I have a soft spot for old ladies. They are so loving and gentle. It almost makes me want to be human, just so I can have a granny. Three very special ones visit Barefoot Kitchen once a month. Oh, I love them to bits. Would you believe that they have been friends for 43 years? And that they have met nearly every month since 1975? Do people actually live that long?
Apart from the fact they are such lovely old ladies, they dress with an elegance that younger people just don’t have. Summer attire is cotton dresses with tiny flower print, sometimes they even wear hats. Winter brings out the coats, silk scarves and gloves. But, no matter the season, hair, make-up and jewellery are perfect, and handbags always match.
Sikhalazo, our charming head chef, always serves them. One of ladies had a mouth operation last year and he cooked her a special meal, which made him their absolute favourite. Or rather, their second favourite, take a guess who is first.
The ladies start with Rooibos tea. They love the way we serve it with lemon, mint and honey on the side. This is when I join them, and they pet and cuddle me whilst I lay on the table. The first time I did this Sharon decided to interfere and rushed over to remove me. Once again, she underestimated me, and I stayed right where I was at the insistence of the grannies.
After tea it’s shopping time, and they wander around looking at our special shops, buying all sorts of crafty and foodie stuff. Way too energetic for me so I patiently wait (on the table) for them
Eventually they return to Barefoot and settle down to a bottle of wine, something to eat and to chat. When the updates on the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are done, reminiscing starts. Oh, what wonderful tales they have. All of those years ago they met at SA Eagle, an insurance company in the City Centre. I hear of ice skating at the Carlton Centre, followed by eating at the Top of The Carlton restaurant 50 stories above the city. There was a pub that let you throw peanut shells on the floor (weird), meals at the Guildhall, visits to the Top Star drive-in with boyfriends and partying in Hillbrow where Johnny Clegg and Savuka played in dodgy bars. Discos with delicious names like Bella Napoli and the Goblet, and eating at Fontana or Pan Burgers at 2am. How sad that these places no longer exist, and the Carlton Hotel has been closed for years.
The years go by in one or two hours and then it is time to leave. I am given pats and scratches and told not to miss them too much until next month.
What a fabulous afternoon. No wonder I love old ladies,
Have a purrfect day