Engaged in the berg!

IMG_1959A week ago we emptied our wallets into the petrol tank, climbed into the car and drove up to the Northern Drakensberg to celebrate our anniversary. Myself and the long-suffering, excellent-coffee-making partner in crime have been together for a decade, setting many a kitchen fire alight together, adopting many (too many) a rescued pet (mostly cats and two dogs who are now outnumbered by said cats) and owning a mostly-upright home together.
IMG_1961IMG_1887 IMG_1886 IMG_1885The Minister of Boyfriending booked the accommodation as a surprise. We were both looking forward to a weekend of relaxing somewhere surrounded by the sounds of a lazy, wintery nature without being disturbed by The Hunger Choir of Kittens or being knocked over by the 40kg cat-chasing, bum-licking enthusiastic jumping sack of fur known as George the hound, and generally just enjoying some solitude. IMG_1897 IMG_1896We stayed at a lovely place, Berghouse Cottages, up a gravel road at the top of a hill, surrounded by the majesty of the berg. A place with Shetland ponies. Nay (neigh..), better, a place with BABY Shetland ponies (which are really just an arrangement of very fluffy long fur, 4 twigs for legs, a nose for snuffling and not much else, but enough to pop those ovaries with cuteness if you have ’em!).
IMG_1976 IMG_2033 IMG_2039 IMG_2028 IMG_2041 IMG_1904We stayed in a little cottage with a fireplace and a verandah that overlooks the mountains. And the ponies. Which I sat looking at, armed with coffee in one hand, carrots in the other, while plotting the ways in which one could reasonably be shoved into a car and snatched away to add to the menagerie at home (until I saw one poop – no thanks, our George Droppings are quite enough to shovel through).
IMG_2088 IMG_2086 IMG_2060 IMG_2085 IMG_1928 IMG_1919I was quite ready to do as little as possible when we arrived. We were given a hiking trail map and activity brochures when we checked in, and looking at them was as much activity as I was prepared to invest. However, Gareth had other plans and suggested a walk. I reluctantly agreed, panting and sighing and shuffling most of the several hundred or so metres to a pretty tree. Upon reaching it, I promptly declared that it was too hot, the sun all the wrong angle for nice shots and that I wanted to moan my way back to the cottage. I offered to trudge back for another attempt at a walk later in the afternoon and a somewhat strained Gareth agreed.
IMG_2131 IMG_2122 IMG_2110We returned at about 4pm. When we got to the tree Gareth insisted we go over one hill, to a distant tree on top of another hill. He was determined. I was promised that a picturesque river was probably beyond the hill that the distant tree was sitting on. So off we went. Going over the first hill, we didnt realise that the landscape had been burned in fire breaks so the closer we got, the more irate Gareth was getting as we both noticed that that escarpment was a blackened and sooty carpet instead of a golden swaying veld. Doh. But Gareth perservered. He was set on this bloody tree, I didn’t know what got into him, so we carried on. We arrive at the tree to be greeted by a barbed wire fence. If there was a river beyond it, it was not going to be seen that day.
IMG_2018 IMG_2002IMG_1938

The tree on the blackened hill.

The tree on the blackened hill.

As we turned to go back down the hill, Gareth dropped from my sight and I assumed he tripped. I looked down and there he was, doing the whole bended knee thing, nervous and shaky. I was very surprised! And delighted. Considering how many things we have accidentally set fire to (sugar, meringues, oil, bread, dish cloths..) a blackened landscape seems apt for our making it official. I set fire to the kitchen, he set fire to my heart. Ahem.
IMG_2141 IMG_2152 IMG_2153We toasted to scorched and shiny things on top of another hill, beneath yet another tree, overlooking the same gorgeous view, dotted with the all-important miniature ponies. I had accidentally left my hairbrush at home for the weekend so the all-important couple selfie with ring was vetoed by me. I’m not stylish by nature, but even I draw the line at birds nest hairstyles. And yet with that spectacular hair he still popped the question. That’s true love.

This is what he signed up for. Poor guy.

This is what he signed up for. Poor guy. I just need a missing tooth to complete the look.

The brave man.

I think I got the better end of the deal here 😉

Blog Comments

I absolutely love this story! Now to plan the shenanigans!

Congratulations dear Shirley. Wishing you many, many happy years together. My ovaries totally popped at the sight of those baby Shetland ponies. Super duper CUTE!! 🙂 xx

Beautiful story x

Just beautiful Berks!! Congratulations!! Definitely need to revisit The Berghouse and Cottages for your complimentary ‘sparkling wine’ 🙂

A beautiful, hilarious engagement story which has made my Monday morning. Congratulations again Shirley.

PS what beautiful images – I had forgotten how dry the ‘Berg gets in winter.


YAY! I’m so happy for you! Wow, I feel really bad for not noticing when I saw you on Saturday!!

Congrats to you both……

You are such a great writer – I thoroughly enjoyed this! Your photos are stunning, as well! Congratulations and I hope you will be happy forever!

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Blogs

Posted by cuizine | September 25, 2014
The Circle Café
A fairly sizable group of us descended upon the Circle Café to celebrate a friend's birthday. I had never been and was keen to give it a try, having heard...
Posted by cuizine | May 25, 2013
Dipping my toes in the blogging world
I live to eat, and I do so in Durban, so I've decided to happily contribute to the over saturation of the food blogging world by celebrating both! I go...
error: Content is protected !!