I received a letter on Stalkbook, from a friend from ‘varsity days, someone I’ve had no contact with for… ahem… years. It was a sweet, encouraging, letter and it was just what I needed to boot me up the arse and get me back onto this blog. I’m cheating a bit, and using some old writing, but I’m here. This is from a weekend trip I did with one of my best friends, a while ago:
I loved the window in the bedroom. It was tall and thin, like everybody in my family. Outside the window, which had shutters on the inside, was a white wall with the tendrils of a new, growing creeper peaking up and the branches of a big tree above in which birds tweeted.
That’s all we woke up to, the birds tweeting and the wind howling through the enormous eucalyptus trees in the garden. I could’ve sworn I heard Tannie Anna’s voice too, singing, carried on the wind, notes from her red guitar dancing like leaves on the wind’s breath.
We’d met Tannie Anna outside the Spaza shop when we drove into the town on Saturday. The golden wheat fields spat us out into a tiny town with a good feeling. It was like coming across a kindred spirit. There are fifty houses there, the Spaza shop, a bottle store (synonymous with Small Town South Africa) and a tiny restaurant. If you need petrol, you have to go 20km down the road to find it.
Tannie Anna and her husband are a tiny, wizened pair. They could be 40-years old, or 60. The cheap wine that they sell at the bottle store – in a plastic bottle resembling those containing vinegar – has turned their skin wrinkled and their eyes rheumy. She carries a red guitar that makes her look even smaller. As we stop the car, she comes up to it. The pair launch into an old Afrikaans folk song, their voices thin, but her strumming beautiful.
That evening I watched dusk come over while I read my book with a glass of wine outside on the stoep and G watched rugby upstairs in the bar with some locals. After the match they joined me, pulling me from my book.
What can be better than a Blue Sky Saturday trip on an open road that stretches as far as your eye can see?