Share Your World – 23 April 2018

There are some interesting questions on Cee’s Share Your World this week.  Here are my answers

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

There are a few I would like to have to hand at any given moment.

  • BiltongBiltong.png – for those who are far from our shores this can be likened to jerky but is a thousand times nicer.  It’s a snack most South Africans can’t live without
  • Egg and Bacon – Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day
  • Olives
  • Feta Cheese
  • Avocado Pear
  • Spinach

The last four items are my favorite food.  Any dish with these ingredients will make me happy.

List at least five movies or books that cheer you up.

I’ve never thought of a book as cheering me up – grabbing my attention and fascinating me yes – but cheering me up I’m not so sure.  But here goes.

  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hannf is a delightful, feel good book.  It was made into a movie too and that was equally as good.
  • The movie Yentl – starring Barbara Streisand is a fantastic story that fascinates and amuses.
  • Pretty Woman is another great movie that is super entertaining.
  • If you really want to be cheered up there’s nothing to beat re-watching – Shirley Valentine
  • A South African book that really made me laugh at the same time as educating me about the lives of Muslim women in South Africa was Confessions of a Gambler by Rayda Jacobs
  • confessions-of-a-gambler

If you were a mouse in your house in the evening, what would you see your family doing? 

If I were a mouse in my house that I live in now with my husband and it’s just the two of us, the scene would not be all that interesting.  However, if I were a mouse in the house of my family when we were altogether it would be far more fun.

I would scurry into the kitchen to see if I could grab a morsel of whatever Grandpa or Grandma were cooking and probably see them both discussing the evening meal for the gang.  I’d hear Gran call – Josh, please come set the table – and he would obediently get down to the task.

I’d scurry off down the passage into Lisa’s room and find her reading or watching a soapie.

In Jay’s room I’d want to scurry right out again as there would be a pile of stuff lying around while the young man was staring at a screen playing some sort of horrible war game. I would hear him yell out in delight when he managed to conquer his mortal enemy.

Then I’d move on to Lolz and find her checking emails or texting her friends.

Finally they’d all gather around the dinner table and the conversation would be most interesting to listen to and I’d roll around on my mousy back laughing at the quips Jay made, and the retorts from Josh while the adults tried to give them worldly advice about Life.   It would be fun listening to reports on everyone’s day.  Gran would tell  the latest funny things the kids in her class had done. Gramps would lecture about the virtues of working hard.  The daughters would tell about their work day at the bank and everybody would mention their plans for the weekend.  I might have to scurry off in a hurry though because the cats might see me and that would be the end of me.

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


On our way home Addo Elephant Park we stopped at Jeffrey’s Bay to meet up with our dear friends Jim and Maureen.  We met for breakfast at a lovely little restaurant and then went to enjoy the view over the bay.  Being with good friends always makes me smile.


Meeting up with Jim and Maureen at Jeffrey’s Bay


Share Your World 16 April 2018

These are my answers to this weeks Share Your World from Cee

List things or events that changed your life?

  • Birth of my child (1979)
  • Leaving a bad relationship (1982)
  • Meeting my current husband (1982)
  • Taking up bird watching as a hobby
  • Retirement

Complete this sentence: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s…

Yes it’s definitely a bird!

My eye will always notice a bird.  Even when everybody else is looking at a leopard in a tree, I will say – do you see that bird over there!

366 Yellow-throated longclaw

Yellow-throated Longclaw

What genre of music do you like?

I enjoy quite a few genres – hate the grating, head banging, loud, heavy metal type of music.

Obviously love rock ‘n roll from the 60s. Music with a beat that you can dance to.

My favourite artists are in no particular order – Madonna, Michael Jackson, James Blunt, The Beatles, Cliff, Elvis, Barbara Streisand, Liza Minnelli,  Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Adele, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Baez.  The list goes on.   I also enjoy classical music.

record cover

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

Well – I was in a National Park over the weekend and there was a lot to smile about.  Who wouldn’t smile watching a tonne of elephants wallowing in waterholes.


I really appreciate the fact that I live in a country where conservation is taken seriously in spite of a number of problems we otherwise might be having.  Seeing a game guard with an anti-poaching dog really filled my heart with joy.




