Joining Eloise, Linda and Rhys (below) from Perdeberg Winery at the Philharmonic in the Cape Town City Hall last night for a medley of Chopin and Dvořák, I was thankful for the wine (2009 Sauvignon Blanc) and Perdeberg brochures which doubled as handy fans in the Durban-esque hot house atmosphere of the concert venue. The second half saw us galloping along to Dvořák’s New World Symphony, beating our New World wine brochures in time with a symphony that can double as a spaghetti western soundtrack.
Eloise, Linda and Rhys last night
Speaking of fans, we thought we had a few, given all the surreptitious glances stolen in our direction. Until we noticed we were sitting slap-bang in front of André P. Brink, the writer. The first half was all Chopin, with Polish pianist Marek Drewnowski tinkling the ivories. Marek took so many curtain calls, I half expected chopsticks and he succeeded in catching quite a few of us in the nosebleed seats, rushing out for refreshments before the first act was over.
Which reminded me of half-time at the Bolshoi where the audience stirs fully five minutes before time to be at the head of the queue for raw fish and vodka. In the City Hall, no such haste is required as the Perdeberg is all pre-poured into Paris goblets and arranged on trestle tables (R20 a glass) like a budget wedding.
Obsessives should not tarry in the foyer as the portraits of past mayors look like they were hung by the character in the Far Side cartoon with a crick in the neck, the one more skew than the other. Back home before 10:30, the only other incident was being menaced (forceful begging) by a feral youth with a knife on the corner of Longmarket and Long Street asking for “a few small bills.” When I explained I had only plastic, this wannabe mugger muttered “maybe next time.” Roll on the World Cup when city roads will be closed for FIFA, depriving these urban vultures of their beats. Or alternatively, invite Cormac Keane, the Cape’s rudest restaurateur.
Cormac and his shillelagh are the curse of muggers on lower Buitengracht and his technique is worthy of Dirty Harry: giving chase on his red Vespa scooter, Cormac runs muggers over and then bashes their kneecaps with his shillelagh.
PS. While I was dodging small knives in Longmarket Street, Rhys’ parents were being held-up at knife point in Paarl – their third robbery this month. Mrs. Zille, Mr. Zuma, please help beleaguered your citizens! Foreign soccer supporters are advised that Kevlar is the latest fashion statement in the Cape.