3

Share your World 26 June 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s share your world questions

What goal are you working on now? Your goal can be something fun or extremely serious.  Have fun with this question.

Ah goals!   Since I can remember I’ve always had goals – or dreams – or lists of things to do before I die.   And I’m proud to say that I have achieved most of them. It started with:- get an education, find a career, get married,  raise a family.  Then the goals changed to – get fit, lose weight, give yourself me-time, be more organised, get promoted, spend more time with kids, pay attention to your husband, get kids through school, sort out the junk in house, see the world etc. etc.

goalsetting

I worked hard to achieve and do what I should have done to reach those goals. I’m happy with the old person I have become. I’m neither too fat or too thin, I’m reasonably fit and I enjoy good health. So now I spend time with my nearest and dearest and go on wonderful vacations.    Life is good.

Goal

What is one thing you’re glad you tried but would never do again?

The thing I tried only once and would have loved to do again but didn’t and never will was snow skiing.  That’s because we have a shortage of ski slopes in South Africa and getting to Switzerland is a bit tricky!  I can get to ski slopes now but I’m too old for skiing.

skiing

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

Well according to an aptitude test I did in high school, Teaching was what I was born to.  So I chose it and it chose me too.  I can’t imagine entering any other profession. They say it’s a calling and I usually heard the call through a telephone line when a principal phoned to see if I could fill a position.  If after we die we are reincarnated I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself back in the teaching profession!

Teach.jpg

Have you ever gotten lost?

Oh please!  Plenty of times.  I have absolutely no sense of direction whatsoever.  I have to set the GPS to Home after driving to the local supermarket!

direction

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

At the moment I am going through a sad time. My Australian aunt is dying and I am so grateful for the many beautiful times we’ve had together, for the love she’s poured into our family and the fabulous memories we will always have of her. I am grateful to her sons for the wonderful care they are giving her in her last days and for them keeping my siblings and me informed.   I am just so sad that it’s been impossible for us to go over to say goodbye but grateful for modern technology that enables us to send daily messages.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

My aunt right with my mom, her sister taken in Australia

 

15

Share Your World 15 May 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World

How many languages do you you speak?

I speak two languages – My first language is English.   My second language is Afrikaans which I understand perfectly.  When I obtained my Teaching Diploma my Bilingual qualification was Ea.  The capital E meant I was competent to teach in English medium school and to teach Afrikaans as a second language.  I could not get a teaching position at an Afrikaans medium school.  You needed EA  for that.  I began my career as a Speech Correction teacher and taught at both English medium and Afrikaans medium schools so I worked at upgrading my qualification, wrote another exam and did an Oral and passed!   So I am quite proud of bilingual skills.  However, my accent tends to let me down and I can’t pretend that I am as fluent as one who has Afrikaans as her Mother Tongue!   Some Afrikaans speakers are pleased when I speak to them in their language and those whose English is not great are even grateful, but others break into English to spare themselves from listening to me murder their language.

Afrikaans

They’re too polite to actually say this but maybe they want to? (Speak Afrikaans or shut up!)

I am trying to learn Italian using the Duolingo App.   I am enjoying it and I’ve reached a level that says:  “You are 20% fluent in Italian!”   So I just need to get the gestures right!

Italian

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

I read a lot of Blogs.  I also read Go magazine, Promerops (Cape Bird Club quarterly magazine), Fair Lady, a popular South African women’s magazine and sometimes a caravan and camping magazine.  I am reading a Deon Meyer book in Afrikaans on my Kindle.

Promerops

I am watching “House” on Netflix.   I listen to BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour on a podcast and Cape Talk on AM radio.   The last thing I ate was a ‘braai’ of Lamb chops and salad.   I eat a Low Carbohydrate, High Fat diet.

braai

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

A picture of my husband giving his brother-in-law a foot massage.

IMG_1059

What is your favourite time of day?

Early morning is definitely the best time of the day.  At the coast it’s before the wind gets up.  In the bush its calm and quiet and the sunrises are spectacular.   Before I retired I was always up early but now it’s a lot later!   But when we travel it’s early rising again and I love it.

