Winter garden

While taking photos of our little bundle of mischief, James, I cannot resist capturing flowers in my winter garden as well.   We haven’t had much frost yet but there is cold front on it’s way and temps are predicted to drop

End of season blooms of Icebergs and Sharifa …

Copy of IMG_6022

Copy of IMG_5918

Really, really, really end of blooms ..

Copy of IMG_6055

Lavender flowers regardless of the season …

Copy of IMG_6196

Succulents and aloes flowering now ..

Copy of IMG_6197

Copy of IMG_6087

Copy of IMG_6417

Copy of IMG_6418

I thought it was about time I planted poppies – haven’t done so for a couple of years ..

Copy of IMG_6165 Copy of IMG_6166

Copy of IMG_6398 Copy of IMG_6401 Copy of IMG_6404

Azalea ..

Copy of IMG_6413

Collages - 216

Primula ..

Copy of IMG_6424

Copy of IMG_6416

Copy of IMG_6429

Copy of IMG_6430 Copy of IMG_6433

Virginia stocks ..

Copy of IMG_6407

Australian violet ..

Copy of IMG_6434

Common garden violet ..

Copy of IMG_6425

Copy of IMG_6427

Posted in flowers, garden, home, plants, rose, winter | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This is James


Copy of IMG_5611

A 9 week old Jack Russell puppy .. our new addition to the family.  (born 12.05.2016)  We were devastated when our little Maxie-poo died suddenly of a liver shunt at the tender age of 9 months and since then have been waiting for suitable litters to arrive, either Jack Russells or Beagles.   What a difficult decision to make when finally litters were available.

Copy of IMG_5605

Copy of Copy of IMG_5647

After much umming and ahhing, hubby and I went back to the same Jack Russell breeder from who we got Max, Marianne of Cradle Kennels.  I sat on the lawn in a large pen surrounded by the cutest little puppies .. bouncing, playing, biting, rolling, gorgeous bundles of mischief of different ages

Pink paws and puppy noses …

Copy of IMG_5623 Copy of IMG_5624

Copy of IMG_5630

How difficult was that decision to make!!  Which one do we choose ? !!!!!   A bouncy little girl with happy face and markings on her back like angel wings (my first choice) … a small boy who wanted to cuddle on my lap the whole time .. a cute faced girl .. one all white except for a brown face and ears .. … … and then I saw James:)

Copy of IMG_5653

Copy of IMG_5683

Copy of IMG_5737

Copy of IMG_5791

That was Tuesday .. five days ago.  Poor little baby was very nervous coming out into the big wide world of strangers, new smells and new surroundings, all alone .. with no brothers and sisters

Copy of IMG_5634

Meeting new playmates on his first day …

Copy of IMG_5765

How quickly he has settled!!!  We’re doing what we did with Max .. ie crate training.  At night he is put into his crate with the door closed.  Sounds pretty cruel, but it works.  Eventually the door comes off once he is used to this routine.   It becomes his safe place.   Hubby takes him out in the middle of the night to wee, pops him back in, then early morning takes him out to wee again.  He is already getting used to the routine and comes running down the passage to me for a cuddle in bed.  (Photo below:  exhausting first day – found his safe place on his own)

Copy of IMG_5819

Following photos are just a few from the many I have, taken from Wednesday ’til today.  He’s gained confidence and is full of energy!! He growls while playing with some toys and barks at the odd noise.  Makings of a good watchdog !!  He knows his name already and loves company.  He looks for either of us when he discovers he’s alone and gets so excited when he finds us:)

” One day I’ll climb these steps ”

Copy of IMG_5916  Copy of IMG_5846

Walking with dad ..

Copy of IMG_5896

Exploring …

Copy of IMG_5901

Copy of IMG_5939

Copy of IMG_5947

Copy of IMG_5964

Copy of IMG_6083

Copy of IMG_6039

Copy of IMG_6127

Copy of IMG_6129

Copy of IMG_6140 Copy of IMG_6142

I couldn’t decide which ‘running fast’ photo I preferred .. so there are two:)

Copy of IMG_6158 Copy of IMG_6159

Isn’t he gorgeous ? !!

Posted in dogs, garden, home, Jack Russell, James, pets, puppies | Tagged | 2 Comments

Walking on Marina Beach

The weather wasn’t too marvellous during our stay with Barry in Ramsgate.   It was warm for us ..  coming from the Highveld where the winters are icy ..  but the locals were “freezing” !  Our last day was perfect.  No wind, sunny and warm.

Hubby and I stopped at Marina Beach on our way to Beaver Creek, for a lovely long beach walk reminiscing about our two holidays spent here 30 or so years before.  It’s hardly changed which is wonderful to see.  No dense housing or rows of holiday apartments on the seashore to be seen.   Dunes and vegetation undisturbed

Copy of IMG_5491

Copy of IMG_5493

1987 :  Our spot on the grass with multi-coloured umbrella, was easier than on the sand with an 8 months old – Elaine …

Marina Beach 1 1987

1985 :  my son Carl  …

Marina Beach 3 1985

As it is today …

Copy of IMG_5495

Copy of IMG_5496 Copy of IMG_5499

Trafalgar Beach starts approximately midway along expanse of beach ..

