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Monthly Archives: November 2020

To go, or not to go…

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2004, my daughter and I in Paris, obviously…

The travel bug bit me at the age of thirteen.

I remember clearly, it was one day in an English class that I decided that after I finished university, I’ll become an air hostess so I can see the world. Those days there were strict parameters that you had to fit into to become one – no less than a certain height (I think it was around 5’4″), and no more than a certain weight. I held my breath throughout my teen years to see when I would stop growing, hoping, wishing I’ll be tall enough. And I was !!!! Yay!!

So, off to varsity went, to get a degree, so I can start traveling. While studying, the inevitable happened. I met my (now ex) husband. Long story short, when he asked me to marry him, I said on one condition – that we travel to Europe before we have kids. That never happened.

Fast forward many years – the kids are growing up and they don’t need me around all the time. I started sewing from home to make money and I saved like a demon, and the day came that I said to my husband that this coming year I’m going overseas, are you coming with? He said no, not believing that I’ll do it on my own. But I did. 2002, my first trip to Europe (or anywhere!), and it was amazing! I stayed in Vienna with friends for a week (I also visited Salzburg, Hallstatt and a few other places in Austria with them), and then I went to the Netherlands for a week, via Paris.

Two years later, an even better trip – I got to go with my daughter when she finished school, and it was a blast, to say the least. Sharing these experiences just take the level of enjoyment up so many notches!

It was not an easy decision to go that first time – I hated leaving my kids, but I knew they were at a stage where they’ll be okay without me for a few weeks. And it was ‘now or never’ – I felt that I’ve been patient long enough for my dream to come true…

Since then, I’ve been to Europe one more time (thanks to my SO*), to the UAE with my youngest son to visit a friend, and to Canada a few times to visit my daughter and her husband (and the last time, my first little grandchild), and although I enjoyed every single minute of every trip, I’m still frustrated. (Does that sound ungrateful? I’m not, I appreciate that I’ve had more opportunities than most.)

2008, with my youngest in the UAE.
With my SO, Munich, 2012
At the top of Sulphur Ridge, Canada, with my daughter. 2015

I only started traveling relatively late in my life, (I’m reaching retirement age now), and I haven’t seen nearly enough places yet. I’ve got a bucket list as long as my arm, but I have to start realizing that I’ll probably never get to see all of them… I mean, it is all good and well to say ‘just do it’, but reality is it costs a lot of money, especially traveling from South Africa, since our money is worth nothing in other countries. I’ve got a partner and responsibilities here, which makes taking off on a whim difficult as well.

So I am an avid arm chair traveler now. I cannot get enough of YouTube’s travel channels, I watch them all the time. And who knows, I might get to see a few more places on my wish list in real life, if my health permits!

( Thanks journey-junkies.com for giving me the idea for this post. It is an amazing thing if one can live out your dreams, but for some of us, the reality of life gets in the way. Enjoy your travels, we’ll live vicariously through you!)

Until next time, stay safe! 🙂

Sleep – a wonderous thing.

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Blue moon, earlier this month.

I am NOT a morning person, so WHY am I waking up at the crack of dawn these days???? WHY???

I was awake at 4.28 this morning. 😦

One of my favourite things to do is sleep. I don’t mean that I sleep all the time, or even a lot, but I used to love going to bed at night with the prospect of a good, long, deep sleep about to happen. Now it is not happening anymore.

I’m about to try a range of things to try and get my sleep back.

I’m going to try and go to bed around the same time every night. I’m used to going to bed when I feel like I’m about to fall asleep on the couch, which is anything between half past nine to half past eleven. Never earlier, and rarely later. And then I used to wake up around seven in the morning. So from last night, I’m going to go to bed at 10pm, every night. Routine.

I will seriously attempt not going onto social media or any electronic devices for the last hour before I go to bed. (TV doesn’t count as an electronic device, right?)

Read a book. I’ve started reading a book last night, and will continue to do so every night as the last thing I do before lights out. (I actually used to do that!) I didn’t get very far last night before my eyes started to droop, so maybe that will help getting me off to Lalaland…

I need to get more physically active, which might help. I walk with my dog most days, but it seems that is not enough. I refuse to go to the gym, so I’ll have to work something out that will tire me out.

I’ve heard that lavender helps for people battling to sleep, so I even have a small bouquet of lavender on my bedside table now.

An option I’m not ready to entertain yet, is that a lot of people need less sleep as they grow older… Please, NO! Until I’ve exhausted all other avenues, I’ll assume that my sleeplessness is because of financial issues. Maybe it’s my biorhythms that are out of whack. Or Covid. Yes, let’s blame it on the pandemic!!

Hopefully after this whole pandemic schlepp is over, I’ll get to sleep well again. In the meantime I will try all the above, and see if that gets me back to my normal sleeping patterns.

Any ideas from your side? Maybe you’ve tried something that worked for you – I’m willing to give it a go!

Until we chat again, sleep tight, but don’t let the bed bugs bite! 🙂

Monday musings.

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Tree at sunrise.

