Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Well, it's been real. Almost. When I ate a piece of Christmas cake for breakfast on Boxing Day I knew it was all over. It started promisingly on Friday the 22nd, when I motored down to the whale capital, Hermanus, to join my daughter and her brood in a timeshare chalet with a magnificent sea view. Now the best description for Hermanus is that it is a resort in denial. In fact it recoils in horror from the word resort. The locals treat the pillaging hordes with a distant contempt. The roads are terrible, signage sparse, the shops eccentric and lame. Even the supermarkets are useless. The restaurants are plentiful but unimaginative and service can be somnolent. After an hour waiting en famille (eight of us) for lunch one day, I accosted the waitress, who explained in a reasonable tone that they were busy at this time of year. No shit? They wouldn't last five minutes in Cape Town. Parking is a joke without a punchline. The harbour is a sad agglomeration of concrete and down-at-heel shipping. No waterfront precinct here, thank you.
And there were no whales.
Notable prezzies: I gave Thomas the present I wanted: an amazing robot dinosaur that seems almost alive. Zara had a bevy of Barbies. My sister is a collector of the doyenne of dollies in all her manifestations, but I bet she doesn't have the ballerina Barbie that actually dances (battery-powered Barbie must be a first). The Barbies were christened: Princess Glitter, Maribel and Ginger. But Zara sooo wants a robot dinosaur. Thomas also got a very large remote-controlled motorbike which he raced up and down the road, bringing furious stiffs out of their holiday snooze to remonstrate. Well it was midnight. How come I had to wait till my dotage for the kind of Christmas present I dreamed of as a kid? There's a blog to be written on the convergence of adult and childish pleasures in our brave new battery-operated, microprocessed, digitised, virtual world. The food, the food ... Christmas Eve was spent in the only restaurant that could seat eight on a late booking. It has apparently been an eaterie since 1822, and some of the deeply marinated, glowering guests could well have been sitting there since then. They stared with loathing at the small children as they made as much noise as possible to enliven the funereal proceedings. The highlight of the set menu was venison rolled in bacon. My 14-year-old granddaughter refused to eat hers because it looked like a bobbited penis. Christmas dinner, in sizzling heat, was al fresco with the inlaws. I was very impressed to learn that my son-in-law's stepmother had cooked the turkey, tongue, lamb and other items three weeks earlier and stored it in the deep freeze. The fun parts are in the photos. A prosperous posting year to all my bloggy pals. I am just off to join the kids bomb-dropping into the pool.


Blogger herschelian said...

It seems all my CT friends decamp to Hermanus at Christmas/New Year to make room for the hordes of tourists who fly out from Europe to party in the Mother City. I prefer the West Coast myself. BTW I do sympathise with your granddaughter - bobbited penis, yuck! Hope Two double-oh seven is a lekker year for you and yours.

1:38 AM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

The West Coast has a special tranquil vibe. I haven't spent a lot of time there, but the Langebaan lagoon is a place to linger, lunch and lounge.

As for Hermanus, they are welcome to it. None of us will spend a holiday there again. Plett is favoured by my family.

Have a blogtastic year.

8:07 PM  

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