Elation, elevation

What a glorious rainy day we had in the Boland and Helderberg on Monday (which raised my spirits no end, given that happened to be my birthday), and as I worked on laying out the last few pages of Bolander, I was filled with a sense of gratitude for all my blessings, among which I consider my occupation one of the greatest).

I was spoiled with lovely phone calls, messages and gifts (lots of chocolate, and an exquisite drawing of me holding my now-
departed little cat), and reminded of the blessings of family and friends.

And yes, my work, my vocation, which entails a synergy of living and working within a community, being a conduit of news and views, and having the responsibility of curating Bolander every week, as I have for 12 years.

Oh, and dear colleague Norman McFarlane rang up, and sang Happy Birthday to me, for the 11th year running (and I do detect an improvment, in terms of tone and pitch, in his enthusiastic annual rendition, but as always, I caution him to hold onto his day job!).

As I’ve alluded to in the past, it is the action of my work, that being an editor is a verb, more than a noun.

Being out and about, picking up leads and threads, conversations to follow up on for stories, never quite knowing who will be on the line when my phone rings, and what it may herald, quite literally.

In the past few weeks I detatched myself from my computer more than usual, and now need to sift through myriad photos so that I can share them with our readers.

I visited the Stellenbosch Flying Club, an old haunt, to chat to helicopter pilot, Mark Jackson, who has just brought the first Black Hawk to South Africa, and next week we’ll examine the remarkable capacity this aircraft has to fight fires, a topical subject indeed.

Mark snapped me in front of this incredible machine, above, next to the runway, after giving me the rundown on its specifications.

And make a mental note, there is going to be a spectacular show at the airfield on Saturday March 23, for all the aviation enthusiasts, where this Black Hawk will also be on display, and it sounds like a great family outing.

I also attended a workshop at The Pink Geranium Nursery, my first visit to this lovely venue on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, just past Joostenberg Deli, and learned how to make my own apple cider vinegar and kombucha (I’ll keep the readers posted as to the success of my first batches).

This nursery holds regular workshops, on everything from growing your own organic vegetables, to the art of composting, to vertical gardening, etc. They have a tea-room and it is a delightful venue for functions, as was evidenced by a group of happy women on the far end of the stoep, who appeared to be holding a baby shower, amidst much festivity.

I dropped in to a couple of shows at Woordfees in Stellenbosch, and was reminded how special this Town of Oaks is, with its beautiful campus and gracious architecture, and the town was abuzz with theatre, music, talks, and the celebration of the arts.

On Friday night, I headed to the riveting performance of Samson, by international award-winning playwright Brett Bailey, at Rhenish Girls’ High School, and it was absolutely unforgettable.

The previous weekend, I’d gone to Spier to watch the inimitable Nik Rabinowitz, who had me holding my sides with laughter – honestly, he is a national treasure, and just what we need to offset the grim news that appears on our radar every day.

And last Sunday, I attended Lee Last’s talk on death with dignity, at the Unitarian Fellowship gathering at Vonke House in Somerset West, a topic that is very close to my heart.

For those of you who missed it, she is talking again at the Friends of Richard Dawkins Association (FoRDA), which meets at the Rotary Club in Somerst West, on Thursday March 21, at 7pm.

Thanks to all our readers, who keep me in the loop, keep it coming.

Carolyn Frost: Editor