Mother City Magic ~Cape Town

Mother City Magic ~Cape Town
Written and edited by Veronica Clark

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Viva La France!! ~ Bastille Day Celebrations!

Hi Everyone from a freezing Mother City!

Even though it is freezing and very wet there is still loads of magic to be enjoyed ! On Saturday, I braved the cold and wet, as I just could not miss the Bastille Festival in beautiful Franschoek!

I donned my red, white and blue ensemble and me and my lil French car, Noddy, headed to join in the fun!

 I was not the only crazy person to leave my warm bed very early on a weekend morn with a storm raging outside... As I entered the town this was my first glimpse...

Brrrrr.... I needed a cup of coffee and to examine my sanity!

In spite of rain and bitterly cold weather there were hoards of people and I was very chuffed with myself for getting there early and finding a parking! Spirits were high in spite of the rain and cold, as you can see, from visitors and officials alike!

 And of course the town was draped in French Finery .... just like many of the visitors.

The tricolour of France waved at me  from every building, lamppost, sign, tree, etc... To those of us, like myself, who hails from a French ancestry, it is of course a nod to history for placing us on the African Continent. Merci!

Franschoek is also the food and wine capital and that is enough reason for a fest! I was happy to find this guy and his fire and stopped for a chat and to warm my hands. I can't work with gloves!!!

Viva La France!!!

This young man looked the part and willing posed for me! Thank you! Gorgeous isn't he just?

Further down the road, Gluhwein was being brewed and it was  just the kind of fortification that I needed! The smell was intoxicating enough....hmmmm!

"Madame, be reasonable ... you need a red beret for that blue head!!"

And what is a French fest without an accordion?

My hairstyle for next year!!

The food hall was a place of temptation and utterly irresistible!

Very fashionable French cupcakes...

You name it they had it!
Somewhere along the line I was awarded with the most divine crepes! Merci!


I was in a food hall, of course, when someone came in and said that the barrel race was going ahead in spite of the pouring rain.... so out I dashed outside,  crepe in one hand , camera in other... no umbrella and took these pics. The course was set up....

Teams were waiting.... rain was falling....

Competition between the various farms was taken very seriously indeed. Supporter shouted for their teams and all manner of advise was doled out in every accent imaginable!

It is no mean feat to keep that barrel balanced, let me tell you! The barrel, inebriated of course, has a mind of its own but these guys had it waxed! and these guys...well, went a bit over the top...

A colourful parade...

Somehow, I missed the waiter's race but it might have been cancelled due to the wet weather or it might have happened whilst I was safely stowed away in the fabulous restaurant French Connection enjoying scrumptious fare!

Click here to see what I ate!! I posted it on my blog Tassels Twigs and Tastebuds....scroll about half way down that post to find it!

You would think that the bad weather was a deterrent but as the day wore on the lines got longer and longer and might I add more jovial!

As I headed home I came across this poor guy, all alone without any customers to take for a ride. If there wasn't a fence in the way and I was not so wet I might have joined him. I considered climbing over the fence but, my feet would not cooperate!!

Live well, live the Cape Town Vibe

C'est la vie!



Kindly regale me with a comment below in the comment box, I am all ears...

Friday, 6 July 2012

News From My Hood~ Bear, Mutt of the Year 2012!!

Hello Everyone from a Wintry Cape Town!

I am slowly getting back to all my blogging about this fabulous place that I have the privilege to call home.

Just a quick, but HUGE THANK YOU for all your support and messages of encouragement during a difficult time for me... Thanks to all, who wrote from around the world to get me back on my blogging horse! And not to mention, some locals who just got plain rude and said .... "Get blogging ... NOW!!!"

Here I am...and with some amazing news!!!

I have a beautiful friend .... (I have many beautiful friends ... true that ...)  but not all of them are mum to "Mutt of the Year!!" But Lee-Anne is!!!

Take a peek .... and drum roll please!!

Image Courtesy of Lee-Anne


To Bear and Proud mum Lee-Anne!

SPCA Mutt of the Year for 2012!!

Now, these are not just two pretty faces...nope there is much more... but look at the pretty faces anyway!

 More aaawwwss.... Hmmm, I thought so!

So, let me fill you in...

Lee-Anne adopted Bear from the Grassy Park SPCA in 2002. Her hubby Luke, stumbled across the delightful ball of flouf in an enclosure that he was not supposed to be nosing about in!!  Well, it was love at first sight and get this, Lee-Anne had already picked out the name Bear, BEFORE they set of to look for a dog! The enclosure that Luke had come across was for dogs that had just come into the SPCA and are kept for a period of time to see if they get claimed by their original owners before being put forward for adoption.

