Plenty to entertain over the past week

Plenty to enjoy in St Francis

For a quiet little community there really are times when there is much to do and enjoy in St Francis if one is prepared to go out and find it.

Motivational

Last Wednesday those in the paddling fraternity were treated to a superb talk at their new club facility at Quaysyde Restaurant on Sea Glades Drive on the canals when triple Springbok, Matt Bouman, gave a relaxed talk relating to how he and fellow paddler Dawid Mocke came within seconds of being washed against the rocky cliffs in the middle of the night when looking for a place to beach when participating in the lunatic “Ocean Warriors” quest to paddle from Cape Town to Durban in seven days.

Matt went on to give words of advice to the younger members of the audience of around 60 locals, paddlers and non-paddlers alike which included upcoming aquatic star Amica de Jager amongst other keen sporting youngsters on how it was not enough to just want success but to live it and to continue to do more than one’s competitors to achieve that success.

If Matt returns to our shores sometime in the future St Francis Today will be in the front row to listen to this extremely humble man and one hopes the paddling club will make an event of it for others to come and listen in much the same way as Cape St Francis Resort brought Chris Beamish to talk at the resort over the Christmas holidays. Possibly a good time would be when he hopefully returns to St Francis next year to defend his ‘King of the Kromme’ crown. And if he does agree to again present his experiences, every youngster should be encouraged to attend as his message of commitment pertains to whatever career, be it sport or academic, one chooses.

Food pairing

Next on the list of last week has to be the food and beer pairing at St Francis Brewing Company.  It seems Chef Daniel Hoffman has no bounds on coming up with outstanding food ideas and his salt encrusted pork belly was simply ‘I want some more’. Also on the menu and equally outstanding was a smoked brisket dish. Brisket you ask? Brisket is one of the more popular meat cuts in the United States believe it or not but for some reason we South African’s, spoilt up until now with relatively cheap sirloin, rump and even fillet, have disregarded brisket as sub-standard meat yet it is probably tastier than any of the popular steak cuts and Chef Daniel certainly opened one’s eyes to just how damn good it is.

Hopefully the Brewing Company will continue these beer food pairings once a month throughout the winter months for judging by the growing number of diners over the past three months they are proving to be a popular way of spending an evening with good food and friends, new and old.

Music

To end off the week the classical music soiree at Dune Ridge, the first of what we hope will be many more was, simply put, a wonderful way to spend a Sunday evening. Such talent resides in our village and nearby Jeffreys Bay and more of these evenings will no doubt uncover other accomplished musicians.

Two hours entertainment with great music, great wine and as usual, superb canapes served by Sarah and her staff at Dune Ridge was a steal at R125. The music was performed over two sessions, each starting with an ensemble made up of a cello (Annamarie Serrao), alto recorder (Maria van Rensberg) and flute (Sally Anderson) and followed by pianists Cedric Coates of Jeffreys Bay. Margaret Evens and Ria Brink, both of St Francis Bay.

Cedric’s rendition of one of the great composers of the 1920’s, George Gershwin’s “Someone to watch over me” followed by Richard Clayderman’s, (remember him) “Ballade to Adeline” set the stage for Margaret’s “Witches Dance” composed by Edward MacDowell. This incredibly talented lady would not been out of place, one feels, on stage at the Royal Albert Hall.

During her second session Ria played Chopin’s Polonaise Op26 which always reminds one of a husband and wife having a heated discussion. As the music progresses through different movements, gruffness of the husband followed by the gentle tones of the wife placating, sometimes rising to confrontation before again falling to gentle persuasion. Outstanding!

Other music included a medley by Margaret which included the ever popular The Hills are alive with the Sound of Music and Dizzy Fingers amongst others, Ria’s Forgotten Waltz by Liszt with Cedric bringing a thoroughly enjoyable evening to close with Autumn Concerto.

Talk at St Francis Links

But there is more to enjoy this evening at St Francis Links when US Fire Fighter extraordinaire give a talk that should be of interest to most of living in St Francis given the areas propensity to and history of fires.