Part­ing Shot

Obie Ober­holzer’s rosé-tinted view of the Riebeek Val­ley

South African Country Life - - In This Issue -

This is the Riebeek Val­ley at its choco­late box­i­est. I have now had to stop buy­ing choco­lates be­cause, ac­cord­ing to Dr Tim Noakes and the Bant­ing Diet, all sugar and, of course, choco­lates should be avoided. My wife says that I should lis­ten to him, be­cause I am flabby. This, how­ever, doesn’t stop me from dream­ing of boxes of choco­late, and dis­lik­ing the diet in­tensely.

This kitsch pic­ture was taken through the leaves high in a tree in my friend’s yard in Riebeek West. This friend is a re­tired patent at­tor­ney who worked mainly with clients whose new patents were def­i­nitely never go­ing to see the light. For years now I have helped him to see the light, but the man still strug­gles vis­ually.

We were sit­ting on his stoep savour­ing a Früh­schop­pen of his lat­est rosé wine. This Ger­man word means to have an early morn­ing drink. Also en­joy­ing the Früh­schop­pen is an­other old friend. He used to play eighth man for some or other rugby team. He gained a lit­tle no­to­ri­ety for his quick drop-ins after the op­po­nents had scored yet again. He also makes his own rosé wine.

You can see that it’s early be­cause there is still morn­ing mist over the Berg River that flows through this val­ley. Be­yond that you can see the Voëlvleiberge be­com­ing the Eland­skloof Moun­tains with the tall moun­tains at the back of the Witzen­berg Range. Both friends, after re­tire­ment, now grow and make their own wine.

Per­haps even more ir­ri­tat­ing than a sug­ar­less diet, are two men gur­gling their own wine and then gaaningaan about how ter­rific it tastes. When the con­ver­sa­tion low­ers to where they start scratch­ing each other’s backs as ex­cel­lent vint­ners and garag­istes, I can only re­ply sourly that the one rosé wine looks like di­luted pomegranate juice and the other like wa­tered-down Spar­letta coolie.

Bored with them, I grab a bot­tle, take my cam­era ruck­sack and climb up onto the roof. After some in-depth looks into the bot­tle, I fi­nally get the pink courage and climb into the tree that hangs over the roof. Of­ten the beauty of Afrikaans id­ioms en­thrals me. Two of the best I know are ‘Hoog in die takke’ and ‘Deur die blare’. After quite a few gur­gles, my vi­su­als are tin­gling and my spir­its are high. Then I man­age to take this pic­ture of the Riebeek Val­ley: ‘Through the leaves, high up in the branches of a tree’. www.obieober­

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