We have just returned from the Franschoek Literary Festival where we stayed on a small farm just outside the village. While not five star, the welcome was warm and our accommodation comfortable and warm.
While within walking distance of lectures and good restaurants, we parked the little hired car in the centre of the village so David could zip out for some photography time between lectures and meals.
We were somewhat disappointed in the selection available this year. Lectures had a political slant and quite frankly, while politics is an important part of our country, this is a literary festival.
I chose to listen to a lecture on Emily Hobhouse who I have always found fascinating. Even more special was the fact that the book was written by long-time acquaintance Rob Eales. While the lecture was intriguing and detailed, the chat with Jane, Rob's wife was particularly informative as we haven't seen each other for over 35 years. Jane has also written a book about her search for her birth mother: Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs.
One of our first restaurant stops is usually Roca at Dieu Donne where we are always well treated and have delicious food. This is the restaurant that also makes me feel 'grown up' and I am able to have a Mojito (Virgin of course - which always makes me giggle).
We met friends Anthony and MJ in Franschoek and as always shared many good moments with the delectable food we shared. We also had an early celebration for their 50th wedding anniversary which continued for most of the time we had together.
As well as our meandering down farm roads to taste wines from various vineyards MJ and I were able to peek into the many shops which line the main street. Not too much damage was done to the wallets. Well there are no yarn stores in Franschoek.
The weather was crisp and clean and I was kept warm rushing from lecture to lecture. I did enjoy the two hour workshop by Sunday Times travel writer on travel writing. No great revelations, but good to sit and absorb some new thoughts on writing and listen to the various comments made through the morning.
When we arrived home we were delighted by our newly planted garden. Open expanses of lawn, wide beds ready for spring plantings and some eye-catching artefacts gleaned from as far afield as Mali.
And if you are wondering about the teddy count, there will be an official one soon.
Until the next time, keep warm and creative.