Raindrops on roses, cream-coloured ponies, crisp apple strudel, schnitzel with noodles. Who drew up that bucket list? What was Julie Andrews on? Were those really snowflakes that were staying on her nose and eyelashes or some other white substance?
IF our national flower is the protea, our national vegetable is you-know-who and our national sport is soccer … I mean rugby (hey, you guys can fight it out, I prefer boules), our national meat has to be lamb. Whether it’s cooked on the braai, on the spit or in a potjie, roasted in the oven, turned into sosaties, into a Durban curry or a Cape Malay breyani, it’s the one meat that unites our dark carnivorous hearts. Lamb was on the menu at two launches I attended recently. One was a new theatre restaurant, the other a regular summer spitbraai on a wine farm.
But writing builds up an appetite for food and wine. You’re immersed from dawn to sunset in words and in the mad things that occupy your mind. Then you put the figurative pen down, look around you, and remember where you are, what day it is … and it hits you like a smack in the face: you need a drink like a condemned man needs a reprieve.
It is all very boere-gay, with ribbon-bound old books adorning tables, tannie’s crockery on the walls, saucepans, koppies en pierings flung into the (white-painted) mish-mash madness of things happening in the ceiling installations above your head, not to mention knives and forks, ribbons and who knows what else lurks up there like so many miniature Swords of Damocles ready to descend if you frown at what’s on your plate. Best not to diss the food until you’re safely out the door. It is also perhaps best not to look too closely lest you spot something you left at the restaurant last time you were there.
So yes, with a heavy heart I would hear the truck start up outside and rattle and grind up the hill, its contents shaking and baaing like, well, so many sheep, then turn on the gas and get cooking, because I’m human, I’m South African, and, with few exceptions, we eat meat.