Today is National Heritage Day in South Africa

…  or as it’s commonly known, National Braai Day.  We will have a braai tomorrow,   not because of today’s significance, but because our children will be coming for Sunday lunch !

This is a day when one should be reflecting on one’s heritage.  I’m not going to go into detail on my story or my family’s story at this point as  I have done so in many, many blog posts throughout my blogging years.  I have been taking flower photographs lately so thought I would show my heritage through flowers 🙂

Hubby and I are naturalized citizens of South Africa having been here for 42 years.  SA’s national flower is the King Protea (which of course I haven’t one growing in my garden as it’s a Cape flower and doesn’t do marvellously well in our Gauteng climate).  Elaine’s wedding bouquet was a magnificent bloom (Oct 2013) ..

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What I do have in my garden are some striking strelitzia … indigenous to South Africa and blooming now

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I am a Rhodesian, born and bred and extremely proud of my heritage.  My parents are both born and bred Rhodesians.  Hubby is also proudly Rhodesian born and bred.  The flame lily, from my garden, flowers at the end of November through December and is the national flower of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe …

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Naturally I don’t have thistles growing in my garden either, or for that matter a gorgeous kilted Scottish piper standing in a corner of my garden !!   Scotland, being my Dad’s family home on both his parents side, with South Africa and England on my mother’s ..

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Burgundy iceberg rose is from my garden .. not an English tudor rose ;))  …

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But I do have Irises – or fleur-de-lis – which represents my hubby’s family who originate from France on his father’s side .. and South Africa on his mother’s …

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Happy National Heritage Day to one and all🙂🙂🙂

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Clivia under the spotlight

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Spring blossoms

I wandered around my garden the other evening and despite the total lack of rain .. not a drop for months .. and watering within the restrictions allowed, nature’s beauty still unfolds ..

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.. and there’s more 😉

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So proud of Bradley at inter-house school athletics

Ooops .. I haven’t done a post for ages !   Time runs away with me is my first excuse.  Secondly .. before hubby retired, we got up before the crack of dawn for him to avoid traffic congestion into work,  leaving me with time to spare before my day began.  My brain works better first thing in the morning!!   In retirement, whoever gets up before the crack of dawn must be on a mission of some sort.  My morning revolves around what time yoga, pilates or gym class starts.  Blogging is now done when brain is tired in the evenings, or afternoons like now, when Jeanette collected boys from school, leaving me with free time !

Thirdly … at present, my weekends are taken up with gardening due to the change of season which seemed to skip Spring and went headfirst into summer!!  Evenings are chilly-ish but the days are hitting the late 20’s to 30 degrees C!!   … and with no rain in sight !!  Clear blue skies day after day !!   The drought is getting serious.  Our weekly gardener, Samuel, has also been very ill lately but is back doing light tasks until he has recovered fully.    New growth and Spring/early summer flowers are blossoming despite the weather … but that’s another story …

This is about Bradley :   he came 4th in 800m and his relay team came 3rd !

He has achieved so much up to now in this, his final year of Primary School.   He starting participating in athletics for the first time.  He’s never been a runner but since sprouting like a beanstalk with long, lanky legs, he discovered he could run, especially long distance.   Last week was their inter-house athletics meeting, held in the morning, when sadly most parents are at work, as were Jeanette and Lance.  There was a handful of parents and grandparents cheering on the boys and girls.  Such a pity😦

Most Grade 7 athletes and cheerleaders had their faces painted …

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Connor singing and yelling in support of his house ..

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Bradley supporting the girls 800m …

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Start of the senior boys 800m ..

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Running steadily before the last stretch round the field when he changed gear and those long legs went flat out !!!   I was so impressed I had to watch instead of taking pics !

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Well done Brad !!

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Handing in his 4th place card ..

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He had a lot of ground to cover in his changeover in the relay .. and did sooo well !

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Very proud of you Bradley!   Hope you continue athletics in High School – you’ll be a star🙂

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Grey Lourie : “Go-away birds” : ‘Corythaixoides concolor’

Before dashing off to yoga the other day, I spotted ..  from my kitchen window .. 8 Grey Louries on the telephone wire !!    I had to grab my camera naturally😉

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They always remind me of our childhood picnics in the Rhodesian bush when we lay on a blanket under dappled shady trees breathing in the hot midday African bushveld air, the silence broken only by soft sounds of coo-cooing doves (Laughing Doves I would think)  and the loud drawn-out nasal go-‘waaay of Grey Louries, hence the common name ‘Go-away’ birds.

They are frequent visitors to my garden when I put out fruit in the birdfeeders, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen eight all the same time.

Caught this chappie diving for an slice of apple …

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Fun with a macro lens

I love taking macro photographs.  My old Panasonic takes very good macro pics, but I have advanced two cameras since then, my current camera being Canon EOS 600D.  Taking piccies with the macro setting hasn’t worked for me.  Hubby bought a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 a number of years ago which I’ve tried to use … unsuccessfully.

I took it out yet again the other day to try.  I don’t like giving up !!!!    Jeanette came to fetch the boys while I was struggling to get the focus right and … yay !  for a daughter who knows cameras, lenses and photography :)    I now know how the whole darn thing works.  Only problem I have to keep soooo steady!!  I’m used to a stabilizer on the lens, which this Sigma doesn’t have, and every minute shake ends up with blurred subjects.   Having carpal tunnel syndrome doesn’t help either !!!!   Some days are good, some are not so good.   Sometimes I feel the click button, sometimes are can’t.   Then it’s guess work .. finger muscles push forefinger down and hope for the best it presses down !!!!   Not the best thing to keep a camera steady when trying to capture small details.    And no .. I am not having the op !!!

Anyway … nothing is going to stop me trying to get macro pics right.  So here are some .. not perfect yet, (not as clear as I would have liked) but I’ll get there ..

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James’ duck and mouse, washed and hanging on wash-line🙂 …  (tried to focus on mouse’s whiskers to no avail)

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I could not get these right .. focusing on sprouting hyacinths.  This was the only one that was clearer than the rest  (must admit I should have changed the ISO setting as it was darkish😉 )

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In comparison, I switched to my normal Canon lens (18-200mm)

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I will persevere🙂

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Hair update

Short style won over longer locks !!    I had my hair cut a week ago ..

Voilá …

17.08.2016

I’m happy :)   It’s quick and easy to blow-dry too!   … and I’m flattered with all the positive compliments from friends and family in person and on Facebook :)   Thank you all so much xxx

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