New beginnings ..

My new blog under a new name …

Please come with me to my new blog which has been painstakingly set up by my daughter Jeanette.    I know I will have a few hiccups along the way even though she has created an easy one to work with, with a dashboard similar to what I am used to.  Some things are quite different.  I don’t do change easily but I will persevere !!!

As for the name?  It seems odd, as I never, or hardly ever, mention coffee in my posts, or hardly ever, but I do sit in a coffee shop sipping a cappuccino most days after gym, pilates and yoga classes during the week.   It’s a time I catch up with Facebook as well as reflect on happenings in my daily life.. and think about what to next to blog about 🙂

Looking forward to having you visit my Musings with Coffee

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Here she is … baby Emma Rose

Our little ‘ Moose ‘ decided to make her entrance into this world at 2.10am on Sunday 13th August weighing 3.37kg.   Elaine had natural birth after nearly 24 hours of labour, and half-epidural (she could feel her feet and legs) about 4 hours before delivery.   We, as a family and close friends, were on ‘ Moose Watch’ whereby Bryan gave us updates throughout the day and night.  It was an unforgettable night !!!  Finally at 2.10am we received his message we’d all been waiting for … baby Emma Rose was delivered safely … yay !!  What an emotional 24 hours for hubby and I (and everyone else on ‘ Moose Watch).   Tears of joy .. and relief !!  Hubby and I are absolutely delighted and love this little bundle of gorgeousness so very much

Emma Rose – 11 hours after birth – our fourth grandchild and second granddaughter.  Elaine and Bryan’s first adorable baby 🙂

She’s very alert for a newborn, opening and closing her eyes and mouth …

… and sticking out her little tongue ‘tasting’ the air of this new world around her

And of course, those irresistible little fingers and toes ..

As in the womb, so after birth .. that little hand is close to her face

24 hours of labour was worth it, Sweetie Pie.  To hold your newborn baby in your arms is the most amazing feeling you will remember forever.  I’m so very proud of you and love you so very much xxx   You are going to be an awesome mommy xxx

A beautiful bundle of cuteness and gorgeousness is our little baby Emma Rose.   Our hearts are full with love for this precious little soul

Naturally I took many photographs on the day of her birth both with my camera and cellphone !!!!  I will see if my blog space allows me to share as many as possible!!  I hope so

Posted in babies, birthday, Bryan, celebrations, Elaine, Emma Rose, family, grandchildren, Grandparents | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Lily looking rather regal

Lily loves grandpa’s chair and sits with him while he reads.  This morning she had obviously had had enough boisterous play with Hardy and James and hopped on his chair … hoping for a moment or two of grandpa’s company

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Waiting for Baby Moose

Any day now Elaine and Bryan’s baby girl – or Moose as she is known 🙂 – will make her appearance  ..

There are bets as to when she will arrive.  Hubby’s day has passed and my day is today !   At this moment she has five hours to go !!  Bryan’s Dad, Nigel, and Connor’s day is tomorrow.  Renee, Bryan’s Mum is Monday 14th.

I do think now that Baby Moose will arrive on Friday which is Elaine’s birthday !!!   What an amazingly wonderful birthday gift !!!

I am so excited, as we all are !!!   I cannot wait to hold and cuddle our new baby granddaughter

I will keep you posted (if I can … if my space doesn’t run out grrrrr 🙂  )


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A walk-about in my garden

Let’s see if I can squeeze in a post before my space runs out on this site.

But oh my goodness .. I have carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands and it’s getting worse.  It’s come and gone over the years since a visit to a neuro surgeon who suggested the op then.  But I don’t like having ops!  I will avoid them until it’s really really really necessary.  I think the time has come.  I now can’t feel the tips of fingers!!!!!   Sometimes are cannot feel the button on my camera to click a photo … not the easiest thing to do when taking piccies of my late winter/early spring flowers and buds … as was the case last weekend and yesterday

Aloe ..

Succulent ..

A little blue flower !!!   I have scattered seeds from various mixed seed packets.  Quite interesting to see what ‘s popping up!!  this is one of them ..

Gazania ..

Hibiscus  (in a sheltered spot ) ..

Osteospermum …

Hebe ..

Camellia ..

Virginia Stocks ..

Some roses are still budding !!!   I have two bushes left to prune, this is one of them – Brilliant Iceberg ..

Viola ..

Geranium ..

Flowering plum ..

Holding thumbs this gets published on my site

Posted in flowers, garden, home, South Africa, Spring | Tagged | 2 Comments

A new bird in our garden : Puffback – Dryoscopus cubla

I am running out of space on my ‘momsmeanderings’  blog and am going to have to start a new domain otherwise I will have to pay to continue on this site.  Payment in dollars is way too complicated for me.  I am hoping I can have all my posts follow me to the new site … which incidentally, the set of which baffles me completely and need Jeanette’s help.   I have tried, and tried but I can’t get beyond Step 1 !!!!

