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 …

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Really, really, really end of blooms ..

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Lavender flowers regardless of the season …

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Succulents and aloes flowering now ..

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

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Azalea ..

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Primula ..

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Virginia stocks ..

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Australian violet ..

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Common garden violet ..

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This is James

 

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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.

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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 …

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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:)

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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

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Meeting new playmates on his first day …

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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)

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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 ”

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Walking with dad ..

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Exploring …

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

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Isn’t he gorgeous ? !!

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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

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

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1985 :  my son Carl  …

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As it is today …

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Trafalgar Beach starts approximately midway along expanse of beach ..

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

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Swimming beach at Marina Beach …

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

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

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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 !!

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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

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

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Coffee tastings ..

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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   …

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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😉

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Rural living …

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….

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 ..

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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.

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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?)

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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 …

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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:)

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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

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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

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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

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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😦

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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.

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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 !!

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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

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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)

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

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Lemons attempt to grow …

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… but end up like this …

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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

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Grow lemon tree … grow !!!

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