This morning I took a trip through time.
After dropping my son at a soccer clinic this morning I stopped at a place I’ve always seen in passing and thought of as perhaps some sort of tea garden hidden among all that greenery (actually its right across the road from my old townhouse / condo to some I think). Little did I know that there was a piece of the 1900’s hidden right in the middle of cosmopolitan Johannesburg.
Driving through the gate you feel like you going into an indigenous forest and yet a very busy main road (John Voster) is a mere 100 steps away, with only a face brick wall, trees and some plush vegetation separating the two of you.
Sounds of chirping birds, mewing of cats (and if early enough)cock ‘a doodle doos of cocks crowing confirms your return to nature.
My intentions for the visit were to find a book store I had been referred to but was too early so I had to pass the time. Conveniently an outrageously quaint coffee shop aptly named “The Second Cup” for I had more than one _ was open. Walking into this delightful eating establishment galvanized me into a virtual blogging frenzy.
I could hardly contain my excitement long enough to grab my phone. (I apologise for poor quality of photos, I was not equipped).
As I frantically clicked away all I could see in my mind’s eye were my high school history lessons coming alive. Oh how I hated those periods of theory upon dreadful theory about a group of people who named another group of people after trees when they couldn’t pronounce their names (e.g Grootboom / Bigtree). In those days of cruel and unusual punishment my mind often times felt tortuously crowded with “insignificant” details of the Dutch East India Company, the Great Trek and the Battle of Blood River among other frightfully life sapping events for a 15-year-old.
Just to put you in the picture about a part of South Africa history. About 360 years old in fact:
In 1652 a small company of employees of the Dutch East India Company were settled on the southern tip of Africa to establish a refreshment station for the Company’s ships en route to the Far East. From this group of Dutchmen the Afrikaners were to develop. (Orville)
These are the Afrikaner people (aka) Boere _ whose past I say came to life for me today at Weltevreden Farm (aka) The Colony. I shall let the pictures speak for themselves about what I saw. I think history does not spend enough time talking about life as it was, certainly far less than it does about big historical events which are but a small part of life (yes… I understand that they do shape life). I find it a great pity that there is little reference made to people’s way of life compared to the multitudes records of events, that are readily available.
Today I came away thinking, “well in that period life cannot always have been about assagias, powder guns, treachery and bloodshed”. There was vibrant living, love, laughter, industry, creativity as would have been shown by painters, writers, musicians, dancers, fashion (tailors and seamstresses), family……and so much more…………..and I would love to know about it.
|Antiques and things I need to have…….(sigh)|
As much as it is a place that seems to have stood still in time. It is hub pf activity. Every bosy there has some form of artsy or entertainment enterprise strating with the quaint little bookshop that was my intented target.
|Student at The Potter’s Place
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With all that being said, I want to thank the delightful people I met today at Weltevreden Farm who keep a small but beautiful part of a period in my beloved country’s history alive. I hope many people will find a moment to take a country fresh breath in the heart of Johannesburg and reflect on life as it should be.
More pictures on what’s happening there.