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A full week of smiles.

Here is my contribution to The  Weekly Smile challenge

The weather made me smile this week.   We have such changeable weather here and if you should ever visit the southern tip of Africa and you don’t like the temperature – wait a few minutes and it’s sure to change.   Two days ago we had much needed rain – it rained all night and all day – and it made me glad – because our dams are dry and our farmlands are dying so when I heard the thunder and saw the lightning I couldn’t stop smiling.

But the next day the sun shone again and I was back in summer clothes! Hubby went fishing and that made him smile.  He took his friend Willie which meant Rachel was short staffed at the coffee shop on a Public Holiday so I went in to help her which made her and Jacqui smile and I had so much fun that I smiled too, so there was a lot of passing on of smiles.  The patrons smiled also specially when they enjoyed their delicious chocolate cake and fabulous cappuccinos.  A little four year-old girl really made me smile when I saw her cute little face covered in chocolate icing.

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Along with Willie, Earl took Ben, who’d never been to sea before. Imagine how he smiled when he impressed the Old Man of the Sea by catching some lovely Red Stompneus for our supper. And we all smiled when we dined together on the spoils of the day.

IMG_5846I smiled because I remembered to take my camera with me on my daily walk earlier this week.  The tide was low and the beach called loudly for my presence.  What a broad smile broke onto my face when I found two African Black Oyster Catchers foraging for mussels on the rocky shore.

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We’re gonna get those black mussels

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Got one

I smiled and smiled because I was the only person on the beach watching and photographing these beautiful creatures.

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Black and White/Sepia – R is for Reflection, Rhinoceros and Red-throated Wryneck

This week’s Black and White Challenge is to use the letter Q and/or R.   My submissions are in both black and white and sepia and I have chosen R.

  •  Reflections –  in which my subjects are white fronted plovers which I often see on the beaches in Struisbaai, Western Cape, South Africa. Reflection White fronted plover IMG_5723IMG_5741-001
  • Rhinoceros photographed in the Umfolozi Game Reserve

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Rhyno Hluhluwe

  • Red throated Wryneck photographed near my daughter’s house in Rural Kokstad, KZN.black and white wryneck 6Sepia wryneck best 2
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Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge

I am submitting a few photographs for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge. This week’s subject is Winter and/or Water.  I’ve chosen water and the place where these are taken is called False Bay Ecology Park where there is a wagon wheel of settling ponds that attract water birds.  These were taken on a sunny winter’s day in 2011.

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Yellow-billed ducks making a splash

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In calmer waters with a red-billed teal

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A Little Grebe (Dabchick) in reflective mood

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Aren’t I a handsome fellow – said the Purple Swamphen (Gallinule) 

 

 

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Grey

Today’s one word prompt is Grey – or Gray as they spell it in the USA where they have more sensible spelling rules!

What comes to mind when you hear the word grey? The risqué novel “Fifty shades of Grey?”   I did try to read it – but was bored after five sentences.  Sooo I’ll go onto something different.

Sometimes our beautiful blue sky turns grey – I miss this colour right now as we really need some dark clouds to bring rain to the parched earth and empty dams of the Western Cape.

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Theewaterkloof Dam is dangerously low

Grey water is what everyone is talking about here.  Do you use your grey water on the garden – how do you collect it etc etc.  I collect the shower water in a bucket and haul it off to the garden so that not a drop is wasted.

I like to wear the colour grey -buy I usually dress it up with something bright – like lime green or pink or even red.

When I retired I decided to stop dying my hair and allowed myself to become naturally grey.  It was a good idea – I look slightly older but it’s saved me a fortune in hairdressing fees.

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Me with my sister before I stopped dying my hair

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Me today – wearing grey with a lime-green scarf 🙂

Grey is a common colour of birds and beasts but they seem to look amazingly beautiful in spite of their drab feathers and fur.   Sometimes they too will add a bit of colour to add a bit of sparkle.

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A Cape Robin cheers up its plumage by adding a touch of red to its breast and tail

Grey Heron

A beautiful grey heron

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Elephants looking magnificent in grey with a powdering of red dust.

 

So when skies are grey and you’re feeling blue remember those are both colours that can be cheering too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.