Nelly top of Santa’s wish list
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.