Towards Linoism


Lino Cafe, Kalk BayIt was the watermelon and fresh lime juice that first attracted me to Lino, a small cafe situated on a veranda down a side street off the main road of Kalk Bay, Cape Town. It didn’t profess to have the “best coffee” in the Bay, but it did list a “long black” on their chalk board at a time when I was tired of explaining what one was.

Lino is run by James Hope who not only reminded me of Simon Lamont from Annandale’s mid-80s permaculture cafe, Lurlene’s, he was the only second person I’ve met in the world who knows where Mongarlowe is and has been there!

In a tribute to Lino and the lovely, generous, talented and wayward people I’ve met there, I’d penned this piece starting off with a tone poem in the style of Kurt Schwitters.

Lino, lie low, linoneum…
Lino, leano, linguistic…
Li… No!
Li… Lee… arnardo… Lino!
Leno, lipo, lineage…
Li Li Li Li … No… Lino…
LiLiLiLiLiLiLiLiLi … Yes? No?
Yeh… LINO!

Lino signage

Lino is an idea.

More than an idea, it is an engine of difference…
the making of different things
that which supports diversity of trade, of opinion, of needs
and in doing so offers visitors a safe place in which to absorb change,
in comfort, with style,
with little more than coffee and delicate cakes baked at 250 degrees max!

Lino is a hub, a rolling salon or soirée,
never quite fixed,
never quite complete…
it’s not a work, but lives in progress…

Not just anyone can create, sustain and deploy a Lino…
The Linoist is at the edge of anything
and has been everything…
The Linoist has put their life on hold for the people they have cherished,
and you have shaped your life as a schnitter would wood…

The Linoist would have dreamt of sea beams in alpha centori
and sea planes landing in Kalk Bay…

The Linoist was born in the 20th Century too late
and lives through the 21st Century too early

You are, the Linoist, in fact, in your time,
the right time, Lino Time…

For fear of sounding cliché dear friend,
it is now or never…

You are your name-sake…
A line of hope… Lino!

Andrew Garton (21 – 22 Feb 2008, Kalk Bay, Cape Town)

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