Coby and his wife have also invited me to attend Rasmas with them – the Rastafarian Christmas held on the beach on the 7th January 2014. It sounds interesting –seven priests oversee the celebrations, food is shared, music is played and we can dance around the fire – wonderful!
The past few weeks were busy with the preparation and hanging of the two latest exhibitions which were launched on Wednesday night last week, “Free to Express” and “Movie Directors”. My friends and family are becoming adept at moving furniture and knocking nails into the walls. I’m like a child at Christmas when the works are unwrapped for the first time – all that beauty and talent revealed. There are quite a few pieces in the two collections which I wouldn’t mind keeping permanently.
The opening night was a blast although I was shattered, my nerves always get the better of me on opening day. Petronel Baard played the piano and sang wonderfully soothing songs, the wine and food flowed and there was a large group of visitors who attended. As usual, when most people had left, a smaller group of friends and I ended up on the deck under the stars chatting and laughing – I am so blessed to have such natural beauty around me.
Both exhibitions will run until 10th January then I think I’m going to rest for a while. With 130 pieces hanging the house is FULL and I have been confined to my bedroom. It will be interesting to see what the attendance figures will be like through the holidays – so far they’ve been good, hope it continues. The reaction of artists who paint is always interesting for me. They generally say that they were reluctant to come initially as they expected there to be nothing ‘arty’. Once they see what’s on show though they are invariably blown away, spend ages studying pieces at close range to see the techniques used and then bring along their other arty friends. I have to admit that it’s a huge turn on for me – I love opening people’s minds to new experiences and view points.
One of my favourite visitors this week was a four year old boy who arrived with his mum and assorted aunties, grannies and cousins. He was intrigued with everything and was wandering around looking in the most unlikely places. At one stage he disappeared and I found him under a quilt in the top bunk bed – ‘just testing the quilt’ he informed me. Later on he was upstairs playing and he called down to me –“Tannie, is jou skerpioen lewend of dood?” (Translation – Auntie, is your scorpion dead or alive?) Not a question you really want to hear from visitors – I flew upstairs and he was holding a large brown bottle, which normally rests on the window ledge, with his eye pressed to the opening. Inside was a, fortunately, very dead scorpion – I just had to laugh at this inquisitive little soul. We took the scorpion out, inspected it for a while, then I took him to show him all my other wild treasures.
There have been exciting developments on the Tourism side of things in Great Brak. Five new routes have been devised and a Tourism info kiosk has been placed in town to advise visitors on local attractions. The Pink Haus Gallery is on two of the routes - the Fragrance Route and the Art Route. Also, Mossel Bay Municipality have started a Cultural Arts Forum made up of local artists in different fields to help promote the Arts in this area. I, along with a street artist and social activist named James Malgas, was elected onto the Forum to represent the Visual Arts - that should bring stimulating challenges in the new year. I'm looking forward to it - the Forum is comprised of artists from incredibly diverse backgrounds, all of us very positive and supportive of one another.
The days are very long now – the sky starts lightening at 4.30 and only gets dark around 8 so I can get to the beach earlier to walk and swim with Ben and Dingo. The whales have moved back out to the deep sea, I last saw them about three weeks ago when three killer whales were having a big splash fest. The dolphins appear to have moved back closer in to land. There’s nothing nicer than walking along the shore whilst a pod moves parallel to me in the waves – they are beautiful as they leap out of the water and surf the waves, sheer exuberance. You can’t be depressed if you watch dolphins, they just make you laugh. One morning I found a huge silver grunter dumped on the sand – decisions, did I take it home for dinner or put it back in the sea? It was so exquisite – like a silver treasure in the sand – and so desperate to live that I had to put it back. I only realized afterwards that, as I watched it struggling to breathe and right itself in the water before slipping away, I had stopped breathing too, nearly keeled over when it swam away.
Ben has discovered that if he whacks his paws into the small pools of water left behind by the receding tide little fish jump out – it’s funny to watch but eventually I have to stop him from terrorizing the poor things, he gets very intense about it.
The chickens have been producing clutches of chicks all over the property and this has, of course, attracted the predator birds. I’ve lost three to a Jakkalsvoel already but when he came round for his snack yesterday two crows attacked him and chased him away. The goats are fully settled in again – I love having them here even though Cooper has become quite bolshie, as males invariably do. He’s actually a big softie but has to show off whenever I’m in the enclosure to show the girls who’s boss – we usually end up having a stand off with him threatening to disembowel me with his horns and me threatening to whack him with my makulu pliers. So far I’ve won but I’m fully aware that he could do me some serious damage if he wanted to and I’m very careful around him.
Otherwise life carries on as normal – the mountains on my doorstep are beautiful every day and bring me great joy and peace.
I wish all my readers and friends a peaceful time over the holidays – hopefully shared with people you love.
Till next time.