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Monthly Archives: October 2020

Champagne days.

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A champagne day. Picture taken from Sir Lowry’s Pass.

Today was, what I call, a champagne day.

To try and explain that – it is a special day, in terms of the ‘feels’. It is a clear day with blue skies. There is a slight bite in the air, but the sun is shining brightly. You can breathe deeper than normal, because the wind that blew yesterday, had gotten rid of all the filth in the air. You feel like dancing, but you don’t, so there is a special spring in your step. It feels like you can single handedly change the world. You feel happy and bouncy for absolutely no reason.

I know the picture (above) is not as crisp as the air was, but there is often a slight haze in the air close to the sea, but that does not detract from the beauty of the day.

Normally when I drive along this road (the N2, between Grabouw and Cape Town), I am focused on my destination. Today I just had to stop at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass, at the look out point, to just take in the beauty before me, and of course, take a picture. When you stop there, you look back toward False Bay, and the town called Strand, with Muizenberg and Fish Hoek in the far distance. It is an iconic drive, and one you have to do when you come to Cape Town, along with Chapman’s Peak Drive, and the road out of Gordons’ Bay on the R44 past Rooiels, Pringle Bay and Kleinmond. Not to forget driving over the Du Toit’s Kloof Pass with endless views back towards Cape Town.

The view from Chapman’s Peak Drive.

But, I digress. My point is – I’ve had a champagne day. A bubbly kind of day. Happy. Feel good. Do you know what I mean? Nothing special happened, I went to fetch my mom from my son’s place and drove straight back (about 300kms in all), but I just felt good, and the day was a beaut, and all in all I’m a happy old gal.

What a good way to start the weekend, don’t you think? ๐Ÿ˜€

I wish you a wonderful weekend, and a champagne day or two in your near future! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wine Wednesday (3)

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One of the blocks at Van Loveren.

Time for wining again! ๐Ÿ™‚

I skipped a couple of weeks, but I decided that I’m not going to break my head about that, as long as I do a Wine Wed. every two or three weeks, and it is on a Wednesday, at least.

So, I think today I’ll do a place that I’ve been to the most. That in itself should tell you something. Today we are visiting Van Loveren Wines.

Van Loveren is very well known in South Africa, as they have a very wide range of wines, and they have been going for three generations – the one stronger than the previous, every time. It all started in 1937 when Hennie Retief’s father bought him the land, later his two sons, Nico and Wynand took over from him, and now it is their four sons (the Four Cousins), that are running the show. Their success has much to do with their courage to take risks, and innovative thinking.

They have amongst many others, the Van Loveren Wines, their Heritage Range, the Christina wines, the Single Vineyard Heritage Range, the Rhino Run wines, their Premium Conservation Range, the Five’s Range, their Empowerment Range, Tangled Tree wines, their Eco Range, and Four Cousins, their Lifestyle Range. To see all their ranges and wines, and their history, please click on the link above.

I love visiting the winery, because it is in such a beautiful setting, and they have a gorgeous area under the trees where you can do your wine tasting and relax with friends and fmily. Their wines are delicious, and my personal favourites are the Van Loveren Colombar, and the Van Loveren African Java Pinotage. I always have a bottle or two (or more, but who’s counting?) of Van Loveren at home in my little wine rack.

My youngest son, doing some wine tasting with me at Van Loveren, just before he left for Ireland.

There is a lovely place to have lunch – Christina’s Bistro, where you can also sit and eat under the trees (weather permitting) and enjoy your food, your wine, and the stunning garden. They offer wine tasting, cellar tours and garden tours, and there are hiking and mountain bike trails.

The gardens.
The cellars.

All in all, I would recommend a visit to Van Loveren Wines should you ever be in the Robertson (Breede River Valley) area of South Africa, it is definitely well worth a visit.

Until next time, blog friends, enjoy your wine, but please don’t drink and drive. ๐Ÿ™‚

PS. This is NOT a paid advertisement, or sponsored in any way, this is me promoting the area I live in, and the excellent wines that are produced here.

Here there, this that…

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Sunset on the farm, exactly a week ago.

I cannot believe that I haven’t posted anything for more than a week! Aaaaarggggghhhh!

I am not going to go into all the details about why, suffice it to say, I was away, I was really busy, and I managed to spend an hour or so on the farm, my previous happy place.

I heard that a lot of countries have been ‘downgraded’ again due to our common enemy, Mr. Covid, and my heart goes out to you all. Hang in there, this too shall pass! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been going through emotional ups and downs myself lately. I miss all my children all the time, (but especially the faraway ones, since I am lucky enough to see my eldest son relatively often), finances are not ideal and I don’t see relief in the near future, and I just need things to go back to normal again…

Enough whining! Onto the positive stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve planted some tomatoes a while back, and they have really taken off the last week. I’m hoping to get a good harvest, as we use quite a lot of tomatoes. I have also planted beans, and they are slowly getting there too. My roses have exploded, and they look and smell heavenly! So all in all, my garden is a joy at the moment. Working in the garden also gives me an ideal opportunity do the ‘earthing’ thing, and even if it doesn’t live up to all the promises, I do feel good after I’ve spent some time barefoot in the garden, and that’s the main thing. (I’m NOT saying that it doesn’t deliver, I haven’t done enough of it yet to form an opinion, and besides being quite stressed, I don’t have health issues that I needed to resolve by earthing.)