001-giraffe-in-the-sunrise-namutoni-etosha

Early morning in The Kruger National Park

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We love our Off-Road Caravan – an Imagine Comfortvan – and have enjoyed some amazing trips with it.  But the time has come to look for a slightly bigger one.   First we did some research on the internet.   We found two that we liked but wanted to see them in real life before ordering one.  The showroom of the Echo was in Cape Town – not too much of a mission to get there. The Gecko was in Johannesburg – that required a flight and an overnight stay – rather expensive – so we asked the agent if he knew of anyone close to us who had one. He gave us a name and number.   This owner was in Paarl – a doable three hour drive away.   So on Wednesday we drove to Cape Town for the day and on Friday to Paarl.  They were both very nice caravans but we have decided on the Gecko Xtreme which the owner in Paarl showed us.  I am so grateful to him for pointing out the pros and cons of this caravan as well as a number of others that he has pre-owned.

Gecko-Off-Road-Caravan-Right-View-Home

We will be putting in our order for one of these this week

I am looking forward to spending a few days at Warmwaterberg (we arrived today) and then having friends to stay with us for a couple of days.

IMG_7332

View from our Bath House as the sun was setting

7

Share Your World 24 April 2017

Here are my answers to Cee’s Share Your World

Wanting something to quench your thirst, what would you drink?

There is only one thing that can quench one’s thirst – WATER. I’ve been told that you are dehydrated before you feel thirsty. Strangely I feel thirsty at night and so always have a glass of water on the night stand – maybe because I drink a couple of glasses of Springfield’s  Life from Stone before and during dinner.   I’m actually sipping a glass right now as I write!  It’s a sauvignon blanc to die for.   But certainly not a thirst quencher.

Made from Stone

Coke, my daughter tells me, is the only satisfactory drink to take if you’re really thirsty.  I only use it medicinally after a tummy upset!

coke

Complete this sentence:  Never In My Life Have I…. 

Never in my life have I done a lot of things including:

  • Been to Robben Island – and it’s not that far away but I have been to every province in my country.
  • Travelled to the USA
  • Travelled to the Far East
  • Travelled to New Zealand – but I have been to Australia
  • Travelled to the North or South Pole and I never will
  • Been on a Mediterranean Cruise – but I’m planning to next year
  • Learned to speak Greek – but I am learning Italian and I am fluent in English and Afrikaans

Italian

 

If you could be given any gift what would it be?

This is a question I can never answer adequately.  I am privileged enough to have everything I need.   Also I never know what gifts to give!   But of course I love receiving gifts and giving gifts.  What I receive does not matter.   But I’m going to go to the impossible with this one. If I were to be given a gift I would love to get a round the world cruise.  Not gonna happen – ever!  But I know I will get to travel to many more exotic places.

Queen Elizabeth cruise

QE2 leaving Cape Town without me

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something productive?

When I was a child I had no trouble sleeping. When I was pregnant, sleep was difficult and prepared me for the many months of sleepless nights.  It took years to get back into a good sleep routine but probably when my baby reached adulthood I managed to get 8 hours uninterrupted sleep again – and then the grandkids arrived and sleep patterns were once again disturbed!  However, we sorted that out soon enough.   Finally I got into good sleep patterns and even when I had a late night managed to rise at an hour that enabled me to get my act together and get to work on time.   Rising early was never a problem. Energy levels were always high.  Of course strong black coffee helped enormously.

NOW that I am retired – aaahhhh – sleep eludes me.  My 9 pm bedtime has gone to 11 pm and then I battle to get to sleep so often it’s midnight. I used to wake at 5:30 without an alarm and leapt out of bed with fresh enthusiasm for the new day.  NOW a chorus of birdsong on my phone encourages me to rise at 7 – but I am in such a deep fog I can’t rise till 9!   Why?!    Of course I don’t need to get up early but how did these sleep patterns make such a change! Anyway, once I’m up all is well and the energy is still there and I do manage to get things done – at a slower than pre-retirement pace.

When I really can’t sleep – I watch netflix!   Dr House and Grace and Frankie are my favourites at the moment.

House.jpg

Oh the decadence of retirement!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am always grateful for where I live.  But right now I’m grateful for my health and my hubby’s improved health.

