Lilac and Lime

Contrasts in colour, contrasts in life – Mary Bruce

Archive for August, 2014

Seaside Sojourn

Happy Wanderers, Kelso. August 2014

Like a lot of good ideas, this one came right out of the blue. My mom phoned on Saturday afternoon eleven days ago to ask if Kimberley and I would like to join her and my dad at Happy Wanderers on the KZN South Coast either last week or this week. Kimberley’s study schedule made it impossible to join them for an entire week but we were able to spend last weekend together. The previous occasion we were all there was four days after we moved into our home in December 2010, a few hours after Kimberley’s Matric Dance – beyond hectic. The timing of last week’s invitation came at a good time for a number of reasons. Just the week before I’d been looking at a photo of Coffee Bay and wondering when I’d again get a chance to unwrap my head beside the sea ; it is also just over a month since I had pleurisy and sea air is known for it’s restorative effect on most things broken.


Happy Wanderers really is right on the beach and suffered quite a lot of damage during the exceptionally high tides not long before our last visit. It is a perfect place for young families who are able to sit on their patios and keep an eye on youngsters playing on the sand a few metres away. There is a bonfire on the beach every Saturday night, big enough to make some lighthouses look nervously over their shoulders. This weekend Happy Wanderers also hosted a beach wedding. It felt like quite a communal celebration as even the holidaymakers who were not there specifically for the wedding witnessed the ceremony just above the shoreline, saw the photographs being taken nearby and the reception tent partying away until the early hours.

To regress, chronologically speaking . . . Kimberley and I had hardly arrived before we were reminded of another Happy Wanderers’ quirk :


We named this one “Number 19” as she seemed to assume ownership of our unit. This notion was disabused when we opened the door the following morning.


The floor soon looked like a large-tadpole nursery. Almost all the cats are pitch black, with one very furry grey exception. I’ve never become accustomed to felines who are quite at home on beach sand and this lot can frequently be seen dotted around the landscape.


The South Coast is known for the train line that runs parallel to and generally a matter of metres away from the coastline. It is dangerous and anyone familiar with the region knows to be extremely vigilant when crossing it. Hearing the ‘hooter’ as trains approach the crossings has caught my imagination since childhood. Kimberley was able to take this photo on Saturday afternoon while we were looking for an Internet ‘hotspot’. Luckily the elusive spot wasn’t a few metres to the right when we did locate it.


Swimming isn’t permitted on this particular stretch of the beach which wasn’t a detraction on this visit as the water was almost as cold as that I last experienced in the Cape. The sea was rough so the beach was covered with shells that had been thrown up by recent tides, giving Kimberley and I happy time wandering among them, ‘surfing’ down the steep bank created by the same tides and just chilling.


Thanks, Mom and Dad. A lovely break at just the right time.