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Mental well-being.

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False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.

Be positive. Be positive. Be positive…

Easier said than done. I can pretend I am positive all the time, while I’m screaming inside. What good will that do? Maybe if I pretend hard enough, I’ll actually become positive? Maybe. I doubt it though.

I’ve written before about how I do all these little ‘things’ to stay busy and positive and happy. It’s not working for me anymore.

Let me tell you why. (You might not be interested to know about my woes, but I’ll tell you anyway…)

I AM happy about the fact that we (my loved ones) are all still healthy, have food to eat, and roofs over our heads. I AM happy that we are comparatively free to live our lives and go about our business (the ones here in South Africa anyway. The loved ones in Ireland and Canada, are much less free.)

But the fact that all of us cannot see the end of these limitations that have been placed on us regarding travel, the fact that a lot of things related to Covid and vaccines are still unclear and uncertain, is really, REALLY getting my goat now!!! And I know I’m not the only one. And it is also not only for the sake of traveling. Thousands, maybe millions of people have loved ones living in other countries – children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters – and we are forbidden to see them. What does that do to family relationships? How does that impact on people’s mental health? I can tell you – very negatively.

My shoulders and neck are sore and stiff all the time. I don’t sleep well. I’m irritated. I have difficulty breathing properly. And I cry at the drop of a hat.

Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m just a sugar lump, that melts at the first few drops of rain. But I’m thinking there must be others out there who feel the same way.

Weekend well underway.

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My valley.

In the end, we did do something last night.

We decided that we needed to at least end the week on a positive note, so we went out to dinner at our favourite local restaurant. A good ending to a difficult week. 🙂

I’m not always sure how to psych myself up, or someone close to me, when things are really tough. Spewing out a few platitudes and mumbling a few well meant phrases of encouragement, really doesn’t mean too much in those circumstances. But it is mostly all I can think of. Once in a while I can come up with some advice, which is mostly a bit redundant, because I don’t always know enough about the real way things work in the business to offer any meaningful input.

I try.

Today was a beautiful day, weather wise. There is a definite chill in the air, but it was a clear, sunny day with blue skies. We pottered around the house, and then went for a lovely drive past McGregor and Bonnievale, two of our gorgeous neighbouring towns. Just what the day called for.

I’ve been craving a good bowl of curry for a few days now, so at the moment I am busy putting a mutton curry together. I am sitting at the kitchen table, glass of red wine close at hand, and the curry cooking away on the stove, while I entertain you with my thoughts. I might tell you more about that tomorrow, if it comes out the way I want it to.

At the moment I am very cautiously optimistic that this pandemic nonsense is slowly but surely moving in a positive direction. A lot of unnecessary crap has come out of it, like now South Africans suddenly need a visa to enter Ireland. I mean, COME ON!!! Really, and after everything has settled down that will not be changed back to the way things were before Covid, so why???? So many governments’ decision making makes absolutely no sense at all.

Tomorrow we might drive around and have a little braai (barbeque) somewhere. We’ll choose a route, and stop wherever we feel like it, and do a bit of a barbie. ‘Wors’ (sausage) and rolls – something simple and easy over the fire. We will have to be very careful where we do it, as the veld is very dry at the moment. All though we’ve had some rain, it has not been enough to change the fact that fires are a real threat.

I hope you have a lovely rest-of-the-weekend, and chat to you again soon. 🙂

Done, and dusted.

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Ready for guests. Not quite where I want it yet, but soon… 🙂

At last.

Yes, it is done! I can at last say that the guesthouse is done. I’ve even had guests stay already! And a couple more bookings coming up. I am grateful and relieved. 🙂

I am also very, very broke after this little exercise, but hopefully that will be remedied by enough bookings pouring in over the next few months.🤞🏻 (From my mouth, to God’s ears…)

Of course, as with most reno’s, there are still things to be done, but those are minor compared to the big changes and building that is now done. I want to get/make some art for the walls, which are too bare for my liking. Some more/bigger area rugs to cozy the place up. And one or two practical things to add to make people’s stay here as comfortable as possible. And I definitely need to ‘prettify’ the space outside the second unit, which used to be a place where we put things that were in the way… But I need some money first, and for that I need bookings. We have cleaned it up and painted the walls, so at least it is tidy now. So please, hold thumbs for me, that the guests book both units regularly from now on.

I am still enjoying my SO’s company. He came down for a ‘quick’ two weeks to help with the building, and ended up staying quite a bit longer than planned. I am not complaining… 🙂

Winter is definitely on its way. I can feel it coming in the air – early mornings especially. Once again, I am not complaining. It is time. Our rainy season is about to start, so bring it on! Our dams are getting emptier by the day, so the cold and the rain can not come soon enough.

