Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A Kleinbaai Holiday

A Kleinbaai Holiday
18 September 2012

My grandparents own a little slice of Eden, in a marvellous and charming little seaside village called, Kleinbaai.  It is so small, it is not even a little dot on a map.  Well, no not really.  It is known as the White Shark Capital of the world after all, so the little harbour is a virtual hive of activity at times with boats taking ridiculously stupid tourists out to sea to swim with sharks.  Hello!!!  Swimming with sharks?  Now that takes a really unique brand of stupid to want to do that.  When we’re at Kleinbaai we always go down to the harbour and look at all of the boats.  And there are also numerous businesses, all boasting shark cages outside their shops.  Now I’ve had a real good look at these shark cages.  My braai grid at home would provide more protection.  Seriously!!!  And have you ever seen that movie Jaws?  If that shark could take out a boat (yes, a boat), a shark cage with live human bait, would be like a little appetizer.  Anyway, I get distracted.  Back to Kleinbaai.

Oupa and Ouma bought Kleinbaai in 1960 something for the princely sum of R2 500 (if memory serves – they have a copy of the signed cheque framed at Kleinbaai).  And if the Lombards had such a thing as an ancestral home (well apart from Cloetenberg of course), Kleinbaai would be it.  The house is quite literally on the sea – nobody in front of us.  We have the most magnificent view of the whole bay.  And all of us have spent many an hour just looking at the sea and listening to the crashing of the waves.  I grew up with Kleinbaai living in my heart.  We go there for a few days every holiday.  In summer time, we lounge about on the stoep, admiring the view, catching a few rays.  We always go exploring at the rocks, catching little klipvissies with nets, only to release them again.  And just as I did when I was little, my kids spend hours collecting starfish in buckets filled with sea water.  They bring them up to the house, to proudly show to all, only to chug them down to the water again to let them free.  We go walking to the harbour.  Collect shells, stones and sea glass.  We throw stones into the sea for hours on end and go traipsing through the water, looking for anemones.

In the winter, there’s a fire in the fireplace right through the day and night and each holiday has a theme.  We’re either doing beading or knitting (yip, even the boys gave that one a bash) or some other activity.  There’s always lots of painting and drawing as well.  Board games and puzzles reign supreme.  There’s music playing all of the time.  Usually guitarists galore.  There’s trips to the caves at De Kelders and a spot of swimming at the tidal pool if the weather plays along.  Some even brave the golf course just down the road.  All of us gals love to go browsing at the little knick knackety shops in the buzzing metropolis that is Gansbaai.  And a trip to Kleinbaai would simply not be complete without all of the gals doing a wee bit of shopping at the prime fashion spot in town – Pep Stores (fondly dubbed Pep Boutique). 

There’s usually a huge influx of Lombards, especially over weekends, when the working folk join us.  Cooking is a mammoth task and takes a fair bit of planning.  Something mundane like French Toast for lunch, involves 36 eggs and 4 loaves of bread.  There is a duty roster in the kitchen and all of the kids have to help as well.  We divide them into teams and everyone contributes and has a turn.  Little pockets of people and kids go off together to do stuff.  The kids fly kites and go fishing from the rocks.  There is always a fudge-off competition, with numerous chefs trying to outdo each other simultaneously with their best rendition of fudge.  My mom, Maggie, always wins.  No one can replicate her fudge.  In fact one year for Christmas, all of us kids got a huge batch of Maggie fudge for Xmas.  My mom said that it had been a nightmare to make, because each time she finished a batch, she and Daya would end up eating it again.  She eventually took to hiding it, even from herself.

I could wax lyrical about Kleinbaai forever.  It is the home of my soul.  And I can categorically state that every single person in the family feels the same.  All of the married couples in the family have spent a portion of their honeymoon at Kleinbaai – it is always a part of our wedding gift from Oupa and Ouma.  When we’re all together and it’s a huge bunch of us, waking up in the morning, is like wading through a sea of bodies.  People sleeping everywhere.  The house has beds for 16, which is way less than the lot of us together.  The kids squish together – many on a single mattress.  There’s sleeping on the stoep, and even on the hammock.  My mom and Daya always sleep in their bakkie – they have specially made mattresses.  And there’s always a few tents as well.  Quite often at night, we all watch movies together, with a continuous stream of running commentary.  Oupa always saying “I can’t hear”, no matter how high he’s turned up his hearing aid. 

But most importantly of all, Kleinbaai is a home always filled with love and laughter.  And that’s because of family.  Not just any family, mind you.  My family.  And below, I include a few photos of one particular holiday, when the Awesome Aulds came out from the UK.  What fun we had!

"Okay, so seriously my computer is not in a co-operative mood tonight, so I will continue uploading pics tomorrow. this space.  Humble apologies and all that."

