Investec’s Daily Views & News comes to me every weekday morning between eight and nine. A quick and easy update, most recently concerning the Chinese regulation of the tech and education sectors, rising case numbers for the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and vaccination levels.
Whatever the news, the Rand now hovers between R14.50 and R15.00 to the Dollar, apparently for reasons above. The Rand-Dollar rate had a profound effect on my life in 1985. Arriving at the University of California, Berkeley in January, the rate was close to one to one. A couple of months in, it halved to R2.20 buys a Dollar. My student budget was shot. I sought refuge in the free days of art museums in San Francisco and Los Angeles. My love for art was born and I was adopted by the art-interested Wessling family.
Two weeks back, I finally visited Alredo Jaar’s THE RWANDA PROJECT at the Zeist Mocaa. A deeply sad, insightful and humbling experience. Alfredo Jaar has shared this 1994 genocide without showing it to you first hand. He experienced and recorded the massive brutality, and returned to New York, where he put together a work that describes the horror without illustrating it. A profound experience. It is on until 15 January 2022.
Last year I asked my Californian Mum, Judy Wessling, to share the best book she had read in 2020. Judy is bonded to at least three Los Angeles book clubs. The Overstory by Richard Powers has been unopened at my bedside for a year.
The New York Times review includes “It’s a delicate act, writing about tree defenders: In an era when art seems ready to embrace subjects as painful as racism and sexual harassment, it still shrinks from environmental brutality”.
Last week I travelled to Jaci’s Tree Lodge with first born Hannah, to escape the news of the day. Reading “The Overstory” en route, and in a bush camp made in and around trees, was a perfect match. We showered under a Leadwood, a Tamboti tree continues to grow through Room 5, we marvelled at Jaci’s favourite Sheperd (Boscia albitrunca) tree, searched for leopards in the Marulas, and found a pair of Verreaux’s eagle-owl (Bubo lacteus) dining in yet another Leadwood . Jaci’s Tree Lodge “close to nature” approach is what we love and I came home hugely inspired for our new Green Mountain Trail season. Read more
When we set out for Madikwe, Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd rung out from Hannah’s road trip playlist. It felt like Xavier Rudd had written a theme song for Richard Powers’, The Overstory.
“Follow, follow the sun
And which way the wind blows
When this day is done…
When you feel life coming down on you,
Like a heavy weight
When you feel this crazy society,
Adding to the strain
Take a stroll to the nearest waters
And remember your place
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came”
PS: The best hiking trails in Cape Town are just outside Cape Town.
PPS: The best Elgin accommodation is at Wildekrans Country House, we have baby Woodpeckers in one of the old Oak trees. ENQUIRE