Touch Down in a Far-Away Galaxy Place at Uilenkraalsmond's Alienscape


Uilenkraalsmond’s alienscape is near Franskraal in South Africa. It is a place where the houses were patently built by thick-set architects with Seventies sideburns and unironic moustaches. While wearing safari suits and smoking pipes. Which, judging by the plainly weird houses which carbuncle the seafront, must have been filled with Mandrax.

It is a place where men drive bakkies with a hairy forearm hanging out of the window to catch the cooling sea breezes. Or to lovingly grasp a cold Castle Lager.

And where, in the pub, not altogether lissome locals squint at strangers in the way portrayed in that scene in the Yorkshire pub in American Werewolf in London. Like you might have crawled out of the cheese, kept in the galley of the alien spaceship that just docked at Uilenkraalsmond.

Which, if you have ever succumbed to the splendour around the psychedelic waters which flow into the ocean there, where the Black Oystercatchers pluck up gems and hold them to the magical light… is entirely feasible.

In Uilenkraalsmond, it seems entirely feasible that you may, indeed, have fallen on to a new planet. A far-away galaxy place where very little of your previous life is to be found. Except for the warmest glow of the very best day you ever experienced as a child.



Allow the light to dance a sexy cha-cha across your eyes. Walk east to the bridge which locks in the early-morning mist and gather in the sunrise seeping saucily over the dunes. Walk west at golden hour and marvel at the free-style painting of the pre-dusk fire sky. Plunge into the bracing estuarine waters and allow the tide to drift you any which way, gulls swooping and shrieking their approval of your letting go.

Let it go. Let go of you. And just press-play. Child’s play.

Fred Hatman
Fred Hatman (AKA Howard Donaldson) knew he wanted to be newspaper journalist at age 13. He has worked as a reporter and sub-editor for the Daily News and Cape Times, both based in South Africa and Wimbledon News, Today, London Daily News, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mirror, all based in London .
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