Last week I suggested that Clarens was on something of a roll. Well, in terms of building anyway. Imagine my surprise when the long weekend (yes, OK, happy Woman’s Month yet again) inundated the village with more visitors than Easter, apparently confirming the level of interest in the Clarens experience? Sure, there were well-founded rumours of snow in the high mountains of Lesotho but breaking every sales record in the history of the Clarens Brewery?? Now that’s a measure of success.
Being an exploratory sort of fellow, I ventured out of my darkened study into the Clarens CBD on Saturday night and into a maelstrom of sound and light. Mrs Twitcher and I shimmied into a well-known hostelry and found ourselves nose to speaker with Rooibard, the band. No birds to speak of, other than a thicket of young things moving myopically to the beat, but an experience of serious note. Through a haze of cigarette, smoke the band sashayed their way through three-hours of amazement without doing a single cover. And were they good!!
Okay, audio-anarchy pretty much sums it up, but what can you say about a group which plays (?), in addition to three guitars and clump of drums, a whistle, a violin, a squash-box, a scratchy thingie and a didgeridoo. The latter did serious damage to my sternum and moved my gonads to a different plane of, dare I say it, enlightenment. All in all an experience that our visitors will not forget in a hurry – and the whole thing fired by Tequila!
Which brings me neatly to the drop in temperature and the onset of winter. Rumour has it that the Clarens Coat Shop has bribed Mother Nature to revert to type and bring in the clouds. Whatever, the plunge in degrees Celsius has knackered the local bird population, who are now sheltering in the Old Stone Bottle Store’s technicolour dustbins. So, if you are in need of a Yellow-Billed Hawk or two, a few Drongoes or a brace of Pigeons, you know where to look. Don’t dip your hand in however; there are baboon droppings in the vicinity and signs of a Merecat, so do your bird-shopping with care.
Speaking personally, I have started waxing my skis, filling the brandy barrel on my St Bernard’s collar and checking the candles. Don’t know about you, but I have no intention of being snowed-in, much as I love this idyllic little village. Happy snow.