We will be away …

… for the next two weeks :)

Hubby and I are motoring down to Kwa Zulu Natal, leaving early tomorrow morning

… firstly for the weekend to spend some time with my cousin Barry in Ramsgate, then we are self-catering in Ballito …

….to kick off our shoes, put our feet in the sand, watch sunrises over the Indian Ocean and early evening walks …


After 10 days at the coast, we are driving back to the Midlands for two nights, then onto the Drakensberg for two nights :)

Bye for now !

Posted in Ballito, beach, holiday, Kwa Zulu Natal, sunrise, travel | Tagged | Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday : 6 May 2000

15 years ago yesterday, on 6th May,  Carl and Nicole were married!!!   Carl has written a blog post:-


He mentions in his post how nervous he was.   Carl used to get fever blisters in those days, when he was stressed or nervous.   And so .. on this day, his wedding day, he had a super duper one :(

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Watching his bride walking down the aisle …

May 2000 - wedding 3 Elaine is the middle bridesmaid …

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As the sun went down while photographs were being taken, it got colder and colder – in fact it was freezing !!!

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With the Carl’s grandparents – hubby’s Mum and Dad and my Mum.  My Dad wasn’t well enough to attend …

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Scottish piper piped Nicole into the chapel.   Nicole’s Mum’s family are from Scotland

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At that time, Carl and Nicole were based at a fire station, both being Advanced Life Support paramedics, hence the ceremonial attire Carl was wearing, as well as Nicole being a qualified fire fighter.   Soooo .. naturally pics were taken with an old fire truck

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.. and an Advanced Life Support response vehicle …

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Our family group .. ahh Elaine’s not there

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Love this one ..

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Happy Anniversary to an amazing couple !!!!   May you share many many more happy years together :) :)  love Mom and Dad xxx


Posted in Carl, celebrations, children, Elaine, family, Grandparents, Jeanette, memory lane, Nicole, special occasion, Throwback Thursdays, weddings | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Bradley turned 12 today !!

Our first grandchild .. our first grandson .. my ‘Bradley Bear’ .. is growing up.  I’ve looked after him since he was 4/5 months old when Jeanette went back to full-time work


And now he’s twelve!!!

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Connor ‘photo bombing’ his photos …

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Happy Birthday Bradley ‘Bear’ !!!!!  Papa and I love you lots xxx

Posted in birthday, Bradley, cake, celebrations, Connor, Elaine, family, grandchildren, home, memory lane | Tagged | 2 Comments

Clambering over Melville koppies

Well … over a small part of Melville koppies to be exact.  I went with Jeanette and the boys yesterday afternoon as she wanted to take a ‘bird’s eye view’ photo for her blog:   http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/05/1752-birds-eye-view/    She wasn’t happy with her pics, until we got close to the exit gate and voilà  .. she finally got it !!

I’ve been up Northcliff hill … awesome panoramic view from there …  but never to Melville koppies

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Great view of the city ..

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Rosebank in the distance and Sandton on the skyline centre of pic (two towers sticking up)  …

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I had fun capturing beautiful grasses and flowers ..

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Love this grass .. looks like whisks :)

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Very pretty pink grass  …

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Connor preparing for the ‘bird’s eye view’ photo …

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She tried another spot but obviously wasn’t happy with it

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“What I have to do for my mom ” !!!

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Thanks my girl, I had fun :)

Posted in autumn, Bradley, children, Connor, flowers, Jeanette, Landscape, photography, plants, sky | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday : 1996 special memories and highlights

Before Thursday comes to an end  … 1996 !!     Two trips to Zimbabwe, two weddings, Carl’s 21st birthday, and Jeanette leaves home !!!

January :  Hubby, Elaine and I went up to Harare for New Years.  We met Pauline, Richard’s future bride, for the first time.   Champers breakfast on New Years Day, with Mum and Dad, Richard and Pauline …

Jan 96 - 1

As well as those gorgeous King Charles Spaniels – Roddy, Hobson and Josie – Richard and Pauline had a new addition to the family … Clara, an 8 week old St Bernard … a huge bundle of cuddlesomeness …

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Isn’t that face, and those paws … and those ears … too gorgeous  !!!

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Elaine was in her element playing with this live ‘teddy’  …

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Richard and Pauline ..

Jan 96 - 5

February :  Carl’s 21st birthday

Feb 96 - Carls 21st

His party was interesting one!!!   Pic above was before he was thrown into the pool by his buddies, hence the change of clothing when hubby gave his speech and presented Carl with his 21st key.   Carl was studying Emergency Medical Care at the Technikon Witwatersrand and it just so happened that one of his friends fell very ill at the party – as one does when attending a party of trainee EMC personnel!!!  –  and an ambulance was called !!!!!   By the time the ambulance arrived, the patient was ready to go … drip up and all!!!


