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Monthly Archives: November 2020

Going slow.

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Horses in a field, on one of my walks.

Slow down. Take a deep breath.

I know it is Monday and all, but do you have to be in such a hurry? If you are five minutes late for work, will it be the end of the world?

A few years ago I heard about the ‘slow movement’ for the first time. I was curious, so I tried to find out what it was and what it meant. I loved what I discovered!

Slow living is a lifestyle that emphasises a slower approach to aspects of everyday life. It has been defined as movement or action at a relaxed or leisurely pace.” ~ Wikipedia

“It’s quality over quantity. It’s doing things with presence, being in the moment. ” ~ Carl Honoré

More than the above, it is also seen as an opportunity to be self-sufficient, and it has changed so many people’s lives. Moving out of cities into rural areas or small towns. Getting in touch with nature and the earth. Spending more time together as families and so much less time running around worrying about making tons of money.

It started in Italy (where else!) with the emphasis on traditional food production techniques.

It is HUGE at the moment – just take a look at YouTube channels. A lot, and I mean a LOT of videos about people moving to cottages, and planting fruit and veg, keeping chickens and generally enjoying a slower pace of life. All of them with soft, ‘calming’ music playing in the background, of course… 😉

I know, firsthand, that it is not always as easy and idyllic as it looks on Instagram or YouTube. You have to be very sure that that is what you want out of life. And then, if things get difficult, you have to stick it out, it will get easier.

Generally, I’ve noticed that the people that were successful at their jobs in the cities, find something in the country that rings their bell, and then they get very successful at that too! Like cheese making, or bee farming, or pickled quails’ eggs. It sort of defeats the purpose as far as I’m concerned, because that lands you right back into the rat race! But to each his own. I suppose that the difference is that now they work for themselves, and they don’t have to face the traffic every morning.

I am a huge fan of slow living. That does not mean that I am successful at it – however that ‘success’ may be defined. I plant veggies, like I told you in a previous post, so far spinach, tomatoes and runner beans. I sometimes try to can/pickle/cure – sauerkraut, preserved lemons, olives, etc. Once in a while I bake.

I do a lot of the things that people have stopped doing over the years due to a lack of time. But I do not always spend my time purposefully, that I have to admit. I spend a lot of time doing nothing, which is not ideal. I probably spend too much time on my laptop, but to my defense, I am trying to create a following for my blog!

I also play with my dog and take her for walks.

What I like the most – I get up slowly in the morning. I have a quiet mug of coffee outside in the garden, in my pj’s. And I start the day slowly, at my own pace.

Until next time, slow down, breathe! 🙂

No Thanksgiving for us…

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Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Thanksgiving is one of the holidays in the year that I actually feel has merit.

Ironic, because in South Africa we do not have Thanksgiving – in fact, I think most of the people here won’t even know what it is, might not even have heard of it. I know, right?!

So why should I think that it is an important holiday? To start off with, compared to the fluff and money-making marketing of Valentine’s day (sorry/not sorry to all the lovers out there), and even Mother’s day and Father’s day, Thanksgiving has heart, and soul, and meaning, and we are not thankful enough in our daily lives. (Yes, mothers and fathers and lovers are important people, but shouldn’t you honour and love them every day of the year? Shouldn’t you show them throughout the year what they mean to you? To do so to the nth degree one day a year really is quite meaningless and shallow.)

I think we take too many things for granted. A roof over our heads, food on the table, health, family, holidays, etc. Only when we lose those things, do we suddenly realize how privileged and blessed we were.

Even though there is some controversy regarding the day, I think it is a wonderful idea to have a day of Thanksgiving once a year, to ‘force’ people to be thankful at least one day a year. (I’ve done a bit of research, and found that although the pilgrims had much to be thankful for, to the Native Americans or Indigenous People (whatever the politically correct term is nowadays), it was quite the opposite!)

Also picked up in my ‘intensive research’ 😉 , is the interesting fact that one of the very few countries other than USA that celebrate Thanksgiving, Liberia, does so because it was brought over from America when freed slaves were settled there. (Liberia = Free Country.) They celebrate on the 1st of November.

But back to being thankful. I would have loved to have Thanksgiving ! This year I would be thankful for –

  • my health throughout the whole pandemic saga
  • my life, after an altercation with a truck at the end of May!
  • definitely very thankful that all my loved ones have so far escaped the virus too.
  • food on the table despite the fact that we’ve had serious financial setbacks because of the darn pandemic!
  • abundant rain, after we’ve had many years of drought in the area (there are still places in SA that are suffering seriously because they have not had rain for so long that their livestock is dying and they don’t have any money anymore to buy food for them. 😦 )
  • whatsapp video calls, because without them I don’t know how I would have survived two of my children living abroad
  • people in my life that I love, and I know they love me too

Maybe I’ll start my own Thanksgiving tradition here in South Africa, who knows? 😀

Oh my! The lights are up.

