Tag Archives: vegetable garden

Thank you 2020 for everything that you have taught me, my Top 20 of 2020!


I was very excited about the year 2020, having the 20th as a birthdate, and it being my lucky number. Despite the tragedy of the Corona Virus pandemic and the inconvenience of the Lockdown regulations at times, 2020 turned out to be one of my best ever, learning from it and growing through it.

On Facebook I have posted daily Corona Gratitudes, for the small and big things that have come my way in the past 9 months. There are far too many to mention, so I have turned this post into a Top 20 of 2020, an unforgettable year for all of us. Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 22 of Level 1, 12 October 2020.:


Monday 12 October 2020, Day 22 of Level 1, Day 200 of Lockdown 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for surviving 200 days of Lockdown, the ‘new normal’ of our life; for a beautiful sunny 22C day; for a hardworking writing morning; for harvesting my first cauliflower, and more parsley and nasturtiums, from my Vegetable garden; for a peaceful walk through Camps Bay, noticing only three new car guards today (they take Mondays off, but they forgot to tell us locals, and so all the illegal car guards are back); for posting my SwitchBitch Book 1 to Marianne Busche in Johannesburg via the Aramex courier service at Pick n Pay 🙏; for a second walk through Bakoven; for a chat with Officer Ivor Ramsay at Law Enforcement about persons selling insurance policies on the pavement at the Promenade, which is not allowed; for such a calm ocean; for dancing to Kfm 💃; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 172 of Level 2, 14 September 2020.


Monday 14 September 2020, Day 28 of Level 2, Day 172 of Lockdown. 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for two seasons in one day, a wet rainy morning followed by a sunny afternoon, not feeling too cold at 14C; for a good writing morning; for walks through Camps Bay and Bakoven, the rain holding off; for dancing to Kfm; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 73 of Level 3, 12 August 2020


Wednesday 12 August 2020, Day 73 of Level 3, after 66 days of Levels 5 and 4 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for so much rain that has fallen today, even though it was chilly at 15C max; for an admin morning after my writing was done, another Do List item ticked off; for providing Information to Law Enforcement Officer Ivor Ramsay about other complaints from locals about harassment by the homeless beggar Michael Shange, and for being able to finally lay a charge against him at the police station, getting to both before it started raining again; for the joy in seeing the vegetable garden thrive, especially the cauliflower, radishes, coriander, and our first nasturtiums 🙏; for good service from Chad at Vodacom at the Waterfront; for a lovely evening at Mosambik Restaurant, a dinner invitation from Jennifer Morris to a number of media persons, being especially lucky about the table I sat at; for getting home safely after 21h00, the Seaboard streets being deserted; for a Discovery Gameboard play; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙

My Blogpost today was about the Government regulations in how Tourist Guides should show tourists around at current Lockdown Level 3 regulations..

Corona Lockdown Tourist Guiding regulations gazetted by the Government!

At the Waterfront it was shocking to see how quiet it had become, barely any shoppers, almost all kiosks closed, almost all jewelry stores closed, and almost all restaurants other than Willoughby’s, DipnDip, and Mozambik closed. I paid some outstanding Vodacom bills, but could not get a statement for the past year to contest an arrears amount showing. Chad has promised to assist me in sorting this out 🙏. I walked on both levels, to gain steps, but wanted to drink something, and not even Woolworths WCafé is open. So I went to try DipnDip, a winter’s day indulgence, with Hot Chocolate, which was delicious, but a Crispy Crunchy Chocolate was not, a type of Rice Crispies with a drizzle of chocolate, and topped with mini marshmallows. Service was not good, no management. And I was double charged, as the card machine did not work properly the first time round. 🥵

I was interested to see what Kamers did in the former Out of Africa space in the Waterfront, no comparison at all to how it has been held in the past. No stand owners to connect with, a lot of craft products in a not very big space, and no interest by the two staff in customers entering the pop-up store at all. 😢😢😢

We met at Mozambik at 18h00, taking up the whole restaurant, with good social distancing, our temperature taken, hands sanitized, and a register signed. I shared the table with Pippa Hudson from Cape Talk, Linda from Mai Thai Spa, and Chris from the Deepest Darkest Art Gallery. Jennifer Morris was a fabulous host and we met owner Christa Deacon, generous in the dinner offering: starters of calamari, chicken liver, and green olives, with Portuguese rolls; main course of hake and chips with lemon butter sauce, or peri peri chicken; and dessert. Non-alcoholic Savanna Cider was generously offered. It poured as we were leaving, and we were shown an underground walkway to get to the parking area, staying dry. The Waterfront is charging for parking again, but R30 for 4 hours seemed more reasonable than in the past. There were hardly any cars when I drove home at around 21h00, as if it was already Curfew.