Linking my current site to a new one in order not to lose followers is a must.   Me being of a non-techie/computer illiterate brain, it seems the obvious thing to do so my archives etc aren’t lost into cyber space !!!!!!!!!!!

In the meantime on a happier note, there was a new bird in our garden over the weekend !!!  Not technically in our garden but in the neighbours tree that hangs over our garden wall  I dashed to fetch my camera when I heard a new sound – a click-whistle (q-weeu). He was quite difficult to photograph as he briskly hopped from branch to branch hiding amongst leaves while q-weeu-ing

Puffback – Dryoscopus cubla   –   (Afrik – Sneeubal)

Copy of Copy of IMG_1364

Copy (2) of Copy of IMG_1360


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The old brown suitcase

The tales it would tell !!

I’ve had it for many years .. ever since Elaine was a little girl in fact.  My Mum and Dad brought it from Zimbabwe filled with stuff for me, as they did often when they travelled by car (in the good ol’ days before Zimbabwe went to rack and ruin.  Then it was my turn to travel with goodies for them, mainly food stuffs and anything else they couldn’t get to make life more pleasant for them)    They always arrived with extra boxes or bags filled with goodies.  Some didn’t come in boxes or bags.   A small table or two,  My old ‘ dolly varden ‘ dressing table came, dismantled, and put together by my dad while staying with us !!!!    Some things new ..  some things old.  The old being keepsakes, family heirlooms and odds and ends my Mum passed on to me.  In other words, she was clearing out her cupboards .. as mothers do !!!

Elaine used this old brown suitcase for her dollies clothes and accessories.  Once she outgrew her dolls, I washed everything before packing it away to the back of a cupboard .. to keep for when she, or Jeanette, had a little girl.   Jeanette had boys.   Carl’s daughter Erin used the dolly pram, blankets etc when she visited but brought her own dolls.

Now that Elaine is expecting a baby girl in a few weeks time, I thought I could finally hand over the old brown suitcase.  Sadly, it was not to be.  She only wants to keep her favourite doll and clothes to fit, which is understandable.   I would have done the same actually 🙂  I’ve also been on the end of a mother’s ‘ hand-me-downs’ !!!!  Now I have a dolly pram, dolls and dolls clothes to go to an orphanage or somewhere similar.  Not sure where yet.  Any ideas anyone?

So now the old brown suitcase is empty.  What does one do with an old brown suitcase?!!  I’ve had several suggestions on Facebook from friends and family, which I appreciate.  As yet, I haven’t decided what to do with it.  I think, actually, it used to belong to my Aunty Paddy as I recall a tag or sticker with her name on it.   That must have been in the early 50’s, 40’s or even 30’s!

Sadly it needs a little TLC ..

When I was 7 years old, in 1960 .. many moons ago  … my family and I journeyed by train from Bulawayo in Rhodesia to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique followed by a cruise on the Holland Africa Line ‘Randfontein’  to Cape Town for Christmas, returning to Lourenco Marques on the Holland Africa Line  ‘Oranjefontein’ and travelling back on the train to Bulawayo

I see my name is stamped on one corner which indicates that I used this suitcase for the cruise … maybe

I have random memories from that holiday.  Nothing of the train journey except on a station platform with my Dad organising our luggage with a porter and my Mum holding Ian, my baby brother who was then not quite two and who was needing a nappy change !!   As for the cruise, which was a cargo/passenger liner, and I might add, the only time I have been on a cruise, I have only a few memories  :-

.. spending most of my time with my elder brother Richard and baby Ian in the children’s section, behind a locked door!  No chance of escaping !!!  It must have been totally boring as I don’t remember anything about it except having sandwiches spread with a Dutch ‘treat’  which resembled ‘hundreds and thousands’ and chocolate sprinkles!

.. once, and only once, we were allowed in the adults dining room and being a little girl I was enthralled with the ladies and gentlemen dressed up in their finery .. and dining tables with a lip around to prevent spillage !!!

.. we were allowed out onto the deck, sometimes it seemed, as I recall my baby brother playing with a ball which naturally went rolling off the side ..  my mum running to grab him as there were no safety railings (which is probably why were locked away most of the time!) … and watching the ball bobbing on the waves drifting further and further away.

.. watching flying fish !!