My usual choccie cake :)  decorated with the past and present.
Past – Carl’s first booties !!!!!  I had to put them on the cake no matter how embarrassing it was for him !!!  Carl was tiny at birth, weighing 1.6kg, with tiny feet.   One of the mommies in the maternity ward gave birth to a large baby and had this tiny pair of booties.  I had large booties for my tiny baby’s feet  … naturally we swopped booties :)
Present – Lego ambulance complete with gurney and patient …

Feb 96 - 3

Feb 96 - Carls 21st 1

March :   My first fledgling leaves the nest.    Jeanette and Lance moved into their first apartment – one bedroomed – upper floor, lounge window and bedroom window/patio in the centre ..


They started their lives together with very little … large cushions and garden chairs in the lounge cum dining …

March 96 - J&L  first flat

Also in March … hubby’s niece, Michelle married Mark in Cape Town.  A hectic weekend!!!   We travelled down for the weekend by car .. five of us!   A 14-hour trip there and another 14-hours back!!!    We drove up on the Friday and returned on the Monday.   I will never forget the journey home.  We were all tired especially hubby who drove most of the way.  I am a useless co-driver – I fall asleep!  Hubby rotated the driving with Jeanette and Carl, but he drove mostly.  At one time, I had to take over.  My worst nightmare!!!  It took everything in me not to fall asleep at the wheel!!

March 96 - Michelles wedding 1

Pity this photograph is over-exposed, it’s one of my favourites …

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May 96 -  M & M at wedding

left to right – hubby, me, Carl, Jeanette, Dale (Cheryl and Bob’s son), Mark and Michelle, Bob, Cheryl, and hubby and Cheryl’s Mum and Dad, and Elaine …

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Wedding venue : Lanzerac Hotel in Stellenbosch ..

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It was our first visit to Hermanus where Bob and Cheryl had their holiday home, later became their permanent home.   We spent the Sunday exploring the surroundings, beaches, cliff paths and drove up the mountain to a look-out point overlooking the town and Walker Bay ..

March 96 - Hermanus

Elaine and Mickey, Bob and Cheryl’s staffie  …

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April :  Jeanette had endless problems with her second-hand Honda and decided to go the ‘brand-new-out-of-the-box’ route.  Her new car …

April  96 - J's new car - Uno

May :    Richard and Pauline’s wedding in Harare (both second marriages)

May  96 - R & P

We (without Jeanette and Carl) drove up to Harare for the wedding.  Kiddies had important jobs .. the girls, as well as Pauline’s niece, carried confetti baskets and Kevin handed out the programme of service …

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Pauline’s cousin, Judy (from England) was Matron of Honour and hubby was Best Man ..

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The happy couple with my Mum and Dad ..

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Ian and Kathy, Richard and Pauline (whose heels were sinking into the soft sloping ground :) ), hubby and I.   It was a wonderfully happy day

May  96 -  R&P wedding 3

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August :   Elaine’s 10th birthday :  A picnic birthday party at Emmarentia dam with friends Netanya, Kerry, Robyn K, Nicole and Daniella ..

August  96 -  E's bday 10th

Hubby attended a conference at Glenburn Lodge in Muldersdrift.   I spent the last night there with him at Heia Safari Lodge where zebra roamed in between bungalows in the morning  ..

Aug  96 -  Heia Safari Lodge

Aug  96 -  Glenburn Lodge

End November :    Our 25th wedding anniversary celebrations began with a delicious breakfast at Ian and Kathy’s

Nov  96 -  25th breakfast

Our wedding anniversary falls on December 4th.  Prior to the 4th hubby and I went away for a few days – on our own – to the Drakensberg.  Two firsts here … we had never been to the Drakensberg and …  we had never been away on our own!!!    Just the two of us … he and me … no children !!!   I had visions and plans of going away to the Seychelles for our 25th.  Way too expensive.   Mauritius.  Too expensive.  We had already travelled, in that year,  to Cape Town for a wedding and to Zimbabwe for a wedding and we were planning Jeanette and Lance’s wedding in January 1997.

Soooo…. the Drakensberg it was.   We loved it.   What struck us most was how green it was !!!  It was beautiful !!!!  The magnificent mountains were hidden under cloud all the while we were there until our day of departure.  We didn’t appreciate their beauty until that day.  We were content with the emerald green lower slopes and smaller mountains, the walking trails, some muddy and sloshy, some steep and difficult, some easy, the birds, flowers, trees and more.

I had been with my parents to the Drakensberg Gardens Hotel when I was about 8 for a few days on our way back home from a disastrous seaside holiday.   Ian was a baby and Richard suffered from bad asthma in the inclement weather.  We were all bundled in the car in the middle of night and drove as far as Richard could breathe easily .. the Drakensberg.   Can’t remember how long we stayed  .. I only remember the bunnies in the kiddies garden area :)  In those days it was a typical family hotel

Getting back to my 1996 story :  Hubby and I stayed at the Mont aux Sources which has the most magnificent panoramic view of the Amphitheatre.  I bought a postcard of the hotel rooms and the view in case my (35mm film) photos didn’t come out

Dec  96 -  Mont aux sources

View from our room …

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Walking in the berg (a few pics) in the Royal Natal National Park.  In those days, the hotel gave us access cards to the National Park, at a nominal rate …

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This was a plateau covered in wheat-coloured grasses and pretty flowers (which you can’t see :( )  I remember it being very pretty, surrounded by cloud covered mountains  …

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Tiger Falls …

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Cascades ..

