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Share Your World 9 October 2017

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

What do you consider is the most perfect food for you? (It can be your favorite food to something extremely healthy.)

I think I’ve mentioned before in my blogging that a good South African braai is my favourite meal.

I also love anything Greek – Roast lamb Greek style is to die for, Moussaka is irresistible and if spanakopita is on the menu, I’ll have it!

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Are you focussed on tomorrow or now?

I believe in savouring the moment and living each day as if it’s your last.  But also enjoy planning for a future event like a holiday.  Part of the fun is getting ready for the coming event and if it’s to go somewhere new I do research what to do and what not to miss.  I do not stick rigidly to a plan though.  I enjoy spontaneity and going with the flow.

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If you could interview one of your great-great-great grandparents, who would it be (if you know their name) and what would you ask?

This is the domain of my youngest brother.  He enjoys researching the ancestors and finding out about what they did in the distant past.  I love hearing about it from him but he has not managed to go too far back.

I have no idea who my great-great-great parents were. They would have lived in the 1700s. Were they peasants or lords?  Some would have lived in Greece, some in Italy. Then there’s the British and German ancestry too.   Perhaps it would be nice to hear from a  great-great-great grandmother. There would have been sixteen of them!   In those days I believe women were seen as being inferior to men and that their sole purpose was childbearing. Perhaps they were subservient to their husbands – perhaps they or some of them rebelled against that and were in fact the real rulers of their homes.  Certainly they had no civic rights and probably did not attend school.  But perhaps they were educated at home?   It would be fun to find out whether they had dreams or aspirations of doing more than becoming a wife and mother or perhaps they were content with their lives and just got on with what had to be done.  I can’t believe that all my 16 great-great-great grandmothers had fabulous lives but perhaps some did.  Perhaps they were beautiful society ladies who attended the king’s caught regularly.  On the other hand perhaps some were parlour maids or cooks in grand homes and worked hard just to keep body and soul together.

They were certainly all from different countries and would not have been at all like each other.  It would be fun to get them all together now to say – Hey -look at your descendants – would you ever have believed that this is how things would work out for them?

Hopefully it will be easier for my descendents to find out about me and get to read my blog!

 

 

 

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Share Your World 2 October 2017

Some great questions again from Cee’s Share Your World

Here are my answers

If you were given the opportunity to ride in a helicopter you would go?

For many years I suffered from aviophobia so even getting onto a Boeing was a challenge.  So in 1999 when the opportunity to take a ride over The Great Barrier Reef arose I was most reluctant.  But my FOMO (fear of missing out) won out in the end and I boarded that scary craft and have never regretted it.

When I saw the copter coming in to land on a floating platform in the middle of the Pacific I nearly backed out.  So glad I didn’t because it’s the perfect way to fly – far less frightening than an airbus.

 

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The Scary Helicopter

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The view was certainly worth it

 

What are some of your favorite types of proteins to eat? (meat, seafood, eggs, soy, cheese, nuts)

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so I’d have to say egg and bacon!  Also I am a South African and The Braai (barbeque) is part of our culture – there is nothing nicer than chops and boerewors grilled over the coals!

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Fried eggs on a bed of home grown spinach and served with bacon and grilled cherry tomatoes.  I live with a wonderful chef!

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The braai ritual in progress

What would be your preference, awake before dawn, at dawn, or awake before noon?

Most of my life I was an Early to Bed, Early to Rise kind of girl.   I never had any trouble getting up at six o’clock or earlier be it weekend or not.    Now that I’m retired and not following a proper routine I find I go to bed later and therefore rise later too. However, when in the bush – it’s back to early to rise! Nothing nicer than sunrise in the game reserve.

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One wouldn’t want to oversleep and miss this 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

This week I have appreciated the place where I live.   Our harbour is so pretty and the spring weather is getting me outdoors more often.

