Monday Club

A (rare) quiet moment

A (rare) quiet moment


Not long after we first moved down to the Cape, one of our newly made acquaintances suggested a Monday lunch time get-together and braai for the locals who had both the time and interest. Great idea – I just knew moving here was the right thing to do.


Initially, we gathered at motivator-in-chief, Chris’ home then moved to one of the local pubs – anywhere with a bar and a braai (barbeque) was a potential venue. The format was simple; bring anything you might want to cook and eat and dop (booze) if you wanted it. Sometimes salads or freshly baked braai bread were provided by the host, others it was just what we brought along.


Over several years, the interest in Monday Club – we’re nothing if not imaginative down here – fluctuated wildly. Sometimes there was just founder Chris and myself, other weeks as many as thirty people turned up.


Chris’ untimely death a couple of years ago was a huge blow for everyone around here and while Monday Club staggered on, it just wasn’t the same and eventually, it ground to a halt. I think we all missed Chris, our regular get togethers, the socialising and of course, a couple of beers on what was otherwise a dull Monday.


It was a pleasant surprise then to find that several of the Pringle Bay locals had resurrected Monday Club – we live in a neighbouring village and the carrier pigeon took a while to get here so I missed the first couple of (re)gatherings – and while not as frequent as before, our meet-ups certainly hadn’t lost much of their social style.


Monday was no exception and aside from going to the wrong security gate and driving aimlessly around the wrong estate for about a quarter of an hour, I was still one of the first to arrive. In my cool bag some marinated chicken – great braai fare – and a couple of icy cold Heinekens.


I’d not intended to play happy snapper, but always keep a camera in the car and today was a day I felt like shooting people pictures. For the technically minded, I used my still new Fuji X100 and quickly found the off-beat much more interesting than the traditional glass-clutching, around braai shots. Of course, someone producing the now mandatory hamper of hats put an entirely different complection on everything.


Hope you like them too.

The face with hairy teeth

The face with hairy teeth


Barry does Minnie

Barry does Minnie


Deep stuff going on here. Move along.

Deep stuff going on here. Move along.


No idea.

No idea.


Bernie the bunny

Bernie the bunny


Angel? Not.

Angel? Not.


Time to go - the line dancing's started

Time to go – the line dancing’s started

Unwelcome guests

“Oh shitting, sodding bollocks.”


The big tip-up door into the workshop has been open all night. I can’t bear to think what’s gone walkabout.


Full of angst, I enter, setting off the alarm as I do.


Bike? Still there.


Mrs P’s Audi? Still there.


Electric screwdriver? Still there.


Tools, saws, other goodies? Still there.


Well. That wasn’t so bad after all. The door is closed, Mrs P re-sets the alarm and life calms down a bit.


Several hours later, we’re eating a late lunch in the kitchen.


From next door, we both hear the door handle rattle, the usually locked door open and quickly slam shut again.




I get up, imagining an intrusion by not nice people and come face to face with a large male baboon*, which is at least as surprised as I am. Unlike me, he has both hands in our vegetable basket, planning to grab something to eat before he rushes out – which he can’t do because the wind closed the door behind him.


I speak to him – telling him that stealing our food isn’t a good idea.


Jeannie, our aged scottie is loving the opportunity to get so up and close and personal to something she dreams of chasing with her every breath. She is barking at earsplitting volume, only inches from our visitor – not very friendly, really.


He of course, looks quite panicked and trouble is, he is between me and the door, so I can’t get past to let him out.


He tries to help by jumping up onto the bench where we feed the cat – luckily he isn’t here – and then on to the top of the fridge(s) – all without knocking off the stash of beer I keep up there. I’m impressed.


Meantimes, Mrs P has left the kitchen, through the garage and out to the front of the house and with some help from our now keen to leave visitor, has opened the kitchen door from the outside.


Door open, he scuttles out chased by a geriatric scottie, already out of breath.


Quite a day really. A workshop open all night and still there when we discover the error. And, our house, invaded by a 70Kg simian, with theft on his mind.


That’s quite enough fun for one day.


* The chacma baboon is a native of the region and the only baboon which is known to forage on the shoreline – most others content themselves with seeds, nuts and berries. They are unintrusive, but inquisitive by nature and generally share the environment with us humans pretty well. Until the locals and tourists feed them. Then the trouble starts and when the visitors have gone, home invasions for food become a real problem, especially if 10 or 15 excitable monkeys get into your home and can’t get out. Then the mess in the fridge and pantry becomes nothing in comparison to torn curtains, shredded furniture and baboon excrement smeared everywhere.