The story starts on Saturday
night, at Kerry & Michael?s dinner party. The food that they served was simply amazing. Kerry is a wine
drinker, and admits to half a bottle per day, plenty of good wine was on tap. I don't drink that much, but I do tend to drink up what's put in front of me, with predictable results. I knew I would be up early, so I finally begged of when I realised how late it was. I got home and to sleep around 2am.
I awoke round 5am. My head was in a vice, and I there was an iron bar that I needed to pee out. Sideways. My sure-fire hangover cure (visit the bathroom, down a can of superjuice, go back to bed) worked to an extent, and I felt somewhat better when the alarm went off at 7am. After debating a while to turn it off and lie in, I eventually got up and put on my outdoor clothes. A light breakfast, five glasses of water and three aspirins later, I was off. It was about 7:50am. It was a nice day, sun already high in the sky, a few were clouds about, but the summer heat is finally upon us and they wouldn't trouble us much.
The directions were simple: Take the N7 (for me this means first navigating across town to it), 6km past the Atlantis turnoff, take a left marked Rondeberg and follow the signs. The farmland has turned dry, gold and brown as it tends to at this time of year. Still it's not as blistering as last year, and so there should be few serious fires.
I arrived at the party venue by 8:30. Timecode, a new outfit made up of the usual suspects from dogstar records were putting on a smallish outdoor trance event on a farm. On the way I had been debating to myself if I should pay the full price of R40 (pro: It's not much, I can afford it and I know that the organisers are poor hippies) or ask for a half-price entry (pro: the party is more than half over).
But when I left the tar, and followed the cardboard flouro signs onto the dirt road, I found that the gate had been abandoned. Entry cost for me: R0. I decided to drive in as far as I could, and find a parking spot that someone else had vacated. After nearly getting the car stuck in the soft sand next to the road, I pulled up just as I had hoped in a neatly vacant spot. After more juice and another asprin, I headed to the dancefloor.
The dance floor was shaded by trees and clouds so I didn?t bother with sunblock or a hat (But somehow my face and scalp are lightly red anyway). A DJ called Shift was on, playing extrovert, wild trance music. On the whole the music at this party was excellent, much better than the previous week's Vortex.
This venue was dry and dusty though. It was one of those parties that gives me dancefloor-up-the-nose syndrome. I'll be blowing black for days, I can tell.
There must have been about 200-300 people there, camping in little dome tents, dancing, drinking and sitting.
Pretty soon I met up with the people I can come to see - Shane and Vana, both just down from London. Vana and his oriental girlfriend were bonding seriously with a chillum.
Shane was the next DJ up. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, but anyway, his set started off smooth and harmoniously mixed, which the quite young crowd didn't really find ideal, but as is his habit, the musical style changed slowly, eventually building into some wild and grinding tracks that were much enjoyed.
I will miss this. Even now that it's predictable, routine and sometimes boring, I'll miss it. Even thought most of the people here are now ten years younger than me, I'll miss it. I vacillate between dread and hope on my idea to emigrate. But now I can articulate the two main reasons:
1) Cape Town is too safe. It is the old Newtonian rut of remaining in uniform motion when not acted on by outside forces. I need more stimulus than that. I need the challenge. It may not be the challenge that I wanted, but I'll settle for it
2) Cape Town is not safe enough. Try as I might, I am not very optimistic for it's long-term prospects. Whilst I realise that every skilled person that leaves with their 1st class education, their skills, hastens that day, I also must take care of myself. I've given this place a lot. I've given Africa more than I ever wanted to give. Now I'll look after myself, and do it by making it hard for myself in the short term. I'm twisted like that.
I left after Shane's set finished, just before twelve. Maybe I'll go large next weekend, but I've only just recovered from last week's Vortex party. When I got home I slept some more, and awoke about 5pm. I'm reading American Gods. It's easy going, on territory that Niel Gaiman has covered before, but still very good.
About 5:30 I got up and tried out the new weed-eater. The old one died three weeks ago, in the line of duty. The grass needed mowing then, and since that the lawns had become an almost impenetrable jungle. The new machine has twin cutting lines, and rotates at a fearsome speed. Thus I kitted up with boots and eye-protection, precautions that were not needed on the old machine. This new one is really quite something, a twin-corded circle of ravening destruction, annihilating any vegetable matter that comes within range. I soon found out it's drawback: it is much heavier. My arms are quite tired now, and I have a tiny blister on my trigger finger, but I did manage to tame the jungle by the time that it started to get dark around 7pm.
Then supper and internet.