Upping sticks & moving

Jo and I moved to Plettenberg Bay from Grahamstown, in the early nineties. I’d been teaching at Kingswood College and when my son James matriculated we decided to throw our lot in with Peter and Caroline Thorpe and start a commercial fishing business. Unfortunately the timing was disastrous – we started operating just before the fish stocks collapsed and the government withdrew most of the licences. We managed to sell our boat and I started making furniture and doing household carpentry. Jo started working at Hog Hollow Country Lodge, which is just down the road from us. Before long I took a job working as a rough carpenter on construction sites. It was a tough time – we didn’t have much money and were living on a portion of land that we’d bought with Peter and Caroline out in The Crags outside Plettenberg Bay.

After a couple of years I went back into teaching as the founding headmaster of Bay College, a small alternative school based on Angus Greig’s Ebenezer estate on the N2 west of Plett. Jo carried on working at Hog Hollow and since 1999 we have been living very modest lives in the wood and iron shack on the farm. With some money inherited from my parents and with the aid of Frank, Jo’s father, we built a house called That Place which we run as a self-catering cottage. It was with the money earned from That Place that we started our wine adventure.