Pulling the chain….

It’s been more than a month since I stopped by.  No, that’s not a confession.  It has been a really busy patch both in the village and in my day job.  My day job had me travelling again:  three towns over four days which meant three different accommodation establishments.  Two of them had me wishing that I had taken my “proper” camera so that I didn’t have to rely on my cell phone camera – a Samsung A3.  Not too shabby, but it does have its limitations.

My first stop was Johannesburg and an establishment where I’d stayed before, and where I slept in the shadow of this magnificent tree, here in all her dawn winter splendour.


After a morning’s work, we headed off to East London, a place with which I am quite familiar and where I spent some time last year.  I stayed somewhere different on this trip and was allocated a room which had “Paradise” emblazoned on the door.  Took me a while to notice the small print:  “Fly Catcher”.  Someone has a sense of humour!


One of my colleagues and I agreed that the Paradise – Flycatcher – was a room fit for a princess!  I had great fun photographing some of the little touches and details that make one feel welcome.


I particularly loved the organza bow tied around the beautiful, fluffy towels;  the light through beaded and perspex bedside lamp was almost ethereal.


Then we jetted off to Cape Town.  Yes, jetted in one of those horrible little jets that carry about 70 people.  Happily, it was a much smoother flight than the bumpy one the previous day.  Our flight path from Johannesburg had been dogged by enormous thunderclouds and the pilot soared to great heights over them, so the plummet to a sea level landing had us in agony, and terrified that our eardrums would burst.

Our accommodation selection in Cape Town, as had been the case in East London, was not our first choice;  alas that had been fully booked.  The decision had ultimately been dictated by  two things:  proximity to the venue where we had to work and a space in which to meet – not in our bedrooms.

What a surprise!


An original Victorian house in the process of being rehabilitated and restored – inside, too.


Half way up the stately flight of stairs, this stained glass window.


This is the door at which I stared from my workstation for a day.


The greeting from my bedroom door on the first-floor landing, looking towards the passage to the veranda through the stained glass doors its end.

It was my bathroom, though, that captured my imagination.  I stepped into it and my head echoed with my mother’s constant question to her young daughters, “have you pulled the chain?”…  in days when there was no longer a chain to pull!


Clearly, I am a bit slow, but it did take an awfully long, long time to work out where the admonishment had come from….  I remember toilet cisterns and wash hand basins like this from my childhood.  The taps, too.  But the cisterns were naked, grey cast iron.  The pipes were not shiny, polished brass.  Nor were the taps.  The handle at the end of the chain was definitely not ceramic;  it was wood.  I remember being too little to reach the chain.


The view through the breakfast room window, past the portrait of Madiba, shows the staircase to that magnificent stained glass window.

Post script

For those of you waiting for “foodie” posts – they will resume – and along with that, the beetroot gazpacho recipe that I promised in my last post!

Last word

During that week of whirlwind travel, I spent a lot of time staring through airline windows, walking through airport and other doors, but none as beautiful as those in Cape Town.  I took most of those photographs on a Thursday, and I figured that as they are mostly about doors, I’d make my second contribution to Norm’s Thursday Doors.

© Fiona’s Favourites 2016

11 thoughts on “Pulling the chain….

  1. SO lovely to hear from you via ‘Fiona’s Favourities and your Slow Wine weekends, which I hope are going really well?! You certainly have been jetting around and am so sorry I couldn’t see you and help you when you were in Cape Town?!

    Do hope you are both well though and hope to see you before too long?! Loving the light mornings and leaves on the trees as I’m sure you are. All well here and on we go!!


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