We are looking forward to a caravanning week away at Gariep Dam in the Free State next week.  Ten of us who live in different provinces will gather to celebrate a 70th birthday. I am soooo looking forward to it.

Gariep

1

Cee’s Share your World 17 April 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s Cee’s Share Your World

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

Ah writing!   The only time I pick up a writing implement is to jot down a shopping list or to do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.   And then it’s usually a pencil.
The best thing I learned at school besides Reading – was typing.   I have always found handwriting a struggle. My fine-motor co-ordination is not good!

In my early days of teaching filling in the attendance register – and balancing it at the end of each term, writing reports and keeping records accurately was a nightmare – I always had to rewrite things – no tippex was allowed. I was the first person at my school to start doing it all on the computer.  Yay for technology – I embrace it passionately. It certainly made my life a lot easier.

Having said all this – I did learn Italic – and loved it.   But writing by hand is a struggle for me and I very much prefer my devices.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer?

I would love to be both but am not talented in either in the least.  Much to my children’s dismay I break into song at the drop of a hat and Hubby and I are always the first on the dance floor.

dancing

 

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating?

I would love to debate anything about Education – like – to give homework or not to give homework.

What are you a “natural” at doing?

I guess I will have to answer that I’m natural at working very hard at anything I tackle because I have no talent for anything!  When I tell people I have no talents they respond with – nonsense – everybody has a talent but they can’t come up with a good one for me. I will tell you, however, what I love doing.  Teaching, writing (creatively and factually), doing stuff on a computer or electronic device – and showing others how to do it.

computer

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Easter brought home to me how lucky I am to have such an amazing extended family and even though I don’t see all of them all that often I’m grateful that they’re in my life.

No plans for the next week but I’m sure something interesting will happen.

2

Share Your World 3 April 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World 3 April 2017

What’s something you like to do the old-fashioned way?

I am a total techno freak and believe in moving with the times. I no longer write letters by hand – why would I when email and texting is so quick.  I rely on a calculator to work out sums, go online to do banking and do a variety of things on the computer.

So there are very few things I do the old fashioned way.   But here are a few things left over from the dark ages

  • knitting and crochet
  • walking whenever possible – hardly ever drive my car
  • wash dishes in the sink – don’t have a dishwasher
  • grow vegetables in the garden

What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

Generally I avoid watching or reading books and movies with graphic violence.   However, I did enjoy all The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books.   They were intriguing and well written.

Crime is also not my first choice but I will read David Balducchi and Deon Meyer.  I didn’t enjoy the first few Deon Meyers. The stories were good but I didn’t enjoy the style in which they were written. Somebody suggested I read them in Afrikaans.  And that made a huge difference – They’re brilliant in the vernacular.

Jewish stories – Favourite author Chaim Potok

Other favourite authors – Anne Tyler, Kate Atkins, Joanna Trollop, Maeve Binchy, Bryce Courtney, Mavis Cheek, Penelope Lively,

Anything with South African content attracts me.   I have read some excellent books by South African authors.  Michiel Heyns, Pamela Jooste, Rayda Jacobs, Andre Brink to name but a few.

My favourite movies are – Yentl (Barbara Streisand).  84 Charring Cross Road ( I read the book first and the movie was just as good.) Miss Potter ( I saw it five times)

At the moment I am watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix and loving it.

How often do you people watch?

I enjoy watching people and try to guess what their relationship is to the people they’re with.   Mostly I enjoy actually talking to people I meet.   I am not too shy to strike up a conversation with complete strangers.

What have you only recently formed an opinion about?

I can’t think of anything that I’ve formed an opinion about recently. But my opinions have changed in my old age.  I am more tolerant than I was before.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am always grateful for the great time I had at Rosendal Spa last week and I am looking forward to friends coming to stay this weekend.  Life is Good.

 

2

Share Your World 27 March 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?

I was the firstborn  granddaughter and according to Greek tradition I should have been named after my paternal grandmother.  My mother who was not Greek compromised by allowing me to given an Anglicised version of Maria, so my second name is Mary.  Mother also did not want to hurt the feelings of my maternal grandmother so I have a third name – Edwina.  As a child I was hugely embarrassed by my extremely long and difficult to pronounce surname made worse by a string of Christian names!  But now it no longer bothers me.