Cee’s Share Your World 26 April 2018

Here are my answers to this week’s Share your world from Cee

What is your favorite color of hair? You can name your hair color or a color that you just like.

I don’t have a favourite.  Hair colour goes with complexion and I think that people look  best when they choose a colour that suits them and not what is considered beautiful by the fashion world.  Having said that, I think it’s fun to experiment with psychedelic colours.  Pink or green hair can look great if you dress outlandishly too.  Yes – why not?  I think I might try it some day!


I think blond is very pretty but way too common and boring.  I prefer rich colours – black, auburn, chestnut, titian.   People who are blessed with colours like that are striking.

I used to colour my hair.   One day my grandson said, “Gran all my friends grannies have grey hair.”   When I told him I coloured mine out he was shocked.  “You mean you really are old?” he exclaimed.
So when I retired I decided the time had come for me to become a real granny so now I grey and proud of it!

Before 2015                                              After 2015

List at least 5 things that you are good at.

I won’t claim to be good at anything really.   However, I’ve reached a certain level of proficiency at the following:-

  • Blogging
  • Knitting
  • Identifying birds.
  • Teaching
  • Computers – well the grandkids did help.

kid on computer


What is your favorite animal or type of animal? (pets, dolphins, stuffed, wild cats, etc)

All animals excite me.   I love wild animals and wild birds.  I’m against zoos and wild animals being kept as pets.

Perhaps my favourite wild animal is The Elephant. I love the matriarchal system – Males have to leave the herd after a certain age and may only visit when invited!  Elephant society works extremely well.


This mom is so protective of her baby

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

We had old friends from Cape Town visit us for three days last week.  Jeff and Earl have been friends since they were five.   They never had kids of their own but were always a huge support to us with ours and when the grandkids came to live with us they were always on hand to babysit and gave us enormous support. So – yes – I smiled a lot when they came to visit.   We had an amazing time with them.


Our friends at The Southern Tip of Africa



Share Your World 16 October 2017

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

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why? 

I am perfectly happy living right here is South Africa in spite of its problems. There are plenty of negatives, crime being the one that heads the list. But quite honestly the positives are so amazing that even if  I could I don’t think I would move.

I actually believe that I could be happy anywhere in the world. Every country has it’s pros and cons but if I HAD TO leave my first choice would be Australia. I like the people, the weather and the beaches.  Everything works, there is very little poverty and the people are relatively law abiding.  Also there are a huge number of South Africans living there already so I would feel right at home!

Keep calm and go to Sydney

My next choice would be Greece or Italy because of the weather and the food.  mmm – Yes – Maybe Italy would be my first choice!

Keep Calm and eat Italian.jpg


What color would you like your bedroom to be?

My bedroom will never be the colour that I want it to be.  The Earl is far too practical and likes neutral shades.  I would love to paint at least one wall blue or red.

Keep calm and paint a red wall

Maybe not too practical for a beach house?

What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

Many, many things make me happy but to be specific the following top the list:-

  • My husband
  • My kids
  • My grandkids
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Travel
  • Eating breakfast outdoorsIMG_1877
  • Holidays in the bush
  • Spotting a leopard in a tree2010-10-12 004 Leopard in tree Helen
  • Birds visiting my feeder
  • Seeing birds in their natural habitat
  • Visiting game reserves.

I am going to be blissfully happy for the next three months because we’re trekking up north to visit the Kokstad Clan, collect our new caravan and visit the Kruger National Park.

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. 

In preparation for the Great Trek I had to go to Cape Town for a week to shop, attend a function and catch up with family and friends.   I really appreciate everyone fitting us into their busy schedules.   We had a fantastic time.


Breakfast at Pastis with the family


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!


Red and gold harem pants


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.


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.


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.



Share Your World 24 July 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s interesting questions from Cee

List some of your favorites types of teas

I am addicted to coffee.  But I try not to drink too much so actually I drink more cups of tea than coffee.   Anne over at Something over Tea has encouraged me to be more adventurous in my choices from time to time – but I tend to stick to a South African favourite – Rooibos Tea (Red Bush Tea)  It is made from  the needle like leaves of a bush that grows in Cedarberg mountains of the Western Cape. In most South African homes when you are offered a cuppa you’re asked your preference – Rooibos or Ceylon?   It is not a true tea but you brew it in the same way as you would Ceylon tea.   I like it black with a slice of lemon.


