Our inchie tour scoots us across to globe from Japan to The Republic of South Africa...the southernmost and largest country in Africa. It has a widely multi-ethnic population of around fifty six million people. This is composed of eighty percent sub-Saharan African and the rest being of European, Asian, or multiracial ancestry. As a result, the country has eleven official languages, amongst the highest number in the world, with Afrikaans and English amongst these.
I clearly remember the country's struggles with Apartheid which occurred during my childhood and early adult years, it was not until the early 1990's that the repeal of discriminatory laws was begun in South Africa.
My parents visited there during the early 1980's and I remember being a very surprised at both the amount of paternalistic propaganda they had been given whilst travelling there, and the overt directness of the apartheid agenda of it's the absolute value in managing the cultural issues of the country...the tour was addressed at venues, dinners etc. by pro-apartheid speakers, the political agenda was even displayed even on paper table covers, place mats and serviettes etc. which my father found very unusual indeed, he even brought home a couple of examples to share with me...the need for explanation and justification with mere very temporary visitors to the country he found quite astounding. But, there it is, time passes and things change...but then, anyone not intimately involved with the complexity of issues can hope to understand, and after all, Australia has it's own issues regarding the indigenous population and how we continue to mismanage issues regarding human rights...
I had a South African friend of Indian ancestry when living in Sydney, who spoke to me a little of the sadness and disruption of the turbulent years she and her family had lived through, which resulted in their migration to Australia. She has wonderful embroidery skills and a small floral embroidery she gifted me when I left to return home sits beside me as I write. Another Dutch friend from the Sydney years, who returned to live in The Netherlands around the time I returned to Tasmania, has since relocated permanently to South Africa with her husband and she loves the lifestyle they have found there, just south of Cape Town.
For my flower this week I was overwhelmed again with choice...the climate being what it is I am very familiar with many of the South African endemic plants as many of them are grown here also. Blue and white Agapanthus, delightfully drought resistant and tough plants, often seen growing on steep banks or lining country driveways, Amaryllis belladonna, (one of my mother's cherished favourites), Dieramas, Clivias and of course, the Proteas, South Africa's National flower, also the name taken by the National Cricket Team.
I decided to use the Strelitzia reginae for this weeks flower because the colours and sheer dramatic impact of the plant always reminds me of South Africa.
Wonderfully colourful, with delightfully architectural leaves, these plants are very common in public garden areas in Sydney where they thrive. I enjoyed photographing them as they are not common here in cooler Hobart. A friend often brought me a gift of the flowers and leaves when visiting...I even had to buy a large glass cylinder vase especially to keep these beauties in.
The text mat for this week is a portion of the document called "The Freedom Charter", a mission statement that documented the aims and aspirations of those people of South Africa opposed to apartheid and wanting equality, this and subsequent actions, resulted in the leaders, from all the ethnic groups apart from the ruling clique, being tried for Treason. This group included Nelson Mandela, amongst many others.
The pie looks a little bare. Mum always added pastry leaves and roses to the top of her meat pies, for some undisclosed reason...as a small child I always thought they would have been better placed on sweet fruit pies, but one simply didn't argue with my mum about her culinary decisions...the crunchy brown decorations were far to delicious to risk having them awarded to my older brothers instead of me!
In this instance I stingily cribbed enough of the single measure of pastry I had made, to make an additional small pie for my brother, who loves steak and kidney. I knew if I had made a second amount of pastry I would have ended up also making a few jam tarts or fruit pies...and none of us need the additional kilojoules this would have entailed. Therefore the decorating of the pies was left minimal, but Dudley texted me to say he enjoyed his, so all good.
t was a lovely sunny and blue winter's afternoon with a bit of breeze. I enjoyed a short walk, the tide was in and so the beach relatively reduced. Always a lot of shells on Park beach, so I had a nice rummage amongst the flotsam...
When we stopped at Carton Beach we could see evidence of several kiteboarders over the marram grass verge and Tim braved the quite chill wind to take some pics for me...
See you next week,