South Africa


trou soen

I gave myself a month to do an entry about our wedding, but now it’s been about two months and something tells me if I delay it any longer it’s only going to happen around the time of our paper anniversary.

From the start we decided it was going to be a small and simple affair. A few family members and some friends, an informal lunch and just a laid back afternoon. Our guest list, including the guy who married us, came to 21. So altogether there were only 23 people attending our wedding. Which made things very easy for us.

We decided to do almost everything ourselves and to host it at our apartment. With some borrowed furniture and the bedroom turned into a serving room it worked out perfectly. And since the weather played along and we had a gloriously warm winter’s day we could open up our balcony so guests could hang out there as well.

trou pret

Our theme was South African with a lot of Karoo in it. On the road trip we took with Alexander’s family prior to our wedding we passed through the Karoo and picked up lots of local preserves, cheese and two lovely legs of lamb (thanks Abe!). My parents brought some produce from Limpopo province like butternut and more preserves. On the morning of the wedding we all went for breakfast at the Neighbourgoods Market and picked up some bread, more preserves, mini-milktarts and were given a couple of fresh sprigs of flowering rosemary by another vendor.

trou blomme

We rushed home to get everything in order, giving our families (who helped in preparing the lamb and doing the flowers as well as arranging the house the previous day) strict orders to stay away until just before noon. I finally started feeling nervous (for some very strange reason I was extremely calm and relaxed the day before- very unlike me!) and was worried about flipping out in front of everybody moments before I get married. A shot of gin when we got home helped steady the nerves though! Together we prepared some salads and laid out the table. We were just in time for the arrival of our guests.

trou kostafel

Next thing we were wedded. A strange feeling, yet really sweet and nice. I enjoyed every moment of standing there with Alexander, knowing we are taking such a huge step in our relationship and feeling totally at ease about it.

After the ceremony the feasting began. Guests helped themselves to the spread of roast leg of lamb, butternut salads, curried bean salad, pickled onions, bread, cheese and preserved figs. There were not a lot of seats so everybody just found a spot and made themselves comfortable. If I may say so myself, I think the food was excellent and all really delicious.

trou kos skep

We set out a variety of desserts in the kitchen for after, some heart-shaped milk tarts from the market, koesisters (spiced and deep-fried balls of dough rolled in coconut) from the Bo-Kaap and boeremeisies (farm-girls, peaches preserved in brandy).

trou nagereg

We had a relaxed lunch and afternoon, enjoying the food and great company. At around 3:30 I was beat and we left our families and two friends (thank you!) with the mess to go spend the night at a nearby hotel.

When I look at the pictures of our wedding I want to do it again, exactly as it was. The only thing I wish I could change would be the guests attending- there were a few people, family and friends, who live too far and could not make it, so if we could do it again I’d wish for them to be here too.

trou gaste eet

Thanks to all of our families and our friends for all the help and lending and being here to celebrate our very special day with us. It was fantastic!

trou familie

The last night of our trip we stayed in the Karoo town of Prince Albert. The Karoo is one of my favourite parts of South Africa, it is a pretty dry part of the country, with whole lots of nothing between each little town. Here and there you see trees around a farmhouse in the distance, giving the impression of an oasis in the desert, but otherwise it’s just hills and shrubs, road and dust. I fondly remember childhood visits to my paternal grandmother in one of these old Karoo towns, and Prince Albert refreshed the atmosphere of my memories.

The town is basically one main road, with a couple more running off to the sides. Most of the homes are in the old Victorian or Karoo Victorian style, with a few more modern ones from the fifties. On both sides of the road old irrigation canals run alongside the pavement, still supplying water to the gardens of resident gardens and fruit orchards.

Prince Albert PM1

Despite the fact that we saw very few travellers, most places in town were fully booked, luckily we got rooms at this old house that is almost two-hundred years old, with many of the original fixtures still in place.

Prince Albert GH

Prince Albert has become quite a popular destination over recent years, with many of the homes neatly restored and now housing guest houses, restaurants and stores selling locally produced food and wines. Despite the town’s popularity it still seems like a sleepy hamlet, with the residents some of the friendliest people I have encountered in South Africa.

We picked up a lot of the preserves for our wedding here, as well as the leg of lamb we served, at the small and pleasant butchery below, bottom right corner.

Prince Albert Scenes

We spent a very short amount of time here, arriving late in the afternoon and leaving the next morning, but we did get to take in the local scenery, like the historic Moederkerk or Mother Church.

Prince Albert Moederkerk

Some very Karoo details.

Prince Albert Details

Pretty gates.

Prince Alber Gates

And local cats enjoying the warming morning sun.

Karoo Sunny Cats

We arrived safely back in South Africa just over a week ago. It’s been a crazy couple of days since then, catching up with friends and family. Unpacking large bags that traveled with us from the States, unpacking boxes that were in storage at my parents and decided what’s flying to our new home, what’s staying behind and what’s getting thrown out.

kruger-gate

This past weekend was a little more relaxed. We went on a very traditional family trip to Kruger National Park with my family. It was my mother’s 60th (this blog was named for her), and she decided to spend it in one of her favorite places. It was a fairly fruitful weekend with lots of elephant, monitor, giraffe, and rhino sightings as well as plenty of incredible birds. Sadly no hyenas.

We are already on our way again to our final destination. Where is that destinations? I’ll give you a hint. It’s a very popular coastal city in our country, surrounded on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on the other by a magnificent mountain named for its resemblance to a table. Hopefully by the end of this month we would have found a new home and started unpacking, settling in, and starting on a new chapter in our lives. I will keep you updated.