I am a Small Town Girl. As much as I appreciate the beauty and the vibrancy of Cape Town, if I don’t get out of town regularly I begin to not be able to breathe. With everything that’s going on in my life at the moment, the claustrophobia became unbearable and a trip to my favourite place on earth seemed the only way to survive. So we went, and I breathed, as my head filled with stories. Here’s one:
It was smoke-breathing cold on Saturday night at The Tennis Club. Outside, that is. Inside the old school hall which is now the Tennis Club pub, was a roaring fire and chairs set out in higgledy-piggeledy rows, filled with warm, chatty people, waiting for the annual ‘Local is Lente’ display of local talent.
‘Coming in from the cold’ worked, both literally and metaphorically, as we were greeted like old friends. Once we’d settled in behind Thea and Julliette, who were next to Casper and Annette, who were behind… you get my drift – this is a place where everybody knows your name, and you, theirs – with large glasses of red wine and hot dogs, the show began, to titters of excitement.
For a town with a tiny population, this place has talent – from the MC, Martin, who is really funny (and can sing), to Oom Willie dressed in stilettoes miming to Tina Turner (he has damn fine legs, and there’s another story in that one – shopping for stilletoes in Pep, Graff Reinet comes with a great story attached), to Emma Haines’ angelic voice, to the three ladies from Pretoria who went from dour ou vroue to prancing-dancing ‘It’s Raining Men’ superstars, the applause was uproarious.
Add to that some mime, the handing over of the ‘Tit of the Year’ award from Nico to Bruno for – literally – shooting himself in the foot, and some great dancing from Casper and Annette, the show was fabulous. Warm, funny, and with so much support. We had to drag ourselves away, as we were leaving early the next morning.
Turning to Gouni as we left, our breath making wisps in the icy air, I said: “I feel like I belong.”
It was a good feeling, as we headed down the dusty road, a star-flung night sky that left us breathless in wonder. Oh, Karoo, how I love you.
Serendipitiously, I saw this, this morning. Thanks Graeme.