Nelly top of Santa’s wish list


Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOOD DESTINATIONS - BIANCA COLE­MAN

SWhere do you live? ANTA CLAUS, Fa­ther Christ­mas or St Nick, this jolly fat man in the red suit has many names around the world. No mat­ter what you call him, he’s the guy who knows all your deep­est, dark­est de­sires and whether you’ve been good or bad. A bit like God, re­ally. Some­times you see him and some­times you don’t, but one thing’s for sure – you want to stay on his good side.

What are you cur­rently do­ing?

Ho ho ho! What do you think? I’ve been work­ing hard all year su­per­vis­ing my fac­tory staff while they make toys and other gifts. Christ­mas is not just for chil­dren, you know.

I live at the North Pole. Ev­ery­body knows that, don’t they? It’s not be­cause I like it – it’s jolly cold up there – but you can get good labour at a fair price.

What is your best-kept Cape Town se­cret?

That’s the prob­lem these days – there aren’t any se­crets left. Es­pe­cially since you started pub­lish­ing this col­umn.

Where would you go for a ro­man­tic meal?

I’d like to go to the new Planet Res­tau­rant that’s just opened at the Mount Nel­son. Be­cause I spend one crazy night a year criss-cross­ing the heav­ens to de­liver all those gifts, I’d like to take some time out to re­lax and en­joy a ce­les­tial en­vi­ron­ment.

What is your most deca­dent in­dul­gence and where would you get it?

I’m very easy to please – give me a few mince pies and a glass of milk and I’m happy. And you can be as­sured I get a lot of that all over the world. Ac­tu­ally, it would be nice if some­one left out a nice cold beer some­times…

What is your favourite out­door spot in Cape Town?

There are so many beau­ti­ful places in your city. You’re very lucky. Sea, beaches, moun­tains, winelands – oh, I do like the winelands. But I’m also rather par­tial to sit­ting out­doors any­where in Camps Bay sip­ping a cock­tail.

Where would you take a first-time vis­i­tor to Cape Town?

Prob­a­bly the same place ev­ery­body goes – up Ta­ble Moun­tain. I get to see the whole world from up high and it’s re­ally the best view and best per­spec­tive. To see the lay of the land, so to speak.

What is your favourite drive – Cape Town and sur­rounds?

It’s hard for me to stay on the road with four wheels, but when I do I en­joy the drive from Kloof Nek to Hout Bay. It’s a won­der­ful wind­ing road and the ocean view is sooth­ing at any time of the day.

What is your favourite week­end get­away?

I’m there right now – Cape Town!

What do you do in your free time?

Hmm, there’s not much of that, as you can imag­ine. Noth­ing bet­ter than a good book though. If you’re sneaky you may catch a glimpse of me brows­ing at the Book Lounge in Roe­land Street, or curled up on one of the couches down­stairs read­ing.

What don’t you like about Cape Town, or what would you like to change about it?

Oh my good­ness! The wind, of course. It’s dread­ful. And if it blows on Christ­mas Eve it wreaks havoc with the rein­deers’ bal­ance. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve nearly skid­ded right off a rooftop. And we try not to land on Robben Is­land for long, be­cause they’re not keen on ex­otic deer there.

What is your fond­est or ear­li­est im­pres­sion of Cape Town?

Well, I've been around for quite a num­ber of years, so if I told you my ear­li­est mem­o­ries of this lovely city, I’d be giv­ing my age away. But I do re­mem­ber Van Riebeeck com­plain­ing of the wind on his first Christ­mas in Cape Town back in, oh, 1652?

De­scribe your per­fect Satur­day or Sun­day

Those would be the ones when Christ­mas falls on a week­end, like this year. It’s jolly hard work get­ting to ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially these days with so many more peo­ple in the world, but noth­ing beats know­ing the joy and plea­sure my work brings to chil­dren – and adults – ev­ery­where. Once ev­ery­thing’s been de­liv­ered and I’m so full of mince pies I can hardly walk, I like to put my weary feet up, and have a nice Glen­morangie in front of the fire.

THE MAN IN RED: Santa gets set to de­liver all his gifts.

TOP SPOTS: Two of Santa’s favourite places, Camps Bay beach, above, and Ta­ble Moun­tain, be­low.

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