Copy of IMG_5500

Copy of IMG_5502 Copy of IMG_5505

Copy of IMG_5504

Copy of IMG_5506

Copy of IMG_5507 Copy of IMG_5509 Copy of IMG_5511 Copy of IMG_5512

Not the busiest lifeguards around !   Trafalgar Beach had very few people

Copy of IMG_5513

Copy of IMG_5517

Copy of IMG_5518 Copy of IMG_5519 Copy of IMG_5520 Copy of IMG_5522 Copy of IMG_5524

Copy of IMG_5526 Copy of IMG_5528 Copy of IMG_5530

Swimming beach at Marina Beach …

Copy of IMG_5531 Copy of IMG_5535 Copy of IMG_5541

Copy of IMG_5544 Copy of IMG_5547

Original beach kiosk, on right, now has a restaurant added …

Copy of IMG_5537

Trim and slim, were hubby and I, in 1985 !!

Marina Beach 4 1985

Posted in beach, holiday, Kwa Zulu Natal, memory lane, P and me, sea, South Africa | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Beaver Creek Coffee Estate and Roastery in Port Edward

While staying with my cousin Barry, in Ramsgate, hubby and I had coffee and a light lunch at Beaver Creek in Port Edward.    Beaver Creek is the world’s most Southern coffee estate in the seaside town of Port Edward.  A family owned business with three generations personally involved in growing, harvesting and roasting, began in 1984 with only 4 trees and now has more than 60 000 trees !!

Copy of IMG_5558

Copy of IMG_5551

Copy of IMG_5550

Next time we are in the area, we want to make sure we’re there for the ‘crop to cup’ tour which begins at 12:00 daily that outlines the distinctive flavours of the world’s coffee regions and the processes involved in creating the perfect cup.   Sounds very interesting

Copy of IMG_5580 Copy of IMG_5581

Coffee tree saplings for sale.  I’m buying one next time to plant in a pot:)

Copy of IMG_5590

Copy of IMG_5552 Copy of IMG_5553 Copy of IMG_5554

Copy (2) of IMG_5587

Copy of IMG_5555

Copy of Copy of IMG_5582

Coffee tastings ..

Copy of IMG_5557

We sat under the tarpaulin for coffee and a nice light lunch.   Hubby said his hamburger was very good and I had a spinach and feta quiche which was also very good.  There is an indoor area as well   …

Copy of IMG_5591

Copy (2) of IMG_5565

Copy of IMG_5560 Copy of IMG_5562 Copy of IMG_5564 Copy of IMG_5566 Copy of IMG_5567 Copy of IMG_5568 Copy of IMG_5570 Copy of IMG_5571

Copy of IMG_5573 Copy of IMG_5576 Copy of IMG_5578

Drying tables:  I spoke to a chappie who was tossing a tray of washed beans, who in his broken English said he turns them every 3 hours and then they are left to dry.  I don’t know for how long they dry in the sun as he couldn’t understand what I was asking.  I need to go on the tour😉

Copy of IMG_5592 Copy of IMG_5593 Copy of IMG_5595 Copy of IMG_5596 Copy of IMG_5597 Copy of IMG_5599

Rural living …

Copy of IMG_5600


Posted in beans, coffee, countryside, holiday, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, travel, trees | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A wonderful week in Ramsgate

Many, many years ago, when Jeanette and Carl were very small and Elaine, a twinkle in the sky, we spent a couple holidays along the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal.

Margate Pier ..

Copy of IMG_5447

Since then, having popped down a few times to visit my cousin in Ramsgate en route elsewhere, we hadn’t spent much time there.  Staying for a bit longer, this time, gave us an opportunity to see more of the area.

Copy of IMG_5448

Grocery shopping has definitely changed.  We weren’t really impressed with the supermarkets in Margate but driving further north to Shelly Beach there are two Malls close by where shopping was a better experience.  I am a city girl after all, and that’s what we’re used to, but I will admit that I bought an awesome leg of lamb at the local Checkers .. succulent and tender and very, very tasty!   I wasn’t really impressed with the quality of the veggies, but there again, I am used to our Woolworths Food Market and Pick n Pay in our area where the quality is very good and in abundance.   (Am I a snob, or just a city girl?)

Copy of IMG_5453

Apart from food shopping, we didn’t spend time shopping.  The Malls were full of holidaymakers as the weather wasn’t great.  It was chilly and very windy until our last day, which was beautifully warm and not a breath of wind.  We took the opportunity for a long walk on Marina/Trafalgar Beach, retracing our steps from two holidays spent at Marina Beach, as I said, many years ago.  (Photos to follow)

