by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
We are going thru another round of Life Happens. Last month, for my birthday we had a day and a night off. We went to Simon’s Town. Arriving tired and stressed out to a friendly welcome. I settled on the sofa in front of the window and balcony, with my vanilla tea (choose your tea!) and book.
|Evening at Simon's Town|
|Next morning at Simon's Town|
As the sun set, the sky darkened, and the lights came up – we were intrigued by a neighbouring house. Their skylight/clerestory windows were blazing out into the night, a bijou lighthouse. Come the morning, the mystery was resolved and we saw the house. Just for a while, we lived by the sea. Falling asleep to the sound of waves breaking on the beach below us.
|Welcome to Whale View Manor|
|Across our balcony at Whale View Manor|
It was our good fortune that we happened on a night with no other guests. Just the 2 of us revelling in the view. That night was minus 7 in Sutherland (the coldest place on South Africa’s weather forecast) and they lit the gas fire for us. Since we are vegetarian, our menu choices were limited – but we enjoyed a Caprese salad and a hearty portion of linguini with mushrooms. Breakfast was granola and yoghurt as an elegantly layered parfait in a tumbler, with a stack of sliced fruit – pawpaw, pineapple, orange and kiwi. Garnished with garden herbs. And the usual, eggs, toast and juice.
|Dinner for 2 at Whale View Manor|
We saw seals, and a pair of African Black Oystercatchers on the rocks along the shore. Time it right, and there would be whales, dolphins or sharks to see in False Bay. Sunset is on the Noordhoek side of the Cape Peninsula. We had a glorious sunrise.
|Sunrise across False Bay to the Hottentots Holland Mountains from Whale View Manor|
Whale View Manor Guesthouse is just at the edge of Simon’s Town, with the road and the beach between it and the breaking waves.
|Arriving at Whale View Manor|
We use Daddy's Deals to afford accommodation normally out of our budget, but blissfully in our comfort range!
|Late afternoon at Whale View Manor|
Rooiels and Cape Hangklip
One day, when we live in False Bay and I no longer look across the garden to Elephant’s Eye – thanks to Studio 22 we’ll still see our mountain. I was impressed by their service. Despite the special offer from Daddy’s Deals, a young man and his Apple Mac took time to walk me thru the process. I brought my memory stick. The original image (the one I use for Elephant’s Eye blog’s header) taken with a zoom lens didn’t have enough data for a sharp image, but printed on canvas it now gives the impression of an artist’s brush strokes. Together we cut out the image again from the original, matching my ‘this is what I want’. Then the font - Papyrus please. Repeating the original font colour. The 2 images side by side, and a section of ‘this is what it will look like actual size’.
|Next morning from Whale View Manor|
When I drink my morning tea, I see Elephant’s Eye watching over me as we wait between houses.
|Septemberbossie in our future False Bay garden|
After the time out, back to business at our False Bay house. Some small repairs organised. Sitting on a bench in the sun, I was chatting to our tenant, while ‘they’ sort out the work. Another look at our garden, where 2 tubs of Septemberbossie bloom either side of the garden gate. (Polygala myrtifolia is a tough pioneer shrub in the milkwort family, flowering year round, especially August and September).