Now, where was I?
Oh yes. I remember now.
I once had this ambition that I would blog every day for two years. But clearly that hasn’t happened.
The countdown isn’t important any more. What is important is our ongoing ability to find something interesting in life every day.
So here I want to tell you about two interesting things.
The first is that we went back to Greyton. Remember when I went there the first time? We were enchanted. And it was no different this time around. As I said last time around, the village nestles in the Overberg, and at this time of the year the views are even more spectacular: falling oak leaves cover the ground, green fields contrast against a bright blue sky and brown harvested land. C and J’s gorgeous kids are a bit taller and just as endearing.
We popped in yesterday for our annual fix of life in what could be the country’s quaintest village. We fed some horses, mooched around the antique stores, discovered some new pockets of tea time decadence that have opened up since we visited last time, and indulged in local refreshments while watching South Africa kick some English rugby butt.
The second thing I want to tell you about is what we discovered this morning: something as special as it was unexpected. After a week of some pretty grumpy weather, we woke to a flawless, glittering blue sky. In the distance we could see mauve-grey mountain tops that had been sprinkled with icing sugar snow overnight, so we decided to head in that direction to explore Genadendal.
It’s a small settlement just down the drag from Greyton and home to a historic Moravian mission station. The anchor point of the heritage square is the soaring, impressive church, with its characteristic austere lines, devoid of any kind of iconography. Behind the church, in the dappled shade of ancient gnarled oaks, are various buildings built in the traditional style and perfectly preserved as a step back into the time of missionaries and their imported religious conversion programmes.
Just off the main square is a little lane that leads you to an old pear tree and original cemetery. I’m always enthralled by these sacred places that give so many details but tell no stories.
In this one I couldn’t help but be moved by two rows of smaller grave stones. These were memorials to children, many who had died on the day they were born, or within a few months of coming into the world. In the winter shade, with dew still on the fallen leaves, it was a very poignant memorial, made even more so by the sacred music from the Sunday church service that filtered into the silent graveyard.
We followed a pathway to a reconstructed (or original? Not sure) Khoisan kraal set within a clearing a few hundred metres or so away. The bright mid-morning sun caught the light of gold and yellow leaves still clinging to the winter trees and raised steam from the warming ground. Seeing reconstructions in a museum is one thing, but seeing them in situ makes you see history differently.
Speaking of museums, the one in Genadendal was closed, so we followed our breakfast noses back to Greyton for an omlette and the Sunday papers.
So near to Cape Town, so far from city life.