On my walk on Sunday I went along the main road then along the board walk to the beach and back to the harbour. When I looked out to sea I thought I spotted a seal in the shallows but when I got closer it had disappeared. I chatted to my friend Earnest who is always hanging out at the harbour  and he said yes indeed my eyes were not playing tricks on me.  There had been one swimming around for a while. We haven’t seen a seal in the harbour for some time.   As I continued toward the next boardwalk I heard a splash and there was Sealy coming up onto the rocks in front of the restaurant car park.  I yelled for Earnest and he was thrilled to get this excellent view of this lovely sea creature too.  It wasn’t long before a small crowd gathered and were snapping away with cameras and cell phones.  I only had my phone but rang Hubby to bring my Canon which he did.  Two young  guys were trying to take a selfie so I offered and they were thrilled to have themselves with a seal in the background. It was such fun.

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He wasn’t shy at all

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He think he enjoyed the attention

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This is a good scratching rock

 

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Share Your World 25 September 2017

Here are my answers to this weeks share your world from Cee

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

I enjoy a long daily walk with my camera – sometimes I take photographs sometimes not.  In the summer I swim too.

Birdwatching is another activity I am very into so of course I’m looking for birds on my daily walks but I also enjoy going on organised birding excursions.

My new hobby is gardening and so that is another thing I enjoy doing outdoors.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

Now that I’m retired I’m with my husban 24/7 and hardly ever drive as he prefers to be in the driver’s seat!  He has not faith in my driving skills whatsoever.  I used to drive a lot on my own or transporting others.   I don’t mind driving and in the past I often had to transport children to and from outings and functions.  I was always relieved when I managed to get my passengers there and back without mishap.  My own driving skills were fine – it was the other idiot on the road that worried me.

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?

  • The garden in perfect shape – no weeds, the lawn green, everything blooming.
  • The building extensions over and done with.
  • A world cruise booked and payed for.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

It was Heritage Day in South Africa on 24 September.  A day for us to appreciate our  beginnings.

We are a rainbow nation and our people have descended from a variety of amazing backgrounds.   Each group embraces, preserves and celebrates its unique culture.

We also celebrate our natural heritage.  We are fortunate enough to have a country full of beautiful ecosystems, amazing flora and incredible wildlife.

During the month of September museums and galleries have put on special exhibitions, there has been a week of free entry into national parks and much has been done to showcase different aspects of South Africa’s diverse heritage.

My daughter, Laurie,  and her friend Cara, came up to visit us for the weekend.  They were keen to visit the shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp so we went there on Saturday afternoon and were reminded of the many ancient sailing ships that went down on the Agulhas Coast during the age of discovery.   What a lot of lives were lost during the quests to find better lives in new far flung lands.   Some of course survived and there were many interesting stories about them too.

In a large shed there were also exhibits of old ox wagons and coaches.   We certainly have come a long way since those days.

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Share Your World 18 September 2017

Here are my answers to this weeks Questions from Cee’s Share Your World

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about …

I want to learn more about lots of things.  You’re never too old to gain new knowledge.  It’s just that learning new skills is perhaps a bit harder?  I don’t know – I actually have more time to read and also I’m less stressed about getting it right because it’s for my pleasure and not with any particular aim in mind.  I have been learning Italian for a year now and my husband points out that I still can’t speak it!   My response is that I know more words that he does! Perhaps I can’t quite have a conversation yet but I’m really enjoying the process.   My app tells me I’m 45% fluent in Italian.  Three months ago I was 23 % fluent so some progress has been made!

I’ve never been too good at gardening – I tend to kill my plants but I am learning more about how to do it correctly now in my old age.    The internet really helps with researching how to care for what I’ve planted.  I am having great fun with my new hobby.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?

Usually when I’m on vacation it’s in a caravan and in it I have everything I need.  When travelling abroad I just want a comfortable bed, shampoo and soap in the bathroom and the facility must be clean.  It doesn’t have to be luxurious because I’m not going to spend much time there – I’ll be out exploring and I’ll just need a place to rest my weary head at the end of the day.

