Throwback Thursday : Hubby retired 5 years ago

Five years ago today – 30th July 2010 – my hubby retired

Collages247

Is he enjoying retirement ?   I think so :)

IMG_8326

Posted in dogs, Max, Peter, pets, puppies | 1 Comment

Max goes to Puppy School

We decided to take Max to puppy training, mainly because Elaine and Bryan took Hardy and they all seemed to enjoy it, with humans and puppy learning how to behave with each other.     We have been to 3 classes so far, run by   Shannon McKay   owner of  McKaynine Training Centre in Honeydew.

‘Shannon holds a cum laude BSc Zoology Honours degree and is also an accredited canine behaviourist and certified Super Pup trainer.  She has handled dogs to multiple champion titles and has been featured on Animal Planet, BBC Channel 5, local tv and radio and is also a regular writer for All About Dogs, Animal Talk and Showdogs.’   ‘McKaynine Puppy School is recommended by leading professionals in the field, and is one of the biggest full-service dog training facilities in South Africa on private premises.’

We are in good hands :)

Copy of IMG_8500

Keeping a close eye on Max is a Neopolitan Mastiff – gorgeous dark silvery grey .. all skin and large paws !!!

Copy of IMG_8502

Shannon explaining dog bones … femurs are best .. whole and raw !!!!!  I think no bones for our little Max !!!!!

Copy (2) of IMG_8513

Collages245

Copy of IMG_8507

Duck attends all puppy classes … on the other side of the fence of course !

Copy of IMG_8520

Look at those wrinkles!!

Copy of IMG_8521

Free play:  at the first class, all pups were wary of each other, taking a while for them to actually play together.    Now that the pups are getting bigger, the ‘weanies’  and ‘others’ have separate free play.  Two large pups, Great Dane and Black Lab joined our weanie group, as I am assuming they were a little timid for the large group.  Max and Great Dane gelled instantly !   David and Goliath !!!!  Max is the smallest pup in class!!

Copy of IMG_8529

Max had great fun chasing Timid J.R.  All he wanted to do was play and this little one wasn’t so sure about a stocky smaller-than-her pup wanting a rough ‘n’ tumble game ..

Copy of IMG_8533

Sad looking Black Lab and friendly doggie in car caught Max’s attention ..

Copy of IMG_8539

Copy of IMG_8540

Giving it another go with Timid J.R.  ..

Copy of IMG_8545

Copy of IMG_8552

‘Re-call’ .. back to leads and handlers, with treats ..

Copy of IMG_8557

Copy of IMG_8560

Maxie loved all the attention from little humans …

Copy of IMG_8561

Focus !!!    Good boy !!!

Copy of IMG_8562

Copy of Copy of Copy of IMG_8563

Can’t resist that wrinkly brow, nose and jowls !!!

Copy of IMG_8568

Copy of IMG_8572

Obstacles are fun !!!   Max is a star !!

Copy of IMG_8575

Copy of IMG_8576

Loose lead walking.  We do it all the time with him on our walks …. he doesn’t really need the treat :)

Copy of IMG_8580

He aced the maze first time !!!

Copy of IMG_8583

Copy of IMG_8585

Apparently lots of dogs, mainly the larger breeds, don’t like going into small spaces like this.  The next step is to hide a treat in the tyre .. we’ll see if Max will find it next week

Copy of IMG_8587

It’s an amazing experience for puppy .. and his/her human family, even if you’ve had dogs forever like we have !!   Looking forward to our next class :)

Posted in dogs, Max, pets, puppies, school | 2 Comments

Max is 4 months old !!

I haven’t posted anything on Max for a while, who is now 4 months old!   I’ve taken so many photos which have ended up on my Facebook page, neglecting my blog page.  For the last two weeks we’ve been babysitting Elaine and Bryan’s, Hardy and in that time little Max has grown.   Rough and tumble playtime, exhausting for us, but so much fun for both doggies, with little Max growing in confidence as he learned to stand up for himself.

IMG_8370

Hardy loved his ‘winter camp’ with us and we all miss him now that he’s gone back to his home.  He also gained confidence whilst being with us.   Having the boys on a daily basis encouraged him to get used to being around more humans all the time, as well as playtime with the boys and exploring our garden.  We also went for walks every day .. all of us!

