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Thirty four years ago I fell hopelessly in love…IMG_2930

Today I was pondering on this extraordinary event,
one that has profoundly changed my life.
It was 1978 and I decided to visit a very good friend who I had worked with
in the art studio of an Advertising agency in Johannesburg.
She had transferred to Cape Town with her husband and was nine months pregnant with her first child and waiting.
And waiting, but not much was happening.
After chatting to her on the phone, I made a snap decision to visit her to distract her from this difficult time,
they were ready but the baby was not.
(First children generally have their parents taped from day 1,
and in this case there was no rush to leave the warmth of that engine room.)
It felt like a good idea to go as I was due loads of leave
and had never been near the tip of Africa.
Leone, on the other hand was born and bred in Cape Town and was merciless in her contempt.
“You have been all over the world but never been to Cape Town? You have not lived!”
(she can be quite harsh, (read rude) but she is still my friend).

And so it began.
This 34 year romance.
I went back to Johannesburg (the little angel made his arrival shortly after I got home)
and I resigned from my work, gave up my flat, packed up home and left the gold mines in favour of Table mountain.
With my little yellow mini (’76 model) I drove to my new home, some 1500 kms separating me from
all my comfort zones.
I had a friend, her husband their baby and Scottie dog called Dougan.
And the love of my life,
Cape Town.IMG_1557
Today, I walked with friends in Tokai forest, 20 minutes from home.
On Thursday, I walked in Newlands forest, 10 minutes from home,
overlooked by a majestic Table mountain,
one of the 7 natural wonders of the modern world
and surrounded by indigenous trees and Fynbos.
Last Sunday we walked/ran along the coastline for miles,
with sea as far as the eye could reach and a breeze to keep us cool, and sea pools to stop and swim in.10
We are surrounded by sandy white beaches on 2 sides of the peninsular, so there is no shortage of water sports.15

The botanical gardens of Kirstenbosch, just 10 minutes from home beckon me weekly,
nests built with love knots anchoring them to plants, trees with gossamer webs
hold all manner of surprises and peace abounds for all.IMG_0836
Seldom do you hear a child cry in these gardens.
There are also a multitude of green urban spaces dotted all over this extraordinary city, open to all and always abuzz with life.IMG_2916

And that is just the ‘green’ aspect of life in the mother city, it is also home to
a vast group of multi-cultural people, platform to the Arts in our creative country and soon to be the design capital of the world. We have beautiful book lounges, superb museums and galleries, coffee shops and retail therapy to make you weep!IMG_0809

It is not surprising that this romance has grown and flourished,
but is it love?IMG_5633

I think it is.