Good Morning

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.

The great thing about manual work is that it deals with real stuff, it requires ‘focussed engagement with material things’. Fixing things draws you out of yourself, forcing you to think and to care for something. You cannot be self-absorbed and be a good repairman.”

Hiking with a guide changes the fynbos game. Whether these fountains of knowledge chat to you once in two hours, or more frequently, is of no matter. You leave the mountains with a thorough understanding of the wonders of our natural world. A client recently shared with us “I would also like to say how much we appreciated Jeffrey and Patrick. Jeffrey is a walking encyclopedia, a very gentle soul, and just an amazing guide. Patrick is also a very gentle quiet soul, but just a wonderful human being.

And the same goes to your ladies/housekeepers – all just warm friendly people where no request is a problem.” From the same lovely group of life long friends, these words, “Jeffrey is a gentle power-house of knowledge. He is kind, informative, and such an interesting person without ever being intrusive or arrogant (no matter how many times we asked the same questions). We loved the spirit he brought to our walk – and loved his singing! Patrick, is also an incredible person – strong, unassuming, knowledgeable with his ever ready smile and determination. They both added in every dimension of the trail.”

In Chianti, guide of choice, Martino, is also a walking encyclopedia, explaining how the Chianti ecosystem works and the role of the vast protected forests of Tuscany. The European spring and autumn months are the best for hiking but as with fynbos, each month of year, has its highlights. And walking with a guide makes sure you get that.

Perhaps we should send Matthew Crawford’s “why fixing things feels good” to all the new SA Councillors. It seems that in whichever province you live, the officials who should have been fixing things, got klapped (and not by Aunty Pat either).

With love,

PS: 22 November’s three day guided hike (Blue Mountain), 20 December special three day Green Mountain, and 3rd January four day guided hike (Green Mountain), all have spaces. Guided hiking trails near me. Enquire

PPS: Thank you for visiting the gardens of Wildekrans Country House these last two weekends. We raised a decent amount for the Bot River Education Fund. Remember our four star graded accommodation at Wildekrans Country House as you plan your holiday spots. You get to live in nature without camping.