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