Opgedra aan almal wat vir ons lief is. Die wat nie spesifiek vir ons lief is nie, mag ook maar kyk.

20 Mei 2017

Sticks and stones and Tepees










Hey, I found Tarzan! 
















Spaces

Sometimes a new space opens up before you. If you are bold, you run. You dive. You shout. You fill it.

If you are of a more gentle nature - some might call it timid or scared - you tiptoe in.
Slide around the sides and hug the walls.
Watch, listen, smell.
And let it fill you.












Onthou jy nog die berghut


Onlangs besig om al my ou files skoon te maak op die 2TB Backup drive.... toe kom ek ophierdie brief van Karen van der Merwe af.

Liewe Riaan

Onthou jy nog die berghut?
Gisteraand het dit sommer net begin reën. Sommer net 'n Boland-reëntjie wat so saggies val, maar nog steeds hard genoeg dat jy die druppels op ons kombuis se sinkplaatdak kan hoor. As jy fyn luister, hoor jy die feëtjies en kabouters lag en speel ......Dis toe dat ek in my bed ( veilig en snoesig onder my duvet ) lê en dink aan al die "onthou jy 's van die berghut" .Onthou jy?

Onthou jy die aand toe ek en jy en Dewald so lank gevat het om op te stap? Onthou jy hoe ek en Piet gelag het oor die "on appro" en "window shopping"? En wat van Dewald wat so komieklik gelyk het met daai 2 sakke hout onder sy arms? (dit was nog voor jou tyd …) Onthou jy hoe lekker dit is om so moeg en uitasem by daai 8 km klip uit te kom;   om net te weet die hut is net om die draai. Onthou jy die paadjie, bestrooi met wit "Hansie-en-Grietjie-klippies wat helder in die maanlig blink? Onthou jy nog daai lekker gevoel as jy papnat gereën is en dan ewe skielik die hut sien , met sy vriendelike lig wat uitstraal in die donker en jou binne nooi? Het jy al ooit stilgestaan en na die mense binne die ligkring gekyk?

Almal lyk altyd so gelukkig en vreedsaam. Dis half of hulle net vir daai paar uur van die naweek niks in die lewe het wat hulle hinder nie. Onthou jy die geraas wat net BTK-aners kan maak as jy naderstap? Onthou jy hoe bly almal altyd is om jou weer te sien? Onthou jy hoe jou moegheid sommer net verdwyn as jy lekker warm aangetrek is en deelword van daai ligkringetjie?

Onthou jy hoe knaag jou maag aan jou lewer as jy daai vleis en knoffelbrood ruik? En die lekker slaai ( al is jy nou nie 'n slaai- ondersteuner nie). En die koffie? Onthou jy hoe lekker dit is om daar buite om die vuur te sit en net te lag?  Om weer saam jou BTK-maters te wees en te weet ek is een van hulle...? Onthou jy die geknetter van die kagelvuur? Die kleure van die vuur?  Die patrone op die vensters soos die ligstrale daarop val? Die fyn geluid van 'n brandende liglampie wat almal laataand aan die slaap sus?

Onthou jy hoe almal sommer in sulke krismisbeddens aan die slaap raak? Onthou jy hoe hoe almal in sulke fluisterstemmetjies met mekaar praat as die ander slaap? Onthou jy daai rustige stilte wat om ons neerdaal? Onthou jy daai sorgelose dae? Onthou jy hoe dit soggens vroeg lyk? ( Jy is nie 'n oggend mens nie, maar dis iets wat jy al moes gesien het.) Dis die mooiste mooi as die miswolke die hut omring, met die grys klippe wat hier en daar uitsteek en die groen bossies wat net nog groener lyk.

Dou druppels blink helder aan die spinnerakke en 'n voëltjie sing vrolik. 'n Regte feëtjiewêreld! Sprokiesland!  En natuurlik die lekker gevoel om dan weer terug te kruip in die slaapsak en weer verder te slaap tot die son jou uit jou slaapsak bak. En daai eerste koppie koffie met sy gwaffies en moer en baieeee suiker. Onthou jy hoe naby aan ons Skepper voel? Onthou jy die vriende wat jy daar gemaak het en die baie vriendskappe wat jy daar opgebou het? Ag , Riaan, dis maar net "onthou jy's" wat ek met jou wil deel . Daar's nog vele meer. Te veel. Dis maar net nog een van daai makapan-goeters.  Jy kan net hierin deel as jy saam "ge-berghut" het saam mede BTK-aners. Dankie vir al die "onhou jy's " wat ek al saam met jou daar bo bymekaar gemaak het, Ek bêre dit veilig hier in my hartjie. Onthou jy nog die berghut?