With my brother, and sister - all time fave pic of the 3 of us together
My Moenkie - he simply loves Kleinbaai
My beautiful Berry
Chilling in the lounge
Oupa busy on his putie
 Our Cory - the one eyed wonder - despite blistering heat, he never took the hoodie off once, always ensuring at least one eye was covered
Ouma always busy with a puzzle - people hard at work relaxing
Amber and Cole set up a little shop in the Wagkamer - some people never found their toothbrushes again for the whole holiday!
About to do the mass family birthday celebration - everyone with a birthday close to that time.  Cakes, treats, puddings and tarts galore.
Singing "Happy Birthday" a whole bunch of times. Celebrating Ouma Helene, Albert, Jacques, Elaine and my birthday.
A treat feeding frenzy - as you can see - just a small gathering
Bella's paddling pool put to good use
Ja, well, no fine
My very, very, very special sister. One of my favourite gals in the whole world. A part of me lives inside her - in a non-freaky sort of way.
Say "cheese"
Teenage chicks catching some rays
Kitchen duty - child labour really works

Lelanie, Katrine and I - Lelanie was busy growing Frankie at the time - sooo exciting


Amber slaving away while Christiaan looks on

Al, Bella and Jacques chilling

Shame, Daya never had a holiday. That blerrie Bradley kept him busy. At least he was doing programming with a view.

Jacques relaxing on the hammock - the best spot

More slavery

Katrine and little Honey - fondly called Honeypot, Pottie, or simply The Pot

The magnificent Kati Auld - always with her head stuck in a book - such a clever and fabulous gal

Jacques - can't you just feel the vibe?

Adam - wheeeeeee!!!

My Luke - such a stunning boy

My bonus sister, Katarina - looking as glam as ever

Entertaining Bella through the window from outside

I told you there were lots of guitars and that nearly everyone can play

Guitar-ing away and what a setting for it

A time out for my Grantie

Oupa en Ouma sit op die stoep

The boys showing their stuff with the guitars

Darling Alex - such a quirky kid (sorry teenager)

Mom and Amber-Berry

The gal cousins sharing a bath - my daughter, Al's daughter and Katrine's daughter - so special

Luke getting a few pointers from Al

The Kleinbaai Nail Bar - offering mani's and pedi's for all

A sea of bodies on the stoep - simply the best place to sleep with the crashing of waves in your ears

Having a little get together in the Red Room (that hasn't been red for years, but is still called that)

Alex hamming it up

Luke having a go on the Playstation

Beautiful, beautiful Bella-Bolla

Katrine and the Pottie

Bella and "Mommy"

Robin and the one-eyed wonder

Katrine and Kati peeling what felt like bags and bags of potatoes

Gals on kitchen duty - so happy to spend time together - even in the kitchen

My "little" nuclear family - just my mom with her various offspring and appendages

A fair bit of co-ordinating to get everyone to look up and smile at the same time

My favourite peeps

The Awesome Aulds

The Footwear with their kids

I absolutely adore each and every one of them

 Mom with her grandchildren - Frankie was still but a bun in the oven

Mom with the Cloete Clan

Aaahhh - The Footwear - Katrine and her Robin

The two gals - simply for the longest time, we've both called each other Foefie - with absolutely no recollection of where it started and why

I love, love, love my brother and my sister and the feeling is entirely mutual

The floor liberally dotted with bodies in the mornings

Watermelon boy

Robin and Luke playing a cracking game of darts

Off on a shopping trip to Pep Boutique

Chef Grant's in da house

The general ambience

Chopping, dicing, slicing

Mom and her beloved Bella

Cory - the hooded one-eyed wonder - I think he might perhaps be the leader of the Sith

Going walk-about in the sunset

Absolutely everyone had a turn in the pram - but sadly, despite numerous requests, I never got a go

Me and the delectable Honey-Pot

Cole having a dramatic fall in the pram - please note that no children were harmed in the taking of this picture - it was purely re-enacted for extra dramatic effect

View from the house at sunset - just finished our walk

The two brothers-out-law, Grant and Robin, chatting while they're braaing

Berry and Bella

Ouma Helene, the puzzle queen - hard at work

View from the stoep - the best sight in the world

In the car, on our way home. View of the house. A family tradition, is that those left behind (okay, only some of them), show brown-eyes to those leaving. Grant always leaves feeling traumatised by what he's witnessed.


  1. Thanks Helene for honouring our Kleinbaai - it lives in all our hearts and souls and we are such lucky fishes to have it as part of our lives.

  2. I know this is an old post, but the picture of the your daughter in the tub with her cousins is adorable! Nothing strengthens the cousin bond like sharing a bath. Especially if they take the opportunity to explore each others naked little bodies. I hope they all got their hands on, and fingers in each other. It's so sweet to watch little girls play with each others vaginas and bum holes :)