‘Blue Velvet’

Agapanthus praecox subsp. orientalis (‘Blue Velvet’) to be exact :) ..  flowering for the first time in my garden since I moved them to a spot they obviously prefer…

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Hoopoe’s tasty breakfast

“I spy a fat juicy worm ..”

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Down the hatch … !

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“Yummmm ” !!!

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“Whooop -whoop that was delish “…

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“I spy another fat juicy worm “…

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The only thing that’s not good is the worm in my lawn, and probably one of many.  It’s not the usual earthworm …. lawn caterpillar me thinks :(

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Some photos from Somerset West

Balancing act !!

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Ian and I had a lovely lunch with our dear friends Ray and Carol at the Goatshed, Fairview Wine and Cheese Estate in Paarl …  It was cool under the shaded terrace with bubbling water feature behind us.  Lots of wine and laughter :) :) :)  A really enjoyable day :)  thanks Ray and Carol for coming all that way :)

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Ian’s biker’s vest ..

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Sequence of photos :  I took these from the deck of Ian and Kathy’s home when Alan, Kathy’s brother, came to fetch her for work.  They have a unique and special bond for siblings.  Such a joy to witness !!   He has recently moved to Somerset West to help out in Ian’s factory and has been a breath of fresh air, especially for Kathy, who is going through a third bout of chemo.  I have deep admiration and love for her.   She is truly an inspiration!!!

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The photo below is from a visit last year to Mum.   The Old Aged Home is not far from here … looking toward the Helderberg Mountain and Helderberg Nature Reserve.   Last week, after visiting Mum I drove to the other side of the forest of trees on left of pic ..

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This is the view from there, looking towards the Hottentots-Holland Mountain Range ..

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Ian and Kathy’s stunning gravel garden with a view to False Bay, Simonstown and Cape Point …

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Olive thrush ( I think!  Our olive thrush’s on the Highveld are paler, but it sounded like one) ..

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Lastly, an early morning view from their deck looking towards False Bay, Strand and Gordon’s Bay …

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m going back to see Mum in January

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Precious moments with my Mum

Last week I went to Somerset West to visit my Mum.

Sharing my thoughts and feelings are always difficult.  Why write about them then?

When I was seeing a psychologist five years ago for anxiety issues, she encouraged me to write things down.  When she discovered I had a blog, she suggested I write about my feelings and troubled thoughts in my blog.  Who on this earth would want to know my problems, I asked.   Her answer was that there will always be someone out there who will relate to what I said.  Those who don’t want to read it .. won’t.  Those who do .. will.  I must admit I couldn’t read about other people who were in the same dark place as I was.  It made me feel worse.  That’s the way I felt.  I couldn’t draw strength from reading about other people in the same or similar predicament.

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So over the years .. and it’s been quite a few  … I have shared my visits with my Mum on my blog.  Whether they’re read or not, it’s neither here nor there.  It helps me put the pieces together .. to make sense of her situation and to understand that there is nothing I can do about, except keep spending precious time with her, talking to her and looking deep into her eyes.   I have got used to seeing her the way she is … incredibly thin and frail, not seeing most of the time, or hearing, and for a year or so, bedridden … her ever so thin legs and body curled in a foetal position.  It breaks my heart

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When I handed in a couple of large jars of moisturizing cream for Mum, the sister who I gave them to, for locking away in her cupboard, recognised me from Silver Oaks days … the Home where we took Mum 10 years ago after her first stroke in Zimbabwe.  10 years !!!!  It seems unbelievable!   We were told then that usually elderly stroke victims ‘keep going’ for another 3 years afterwards.  It’s now 10 years !!   She is a strong woman.  She had always been active … took tremendous pride in our home, played tennis, bowls, sang in choirs her entire life, an expert at dressmaking and needlework, keen gardener and member of the floral society for many years – our home was always filled with vases of flowers, and she took an interest in everything!

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In 2008 she started deteriorating.  The following year we were told that it wouldn’t be long before she goes, and for this reason my brother was called from England.  A year later she was taken off all medication as she had deteriorated further.   She is in no pain and never has been.

Mum is still with us.   Worsening little by little, still without pain thankfully, waiting for her place in heaven.  God is preparing a beautiful garden for her and he hasn’t finished yet, so my cousin says :)

This time .. this visit .. this precious time I spent with her … she was calmer.  Restful.  Peaceful.  Amazingly good colour in her very, very thin face.  She always seems thinner than the last time.  I look deep into her eyes.  She knows I’m there, I’m sure of that.  Her eyes change as if she’s trying to say something.  I hold her head and stroke her hair.  I hold her clenched hand in mine.  I feel her heart beating.

It breaks my heart

Ian and I went together to see her on the day I arrived.   On hearing his voice (and we thought she couldn’t hear much!)  she opened her eyes wide and turned her head to see him.   We were flabbergasted !!   She hasn’t done that for a long, long time !!

