought two books at a second hand book store in Bredasdorp. The fist was the thin, very racy Memoires of My Melancholic Whores by Gabriel García Marquez. I finished it the next morning and enjoyed it a lot. The second book was Wayne Johnston's The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, a historic novel about the political history of Newfoundland. I don't know why I bought it, but I don't think I will ever read it. Too academic. The One bought A Year in Tibet by Sun Shuyun and started reading it. I hope he finishes it.

I worked on my own book a little bit.

At least we had two beautiful sunshiny days without too much wind. On the first, Thursday 23 December, we took Mother to the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas. While I was taking a photo of her there, some tourists rudely muscled us away so that they could take their own bloody pictures, with a cheap BlackBerry Curve, no less! That's them with their horrid tour guide in the background. He greeted me, but I just gave him the evil eye. Prat. And, as shown on the photograph, this is where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, not at Cape Point as some uninformed people believe.

We bought greasy fish and chips at a little shop and ate it next to a huge tidal pool in L'Agulhas. My hake was very fresh and would have been delicious if it hadn't been dripping with oil. After eating, we waded a little in the cool water of the tidal pool. That's me with Mother. Yes, I know I am built like a badly drooping pear. And I am aware of my man-tits. We can't all be hot.

On the way back to Napier, we stopped at a shop in Struisbaai where we bought a small present for our landlords. I had been having visions of our animals dying of hunger and thirst because there had been a misunderstanding and the landlords were not looking after them after all, so I asked The One to phone and check. My fears turned out to be ungrounded; they assured him everything was fine.

The One's mother treated us tremendously with her mouth-watering home-cooked food. Every day there was breakfast, lunch and dinner with at least two kinds of veg. On Christmas Eve, we had a wonderful roasted leg of mutton with roast potatoes. In gratitude, I planned to cook our mothers tjou-tjou. Unfortunately, we were unable to find parsnips.

Our mothers really seemed enjoyed each other's company and chatted about all kinds of things for hours on end. They discussed their families, ailments, the news, the weather, cooking, traveling, crafts, and more.

On Christmas morning The One and I took them on a drive through the town and surroundings to show Mother how charming it is. That afternoon, we had a braai in the wind and occasional rain. There was fillet, rump, wors, new potatoes and onions cooked in foil on the coals, chargrilled mealies. We all overate a little and had a long snooze before watching André Rieu DVDs which our mothers loved, but we hated. We surfed so much on our phones that they became red hot. There was no 3G connection, so we had to be content with the much slower EDGE and GPRS.

One evening, The One and I drank all the table wine as well as the sherry for the next evening's supper. We thought we could easily replace it the next morning; little did we know that liquor stores are not open on Sundays over there. We'd have to tell The One's mother what we had done, and she would be furious. After driving to every liquor store we could think of, we found a small curio shop that also sold wine. We were saved, but we had to get port instead of sherry. We also bought some of the beer brewed at Napier Brewery just ourside of town. It was very expensive (R60 for 6 x 500ml bottles), but it was very tasty and potent.

The second day of good weather we had was on Boxing Day. We drove to Waenhuiskrans (or Arniston if you want to sound all posh) and spent a lovely morning on the beach with our mothers. They went a little crazy collecting some of the beautifully smooth pebbles on the beach. In the end they had three bags so full that they burst open when I took them out of the car later. I estimate the combined weight of the three bags at about 20kg. Yes, really!

It was a very rainy Monday, 27 December, when we took our mothers to Bredasdorp Square for tea and cake. I had the most delicious cheesecake with berries that I have ever had, with a Rooibos Cappuccino. Some local celebrities, actor/presenter sisters Nina and Lise Swart had tea at the table next to ours with an older lady that I suppose is their mother. I tried to get my own mother not to stare.

The One's mother presented me with a beautiful hand knitted blanket that she had made herself. It is green, purple, black and white and it took her a year too make. She played a little piano for us now and again, as did The One. I surfed, sat around, smoked, read magazines and slept. The One scratched around in some old boxes of his, adding more weight to our baggage with all kinds of bric-a-brac and some books.

We had a great time, but it was over all too soon. How time passes when you are having fun! The One and his mother were very, very sad to say goodbye. I could have managed tears myself. Our little holiday was coming to an end and we left Napier on 29 December, a day later than planned. We would only spend one day with The One's sister and brother-in-law in George before taking the long road home.

I must admit that I was a little glad to start the journey back home. Missing our pets was becoming unbearable.
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