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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.

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Family Easter in Struisbaai

“Grandchildren are God’s reward to us for not killing our own” Not that we ever wanted to kill our perfect little girls.  They were such angels.

Due to circumstances that could not be avoided our eldest and her two babies came to live with us when they were 4 months and 18 months old.  Hence we had the privilege of being totally involved in their upbringing.  Right up until we came to live in Struisbaai almost two years ago, we were a bustling household of 5 or 6 depending on whether our youngest was with us or away on her own.  Do we miss the hustle and bustle?  Well actually we love our new, quiet lifestyle but yes we do miss everything that a big family adds to your life.  So it was great when they all came to stay over the Easter Weekend.

On Wednesday our youngest daughter, Laurie, took a day off work and came up early with Josh (18)  Lisa, came up on Saturday with our other grandson, Jay (19)

Grandpa has been trying to get some chores done around the house and on the boat so welcomed the extra muscle and labour.

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Josh and Laurie at Shipwreck for breakfast

We were hoping that summer would last a little longer but it was decidedly cooler.  However, we did get some lovely days and managed some scenic walks on the beach.

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My handsome young lads on the beach

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Checking out the harbour activity

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t good enough for fishing – but next time ….

Before Lisa came up with Jay on Saturday we decided to visit my sister at her holiday house at Riverine on The Breede.   My brother’s kids Kyle and Mick were also spending the weekend at their family holiday house and joined us for lunch.  It was a very happy reunion as we got to catch up with my nieces and nephews who I haven’t seen in a while.  Lolz enjoyed her cousins’ company too.

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I gave my great nephew a puzzle which he completed in no time at all!

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Mom Katja holding Oliver (1 year) who is showing off his clapping skills

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View of The Breede River

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Matthew wanted to hunt for dinosaurs

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Ha – Look I’ve found Stegosaurus!

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Two gorgeous girls – Niece, Belinda and daughter, Lolz

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Guilia, Mick (he is recovering from a motorbike accident) and Robert

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Kyle -(my nephew and husband of Guilia)  Katja (Robert’s wife) and Lolz

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The lovely lass on the left is nephew Mick’s Kiwi girlfriend – that’s him lying down and nephew Robert (dad to Ollie and Mattie) is on the other recliner.

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The Handsome Grandfathers – My darling hubbie Earl and Brother in law – Brian

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Auntie Belinda with her youngest nephew – Ollie

My sister who is an amazing cook and entertainer whipped up a wonderful lunch in no time at all and fed over a dozen of us with the greatest of ease.  I don’t know how she does it!

We were so busy enjoying the meal that I forgot to take photographs and I don’t even have one of my sister!  So I’m posting an old one of the two of us.

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My sister (right) and me

It’s compulsory to have a boat ride on the river but I declined having done it too many times before.  Earl could not pass up an opportunity of going on a boat and he and Josh went along with nephew James, Lolz and Brother in law Brian. Of course Mattie couldn’t miss out.

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Mattie and Josh having fun

It took a bit of time and Mattie found a comfy old man to fall asleep against

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It was such an enjoyable day but we had to get back to welcome Lisa and Jay and so we headed back to Struisbaai before the day was done.

As time passes and kids grow up you would think that the magic of Easter would fade – not so for my lovely boys.  They still wanted to have an Easter Egg Hunt.

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I’m so grateful that my boys are not too cool to miss out on the fun and will still snuggle up with their old granny and not worry about what others will think.

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Still Granny’s baby

They are the most amazing reward from God.

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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.

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

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Chanty certaily loves her songs

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

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And everyone knows how much I love my coffee

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

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The sky was amazing at the Southern Tip on Sunday

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

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This morning we had breakfast at the harbour

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The gang waiting for service

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

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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.

 

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Midweek Spa Break

We had our bathroom basin replaced on Wednesday last week and couldn’t use it for two days.  So we used this as an excuse to go away for a midweek break.

In the heart of the Cape Winelands, on Route 62,  lies Robertson also known as the Valley of Wine and Roses.  This is where Trip Advisor found us Rosendal Spa which had an attractive package that included Dinner, Bed and Breakfast and 2 spa treatments each.  Just what we needed!

Roses and grapevines have the same type of soil and sun requirements.   Farmers plant rose hedges near the vines not only to make their farmlands look attractive but also to attract bees and to provide a habitat for beneficial insects which will prey on harmful insects that cause damage to the grapes. Robertson is a particularly fertile valley where everything grows well making it a very pretty place to visit.

After driving the hour and half picturesque route we arrived at our stunning accommodation.

