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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

Quiet.

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A recent picture of the mountains and veld on a rainy day.

I’m not doing too well at this blogging thing lately.

I have the best of intentions, but you know what they say about that …

I’ve been keeping myself busy with so much ‘stuff’, I can’t even tell or show you what I’ve done. Loads of washing, cooking, baking rusks for a change, ‘busy’ on the laptop, walking the dog, cleaning the guesthouses, just…stuff.

Also trying to write some short stories, and thoroughly frustrating myself in the process. Ugh…

What I have enjoyed over the last while, was the little trips my SO and I have taken here and there. Stopping randomly so I can take a picture or two, or to let Daisy out of the car to sniffle around a bit. Coming home and immediately taking off my ‘outside’ clothes and jumping into my ‘inside’ clothes, or PJ’s as some people would call it. Anybody else that have spent a lot of time in their sweats or PJ’s lately?

The guesthouses are eerily quiet suddenly, after a flurry of activity. Not quite what I envisaged when I changed it to be two units instead of one! It is scary – it cost me a lot of money that I have to recoup somehow. I am trying hard to keep my faith, because I really believed it was the right thing to do, but some days it is a bit of a challenge. 😖

What I am saying in a roundabout way – things are quiet around here. Very much so. Quiet as far as business goes, quiet as far as socializing goes. Very quiet.

Things do tend to quieten down as winter descends on us, so it is to be expected, but somehow the quiet is different this year. Maybe I’m imagining it. Maybe it is the quiet before the storm. Who knows?

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. 🙂