UMHLANGA LIFE - THE ONLINE LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Events, Tales of Coffee and a great Short Story this week


Events

Pat Fleuriot started working 1 week after finishing High School. He completed his Articles of Workmanship through Price Waterhouse, spent 18 years in Accountancy and has been a Certified Financial Planner since 2007. 

Pat is currently a Fellow Partner, Financial Advisor at Fleuriot and Associates and is passionate about ascertaining client’s needs, assessing their financial strength, challenging and guiding them to protect and create wealth. 

He has been married to Jacqueline, for only 26 years. They have a pigeon pair – Richard, his son and partner in F&A and Danielle, his daughter is doing her Masters in USA. 

Pat is a skilled learner, analytic, disciplinarian and activator – which is sure to challenge you! 

Come and join us as Pat shares his journey with us: 

Date: 15th March 2013 
Time: 7:30am-9:30am 
Venue: Three Peaks House, 22A Underwood Road, Pinetown 
Cost: R 114.00 incl. VAT. (Healthy breakfast and coffee incl.) 

Bring a business associate or customer who has never attended one of our workshops before and only pay for one seat. 

Seats are limited to encourage the interactive nature of this event so BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment. 

To book: Contact Janis on 0861 373 257 or email: janism@threepeaks.co.za

(Source - Threepeaks)


A Profusion of Café Society by Timothy Sparks
Relinquish forty minutes in your day, alight from your vehicle and follow the lure of café society. Woody Allen’s charming film ‘Midnight in Paris’ celebrates this break in the cloud that art, dreams and alluring company can give on a pavement near  where you live. You may not wish to rub shoulders with the likes of the “Water drinkers” immortalised in the life, and loves of Henry Murger whose charmed existence was retold in Puccini’s Opera, La Boheme. Place your order and stimulate your senses through these café’s in your city…   


Durban has one coffee shop in the old part of the City. The House of Coffees lies across the street, well almost, from the Royal Hotel and is a place of secrets. The entire area was once an impenetrable labyrinth. Empty commerce and broken dreams whisper from the walls.


In this balmy atmosphere poetry is very far away. Within a fall of masonry from the City Hall, this denizen of café’s blazes a trail of coffee and chocolate cake. Echoes abide, the Bookshop of Steve and Tony’s (now gone) entices one with memories of the old elegance, not out of place in the tale of ‘The Shadow of the Wind’- by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, there are ghosts here; some not worth remembering. The Victoria Boer War Memorial seems to sigh under the blue sky drawing the onlookers, but dispersing doves. House of Coffees is a port of call for businessmen yoked to their coffee by force of habit. Yes, haunts such as these still exist in Smith Street. 


So much for History! No fancy, huddled Umhlangans crowding themselves in banks of sunglasses, and wit. This cavern of melancholy has to be dreamed to be believed. Speaking of sunglasses when last did you visit Vide e Caffé with their red truffle chairs, falling a bit short of Lisbon on a good day?
My first visit to Vida e Caffé was on foot, and sans atmosphere with my newspapers folding at all angles like a meringue. Without these columns and conversation on Saturday morning in Innes Road, I thought Russian-Roulette was in the offing.  Luckily gallery chatting brought Art into view and Durban was compared to Salisbury (Harare) for anyone who was counting. Conversation made the red chairs seem like a surreal statement, an existential meditation of epic proportions. Paintings are missing from this café without any sense of being robbed. 


After all, Harvey’s is next door. Unfortunately said restaurant obscures its true heart. Emotions of great importance are entertained here, and filters through like the minds who dreamt up a building named ‘Best on Seventh’ but the cappuccinos seem harmless enough.

