Sunday, January 13, 2013

Summer Holiday

I’m sitting on a stack of rocks half-way up a steep track, the smell of fynbos and scrub wafting in hot afternoon sun, looking down on the roof of our home for the week. A wide stretch of brown river catches the sunlight, cliffs on its far side bounce back the cries of hadedas and geese. We’ve been in and out of the water all week swimming, canoeing, drifting, paddling. I’m only perched up here right now because the girls have decided we must have a pudding for our friends’ last night and this is the only place where I can access the internet on my phone.

I’ve been ignoring technology all holiday but I need to look up the ingredient quantities from a couple of my trusty recipes and there they are right there on my blog – our crustless milk tart and the pastry recipe for Nigella’s translucent apple tart, both simple recipes using basic ingredients that we happen to have with us, for improvised puddings when none were planned. So my phone, which has been ignored all week, is dusted off and put to use just long enough to grab the recipes I need before I dip back into the water for another swim.

That’s one more reason why I love blogging – I can put up my recipes once and know that I can get hold of them from anywhere, as long as I can get online that is. Then when you’ve been blogging for so many years, a blog becomes more like a family album. Sitting on that dry scrubby hillside, I started getting nostalgic looking through those early posts; a time when the kids were little and I blogged a lot more often, about them as well as about food.

And yet another reason to love blogs came through my email today. My second cousin got in touch – we haven’t seen each other for years now that we’re in South Africa, but she’d just found my blog and it was lovely to hear from her. And then there are all the lovely blog friends that I would never have met if it were not for blogging.

I’m feeling like an old fogey championing the blog over more recent and ephemeral forms of social media... who would ever be able to scroll through years of old Facebook statuses to find a recipe they knew they’d linked to there once... Twitter is there for a day, Facebook for a week or two but blogs are forever (cue cheesey soap opera theme tune in the background). Remind me to back mine up again!

We’re back from our holiday now, half the laundry mountain dealt with, poised between holiday relaxation and return to work stress. School starts next week and plans have to be made; my mother’s visit comes to an end; clients have to be contacted to get the work flow going again; early January in SA is rather like limbo with half the country determinedly clinging on to summer holidays, the other half frustrated in trying to get things happening again.

So I’ll just pretend we are still on holiday and post a few more pictures of Breede River magic, so that I can remind myself  for years to come - the feeling of silky soft river water on skin, the squish of mud at low tide, the somnolence of a day devoted to water, reading and food, long days that pass by happily and seamlessly all too fast.


  1. I am so jealous. It is very cold, wet and windy here and snow predicted next week! Keep well Diane

  2. So far, our winter has been fairly warm (for New York) and I'm not complaining about that... but I'm not slipping into a bikini any time soon, either. Your vacation looks MAHVELOUS, dahling!

    Actually, considering the condition of my thighs, perhaps the cold weather is a blessing to everyone! 8-)

  3. Sorry to brag about summer weather when you're all shivering, Marcheline and Diane.
    Never mind, I'll be reading about your summer soon when we're all tucked up under blankets with rain battering on the roof.

  4. That looks fab, especially from a cold and wet hillside in Wales. I came to you via marcheline. That's another wonder of blogging, the links you make! I am with you about the lure of the longterm blog. I use Facebook and twitter too but only the blog gives me a personal reference book.

  5. Yay! Someone followed me to South Africa!!! 8-)

  6. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth. it's lovely to compare living on a farm in South Africa with your farm in Wales - very different but with many similarities too!
    Marcheline - thanks for pointing the blog path to South Africa!


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!