My interpretation of today’s Photography 101 assignment is slightly alternative. I’m not in the habit of having toilets in my garden, except this past week. You see, we’re renovating our bathroom and I happen to have the old toilet outside in front of my yellowwood tree. Temporarily, of course.
When I read the email outlining today’s “Solitude” assignment, I gave it much thought and really, when we go to the loo, what’s the one thing we want (apart from loo paper)? Solitude! I think this might resonate with parents. I say this because when I’m with my little nieces, they have a tendency to follow me into the bathroom. There is no privacy when you have a two and three year old hanging around! Their mom has said to me on numerous occasions that going to the toilet alone has become a luxury. With this in mind, here it is, my loo with a view.
The truth is that there is a plethora of bliss-evoking sights, tastes, smells and more. Bliss can be a fleeting moment; something that’s over just as quickly as it began, or it can carry longevity. It’s impossible to pick just one image and similarly it’s impossible to share all, but here are a few. It must be said that none if these images would conjure such happy, borderline perfect memories and feelings were it not for the people I shared them with.
Ending a perfect weekend with a braai and this view in Glen Cairn. Just another Cape Town Sunday.
Surrounded by vineyards and mountains in Franschhoek on a cold and wet day.
All-too-fleeting bliss, making and testing red velvet cupcakes.
Today is a particularly poignant day in my life. It’s exactly a week until my birthday (eeek!) and also the anniversary of my mother’s passing. Six years ago she left this world and yet, to this day and forever more, I am eternally grateful to have had her in my life for almost 30 years. Up until today, all of my Words Crush Wednesday quotes have been about food. I find it fitting that today I break that cycle, just this once, to honour my forever-favourite person. Were she here to read my blog, she would keel over at the very idea of me cooking and actually knowing what I’m doing! I think she would probably need a stiff drink.
This incredible woman was steadfast in her support, loyal to the very end, humourous in every way and had the greatest heart I’ve ever known. Her boundless love, compassion, capacity to forgive and pure heart I carry with me today and every day. If I could be just a quarter of the person she was, I would consider myself a successful human being. Her love and dedication to her family is something I never saw neither before her death or since. This woman, a shining light in the lives of so many, is my very own angel and I carry her with me forever in my heart. Six years may feel like an impossibly long time, an eternity even, but it’s nothing compared to the true eternity we will share when we meet again. This gives me great solace. In the meantime, I live every day trying to make her proud, to be true to myself and those I love and to hold my head up high. Such is the profundity of my love for her, she is still, and always will be, my anchor and the light of my life.
Every year we go to Paternoster, a sleepy fishing village on the West Coast, a mere two hours away from Cape Town, yet it feels like another world. Quaint, quiet and full of natural beauty, these views replenish the soul, invigorate the body and relax the mind. We’ve been going there for long weekends for ten years and it’s full of happy memories. We’ve shared these holidays with friends and we’ve had our own private time there, just the two of us, the majestic ocean and the seagulls. Just looking at this picture quietens my mind and makes me feel more centered; an instant reminder to breathe, step back and be more fluid at times.
This, on the other hand, is the vertical take at a place called Langebaan, fairly close to Paternoster. The boats make it seem more inhabited yet it too is a quiet little town, an ideal place to escape to and admire the view (and mojitos!).
Cape Town is on fire. Literally. A fire started on Sunday and is spreading. It’s about 40°C today. I can’t imagine being a firefighter in this heat, battling these fires today. Power to them. Today’s Photography 101 assignment is to photograph a street. Both of these photos were taken a couple of roads away from my house. The first is a beautiful tree-lined road; green and lush. The moment you turn 180°, you’re met with the mountain, raging, smoking and showing no signs of slowing down. I also photographed a train, as everyone gets on with their day-to-day activities as our beautiful mountain is ravaged by these flames.
Just 180° and the greenery slowly fades as Cape Town burns.
Home… geographically it’s Table Mountain. Every time I come back from holiday and the mountain comes into view, I know I’m home. Emotionally, hugging my husband makes me feel centered, like “aah… this is where I’m supposed to be”. In my house, I always try my very best to make guests feel at home, be they family or friends. My favourite room in my house is the kitchen. I love nothing more than cooking for people and having them gather in the kitchen, chatting and laughing and eating. I also appreciate my alone time, preparing coffee and juice in the morning when The Husband has left for work and it’s just me and my thoughts. The kitchen is my happy place, it’s where I escape for a few hours to prepare meals and challenge myself in cooking and baking. It’s where I go to forget about everything else and focus on exactly what’s in front of me. I feel a gravitational pull toward the kitchen, and this is where I feel well and truly home. This is my sanctuary.