Music or silence while working?

It depends what I am doing.   I like the radio on if I’m doing something mindless like housework.  Music is okay if I’m working on the computer.  I don’t like being alone in the house without something playing on the radio.

If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?

My special possessions are my electronic devices I’m afraid.  I also love my books and I have a bookshelf for them.  My favourite paintings hang on the walls and my jewellery has a secure hiding place.

The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?

I will never bungee jump, sky dive or chip the ice to go for a swim.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for the wonderful mid-week break we had at Rosendal Spa in Robertson.  The weather was perfect, our room opened onto the pool area and we enjoyed the most relaxing treatments at the salon.  I will probably write a blog about it soon.

I don’t know what the next week holds do us but I’m sure I will enjoy its surprises.

6

Share Your World 13 March 2017

Here are my answers t0 this weeks Cee’s Share Your World Challenge

Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?

Where I live there are no elevators but when I’m in a place where there is one I only press once. If it takes too long I use the stairs.  It’s usually quicker to use the stairs and as I use a step counting watch it helps my totals. But there are times when going up and down stairs with packages or luggage is not very practical so the lift I will use.   I have a friend who avoids lifts at all costs as she is terrified of them. This is phobia that started when we were kids after watching a movie with a scary lift scene in it.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I do the initial planning for our major holidays – where we will stay, for how long and more or less what we would like to do while there.  But we are both spontaneous and would change plans at the drop of a hat.  Some of our local trips are decided today, leaving tomorrow.   Trips abroad can never be last minute as it takes time to get Visas and most countries require South Africans to have visitors’ visas  before entering their borders.  This takes time and is fairly expensive – so yes – planning is required well in advance.

Describe yourself in at least four uplifting words.

Loyal, Entertaining, Adventurous, Fun.

If you had a choice which would be your preference salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, ocean cruise, hot tub, ski resort or desert? 

All of the above.  I have lived near the sea most of my life and can’t imagine my permanent residence being anywhere else. I go to the beach almost daily, my hubby has a fishing boat, we like fresh fish – no – we could not live inland.

IMG_4193

Kiora is his pride and joy

Our holiday destinations often include a stay next to fresh water lakes or dams – you’ve guessed it – for freshwater fishing.   There is something about being next to a calm body of water that is calming – and I love it.

IMG_3609

Sani Valley Lodge at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains

Pictured above is our favourite Freshwater venue – and there you might also find a hot tub!

094

This one was meant for Granny and Grandpa but the kids decided it was theirs!

I went on a skiing holiday more than 20 years ago and loved it but it’s not top of my list anymore.

IMG_4398

The Earl and me about to embark on our first ski lesson – ski instructor on left

I’ve been on two short ocean cruises and thoroughly enjoyed them – but haven’t been tempted to make a habit of it – but now that I’m older I think it might be the best way to see Europe and so a big one is on our bucket list.

IMG_4399

On board the Achille Lauro – a four day cruise from Durban to Bazaruto Island and back.

The desert certainly has its own appeal – done it got the photos but not rushing to do it again.  However, I would encourage everyone to visit a desert at least once in their lives.  Our desert of choice is The Namib and it is awesome.

P1050905

Climbing a red dune is compulsory

The one thing not on this list is actually at the top of mine – The Bush!   I will never grow tired of visiting the wildest parts of Africa.   We had to cancel our Kruger National Park trip because the Earl was still recovering from surgery but it won’t be long before we’re back!

P1000773

Nothing beats coming across a scene like this

IMG_3876

or spending a few hours watching birds at Lake Panic

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am always grateful that I live where I do.   The weather is changing – it’s cooler in the mornings but I know we will never get the freezing temperatures I have  read other bloggers write about.   Most are welcoming the Spring and looking forward to being able to go into their gardens!  How lucky am I that this is possible for me throughofut the year.   I love Winter because the wind seldom blows and that when it’s not raining the days are sunny. I can still walk on the beach and only need to put on a fleece or a jacket.

I am looking forward to having friends to stay this weekend. Next week there is another fishing competition in Struisbaai – The Bottom Fish Nationals – and The Earl and I will be taking photographs for that.

Have a good week everyone.