Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicken Pie and Kudu Biltong

This is what is called a " padstal" in South Africa.
A little shop and coffee place at the side of one of the endless long roads in South-Africa to rest your tired bones and get a good bite.
This one is between Graaff Reinet and Port Elizabeth. We were told famous for its chicken pies. But they were burned.

And further on on our way to the valley of desolation we saw a beautiful aloe. Standing strong and tall.

Cape St.Francis - a life on sea

Where the Calamari is...
Cape St. Francis, not far from Port Elizabeth, is the small sea harbor in the Eastern Cape where huge amounts of the delicious calamari and fish are off-loaded and transported to their destination. Most of the calamari and fish caught in the Algoa bay which is the marine area around Port Elizabeth are exported in many different countries because they are of prime quality.

It's a man's world. And it's hard physical work. For days on the wet boat, sleeping and working in shifts. On my last trip to Cape St.Francis in July I was able to see these scenes.

The jigged calamari are already frozen and packed in neat boxes on board while the ships are out on sea.

Louise Marie and Blue Marlin, two boats that just came in after a couple of days.

Docking on..... tired

Boxes of calamari and fresh caught are carried off the boats and are brought the the waiting cooling trucks.

I was amazed to see how many boxes of calamari came of this boat.

A fishing boat coming in from a grey and stormy sea. It was a windy and rainy day.

Seagulls are getting free meals everywhere and are as fat as cows on green pastures.

The view to the other side, a posh little coastal village with apartments overlooking the sea harbour.

And finally the sun is out again..

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Only when it's cold
Am I am shivering
Against the wind

And suddenly from the inside
The core of me
From my deepest depths

A small warming flame
Which wants to grow
And I fight it
Until I realize I need it

Want it
To flow through me

To fill me

It is you

And then I will think of you

Leonard Nimoy's (MR. SPOCK)

Piece and serenity in the desert

This story is for my father who truly loves churches and has shown me so many over the years. Nieu Bethesda has many surprises and one of them is this old church.
And I know he would have loved to be there. When I visited Nieu Bethesda two years ago with my father the church was closed.

Standing proud and tall..... as we all should.

This time we were so lucky that the new guardian of the church is our friend. The key is approximately half a meter long.
And Doooog is really suffering at the moment......... he has been on his feet since early morning and was following us all day long through the village

The inside is serene and surprisingly spacious.

I think church windows have inspired artists and painters all over the world through all the centuries. This one has given me as a gift a new inspiration.

Add Image

For the last trip. I think it has a lot of style actually. Not too shabby. I imagine four white horses...just for the contrast.

A place of beauty

Old cast iron chandeliers.

And a lot of other beautiful details.

like this old organ.

The look through the back door to the outside. Blazing sunlight and the impression this is a lost place.

The settlements on the other side of the village.

But opulence inside.

Monday, September 7, 2009


This story is about Jacques because he deserves a story entirely about him.
Jacques is a designer, creator and artist.
Talented, inventive, improvising with a mind as vast as the universe. And what more can be said about him?
He lives in Nieu Bethesda.

And these are just some of the things he does. This is the interior of his shop NOK NOK.

A handpainted table with " non matching chairs". I am so glad I live in the era of the " non-matching things ".

Another view of the inside of his shop. But things change all the time with him as Jacques tells me.
So you might not find what I saw when you go there.


The Orange Hallway of the Nok Nok Guesthouse. I think I forgot to say that he also designed the interior of the Nok Nok familiy guest house in Nieu Bethesda.

This is what I was talking about.

Cacti surrounded by overwhelming yellow...... Usually he tries to hide the backside of his creations but they also fantastic as you can see below.

The inside of the familiy guest house has indeed many surprises.

And I just love this.....Thanks Jacques for a wonderful time


Hello my friends, parents and all the ones that I love.

It's been a while since I have written something. And I am sorry for that. I know you are waiting for stories. But now there are lots of stories to tell again.
My brother had come to visit me recently for 2 months and believe it or not we had not seen each other for three years. Three long years.
So we decided to go on a trip to frontier country.
We traveled into the Great Karoo - the old south-african desert and one of the real magic places on earth.

Of course you have to love it. Because for hundreds and hundreds of kilometers there is nothing but vast breathtaking landscapes that display their beauty in all the pastel colors that are available.
It is true what is said about man and the desert.You have to be a desert person or not.
I have always been in love with the golden grass. African grass shimmering golden in the sun. That is one of the images I would love take with into my next life.

And yes we always found a romatic little place to rest and just linger.
And I got plenty of design ideas as well for Chocolat Negro.

We went to visit my friend Jaques in Nieu Bethesda a tiny crazy little village with 64 inhabitants in total .Yeap.
And Jacques became one of them recently.
Inside frontier country you might come across sign boards like the one above. Please Hoot to wake up dreamy cyclists on hot asphalt. Sometimes they forget that the road was made for cars because only one comes in every 500 km. And the road is long.

This is the road that leads to Jacques home. It reminded me of the South of France. By the way the nights were ice cold. Nothing like France. Freezing desert nights with a Rock'n Roll cat in bed. More about the Rock'n Roll cat Gwyneth at a later stage.

And this is his home a beautiful old Karro house that he renovated and turned into something as whimsical as the whole village.


And the unavoidable " windpomps" are there as well. Basically everwhere.

The houses in Nieu Bethesda are small individual pieces of art. Each one has something to show off like this beautiful entrance painted bright red with a tiny white "american dream picket fence".

This is the old church in Nieu Bethesda with the most beautiful purple and yellow colored antique glass windows. And in front you see the " windpomp".
And this house was built 1898 a typical Karoo home-stead. And it looks like it will be forever like that.

Lots of old tattered buildings....beautiful to look at with their own hidden history.
I have asked this one to talk and to tell his story but he refused. He said to heavy a burden to tell.
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