IMG_8402

Max has missed his best friend for the last few days and was delighted when Hardy came for a visit yesterday :)    Today, he’s had fun too.   Apart from our daily walk, he’s been gardening with me.  I am edging a flower bed with small log edging.  While I was digging the small trench, Max was having a ball, jumping in and out, scratching on the loose earth, darting in and out of flower beds and … grabbing my gardening gloves!!!  I had a new pair so gave him the older ones.   What fun he had!!!   Shaking them vigorously and bring them back to me to be thrown once again.  He’s very good at bringing back toys, balls etc  ..

Copy of IMG_8635

Copy of IMG_8636 Copy of IMG_8637

Copy of IMG_8639

Copy of IMG_8624

Copy of IMG_8656

One more pic taken about 2 weeks ago … I love Max’s odd markings!!  Especially his eyes and eyelashes !!

IMG_8392

Next post on Max  …. he goes to Puppy School now and loves it :)

Posted in Bradley, dogs, Elaine, Max, pets | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday : 4 years ago – 23 July 2011

It was fours years ago today, hubby and I were in Somerset West, for a few days.  It must have been a weekend.   My dear SIL Kathy had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was going through chemo, as a result of which she had lost her hair

Copy of IMG_1320

My hubby must have driven up to Hermanus on this particular day as he was not with us when Kathy, Ian and I went for coffee and a walk-about in Stellenbosch.  We had an awesome day with lots of laughs!!   I remember it being quite windy and we were laughing about the possibility of Kathy’s wig being blown off her head and flying down the road :)

Copy of IMG_1346

I had borrowed Jeanette’s 50 mm lens for the short trip to get the ‘feel’ of hubby’s Canon, by using different settings without zooming.

Beautiful buildings in Stellenbosch …

Copy of IMG_1363

Copy of IMG_1364

 

Copy of IMG_1369

Copy of IMG_1359

Copy of IMG_1361

It wasn’t the best lens to use for these gorgeous buildings, so I reverted back to my pocket Panasonic  …

Copy of P1060600 Copy of P1060602

Copy of P1060606

Copy of P1060607

That evening we went wine and food pairing at Rust en Vrede.  What an amazing evening!!!   Daniella joined us as Kathy wasn’t feeling well

Copy of P1060632

Courses and wines were superb !!

Copy of IMG_1409

Copy of 2011-07-232

Kathy is again fighting cancer, sadly, but is always up-beat, positive and strong.  An inspirational and amazing woman, who has taken over a huge junk of the running of Ian’s factory.  Definitely keeping her on her toes !!!  :) :) :)   Love you lots and lots and more xxx

Posted in Cape, dining out, family, food, Ian, Kathy, memory lane, restaurants, Somerset West, Throwback Thursdays, travel, wine | Tagged | 1 Comment

My last walk-about and salute to breathtaking golden peaks

Final weekend of our fortnight holiday, in May … to Ballito, Midlands and lastly,  Champagne Castle Hotel  in Central Drakensberg

I went for a walk-about in the afternoon …

IMG_7593

Potting shed it was … aviary it is now .. and filled with all sorts of birds.  Tricky to get decent pics through fine mesh

IMG_7594

Hungry bunnies in the kiddies farmyard ..

IMG_7598

‘Tis no wonder !!  They are busy bunnies ..

IMG_7595

IMG_7601

Blue Crane, our national bird …

IMG_7603

Beautiful setting for a chapel ..

IMG_7606

IMG_7607

IMG_7610

IMG_7611

IMG_7612

IMG_7613

IMG_7614 IMG_7615

Wish this was clearer but little ducklings waddle fast !!!

IMG_7620

When I came along with my camera, mommy duck hopped into the water leaving all her little ducklings on the bank  (how many ducklings can a mommy duck have?  Is she a surrogate mommy duck too?  I wonder)

IMG_7622

Panic set in with all the ducklings so she hopped out and waddled off with her brood …

IMG_7623

IMG_7624

Self-catering chalets …

IMG_7626

Large picture window of the chapel …

IMG_7633

IMG_7639

More Blue Cranes …

IMG_7635

IMG_7641

As evening fell, the air turned chilly …

IMG_7643

Last morning and the final sunrise before our return home.  First golden rays touch the highest peaks …

IMG_7654

A sight to behold !!!

