18 March 2013
Remember our drive across the majestic mountains via Du Toit’s Kloof Pass to the Breedekloof Valley on Saturday, 23 February 2013? Richard and Reggie, Aunty Karin and I had driven to a wine farm known as Picardi Place to attend a picnic concert by South African singer Sonja Herholdt. This had been one of the items on my Exciting Wishlist, so I was thrilled.
We were the first people to arrive at the venue in the golden sunlight of late afternoon.
“Oh! This is soo beautiful!” I cried, as we carried all our picnic paraphernalia from the parking area to a lush green area of lawn.
The grass was so soft that I couldn’t stop myself running and leaping all over the lawn, laughing out loud with happiness. I know, it was a little undignified, but luckily Reggie joined me and then I didn’t feel quite so self-conscious.
The very nice people who run the place came over to greet us with warm smiles and friendly handshakes, and I felt right at home. We found the perfect picnic spot near the little stage that had been built up to one side of the lawn, and made ourselves comfortable. We bought some things to drink, including a bottle of delicious white wine, and sat down to watch all the other picnickers arriving.
“There’s Sonja!” exclaimed Reggie, indicating a slightly built woman with blonde hair, who climbed onto the little stage to do a soundcheck with her assistant. We watched her going through a couple of bars of some songs, presumably so that he could check the levels of the microphones and speakers.
She waved at us, and smiled. Reggie beamed and waved back at her.
“She looks very friendly,” I remarked.
“Oh, she’s lovely,” said Reggie happily. “She’s my favourite South African singer. I’ve loved listening to her music since I was very little.”
After her soundcheck, Sonja came over to greet us, and then went to chat to some of the other picnickers too.
It all felt so laid-back and relaxed – it was not at all what I had expected: I thought there would be hundreds of people pushing and shoving to get to the front of the stage, and that the music would be extremely loud, and that I would be frightened of being trampled.
This was quite the opposite, and I loved every single moment. Even though I did not understand the Afrikaans songs, which she sang, their melodies were so enchanting that I found myself humming along and swaying with the music. I was really sorry when the concert ended and we had to pack away our things and drive home.