Winter nostalgia

The Winter issue of Stellenbosch Visio magazine is out now. Editor Francé Beyers shares the charms of the season and highlights from this jam-packed edition.

WINTERTIME always makes me nostalgic. I remember my childhood years on the farm: crisp, foggy mornings with frost on the grass, when we went out horse-riding in the veld. All day long there would be a welcoming fire in the fireplace, together with hearty soups and stews like waterblommetjiebredie.

If you love winter fare – soups, bredies, slow-braised meat – as much as I do, please turn immediately to Richard Holmes’s story ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’ (p. 60). Richard’s description and the evocative pictures will make you want to rush to one of those restaurants where the warmth from a roaring fire envelops you together with the aromas of dishes simmering on gentle heat.

Winter school holidays meant we could catch up on reading, tucked in cosily on a sofa. These were also the times to take road trips across South Africa – to the milder winters of the Kruger Park or the bracing cold of Golden Gate and the Drakensberg. And, on visits to family in the Karoo, the never-to-be-forgotten icy mornings with the water in the pipes frozen solid.

Namibia always held a special fascination for us – an ancient desert, the oldest on the planet, and friendly people in their colourful traditional attire. In our back page article (p. 120), Lien Botha reminisces about a memorable journey to Lüderitz in a small family car through the barren but endlessly fascinating desert landscape. Dieter Losskarn, on the other hand, imagines a heady dune-driving adventure in a Porsche 911 Dakar (p. 78). To say nothing about Mark Bland and company traversing Africa in 100-year-old Bentleys (p. 90). Stellenbosch Visio indeed has room for multiple voices and diverse dreams.

In this issue, we juggle with ease the intellectual pursuits of three formidable women leaders at Stellenbosch University (p. 74) together with the sporting prowess of the Maties Women’s Rugby team who triumphed at the inaugural Women’s Varsity Cup (p. 94). We are also as impressed by the physical exertions of the mountain bike trail builders (p. 102) as by the skills of the satellite engineers at Dragonfly Aerospace (p. 25).

Talking about academia, our very own Dave Pepler, a regular contributor to Stellenbosch Visio, was recently awarded an honorary doctorate in zoology for his outstanding contribution as ecologist, naturalist and environmentalist.

Woon jy in die wynlande, is wingerde en wyn nie net deel van die landskap nie, dis ook deel van jou persoonlike ervaring van die seisoene. In hierdie uitgawe hef Emile Joubert (p. 42) ’n loflied aan op daardie grootse versnitte wat nog lank op die wêreld se tong sal bly. Dis name uit die verlede wat steeds lok. Kanonkop Paul Sauer. Meerlust Rubicon. Nederburg Baronne. Alto Rouge. Saam met hulle, ook kelders vol ander top rooi versnitte wat hierdie seisoen rooi in ons glase sal glim.

Ook digters word steeds aangegryp deur die drama van die wynlande se seisoene. Die besoekende Poolse professor en digter, Jerzy Koch, wat onlangs ses maande by Stias deurgebring het, het al vier seisoene in sy jongste bundel, Polkadraai, besing. Een van daardie gedigte, ‘Jonkershoekweg, winter’ verskyn op bl. 111.

Stellenbosch het soveel om aan besoekers te bied. Fotograwe Abri en Joannette Kruger neem ons as voorsmakie op ’n warrelwindervaring van wynlandgoedere, restaurante, kuns, perderitte, staptogte en soveel meer. Heeltemal te veel vir net ’n paar dae.

Geniet die winter. Dis ons kans vir rus, lees en reis.