Well, ten days later, this is what the new parents took home...

Aaaawwwss allowed!!!

Image courtesy of Lee-Anne ~ Tamed and Framed

What a picture of preciousness...

However... all was not rosy, fluffy and frivolous...

This lil madam was a live wire of note...

Not terribly interested in cuddles and hugs, Bear hit the ground running and sniffing, destroying her sterilisation stitches, veggie patch, and leaving her mama in tears of despair... not to mention a few craters in the garden.

But look at the face? A picture of innocence...

Lee-Anne and Bear went of to school for obedience training when she was about six months old. An exceptional intelligent scholar, Bear twigged on quickly... well except if class got a bit boring for a hyperactive, interested in the whole world ball of energy,  and well ... a butterfly comes on by,  to playfully distract....what is a dog to do? but chase after it?? Mother chasing after and calling ... ignored, ignored and ignored! Lee Anne says that she wanted to give up a few times but persisted and it paid off! Bear passed all the grades.

Bear has Western Province colours in Non-Contact Agility and Dog Jumping. She is also the first from the Western Cape to be Grand Champion in Dog Jumping and recently at the grand age of ten, Bear still managed to be placed fourth, overall in the country in her size category!!

Impressive stats wouldn't you say? And just because Lee-Anne gave Bear all the love and commitment that was required to raise a pet who is just the most charming and amazing companion that anyone could wish for.

Image courtesy of Lee-Anne ~Tamed and Framed

She was Pup of the Year in 2003 and Mom entered her into Mutt of the Year every year since her adoption and finally she is "Mutt of the Year ~ 2012"!

Lee-Anne was determined to support the SPCA in every way she could.

Yesterday, I had the privilege to spend a very special day with Lee-Anne and Bear at the Vygieskraal Athletics Stadium. We were up at the crack of dawn for the very big event! It was freezing, trust me, but it turned out to be a wonderful winter's day.

Here is Bear with the rest of the family, Bailey and Barkley. Can you actually choose a favourite face from this ensemble??


A quick grooming session from mom to dry muddy wet paws, before Bear goes off to meet the VIP guest for today!

Bear's big to meet ...

... Premier, Helen Zille!

Lee-Anne told us how Bear came into her life at a very difficult time for her and what an amazing companion she had found. The occasion was part of the Holiday Camp by the Western Province Athletics Federation for 150 children at Vygieskraal Stadium in Athlone.

It was combined with teaching the children about responsible pet ownership and to highlight to them the wonderful advantages that can be gained from having a companion for life and Lee-Anne certainly highlighted this for the kids in her talk.

The importance of exercising your pet was also pointed out by SPCA Education Officer, Rene Simpson.

"Hmmm.. I think so to Madam Premier!"

Premier Zille addressed the children and highlighted to important points of being a responsible pet owner and then Bear and friends showed us all how it is all done by doing the agility course!

The children were delighted by the dogs chasing through tunnels, mounting the see saw and jumping. It is wonderful to see their enjoyment, both the dogs and the kids

Lee-Anne and Barkley above and Bear below.

During the Premier's address, Bear was very relaxed and only had eyes for his mistress who threw in a trick or two!

And then it was showtime!!!

Posing for the press as if born to it ...

A right VIP getting to know you session!!
I think Madam Premier had the most fun of all, if I may say so...

" Now, let me get a closer look at you..."

"Yes Madam, sure we could talk..."


Both delighted to be acquainted!

"Ugh more press..honestly!?"

And all the attention...

Bear was a star and lapped it all up!

Now for some action.... running a race with the athletes...

Ready...."Mom told me to stay and just look how good I am"


Whoop hoooo !!! Sprinter as well ... all in a day's fun of being a celeb!!

"A dog's life can be great, look at me!"

"Phew!!! That was great Mom...but can we go home now...and nap please??"

I have so much more to share and promise to do another post soon and to include Bear's siblings as well.

Thank you to Lee-Anne for allowing me to be part of a very special day for her and Bear!

It was such a fun morning for all of us and Premier Zille enjoyed it as much a Bear did.

I will be linking this post to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House please click here to visit!

Now, just before you go and leave me a comment, Lee-Anee has started a Facebook page inspired by Bear called Doggie Bear Necessities. Please hop over there and "Like" her page!
Thank you for your company

Live the Cape Town Vibe!



Please leave your comments below in the comment box, I am all ears...