Tag Archives: wedding

The magic of Franschhoek

South Africa is my country, but I’ve felt a kinship with certain places that is not based on language, culture or nationality. One of them is the island of Ithaca in Greece, where some of my ancestors are from. The other is Franschhoek, another ancestral home, but unfortunately one with no ancestral land.

Alistair and I would go to the Cheese Festival every year and make a weekend of it in Franschhoek, staying in a private cottage with our own pool. It was an escape from “hectic” Cape Town.

A few weeks ago we went back for the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to (except my own of course) and stayed in the same cottage. We took long walks, read our books, and of course ate out – a lot. Franschhoek has a ridiculously high concentration of exceptional restaurants.

I have to thank JamieWho who recommended Pierneef a La Motte, where I could eat every day for the rest of my life (try the Springbok, Red Wine & Truffle Risotto). We also went to Mange Tout at La Rochelle for spectacular views and traditional fine dining. Completely delectable and completely relaxing.

The wedding at Vrede en Lust was breathtakingly elegant and beautiful. Beyond words really. Charne and Andrew are uniquely kind and special people, never cynical or disingenuous. Time with them is always refreshing. So of course everyone cried, even me, and then we danced until late under the super-full moon.

When Al and I got back to the cottage, we couldn’t resist a 1am skinny-dip under the stars. Everything felt just right for the first time in a long time. That’s the magic of Franschhoek for me.

Things that made me smile this week

What's wrong with you people?

  • My cat covering her eyes with her paws when I opened the blinds.
  • Long skype chats with faraway people.
  • Being maid-of-honour at Leanne’s wedding – a beautiful friend and bride (with a wicked sense of humour).

Leanne getting married.

  • The bride’s mother dancing to “Sexy Chick”.
  • My parents dancing to “Sexy Chick”.
  • How hot my husband looked in his Paul Smith shirt.
  • How big my boobs looked in my maid-of-honour dress.

Tits and Paul Smith.

  • Reading a 300-page book in under four hours.
  • Johnnie Walker Black on BA flights.
  • A friend who hasn’t been to the cinema in five years going to see Alice in Wonderland and SMSing me afterwards: “Extraordinarily poor movie. I’ll wait another five years.”
  • Mommy stopping by my office with a “because you’re my daughter and you’re broke” present.
  • My friend Francois sending me a picture of himself in hospital scrubs – he and his wife are having their first baby today!

Odd, this friendship thing

It’s funny how you can be thrown together with a person who seems unlikely to become a friend, yet one day you’re holding up her wedding dress while she pees.

megan-and-paul

The gorgeous friend

Last weekend I was a bridesmaid at Megan & Paul’s wedding. Meegs and I met in the same res at Rhodes and bonded over Gino’s pizza, late nights, stupid boys, exams and drunken crawls home.

Megan’s name is pronounced Mee-gan, a fact I pointed out to the pastor at the rehearsal ceremony. She looked at me with a mixture of horror (at my cheekiness) and appreciation (I was the only one brave enough to say it). She has given me this look many times…

You see, whereas Megan was always calm, rationale and no-nonsense, I was impulsive, emotional and high-maintenance. She was ridiculously patient with me and fiercely loyal, protecting me from my own silliness as well as a lunatic stalker.

I’d be blessed to have one friend like Meegs but I’m lucky to have others too, so I must be doing something right (apart from holding up wedding dresses). I’m the kind of friend people rely on to do the things they’re too sane to do. I’ll defend them to the death, kick ass, give them lip and cheer them on. Basically I’m the one who’s never scared to say, “It’s Meegan, not Megan.”

Cheeky bridesmaid

Cheeky bridesmaid