Growing up, the only source of water I knew about was the Orange River which runs through my home town. People talked about The Sea, I saw pictures of it, but nothing could prepare me for my first sight of the clear blue, endless ocean. I was ten years old and lost a little piece of my heart on that day. A piece I found again only many years later.
When our last kid left home, my husband and I moved to Betty’s Bay, a small coastal village about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. And now I’m fortunate to have the sea on my doorstep, to experience its different moods and to fall asleep every night to the sound of waves crashing in my ears.
Christmas for me means spending time with our children. They all lead busy lives but for a week of two we get to see them, touch them, hug them, hear their stories. Johan, our second son, is working in China this year, so his place will be empty around our table. I’m trying not to think about that too much.
We have been blessed with two grandsons and their wide-eyed wonder about everything adds something special to the whole occasion.
Christmas also means long, warm, lazy days. Strange for anyone living in the northern hemisphere, I know, but a Summer Christmas is enchanting in its own way. There is no snow, just lots and lots of sunshine and clear blue skies.
On Christmas Day all our relatives who live near enough join us which makes the day all the more special. Everyone brings something for the table and for most of the day we eat. A lot. You get the picture.
I’ve published mostly in Afrikaans up till now, and most of the stories I tell happen near the sea. It’s not as if I plan it that way, it just happens. My first English romance, Love, in writing (Escape Publishing) has Kommetjie, another quaint seaside village nearby, as its setting.
Below is an excerpt from it. Enjoy!
‘Details, my dear, details,’ Jen called out as soon as Margaret walked through the door of her bookshop.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ Margaret said and with her chin held high, tried to squeeze past Jen. Unfamiliar feelings had kept her up most of the night and when she’d finally fallen asleep, erotic images of her and Graham making love woke her up. Now all she wanted to do was to try and occupy her mind with something normal so that these constant thoughts about a strange man could vanish.
Laughingly, Jen grabbed her arm. ‘Oh no, you’re not getting off so easily. The last time I saw you, Graham Connelly had you in his arms and you looked blissfully happy. What happened?’
Margaret winced. ‘He actually carried me out?’
‘I was sleeping?’
‘Snoring. You, my friend,’ Jen said and pointed towards Margaret, ‘were completely and wonderfully sloshed. You did it with style, though, I’ll give you that. No loud singing or dancing on the tables, you just passed out gracefully. A good thing, considering some of the esteemed guests we had.’
Margaret opened her mouth, but then closed it again. She stormed down the corridor to her office. She should find a hole where she could hide out for the rest of the day. Jen’s peals of laughter followed her all the way into her office.
She sat down and cradled her head in her hands. Two glasses were her limit. What was she thinking? And to be so out of it that she didn’t even know Graham of all people had carried her. What must he be thinking? A groan escaped her lips.
Her fingers touched her mouth. She could still taste him, feel him. Who was this man who had, within the short span of a few days, thrown her completely off balance? And why couldn’t she stop thinking about him? Stop dreaming about him?
Margaret opened her eyes. Jen stood in the door with a cup of coffee.
Thanks for reading this 🙂
Please don’t forget to also visit the other blogs during our Christmas bloghop – see below