Club en­joys ma­gi­cal mor­ning in Nieu-bet­hes­da

Graaff-Reinet Advertiser - - Voorblad -

ABERDEEN — A group of ent­hu­si­as­tic mem­bers of the Aberdeen Gar­den and So­ci­al Club set off b­rig­ht and e­ar­ly for Nieu-bet­hes­da last week - so “b­rig­ht and e­ar­ly” in fact that t­hey ac­tu­al­ly ar­ri­ved at their hos­ts’ ho­me a full hour a­he­ad of sche­du­le.

T­his was no pro­blem ho­we­ver for Be­lin­da du Toit, and the gu­e­sts hap­pi­ly look­ed a­round her Stoep Retre­ats pro­per­ty and sett­led in the gar­den with drinks whi­le she fe­t­ched so­me de­li­ci­ous freshly-ba­ked bre­ad. E­ver­yo­ne was very keen to sam­ple the bre­ad, which was ma­de from flour that had been sto­ne-ground in the re­sto­red mill in the vil­la­ge, u­sing lo­cal rain­wa­ter.

Her hus­band C­harl, a mi­nis­ter, is in­vol­ved in ma­ny pro­jects in the to­wn, and is pas­si­o­na­te a­bout the u­plift­ment of the com­mu­ni­ty. He is an ex­tre­me­ly ac­com­plis­hed vi­o­li­nist, ha­ving star­ted playing as a young boy, and al­so has a thri­ving bu­si­ness re­sto­ring vi­o­lins and ma­king bows. He enthral­led the gu­e­sts with a mes­me­ri­sing ren­di­ti­on of So­mew­he­re O­ver the Rain­bow, fol­lo­wed by part of the in­cre­di­ble clas­si­cal mas­ter­pie­ce C­zardas. Ma­ny of the vi­si­tors spent so­me ti­me ex­a­mi­ning C­harl’s bow in de­tail, and we­re fas­ci­na­ted in his des­crip­ti­on of the per­so­nal na­tu­re of e­ach per­for­mer’s bow, which has to be ma­de to suit the per­for­mer’s per­so­na­li­ty and playing sty­le. An in­te­res­ting fact that mem­bers le­ar­ned is that wood for vi­o­lins al­ways co­mes from re­gi­ons with a cold cli­ma­te, as does the horse hair u­sed for the bows. South A­fri­can horse hair is ap­pa­rent­ly too thick!

Be­lin­da and C­harl we­re pre­sen­ted with a young le­mon tree as a than­kyou gift, and t­his was re­cei­ved with g­re­at de­lig­ht.

Af­ter the talk, mem­bers ma­de their way to the old mill, which C­harl was in­stru­men­tal in re­sto­ring. Work star­ted a­bout four y­e­ars ago, and now he re­gu­lar­ly ma­kes sto­ne­ground flour to sell, and for his own bre­ad. Af­ter sam­pling the bre­ad e­ar­lier, he had se­ver­al e­a­ger cu­s­to­mers for the flour! To de­mon­stra­te the wor­king of the mill, C­harl first di­ver­ted the wa­ter to run o­ver the mill, and then sho­wed how the w­he­at ker­nels we­re put through the mill sto­ne se­ver­al ti­mes, to get the tex­tu­re re­qui­red. The ma­ny per­ti­nent que­s­ti­ons that we­re rai­sed re­flected the vi­si­tors’ gen­ui­ne in­te­rest in the pro­cess.

Mem­bers we­re then free to wan­der a­round the to­wn for a whi­le, be­fo­re meet­ing up for lunch at Die Wa­en­huis. A won­der­ful me­al was en­joy­ed by all, who en­joy­ed not on­ly the de­li­ci­ous food, but al­so the re­laxed and friend­ly at­mos­p­he­re. Af­ter ma­ny com­pli­ments to the chef and staff, it was ti­me to re­turn ho­me, af­ter an ou­ting that most agreed was one of the most fas­ci­na­ting of the y­e­ar.

Club mem­bers we­re mes­me­ri­sed by the vi­o­li­nist, C­harl du Toit.

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