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I’m going again in January.  Hubby is coming with me and we will meet up with my cousin and his wife, who live in England.   Gavin wants to see her, talk to her and pray with her.  He is a Reverend in an Elim Pentecostal Church.   I need to be there too.

Photos taken in Ian and Kathy’s garden :  Cabbage White butterfly – Pieris brassicae

Posted in Cape, flowers, insects, me, Mum, Somerset West | 6 Comments

More of Max

I haven’t put up photos of our little Maxie for a while.  Today’s the day!!  He’s not a happy camper actually, as he was neutered on Tuesday (he’s seven and half months now) and I think the stitches are pulling a bit.  He can’t settle and walks around aimlessly, not wanting to play and can’t sleep for long.  I caught him in a happier mood this morning after he’d had a good night’s sleep …

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Carols service and Nativity for grandparents at Erin’s school

Hubby and I went to Erin’s school in Benoni for the grandparents Carols service and Nativity yesterday morning.  We arrived at the school while all the children were on their morning break.  Hundreds of children !!!  Erin and her little friends were waiting near the car park for us to arrive.  She introduced us to all her friends, all beaming from ear to ear and one told us proudly  …  ‘did you know, there are more than a thousand kids at our school !! ‘   Prefects handed out small gifts to all grandparents.  Grandmas were given a lovely handmade necklace .. very special :)

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The Nativity story was told in a slightly different way with focus being on the Inn Keeper and his wife .. the stable unseen .. beyond the stage.   Funny quips throughout made it light-hearted and enjoyable for all ages.  Actors oozed confidence

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Erin was tucked away.   I spotted her and she spotted me :)

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Choir sang beautifully, as did all the children

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Inn Keeper ..  (he and his ‘wife’ were excellent !)

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We were asked to join in singing some carols …

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Slave was fantastic !

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Slave in charge of animals was very good.  Here he is trying, in vain, to pull a camel to the stable …

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It was brilliant !!    Congratulations to teachers involved and all the children

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Throwback Thursday : Memories from end-of-year 1997

Memories and highlights of 1997 is drawing to a close, but not before Elaine’s ballet school end of year concert, a quick trip up to Zimbabwe to see my Mum and Dad and our new puppy, Robbie !!!

Elaine, winner of the tennis Plate Division …

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Elaine was chosen to dance at ‘Cecchetti Youth – 1997’  …

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Michele’s Ballet School end-of-year concert :  ‘A touch of Spain’

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‘Snowflake’ in the Ugly Duckling …

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Four snowflakes …

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Snowflakes and Snow Queen …

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I flew up to Harare to spend a few days with Mum and Dad.   Used the video camera mostly and remember taking videos of my parents in their cottage, and my Mum’s beautiful small garden that surrounded the cottage.

My Dad’s depression was worsening at that time and he didn’t venture far from the front door, so it was only Mum and I who went out to lunch at Malwatte Farmhouse Restaurant, Marondera celebrating hubby’s and my wedding anniversary on 4th Dec.  Mum looks so well here.  My heart breaks thinking of how she is and what she looks like now :(   I am going down to the Cape next Wednesday for a few days to spend some precious time with her again …

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Ian had been in Harare on business for a few days too and we travelled back to Johannesburg together by car.   Travelling within Zimbabwe often had it’s mishaps.  This time we had a puncture!!   On other trips with hubby and children: we hit a large bird which broke a front headlight … missed a huge kudu bull by inches as it leapt over the bonnet of our moving car (so close I could see it’s spots on the underbelly!!) … another leaping smaller buck’s bum landed on side bonnet (poor thing limped away into the bushes) … snapped fan belt … drove through swarm after swarm of white butterflies (very messy car exterior after that) … these are incidents that come to mind.  Hitting buck is fairly common on that main road .. silly animals seemed to stand and wait at the edge of the road and then at the last minute decide to make a dash across !!

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Ian spotted an old railway station off the main road.  We drove in to have a look and he thought it a good idea to take this old scale home with us !!!!   Thank heavens it wouldn’t budge!!

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December 21st :  the day hubby brought home our adorable Robbie – 7 weeks old.  He went to the shops for a newspaper and came home with a Labrador puppy – our Christmas puppy/dog !!!   He said he was the last one of a litter in a reliable pet shop and just couldn’t walk away :)    BTW Daniella is wearing her t’shirt from the Centenary Train (previous post)

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Gorgeous Robbie .. we loved him dearly and will always be missed :(

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Cottonwool clouds to end 1997 …

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Posted in awards, clouds, concert, cousins, dancing, dining out, dogs, Elaine, Ian, labrador, memory lane, Mum, pets, puppies, Robbie, Throwback Thursdays, travel | Leave a comment