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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.

Sunday moods.

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For today’s inspiration, I looked at my ‘camera’ album on my phone. This image has been a favourite of mine since the day I took it – don’t ask me why, I don’t know.

But there’s really only one thing that comes to my mind when I look at this, which makes today’s post effortless.

Apparently the song was first written as a protest song against war. It seems to not have had the desired effect…

Whenever I hear the song, I think of us humans – that we are like leaves, blowing in the wind.

Have a good Sunday, wherever you are. 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™‚

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’ πŸ˜‰ 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!

Here there, this that…

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Sunset on the farm, exactly a week ago.

I cannot believe that I haven’t posted anything for more than a week! Aaaaarggggghhhh!

I am not going to go into all the details about why, suffice it to say, I was away, I was really busy, and I managed to spend an hour or so on the farm, my previous happy place.

I heard that a lot of countries have been ‘downgraded’ again due to our common enemy, Mr. Covid, and my heart goes out to you all. Hang in there, this too shall pass! πŸ™‚

I’ve been going through emotional ups and downs myself lately. I miss all my children all the time, (but especially the faraway ones, since I am lucky enough to see my eldest son relatively often), finances are not ideal and I don’t see relief in the near future, and I just need things to go back to normal again…

Enough whining! Onto the positive stuff! πŸ™‚

I’ve planted some tomatoes a while back, and they have really taken off the last week. I’m hoping to get a good harvest, as we use quite a lot of tomatoes. I have also planted beans, and they are slowly getting there too. My roses have exploded, and they look and smell heavenly! So all in all, my garden is a joy at the moment. Working in the garden also gives me an ideal opportunity do the ‘earthing’ thing, and even if it doesn’t live up to all the promises, I do feel good after I’ve spent some time barefoot in the garden, and that’s the main thing. (I’m NOT saying that it doesn’t deliver, I haven’t done enough of it yet to form an opinion, and besides being quite stressed, I don’t have health issues that I needed to resolve by earthing.)

Tomatoes left, and spinach.
My old English roses.

With the flowers and the fruit, there are also a lot of birds in my garden, and I thought that I’d like to attract even more, so I am going to build myself a few feeders. (Or maybe just buy some… I’ll get back to you on that… πŸ˜‰ ) Since I’ve got a little guesthouse in my back garden, and there are a LOT of birders out there, it might be something they’ll enjoy when they stay over. What do you think? Maybe with a little journal where they can record the birds they’ve seen?

Until next time, blog friends, breathe deeply, stay calm, and be safe. πŸ™‚