Vide e Caffé should be upstairs through a corridor, and in an antechamber with a false bottom, propped up against the books of Fernando Pessoa. These simple red chairs seem to hypnotise the pretentious crowd, but I am told this is the positive side. A miniature Balkanised café of Umhlanga’s fringes, nestles on the corner of Tender Road surface paid by Apparatchiks or Aperitifs of Zuma:  “infants of the storm,” - we are all fugitives sipping cappuccinos amid waves of subtle and supple maidens, flouting conventions by discussing the foliage outside Villa Shaik, the hairstyle of poodles and the mating habits of sardines.
One of my finest Portuguese friends left South Africa for a run in London. An architect by day, friend of Lisbon by evening, I imagine he would love to chat about the subject of coffee shop revival. 


My conversation with my new friend was punctuated by talk about Colombo Tea and Coffee Co. now dubbed the Factory Café. Does anyone call it The Factory Café? Never mind, I can remember the coffee, fresh and strong; bruising stuff. French Press, Guatemalan Pouring Coffee- heavy brews tapering off, into a distant purple part of the brain. Echoes of sublime evenings in dim bars, paintings of light distilled in the four corners. Talk was stretched out like filter paper:  a canvas of unspoken and unknown provenance. Drinking coffee at The Factory Café is a bit like a Merlot tasting in Cato Manor, unexpected but the atmosphere is muted like a scene from a David Lynch movie.

From this haven in Glenwood, we move to a café of French Resistance created near the fabled Sutton Park. Something draws one to the coffee. The new café set in a rather remarkable garden, is tended by Monsieur Jean-Francois who has both heart and character much like the zesty name, Café  Saint-Germain. French flair pours from the kitchen and the service is prompt and has its eye on detail. In this somewhat hidden cradle of French pastries, Gallic abandon fills the air with joie de vivre. Shapes and contrasts rub green swaths of tablecloths into this subdued place of French charms.

The next café might have been designed by the Poet de Nerval in a good mood. Style is almost everything, but we are eclipsed by the constants of time, coffee and the ambience that draws every part of the soul into the embrace of carpentry, coffee and conversation. Dream of the Athénée at the Palais Royal, where Apollinaire embroiders the crowd with mad stories, amidst the vanishing point of the piano. Solace and detail, expression and passion, demand every breath and coffee sends one into raptures: one day one may relish a coffee from Naples, stirring the senses. The expresso makes you sit bolt upright on another. Drink and take in these charms, this café is really beautiful and the small garden is an oasis, known amongst the cognoscenti.  Proprietor Senoré Stephano Toffoli   believes in the vision of the Café des Artistes, a galvanising dream that distinguishes his café from the run-of the mill, duplicating cafes that pervade the atmosphere in the city. One is reminded that in the middle of Berlin’s winter, coffee shops are full of artists and people thronging the Strasse. In a short time, Churchill’s seems to have created a place where fashion, Art and finesse jolt the scene in the bustling atmosphere that is Durban.   


This opinion piece written by Timothy Sparks.  He is a Freelance Writer and Part-Time Teacher.
email tpwsparks@hotmail.com







(Source - Durban Chamber of Commerce) 


Vedanta World Durban Golf Day 


Details:

 COURSE:               Royal Durban Golf Club              
  DATE:                     Friday, 05 April 2013                    
  TIME:                     10:30am (Two tees)
  FORMAT:              Four-Ball Betterball Stableford
  ENTRY FEE:          R3000 per Four-Ball (incl. green fee & dinner) 
      For Registration Details: Please contact Sumi  071 111 5505 email: admin@vedanta.org.za
(Source - Vedanta) 







OH JOHNNY by Andrew Verster

“Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, where have you been?”
“Up to London to see the Queen.”
“And what was she like?”
“I didn’t actually see her as she was in India launching a ship or opening a crèche.”
“So what did you do?”
“I sent postcards to all my friends and said how marvellous it was seeing her. That is what they wanted to hear and I didn’t want to disappoint them.”
“So what if they find out?”
“I’ll cover it up with more lies. There’s plenty of time to invent a few.”
“Is that honest?”
“Truth is relative.”
“And lies?”
“Likewise.”
“So what WAS she like?”
“Marvellous. Even better than in her photographs.”

Andrew Verster is a world famous artist and writer based in Durban.
 email:




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