Cape of Good Host

A 10-Day Work-Residency with Jaak Coetzer in the Cape


Kicked off, via Amsterdam, with THE IDOL, a film, by Hany Abu-Assad, a chronicle, of Mohammed Assaf, a wedding singer, from Gaza, to worldwide fame, as winner, of 2013, Arab Idol TV contest. Gaza, why?, wrote my blog, the one from Jordan, so behind, love travel, not sure, about, the writing. More films, a Brazilian, bit arty, Nina Simone, and her manager, Peggy Guggenheim, the Sahara, the woman, big, next to me, on holiday back, from the Bahamas, the beige colours, underneath us.

Jaak, at the airport, drive, to Saronsberg, the vineyard, what a house, what a place!, the view of the berg, in the morning, even a pool, papaya, lets get to work, Tolbagh, springbock shank and mash, its’ wine.


Next day: Work, work, work, after the swim, more work, pictures, photos, memories, but work, all sorted, folder, the oaks, with their lush leaves, work, talk, to Nancy Mteki, to Bob Pegg, the story teller, Baudouin, Mouanda, lovely, work, a chardonnay, a walk, along the scenery, the wine land, Montpellier, jacaranda tree, back, the braai, sausage and pap, off the frying pan.


Work, work, gather, projects, titles, themes, work, after the swim, more work, ideas, Stefanie, Bourne, and her food shop, Tim, Fabiana, in the wine cellar, off, to Riebeek, over the railway, not to be taken, the town the view, the shanty, the Red Tin Roof, restaurant, Lean, nice to see you, catch up, memories, 8 years, Baboutie, tuna, the décor, great, must show, the BANK, so simple, so considered, tin house relief, sculptured painting, bye, tin houses, in Tolbagh, its true, just from tin, outside, women talk, please, bed.


Off, to Capetown, over the hills, misty today, the drive, past a town, forgotten name, with a statue of Andrew Murray, not the tennis one, no the Clatt one, the minister, the dominee, the one with the many holy books, from Clatt, from Aberdeenshire, another project in the making?, the mountain, table top, the Open House, its wonderful, the red, the structure, the view, the watchmen, an women, a real speaker’s corner, watchwoman, asks me for bread, African shop, dress, decision, of colour, go for the blue one, with the radiation, the frocky one, the Ghanaian tailored one, to the University, the posters, ‘we don’t hate white people – but we hate their ignorance’, one poster says, the park, the table mountain, in the middle of the city, the wedding, Congolese, Jaak says, flowers, everywhere, Desmond Tutu’s church, every Friday, missed him yesterday, the drive, through the posh area, Deborah walked it up, the table mountain, easy she says, difficult says Lonely Planet, drive along the coast, stunning, the ocean, beach, flamingos, sand, beautiful, so soft under your feet, so white, horse poo, on my feet, the vineyard, vine with a view, only white people, black waiters, to the club, fish, delicious, meet Sven, a writer, from Holland, here now, praat Nederlands, good humour, black music and struggle, or something like that, his next book, good music, almost home, fiddle, singer, accordion, but only white people, but black waiters, though. Jaak’s house, small but beautiful.



Our walk today, Jaak checked it out, wonderfully, Monocle and Mermaid, sun cream, pouch, on the sea front, Mandela purses, Peter Clark’s steps, more steps, up the hill, phhew, steep, steep, steps, Suzette returns, wise woman, up, up, the spidery flowers, yellow and orange, forgotten their names, look like plastic, but not, WW1 monument, like everywhere, every country, prominent, on the hill, overlooking the blue, the bay, the knatsch blue bay, could be kitsch, if it was painted, but it is not, its real, army site, great gallery site, the grave, of a dog, called nuisance, should I be called nuisance?, maybe, some people, maybe, do it already, but too polite, to tell, me, cross road, to Red Hill, the huts, the girl, Santana, (I think), shows us, her brother, a watch man, her parents, dead, in car accident, Europe, don’t know, she says, give, peanuts, Brendon, rands, down, to the restaurant, calamari, fresh ones, delicious, Brendon tells, of ARTAFRICA, interesting prospect, so happy, the writing, its going, to be good, the shop Red Something, red rock, tribal?, hut?, presents, souvenirs, good craft, Zulu baskets, so intricate, thank you card, for Joss, walk back, views over both bays, from Red Hill, its shacks, almost beautiful, with the view of the ocean, to the west, of the bay to the east, the people guide us. Back down.




