Unicorns in Cape Town: What it’s like to live in a party mansion for 11 days

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As you know, most of my travels thus far have involved things like wildlife, architecture, culture, and walking.

I just took a minor detour via Cape Town, and have emerged, poisoned, from a party which took place in a seaside mansion and lasted 11 days. 

The only wildlife was the family of three mice who occasionally scattered along the deck in search of crumbs. But I suppose you could say that the architecture was great, the guests were cultured, and I walked up and down the stairs quite a lot.

Home sweet party home
Home sweet party home 
Mr Mouse, Mrs Mouse, and Mouse Jr... appearing from their hole on the deck. We fed them popcorn
Mr Mouse, Mrs Mouse, and Mouse Jr… appearing from their hole on the deck. We fed them popcorn

This was not the first time I’ve resided within the confines of a full-time soirée.

When I was at Bristol University, I lived in The White House; which was enormous and old and falling apart and the place everyone came to get off their tits. All. The. Time. 

I was one of ten people who lived there.

There was Mitch (hilarious, audacious, now a dentist), Eddie (giggly, warm, now a property guy), James (intense, mastermind-ish, now some sort of business mogul), Nick (loud, dashing, now lives in Ibiza and does god knows what), Josh (quiet, talented, now a composer), Geoff (amusing, responsible, now a lawyer), Smithy (lovely, my ex-boyfriend, now a DJ), Suz (energetic, outlandish, now a headhunter), Buzz (my best friend in the whole world, now in PR), and me. 

Team White House, circa 2008
Team White House, circa 2008

While extremely fun, it was messy in the White House.

The house in Cape Town – let’s call it the Space Station, on account of it being huge, modern, and several lightyears away from the real world – was equally as fun, but very luxurious and clean. And to me, cleanness makes all the difference. 

I was invited to the Space Station by my friend Ruda, who you may remember as a member of Team America, who I met in Antarctica. 

Ruda, boasting
Ruda, boasting
Good house
The Space Station 
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The deck

Ruda is only 26 but he is ludicrously intelligent so he’s already made a frigging fortune in something to do with tech, and now spends his time flittering around the world, renting enormous houses and picking up friends along the way.

The Space Station was perched on the cliffs of Llandudno overlooking the ocean, and consisted of six humans, as well as plenty of orbiting members. The six, as follows:

Ruda: bounteous, humorous, ever-smiling American clever person
Ruda: bounteous, humorous, ever-smiling American clever person
Natasha
Natasha: Ruda’s Hungarian girlfriend, a staggeringly beautiful model who is also intelligent, kind and genuine (a rare breed)
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Kris: entertaining, assertive, chivalrous South African art director, the absolute definition of a gentleman, but not in a boring way
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Jo: Kris’ fiancée, a sunny, gorgeous, deeply affable South African designer who is floaty and free-spirited but also whip-smart and very good at looking after people (me)
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Taylor: Ruda’s Canadian business partner. Bright, ethereal, and so laid-back in character he’s effectively lying down. On my first night, I dubbed him ‘the mystery male angel’, for reasons that will soon become clear

As soon as I arrived, I built myself a nest in the corner of a sprawling modern-art infested room and got started.

It was a place cartwheeling with brightly-shining happy things.

Regardless of where I was in the house, I could hear the simmering Beavis and Butt-head giggling between Ruda and Taylor. There was always someone pottering around smiling. And from morning to night, the Space Station hummed with thunderous plinky-plonky music.

Annabel's nest
Annabel’s nest  
Eenie Meeny Miney Mo...
Eenie Meeny Miney Mo… 
Beavis and Butt-head
Beavis and Butt-head

For legal reasons, I can’t really go into the specifics of all the debauchery, but in summary, just know that we were (almost) all absolutely spangled for (almost) the entire duration of our stay at the Space Station.

We would have put Woodstock to shame.

At one point, my best friend Buzz called me to ask how I was feeling.

“Like I’m combing the long floaty mane of a very important unicorn,” I allegedly replied, breezily. 