Can you see how empty this dam is? And this was taken about 3 weeks ago, so it is probably worse by now!

My last planting of tomatoes is not doing too well. Of course, they were planted a bit out of season, but I had hoped that I could get at least some tomatoes before the cold sets in. It seems like that is not going to happen. I am still hoping. I am going to enclose the plants in some thick plastic, and keep my fingers crossed that it will act like a hothouse.

I had a very quiet day today. It felt weird after the last while running up and down the whole time. I am just about ready to take Daisy for her walk, and then, that is that for the day.

So, Daisy was getting impatient, and I ended up taking her for her walk earlier than planned. Walk done and dusted. Now for an ice cold glass of wine, and feet up…

Guesthouse reno.

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Guesthouse cottage from my back patio.

Hi! I’m still around, would you believe!! 😁

You can be forgiven for thinking or hoping ( 😉 ) that I’ve thrown in the towel on blogging, but sorry, no.

I’ve been busier than I’ve been in a very long time, and just did not have the time to sit and chat to you and download pictures. I also realized how much time blogging takes up, because it is not only about the writing, it is also reading and commenting on the blogs you follow. I did get behind – way behind! And it is difficult to catch up.

The guesthouse is still not a 100% done, but like I mentioned in the previous blog, the one unit is completely comfortable and livable – just a few things I still feel I want to do to add to the overall charm and comfort. The second unit is still some way from being finished. Oi…

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of the changes and the progress. I tried to give you some reference points so you can figure out what I’ve done.

Before : Counter between kitchen and dining area.
The counter built up, dining area now a kitchen/diner.
Nook behind the door – previously the linen and storage cupboard’s place.
Now the washing up nook.
Previously: the kitchen – lots of wasted space.
Now: Bedroom and bathroom.

So, those are the big changes!

The previous bedroom is now the whole second unit, and is the one that is still a work in progress, and I’ll update you later on that. To end up with, a picture or two of the living area.

Previously: The view from the kitchen. Lots and lots of wasted space.
Now: the view from the bedroom entrance towards the rest of the unit.

That’s it folks!

This is what has been keeping me busy lately, and it is not done yet. This coming week, I want to push for the second unit. By the end of the week, I want it done and listed for occupation. Let’s hold thumbs for that…🤞🏻

I apologize for not reading and commenting as regularly as I usually do, hopefully that will change again soon. In the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

Greetings, friends!

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Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

My goodness, it’s been a while!

I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks. You have to know it was busy if I didn’t have time to write a few words here.

We’ve been building and changing the guesthouse, and it took longer than planned, which had my nerves frayed by the end of it. I don’t want to write about that today, since I do not have the energy to recall and regale you with all the ‘fun’ we had and to download the pictures, but I will do that some time next week, as promised. Suffice it to say – the guests could come and stay as booked and planned, which was a relief.

With the way the different governments are handling the ‘pandemic’ (I’m way past believing that we still have a pandemic, if indeed we ever truly had one), I’m beginning to think that I will never see my children in Canada and Ireland again, and to my granddaughter I’ll forever be a face on a cell phone screen. When our travel restrictions are lifted, theirs aren’t, and vice versa. South Africa still has a few ridiculous rules, like suddenly restricting the sale and transport of alcohol for the Easter weekend, but generally we are quite free to move around.

We can travel anywhere inside our country, we can eat in restaurants and go to pubs, we can meet friends and family, we are just not allowed to have big gatherings of people, and we have to wear masks in public. I think it is time for the world to move on now, and for governments to stop using the excuse of the pandemic to further their own hidden agendas.

We spent a lovely few hours with my eldest son today (I’m going to stop saying ‘eldest son’ from now on, as he is the only son/child I can spend time with without having to get on a plane and fly somewhere). We met up with him at a market that was started in an old railway shed in the middle of the main apple growing area of South Africa, which was turned into a delightful place to meet with friends and family. There is live music, (which I could listen to all day – it was my kind of music, and the guy could actually sing), and a variety of food and drinks to choose from. We caught up a bit on what was happening in our lives, and of course – we sorted out the world’s problems!

The drive there and back is beautiful. It is one of my favourite routes, through mountains and valleys and apple orchards, so that added to the joy of the day.

Now I’m home, and I feel like it was a day well spent.

I hope you all had a good day. If not, I hope tomorrow will be so much better. 🙂