I am somebody who dreams big dreams… and I make no apologies for it either.
After spending way too many years (literally decades)… “surviving”… “getting-by”… “making-do”… and pretty-much-accepting-my-LOT-in-life (whatever a “lot” is)… I’m not embarrassed to say that I’m DONE with that… (and – as a family – we’ve been done with that for a while).
No more drifting aimlessly on the Sea of Life – waiting for the tides and the winds to take us wherever they take us!
I want a yacht – not a raft! A yacht with a map… a compass… a sail… and a rudder!
No more aimless drifting, waiting… passively… for someone else to change my life… someone else to save me… someone else to employ me… someone else to inject some purpose into my life. I’m not going to be waiting… waiting… waiting… in One-Day-When-Land – for some miracle to drop from the sky… a lotto win… a call from Oprah… a business proposal from Richard Branson… a Russian Art Patron…
… I’m gonna hop on my little yacht (even though it’s small and a bit dented and the sails are a bit grubby and tatty)… but, I’m gonna hop on that yacht nonetheless and chart my own course and set sail towards the life and dreams of my choosing!
The reason I conjure up these big dreams… (and share them with you guys)… is because they give me a goal to work towards.
I’m not a Wistful-Wisher… who just wistfully wishes… and wishes… and hopes… and dreams… and wishes… but does nothing to pursue those beautiful dreams. I’m a baby-steps person. Baby-steps… baby-steps… every day. Teeny tiny decisions… weeeny-teeny steps in the right direction… eventually GET you somewhere.
And once you accomplish one goal… you set your sights on the next one!
So – I thought I’d share (one) of my many big dreams: DREAM HOME – CAPE TOWN!
I am somewhat of a paradox. I absolutely love travelling and nomadic living… and I can happily traverse the globe for months at a time. At the same time… I really like having a nest… a home-base.
We currently own a house in one of Joburg’s northern suburbs. It was the first house that Nick and I purchased together and we moved in early 2005. It’s a nice house. Spacious… open-plan… lots of room for all of us to have our little private areas where we can do our thing. I’m grateful for this home and for the purpose it has served…
… but seasons are changing.
We initially purchased the house during a time when we weren’t really giving much thought to things like “dreams”. It was just a… convenient… decision. Our families are Joburg-based. The suburb where we stay is conveniently close to all the TV broadcasters and production studios (for Nick’s work)… Joburg was just… what-we-knew.
However… life has changed dramatically since then… and neither Nick – nor I – want to stay in Joburg. In fact, it feels as though my heart moved on from Joburg a long time ago… even though our house is still here.
In my BIG-BIG DREAM… I would eventually have 2 home-bases.
One would be in Cape Town on the Peninsula (for these reasons):
- Our family and many of our dearest friends are in South Africa – so it will always be “home” in that respect.
- The international film industry shoots a (lot!) of films in Cape Town. The idea (for our future films) is to get international funding (from Europe where the arts are valued and lots of money is being pumped in to film)… then to shoot in South Africa (for reasons too numerous to list here)… and for Nick to then edit and launch in Europe…. (both of us have EU citizenship – just in case you’re wondering how this is gonna be possible for two South Africans).
- The quality of life on the Cape Peninsula (and especially for families) is blissful. I truly love Cape Town (I was born there)… and I would love to live behind-the-lentil-curtain in either Noordhoek, Kommetjie, Scarborough, Misty Cliffs, Kalk Bay or Simon’s Town. After living there for 7 months just 2 years ago – I’m even more convinced.
Dream House #2 would be somewhere in Europe.… (where arts and culture are deeply valued and where there’s lots of funding available and investors available for worthy projects). I also love Europe for it’s incredible history, beauty, museums, castles, cathedrals and all kinds of other things that fill me with wonder and tick all of my happy boxes. I’m not even offended by overcast skies!!
But – this post is about Dream House #1… and here are my 3 main Dream-House-Prerequisites:
As mentioned… we’d like to sell the Joburg house and move to the Cape Peninsula… and (very-very-very important)… I want a view of the sea. “Beautiful View!!!” is at the top of my list of Dream-Cape-House-priorities. I want to wake up in the morning – and see the sea! I’m a visually inspired person… so “beautiful view” is absolutely top of the list.
One of the reasons I enjoy our Joburg home is because we do have enough space. It’s not a huge home… but it’s big enough for all of us to do our thing and – importantly – for Nick and I to be able to work and create without noise or interruption. Since we both work from home – Dream House will need the usual 3 bedrooms (plus a spare room for guests)… as well as a spacious editing suite for Nick (including a screening room)… and a spacious light-filled art studio for moi! I’d like the kids to have their own spacious rooms and family area… plus a place for them to play outside (preferably with a small pool – because my kids are fish).
3. ARTY, CREATIVE & UNIQUE…
Again – since we’re creative-creatures and since we’re both visually inspired… both of us want to live in a home that ticks our creative boxes. We love big open-plan spaces with high ceilings… (like converted lofts or converted factories… that kind of thing). We like big windows and lots of natural light. I (especially) love historical places that have some… grit. I don’t want to live in a shiny, polished… neat… normal… home. I love exposed brick and stone (real stone – not that fake cladding stuff) … unpainted cement… rough, unpolished, imperfect wood… weird oddities… character!