SA Corona Status 568919 cases 12010 deaths 😷😢

FitBit 10000 steps 7 km 👣

Lovemylife ❤️


The Corona Virus Lockdown (Level 5), announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier to commence on 27 March and to continue until 16 April, subsequently extended to 30 April, lowered to Level 4 from 1 May, and lowered to Level 3 from 1 June, is an unprecedented event in my lifetime. I am posting my daily Facebook post to journal this Corona Lockdown Journey, perhaps to serve as material for a future Book.

About Chris von Ulmenstein

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 71 of Level 3, 10 August 2020.


Monday 10 August 2020, Public Holiday, Day 71 of Level 3, after 66 days of Levels 5 and 4 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for feeling good today despite a restless night’s sleep; for a sunny day, warm in the sun at 17C, but clouds on Lions Head conforming rain to fall tonight and tomorrow morning; for the joy I’ve had in paying tribute to our Women Restaurateurs and Top Chefs in Cape Town and the Winelands, such lovely stories; for a long walk to Second Beach in Clifton, litter being under control; for popping in to seek advice from the Law Enforcement Office about a death threat, advising me to lay a charge at the police; for amazing service from the lady police Constable, getting the guys picked up when they walked through Camps Bay; for a sun Vit D snooze on the terrace; for a walk through Bakoven in the afternoon, more litter here; for a glass of sherry with Lisa Hayden; for picking chives from my Veg garden to have with my scrambled egg supper; for seeing cloud hearts 💙💙💙 in the sky; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →

Gratitude for 123 days (4 months) of Corona Virus Lockdown, a new way of living and being!


Today 4 months ago, on 27 March, we started a new way of living, in Corona Lockdown. As I wrote a post of Gratitude on Facebook this morning, I realised how significant my Gratitude List is to me, and how I value how I have grown in this short period of time, and therefore I want to document it on my Blog too.

Ultimately, special friendships are highest up on this list. So too is realising how unimportant material possessions are, and that it is the simple things in life that count. Very special is adopting my Minsky cat, a win-win for both of us, and creating a vegetable garden using our own compost. I’m grateful that I could qualify and be registered as a Tourist Guide in this time. And that I have never been lonely with the company of Facebook, my playlist, Kfm, and my German TV stations ZDF and ARD.

Continue reading →

Corona Virus: Lockdown Journey Journal, Day 18 of Level 3, 18 June 2020.


Thursday 18 June 2020, Day 18 of Level 3, after 66 days at Levels 4 and 5. 😷

Corona Gratitude 🙏

#Grateful for another magnificent day…. can we be so lucky to have a week of summer in the middle of winter ?❤️; for walking twice today, at lunchtime up to Clifton Fourth Beach, bumping into Thomas and Haakon again, and a Camps Bay beachfront round at sunset time with Lisa Hayden who lives in Bakoven, with the most stupendous sunset; for having a writing-free morning after writing about President Ramaphosa’s speech last night and posting it then; for Henry getting my apartment alarm fixed after putting in the new battery and reprogramming it; for getting appointments at Sorbet and for my hair as soon as the opening date is announced (1 July probably); for loving how my vegetable garden is flourishing, with the compost we have been adding, tomatoes just growing wild, and the bought beetroot and coriander plants loving all the sun as well as rain; for receiving an invitation to participate in an online cooking show with one of our country’s top chefs…. 😱; for a long Vit D fix on the terrace; for Minsky now knowing her surroundings, and returning back inside without I having to panic; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 27/28 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  A beautiful and informative coffee table book about chocolate has been written by Di Burger, called ‘Chocolate’s African Odyssey‘,  reports WineStyle.

*   Eleven finalists of The Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Sommelier Cup, from a diversity of countries including China and Russia, have been shortlisted.

