A comet fades, a bright star stays behind


So he is gone
And we are left
Behind bereft
Numbed and lost.

A professor says
His passing marks
The end of the
Struggle era.

For sure he was
Among the last
Of the older
Wiser ones.

His successors
Younger but not
Conscious of their

Rather rudely
Plundering his
Reconciliation call
Killing hope.

The wind gusts strong
Up in Deer Park
Where I record
His legacy.

The squalls of change
Bluntly calling
Wayward comrades
To order?

But what was he
To settler Pom
Post struggle boy
Little me?

It’s very clear:
Of equality
For SA.

Rights created fair
For this country
All who live here
Black, white, gay.

And for little me
This soutie boy
He made a law
Just for us.

And so it was
The Bill of Rights’
Equality Clause
Bold pioneer.

Bright with our rights
Never forget
Its power.

Though still for some
Mere paper help
The rights remain

And so for me
Parental silence
Scant approval
Was replaced.

Rainbow beacon
To all the world
Cemented for us
Section 9.

Fork-tailed drongos
Shriek on pines
South-easter blown
Disbarked grey.

Butterflies flit
Brave brimstones bright
Between the trees:

Life goes on blown
Along by nature
Clearing us out
Drying eyes.

He leaves us here
Restless alone
Needing groupness
To self share.

His legacy sure
His farewells turgid
Block the channels
All the same.

Some make a chink
In platitudes
But very few
Break babble.

Best then to wait
Soft times to come
Own space and words
To put down.

There will be time
Because he was
Of all time – not
Ours alone.

Not just a light
Gone out for us
But all the world
Now dimmed down.

The wind picks up
The rage of ages
Pushed back down
In respect.

What cauldron dire
Lies waiting now
Holding its breath
Beloved land?

Too soon to say
If things will change
Better or worse
Now he’s gone.

Time will speak out
History will tell
The full story in
Times to come.

For now we start
In numbness grey
Mourning barely
Starting out.


Franschhoek Uncorked heralds spring (sort of)

With spring comes wine festivals, with Franschhoek Uncorked’s September weekend festival leading the way – and a great day, on Saturday at least, they had for it. Blue skies, much sun and a mood to dispel all that winter rain and gloom. 17 wine farms are open for business all day from 11 till 5, introducing new vintages, discounting old ones, dressing up and playing games, putting on live music and just generally having a good time. What’s not to like?

Keep reading →

Meet MBMR12 WP… finally

The postscript to the long, nostalgic and self-indulgent post on My Family and Other Automotive Animals (A passion for wagons) arrived at 41 Sandpiper Crescent on Saturday October 13th 2013. She is a Boston Green British Traditional Special Edition, Number 27 of 33. Presumably that’s Number 27 of 33 South African British Traditional Special Editions - not worldwide ones - but who knows? I have seen one other in Cape Town - a bit sadder than my not quite perfect version - but no others. Perhaps wood and leather goes down better in Joburg? Along with cigars and expensive whisky…

But we digress. The search is over. The purchase battle is won. But the restoration battle is still to be fought. MBMR12 WP is, after all, no spring chicken in car years - 13 years old, in fact, registered at the turn of the century. A 21st century icon? Not really - but good enough for me.

So here she is. Or a close facsimile for now…

More later… if you’re lucky!

Another vintage, another Veritas: Part 2

Medallions of quality: a solid sign for Jo Consumer.


The thing about wine awards is that they’re partial - not in the biased sense, but in the ‘only part of the story’ sense. So you must always be aware that not everyone enters and so, of course, not everyone can win. And some of those who don’t enter are very serious winemakers with very serious records - like Meerlust - or even more recent players with equally serious record - like Oak Valley. Still, the little round medallions are a sign of quality; they’re just not the only sign, that’s all.

Keep reading →

Another vintage, another Veritas

A quality sign to find on your wine.


Wine awards and wine shows are the epitome of the curate’s egg: good in parts. But it’s the parts that you don’t know that make the journey worth the ride. And it’s always in the darkest and most unlikely corners that you find the best examples of bottled sunshine. Read on for a very personal lowdown on this year’s annual Veritas shindig.

Keep reading →




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About this Blog

This web log is a collection of personal writings on topics that I’m seriously (some would say, obsessively) passionate about – that includes writing (especially words), marketing (especially branding), tourism (especially local), food (especially cheese), drink (especially wine) and cars (especially BMWs).

We all have our crosses to bear.

If you like the wine and tourism stuff, please visit www.21thingstodo.co.za and www.winetourismsouthafrica.co.za, where some of these articles were first posted.

Thank you for listening…