Fynbos Estate – How it began!

20 years ago Johan and I had a discussion in our house in Obs Cape Town. The daughter of a single mom friend, just scraping by financially, had for years dreamed of one day becoming an architect in Venice. And that day in Obs we heard that, by hook and crook, bursaries and exchange programs, she had just been accepted, yes, into a prestigious university in Venice.

We were in our early forties. My children were finishing high school and Johan’s children, living in the UK, came yearly to visit. Johan’s contract at UWC had just ended and I was working and teaching part time as a clinical psychologist. Not quite ready but we decided then and there in our small Obs house, that it was now or never, money or not. If our young friend could do it, so could we.

But what did we REALLY want to do? Lying on the bed, drinking many cups of coffee, and some glasses of wine, we dreamed Fynbos Estate. A beautiful farm making natural wine, having some rescue farm animals, and being on or near and nature reserve so we could do some conservation work.

Life decisions from the big bed


And then we set about making it happen.

Firstly we had barely a bean between us, so we searched and found friends who would come in with us. Then we needed to find somewhere an hour from the city (my daughter in matric and my practice and teaching still on the go). And it actually didn’t take long. After viewing 6 or so unsuitable places, Fynbos came our way through a series of synchronicities and happen chances.

The first viewing and already beside ourselves

When we first went to view, driving up the now wonderfully familiar farm road, we were silly with bliss. And holding hands on the back of Oom Basie’s bakkie going up the mountain, we couldn’t stop giggling. It was more, much more than we could have dreamed. Of course it cost more too, but with a `this’ and a`that’, throwing everything we had into the pot, we somehow made it.

Giggling up the mountain

And so, one year later in late October 1997, we left our OBs house with one truckload of possessions, our staffie Jess and our cat Jiminy, and two somewhat bewildered children, heading out for the adventure of our lives.

Leaving our small house in Obs


Packing up our worldly belongings


Diana’s children dragged along for the adventure


Jiminy the cat coming too


One truck load to fill a farm


Jess our staffie came to sniff the country breezes


Encouraging friends sent us this


What we found and the many funny and not so funny farm stories from the early and later days, will pop up from time to time in this blog, providing a running commentary, not only of our adventures, but also of the complex context of rural wynland South Africa.

And I thought the garden a lot to manage



  1. Pat on 23rd Apr 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Oh. What a fabulous story… So far…🎉

  2. Yolande on 23rd Apr 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Love it. Tell me more 💕💕💕