Share Your World 30 October 2017

Here is my contribution to this week’s Share Your World from Cee

Where do you eat breakfast?

Funny you should ask, because this is my favourite meal of the day and it is usually quite an elaborate affair.  I seldom eat breakfast in bed.  I like to be up and dressed and seated at the table.  Usually my darling husband cooks it for me, at least twice weekly we go to our favourite coffee shop where they don’t even ask what we want as the just know, and on rare occasions I am the chef.   Properly brewed coffee is essential and no matter where I am the quality of the breakfast is greatly influenced by the quality of the coffee! If the weather is good I like it al fresco, if it’s in a cold place a roaring fire helps otherwise a lovely ambience indoors will do.


Typical Shipwreck Coffee Shop Breakfast – Fried eggs, bacon, cheese grillers tomato and coffee


Scrambled Eggs Al Fresco at my garden picnic table



Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want have a evening with?

My ideal evening is in the bush with friends who enjoy it as much as I do.  There is nothing to beat, sitting outside your caravan, watching the flaming sun sink beneath the horizon,  listening the sounds of the wild, glass of wine in hand exchanging stories about the day’s adventures.  Priceless!

094 Polentswa at the table

My fantasy companion would be Sir David Attenborough because I would love to chat to him about his lifetime of doing wildlife documentaries.  What a fascinating life he has had.  How lucky we are to be able to spend any number of evenings watching said documentaries!

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be? 

I would choose to be a Baobab Tree.  She is the queen of trees. You cannot miss her standing proud on the African Savannah demanding to be admired.   Not only would I be a wonderful sight to behold I would also be permanently among the wildlife that I love so much and I would be a great asset to their lives. Because the baobab has many useful properties, it is widely known as the Tree of Life.  How wonderful to be a Life-giving Tree.

Baobab products are useful to mankind as among other stuff soap, rubber, glue, traditional medicine and cream of tartar are made from their products.  But best of all it creates it’s own ecosystem and provides food and shelter for animals, birds and insects.

It is a deciduous tree so during the dry winters it has no leaves and its bare branches look like roots  hence it’s nickname – the upside down tree.

2010-10-08 003 Baobab Tree Helen

In Winter it is The Upside Down Tree


In Summer It dons it’s leafy finery



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. 

The Earl and I left Struisbaai at 6 am this morning and considering the state of his health one year ago I appreciate how fit and well his is now.   He coped well with the driving and we made sure to stop frequently.  We are overnighting in Middelburg in the Eastern Cape and will do another day’s drive to Kokstad tomorrow.  This is the start of a three month trip away and I will be blogging about our adventures as often as I can during this time.

story teller


Cape Agulhas Presents Its Best Face For Kokstad Junior School

Today it was our privilege to meet up with our grandson Simon when his school tour stopped to visit the Southern Tip of Africa.  The teacher in charge alerted our daughter to the time they would be coming through Bredasdorp, she alerted us and then we timed it just right to meet them coming through Struisbaai.


Here they come – a very excited granny takes the photo!


A close up and then they all pulled over so we could say hi to Simon

After an initial big hello to Simon our grandson, Aiden our great nephew and Robyn, daughter of our kids’ best friends, we followed them to Cape Agulhas

The Kokstad Junior Grade Six classes were two weeks into a three week tour takes them from Kokstad to Cape Town and back.   En route they stop at interesting places and it forms part of their Life Skills programme.   It’s epic and hats off to the teachers and helpers who take these sixty-eight lively pre-teens on such an amazing, educational tour.

The kids are exceptionally well-behaved.   On this trip they’re divided into groups and have chores and responsibilities that are character building. Many have never been away from their protective parents before and so this is a huge learning curve for them.


There are developments afoot at the Southern Tip and road works meant a little wait before entering the car park.


The controlled but excited group getting ready to do the touristy thing at the southern tip


Our gorgeous Robyn Baker


Si-Si pretending not to be embarrassed by his grandparents attention

There were some other tourists at the view point but being a Monday the kids had the place virtually to themselves.




Robyn with her group

The kids were given relative freedom to explore after the compulsory photographs had been taken.


Robin and her group at the Southern Tip of Africa


Simon waiting his turn


Simon and Aiden’s Group


Michele’s group


Simon playing a stone kicking game with his friend – BOYS!