IMG_7645

IMG_7653

Cathkin Peak 3149m

IMG_7651

Champagne Castle 3377m

IMG_7647

The Drakensberg is a truly beautiful part of our country.   ‘Til the next time …

….

Posted in animals, autumn, birds, church, countryside, Drakensberg, holiday, hotels, Kwa Zulu Natal, mountains, sunset, travel | 3 Comments

Walking in the Berg

Final weekend of our fortnight holiday, in May … to Ballito, Midlands and lastly,  Champagne Castle Hotel  in Central Drakensberg

Good morning majestic mountains !!

IMG_7521

IMG_7518

IMG_7520

IMG_7522

It was a toss up between ziplining across the Blue Grotto Forest : Drakensberg Canopy Tour, which is an incredible experience …. or a walking trail up to the Sphinx.  Both of which we’ve done before.  We decided on the mountain trail …

IMG_7526

It’s a lovely trail which is not too difficult at all ..

IMG_7527

IMG_7528

IMG_7530

IMG_7532

IMG_7534 IMG_7535

IMG_7536

Lush fern and moss at Crystal Falls where you can drink the cool fresh mountain water …

IMG_7538 IMG_7539

IMG_7540 IMG_7541

IMG_7542

Our destination .. the Sphinx (centre of pic) …

IMG_7543 IMG_7544

IMG_7546 IMG_7548

IMG_7555

IMG_7554

IMG_7559

Rounding the mountain.  Sphinx is insignificant from this angle (left and upward) as it’s made of various rock formations and only looks like a Sphinx from further back …

IMG_7560

I’ve slotted in photographs from February 2011 – midsummer and green – showing the rock formations that make up the Sphinx

P1170589

P1170590

 

P1170592

P1170591

And while I’m at it, I shall slot in a few more for comparison .. then and now ..

Copy (2) of IMG_7564

 

P1170600

P1170599

 

IMG_7561

In 2011 the mountains were covered in cloud ..

P1170597

 

Champagne Castle – 3377m (flat top) can clearly be seen behind Cathkin Peak – 3149m ..

IMG_7562

Descending … x marks Champagne Castle Hotel.  Such a pity it was very hazy

IMG_7569

IMG_7566

IMG_7567

IMG_7571

IMG_7572

IMG_7575

IMG_7576

IMG_7577

IMG_7582

IMG_7581

The balance of this next photo is not right but I like the grass ;)

IMG_7578

IMG_7587

IMG_7591

IMG_7589

IMG_7588

Back to the level of the hotel grounds ..

IMG_7590

Great morning walk :)

….

Posted in countryside, Drakensberg, flowers, holiday, hotels, Kwa Zulu Natal, Landscape, mountains, plants, travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday : 16 July 2012 .. Loire Valley, France

Three years ago, hubby and I were on the fabulous ‘Best of France’ Trafalgar Tour, and on this day, we were in the beautiful Loire Valley, stopping at the 16th century Château de Chenonceau .. stuff fairytales are made of !!   Only in children’s fairy stories had I seen pictures of castles like this!!  And there it was, in front of us as we walked down the tree lined road.  We had a fascinating tour of the interior and walked around the formal gardens.  Links to my posts are below

Copy of IMG_6609

Copy of IMG_6576

Copy of IMG_6618

Copy of IMG_6624

Copy of IMG_6617

Copy of IMG_6569

16th century farm buildings : vegetable and flower gardens

Copy of IMG_6500

Our ‘Be my Guest’ dinner that evening was on Beatrice’s goat farm in Tours (Loire Valley).  A warm, friendly and delightfully charming woman ..

Collages29

Copy of IMG_6737

Copy of IMG_6695

What a wonderful day and very special evening!   Great, great memories !!!

Links to posts :- .. Beatrice’s goat farm
Château de Chenonceau 1
Château de Chenonceau 2
Château de Chenonceau 3

Posted in chateaux, France, holiday, memory lane, Throwback Thursdays, travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment