Monkey neighbours and music making

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Monthly blog entries, these have become..! I love writing. But I do feel I am writing quite a bit these days, in other ways than for this blog – and so, this more personal blog has in times been momentarily forgotten. 🙂

I write emails to people, to contact about possible shows for the Lunchbox Theatre and to find out about opportunities for funding.. I write to potential partners who might wish to collaborate on a new show perhaps, and then of course emails and letters to friends, to family – and to myself every now and then! Kind of a therapeutic practice, writing can be.

We went for a wonderful cycle last Sunday, to Keurbooms beach in Plettenberg Bay. The sun was shining and bicycles rolled on the road effortlessly like a gentle breath of wind.. a chill was in the air, as most days now in the middle of winter. Yet, the sun warms one up nicely, and there sitting on the beach overlooking the vast bay, distant mountains and the town of Plettenberg Bay, we witnessed a mother and baby whale dancing in the waters just thirty meters from us. Slow motions, sprays of water.. among the blue and green ocean and white foam of the waves. Sand in my toes and a dear friend by my side, watching the whales – a beautiful day indeed.

The month of July brought many new things into this existence in the Garden Route. I continued volunteer work with Lunchbox and Tshisa, and have got so many new tasks to accomplish regarding fundraising and booking of shows that the other tasks have not had the chance to start taking shape yet.. but, little by little! It is good to learn more about the organizations and be involved with the different ways they operate. An interesting bunch of inspiring people working more or less to foster cultural enrichment and environmentally beneficial attitudes and behaviours.

Last Tuesday I continued Wondering about Whales, through seeing the Whale Show of Lunchbox Theatre at Formosa Primary School. It was a lovely morning moment filled with exciting facts, laughter and being touched by the stories about whales..

You can read more about this show and the children’s reactions to it from another blog entry on Lunchbox Theatre website:

http://www.lunchbox.org.za/news/what-would-man-be-without-whales/

The past weekends the Tshisa Talent Competition Finalists of this year started a concert tour in their home communities around Plett. Such talent, sweet, unique voices, clever rap tunes and amazing dancers.. Great guys and girls, giving their best!

Wonderful Mnce, Actor, Facilitator and Dreamer of Lunchbox Theatre and Tshisa Talent

Animation Crew

Audience in New Horizons community hall

With my dear companions Lisa and Mekhala we helped organize an upcycling workshop. That was an exciting task! Paper making, plastic bottle plant holders and toilet paper roll animals.. 🙂 “healthy entertainment” for children at Knysna Oyster Festival, where music, forest runs, organic food and arty activities for children took place over a two-week period, in Knysna the closest neighbouring town of Plettenberg Bay.

Planting spekboom (especially efficient CO2 consuming plant) in plastic bottle plant holders. 🙂

Paper making at home

Plenty of upcycling at home, as well!

I got a housemate from Mekhala, and we moved to a little flat at Old Nick’s craft&art village. There is some movement during the days as the stores around the yard are open every day, making and selling wool, pottery products, arts and crafts. For the Upcycling workshop, I started making some paper at home.. and we realized we do upcycle a whole lot of things! See some images below!

Guitar stand! This was so fortuitous. A structure of plastic found on the side of the road, and a broken visor of a helmet put together, and it works very well.

Kitchen unit, second hand oven with weird but functional attachments, bin cover made of some piece of plastic and the table built of an old body of a bed. Old blinds used to cover the storage space below!

An easel also made of the old body of a bed.. notice the bat droppings.. !!

Jewelry stand made of old wire, blinds used on the front, piece of reed as incense holder, and a lovely shell to hold all sorts of various little items. 🙂

It is a peaceful environment and ours the only inhabited flat in the “village”. The loeri, beautiful prehistoric-kind-of bird of these regions, visits the trees covering the balcony, and the fruitbats are around.. just now they’re having a real party every night with the fruits of a yellow wood tree growing above the building. They eat and spit out the seeds and poo on all the surfaces.. and it is really sticky stuff to clean..! Yet very interesting to follow their activities.

There is also a little group of vervet monkeys that come browse around and play on the balcony – especially on Wednesdays which is a Food Market day at Old Nick’s. They are simply lovely creatures and I couldn’t feel more grateful for having the chance to observe them close-by when they appear, but for sure the doors and windows need be kept closed when they’re around; they are so incredibly quick and will pull out or steal whatever they get their hands on if there isn’t a vigilant eye watching over them..

Visitors interested in the tomato plants

We are exploring the common music making, for now just among the two of us although little by little getting to know some of the other musicians in the area – and they are many! Plett seems to be booming with talents of all kind, though there aren’t too many places where they could surface to be heard and enjoyed by the public. 😉

Lots of practice, feeling & listening, how do these instruments go together.. a clarinet and a guitar. What can we create with it? All kinds of things, that’s for sure..! Finding “our sound”. And learning to sing. I’ve always been singing, but somehow never have taken it “further”.. not willing to put all efforts in to develop it, find the freedom and control that I know is there, and maintain it. Feel the love that fills me when singing and playing, and still be able to project what I intend to. This past spring and the street music making was a real good stepping stone on this “path”, as was being inspired by Mekhala who started doing gigs and developing his skills in earnest. So with this, too, we’re traversing ways previously unknown, and like with anything in life, with heart and mind open the learning and discoveries spiral and intermingle with other things – always creating, and who knows what; but the journey is quite a wonderful ride indeed.

So the ride continues, towards the spring on this side of the world!

Cycling paths under heavy use

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