An Ode to May

A personal Paternoster love story in words and photos by Fran Hepburn

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I first arrived, following my heart, to live permanently in Paternoster in early May 2012. So I guess I am somewhat biased when I wax lyrical about this time of year in our beautiful village. But after a few years of living here, I know that it is not just me who loves the absolute perfection that is May in Paternoster, all the locals whisper about it being a secret special season only we know about. This is my effort to share a little snapshot of this magical time with you.

From December to April the village is full and bustling, so it is a stark contrast in May when things get all mellow and laid back – like a soft sigh of relief. The days start later as the sun only peeps over Kasteelberg to the East well after 7 am. There is a cool chill in the air and the village is often covered in a misty blanket serenaded by the distant hooting of the fog horn. As I make a cup of coffee and snuggle back into bed, I tend to daydream of Brigadoon and the misty moors of Scotland.

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The days are still busy, which I know all you city folk will scoff at, but we do need to stack the wood in the fireplace & stock the wine rack! We don’t ever have traffic per se but in May, it is often just me and the street dogs heading to our respective daily toils.

The afternoons are a true blessing. The blustery winds of Summer have died away and the faintest salt-tipped breeze comes off the Atlantic ocean. Almost every day is the perfect day to take my Labrador Lula for a walk on the beach and luxuriate in the whole expanse of Langstrand all to ourselves.

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There is said to be a special kind of soft light – the kind that the renaissance masters in Italy captured so beautifully before the advent of modern day photography. This is the light we see in May, most noticeably at sunset. It touches everything with an ethereal glow and because of the changing season, we get cloud formations that help create a spectacular frame for a Magical May West Coast Sunset.

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As the sun disappears over Bekbaai to the west of the village the evening chill sets in. It is time to slow down, light the fire and enjoy a glass of red wine while we wait for the bredie simmering in the oven. I exhale and am grateful for all my blessings.

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