PS: Booking for artist and teacher Jill Trappler’s 14 October weekend workshop, INTERIORS, opens today.

Good Morning

A couple of Saturdays back, we bottled one hundred Barry Gould Family Wines’ A Simple Red 2018. The joy of this hands on family, friends and a neighbour morning, was immense and marked a change of seasons.

True to tradition, we attended the Bot River post harvest fling, Barrels & Beards 2022. We did our best to realise the Peaky Blinders dress up. We raided our parents’ and grandparents’ wardrobes including, an 80’s Marianne Fassler number.

Tasting from the barrels of this unique wine ward, dining on Zest’s slow-roasted lamb and kale salad, and bidding on this year’s wine lots, made for an unforgettable night.

We have had a string of fabulous hikers through the last few months and we are grateful to each of you for coming our way to hike the Groenlandberg and Kogelberg mountains. We look forward to Spring, and in anticipation have been on the hunt for more good coffee. With pandemic port problems, our supply has been inconsistent. After a recent trip to Legado Roastery just outside Stellies, we are sorted with a Guatemalan roast.

Each season naturally brings a few challenges. When attending local and sassy Liberty Books’ Christy Weyers’ interview of Finuala Dowling last week, I learnt two lovely life skills to add to my hospitality backpack.

Finuala shared her pragmatic approach of “Once I had absorbed the criticism, I knew how to fix it.”

And reading from her new book, The Man Who Loved Crocodile Tamers, “Sometimes, you just have to take a day, crumple it up and throw it away.”

Agreed, but not before taking a walk to reset. These sunflowers on neighbour Dave’s farm, surprised one such walk earlier this month.

This between season downtime provides the space to plan new and exciting things. Jill Trappler came out to Houw Hoek for lunch on a gorgeous day last week. We brainstormed around her next art workshop INTERIORS here at Wildekrans Country House on the weekend of 14 October 2022.

INTERIORS, will be a three day learning experience. When Jill thinks of interiors she thinks of “pictures and places, books, engines, fridges, of music, of caves. Interiors imply content.”

Included by Jill is an image of a painting by Matisse; “an interior that tells us about what the painter is seeing.  The second image is from Carl Jung’s Red book. Perhaps it is an image the artist visualized and then made.” Please enquire here for more information on what will and can be explored at this 14 October 2022 workshop. Bookings open today.

Finuala Dowling’s Widowhood in the dementia ward, goes like this

‘Oh my God, I’m so pleased to see you,’
she says from her nest of blankets.
‘I’ve been meaning to ask – 
How is your father?
How is Paddy?’

‘He died,’ I say, remembering 1974.

‘Good heavens, now you tell me!
How lucky he is.’

‘You could join him,’ I suggest.

‘I didn’t like him that much,’ she replies.

With love,

P.P.S – In anticipation of long days in Siena, I have been studying Italian. The gentlest of teachers, Giovanni Bruno,  suggested last week that we watch Eurovision 2022 taking place in Torino this last weekend. Our favourites were Finland’s The Rasmus’ Jezebel and Chekoslovakia’s Domo’s Lights Off. It was great fun and entertaining. We also loved Subwolfer’s – from Norway – Give That Wolf a Banana. 

P.P.P.S – If you would like to book some days at our Casa di Simonetta, Siena, enquire here.

P.P.P.P.S – Bookings are now open for our 2022/2023 Blue and Green Mountain trail walking season. Book here.