Liefde Karen


Wim en Karen by die berghut

03 Mei 2017

Conquering the Mighty Witels

We have not hiked for a long long time.
We have walked. We have strolled. We have toddled.
But we have not HIKED

So we decided to take on the Witels.
The Witels is the king of the Cape kloofs: the ultimate 3-5 day kloofing experience.
Riaan and some of our other team members have an impressive number of Witelses on their hiking record.
It would be my first, and although it has been on my to-do list for ever,  I was a little apprehensive. The only kloofing I had done to date was Groothoekkloof, which has more abseiling and swimming than boulder hopping.

Our group was going to be Dr Brown and Mr Dr Brown from Sutherland, (kaalvoet) Colyn from Ceres, his brothers Sep and Andrew, both medical doctors from Cape Town, Riaan and myself.
2 Engineers, 3 doctors, and a lone horticulturist.
I know engineers can do ANYTHING, but I was relieved to have a solid amount of doctors on the team. Clambering up kilometer high mountains and hopping from rock to rock down a river for 5 days is not something we do every day, so I did not know how far we could trust our abilities and muscle memory.

When Colyn said that he was taking little Mia (8), a lot of thoughts went through my head.  When he mentioned casually that they had to do it in 3 days instead of 5 because he had to be back at work, and she at school,  I went straight into a little room in my mind that I hide very well. The one where I store all the unwanted parenting advice that I want to give parents that I think are fucking up. I usually keep the door firmly closed, because I know how much I hate being on the receiving end of such advice, but when I really need to, I go in there and fling some what if's and how can you's and what the hell do you think you are doing's around until I feel better. And then I come out smiling and let them do whatever they want.
Because they will do it anyway.

It was a quick session.
"Colyn..have you thought about this? Have you THOUGHT about this? 30 km's with an 8 year old in 3 days. Boulderhopping and swimming. Do you know she might not hike again in her LIFE?" was soon replaced by: "I actually like your guts. If she makes it without a mayor mishap, she might remember it for a very long time. And if she manages this at 8, who knows what adventures she will be willing to take on when she is 12. Maybe she will hike some unconquered mountain with a few sturdy adventurers at 16, when most other girls are chasing boys in fast cars."
I liked that thought, so I kept it and pushed the rest back behind the door.

We gathered at the Murray house late on the evening of 24 February. Erica and tannie Lizette were putting Mia to bed, looking just a tiny bit worried.  After a few jokes, comparing pack weights, and establishing that at least one doctor had brought a decent medical kit, we hit the mattresses so that we could get up before the crack of the crack of dawn and be at least halfway up the mountain when the sun decided to show up. The next morning we started out in the last bit of night, and drew the day up the mountain as we went.


We managed to get up most of the mountain in the shade, even though we had many small stops along the way, supposedly for Mia.


"The way is dark, and getting darker. The hut is high, and even higher. I wish you luck. there is none". 



The New Base hut - an interesting little structure built into a rock. I could almost see a little lady with a black pot on the stoep, making porridge for 20 cats.



Game break with the frogs and some red flowers that were hard to identify.


At last, the top of the mountain. A proud moment for Colyn and Mia. Pell's hut and lunch was in sight!

An elaborate beacon - probably built by those 2nd years whose traces we saw everywhere. 





The down was excruciating. More so than the up. But when we finally dropped down into the kloof, it was heavenly.
Shade
Trees
Water
 It was a short hike from the entry point to Disa Camp, where we spent the first night. Disa Camp is the largest camp of the hike, with some very nicely laid out sleeping places. The Brownses had an upper room, quite private with nooks and crannies for all the necessities they brought along. Items which at first I thought a total waste of space and energy -and utter luxury, come on! , but some of which I was very grateful for later on the trip. Lip-ice and peaceful sleep, to name two.

A very gallant warning not to take the high route - I was immediately rebellious, so Riaan tested it out to make sure it was safe. 
Photos can not really do justice to the size and grandure of the cliffs


A little private waterfall


 Very unusual species of Rock Biting Trees - we spotted quite a few.




     The most magical, beautiful moment for me was on night three, when Riaan went to wash the dishes in the river, and he shouted for us to come and see. In the light of his headlamp, a huge eel lazily swam past the rock on which he was standing. It was so unexpected, that when it disappeared into the shadows it almost felt as if we had dreamt it.




On day 5, the slowcoaches (us and the Browns) finished the hike with a hell of a long trek through the grass. The rest of the group had long since left us behind - Andrew started day two early and on the run and finished late that evening, Colyn, Sep and Mia started early as well, and ended late on day three. We found evidence of their journey along our way - even some clothes that was left behind to make things easier.