A lot of fun was had throwing pebbles into the rock pools


Collecting rocks and exporing the rock pools was also fun


Where’s your rod Simon?


Not today, Gran – I want to see how far I can skim this stone!


That’s a good bowling arm he has there!


Robyn rock hopping with her friends


Smiling for Mom and Dad


Hand away from face please Rob – Nice one of your friend though!


Thank you, that’s better


Aiden and his gang of rock exploring friends

The kids have been to Robben Island, The Science Museum, Cape Point and other wonderful places.  I asked Simon what his favourite part has been so far – first he said that he liked the movies at Somerset Mall!  Then his friend, Liam, said The Science Museum and his eyes lit up and he said – Yes definitely that!   One lad said he liked Robben Island but – Too much history!  I think it was all too confusing for him.


The whistle blew – time to go


Liam (I think) and Simon

What a great morning – the weather cooperated, the kids were delightful and we enjoyed our interaction with them all.   Bon Voyage for the next week, Kokstad Junior – Grade 6 and Teachers!  Thank you for letting us join you for the morning.


The Famous Agulhas Lighthouse






Photo of the Week 15 June 2017

This week’s challenge for Photo of the Week is Ships and Boats


Tall Ship in Sydney Harbour


Meisho Maru – Japanese fishing boat wrecked near Cape Agulhas, Western Cape South Africa


My husband’s ski-boat, Kiora – Struisbaai Harbour, Western Cape South Africa

IMG_7641 - Copy

Rowboats on the hard at Struisbaai Harbour


Narrow Boat on a waterway in Hertfordshire, England


Day Trip to Robertson and Barrydale

The Autumn weather has been awesome in our neck of the woods.   We’re desperate for rain so it’s with a smidgen of guilt that we’re enjoying the sunshine.   May it not last too long!

They were upgrading the electrical services in our section of Struisbaai on Wednesday so the electricity was cut from 8 until 5.   We used this as an excuse to go out of the day.   After all we couldn’t use the internet for banking and other online chores.

Such trips just bring home to us how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful part of the country.  In spite of the lack of rain the scenery is still stunning.  All the farmlands looked like they’d survived the dry spell and the sheep and cows were all in good health.

At midday we stopped at Stormsvlei Restaurant and Farmstall.  It’s on the R317 half way between Riviersonderend and Swellendam.  You have to go a little way down a dirt drive until you come upon it.  They also have self catering cottages next to the river.   The last time we passed this way it was closed so it was great to find it open for lunch on Wednesday.   What a picturesque little place it is.   We could choose a table either inside or out.  As it was such a beautiful day we sat on the patio and enjoyed the gorgeous garden.   The Earl had a chicken wrap and I the chicken salad.   No complaints from either of us.


The gorgeous garden


Interesting table decor in the form of a very pretty white and ginger tipped cat!

Our next stop was Springfield Wine Estate in Robertson.   I am rather partial to their Sauvignon Blanc – Life from Stone – so we had to pick up some supplies.   It is my only vice.  And it’s a very pretty estate to visit.


One drives along an avenue of autumn colour to get to the wine shop


So peaceful to sit and enjoy the dam in the shade of the trees


An Egyptian goose enjoyed the peace too

We continued our drive enjoyed more scenery and then  stopped at Barrydale.


The quaint little town of Barrydale is on the border of the Karoo and the Overberg and is named after Dr Jame Barry who has an interesting history.

Dr Barry (1789 to 1865) was a surgeon in the British Army, served in Cape Town and did much to make the lives of wounded soldiers better. Dr Barry also improved the conditions of the native inhabitants.  This dedicated doctor also performed the first caesarian section in Africa in which both the mother and child survived the operation.   However, it was only after his/her death that it was discovered that Dr Barry was a woman.  He/she’d lived his/her whole adult life pretending to be a man so that he/she would be taken seriously in the medical profession.   How awful that a woman of her generation had to go to such lengths to live her dream.   More interesting facts about James Barry here

Barrydale, like the person after whom she is named, is a unique little town.   It is culturally mixed having both English and Afrikaans residents and a number of people from Europe have also settled here.  I would describe it as a colourful town filled with arty restaurants and shops.


