I recently had the pleasure of meeting a couple who have been part of our local North Coast community since it was just a small farming community and nowhere near the bustling metropolis it is now! Trevor and Sharnene Thompson live in a fairytale world of their own making, and have converted their old farmhouse next to The Litchi Orchard in Salt Rock into an eclectic bed & breakfast filled with knick-knacks and souvenirs from their extensive travels.
Sharnene and Trevor take me into every room and tell me stories about the various pieces of furniture they have collected and of the famous guests who have stayed there (James Blunt’s aunt to mention just one) Amazingly to me, Trevor has an old, faded photograph hanging on his wall of his father sitting on a camel in Egypt alongside my very own grandfather.
They have had many interesting and delightful guests over the years, and I am quite amused by a story they tell me of three bikini’d, high-heeled Austrian ladies who unwittingly burnt a hole in the wooden poolside deck whilst smoking copious amounts of cigarettes (although they vehemently denied any involvement…)
They take me onto the very same deck for cucumber and mint sandwiches and tea, and we gaze upon their prize Nguni cows grazing serenely in the meadows below.
Sharnene tells me how she loves to pick brightly coloured ‘bogeys’ – the vibrant bougainvillea flowers of which her garden is abundantly full, to set the breakfast table for her guests to enjoy every morning.
Sharnene is an accomplished artist and her art holds pride of place in many of the rooms in their home. She seems to have an incredible talent for capturing light and many of her pieces depict scenes from their travels through Africa and she loves to capture that time between daylight and nightfall – the Golden Hour as only a true African would know.
Some of Sharnene’s jewellery which I found so beautiful.
Their little Scottish Terrior is the love of their lives and the only one of all the dogs who is allowed inside the house.
One of Trevor’s more recent forays is into the world of bee-keeping, and he has amassed a large number of hives stationed at various points along the North Coast. Many of the local farmers use Trevor’s bees to pollinate their crops of Macadamia’s and as Trevor speaks of his bees, I can tell he is completely besotted with this pastime.
As I am about to leave, Trevor in his characteristically gregarious manner, exclaims that he has spotted a brightly coloured hanging wall-flower suspended delicately over our heads. He reaches up and tips some of the sweet liquid inside the flower into my outstretched palm. Once I have dutifully tasted the sweet nectar, he informs me of the supposed aphrodisiac properties of this liquid and we all share a laugh together.