Ursula K. Le Guin tells us that it is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end. We had an end in mind for our journey south that was particularly good to have – a celebration that was worth travelling all that way for. So far I have shown you glimpses of various things along both ways of our journey that made those passing kilometers interesting and the journey feel like a holiday in itself.

Join me in the feast that lay ahead: a selection of sweet and savoury eats to enjoy on a sunny afternoon in the garden of a home with beautiful views and in the company of delightful people. The proteas on the paper serviettes are an apt motif in this area where they grow in abundance.

These arum lilies were picked locally, where fields of them are blooming next to the road, in ditches and damp hollows.

Take your pick.

Who can resist these?

Or these?

The children made a bee-line for these luscious strawberries.

While grapes in both this and the bubbly form went down well with the adults.

Of course there was cake too!

Finally, after much talking and laughter; congratulations and enjoying each other’s company, the afternoon light took on a softer hue; the clouds gathered over the mountain tops; inside lights were switched on; and the guests began to take their leave.




Don’t expect anything glamorous or high class here. I was scrolling through my archives, getting rid of pictures as I went, when I realised that a number have got something to do with food or drink – all have been taken with my cell phone, so must have been taken to share with members of my scattered family. The random sample will begin with me preparing a camping meal on a particularly icy, windy night:

I warned you not to expect anything glamorous! A more genteel moment came with enjoying a cup of tea with a slice of cake:

I suspect the teapot and cup were the main focus – a gift from grandchildren. Another quietly domestic scene is a glass of wine at the start of our hard lockdown – when none of us realised just how long that confinement was going to last!

We didn’t realise then either that the sale of alcohol was going to be restricted on an on-off basis for well over a year. It is during the past year too that South Africans have had to bid farewell to many of their favourite magazines: no farewell, this is the final issue, sad to be leaving you in the lurch – they just vanished from the shelves!

There is nothing like home-baked biscuits to satisfy the need for a little sweetness. I baked many batches of ginger biscuits during the first few months of the pandemic – as you can see, some were snitched before they could even cool down:Here is some flat bread I made for a hasty lunch one day:

Lastly, an all too rare opportunity to eat out:

This was in celebration of my birthday – several months after the event!


Based on a conversation at a gathering years ago:

“My brother and I were taught to be polite and on our best behaviour, especially when we went out with our parents.”

Thus began the tale of two young children whose parents often took them to visit their good friends, Ted and Susan, who lived in a small house tucked back from the street with a wide entertainment area outside. Their parties were both legendary and long, so the children always arrived well prepared with books, crayons and paper to while away the time before their parents were ready to take them home.

The other thing that Ted and Susan were widely known for was their Beef Goulash.

On one such evening the children had been fed early, as they usually were before their parents went out to a party. As they were the only children there, once they had politely greeted everyone on arrival, they took their activity bags and settled down on the kitchen floor to play. The children had been there for some time, playing quietly whilst listening to the roar of conversation, scraping of chairs and the clinking of glasses outside. When Ted walked into the kitchen and saw them he exclaimed, “My goodness, would you like some Beef Goulash?”

The children looked up brightly. “Yes please” they replied in unison and tucked into the sloppy pile of juicy meat on their plates. Once complete, they had hardly placed their plates in the sink, just as their mother had taught them to do, when Susan came tottering in on her high heels. She swooped down on the two children, who had just settled back on the blanket spread out under the kitchen table.

“You poor neglected darlings!” She kissed them both firmly on the cheek, enveloping them with the mixed fumes of brandy and perfume. “You must be starving! Would you like some Beef Goulash?” Not waiting for a reply, she ladled the meat into two dessert bowls plucked from the draining board.

To their horror, Susan sat down heavily on a kitchen chair to watch them eat. They obligingly dug in with the soup spoons she had balanced on the top. “You’re eating so slowly … don’t you like my goulash?” She bent down towards them.

“It’s delicious,” one of them responded.

“So delicious that I want to really taste every mouthful,” the other chimed in.

Susan rose from the chair with some difficulty and clapped her hands before tottering off. “Everyone likes my Beef Goulash” she told them, leaning against the door frame. “Eat up, children. Don’t be shy for there is plenty more!”