"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Monday, 21 November 2011

old school, new school

I'd like to take you down a little trip down memory lane.  I have just spent the weekend in Hermanus with Michael and two couples from his golfing 4-ball.  Michael, Bruce Seymour and Geoff Herringer have been playing in the Walker Bay Classic for around 29 consecutive years. For the last three years we have been lucky enough to stay in my father-in-law, Bob Rosslee's "girlfriend" Myra's holiday home (not as complicated as it sounds).  We have spent time there over the years and arriving at this house on the Main Road (not even sure if it is the Main Road but it is the road that leads to Stanford), without a gate and rolling lawns really feels like "coming home".  It has the familiar feeling of being thrown back in time and I thought I would share these  pictures with you.  SORRY, I don't have any wedding pictures yet and once again, I promise that I will let you see them as soon as I do.  Gill at the office is starting to doubt that I ever attended the wedding.

The House
The Tree
The house is spic and span (I haven't used that expression for a while) and there are so many comforting things in this house that takes me back to my Granny Housego's home and kitchen.

The formica breadboard with bone handled bread knife (cuts like a dream)
We had a couple of instructions, one of which was to please grate some cheese for the birds.  They were hopping into the kitchen looking for their cheese this morning.
The set of Beryl bone china by Wood's Ware in the cupboards- yellow and green. (Myra, if there are any missing, it could have been me!!). This china was made in the '40's during the war. It was called Utility china and was all pastel coloured (Myra has the green and lemon). It was functional and could be bought one piece at at time so that families that had been bombed during the war could replace what they had lost. The quality was controlled by the Government (and boy is it good quality - not one piece has even the slightest chip, a couple of hairline cracks on the under side but all in perfect condition)
Don't you just love them?
There are 2 extra beds in the lounge with real old school crotchet blankets on them.
The long passage way to the four bedrooms.  
The floor is tiled with old fashioned kitchen tiles and is shiny and so easy to sweep clean.

Geoff and Sheilagh had not stayed with us in Myra's house before.  Geoff's brother Reg (who died a couple of years ago) was a close friend of Bob and Myra and had spent many holidays, weekends and bowls tours in Hermanus with them.  Cape Town is a very small place.

On Saturday morning Lorna, Sheilagh and I went for a walk along the Cliff Path.  It was a perfect day and by 9 o'clock we were feeling the heat.

Short breather - Too late for the whales
My friend Janetta is a backdoor neighbour of Myra's and has recently demolished and re-built their holiday house.  Unfortunately she was away in Durban but I took the girls for a building inspection.
The view from the van Niekerk deck - The house is looking amazing and they are moving in next week

We then took ourselves off to a very hot and dusty food market.  Always surprises me how quickly you can spend money at these markets on stuff you don't really need - olives, always a chili sauce or two, green figs, shortbread, block of cheese, fresh ciabata bread and you are R250 poorer.  I did find a Bashews Ginger Beer there as well.  Brilliant - sorry I forgot to take a picture, I was so thirsty.

We were now on a roll, so off to town for lunch. Just Pure had been recommended.  I was not hanging around for lunch as I was going to visit my friend Dee and see her newly renovated home for the first time.  Lorna and Sheilagh had already ordered Hermanuspieterfontein Bloos wine and I joined them for a glass of wine and we sat overlooking the bay.

A really awesome restaurant and gift shop in one

Lorna and Sheilagh
Lorna's salmon salad

I left the two of them once their food arrived and spent a lovely couple of hours with my dusty feet (from the dusty market) in Dee's designer pool watching the golfers struggle past in the heat.

On Sunday, I recommended to Jan and Gill that we return to Just Pure, while Mike, Ellen and Peter fought the elements on the golf course.  Gill and I had the salmon salad - tasted as good as it looks and Jan had the Croque Monsieur.  Ever since Meryl Streep made one for Steve Longnose in It's Complicated, I have been fascinated as to what it really was.
Croque Monsieur Ham and Cheese Sandwich
Toasted cheese and ham, with cheese on top
We had to sit inside this time as the weather was awful.  The salmon salad did not disappoint and the wine choice was top drawer.  So top drawer in fact that the three of us took a drive to the wine cellar at Creation to taste some more. Creation is half way between Hermanus and Caledon.  We had our own private wine tasting and bought some wine.  My new favourite Sauvignon Blanc - but far too pricey for my budget (and drinking habits).  I splashed out and bought 2 bottles (lucky for them Jan bought a whole lot more).

I had to take a picture of this light fitting in the tasting room at Creation.  So clever and effective.

I also had to take a picture of this light fitting in the fourth bedroom in Hermanus.  So vintage and beautiful and it makes wonderful rainbows on the walls.

A fitting way to end off this post (light fitting - get it?). The new versus the old.  The two beautiful new homes that I visited were now ready to have their families move in and start making a fresh history and new memories.  Both Janetta's and Dee's homes had been in their families for years and have been demolished and renovated to accommodate their growing families, new grandchildren and future plans for retirement.  Both of them are also weighing up whether to or when to make a permanent move to Hermanus.

Myra's home stands proud, no gate, no alarm.  A home full of trinkets and memories and a dinner service that never needs to be replaced.


  1. Oh Jenny - I so love Woodsware Beryl. Was my grandmother' favourite and we used it every day as children. Thanks for the memory.

  2. Pleasure Michael. I have clicked on your name (to stalk you) and it led me to Crush magazine. I have now spent over an hour browsing through your amazing magazine and website. Do you mind if I use it for a posting on this blog?