Not the best day for fishing, me thinks, as there was a handful of fishermen …

Copy of IMG_5456

Copy of IMG_5458

Copy of IMG_5460 Copy of IMG_5461

Copy of IMG_5465

Copy of IMG_5467 Copy of IMG_5469

Copy of IMG_5470

We had a wonderful time with Barry, having teas, or dinner with some of his friends.  Only recently divorced, bachelor living is creeping in, hence my grocery shopping.   A couple of meals which his helper, Doreen, doesn’t cook, was most welcome.  I gave her a few easy tips on cooking and flavours.  She uses a steamer for veggies – yummy – I need one:)  I’m sure he won’t mind me saying this here .. on my blog .. Barry has one prosthetic limb and getting around is not easy.  Doreen is a great help and .. amazing!   While hubby helped him with his computer organising and storing information, as he is like me .. technologically challenged:) … I read or watched Wimbledon :)   We also spent a wonderful day with our friends, Ray and Carol, who are caravanning further north along the coast, and who came to Barry’s for a braai/BBQ.  Very special catching up with old friends:)

Copy of IMG_5463

Copy of IMG_5471


Posted in beach, cousins, family, holiday, Kwa Zulu Natal, sea, shopping, South Africa, travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Leaving you with lavender

Hubby and I are going away for a short break to Ramsgate on the Kwa Zulu Natal South Coast, staying with my cousin, where sea breezes refresh the soul

Copy of IMG_5384

It hasn’t been the best of years so far .. some ups, some downs .. happy times, sad times .. but that’s the way life goes

Copy of IMG_5386

A fabulous family reunion with my cousins has been the highlight, and a gorgeous family wedding in Midlands.  All three grandchildren have excelled at school :)  Elaine’s best friend from school days gave birth to the sweetest little baby girl.   At long last my piriformis/hips/sciatica/lower back is improving with specific exercises for offending muscles thanks to recent visits to another biokineticist.  Strengthening those muscles is taking time, but that’s fine by me

Copy of IMG_5389

Losing our little Max at the tender age of 9 months, in January, hit us hard and for the first time in all too many years that I can remember, we have been without a pet.  But, yay !! that’s going to change soon.  We are getting a new puppy on our return from Ramsgate:)

My precious and beloved Mum passed away on 10th March.  I miss her so much😦

Copy of IMG_5393

And then my hubby had a malignant melanoma removed which needed further surgery to make sure all the cancer was removed including 5 lymph nodes.   Everyone is touched by cancer, whether a friend, a friend of a friend, a close relation, but you never expect it to touch your life-time partner and spouse.  When it does, you have to deal with it.  I must admit I’ve had a few ‘wobblies’, but the thought of going backwards to those dark days of depression and anxiety I experienced 6 years ago, (subject of which I’d blogged about often at the time) I managed to ward off that nasty ‘alien’ I used to call it.  All our prayers were answered when, after blood tests and a PET scan, all came back negative.   The chances of a malignant melanoma returning is quite high (50%) which is scary, but hubby’s oncology doctor .. now he is in the oncology ‘system’ … assures us that when one returns, no matter where in body, it will be cut out.  Detection is vital with regular 3 monthly blood tests and annual PET scan.

And so, that’s what he’ll be doing from now onwards.

And we’ll stay positive.

Copy of IMG_5398

p.s.  hubby and I were supposed to leave early tomorrow morning to Ramsgate but hubby has discovered a nail in the car’s tyre :(  Popping into the tyre repair place is essential first thing tomorrow, which also gives me a chance to phone and collect a prescription from the prosthodontist who I saw for root canal treatment on Monday, but am now experiencing pain and inflammation, all before the follow-up next Mon.  The down-side to this is that he may repeat the antibiotics I was one previously, which means ‘ no alcohol must pass the lips ‘  (makes one rather ill, he said)   And that means no wine while chilling in Ramsgate!!!!  Withdrawal symptoms will set in !!


Posted in flowers, garden, home, Kwa Zulu Natal, P and me | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

My lemon tree is dying

I thought it was dehydrating from growth of lichen which is spreading no matter what!   I’ve sprayed and sprayed.  Small patches grow to larger patches.  It started on the trunk and has spread upwards into branches and twigs

Copy of IMG_5406

Copy of IMG_5427

Lichen … pronounced ‘ liken’ (American English)  or ‘ kitchen’ (British English)  On investigation, I discovered lichen isn’t a parasite, so it’s not sucking the juices out of my tree!

”  Lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms. ”  Wikipedia  .. and there’s tons more to read where that came from.

My tree appears to have the lichen species foliose (frilly leafy) and crustose (flat orange)

Collages - 214

.. and a pretty ferny looking one (which I couldn’t identify)

Copy of IMG_5418

Copy of IMG_5405

Copy of IMG_5407 Copy of IMG_5410

Copy of IMG_5411

Copy of IMG_5413 Copy of IMG_5416

Copy of IMG_5419

Lemons attempt to grow …

Copy of IMG_5435 Copy of IMG_5439

… but end up like this …

Copy of IMG_5424 Copy of IMG_5434

Soooo …. my 36 year old lemon tree is dying of old age and/or lack of water due to drought conditions.

Now I have a new one :)   it’s rather small and have no idea when it will bear fruit but I was not prepared to spend an absolute fortune on a larger specimen

Copy of IMG_5446

Grow lemon tree … grow !!!

Posted in food, garden, home, plants, trees | Tagged , , | Leave a comment