As regular readers of my blog will know, my husband was hospitalised in Italy last year.  I stayed in the hostel nearby and all I had was a tiny room with a narrow single bed. But it was clean and I had my own shower.  It was also very cheap!   What a great idea to have accommodation for families of patients.

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Bed I slept in for three weeks in Italy

What is your greatest extravagance?

I’m not too sure how to answer this one. The dictionary defines extravagance as lacking restraint in spending money or using resources.   I honestly don’t think I lack restraint but in the eyes of some, things I spend money on, may seem extravagant.   For example – we go out to eat breakfast at least twice a week.  We also eat dinner out from time to time but not as often as when we lived in Cape Town.   Another extravagance is having my nails done professionally twice a month.    There are many other luxuries that I enjoy – so yes, perhaps I am extravagant!

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

The Western Cape is a winter-rainfall area but this winter has been very dry.  This has affected not only the human population but the animals and birds too.  I was inspired when I saw this little bird taking pleasure in a puddle of water on the side of a dirt road – the only water for miles around and he found it!

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Three-banded plover enjoying his great find – a puddle on the side of the road.

 

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Share Your World 11 September 2017

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

Would you want $200,000 right now or $250,000 in a year? It’s safe to assume all money is tax free.

In South Africa $200,000 would convert to R3m and that would be a fair amount to play around with.  I’d take it  with both hands and say thank you very much, I won’t wait for more later as I believe in living in the moment in case I don’t make it till tomorrow.   I would make sure I put the funds to good use!

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Is it more important to love or be loved? 

Not an easy one this but I’d say to be loved is very important.  The first love you experience is from your parents as a child and then you learn to love others.   I also believe that you can love somebody who doesn’t love you and that’s fine but don’t waste too much time on that love – it should be reciprocal. If your love is rejected – move on and give it where it is more deserved.

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List things that represent abundance to you.

  • A table laden with healthy food
  • At said table a family of happy relatives – children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews etc.
  • A boatload of freshly caught fish
  • A landscape of wildlife with plenty to eat
  • A dawn chorus of birds
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Abundance Indeed!

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Spring is here in the southern hemisphere and taking walks and seeing the beauty in the spring flowers fills me with peace and happiness.  It inspires me to plant more in the garden and to appreciate all that life has to offer here in the pretty little village that I live in.

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Cape Francolin just loving a dust bath on a perfect spring day

 

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Share Your World – 4 September 2017

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

What color do you feel most comfortable wearing?

This question does not ask what my favourite colour is but rather which colour I feel most comfortable in – The answer to that is – Denim Blue!   I own a pair of denim jeans and a denim skirt and I wear them both often with many different colours.  I love colour!  I have a mix and match wardrobe of basic greys, whites, blacks and stone so that I can add splashes of colour to them.  If I had a large walk in wardrobe and an unlimited clothing budget I would buy a variety of very colourful clothes.

I loved Thailand because it is a colourful country.  Everything is prettied up with colour from Temples to simple abodes and everyone dresses colourfully too. I bought one or two colourful items of clothing at very low prices!

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Red and gold harem pants

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Colourful summer dress

What is your favourite type of dog? (can be anything from a specific breed, a stuffed animal or character in a movie)

I love dogs.   My favourite is no longer with us.  She was a black mixed breed about the size of a spaniel with the personality of labrador.  The Earl called her “Black Dog”  but her name was Tammy.   What a faithful, affectionate and well-behaved dog she was.  I used to jog every evening and she would tag along to protect me.   I just had to say the word ‘takkies’ (sneakers)   and she’d yip in excitement and the tail wouldn’t stop wagging until we were on the road.  I still miss her.

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A rather poor copy of a picture taken in 1992 – but you get the idea that we loved this dog!

List at least five favorite flowers or plants.

I am starting a brand new garden so flowers and plants are very much on my mind.  My favourite flower is our national flower – The Protea – but I have not planted any in my new garden.  They’re expensive and I don’t want to kill them – when I’m more experienced I might try to grow my own.

