First Light, Paternoster

I wrote in a previous post about fulfilling a long-standing wish of my mother’s, to visit the little fishing village of Paternoster, on the Cape West Coast: most of the time was family time, an extended celebration of her 87th birthday, but on the last morning I made sure I had some time for myself.

I rose early, at 05:00, and let myself out before dawn, and headed down to the beach. It had been raining, and the tide was out; the skies were cloudy and grey, and the dawn broke only weakly through. Here is a first series of images – the sweep of the beach, the distant cottages, the light almost monochromatic except where it is suffused with soft yellows and pinks.

Birthday in Paternoster

My mother turned 87 on Monday. When my dad died, ten years ago, even though she had never been there, she had harboured the thought that she would like to go away, up the Cape West Coast, to what was still the quiet fishing village of Paternoster, to walk on the beach and listen to the waves and the cry of the gulls and think.

So this weekend past, ten years later, Rob and I helped her fulfil her wish. We spent the weekend away, in a cosy AirBnB, and dined out at The Noisy Oyster (fabulous) and had lunch at Gaaitjie, tucked away in a small cove, just above the beach (wonderful) and made a fire in the evening on the patio on Sunday when the weather grew cool.

It was everything, she said, that she had dreamed it would be.