No one really calls it that – but it sure is just that – a natural village, lying between the Main Road to Muizenberg and Boyes Drive.

The mountain rises immediately above Boyes Drive so it hangs over you the whole time.

This is the beauty of the Cape Peninsula, you are mostly caught there between the sea and the mountain.

Caught is the imperative word, as in trapped, hard to leave behind …

And there is always a natural drama of some sort when you are up tight against the mountain, the rising sea air, mists, whiplash of the wind:


                                                         the cloud dragons boil over the mountains

                                                                 flapping wings and whipping tails

                                                                            belching white smoke

                                                                  an invisible force vaporises them

                                                                             as they fall upon us


Or even the gentle night scented by the sea:


                                                                             the evening drifts through

                                                                                    the scent of sea


There was an old bakery when we first got there, the smell of fresh bread a daily event.

Piping hot, so hot that you could hardly hold it in your hands, as you walked back – they had a good attitude towards the community, you could go there through the back of the bakery with your kids, and buy a loaf or two.

Butter, lots of it, melting into the hot bread, and the crumbed and buttered smiling messy faces of kids …

Now the old bakery is the Old Bakery Village Centre.

Its physical reality is gone, but in its place an excellent village centre.

It was Jacques, the architect I met in the Navy, who did the design.

A nice guy, a really good guy!

He was passionate about one of the Italian architects, who had designed many palatial homes in the Veneto of Italy.

Andrea Palladio lived both his natural and professional life not too far from where the Nonni spend the Italian summers.

So I arranged for him and his wife to spend some time in the area with them. They hired a Vespa and she rode pillion, from the one Palladian villa to the next in the hot Italian summer air…

When I met him a couple of decades later, at the public meeting for the developmental approval of the Old Bakery Village Centre he was the same, but instead of a naval beard an artist’s pig tail, just what I would expect from someone with a romantic view of Life.

So the old bakery was in the right architectural hands to become The Old Bakery.

The villagers walk their dogs, or walk their families, or walk themselves, through to the Park, early morning or late afternoon. The park is not quite in the centre of gravity of the village but it seems to be an invincible magnet.

It is village culture, we mostly greet each other, especially if we have dogs.

It is village culture also in the sense that a few look the other way for whatever Life circumstances have shaped them to do so. I think it is the newcomers, who still have to relax and let go … there is a garden pub at the other end, that might help?

At night, like the other night, the rock faces of the mountain rise into gentle clouds, reflecting the city light if there is no low cloud.

I walked over to Julian on his PC working the web site, it is just a block away – we are very parochial here … it was midnight, and the drizzle in the illumination cone of the streetlights was beautiful!

Yesterday the wind went berserk,my head was down on the laptop, and when I looked up again I thought it must have been very late.

To my astonishment it was still twilight …

                                                                                           still twilight?

                                                                             the crazy wind has blown away

                                                                                      the black of night!

Copyright © 2015 G. Rigotti




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