Rainy Days Are Here Again

After the dramatic drought Cape Town experienced last summer this summer season is starting with rain so much longed for by the Captonians. Water restrictions are lifted, lawns are changing their colour from brown to green and I honour the rainy weather with a visit to the MOCAA. This stunning museum is the foremost gallery of contemporary African art on the continent (see also my post Clever Klûk of. March 15, 2018).

The current exhibition Five Bhobh assembles 29 artists from neighbouring Zimbabwe in a remarkable show covering all aspects of life and history of the country that got a new breath of life after the 32 years' misrule of autocratic Robert Mugabe came to a sudden end. Here he is posing as Jesus with his disciples in a Last Supper sunrrounded by other African and international dignitaries. Five Bhobh that is to say life is like a run for five bhobhs (five kilometers) on a communal minibus.

Kenian artist Cyrus Kabiru is playing with the African theme of masks. His enigmat…

Back in Philadelphia

One of my first trips in the new summer season at the Cape led me to my favourite village. Philadelphia is truly all about friendlyness and even friendship. The old Cape Dutch church and the white washed houses in a grove in the midst of deep yellow grain and canola fields exude peacefulness and spell gentle country living. With all the yellow, bright blue and stark white around me I opted for a bold colour and put on my newly acquired tomato red jacket.

I cought up with my dear friend Alta the general dealer, post master and heart and soul of the village. On her stoep / porch I watched the villagers passing by and munched one of her tasty pastries filled with venison and washed it down with her home made ginger beer.

My Memory Boost

As the Cape forms a huge peninsula between the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean fish abounds. My local fish monger assures me that eating fish will give my brain a kick. I am easily convinced because I do love to endulge in fish and seafood.

I try to merge with my rustic surroundings in a combination of silky slacks and shirt in unobtrusive beige and a locally hand-crafted neckless made of shells and ostrich eggs. Oldies always wear beige, isn't it so?

Freshly harvested mussels from the Atlantic is my catch of the day and a big slice of the appropriately named mussel cracker is following.
We discuss the best recipes at length. The fish monger approves to do the mussels à la Francaise in white wine with a bit of cream and garlic and a lot of parsley. For the fish, however, he insists on having it braaied, barbecued in the South African way that is to say basted with some ready made mixture of oil and herbs and accompanied by a hot sauce. 

Think Global, Create Local

After so much winter I am back at the sunny Cape of Good Hopes. One of my first outings led me to my favourite art association. Rust en Vrede is the name of the historic Cape Dutch venue. What they do there is far from rest and peace. It is full of life and creativity.

The vernissage was all about ceramics. Internationally renowned land arist Strydom van der Merwe obliged and contributed a magic circle of small ceramic pieces in earthy colours. Many of the other objects were not less intriguing. The installation of Karin Lijnes was as simple as it was inventive and skillfull. She had put together a square of black and white bottles which she had first slip-cast and then painted. They looked like ready made plastic bottles, thus turning Marcel Duchamp's strategy upside down.

For my first sunny morning here I had chosen a sun coloured suit from Zara and a night blue top from Stefanel as dark blue as the Southern sky at a clear night. It turned out that two of my lady friends had had…

Winter Accessory Stories - 2

The embroidered pouch, the petit point bag and the silk gloves are cherished fashion items from my mother and grandmother. Used sparingly with a modern outfit there is still place for these heirloons.

My belts are a  mix as happy as it is incoherent.

For the lilac belt made of crocodile leather I spent the greater part of my first salary on a new job when I was young and a spendthrift. It happens to match the pouch of the same colour from Argentina, I acquired much later in that eldorado for leather lovers.

Shoes get a whole new meaning depending on where to wear them, for outdoors, for indoors, and for those late night outings. So, just one or two pairs of black ones won't do. However, I am neither Imelda Marcos nor Grace Mugabe. My shoes are still fitting into my wardrobe albeit I have to admit shoes can become addictive. Here they crowd my water lily basin’s rim to be in the lime light.

Winter Accessory Stories - 1

Grey winter days even ask for more prominent accessories than summertime to brighten them up.

My Burmese dancer, Willy, my Namibian rhino who used to be my watch dog back in South Africa and the fan from Taiwan are adorning themselves with all sorts of necklaces.

All the festive events winter has in store are intended for glittering  jewellery, handmade clutches
and unusual belts.

The opal from Australia is sparkling in all hues
of blue, green and yellow. I didn’t scratch for it
myself but bought it in a glitzy jewellery shop
in Melbourne’s downtown when I was on visit
at my daughters host family during her school
term overseas.

Winter with Eroll

Eroll Arendz from Cape Town is a magician. He knows how to make women look good. The shapes of his dresses and coats are rather simple. His secret lies in the cut. Add lovely fabric and fluid forms.

I have chosen the long brown dress and a beige coat enveloping me in the lightest wool you can imagine.

On colder days I change the coat for the fun fur west by Wanama from Buenos Aires. Their motto is Live better dreams. Well, Live your dreams would have done it for me, but Argentinians like to exaggerate.

Adding a pale aquamarin shawl to the dark brown makes the dress fit for an outing for dinner in town.

The plain brown dress offers endless
possibilities for accessorizing.

Playing with accessories
is so much fun. It does not matter
if it is classic, fancy
or crazy, if it is costing
next to nothing or
preciously hand crafted
by a renown arrtisan.

With the plain brown dress everything goes.