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Reception and Restaurant

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View of Rosendal from the other side of the dam

Our room opened onto the pool area and as the weather was hot the pool offered welcome relief.

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Looking toward our room from the pool area

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A bit chilly at first

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But so refreshing

The dam had a variety of birds to entertain us and on a walk around the estate I found some others too.

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A confiding Cape Robin showed up quite frequently

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Black Crowned Night Heron hiding in the reeds

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Red-knobbed Coot

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Cape Canaries in the vines

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Cape Canary

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Red-knobbed coot

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Common Moorhen

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Little Grebe – but I prefer it’s former name – Dabchick

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Female Bishop

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Farm Dam passed on my walk

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Yellow-billed ducks seen on farm dam

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Speckled Mousebird

On Thursday after breakfast I had a facial and Earl a pedicure.   Our therapists were excellent and we enjoyed an hour of pampering.  We then went into Robertson to do a bit of shopping as it offers a slightly larger variety of stores than Bredasdorp.  Even so we struggled to find any that still had men’s shorts in stock!  But we did not return empty handed after finding the required item at Jeep.

 

In the afternoon we went for an African Wood Massage – an hour and a half of pure bliss.

Our meals could be taken in the restaurant or on the deck overlooking the dam.  Even in the evenings it was warm enough to sit outdoors.

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Sunset over the dam

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Earl’s shot of the crescent moon

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The Lamb Shank was delicious

 

We always feel proudly South African when we meet tourists who tell us how much they have enjoyed visiting our country and usually they tell us about the excellent service they receive from establishments they stay at and restaurants they visit.  We met two German girls who were having a very adventurous time.  We gave the some tips on what to do when in Cape Town.

 

Another couple who were our age and from England told us that they’d had a great time up until that day!  I’m sharing their story here as a warning to others who visit our beautiful land.   Crime is a problem here!  Be aware and watch out for scammers! This couple were driving in their hire car from Paarl to Robertson when they a BMW hooted and flashed lights at them, indicating that they wanted them to pull over and stop. Not wanting to break the law they obliged.  “Where are you going?” an official looking man asked.  They told him.  “Well you need a pass to go there.   Follow us and we will show you where to get one.”   They were taken to an ATM. “Put your card in there and your pass will be issued.”   Unfortunately the gentleman obliged and his card was cloned.  He realised this when the machine did not spit it out again.  The scammers, of course, were gone and nowhere to be seen. He went into the bank and his card was cancelled.   Then it was a two hour session at the police station before he could continue his journey.  Please people,  demand badges and names before agreeing to this kind of thing not only in this country but in any one.   Be on your guard and vigilant at all times.  And in this country avoid driving long distances at night.

Naturally this incident upset our new friends but they said that other than that their experiences here had been positive.  They’d enjoyed an amazing trip to The Kruger National Park and were now about to do the Garden Route.   Hopefully, the bad incident will soon be forgotten.

On our way back to Struisbaai I couldn’t resist taking this photograph.

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A refreshing change from your usual scare crow!

 

 

 

 

 

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Delightful Weekend with Good Friends

We love having our Cape Town friends to visit us in Struisbaai from time to time and last weekend Tony and Sharon came up to spend Saturday and Sunday night with us.  The weather couldn’t have been nicer.

During our many years of friendship, Sharon and I have waked many miles together so it was great to have her company on my daily strolls.   Of course we did the mall, the harbour and the beach but on Sunday we headed toward Cape Agulhas where we planned to meet the guys for coffee at Potpourri.

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It’s compulsory to visit the harbour

We didn’t make it to Potpourri as we bumped into our mutual friend Sheryl who was working in the garden in front of her B&B.  She was delighted to see Sharon and invited us in for coffee. So we rang the guys to join us and spent a few hours with Sheryl and Alan instead

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Sheryl showed us round her beautiful B&B, Agulhas Ocean House

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Each room has stunning sea views

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The en suites are so luxurious

On Monday we drove to Arniston and looked for birds and wildlife on the way.

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We saw a few birds including blue crane, bokmakierie, pied starlings, sparrows and canaries but I’m always delighted to find the Denham’s Bustard

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Also a little bokkie resting in the veld.

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This rock kestrel at the car park overlooking Otter Beach

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View of Otter Beach

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Tony and Sharon enjoying the view

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It was an amazing day

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View from the deck of The Arniston Hotel

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The cake and coffee was to die for

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Not the Banting Diet!

Sadly our friends had to leave when we got back to Struisbaai but it was so good to spend those two days with them.

 

 

 

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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.