Cape Town Drivers

At the risk of alienating all my Capetonian friends (and given I learned my driving skills here I feel able to comment)… this city must be home to some of the worst drivers in the world… it appears to be a cross between dodgem cars and dressage for motor vehicles (they often seem to dance unexpectedly across several lanes)… this lethal mix is interlaced with a total disregard for traffic rules, everyone is on their mobile phones and a frenzied desire for speed… When you set forth in your car with all the obedience of a well-behaved Australian you are met by anarchists behind the wheel – and these said wheels range from maseratis and mercedes to stone-dead-stuck-together-with-masking-tape mangled moving things… And then they wonder why the death toll is appallingly high – I think in December last year it was something like 1000 deaths!

No connectivity

Yesterday was one of those days – I had no connectivity – figured it was my Apple… toddled off to the fix-it shop… to be told it was my wifi at the apartment (which is still not working)… lost my phone (and then realised I had left it snuggled in the sofa at the fix-it man)and had to dash back in the traffic to retrieve… went to collect data on one of my coaching clients and in a country of the most anarchic dodgem-car drivers I managed to get a parking fine… now I was really about to weep… Oh and most of my meetings were cancelled or postponed… I figured I should go and hide under my bed but it was my houseguest’s last day in South Africa so hiding was not an option… hopefully tomorrow will be gentler 🙂

Allow for the Unexpected


This is one of the key themes for me of this trip to Cape Town … not to expect but to allow for the possibility… welcome in the unexpected…the mesmerising trip into the bush was nature’s way of again proving this point…So after the cheetahs I just inhaled the magnificent Karoo scenery and didn’t really care if we saw anything… it was so bitterly cold that although I was dressed in 7 or 8 layers I felt like I was being sandblasted with ice and was just happy that I survived every game drive… yesterday just before we left we expected nothing… in fact there was nothing to see… barely a springbok… until magically we watched from close quarters a white lionness pad her way back from a kill to fetch her cubs from hiding… truly exhilarating and unexpected… And so as I come towards the last part of my sojourn at the tip of Africa I will try and remain as present and as open to the unexpected as I can… a lesson I hope I take home to Oz with me…

Cheetahs and Ugg Boots

I do love having visitors from Australia because I end up doing loads of wonderful touristy things… on Wednesday night I was in the mountains outside Robertson showing my fire-making skills which I have honed magnificently since I’ve been here (actually I could barely light a candle before I arrived in Cape Town)… last night I was a princess in a magnificent tented lodge in the Karoo eating gourmet meals and slurping local wines… the cherry on the top was the most astonishing game drive… just four of us in the icy wind set off to look for white lions… instead we found three cheetahs up on a ridge and Solomon, our game ranger, took us walking in single file to meet them… the other three in hiking shoes and me in ugg boots… I sort of figured they go from 0 to 90 kms in 2 seconds and I could probably stumble from 0 to 5 kms in 10 mins… easy pickings really… they watched us intently as we climbed up the hill and then sort of kept a nonchalant eye on us… we were almost close enough to stroke them… in all my visits to gameparks this must surely rate as the most extraordinary…

Culture-Shock

I left my gentle little cottage in the City Bowl… and moved to Sea Point… it is like I have moved countries without a visa… The apartment is beautiful and newly renovated and has views out to the Atlantic… the tenants however are the most intrusive old busybodies ever… several of them were waiting outside when we arrived… they leaped on me – who am I, where am I staying, where am I from, how long will I be here, why am I parking in this spot… I was waiting for them to demand details of my parents, schooling and university qualifications…oh and the lift wasnt working… by the time we returned from a glorious promenade along the ocean on an unseasonally hot day we found both lifts broken… perhaps my thighs will be toned beautifully by the time I leave the Atlantic circus – perhaps that will give them something to chatter about 🙂

Letting go of taproots

As I get ready to leave what has been my home for 2 months and move to the Atlantic seaboard for a few weeks before I return to Sydney… I feel sad… as this home has been so beautiful and gentle for me… I felt immediately like I lived here… I had a rhythm and tempo that suited me and the house well… and as always I like to do things in soft steps… so I am moving to an apartment that doesn’t feel like home but does have a beautiful view onto the Atlantic… and then I will be “homeless” for a week or so as I take a roadtrip into the interior… a step-by-step excavation from Cape Town so that by the time I board my flight I won’t feel disembowelled… I have another visitor arriving from Sydney this evening so we will both discover the Atlantic seaboard and will walk on the promenade daily and inhale the blustery Atlantic… The truth is I am probably saddest to say goodbye to Madagascar… a hairy beast of a dog that has grown to love my biltong titbits and lies quietly at my feet while I sit here at my desk… in reality I think when she gazes at me she thinks I’m her sister… we are both a bit windswept and on the edge of dreadlocks at the moment… The fascinating thing for me is that I am walking lighter without the usual need to put down instant roots and continue to embrace my ongoing adventure…

A South African Paradox

Thankfully I forget how miserable winter weather can be in the Cape – it has poured for a couple of days with such abandon that there are huge waterfalls pouring off the mountain… Today is June 16, a public holiday in memory of the Soweto uprising in 1976 – there is an iconic and disturbing image of a young 13-year old boy, Hector Pietersen, being carried after being shot and fatally wounded after young black school children rioted against having to learn Afrikaans in schools… turbulent times in SA’s history and today is now marked as Youth Day… for lunch we wandered up through the torrential rain to Rhodes Memorial which is set high up on Devil’s Peak with a beautiful (if you could see it) view out over the Cape to the distant mountains… Cecil John Rhodes, the founder of De Beers and a dyed-in-the-wool imperialist, was an important person in this country’s history but certainly not loved and adored… it wasn’t planned this way but I thought how strange to combine Youth Day with one of the fiercest colonialists to grace southern Africa..