Here are the Browns - visibly thinking that they should have been home hours ago, scrubbed clean with dove soap and enjoying a cold beer.

Halleluja for Die Oestafel, which have been built in EXACTLY the right spot. Just when tired hikers give their VLSE, there it is. And the waiters literally come running to offer you heavenly dishes that make you realize that you are, in fact, still alive. Or rather, that you want to stay alive until they deliver on their promises.
And then you can finish dying.

Thank you to everyone who made this hike a most memorable experience. Colyn for organising, Mia for showing us what girl spirit looks like, Andrew and Sep for being the best uncles ever - we will recommend you to anyone looking for one. Keith and Natasha for being our hikefellows for the whole 5 days. We still miss you. Natasha, I have been scientifically measuring and comparing the armpit hairgrowth - mine are equal.  I think.... yours could be a bit on the abnormal side. Maybe have it checked out? :--)

Here is to our next adventure!






04 April 2017

Loop in Kaapstad

Today
we 
walked 
in 
Cape Town

                                                             
      Clowned


Wondered about tails on cocks and soapy feathers
                                                 

Window shopped the local cuisine and ate the holes of pretzel bread


Got shoelaces untied on Malawian chairs. Which Catherine brought down from R550 to R300 JUST for us. Who wouldn't feel special.


Ran from pushy sellers in Green Market Square
Contemplated tin art in the midst of whiffs of urine from the gutter


Tried to decipher secret codes on shop steps


And made a wondrous discovery of a HUGE music store with WALLS plated with guitars and ISLES filled with keyboards. Ryan overruled PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH and let us try them out - and even understood Vincent's big problem of plectrums falling into guitar bellies. ''That is a problem, Bru'". He showed Vincent how to hold the plectrum properly- and didn't laugh out loud at his puzzled discovery that an electrical guitar doesn't sound like much without an amp.

As if the day wasn't good enough already - we Merrily Popped In and managed to get half a wardrobe full of winter clothes for R300 in Bree St
- AND Julia Donaldson's whole collection on audio book for R260. Which took us through the 5 o' clock traffic all the way home - and right through to bed time.

 I would be so bold as to say  that this was a pretty good day.

29 November 2016

Energy must be channeled to radiate light. For energy misdirected can lead to things far more destructive than darkness.

18 Mei 2015

Hearts on the shore




I walk with you along the sea
Past letters in the sand
I (insert heart) U
Mamma, sal jy my help om harte te teken? 
So we practise
On the sand where the waves will soon cover it
And we play hopscotch and draw tracks with long pieces of bamboo
And I skim stones, trying to coax you closer to the water, because you fear it at the moment and won't go anywhere near. 
And I was so proud of you when we ended up walking through the shallow water in the end. 
When we sat and watched a little boy on his surfboard, you sighed wistfully and voiced the wish to surf like that someday.
I hope you do. I hope you don't stay scared. 
It is awesome. 
 I struggle with your fears, especially with water - because I love it. And I want you to too. 
I want you to run and splash, dive and surf, know how to have respect for the ocean but to discover how to harness its power to have fun with it. 

But for now we will draw hearts on the shore
The sea will soon cover it. 
But we will always remember
I will 
I hope you do too  



Stella word 4

Vincent

Jou maats raak almal 4

Een van die dae is dit jou beurt.

Jy hou van partytjies.

Stella is jou maatjie wat al van Tjokkerland af saam met jou kom - hulle woon op 'n plaas in 'n werkershuisie - 'n gesellige klein huisie. Sy is 'n lekker wilde kind, 'n plaasmeisie wat hoenders jaag (tot haar  ouers se ontsteltenis). Die eerste keer wat ons by haar gekuier het, het sy probeer om jou sover te kry om van 'n kas af op haar bed te spring. Ek dink nie jy wou nie, maar sy het jou hand gevat en jou probeer optrek. En toe voeter sy van die kas af. Ons het net 'n groot val gehoor, en moes kom trane afvee. Xenia het 'n reel gemaak dat daar nie meer van kaste af gespring mag word nie, maar ek het gedink dit was nogal cool.

Sy het laasweek 4 geword. Met 'n pienk koek wat Xenia self gemaak het - wortelkoek - waaraan niemand van julle gewoond was nie. Estienne het saam met julle gaan grenadella's jag - en die meeste pret was ook om binne op Stella en Sebastian se beddens rond te spring.
Jy het so smart gelyk met jou waterbootse en pappa se hollandse keppie. Ek wens ek het 'n foto geneem toe jy met die trappe afgestap het.