How cute is this bright yellow house with its hot pink window frames!


Why not have a purple pizzeria


I’m loving the Orange Pots with Karoo type designs


We bought some Karoo lamb from the cheerful butchery


I just love the windpomp!

The most intriguing restaurant is the very rustic Diesel and Creme.   It was getting towards afternoon tea time when we got there and I was craving a bit of sweetness.   Nothing nicer than their granadilla cheesecake for me and lemon meringue for The Earl.  He also indulged in a double thick chocolate shake.


The coffee was good too


It’s a place that is calling back the past


Now that’s a cool caravan


A bike and car collector’s dream



Don’t you just love it!


House sparrow looking for crumbs

It was certainly an interesting visit – always fun to go to Barrydale.



Share Your World 10 April 2017

Here are my answers to Share Your World 10 April 2017

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

My first fun run was 5 km which I ran with my friend Chantal (She features later in this post too) – I was in my forties and she was in her thirties.   Then in my fifties I ran an 8km fun run with my grandsons who were about 8 and 9 at the time.  They were both fun events but like Cee I was not ever a competitive runner but enjoyed jogging for exercise.   The last time I ran more than 1 km was when I was 60.   I’ve decided it’s time to slow down to a walk.

Name one thing not many people know about you.

My life is an open book.  Most of my friends have known me for a very long time and I can’t think of anything they might not know about me.  I lived in my home town most of my life before retiring to Struisbaai but some people may not know that from the age of 2 to 5 I lived in Johannesburg and started my formal schooling there.

What is your favorite flower?

My favourite flower is the South African National Flower – The Protea

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)

I am very happy with everything I have in my house (all of the above except the hot tub) l’d only change one thing – the floors.  I’d like either wood laminate flooring throughout or tiles that look like wood laminate.

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

As much as I love living here at the southern tip of Africa, I do miss my Cape Town friends and family.  So I’m always grateful when they come to visit for a few days.  After much re-scheduling Chantal and Jeremy made it here this past weekend.  How wonderful it was to have a good catch up and not have to try and get all the news in during a quick dinner date fitted in when we go to Cape Town.


The placemats at Potpourri in Cape Agulhas suited each of us appropriately


Chanty certaily loves her songs


Translation for overseas readers – That what we have is enough!  Definitely The Earl’s Motto


And everyone knows how much I love my coffee


Jeremy wants all those gorgeous girls out there to know that he is taken!


The sky was amazing at the Southern Tip on Sunday


A yellow mongoose or six greeted us on the way to Arniston


This morning we had breakfast at the harbour


The gang waiting for service

Next week I am looking forward to Easter.  The kids will be coming in large numbers!


Fishing and Fun in Struisbaai

Our daughter, Laurie, brought a group of friends to stay this past weekend.  What a great time we had with Cara and Shaun, Dylan and a young girl visiting from Turkey named Cansu – pronounced Yunsue.

They all drove up together after work on Friday evening and we met them at The Michael Collins for dinner.   The fun began from there and it was midnight before we got to bed.

In spite of this Dylan, Shaun and Earl were up bright and early and went out on Kiora to try their luck on the five and twelve mile banks.  And it all went well – more of that later.

We girls chilled a little longer in bed but when we arose Cansu cooked us a Turkish breakfast.  She heated olive oil in the pan, threw in chopped green peppers, tomato and garlic and fried them till soft then mixed in some eggs and then topped it with grated cheese and cooked it slowly.   We sat out at the picnic table and enjoyed this delicious feast.


Breakfast was a Turkish Delight – Cansu and Cara

Our mission for the day was to show Cansu what the area had to offer so off we set to climb to the top of the Agulhas lighthouse.


Cara and Laurie stayed down below but I went up too. The last ladder that takes you to the top is the scariest of all.  You may only go up one at a time.  When I reached the top I found a mom and a very scared little girl refusing to go down.   I stopped to encourage her telling her the story of two other little ones I’d recently had in the tower who were just as terrified but very brave.  Just hold on tight and don’t let go and you will be fine, I said.  I think just hearing a voice other than her mom’s did the trick as the tears dried up and she went straight down.


Dad and Little Sister were waiting to welcome her – what a brave girl!



