A bubble, cheesecake and page 295…

I just spent an amazing two weeks at Cloudbase Paragliding in the coastal town and paragliding mecca of Wilderness in the Southern Cape. After the rollercoaster ride that 2015 dished out to all South Africans I must admit it was nice to escape into a bubble of peace where my life revolved around books, beach, soaring, great food, good friends and refreshingly new conversations.

During my escape I also sampled the cheesecake from probably most of the eating establishments in town, and although some were better than others, I was never really disappointed. There is a chap called Aidan who supplies many of the restaurants with what surely must be award-winning cheesecake – in fact he’s built such a reputation for his cake that on some of the menus it’s simply listed as Aidan’s Cheesecake… If you ever get to Wilderness, it’s a must!

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In between flying, socialising and eating I read a lot of books this holiday – none of which will contribute to improving my intellect but the point was pure escapism, wasn’t it? Ian Child’s Jack Reacher was the super-hero of the holiday, although after book four it’s easier on the stomach just to gloss over the man’s incredible brawling prowess. After reading Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train I’m looking forward to the movie coming out. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish Cecilia Ahern’s Love Rosie – even though I know it has a happy ending, the idea of loving past one another for so many years is just too sad. I also consumed a lot of Jojo Moyes’ books. I love the way she writes about people and their real life challenges. Her characters are everyday people and getting to know them often makes me reassess some of the preconceptions I didn’t even know I had. Each person has a unique story, some of which left me an emotional wreck, but I always seem to be going back for more of the same.

I then began reading a South African fictional story that shall remain nameless for now… It started off poorly, then managed to grab me until I reached page 295. Page 295 coincided with the rumbling of the South African rollercoaster ride starting up its engines. I put the book aside, and started dipping my sandy toes back into ‘the real world’ to find that, of course, the South African ride is yet again determined not to disappoint.

So I’m back on the rollercoaster, having some of the very same conversations that closed off last year, but determined to fill the year with new and inspiring ones too. At least I know that if I really need to refuel I can always escape for a wee while to my peace bubble, Aidan’s cheesecake and maybe even pick up where I left off on page 295…

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