Tag Archives: Cape Town

I Wouldn’t Give You Twenty Cents For A Grudge

26 Jun
A Landsat image of Cape Town overlaid on SRTM ...
Image via Wikipedia

What’s the longest grudge you’ve ever held?

I have mentioned this before: the 20 cents it cost us to get into a museum of modern art, on our honeymoon in Cape Town, twenty-six years ago.

On that same honeymoon, I spent the happiest two Rand: we spotted some pretty side plates in an antique shop and it was the first time the Hub ever said, ‘My wife would like to look at those, please.’  I blushed and simpered, and it still makes me smile.



Art? Bllllggrrrhhhs##!

12 Dec
Photograph of Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain&...

Image via Wikipedia

I am off to my writing group today.  It is our Christmas social so we are each taking a plate of food to share and a Secret Santa gift.  The gift is an envelope of writing prompts – pictures, newspaper cuttings, headlines, that sort of thing.  It was suggested by our leader; what a great idea for impoverished writers!

I remember the first time I went to a social event at Stockport Art Gallery: I gasped in horror when someone ate from one of the exhibits.  It was only when everyone started doing it that I realised it was not, in fact, a piece of modern art, but the refreshments.

I think I can be forgiven: four wicker baskets propped at an angle, each containing a single colour-food and sat on a table in the middle of a gallery full of conceptual art pieces sounds like a Turner Prize-winner to me.

That reminds me of my honeymoon: we went into a museum of modern art in Cape Town.  Everything was called ‘Untitled’, presumably because it defied description.  We came out of there enraged at the biggest waste of money we ever spent, but they refused to give us our twenty cents back. 


If you’d like to know how I became a South African citizen (and it was as big a surprise to me as it will be to you), pop over to my other blog.


Anniversary Eve

31 May

It’s a public holiday today here in Britain, the day before our wedding anniversary.  There’s a nice symmetry to it because twenty-five years ago there was a public holiday in South Africa, the day before our wedding.  We didn’t know that when we chose the date of the wedding; we looked at the calendar on the HubMum’s wall and picked a Saturday – without looking at the Friday.  Do other people pick their wedding dates more carefully?  We had been engaged for almost three years so we didn’t see why we should wait: we looked for a free weekend a couple of months ahead and that was it.  Then we told my parents, who very kindly used their visit-to-Britain-for-the-first-time-since-emigrating savings to pay for it, and who never once complained about not getting their holiday.

We had a honeymoon in Cape Town.  Have you heard of the Mount Nelson Hotel? 


We stayed in a little bed and breakfast place just around the corner from it.  We put away R130 for our week’s food and ate out almost every night.  We did the touristy things like wine tasting and shopping.  The Hub bought me a silver ring and had my new initials engraved onto it.  We fed the squirrels in the Botanic Gardens and even stopped off to look at a nudist beach.  Well, the Hub did, for the novelty, he claimed: I think it might have been the only one in South Africa at the time.  He peeped over the wall and spotted a solitary sunbathing man of the elderly variety.  It wasn’t much of a show because June is early winter in South Africa and he was a bit, um, shrivelled as a result.

We went to the bioscope one afternoon and saw Eddy Murphy in Beverley Hills Cop; there were five of us in the cinema and we were the only couple.

We went up Table Mountain in the cable car.  We had lunch in front of a roaring fire in the restaurant at the top; it was the most romantic moment of our honeymoon. 

 We wandered around the mountain top – which is not as flat as it looks – and spotted dassies, or rock rabbits

We had taken a midweek flight because it was cheaper.   We went out most nights, to different places.  We found a little bar and the singer dedicated a song to us on the Friday night.  On the Saturday night he asked the Hub, ‘Where’s your wife?’  ‘At the hotel,’ was the sullen reply. ‘We had a row.’  I stayed in and watched Cheryl Ladd in a film about Grace Kelly’s life. 

Who’d have believed then that we’d last twenty-five years? 

Retail Therapy

5 Dec

Retail therapy – why do they call it that?  Why not call it what it is?  A purse lobotomy.  I hate shopping.  I’ve hated it ever since our honeymoon in 1985.  We went to Cape Town in winter and there wasn’t much else to do, once we’d been to the Castle and up Table Mountain.  The beaches were too cold to visit, though we did accidentally stumble upon a shrivelled little fellow on a nudist beach.  That was fun.

I’m a little grumpy because yesterday I had my fortnightly trek into Stockport to pay bills.  I usually go in on a Thursday but went Friday instead: it was awful.  Christmas season is horribly upon us.  Add to that a cupboard bare of anything except a stale packet of pretzels and three bags of sugar, and I had to go grocery shopping last night.  I hate shopping; and I hate shopping twice in one day squared.

I’m aching all over from walking and pushing shopping trolleys.  I’m undernourished because I didn’t eat properly with being in and out.  And I’m hung over with guilt for accidentally abusing my dog. 

Post Traumatic Stressed Dog

As I left the house yesterday, I accidentally shut him into the kitchen.  Not a big deal for most dogs, but ours was kept locked up for about twenty hours a day in a freezing-in-winter- boiling-in-summer conservatory for the first eight months of his life, by his previous owners.  As a result, he gets terribly distressed if he’s locked in.  We came back to find he had scratched paint off the door from trying to dig his way out; pooped, which he stopped doing indoors once he realised we meant him no harm; and vomited, which is another sign of his distress.  We stuffed him full of treats and gave him a new toy that was supposed to be for Christmas.   I have to say, we are the soppiest pair of dog owners I’ve known since my in-laws; but he was genuinely upset. 

I have to stop feeling guilty because Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer, says they live in the now; and Toby doesn’t seem any the worse for his misadventure – at this moment in time he is stretched out on a chair, snoring away.  Just like the Hub.

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