I do love alliteration, don’t you? 😀

Mondays used to be a hated day in my books. Then there was a short while that I actually didn’t like weekends. I kid you not! That was during a period when we were at home weekend, after weekend, after weekend – not going anywhere, not seeing anybody, just home. All. The. Time.

But now, being older (just a bit), and wiser (a lot !), I want to ask you the following:

  • when your alarm goes off on a Monday, and you hit the snooze button, and then you snuggle into your comfortable bed for a few minutes more, are you thankful for that bed? Thankful for the fact that you’ve got a roof over your head and a bed?
  • when you get up and jump into the shower, are you at all aware of the fact that there are people who do not have that luxury?
  • When you sit down for breakfast, or grab a cup of coffee, do you ever think about the people who don’t have the same privileges you do?

See where I’m going with this? Because if you don’t, I’ve got a few more things to put on my list…

The important one that I need to get to, is this – I’m sure that the main reason you hate Mondays is because it means you have to go to work. Not so?

Well, I for one, do not feel sorry for you – YOU’VE GOT A JOB! You can look after your family. Pay your mortgage. Buy food. So many people are out there without jobs, and now with Covid, thousands more will be jobless. And they lie awake at night wondering how they are going to put food on the table, wishing that, in the morning, they can get up and go to work.

So, my dear blog friend, if you are in the privileged position to have a job that you can go to on a Monday morning, please do so with alacrity. If you absolutely, positively despise your job, I know it will be difficult to be thankful, but still, try to be, because you do get a pay check at the end of the week/month. And while you are earning money for the job you hate, start looking out for something else, start thinking about how you can change your situation. But all the time, be thankful. Please.

Until we chat again, be happy! 🙂

End of the week – does it still mean anything?

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Peace and calmness…

So, Friday has come around again. And Friday 13th, to top it off!!! (To me a very special day, as it is my daughters birthday today, and since she was born, the 13th held no threat to me anymore – how could it, it was the best day of my life, when I became a mother for the first time!!!)

But back to Fridays, and weekends – are you pleased it’s weekend? Excited? Relieved? Or does it not matter to you at the moment?

Used to be, we all couldn’t wait for Friday to roll around. Tired after a week’s work, excited to hang out with friends or get some well earned rest. Sometimes there were chores to be done around the house, shopping to be done, people to see.

Nowadays, it seems (to me at least) that all the days are basically the same, and whether it is weekend or not doesn’t really matter. In some countries a lot of people have started working again, in others most are still in lockdown, or in lockdown again. Here in South Africa, most of the industries have started up again, so weekends are becoming more important again.

How has this ‘inertia’ impacted on your life? Did/do you find it difficult with most days feeling the same and sort of just flowing into each other? Does it make you upset, not having a routine to stick to?

I like doing my own thing, deciding day by day how I’m going to spend the day. It is not very conducive to earning good money, but in my industry (real estate), most of the activity depends on the amount of buyers that is around – if there is no activity, then also (obviously!), no money will be coming in. And it is only now starting to pick up…

So, for now, I’m fine with being relatively inactive, with short bursts of business. I’m coming to that part of my life anyway, where things slow down, and restfulness and calm take over. If only one got paid for doing nothing…

Until next time, enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Wine Wednesday (4)

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Viljoensdrift wine – Sauvignon Blanc.

I haven’t forgotten the wine lovers out there!

The estate I have chosen for today, unfortunately does not sell to international buyers on line. That nearly caused me to not add them to my WW team, but I am also promoting the Robertson Wine Valley and not only the wines.

Viljoensdrift Estate, has its roots in the 1800’s, when the first of the Viljoen family (Villion was the surname of the French Huguenots that landed in the Cape) started planting grapes for wine and brandy making. From 1968- 1998, the farm grew and delivered grapes to the co-op, but when dad Ben stepped down, brothers Fred and Manie decided to start producing their own wines from the excellent grapes they were growing on the farm. The rest, like they say, is history!

Alongside grapes, they also grow deciduous fruits, and they take conservation very seriously by trying to keep as much as possible of the unique natural environment intact as possible. They are committed to the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative, which aims to minimize the loss of threatened natural habitat and to contribute to sustainable wine production, which gives them five stars, in my opinion.

Aside from the fact that the farm is situated on the Breede River in beautiful natural surroundings, Viljoensdrift is well-known for the fact that they are the only farm in the area that does a ferry trip on the river, and it is well worth taking the time to enjoy drifting down the river. You can buy some ‘provisions’ 😉 from their deli on the premises – wine, cold drinks, cheeses, charcuterie, freshly baked sourdough bread, olives, pickles, and much more!

With your nibbles and drinks you can then get onto the ferry, and enjoy an hour or so of peace and quiet, listening and watching the abundance of birds cavorting in and around the water.

The deli.
The ferry.
Some of the fare on offer.
Drifting on the river…

If you are planning a trip this way, please have a look at the Viljoensdrift website, to know more about their wines and what they offer you as tourist.

I hope you can begin to understand that should you ever be so lucky to visit South Africa, and you love wine, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Robertson Wine Valley!!!

PS. This is NOT a paid ad, nor am I in any way compensated for this or any of my other wine posts, I am merely trying to promote the area I live in and love!