I go, and see the penguins, the African ones.


Jaak, sees son, to school, his Theodopoulos, bright boy, I read, under the bright light, of the earth, on the wall, the one, coming out of Pretoria, we leave, along the bay, and its integrate geography, past Aylakasha, the shanty, the town, the shame, of the earth, why?, why cant be more equal, or just equal, hitchhikers, we don’t take them, we are back, in Soderberg, the beauty, the green, hi Pieter, talk, Afrikaans, could I learn it?, his 4 children, and his many grand children, worked in Kimberley, the mines, Jaak visited, once, tells me, about its fear, Umesh, Umesh Maddanahalli, wonderful, so long, he in Bangalore, me here, in the wine cellar, then Aidan, O’Rourke, the wonderful fiddler, his sounds, his concepts, in Edinburgh, me in the wine cellar, tortilla for lunch, thinking in the afternoon, the structure, it is shaping up, it is coming, I am relieved. We are off, to Tulbagh, for a walk, for a shop, (the hampers for the farm workers are intriguing), for a pint, in the pub, the Underberg one, with the farmers, the local ones, the white ones, a black, or mixed waitress, a man, from the DelMonte factory, peaches, and apricots, much more. They like Underberg here, the walls are full, of those we bottles.


The mornings, the view, from the room, second to none, the swim, so fresh, to start, the day, some flowers, a photo, for Hannelore, 25 years on, still not sure, if its true, phone Mutti, just short, she is off, to the cemetery, we meet, the others, from Deveron Arts/Projects, some talk, others not, Paul Shepherd today, diagnosed with MS, but looks good, is writing about age, he will do it, he will, how to like Everything?, was published into Turkish, that’s nice, to know, Garry Williams, no show, its hot, good for the wine, I swim, so nice, the wee frogs, more structure, Jaak, a genius. We are off, to the Tolbagh hotel, beer and risotto, wine and curry.



The mornings the view, from the room, second to none, read the AFRICANOW, Christine Eyene, the swim, the froggies, the breakfast, papaya, like everyday, with yoghurt, and muesli, and honey, delish, as Deborah, would say, Sanaa, no show, good, not to worry, more structure, need to fend, a bit, not too much, a bit, what about, the old ARTocracy, the old one, the many years work one, the Nuno one, it still holds, Anthony, his birthday, need him, guilty, we need coffee, cycle off, the heat, like a furness, its getting hotter, even, they say, Mareike, at the desk, I cycle, hot, hot, shop, coffee, tea, scrubbers, thirsty, off again, nobody at the bushpub, on, on, wrong?, on, stop car, right, he says, ok, right, de dam, damn, another one says, rechts, de dam, damn it, mud road, not sure, so hot, back?, on, see the mountain, the Soderberg, should be there, but?, past the lake, a house, Pieter? How is it possible?, on, he says, road, rechts, Soderberg, the vinery, how is it possible? the coffee, the swim, ok, Ron Brander, from Washington, with his boots, around the neck, the film, talks about all the artists, Jill, Simone, Tim, Alec, and so on, Lean rings, we plough on. We make a braai, the first one, its delicious, make the salad, as it meant to be, Jaak the braai, and the Soderberg wine, the song, die Gedanken si-ind frei, that’s for sure.


The morning, the last one, the view, the swim, the froggy, the papaya with the yoghurt, honey, muesli, then, the photos, to sort, pack, walking lunch, along the mud road, from yesterday, to the lake, the cooling one, swim, with dress on, pack, good bye Pieter, photo, fruit, your children, the road, the table, the mountain, the clouds, warped around it, like a layer, of snow, stunning really, we stop, at the red house, the light goes on Open House, it says, its open, always, Hasan Essop, artist, arrives, he likes it, too, off to the Indian, a halal one, his work, all him, and his brother, stitched, in locations, including mekka, where you should, you should not, photograph, yourself. Veronique arrives, nice, bold, Jaak looks nice, looks happy, Congolese man, his laugh, wonderful, from Lumumbashi, tells, about the roads, the mines, the politics, redet Deutsch, and now, good buy, the scooter, the helmet, with the sun glasses, off to the airport, flight late, no matter, another white wine, type this up, the plane, the film, about a Le Docteur, an African doctor arriving in a small village, in Normandie and his adventures, to be accepted, sleep a bit, hard, tight, another film, Humanity, beautiful, almost too beautiful…

Good bye Jaak, thanks for all, and see you soon!


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