.. leaving ports waving to complete strangers and throwing streamers

.. as it was a cargo vessel as well as passenger, it was fascinating to watch the harbour cranes off-load and on-load cargo in the ports

.. last but not least .. the smell of our cabin!!   Richard and I shared a small inner cabin.  No windows!  The smell of the air conditioning has followed me for 57 years !   As soon as my nose takes a whiff of ‘that smell’ it takes me back to the cabin-with-no-windows !!  To top it all, both Richard and I were confined to the-cabin-with-no-windows for a length of time (no idea how long) as we were sea-sick!   My mum and dad, and Ian being a toddler, had a cabin with one porthole, just one!!  It was one of those cabins down at practically sea level !!!!

If hubby and I ever went on a cruise, whether an ocean liner or a river cruise – the later is actually high on both our bucket lists – we would not ever … never, never, never… have an inner cabin!!!  We would save extra pennies for one with a window or better still with a balcony.  Never, never, never an inner cabin-with-no-windows!!!!!!!! No no no !!

I wonder what other stories of travel and adventure are hidden inside the old brown suitcase

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Majestic Cathkin Peak revealed after a few days of rain and mist

March 2017  :  Champagne Castle Hotel

Our weekend in the Drakensberg was coming to an end.  Hubby and I were leaving the following day and up to this point we hadn’t seen the mountain peaks.  It would have been disappointing to leave for home without seeing a glimpse .. even for a moment.  But once the clouds cleared we were blessed with this spectacular sight until we left after breakfast the next day  (photo taken from hotel’s patio)

Below is the photo I took on our arrival a few days prior showing the outline of the mountain range seen from the hotel’s patio.  The plateau top of Champagne Castle (3377m) is almost hidden behind Cathkin Peak (3149m) .. .

As the last wisps of cloud drifted off, more of the range was revealed ..

Sun setting behind the mountains ..

Sunrise the next morning …

Sheer cliffs of Champagne Castle (flat topped on the far left) and Cathkin Peak now can be seen clearly behind the grassy mountains in the foreground ..

Bright sunshine – a promise of a good day ahead but for hubby and I, it was time to make our way home ..

The road ‘ follows ‘ the Drakensberg for miles …

The Amphitheatre ..

Posted in blue, countryside, Drakensberg, holiday, hotels, Kwa Zulu Natal, Landscape, mountains, sky, South Africa, sunrise, sunset, travel | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mountains and valleys, flowers and moss … and waterfalls

March 2017 : Champagne Castle Hotel

Early morning mist hung over the forest and clouds shrouded the highest peaks but the weather report was positive .. no rain.   The hiking trail to the Sphinx which hubby and I have done several times is classed as moderate, I think, and takes a couple of hours there and back so one can do it easily after breakfast and be back for a drink before lunch 😉

I didn’t take any photographs on the way up but couldn’t resist on the way down.  So … my photographic story starts at the Sphinx.  We keep saying we’ll walk further, beyond this point but never do … next time we MUST !!

The Sphinx ‘replica’  taken on our last trip here two years ago …

Hotel in centre of photo above ^  .. zoomed in to hotel below >

Crystal Falls cascading down crevice in centre  …

Crystal Falls ..

Nothing nicer than to scoop and sip a handful of crystal clear cold mountain water …

Ericas ..

Blue sky peeped through the clouds ..

I loved the pink flowers scattered everywhere.  They looked like Plectranthus (cheeky chimeni) ..

Photo is a little deceptive.   Rocks in the stream were unstable and about the size of hubby’s boots and further apart than it looks .. and water was ankle deep ..

Sunshine and blue skies …

What a change in a couple of hours !!!

Posted in clouds, countryside, Drakensberg, flowers, holiday, hotels, Kwa Zulu Natal, mountains, skies, sky, South Africa, travel | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Waterfalls, bridges, steps and a forest

March 2017 :  Champagne Castle Hotel – Central Drakensberg

Hubby and I went for an afternoon stroll on Mike’s Path, a short circular trail passed the upper dams, through the forest and back to the dams …

We spotted a familiar lady with her dogs who’ve seen her every time we’ve stayed at the hotel.  She walks along the country roads and/or through Champagne Castle’s property with her dogs every day !!

This Lab so reminded both hubby and I of our Robbie ..

After chatting with her for a few minutes, she went on her way at a great pace !!!

Not keeping up with her, but in the same direction …

Where trees fall, so they stay (unless of course they’re dangerous)  Ummm wasn’t sure about this one as we had to bend pretty low to go under it ..

Depending whether you’re coming or going .. this was the end of Mike’s Path for us .. on the main path through the forest ..

The gnarled tree.  It intrigues me with all it’s knobs and I always take a photo of it when passing 🙂

Small red dot is a person in a red jacket ..

Circular route takes us back to the dams ..

.. and a bridge takes us back to the playground and lawns ..

…. and ducks  !!!

Posted in bridges, countryside, Drakensberg, holiday, hotels, Kwa Zulu Natal, labrador, mountains, South Africa, travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment