Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Start of Summer Holidays; House vd Merwe de Rosendal

The back stoep
It's that time of the year, summer recess, and I am off to Rosendal, a three and a half hour drive to the Eastern Free-state. Daniel van der Merwe, a dear friend of mine, owns a fabulous country home with a marvelous garden, fresh herbs and greens for the table. 
A view of the dorp, kerk and a property that's for sale.
A small town with a tight-nit community where the goings-on is on the tip of everyone's tongue. Great wine and company with stimulating conversations around home-cooked lunches and dinners, is just what's needed. 
Xiaxuan reading on the back stoep.
The stoep en die troon daar agter.
An opportunity to read and with my sketch book at hand, enough time to reflect and act on the next phase of the conceptual development of my latest ceramic installation - The ship sails on (follow link). I have had fabulous weekends at this country retreat - close to the famous Rusters-valley (follow the link to amazing images of a spectacular spot on earth) - where we often partied the night away to rave music provided by Djs from all over the world (especially the Equinox experience held in September).The place burnt down a few years ago - see images of the fire.
Dinning room.
An hour and half from Clarence, the preferred destination of the upmarket-set, Rosendal is a much more quiet and intimate spot. No flashy restaurants, shops and galleries, although the new Hotel, De Rosendal, has brought new faces to wonder round the deserted streets. 
Driveway with garden
The frequent visitors ensure sales at the only three surviving antique/gallery outlets that are here-to-stay. They contribute to the survival of the local community and the struggling economy. There was a surge in property sales a few years ago and prospects looked great for the developers, but the economic meltdown has delayed an encroachment on our place of solitude. 
The pond and geese,
Gate to solitude haven
Images taken with my cell phone camera, a Noikia E72. 5.0 MPix, a few months ago, Mr Hugh Frazer (we have a photographic competition going). Cant wait to post the recess images to be taken with my new toy, the Sony NEX 5. Trust you will all enjoy the festive season and get rested before the new year with all it's challenges. For all you potters working towards meeting looming international ceramic competition deadlines, such as Mino etc. good luck with the firings.


jim said...

hi eugene, i am so utterly envious. i used to go every november to my friend's home and it would be a similar kind of oasis. of course, it was not nearly as idyllic as this friend of your's place. absolutely beautiful, and it's cold here and winter's only begun. get some rest and have fun... wish i could hang out and have some of the great conversation and food and wine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eugene, great, enjoy it... Bring back some great memories - Steven