Saturday, 8 May 2010

Grahamstown, City of Saints, pt. 3: porches

Grahamstown was a very nice town to walk around in, as I've mentioned, and we saw some really beautiful houses along the way. I've never really dreamt of owning a big house, I like living in city flats, and see no reason to have a lot of rooms you're never gonna be in. I would like to have a huge kitchen in the future, that I dream of. At least as big as to fit a table that would comfortably sit 8-10 people, so that I can cook while my family and friends sit and talk and have a drink meanwhile. I wouldn't say no to a small garden as well, preferably secluded. But most of all I dream about having a porch.

I don't know why I dream of a porch, maybe from seeing movies from Maine or the American South or New Orleans, when people always sit on their porches on hot summer nights, in porch swings, drinking ice tea, chatting away into the night. Or old men sit with an old cracked guitar singing the blues. Or old ladies sit in the morning splitting peas for dinner. I guess that's the romantic picture I've got of porches. Apart from them sometimes being very ornamented and pretty as well.

This blue house is the Observatory Museum in Grahamstown. Unfortunately we didn't have time to check it out, but met someone who told us one of the old uses for it: if you were looking for someone you'd go up in the tower and look for them, see which street they were in, and go meet them there. That's how flat and small the city centre of Grahamstown is, it wouldn't be a problem seeing someone from this after all rather small tower.

If I had a porch, I'd get a porch swing first, and some old wicker chairs and paraffin lamps. Then I'd sit there, peel apples for a pie, pet my cats, listen to the crickets, take out the guitar and sing when the sun goes down, sip mint julip (I don't even really know what that is, but it sounds tasty), wave to the neighbours walking by.

That is if the porch isn't infested with ants, or it's got snakes underneath like a friend of mine's, or the evenings bring clouds of mosquitos forcing me to stay inside, or the neighbours are inconsiderate idiots playing bad music too loud and getting too drunk every night. Anything can happen. Even in my dreams I assume the worst so I won't be too disappointed if it happens.

But I'll keep my dream of the perfect porch, something like this one above. So pretty and relaxing by the look of it, with just enough shade for the hot days. With apple, mango, avocado, and lemon trees in the back, sided by some raspberry bushes, and rows of beans, lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and other edible greens, I'll be quite happy. Quite happy indeed.

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