Morgenster means Morning Star. The wine estate of Morgenster is less than 10km from my shack, at the foot of the Helderberg Mountain. You drive up through a forest and past a dam to get to the tasting room. Here you are greeted by the most stunning view of the mountains of the Winelands. It was a crisp, sunny, winter’s morning after a few days of clouds and snow on the mountaintops.
Bev had just reunited with her ex that she had broken up with a few days earlier, and we all know what happens when people make up… That means she was particularly bright and cheerful.
I was not and I knew that this day would sting; the sting of a lifetime. To me, it was one of the most emotional days I have ever had to get through. I wanted to say, in the roller coaster ride of emotional days, but then I realized it was more like that log ride than a roller coaster. You get in and ride along smoothly, for about minute. Then you get to a platform where you are pushed over the edge to go down at lightning speed until you come to a splashing standstill.
I was fighting back those splashing tears all day. It is hard to stay sad on such a beautiful day, at a place like Morgenster with an endorphin-dazed friend, but tell me so
mething is hard and I will show you I can do it! I think it was one of my most quiet PQ days. Or maybe not, I don’t remember. PQ? Sorry, no we can’t tell you what that means. The world is not ready for it. Also, it is very hard to explain; it is part of a language Bev and I are inventing as we go along. Let’s just say PQs is what we call our wine tasting expeditions, and many other adventures we embark upon.
To be honest, I am quite hazy about the whole day. I do remember that ache in your chest, the one you get when your heart is hanging in shreds. I also remember a long row of good wines. Morgenster does it differently! They bring you all the wines at once, and you start on the left and work your way through 5 wines. To read about Morgenster’s wines, click here.
When we were paying for our tasting, Bev’s eye caught the tasting list and there and then we decided to do another tasting of three more wines. For those who are wondering how we taste so many wines – we linger on the ones we love. Of some, you just take a small sip or two, but there are those others with which you want to be like a toddler and fold your arms over it while loudly wailing it is MINE! On this particular day, it would have been easy to make them all MINE. It would have been easy to get lost in the oblivion of the grape and block out everything else.
After the tasting at Morgenster, and foraging their forest for a bag of pinecones, we went on along the same route, to Lourensford. I was almost tempted to abandon wine tasting for coffee tasting, but I resisted the temptation.
By now I have gone from toddler to teenager and couldn’t stop giggling. I talked and joked with the people in the tasting room. Everything was funny but at the same time, my mind was imploding with darkness. It is a good thing I made notes of the wines because my memory of the day is more like a black hole of despondency than a golden morning star.
By the time we got to my house the effects of the wine had worn off. A good thing too, because I still had to ride my motorbike to my friend Lenie’s house where I was going to spend the weekend. I had people lined up to catch me because I knew I would crash into a pit I would never get out of on my own.
I walked into the emptiness where my ex had removed her things that day, as planned. At that moment, I was exactly what she has told me a hundred times during our time together: an almost-fifty-year-old woman that no-one wants. Then the floodgates broke and the tears bubbled out. Bev just held me and said in her quiet way: It is okay my friend.
After I don’t know how long, I started packing for the weekend, not thinking straight. Bev realised at a point I had no idea what I already packed in my bag. She decided to help, and would say, do you have your toothbrush and I’d go and get it.
“Get a shirt,” and I’d grab the first shirt I could find.
“Panties…” and so forth.
After Bev made sure that I was okay to drive and warmly dressed for the bike, I locked the door behind me and drove off to go and cook something – anything – at Lenie’s house. In my bag I had six clean panties for 2 days and a red hoodie to wear over my bright green shirt. Lenie gave me one look and poured me a glass of her standard Robertson Red. I played Linkin Park videos on my laptop, and because the day stung like there’s no tomorrow, I quietly cooked a Beef Curry with Stinging Nettles.