One Thing I Learned on a Farm in South Africa

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.


9 thoughts on “One Thing I Learned on a Farm in South Africa

  1. Poetic. Yes. The tea cups make an impression. The kitchen full of the necessary objects, like various sizes of mortar and pestles, for ‘to the bone’ cooking.

    I love everything about your blog Merete. Your voice is clear, honest and you have a keen eye for detail. What fun you must be having.

  2. Brings back some great memories! I see you didn’t mention the giant spiders in your blog… perhaps its for the best.

  3. Inspirational, I love the beauty you find in things. It reminds me to slow down because I miss so much moving fast. Keep traveling so I can keep reading your stories!!

  4. Lovely word pictures as well as photos, Merete. There IS a tea set reserved for you, sometime, when you are ready.

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