Tomatoes left, and spinach.
My old English roses.

With the flowers and the fruit, there are also a lot of birds in my garden, and I thought that I’d like to attract even more, so I am going to build myself a few feeders. (Or maybe just buy some… I’ll get back to you on that… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Since I’ve got a little guesthouse in my back garden, and there are a LOT of birders out there, it might be something they’ll enjoy when they stay over. What do you think? Maybe with a little journal where they can record the birds they’ve seen?

Until next time, blog friends, breathe deeply, stay calm, and be safe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Selfishness/entitlement

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Photo by Thomas Svensson on Pexels.com

Selfishnessย is being concerned excessively or exclusively, for oneself or one’s own advantage, pleasure, or welfare, regardless of others.” ~ Wikipedia

Anย entitlement mentalityย is a state of mind in which an individual comes to believe thatย privilegesย are insteadย rights, and that they are to be expected as a matter of course.” ~ Conservapedia

Two of my pet hates.

Mostly, they go hand in hand. And I believe a huge portion of the youth on this planet are to a big extent guilty of both, but especially the latter. Please note that I did not say ‘all of them’! I know gorgeous young people who were raised to be thankful, kind and empathetic. But unfortunately I know or have seen enough to know that a whole lot of our young ones believe they are ‘owed’ – they must get a car when they turn sixteen (in our country 18 or 21), they must wear only brand name clothes, they must have the latest in electronics and cell phones, etc. Why? Says who? Where do they think the money comes from? What have they done that makes them so special that they think it is their right? Nobody dies without those things, so you don’t have to have them.

You must have food, a roof over your head, clothes to wear and if you are very lucky, two loving parent to raise you and teach you the important values in life. The rest, if parents can afford it, are privileges, not rights!

I must also add, that although I believe it is a modern problem, I know there are some people from the older generations also guilty of selfishness, but I find there is less to no entitlement with them. They knew from a young age that you cannot get everything you want, when you want it. They learnt the hard way that you have to actually work for what you want.

So – where and why did this new notion creep in? I’ve got my ideas about it, but since I know this post is already going to land me in hot water, I will not go there today…

The germ of this post started a while ago when I watched ‘The Earthing Movie’. In it some youngsters were asked if they know what earthing is all about. They were horrified to realize that it means walking barefoot, because they have 100’s of pairs of shoes. Another one said that his shoes define him. WHAT??? I was shocked. Why would any one person need that many shoes? Why would parents allow them to buy that many? Why would someone think that they are defined (judged) by their shoes and not who they are as a person? I know what you are going to say – freedom of choice, free market, capitalism, what does it have to do with me, etc. But please, THINK about it. Not only is it the wrong value system, this crazy consumerism is also killing this earth we are living on.

This is HUGE, my friends, this is huge. And it is a real problem…

Until next time, think about it, please. ๐Ÿ™‚

The enormous value of pets in your life.

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My two fur babies.

Who knew. Did you know?

I always thought that a person had pets only because you love animals, I never knew that they are enormously beneficial to your health and well being too. Did you know that?

Of course, there have been quite a lot of articles about the psychological benefits of pets in the last years, but have you read them? I’ve skimmed through a few, and was a bit dismissive. Lately I’ve been thinking about it a bit more.

I adopted a border collie x just over a year ago – yes, the one on the picture in my last post! – and she has been such a delight. Playful, happy, lively, loving, lively, clever, sweet and lively. Also, a pain in the backside, because she is so into chewing things (like most puppies, I suppose) – it started off with shoes, then I noticed strange holes in some of my area rugs and bath mats, then plants, her toys, and now, a year later, she still chews on things. And she is lively. Did I mention that? Very lively…

So I’ve been thinking about the actual benefits of having a dog. She is so loyal and loving, she loves taking me for walks, and she does not have moods. I’ve read a few articles lately, and it is not hard to believe that a pet can change your life for the better.

If you are still sceptical, have a look at this, and this, it will surely convince you that pets are waaaaaay more than ‘just’ animals. They are aids like guide dogs for the blind, they are companions to children and the elderly, they are a comfort to the sick and even hugely beneficial to Alzheimer patients, and the list goes on. I know they can sometimes be a pain too, but their positives far outweigh their negatives. And all they want in return is food and love.

My precious little granddaughter sharing a cuddle with Duke. (Apologies to my daughter for stealing her picture, but I absolutely just had to xxx)

Be kind to your fur babies, look after them well, because they look after you the best way they can.

Until next time, enjoy your pets! ๐Ÿ™‚