Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: December 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

Two Owls

We often walk our dogs in Rondebosch park, and in the holidays we go there a lot and early because there is no traffic. So, yesterday morning we were stumbling around on our normal route, at about 7 in the morning, when I saw a woman waving to us. We approached her and she pointed out two juvenile owls, sitting in the tree, almost close enough to touch. The one had his golden eyes firmly on us, while the other slept with eyes tightly shut behind his sibling.

The woman told us that she had been part of the team that had ringed them when they were still in the nest. She was a glowing and proud mom. We stood in absolute awe and wonder, looking at these miracles while feeling the eyes of the unseen mother on us.

We left, with huge thanks to the woman who showed us, as she spoke gently to them, asking them to be good and safe over new year.

Vaudevi…wait a minute!

I was chatting to my friend today and he asked me what I thought about this new supper theatre thing that has opened up in Cape Town called Vaudeville, and my response was so clear that my brain said, remember everything and blog about it. So here I am.

I first became aware of it last week when I got back from my trip and I saw that a few of my friends had joined the Vaudeville facebook page, so I went to have a virtual look see.

And is it just me who thinks that the fabulous Richard’s Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams has been ripped off and copied, even down to the emcee being the same Irit Noble?

I need to say at the outset that I am not a great fan of supper theatre. I hate having to perform while people eat, and I struggle to eat while people perform, but I loved Madame Zingara’s. I loved the spiegeltent, the costumes and even the circus acts, which had nothing to do with theatre and everything to to with theatricality. I loved the dressed up table staff, I loved the ‘other world’ that was created and I loved the detail of everything, including the menu.

I dunno. Seems like Vaudeville is pretty much a direct rip-off, with circus acts, a three course meal, and the same over the top styling, only in a building and not in a tent. Has anyone spent the R350 for a normal ticket (the VIP ones cost R395) and gone to check it out? I’d love to hear about it.


Life happens so fast. Last Saturday night we were in Rome. This evening we are at the end of Boxing Day, having celebrated my homecoming, Christmas eve with friends, Christmas day with other friends, and much being at home with Big friendly and the small furries. We have just come back from our neighbour’s daughter’s 21st celebration, Woodstock Muslim style, which was fantastic and reminded me again how I love living right here, right now.

Already I am forgetting the sensations of Europe; winter, the bleak sun disappearing at four in the afternoon, the brisk breathy mornings, hot chocolate and pasta, foreign tongues, food, music, the lack of living space, the size of monuments, the magnificence of Michelangelo’s David, the weirdness of the Vatican, the gorgeous smell of Italian men, the style of the Parisians, history, glamour, excess, the most delicious ice cream, the collections of tourists, the souvenirs, the fewness of black people, the many crowds, the cold.

Already I am getting reused to the smell of the Atlantic, the Boxing Day braai smoke, the grumpy, hungover bergies, the strange demands for ‘Christmas box’, the shocking shlok TV programming. Already I am going everywhere in my car, I am worrying about the cricket score, I am sickened by how many stabbings, road deaths and drownings there have been.

In a week it will be 2010. I am keeping eyes and heart open for that one.


It’s unbelievable. We went out to walk the dogs really early this morning and came back to this. DSC00349 Annie had climbed back into bed!

The Barber of Seville – Venice Style

Of the two live performances we saw, which were both in Venice, one was a truly hideous tourist rip-off too horrible to mention in detail, and the other was a brilliant baby version of The Barber of Seville performed in three rooms of a 17th century Venice manor.

There were about thirty of us in the audience that night. Our hostess, a gorgeous dark blonde Italian girl transformed into a maid with puffy hat, big bum and white apron, in front of our eyes and she led us from room to room.

Intimate, comic opera was a new experience for all of us, I think. The four performers were amazing. Not only did they have gorgeous voices, they were such fabulous actors; something I haven’t seen with opera singers before. Because they were so close, Figaro combed, brushed and threatened to cut members of the audience’s hair, the young lady involved us women in her eye rolling dismay of the men, and we were splattered with bits of shaving cream when the ward was being prepared for his shave.

In the last room, a Gothic style bedroom where the lovers finally get hooked up, during a storm, our ‘maid’ stood at the light switch flashing the lights to create the storm. So delightful.

Although the whole thing was in Italian (a huge advantage was that it was sung by Italians who obviously knew exactly what they were saying) we all understood the whole, hilarious story, with its love letters, farce and general mayhem.

It was a surreal, charming, totally delightful performance, accompanied by a foursome of brilliant live musicians. What a great way to introduce young people to opera.


I think that traffic, driving and pedestrians tell us a lot about societies, and how people are. Flying through five cities in 11 days and comparing the traffic gives one amazing insight, just through the modes of transport and traffic solutions.

We went on a day tour of Istanbul while we were in transit there. Traffic was heavy, driving reckless, lots of hooting but everything was well handled. There are a combination of huge highways on the outskirts and tiny, ancient roads in the city centre, all negotiated by cars, motorbikes and even busses.

Paris was incredible. There, a successful Metro makes traversing the city a joy, especially when the train pops out of an underground tunnel and gives you a stunning view of the Seine, the city streets or even a glimpse of winter greenery. It also gives one a chance to perve at the Paris sexies, of all ages, colours and sizes. it just doesn’t get more stylish. Out on the street traffic is totally intense. In places, cars move at a snail’s pace, waiting for pedestrians to move across hectic intersections. Sirens are constantly heard, and all traffic gives way to the ambulances that dash across the city. In Monmartre everyone has a scooter. Their buzzing can be heard up and down the streets and alleys through the night and into the morning. There are piles of scooters on every pavement and street corner. A novelty for me were the rows of automated bicycle parking spots along many of the streets. Apparently, you get a card loaded and then activate a bicycle pole with your card, to lock your bike down.

DSC00280 There is not a single car or scooter or bicycle in the whole of Venice. You either walk, or travel on water. What an absolute relief. The public water taxi/ferry system is efficient and comprehensive, just like an ordinary metro. Gondolas are strictly an expensive tourist thing, and not really to get you from point to point, although Paulo, our gondolier, was a wealth of information, and of course you can hear every word he says, the trip is so quiet, with no motor, only the gentle slap of water against the buildings as you go past. It is also a great leveller, seeing everyone walking; rich, poor, local, foreign.

DSC00339 Rome is a traffic experience like no other. The advice I was given was, just walk. You can, and everyone stops for pedestrians. It is a madness of cars, busses, scooters, bikes, pedestrians, trams, trains and, even in some piazzas horses and carts. It was also a wet dream for the car buffs. Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris and other fancies dot the streets and are left parked in alleyways. There are thousands of teeny cars; the best way to have a car in this mad traffic and space deprived city. And of course there are hundreds of thousands of scooters and bikes. I saw an old woman kick start her fancy black scooter down a busy city street like a stylish Hell’s Angel granny. And all of this is perfectly negotiated, as cars and bikes mount kerbs, huge busses screech to a halt to let a school’s tour of children cross a massive intersection, people bulldoze onto packed busses and metros and squeeze past cars and bikes in narrow cobbled streets. 

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