Cara and Laurie walking Caper the Daschund


Magnificent View from up there




Down the scary ladder she goes


But she was not afraid

It is compulsory for every visitor who comes this far south to stand at the very tip of Africa.   As it was the weekend there were a number of visitors but the wait was not too long.


In 982 a Japanese fishing boat, The Meisho Maru 38 wrecked at Cape Agulhas and can still be seen on the rocks today.  We took Cansu to see it.


The rocks are rugged – you wouldn’t want to run aground here


Cansu poses with the ill fated Meishu Maru


The threatened Black Oystercatcher 


Casper loves the beach


Some fynbos

By this time we were all hanging out for a cup of coffee so the delightful gift shop, Potpourri, was our next port of call.  We sat outside as we had Casper and shared a scone – a first for Cansu.



The boys, in the meantime, were having a great time at sea.  Soon after we got home, Earl called to say they were on their way in and they had fish for supper.

There was a lot of activity at the harbour and some fishermen were cleaning their catch and throwing the guts into the sea.  This attracted about ten stingrays into the shallows.


A stingray swims in the clear water

These creatures have become very tame, will eat from a friendly hand and allow people to stroke them.  Cansu was fascinated. She kicked off her shoes and waded in.  One of the locals had bits of fish and was feeding them. He told her the stingray was pregnant.


Getting close and personal with a ray


“It feels like a jellyfish with fur,” she said

I yelled to Canu to watch the tail but I was on the jetty and she didn’t hear me.


Ouch – the tail brushed against her leg

Cansu got a fright and there was a small graze on her leg which bled but there was no harm done – the spikes did not penetrate her skin and there was no swelling or pain afterwards.  We just treated her with Allergex ointment and she was fine.


The Fishermen returning after a successful day at sea


Shaun has a Santa and a Red Stompneus  Dylan has two Red Roman

Laurie made us a lovely spinach salad, Cara made garlic bread and new baby potatoes and Earl fried the fish – we had an amazing feast.

More of this lovely weekend to follow.







Struisbaai Marlin Competition 2017

Last week The Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling club once again hosted the Marlin Competition. This annual event is a great drawcard for deep sea anglers and a wonderful highlight on the Struisbaai calendar.  This year 27 teams from all over the country took part and the competition ran for six days of which only two were not fished due to poor conditions.

The club catered all meals for the teams and there was a wonderful vibe at the evening dinners.  Earl and I hosted Andrew, who was the communications officer and we were appointed the official photographers for the week!


What a Spread


Hardworking Girls behind the scenes

The rules of the competition were fairly complicated but this is how I understood them.  A marlin had to be landed, photographed, a DNA sample taken then released.  A video of the fish swimming away also had to be taken.   The angler/boat who caught the last fish would be declared the winner – this was so that their enthusiasm would last to the bitter end!

Three fish were landed.  Osprey caught the first, Woes Lekke the second and Salti the third.


Crew from Woes Lekke with DNA Sample – second Marlin landed

On one of the evenings Andrew was the Auctioneer and some generous bids were made for the wines donated by some local estates.


Wines on Auction


Sold to that man over there


Should we or shouldn’t we – they did


A special wine bottled in honour of Shanga


Shanga is Andrew’s dog who goes everywhere with him


And what am I bid for last year’s banner?  Quite a lot it turned out and this year’s one went too.

The auction raised R39 000 for the club.  Thanks to all the bidders this will be put to good use a Suidpunt Deep Angling Club.

On Friday there was a pirate party at The Club which was great fun.  Earl and I were the judges and we found it difficult to choose so in the end gave one individual prize and one group prize.  There was no female prize and I was the only girl to dress up and the judge can’t win!


Tattooed and scary?


Captain Morgan ready to pillage


Beware of this lot on a dark night


The organisation of this event was mammoth.   The caterers did an amazing job and kept us all well fed.


Hungry anglers enjoying the catering

Struisbaai, I think, thoroughly enjoyed having the anglers visit for a week and each afternoon the harour was a fun place to be as the boats returned from sea.



The winning boat escorted in by the birds



Feast from the fishermen


No fighting please – there’s enough for everyone


The Stingray will not be left out



Second boat to land a Marlin


Team Salti were the winners