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Leaving the National Park we had passed a sign for bushman paintings numerous times and decided on the last day to see them.  On the map, hand-drawn and not to scale, it didn’t look far.   Well, it was!!  We climbed and climbed .. and climbed!!  We had gone so far, I didn’t want to turn back without seeing the rock paintings even though the rain was coming (on the right of picture)  Our (tiny) white car is parked on the left hand side of the road going uphill.   For those who know this area, today, the village in the valley is now built up and spreading

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We made it !!!  This is the only photo I have ..

Dec 96 -  bushman paintings

On our way home – sunny skies and at last the view we had been waiting for .. the majestic Amphitheatre

Dec 96 -   amphitheatre and village

December 4th :    We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with our children.  Nothing fancy .. just us.  Very special

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Festive Season :   Nicole, Carl’s new girlfriend,   joined us on Boxing Day


That was a busy year !!   What was in store for 1997 !!   A wedding for starters!


Posted in children, Dad, Cape, Mum, Kathy, Ian, Elaine, Nicole, memory lane, travel, holiday, Hermanus, Jeanette, Christmas, New Year, Drakensberg, art, birthday, mountains, Carl, special occasion, hotels, countryside, P and me, Richard, celebrations, Landscape, Kwa Zulu Natal, Throwback Thursdays | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Browsing through handcrafted creativity at Kamers

Kamers is ‘South Africa’s pop-up treasure trove of handcrafted creativity’.  The Autumn market is currently being held this long weekend at St John’s College in Johannesburg.  What a beautiful old school for starters !!!!   It was founded in 1898.

I went not once, but twice, to this amazing market!!   Hubby and I went with Elaine yesterday where I took my camera but was sorry I only had the 50mm lens as I couldn’t get decent photos of the magnificent buildings.   Yesterday I went with Jeanette and her friend Madelein with only my mobile phone!   I knew Jeanette would have her camera, so I left the photography to the expert ;)  please read her blog post and view her fabulous photographs  :-  http://www.therealjenty.com/2015/04/a-morning-browsing-through-kamersvol-at-st-johns/

My photos from Saturday  ..

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Giant crochet rugs – about 1 metre round (or slightly more)!!  Really cool!!


Beautiful bench made from oak wine barrels … hubby bought this one !!   I spotted them at the last Kamers and fell in love with them

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I bought a gorgeous ceramic vase and jug from Storm in a teacup.  Speaking to the stall owner of these stunning items, I was told the skilled throwers are from Zimbabwe ..

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Note to Elaine – we missed this on Sat. Design Team cushions are fabulous (inside classroom)

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Love these giant clothes pegs ..

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The chapel door …

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My photograph of the interior didn’t come out well so I took an Instagram pic today which came out better …


Opposite the chapel door is the dining hall …

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A Hardy look-alike :)!!!!

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… and another !!!   Hardy sits just like this :)

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I love Masquerade’s fine linen ..

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Stunning Barbie dresses ..

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Local champers by the glass – Kanu Geselle MCC from Stellenbosch ..


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Yesterday, Jeanette and I had a glass of Saltare MCC, a boutique winery in Stellenbosch ..


Back to Saturday :    Hubby had a glass of craft beer ..

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Chapel at St John’s College ..

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What lovely mornings I had with both my gorgeous daughters, and hubby xxx

Posted in art, autumn, Elaine, gifts, Jeanette, Outing, P and me, wine | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Do your children read comics ?

My daughter Jeanette has written a post on comic books and comics …


When my children were quite small, I read an article on the advantages of allowing your children to read comics.   There were parents who were dead against buying them for their children, but I was always in favour of buying comics and comic books for my children, as my Mum had done for us.

I remember so looking forward to Fridays when it was our treat to go shopping with her, and if we were good, we would pick up our favourite comic from the shelf.  We must have been very good, as we always came home with our favourite comic.   My favourites :  Andy Pandy – when I was very small;  Jack and Jill and Playhour.  I then advanced to Casper the friendly ghost, Little Lotta, Little Dot, and Wendy, the good little witch.  My brother I think went for Richie Rich.  I do remember Beano, Dandy, Archie, and Hot Stuff in the house too.   Each Christmas, we always got an Annual .. for years!!

Sooo .. my children read comics and every Christmas they got Annuals.   Jeanette and Carl were a ‘comic-generation’  older than Elaine whose choices were more modern ie the Little Mermaid, Barbie etc but she still enjoyed reading the old girly ones we had left.    I eventually had to throw away all the well-worn, well-read, torn and tatty ones and am only left with a few ..

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Posted in art, children, grandchildren | Tagged , , | 1 Comment