Green Mountain

Love Letters

From What Remains

The Michaelis School of Fine Art 2021 Grad Show has now closed. You can view the art works of the fifty two graduates online, a privilege to visit and a privilege to revisit here at home.

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Palimpsest

Palimpsest is a (hard to say) word that I have learnt from art reviews. It is commonly defined as “a manuscript in which later writing has been superimposed on earlier (effaced) writing. In other words, a palimpsest is a multi-layered record.

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Black Olives

In April 2020, when Wildekrans Country House’s olive team was safely at home, our family of four were left to harvest the one hundred odd trees planted by us twenty years ago.

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Why Guided Hikes Are Good For You

Matthew Crawford’s “The Case for Working With Your Hands, or why office work is bad for us and fixing things feels good”, while published back in 2010, is even more relevant now, eleven years on. If you’ve ever wondered why doing the laundry at your holiday spot makes you happy, read this book. In reviewing the writing, Jeremy Williams says, “Crawford’s point is that ‘manual labour’ has been devalued in an age of information.

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Fight or Flight

Paolo Staccioli is a sculptor and ceramicist living in Scandicci, on the outskirts of Florence. I visited his studio last month, a treasured experience that I hope to share with visitors to Casa di Simonetta.

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My Bestie, You Need To Book, And Elgin Open Gardens

When the daily grind gets too much, a fun “pick me up” distraction can be a life saver. Iko Iko (My Bestie) by Justin Wellington will get you dancing on the bluest morning. It caught my attention on the radio recently, and on looking it up, I discovered that this original New Orleans song  was written under the title “Jock -A-Mo” by James Crawford back in 1953! Crawford explained that Iko Iko was a victory chant that Indians would shout and Jock-A-Mo, a chant when going into battle.

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Pan co’ Santi

Central Italy’s region of Tuscany is filled with hilltop villages. Lecchi is our most visited, being only two kilometers from the borgho of Adine, home to Casa di Simonetta.

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Hold on to the afterglow

French billionaire, Francois Pinault, opened his contemporary art collection in Paris this weekend. Speaking on the opening of his private museum, Bourse de Commerce, he said “I want the museum to be a place where people feel better at the exit than they did at the entrance.”

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For the birds

What is it about Johannesburg that delivers so many beautiful women? Many couples and mixed friends walk our trails but we are also frequented by girl hiking groups. When a delightful girl group departs we feel huge gratitude and remain conscious that we cannot expect to be blessed with yet another energetic, happy and generous spirited gaggle of gals. And then we are. Thank you Jozi for being a happy home to this seemingly never ending abundant stream.

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