Thursday, August 22, 2002

Almar View Bed & Breakfast, Nelspruit

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Service: * * * *1/2
Food: * * * * *
Ambience: * * * *
Babe Count: N/A

I was supposed to arrive here at lunchtime on Tuesday, but, because I was still in bed at home in Cresta at lunchtime, I couldn't quite make it. So I got here just before sunset.

It's my first long drive out of Joburg in my li'l red sports car, and I had a thrilling drive. Kept it down to 160km/h most of the way, but did venture up to 180, twice.

It's a real pity, but I have to go back home just now. I've finished typing a breakthrough scene of my screenplay, and I'm about to pack up. Lunch is almost ready. And I've got a two-day script development masterclass to attend from tomorrow morning.

Pity I'm four hours out of Joburg. If I were closer, I'd probably spend the night, get some more writing done, and leave very early in the morning.

Marely calls me for lunch. She's in her early sixties. Her husband, Theo, is in his mid sixties. They've always lived away from big cities, having worked in the mining industry. Theo was a mining engineer, now a farmer, and Marely a teacher, specialising in kids with learning disabilities, now a B&B operator.

Next time I take a mini writing break, I'll probably be back.

Mainly because of the food.

Lunch is a delicious chicken and risotto affair. My mouth is full, and I point at the nuts, a question mark in my eyes. "Yes!" says Marely. "The pecan nuts. The trees are just behind the house.

I swallow. "And what about the chicken?" I'll ask Marely to put about half of my food in a doggie bag for supper tonight. I could eat food like this every day of my life.

"No. That comes from Pick 'n Pay in Nelspruit."

"No!" I say, alarmed. "You've got to tell the city-slickers that EVERYTHING comes from the farm! We can't tell the difference."

Just then the wild hippopotamus runs inside from the garden, shaking his wet, shaggy, black fur. I'm not entirely certain, but I think I once saw a dog like him. A Scotty. "Liefie!" says Marely, "Go to your box!"

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