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Photo by u4e00 u5f90 on Pexels.com
Oh my!
The lights are up!
Tinsel, baubles, holly 
and fairy lights
Everywhere you turn
everywhere you look.

Excitement
Dread
Pleasure
Pain

Family and friends -
together, joyful.      

Party time
drink- yourself -out -of -your -mind time,
running -away- from- yourself time.

Pleasure
And pain
Always together.

Oh my!
The lights are up -
It's Christmas time!





Wine Wednesday (5)

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The view from the tasting deck at Springfield Wines.

I may be wrong, but it seems you guys are not really into the Wine Wednesdays? Do you want to know more about the wine specifically? Please let me know…

Nevertheless, today we are visiting Springfield Estate, just outside of the town Robertson in the Robertson Wine Valley, about 160 km from Cape Town.

I tasted their Miss Lucy wine about 4 year ago when visiting a friend in Pretoria, and loved every sip. Then I bought a house in Robertson, and discovered that Springfield is right on my doorstep! Happy days! 🙂

Springfield wines are really quality, delightful wines. Each and every one brings something to please the palate. The setting of the farm and tasting deck is peaceful and beautiful, and the ideal place to unwind and chill for a while. And best of all, the tasting and cellar tours are free!

Visit them virtually, and see what they are about. From the very first paragraph of their website, you will know that you are onto something good – ” – our need for perfection is driven by our honour – it is our honour that ensures that we will only ever release a vintage that has greatness, and nothing less.”

Amazingly, the farm has been in the hands of the same family since 1898, now flourishing under the vision of the 9th generation of French Huguenot descendants, who arrived in South Africa from the Loire valley in France in 1688.

Their philosophy is to make wine as naturally as possible, and quality is more important than quantity. Six delicious whites to choose from, and five amazing reds. As you browse their website, click on each of the wines to read more about their wine philosophy, and the wines themselves. If you ever come across Springfield wine, treat yourself to a bottle or two, you will be so glad you did! And visit them if you are ever in South Africa – worth a detour.

The cellars.
Wine tasting at Springfield.

Wine lovers, I hope you are starting to realize that the Robertson Wine Valley is worth a visit. You can spend a week here, easily, to visit all the estates and enjoy the beauty of the area, and the hospitality of our people.

Please note, I am not getting paid for this post – it is my own attempt to promote the area I live in because I think it is worthy to be ‘on the map’.

Until next time, keep calm and sip a glass of wine. 🙂

Joy.

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Daisy experiencing some JOY. 🙂

” JOY -The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.” ~ Collins English Dictionary.

I’ve touched on this before, but this is such a descriptive and beautiful word, and wonderful emotion, I had to go there again…

A question to start off with – is joy and happiness the same thing? Surely you feel joy when you are happy? Or you are happy when you feel joy?

But back to joy. I think it is not often that one feels pure joy, on its deepest, purest level. Like Daisy in the video above.

When do you feel joy? What makes you joyous?

Joy to me is seeing one or all of my children after a long time. We all live very far apart from each other, and the joy when I see them, is so much more intense because of that. Lately, my SO* and I are apart a lot of the time, so when he comes home, the joy is real.

Joy to me is sometimes when a day is stunningly beautiful – sunshine, clear sky, bright colours – and at the same time I am in a place of exceptional natural beauty, and I suddenly realize it… I can feel the bubbling start in my stomach and work its way out of my body… I know it sounds as if I’m high, but I don’t know how else to explain it. Champagne days, I call them. 🙂

I get that same feeling when I am on an airplane and it starts off down the runway. It makes me want to jump up and shout for joy. Sorry, weird again…

Joy is also a bite of food. Most times, when we dine out, the food is okay. Ordinary. Fine. But just sometimes (not often enough), when you take that first bite, and there is this unexpected flavour explosion in your mouth… Oh my! Joy! 😀

Joy can be lots of things to different people. I think being in the moment is important to feel joy. You cannot feel joy if you are always thinking of work, or you are always on your phone, or you are always looking back (on your past). You can only feel the full force of it, when you see, and smell and hear what is happening right now! You have to be fully present.

May each and every one of you experience some joy this week!

Until we chat again – live in the moment. 🙂

*SO – significant other