I learned about the placement of teacups on a table. About texture. Papaya, strawberries, pineapple woven like a sucrose flag beneath mountains that belong in New Zealand. Muddy rubber boots drying in the sun by the kitchen door.
I learned something about the balancing act between stiffness and disarray and the trapeze artists—hosts like Tinie—who understand how to make a space welcoming without hovering over everything. It’s called Comfort, or maybe Home.
Tinie knows how to create it without perhaps even knowing what to call it. He’s one of those people who is so magnificent at what he does because he just has to do what he loves. That stack of vintage sketchbooks on the table or grove of periwinkles in the garden by the back steps? It’s obvious that everything is where it should go. Not for show, even, but just because it feels good to live among them.
The ostrich farm and vineyard has been in Tinie’s family for years. He grew up in a cottage on the property and his grandparents lived in the main house where he currently runs the guest house—a hobby, because he loves hosting and cooking and is a solitary man who enjoys company.
I doubt I’ll ever run a guesthouse or a farm. But I think I might like to own a tea set. Maybe some pillows on a couch where I can recreate the same warmth and ease (and fruit platter!) and tasty camaraderie for friends.