Saturday on Chintsa Beach

There was a time when my perfect Saturday was one spent in my restaurant kitchen prepping for the evening seating and the Sunday rush. Apron, knife, fresh veg and the weekend menu. Heaven.

Now that I am on a little restaurant break my Saturdays are spent on Chintsa Beach with family, friends and the kids of The Unstressed Surf School. A different kind of heaven, but heaven none-the-less.

 Chintsa Beach is different to the beaches that I spent most of my time on as a child. Chintsa Beach is just the right amount of wild.

 This beach is not tropical enough to draw a  regular crowd. It has no super-wave to be called a surfers paradise, nor provides enough man-made entertainment for the townies. So wild it remains. These benefits are well understood and we don’t complain. The peace and the sea-scape holds us.

Saturdays on Chintsa Beach come with regular surprises. Recently Tom The Clown honoured us with an ad hoc visit after his Saturday morning surf.

 He took the kids through their circus moves.

 Surfing requires balance and focus but sometimes it requires circus acts…

On any given Saturday, even now with the season’s change and the winter west blowing its chilling off-shore breeze – the locals are out.

Taking it in.

Seeping it up.

Making it their own.

Chintsa Beach, A Saturday in May, 2012 

Lucky Star

Grandpa likes to get around. Many places are close to his heart, but Gubu Trout Dam wins hands-down as his ‘happy place’.

When he can, he packs up and heads off for a few days of fishing and chilling. Sometimes if we’re lucky we find a gap and tag along.

Time with Grandpa is time well spent. There is always something going on. You can join in or not, he doesn’t mind. He is just doing his thing. But choose to get involved and you are always made welcome.

Time at Gubu means a chance to capture the sunrise. Do we ever do enough of that?

Cliff jumping is one of Grandpa’s favourite Gubu pass-times so he shows us how.

And come nightfall, he hands the art of fire-making down to future generations.

No matter how freezing the autumn temperatures, Grandpa is always up for a swim. He’s one tough old guy.

Time with Grandpa makes you feel alive. It is a bit like being born under a lucky star….

Gubu Dam – Stutterheim, Eastern Cape May 2012

Grandpa blogs at and Hubs at

Fever Pitch!

As a nation with messy and entangled roots, no less than eleven official languages and a dodgy history, national unity is still on our ‘practise makes perfect’ list….unless of course we are talking ‘Sport’. Sport lives right up there along-side Nelson Mandela when it comes to national heritage that we all lay claim to.  Needless to say, when South Africa won the Fifa World Cup Bid for 2010 the result was a fever that built into a burning, raging, excited, awesome, frenzied, uniting, nation building pitch.

South Africa received incredible exposure with people travelling from far and wide and even MOTHER came to the party. MOTHER? –  an international ad agency made up of cool British types, based in London. MOTHER never misses a world cup. This lot of Londoners love to travel, love football and love getting involved.  A connection with our local community development crowd resulted in games being organised between MOTHER and local teams in the most rural of settings where determined, bare-footed men in worn out gear were summoned from their villages with the call of a vuvuzela across the rolling Eastern Cape hills.

These guys returned to their dwellings sometime later, exhausted and victorious, with sweat on their brows and new kit on their feet.

The MOTHER visit culminated in a substantial financial contribution being made towards a much needed local sports and community centre with soccer field to boot. Last Saturday I joined the action as two of our youth teams ‘Barcelona’ and ‘17’ took part in a district tournament.

Two years down the line and the fever is still running wild. The kids did us proud playing excellent soccer, united in action on MOTHER’S pitch.

Chintsa East, South Africa. May 2012