The schools of fish near Velddrif have attracted people for ages! Some fish traps and shell middens dating back hundreds of years, having belonged to Khoi-Khoin (early indigenous inhabitants) are protected historical beacons. The quaint little lane next to the Berg River which is aptly named "Bokkom Lane" is considered an informal "national monument". Here, in a never-changing cycle, schools of harders are offloaded from rickety boats onto rickety jetties. First, the fish is thrown into deep salt troughs, then, still wet and glistening they are bunched and hung out to dry. The moment they are salted and stringed onto rafters they are no longer referred to as harders or mullet, but become bokkoms.
In my painting, and in the photographs you can see the first steps in the process. Bokkoms are hung out to dry. They are very beautiful and this subject is a favourite among West Coast artists. My next post I will show them dried to a golden colour. I will then explain the second part of the process and explain how to eat this local delicacy.
I mentioned in the title that this is my blog's first anniversary. When I took those bold steps, I did not know that I would make many friends, sell lots of paintings and really get hooked on blogging! I did not add my flag counter before June last year, but what fun it provides! So now I know that I had 8664 hits and 71 countries visited my blog so far and that my highest number of visitors in a day was 122. (Sport and celebrity blogs cannot compete here, please!) And in true Oscar style I want to thank my 1747 unique South African visitors, 792 very kind Americans, 99 Australians (who ARE you, I want to meet you too???), an equal number of UK people and 77 Canadians. The biggest surprise was the interest in my blog that was shown by travel websites.