*   The Spur Corporation, which owns Spur Steak Ranches, Panarottis Pizza Pasta, and John Dory’s Fish & Grill, has grown sales by 16% in the past twelves months ending June, its advertising (by Haas) driving feet into their restaurants.

*   Chinese tourists are ‘smitten by the charms of Africa’.  Direct SAA flights between Johannesburg and Beijing as well as visa processing centres in Beijing and Shanghai have pushed China as a tourism source market for our country into fourth position! Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 14: Predict who will be chopped and win with Pierneef à La Motte!

masterchef-sa-all-finalistsMasterChef SA Season 2 is the talk of the country, and we have another 6 weeks of viewing to look forward to. To warm things up a little, we have launched two competitions, the first being a prediction of who will win MasterChef SA in episode 26.

We are also running a weekly prize for the correct prediction of who our readers think will be chopped out of the MasterChef SA. For the correct prediction of who will leave MasterChef SA in episode 14 on  24 July, Pierneef à La Motte has generously offered a R500 voucher for two, making the correct prediction. The restaurant was featured in episode 10, when Chef Chris Erasmus conducted a MasterClass, preparing a terrine.

Pierneef à La Motte opened almost three years ago, and has made the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant shortlist two years running.  It pays homage to the master artist JH Pierneef, andPierneef a La Motte interior Whale Cottage Portfolio to the historical roots of South African cuisine, presented with a contemporary twist.  The restaurant is green in many respects, theming carried through into many different aspects of the restaurant.  The furniture outside almost looks custom-made, with a green woven-effect, giving it a nature-look.  The placemats are in the shape of a vine leaf.  The silver container has a green glass candle holder (as well as beautiful hand-blown glass bottles for the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and little silver salt and pepper grinders).  The Pierneef name and theme comes from the priceless collection of 44 oils and other works by JH Pierneef (1886 – 1957), which La Motte bought from Pierneef’s daughter Marita, who now lives in the United Kingdom.  The work is displayed in the Pierneef art gallery on the La Motte property.  Given that Pierneef is synonymous with the pinnacle of South African art, La Motte honoured the artist by naming the restaurant after him, to demonstrate that they wish to follow his high standards.  The Pierneef name and art has also been carried over into a new range of La Motte wines, called the Pierneef Collection. Some of the collection of 1957 Pierneef lino cuts, which owner Hanneli Rupert had received from her father Dr Anton Rupert years ago, have been used for the back labels for these wines. Continue reading →

MasterChef SA Season 2 episode 10: Spicy Test, Blatant Branding, Beulah Bashing, SASSI Slating, fishy end to Neil Lowe!

MasterChef 2 10 Pressure Test team Whale Cottage PortfolioWhat a diverse and controversial episode 10 was last night, generating many emotions at different levels, as well as criticism of M-Net and MasterChef SA on Twitter for the first time since the commencement of Season 2.  There was little that was judged to be favourable in the episode:

‘Spice’ Test

The losing Red Team (Joani Mitchell, Karen Els, Khumo Twala, Jason Steel, Leandri van der Wat, and Neil Lowe) from Tuesday evening had to go into the ‘Spice’ Test when they lost the Pizza Challenge by two points.  Robertsons ‘Spices’ were the focus point of the Test, annoying viewers for such strong blatant branding of the sponsors’ products, in addition to being subjected to so many TV commercials, especially relative to Season 1.  MasterChef 2 10 Robertsons Whale Cottage PortfolioThe criticism was two-fold:

*   Herbs and spices are two different things, yet the contestants had to guess which combination of Robertsons ‘spices’ had been used in a number of dishes they could smell and taste (the company advertises spice and herb combinations), according to the judges’ brief, yet they had both herbs and spices to evaluate, including in a tomato dish, and in caramelised butternut.  Chef Andrew Atkinson said that one’s tastebuds must be attuned to seasoning, so thatMasterChef 2 10 Tomato Whale Cottage Portfolio one can change or enhance a dish’s flavour profile.

*   No serious chefs would use Robertsons spices in their kitchens (except Chef Reuben Riffel of course, who endorses the brand and appears in its advertisements!), as ‘fresh is best’, the trend in restaurant and home cooking! Continue reading →