Smiles for miles

It is 5.45 in the morning and I am lying in my bed, listening to the subtle sounds of chimes outside my window for the very last time.

Soon, the prayers from Bo Kaap will prelude the beginning of this day.

And soon, a mother in the suburb will awaken her child and plait her black hair with firm, experienced hands before she puts the school uniform on her daughter and sends her off on the train to school.

At the same time families in white stone houses in Camps Bay will open the blinds to greet another panorama sea view. With a buzz the automatic gates will release their Land Cruisers, like new born babies, onto the streets.

The same street where the beggar on the pavement will wrap up in his soiled blanket and crawl a little deeper into his card box for another minute’s cover before the sun hits his tired face.

A cyclist in tights will pop into Vida e Caffè for a Double Mucho Meia along with the Cape Times in which he only reads the sports section.

And me…I will sleep comfortably in my bed for a few more hours before I slip into my flip flops and make it down to the corner café to have a last breakfast with my family of friends. I will probably order the cloudy apple and ginger juice and crispy potato cake with cream cheese, salmon and chives and we will once again declare how amazing our lives are.

South Africa is the Rainbow Nation and in Cape Town the colours are more vivid than anywhere in the world.

To try and envision for you the portrait of this city is impossible. I can only tell you about my blank canvas that I brought with me on a foggy grey morning in March, 365 days ago and that I have been painting ever since. Today I will a make my last stroke on the painting and seal this present to myself with a silky ribbon and a smile.

This is present time.

Each and every person that has come into my life during this time have been gifts of love and truth and maybe you would like me to tell you more about what we have done and experienced together, but if you know my writing at all, you will acknowledge the lack of “information” and instead appreciate the “sensation”.

Senses is where it’s at.



Smell – Hibiscus plants and Jasmine outside my Tamboerskloof apartment. Sweat and urine at the train station. Salty Sea Point breezes. Rich coffee aromas at Vida e Caffè.

Hearing – Sunday drumming session outside the office. Reggae beats from the African Music Store. Acoustic guitars from the stage at Zula Bar.  The wind when it blows strong in the palm trees.

Taste – Delicately prepared plates of food. Bird’s ricotta cheese and grilled aubergine salad. Rick’s ostrich filet. Pinotage red wine. Harbour House’s sourdough bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Ruby grapefruit juice and sliced avo toast breakfast in the morning. Melissa’s nutella hot chocolate. Beluga’s mango and rocket martini.

Oh, the list goes on.

Sight – The ever present backdrop of the mountain. Clouds that brush her rough edges. Sun setting in the ocean. The moment when everything reflects in red and gold. My own smile reflecting in my friends.


Touch – Warm, light air caressing the hair on my arm. Freezing Atlantic ocean water tickling my feet and catching my breath as I dive in. Bouncing dance floor at Zula Bar.  Paragliding over Cape Town, knowing what it must feel like to be a bird.


All this. A recollection in my mind.
Presents that I will unwrap, over and over again.

Piles of smiles that never weighs. Smiles for miles as I fly on.