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A Winter’s Tale.

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Not Shakespeare’s play, or the book by Mark Helprin, not even the songs by Queen or David Essex, although both are definitely worth a listen.

Just my own little Sunday story.

It has been unseasonably warm the last week or so. I’m a believer that winter has to be properly cold, to kill off bugs and other nasties, and I love winter, so I was a bit peeved about the warmer weather.

But today is colder, and I am not going anywhere, so I am doing the ‘slow’ thing today. I woke up, fed the cat and dog, made myself some coffee, and took myself and the coffee back to bed. Not to sleep, no. But it was the warmest place to be, so I read in bed for an hour before getting up and getting dressed.

I had to do a quick stop at a shop, unfortunately, but I needed one or two ingredients to make my and my SO’s favourite date and nut loaf. It is baking as we speak, and smells delicious. I am sorry that he is not here to share it with me, but I did make him one before he left to go back north.

I can not deny that I am feeling a bit out of sorts today. I had a wonderful long chat with my son in Ireland last night, but today I am missing him and my Canadian children fiercely. And even though I saw my son in SA about 2 weeks ago, and my SO as well, when the missing starts, it encompasses them all. It is in fact causing a pain in my chest and a constriction in my throat. So I am trying to rise above that by keeping sort of busy, but it will probably get the better of me sometime during the day… I will definitely go for a long walk with Daisy later, to get some good physical exercise too.

So that is basically my winter Sunday story. Not a very chirpy one, I know, but weekends on my own often result in these emotions.

But let me try and end on a positive note. Although it is colder today, the sun is shining outside, the birds sound deliriously happy because they are chirping away like crazy, and the date loaf is nearly ready to come out of the oven! I will be having at least two slices with some tea within the next hour – yum! I had a good night’s sleep, and I am still hearty and hale!

So all you good folk and gentle people, have yourself a wonderful Sunday, and be kind to yourself.

Heaven.

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Some days, nature takes my breath away…

I am blessed and very, very thankful to live in one of the most beautiful areas of our country. Whenever I am feeling down, all I need to do is to go for a walk in the mountains, or take a long drive around the area – it works every time.

I think that there is heaven on earth, you only need to know where to find it…

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
   There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
   There is society where none intrudes,
   By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
   I love not Man the less, but Nature more...
Lord Byron

Rising to the occasion.

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Crusty loaf, fresh out of the oven, with mature cheddar and tomatoes.

This Monday didn’t start off too badly.

I had a good night’s sleep last night, after a few nights of being awake a lot. On Saturday night I was cold most of the night – I was curled into a ball all night. Why not add a blanket?, I hear you ask. I actually thought about that, but I kept thinking ‘I’ll warm up now’ – it just never happened. Also, the blanket I needed was still in its summer hiding place, which meant I had to get up, walk through the house and go and fetch it there, which was also never going to happen.

But last night I made sure I had the blanket thrown over the bed before bedtime, and I slept snuggly.

This morning started with 2 enquiries for accommodation at the guesthouse, one for tonight, and one for a weekend at the beginning of August. They both accepted the quotes, now I’m waiting for payment, which may or may not happen, but I’m pretty positive.

Best of all, I started making bread last night. I made the dough and left it to slowly rise through the night. This morning I popped it into the oven, and olé! – fresh bread for breakfast! Isn’t that just the best way to start your day?

The first slice always with butter only, while it’s still hot. The second slice with something added to the butter – this morning it was some of that mature, white cheddar lying next to it, and a cup of tea. Sometimes it’s with apricot jam, or golden syrup, or Bovril (similar to Marmite or Vegemite, only supposed to have beef in it). My absolute favourite way to eat warm, fresh bread though, is simply smeared with butter. Heaven!

I went without bread for about four months a few years ago. I climbed on the ‘no gluten’ bandwagon to see what difference it will make to me, my health, and how I feel generally. It made not one iota of difference at all. So, I’m done with that! I even have a little sign in my kitchen above the bread bin that says (roughly translated from the original Afrikaans):

BREAD...
Bread is the warmest, most kind hearted of all words
Always write it with a capital,
just like your name.

Maybe I should have called this post ‘an ode to bread’, but yes, I love bread, there’s no getting away from it!

Any other bread lovers out there?

Walking Daisy.

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Yesterday I took Daisy for a late afternoon walk.

Even on the days that I don’t feel like walking, it is always a pleasure watching Daisy on ‘our out of town’ walks, when I can unleash her. She goes crazy! Everything that moves gets chased – butterflies, dragonflies, mice, you name it.

Of course, this nearly daily exercise cannot be ignored when it comes to making me feel good as well, or at least feel better on the days that I feel bleh. I enjoy a bit of exertion, with the emphasis on ‘bit’, unfortunately! It makes me feel less guilty when I sit and knit or crochet, or watch TV. Or when I sneak in a few chocolates or some cake… 😉

So yesterday we were happily walking along, when I received a message that a booking had been made at the guesthouse. Which meant that I had to rush back to make sure everything was hunky dory. As I often do, I didn’t completely finish getting the room ready for guests earlier, because I didn’t have a booking then. I just won’t learn…

We were fortunately about halfway with our walk when we needed to head back, but Daisy being Daisy, decided going home is not a good idea – not right then, anyway. So she made a b-line for the lake, and went for a swim, her absolute favourite thing to do, even now when the temperatures have dropped significantly.

All ended well – Daisy loved her walk, as did I, and I had enough time to get everything ready for the guests before they arrived.

Sunday vibes.

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Morning coffee

I know, it is only Tuesday.

So what is this about ‘Sunday vibes’ then? Well, once again, I had the best of intentions to come home on Sunday and write about my day. I didn’t. And now I’m going to. Simple. 😉

Actually, I am not going to write a lot, I’m posting a few pictures about my day, because it was an especially beautiful one, starting with coffee on the patio, with views. ↑

Autumn vines

What do you think? Am I right, or am I right? Everything about the day had me smiling – the blue skies, the fresh air, the views as I drove home, but most of all, the company of the people around me and the fun, jokes and the delicious meal we shared. ♥