In September last year we featured the Macdonald family’s beautiful eco home in Noordhoek.
In one of the photos of their living room, the wall was adorned with three Bordallo Pinheiro plates with their distinctive cabbage design.
Shortly after the issue appeared in stores, we got a call from a Mrs Pienaar of Pretoria: she had a bowl in the same design and wished to donate it to Sue Macdonald. She wanted to know how to get hold of her.
To cut a long story short, Sue chatted to Mrs Pienaar and gratefully accepted the gift. “How incredibly kind; I’m completely blown away. Wow!” she said in an email to us later. She added: “Her kindness means so much to me.”
Perhaps it’s because here in Cape Town – and in Port Elizabeth and the Karoo – as we watch the water crisis develop with a growing sense of panic, “kindness” has become even more important. Because (and forgive me this Oprah moment) if we don’t all unite and help each other, the reality will soon be a bitter pill to swallow. Without water. And it’s obviously not just in terms of water that we must all treat each other with compassion; being kind to others goes so much further than that. Reach out to others where you see a need, share if you have more than enough, give away what you aren’t using.
In this issue, we focus on small spaces where, in any case, there isn’t enough room for clutter. Perhaps that should be our motto for this year, even if you don’t live in a small space: share what you can with those around you.
I turn 45 next month. I remember my father being brought to tears a lot more easily the older he got, so perhaps I’m just getting old. Some people might think it’s no big deal, but Mrs Pienaar’s gesture really touched me. Taking so much trouble to contact a stranger, simply because you have something that you both love and you’d like to give it to her... That’s what it’s all about.
Mrs Pienaar, I salute you and others like you. • While I’m on the subject of the drought: our gardening editor, Marié, was very concerned that readers would think the beautiful gardens featured on page 86 and page 96 were photographed at the height of the drought in the Western Cape and that “they’d be mad at us and the homeowners for not paying any heed to water restrictions!”. But rest assured, we usually photograph our gardens a year in advance. Which means that Arina and Annemi’s gardens were photographed before the drought reached its current disastrous proportions.