And – can you believe?
I have found our IDEAL dream Cape Peninsula Home…. that also happens to be… FOR SALE.… at a grand price of…. (cough-cough)… (insert-coughing-noises-here-to-drown-out-the-cost-of-the-house).
So it’s a little under… umm… R15 million. Which is a wee bit over $1 million USD. Eeee!
Chump-change, of course, for bankers, CEO’s, royalty, oligarchs, international celebrities and people who regularly buy stuff from Sothebys… but – ummm... sort-of-a-weeeeee-bit out of our current price range.
For the sake of big-beautiful-DREAMS… journey with me into my imagination for a tour of my dream-Cape-Town-nest in the ABC building in Simon’s Town:
I love the idea of living in a building… (an old, historical one at that)… instead of a “normal” house. This lovely old building used to be a bakery that supplied navy ships. ABC (the name of the building) stands for “Atwell Baking Company” – how cool is that? Included in the cost of the sale are the 2 shops at the bottom (who pay rent). One of those shops is a coffee shop and bakery! I mean… how divine – to live directly above a coffee shop / bakery!!!?!
The building is on the main road that runs through Simon’s Town (lots of lovely, historic buildings on that road)… and it overlooks the Simon’s Town harbour… the naval base… the sea!
Here’s another photo:
Oh squeal of joy!! Look at those high ceilings… those big windows… the wooden floors… the space!! The ABC’s “home” area above the shops encompasses 3 floors of high ceiling’ed, open-brick awesome’ness! We would use the centre floor (above) for Nick’s editing suite & screening room… as well as our lounge-library-music-room combo! (they even have a grand piano in there… which – so you know – is another one of my big-dreams: to own a grand piano!!)…. (and I would actually play it!! Not just display it!!!)….
I’m not nuts about the furniture… (except, of course, for the piano)… but… the floors… the brick… the space… the high ceilings….
Of course – because it’s an expensive home… it’s not surprising that they have a very fancy kitchen with all kinds of top-quality appliances and what not… but what I love is (again)… the space… the brick… the view… the old fire place in the dining area… the fact that you can make your morning coffee while looking over the harbour and the boats….
This kitchen and dining room level also has a spare bedroom with en-suite bathroom… a little family nook… and back doors leading out onto a rooftop POOL with big patio and mini-garden!!! Eeeeee!!!!
The top floor has another 3 bedrooms as well as 2 bathrooms… (where we would live). The main bedroom has double-views… front-views over the sea… and back-views (in the roof) up at the mountain behind the property… Blisssssful-blisssss……!!
And then… they have this gym room… (which I would instantly convert into an art studio!!!)… I LOVE the light… the space… the high-ceilings… the ample plug points… and the floors-conducive-to-art-making!!!
Other reasons that make this my dream Cape Town property:
It has a underground parking garage that can fit 7 cars! I could so easily imagine us inviting friends and family over… hosting little screenings or Songs & Stories evenings… or (when Nick works with clients in his editing suite) – it would be so easy for them to park off-street and work until late if necessary…
For the kids: loads of nearby beaches… including Boulders beach (and the penguins)… as well as all the usual peninsula delights and close proximity to some really good friends! For Nick: convenient access to all of Cape Town’s film locations, sound stages and Barry Donnelly (who is a brilliant sound designer that Nick almost always works with)…
Like I say: THIS would be my dream Cape Town home.
I use this dream – as a beacon. As… I guess… a reason.
Imagining our family living in this home… imagining our lifestyle there… imagining how I’d decorate it… is for me – an incentivizing exercise.
It makes me want to finish that script for the mini-series that we wanted to pitch to our broadcaster/producer friends (both in Europe and here in SA). It makes me want to complete my “Diamond in the Rough” series of contemporary paintings and bang on doors of galleries… refusing to give up until I find tribe’sters who love what I make as much as I love making it (and who are happy to invest generously in my work). It makes me want to stop being such a scaredy-cat about promoting my book and getting it out there to a (MUCH) wider audience… and especially since I already have so much fabulous feedback! It makes me want to finish book 2… and 3… and many others!
Dreams like this (and many others)… incentivize me into action. They motivate me… they help me NOT to settle for the easy… comfortable... “safe”… life.
Dreams provide me with something to aspire towards… which (in this case) is more a lifestyle than a property. More a series of lovely experiences – than the owning of expensive things… (like morning coffee whilst enjoying the sea view… lying in bed while staring up at a mountain… enjoying the company of my family in beautiful, inspiring surroundings – as we deliberately and purposefully craft the life of our choosing)…
In all probability, some wealthy person will buy this property and use it as a holiday home… or perhaps a business… or a little boutique hotel. If that happens… I’ll be a bit sad – but I’ll adjust the dream a bit… and move on.
One thing is certain: I need my dreams. Without goals and dreams… I feel as though I’m just drifting… and surviving (instead of living and thriving!). Like I say… I’m not scared (or ashamed) of the big, crazy dreams…