This sunset, every single night
This sunset, every single night 
... again and again
… again and again 
Jo clambering into position, flanked by Kris
Jo clambering into position, flanked by Kris

One night, I had a pretty serious conversation with Jo and Ruda about the merits of me shrinking them into Voodoo doll-sized people and carrying them around in my chest pocket forever more, so that every time I felt sad, I could peek into the pocket and there they’d all be, cheering with squeaky voices.

The only time I was troubled, really, was in the small hours one night, over a vase. I solved this by enlisting the assistance of Taylor (the mystery male angel).

“Taylor! Will you please move that fucking sketchy spiky object away from my periphery vision? It’s haunting me…” I whispered, or words to that effect. He hid the offending article around the corner and it was back to the rainbows and unicorns for me.

You get the idea.

The spiky vase (hidden)
The spiky vase (hidden) 
The male angel
The male angel 
A trio of love
A trio of love

All the hangovers were manageable because it was so beautiful and sunny, and we had little to no responsibilities, and because we never had to clear up, on account of the full-time staff.

Every morning, I would creep downstairs, Gollum-like, squinting, swaying, expecting to be met with the explosive aftermath of a rave bomb (like in the White House) – but would instead be greeted with a huge, bright, spotlessly clean, glass-walled haven of comfort, and a newly stocked fridge.

Did I do anything touristy? No, I only left the confines of the Space Station thrice.

Once when we all went to brunch; another time when we went for a frankly mind-blowing degustation type dinner at a joint called The Glass House; and thirdly when Jo and I went to the beach to lie on the sand and talk about important things like boys and travelling. 

A morning oasis of clean
A morning oasis of clean 
Graveyard of nightly abandoned Macs
A nightly graveyard of abandoned Macs 
A feast at The Glass House
A feast at The Glass House 
Beach time with Jo... a rare departure from the Space Station
Beach time with Jo… a rare and tentative departure from the Space Station

Occasionally, an army of lithe models and rugged photographers would glide in for a photoshoot on the deck, sprinkling beauty like glitter. Obviously this does wonders for the self-esteem.

Towards the end, we had a very brief 24-hour visit from Bill – another member of Team America – who flew in from Atlanta, applied face paint, got spangled, and then staggered off back home. 

Photoshoots galore
Photoshoots galore 
Jack, I can fly
Jack, I’m flying
Pretty average looking bunch
Pretty average looking bunch 
Another disgusting sunset
Another disgusting sunset 

Now obviously all this sounds very irresponsible and over-indulgent and silly.

It was.

But none of us have children or mortgages yet, and we’re well-behaved most of the time. So I reckon it’s OK. Not the sort of thing you’d regret on your deathbed.

Space Station, I salute you. Below, the leftovers…

Whoosh
Yours truly 
Preparation for a nightly ceremony
Preparation for a nightly ceremony 
Jo, dearly missed
Jo, dearly missed 
Happy legs
Happy legs 
Interpretative dance
Interpretative dance 
Just a boulder sticking out of the wall
Just a boulder sticking out of the wall 
Conference
Conference 
Unattractive guests
Unattractive guests 
Extremely attractive shimmery ocean
Extremely attractive shimmery ocean 
Helping hand
Helping hand 
Not a hipster
Not a hipster 
Not a poser
Not a poser 
Kris, amused
Kris, amused 
Taylor, amused
Taylor, amused 
Jo and Natasha, happy about things
Jo and Natasha, happy about things 
Bill, of Team America
Bill, of Team America 
Jo, nursing Kris and Taylor in the morning following the very last bender
Jo, nursing Kris and Taylor in the morning following the very last bender 
One last sunset, seen from the plane out of Cape Town
One last sunset, seen from the plane out of Cape Town

4 thoughts on “Unicorns in Cape Town: What it’s like to live in a party mansion for 11 days

  1. Ah, to be young, single again and gorgeous. Actually I’m pretty happy with where I am in life, but this does look pretty damn fun. Good on you for living life to the full! 🙂

    Like

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