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Category Archives: Photography

I enjoy taking pictures and have my camera in my bag where ever I go, so I’ll often include a photograph or two.

Tidbits on a Saturday morning.

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Sunset on the farm, a few years ago.

Yesterday was a good day.

At least a lot better than the previous one which started off with my poor cat being hit by a car.

Said cat is still at the vet’s – he has a suspected broken pelvis, but it is not very clear on the x-rays. He did at least stand up yesterday, and even took a few steps, but he hasn’t eaten yet. So hopefully he’ll eat something today, and then I can fetch him to come and recuperate at home.

I worked quite hard in my garden yesterday. I had to do something to the guesthouse garden, because it was looking terribly shabby and uninviting. I still need to do a few things today before the guests arrive, and it is still very far from done, but at least we’ve started and it is already looking a lot better. I will put up some pictures in due course.

I am extremely pleased with myself. I’ve been trying to grow hydrangeas for a few years now, and so far they’ve all died on me. But… This time around, not only is this one growing, it has flowered!!! And there is a second flower on its way!!! I am beyond chuffed. I know – small things and all that, but at the moment, that is where I find my joy. πŸ™‚

Marshmallow pink hydrangea.

And despite having had a physical day yesterday, I slept badly last night. As I did the few nights before that. Just when I started bragging that I’ve discovered the secret to a good night’s sleep, I start waking up around 3 am every night again. Ugh. Some nights I drift off again after tossing and turning for hours (of at least it feels that way), last night that did not happen.

So, I had an early start to my day. Not even 8 am yet, and two cups of coffee and the first load of washing is done! Hopefully I’ll keep up the pace and have an even better (more constructive) day than yesterday!

I finished a knitting project yesterday, which I was all excited about, but then it fell a bit flat. I tried a patterned brioche beanie, and it is really too big. Disappointing. I had another look at the pattern, and it is actually the size it should be, but I find it to be larger than what I would prefer. In general, it didn’t come out too badly, so I’ll give it another whirl, maybe with smaller needles to tighten it up a bit. What do you think? Since it is reversible, which side do you prefer?

I have to say that the picture doesn’t do the one on the right justice. The colours are a soft pistachio green and a washed out purple, done with a 50% acrylic/ 50% cotton yarn. It feels squishy and soft, but like I said, I would like it a bit tighter.

So, all you good folk and gentle people, you all have yourself a good weekend!!! If it can’t be good, at least make it a safe one. πŸ™‚

A beaut of a day…

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Stilbaai/Still Bay

I loved today.

We started the day slowly. Woke up, had coffee, and something to eat. We then decided to take a drive somewhere, explore some more of the area we live in.

We did a roundtrip of about 400 km’s, through some beautiful countryside. We stopped for a while at Stilbaai (Still Bay) for a walk on the beach with Daisy – it was absolutely gorgeous!

We saw some places we’ve never been, and loved the new scenery and beautiful towns. We did Robertson, Swellendam, Heidelberg, Riversdale, Still Bay, back to Heidelberg through Jongensfontein, and back through Swellendam to Robertson.

First part of the trip…

Traveling , exploring, discovering new places – these are some of my favourite things to do, so I love days like today.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend too!

My place.

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The beautiful town of Robertson.

I thought that I’ll introduce you to my place today.

‘My place’ is a town called Robertson, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, about 150 km from Cape Town. It is quite a large town, but still has that small-town feeling, which is part of the reason why I chose to buy a house here. The other part is that it is a beautiful area, and I feel very at home here. (It is a major wine making area, that might be why I feel so at home πŸ˜‰ )

But I’m not going to do a huge amount of talking, I’ll show you in pictures what this area looks like!

My street.
Part of my back garden.

The rest of the pictures are of the general area, and I’m not going to explain too much – I’m sure you’ll see why I love living here!

A picture I took yesterday afternoon, after we did some unintentional bundu bashing!
Jacaranda trees.
About 10km’s from my house – in the mountains.
Winelands.
View from the cemetery.

Don’t you think it is a gorgeous place? I’ve got tons more photographs of this area, so be warned, you will see some more in future!

If you would like to know more about this town and the area, please have a look at this page, and you will get an idea of what you can do, where you can stay, and how you can thoroughly enjoy your stay here (bird watching, mountain biking, motor bike tours, olives and olive oil tasting, and so much more!) Also take a look at my Wine Wednesday posts which, of course tells you a little bit more about the wine aspect of the Robertson Wine Valley.

Until next time, stay safe, be happy and keep on planning your next trip! πŸ™‚

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 HonorΓ©

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… πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