I needed a haircut, so made an appointment with Sandy on the veranda of her home behind il Postino. I always pause to admire the lovely gates before heading into her perfect pint-sized salon for a wash and cut. Visiting Sandy regularly is great for catching up on Dargle news – she knows everything that’s going on! She appears to cut and colour everyone’s hair. I learn about Cassie’s plans for a local school, whose veggie garden is flourishing, and how much everyone enjoys Tinks’ craft club. The salon prices suit the countryside – a pleasant surprise when the real bonus is that we don’t have to drive to the city for haircuts anymore.
Leaving, I gasp at the gorgeous view of Inhlosane – food for the soul. You can see this iconic hill from so many places in the Midlands, but I think the best view is driving along the Dargle road towards it. You just know you are home.
I head inside the Dargle Dealer, where my favourite shop girls – Eunice and Debbie – greet me cheerily. Lucinda is relaxed and reading the paper on the couch after Pilates class, waiting for Brandon to pick her up. The coffee at the store is really delicious and everyone stops now and again because you just never know who you will bump into on those comfy couches. I stock up on treats – handmade cheese and farm butter, free range eggs, organic chocolate, coke in funky planet-friendly returnable bottles, a shank of bushpig for my dog to chew on and chicken mince for my cat. I’m off for a massage I tell everyone. Lucky me.
Lucky Dargle. Colleen moved to Khululeka recently and has been spoiling people up and down the valley. “She has healing hands” said Katie’s mum after Colleen helped her arthritic knee to move a lot better. She sure has. Her therapy room, between the forest and the orchard is a tranquil place. My tight shoulders don’t phase her a bit “I’ll sort you them out” she says cheerily and proceeds with hot stones and gentle hands and temple bells to soothe the knots and sore spots. Afterwards, I lie still for a while listening to the birds. Calmed, I wander back along the garden path besides the rock pool and some interesting sculptures Willem has created.
Inspired by the lovely fragrances, I resolve to stock up on local essential oils at The Lavender Company. Lynette’s shop is a little sanctuary of lovely things. Bath salts, soaps and hand creams too. Many of the ingredients used in her products are grown right outside, with a view of Inhlosane. How incredibly fortunate we are to live in the Dargle where not only the natural world is good for us, the people are too.
See the Other Things list for phone numbers and spoil yourself one day soon.