Collywobbles On A Monday
is what I’m going to have. Unless I stop sneaking into the kitchen to grab a handful of sun kissed apricots.They’re sweet and tangy with the rosiest cheeks. As I brush the furriness across my lips I must confess I imagine my Grandson’s bottom, those plump, sweet cheeks. The juices run down my fingers and drip off my elbows. I miss that child.
Bringing out the Christmas tree a month early doesn’t say “It’s SUMMER” quite like a basket of peaches, apricots or figs. Or plums. Am I being priggish? Why do we rush through our seasons so quickly? Is there time to picnic under the cherry trees at the Klondike farm in Ceres or roll down the lawns at the Karoo National gardens while enjoying the new blooms?
I couldn’t help smiling at a toddler who came decked out in his baggies, swimming goggles and pool noodle at Friday’s funeral. I wanted to shout “that’s my boy!” Someone’s looking forward to going to the beach.
In our home we brought out the advent calendar on the 1st December and only 12 days before Christmas did the tree make an appearance. Anticipation, was what made the festive season extra special. Maybe that’s why I’ve not done any Christmas shopping, but, all in good time it’ll happen. We do have some Christmas treats, and our Christmas cake has been wrapped in grease proof paper, it’s sitting there maturing. My order has been placed for the best Mince Pies thanks to The Queen of Tarts.
The apricots arrived in a big wine box, that’s how family arrives here, with a boot packed with delicious treats. They brought tiny chocolate cupcakes (I could have 5, which equals 1 normal cupcake), filled with homemade strawberry preserve, delicious, I licked my fingers of every last bit of chocolate butter icing. A smoked lamb rib and beef sausage filled with roasted coriander seeds, like my Oupa used to make it. That will be kept for a special occasion, so too the Montagu wines.
Catching up was easy, we laughed a lot, we relaxed deep into the bright red Adirondacks while the boys did supper on the fire. We went to the farmers’ market and listened to Ben on his keyboard, had lunch at Burgundy, enjoying the cosmopolitan sounds all around us. The sea was the bluest blue and calm as the gulls swooped and caught their fish. On Sunday we had breakfast at Graze, in Stanford, a slow food Café, which was just perfect. Just before the sun set, as the day was cooling down we all set off on a leisurely walk around the Island, watched kids playing in the lagoon while the surfers lay on their boards enjoying the ebb and flow of the tides. The Arctic Terns are back!
It’s lovely to watch siblings interact, amongst themselves they don’t have to explain, cajole or beg forgiveness at every slight! We didn’t feel embarrassed to walk around bare feet nor apologise for not making coffee when they woke up, they had the freedom of the house and did it themselves. Imagine how we laughed when my Precious fell from a dizzy height (he was trying to change a lightbulb) and grazed his knee, because his brother got up to take the old bulb instead of weighing the chair down!
We listened and shared old memories and dug out a few skeletons too. After they left we slumped a little, I shed a tear while watching Four Weddings and A Funeral for the umpteenth time. I hope we can do it all again soon.
Savouring the last days of this year is what I’m planning. A little spring cleaning will be done, a few parties we’ll attend, then it will be time to plan our menus and guest lists. The Christmas lights will need new bulbs and we’ll see which baubles have survived another year in the top cupboard. The Village People are off my song list, I’ve had it with them and their Jingle Bells. Instead I've got Laurika Rauch crooning Lisa se Klavier, and all things nostalgic. I miss my girl.
The apricots will only last another half day before the fruit flies get to them, I’ll have a couple more. I’ve not had the courage to try on my bather yet.
Let not our consumerism gobble our days and make our seasons even shorter. Don't speed it up, rather, slow it down.
“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer.... Who'd have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?”
― Bill Watterson, The Essential Calvin and Hobbes
P.S. I made a delicious APRICOT COULIS using the remaining apricots. All I did was halve them, stone them all in a heavy bottomed saucepan, I then blitzed them added the juice of one lemon and sweetened things up a little using Zylitox (we're on a healthier kick at the moment). Simmered this lot for about an hour. Once cooked I covered the saucepan with a layer of clingwrap pressed right down to form a "skin", this prevents an apricot skin forming. Once cooled I'll bottle, label and then we'll ladle some over our Greek Style joghurt for breakfast. I'll also make an Apricot Mousse by folding in 500ml whipped cream into 300ml coulis. The possiblities are endless.