So much has been happening in our lives during the last three months that it's been difficult to know how to describe it.
We've lived in our big old house on the slopes of Table Mountain for sixteen years. It's been fun living near a large city in an area buzzing with life; restaurants, coffee shops and book shops and beautiful parks all around, but the time has come to make the move to a quieter and less stressful way of life. We've always dreamed of a seaside cottage out in the country and for many years Betty's Bay seemed to be a good choice.
In the meantime we found an interesting house in Betty's Bay, a row back from the sea, so we can still hear the waves and see the ocean from the first floor balconies, but not have to contend with seaspray covered windows. It's set in a beautiful fynbos garden with magnificent mountain views from every window. I'm going to have to learn a completely new type of gardening but it'll be a lot less labour intensive.
Do we feel said about leaving? Yes, this has been a happy house for us. My first daughter was married from here and I remember occasions like my fiftieth when I made a birthday speech with a tiny new grandson cardled in my arms. Then there were wedding anniversaries and birthdays, parties and friends to stay. Sad times when the daughter and her family emigrated to Australia and both sets of grandparents passed away. The consolation of the younger daughter returning home after ten years in London to stay at home while retraining for a second career, from opera singing to philosophy!
I will miss the days when the city bowl baked in the heat of summer; the times when the wind blasted around the house tumbling potplants and garden chairs; the rains of winter when the garden transformed into improbable shades of green; the soft balmy nights sitting outside in the dark, watching the chain of twinkling lights as crazy people made the new moon ascent of Lion's Head.
In the early mornings when I take my coffee out to the verandah I listen to the sounds of the city waking up while wild ducks and hadedas fly overhead and I hear a rooster crowing in the tiny farm on the slopes of Signal Hill. The salty fresh air drifts up from the harbour, the fog horn booms its mournful cry and my heart is sad. I know I will miss this place very much.