Living the dream…

A few years ago we were fortunate enough to stay in Philadelphia in the Western Cape.  A charming village about 40km’s north from Cape Town.

The village has less than 300 inhabitants and is renowned for housing many famous artists such as the late Pieter van der Westhuizen who passed in 2008.  We came to live in the village by chance and it was like living a dream.

I was five months pregnant with our firstborn, Chelsea, and I was tired of living in the concrete jungle.  I was bored with the city lights of Durbanville, the noise and the pollution. I was adamant to find a better place to raise our baby.

So I took a drive one fine day and the name Philadelphia just popped in my mind.  I knew I drove past it once or twice.  As I meandered through the hills I was mesmerised by the beauty of the canola fields.

I drove through the dusty streets and found out (literally through the grapevine) that there was a house for rent.  To cut along story short this is the house we moved into a month later…

It is a gorgeous house.  It has great bones and is almost 110 years old.  It has five spacious bedrooms with wood floors right through (except kitchen that has slate tiles).  And if you look closely, it has original wooden shutters!  Oh, it was heaven.  I remember I didn’t have to bother with curtains and rails (which I always find a nightmare).  And you were always guaranteed a peaceful (and loooong) sleep.  The room would be pitch black and many a times we would oversleep thinking it was still 3h00 in the morning!

This is a picture from our balcony at sunrise…

I have so many great memories at this house.  It was perfect for entertaining as it had so much space…

We loved having people over and celebrations were plenty!  And we found out quite early we have another resident on board…

Our own Cape Eagle Owl…he was gorgeous!  According to the local residents he has been living there for the last 14 years.  He used to be quite friendly although many of our two-legged visitors were quite freaked out by it.

He used to roam in between the houses and particularly frequented ours when our garden was complete.  The owner of the house commissioned a local landscaper to upgrade the garden.

It was truly a charming house.  Unfortunately we had to move on. The owner didn’t want to sell and we found another opportunity elsewhere.  So we moved out in 2008.

I had another chance to drive through the village this past weekend and the house looked the same, but somehow different.  The smell of lavender still filled the air and the village lazily carried on.  I felt a little emotional but I also felt very fortunate that for two years I called this place home.

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