My next favourite is the vygie – I am trying to grow those in my garden.

Then there are clivias which I’ve just planted and I think they will do well.

I love succulents – they’re easy to grow and very rewarding.

And who doesn’t love roses and carnations?  I’m not growing those as they’re not waterwise  which is essential in our climate.

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Vygie indigenous to the Western Cape   –  Aizoaceae – The fig-marigold family or ice plant family.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

My grandchildren, Shannon and Simon inspired me this week.

Shannon has just completed an arduous three week hike in the Drakensberg mountains with her St John’s College Grade 9 classmates – all girls.   They endured cold, heat, snow, rain, steep and dangerous terrain, had only one change of clothing, carried their own back packs, cooked on camp fires and slept in tents except for when it snowed and they were allowed to stay in a cabin that had beds and bare floors and that was it!   And she loved it.  Her attitude is amazing and in spite of having torn ligaments in her calf she refused to give up and endured it to the end.

Simon is currently on a three week tour with is Grade 6 classmates  from Kokstad Junior School.  He’s never been away from his parents for so long and is coping amazingly well – he passed through our neck of the woods yesterday so I was able to see first hand how he was coping.

It’s great to see the youngsters coping with challenges and rising to the occasion.   I am super proud of them.

 

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Share Your World 31 July 2017

Here are my answers to  Cee’s Share Your World 31 July 2017

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts? Or what do you use if you need to have your vision corrected?

I had excellent vision until my early 40s and then strange things seemed to happen.   A child at school would show me her work and I would get irritated because she put it right in front of my face and I would pull back in order to read it. They all started this and I realised it wasn’t them it was me.  I was becoming long sighted!  So I bought a pair of those glasses you get from pharmacies and used them for reading only.  But after a few years I realised that I needed a proper eye test.  “My eyes are fine,” I told the optometrist ” I just need reading glasses.”  But she showed me that I actually needed ‘varifocals’ because I could not see properly at all!  My ego was deflated but once I got the varifocals it changed my life!  I did not have to take my specs on and off and I could see properly all the time.  I loved my specs.  I have no desire to wear contact lenses. Spectacles rock!

Difficult question – I will have to say – BOTH.  When I was a kid I adored cats but my mother wasn’t so keen on them – however, she allowed me to have a cat until I developed an allergy to them – my eyes streamed and my nose ran.   We always had dogs and I loved my dogs.  Later in life I had both and I tended not to react to my own cats.   My favourite dog ever was a black cross spaniel type dog that was my constant companion and went running with me every day.  I just had to mention the word ‘takkies’ (sneakers) and the would bark and wag her tail in excitement.  When she became old I had to stop her running with me but still her tail would wag and she looked so sad when I refused to let her come with me.   It was so sad to have to let her go when her kidneys failed.

We had one more dog after that and then settled for cats.   The cats, Shadow and Mia, are still with my daughter and she has adopted another but now that we’re retired and travel often, we don’t keep pets.  We just keep dog biscuits for the ones who visit.

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Mia and Shadow

If you were to buy a new house/apartment what is the top three items on your wish list?

This not going to happen ever again.  I lived in my last home for 30 years.   Our current home was our holiday house and we’re getting it into shape to suit our final years.   I’ve written posts about this from time to time.  Right now we’re working on the garden.   But to answer the question – Kitchen with accessible cupboards for my old age – drawers come to mind!   Plenty of cupboard space.   Pretty garden.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

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Willie inspired me this week.  He has some great ideas about what we should do with our garden. He’d already helped with some of it but more needs to be done! We had a long chat, looked at some pictures on the internet and planned what we would do in a ‘dead’ part of the back garden as well as what we do in the front.  Today we went shopping for paving, pots and stone and also had a truck load of soil delivered.  Soon the landscaping and further designing of the garden will begin!

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Our Garden before we started the revamp

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Part of the front garden where Willie designed and planted our rockery.

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The other half of the back garden where the Milkwood has been tamed.