Where I have been
I have spent most of this week in the Western Cape where I visited Vredendal - a little dorpe in Namaqualand where everyone seems so friendly, happy and positive. Saldanah which is an industrial and industrious place and now PaterNosta. V was supposed to travel with me but couldn't at the last minute so I was on the road alone driving an unfamiliar car down unknown roads. Vines, Valleys, Mountain ranges, Rivers, Dams, Acres of wheat, Shades of blue on a horizon that I never arrive at - Daring Greatly!
Who I have met
Twenty five learners who did presentations - salt of the earth people - all were interesting, some gave excellent presentations, some were OK and one stood at the front of a boardroom of his managers in his red Tshirt and green overall pants and cried with fear. Guess who my heart went out to? He composed himself and carried on to complete his presentation and his managers (all male) were so supportive and kind and it really touched me. Like he fell off his horse on the corporate battlefield and they helped him back on, slapped its backside and he was off again! I may forget what the others spoke about but I won't forget him or his courage! I also met assorted managers and HR people - always friendly, a facilitator like me - always the nicest people, and a Namaqua man - a man of the land born and raised on a farm, the youngest of ten children whose father born in the late 1800s and was 70 when his youngest was born - Namaqua-Man had a handshake like Namaqua granite and a face full of stories and he bore a remarkable resemblance to V which automatically made me fall a little in love with him!
What I have bought
Two packets of peanuts from the bar fridge in the B&B - after a 7 hour journey - the last five hours driving in the dark over mountain passes with road works and arriving in a two horse town were everything was closed - those peanuts tasted like caviar and saved me from starvation! I also bought a cerise polka dot pencil skirt - a bargain in Vredendal which probably should have stayed on the rail - I think that I may look like a hooker in it back in PE!
What I have learned
This area is beautiful, Paternosta is a little slice of heaven tucked away in a far corner do the earth. The people here are arty but not at all shabby - I am in a B&B straight out of Home and Garden decorated in bright white and the palest teal, surrounded by original pieces of art, lying in a bed dressed in the finest percale linen under a floral chandelier. Last night I dined on baked oysters and angel fish pie and I am told that there is a 3 course breakfast ....with dessert! An afternoon beach walk brought the realization that if an ordinary lass from Lancashire can find her toes in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Africa on a Friday afternoon then really anything in life is possible!
Dusk last night brought with it a spectacular sunset and this morning the palest pink light peeked through my curtains and nudged me awake to enjoy the sunrise. A Druid in a past life I don't know but sunrises and sunsets especially by the sea speak to my soul!
I have also learned despite my independence and courage that dinner for one on a Friday night in a small restaurant full of couples is not a good idea and wine makes that empty feeling worse.