A cup of chai 

All about Rooibos

Rooibos is believed to have many healing properties and it is often fed to colicky babies. It is also an ingredient in some South African skin care products.


A variation on my Rooibos may include Chai or lemon and mint flavoured.  I also like cranberry flavoured.   Green Tea is possibly the only other tea I drink.  I never touch Ceylon tea.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

Road sign

I really couldn’t think of a good road sign to describe me so chose this as sometimes I’m so confused!

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

My first reaction would be – Leave me alone.  I don’t often have bad days but a few weeks  ago I was feeling emotional and was actually in tears thinking about my aunt who was dying.   My phone pinged and it was my best friend texting me from England.  “Do you want to Skype?”   We hadn’t Skyped in months. How did she know I needed her? She said I’d just popped into her head and she felt she had to call me.  It was just what I needed.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed

I love watching gymnastics and ice skating and that would be my dream skill if I had my life over.

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

It’s almost a year since my hubby had his double bypass in Italy.   I am grateful that he is now in excellent health. So much so that he suggested another trip abroad – this time to   Thailand and today we booked!   We will be setting off on 5 August.  How cool is it to be retired!


I am looking forward to preparing for the planned trip.


Share Your World 17 July 2017

Here are my answers to another set of fun questions from Cee in this week’s share your world.

What is your favorite cheese?

Funny you should ask because I love cheese in all shapes, forms and flavours.   Camembert and Brie are particular favourites. It also depends on what you’re in the mood for. I love a bit of roquefort in an omelette or scrambled eggs.

Once when I ordered a cheese sandwich in France I was presented with half a baguette filled with a whole camembert. It was to die for specially as it was served with excellent coffee!

On Saturday there was a food fair at The Shed in Struisbaai.  One stall had a variety of goats’ cheese to try.  All delicious so we bought a punnet and got one free!


Cheese from Giggling Goat

Are you left or right handed?

I am right handed – absolutely right handed.  I’ve been to creative writing courses where the facilitator would say – Now we’re going to wake up your creativity by writing/drawing with your non dominant hand!  Screeeeaaaaam – I hate those non dominant exercises!

However, there is something very strange about me – I am right dominant in hand, ear and foot – but LEFT eyed!  Go figure!

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either?

When my child had to write about her family in Grade 7 she emphasised that her mother was a health fanatic who exercised excessively.   I wouldn’t describe myself as fanatical about anything but I did try to eat right and keep fit.   Up until a few months ago I was still doing a daily exercise routine and trying to walk at least 10000 steps per day.  Right now I’m going through a rebellious stage and I’m not doing much other than the odd walk.  I’m blaming the cold weather but really that never stopped me before.  Perhaps I’ll get back into it – perhaps not.   I do try to make sure I do daily tasks that require me to stretch and squat.   They say it’s when you stop that the troubles begin – so far I’m fine but I’d hate to regret the neglect!


Me upside down on my 60th birthday!

Brain exercise is now more important to me – I do cross words and sudoku and I’m learning a third language.   There’s alzheimer’s in my family – I’m trying to ensure it doesn’t strike me!   Of course, physical exercise is also important to keep dementia at bay – so I guess I’ll go for a walk later on today.

Complete this sentence: Hot days are …

Hot days are welcome!  I can say that now as it’s freezing.  We have snow on the mountains in the Overberg.   On Sunday we took a drive to take some pretty snowy photographs.  We went to Barrydale and Swellendam but didn’t find any at a level we could reach.  You had to go to Ceres for that.

IMG_9731 Snowy Peak with road in foreground 2017-07-16 11-40-31 AM 4608x3456 2017-07-16 11-40-31 AM 4608x3456

Snow on the peaks of a Swellendam mountain

In the Western Cape the summers are warm but not too hot. Further North it gets extremely hot and we often head north to the game reserves in summer.  I can handle dry heat – humid heat – not so much.

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

Our Struisbaai house is freezing as it is geared for summer weather. Now that we live here permanently we’ve found it necessary to get it bearable for winter.   So my hubby Earl, and friend Willie, put in a fireplace!   What a difference – we light it around 4 in the afternoon and it warms the whole house beautifully.  I’m thankful for all the hard work Willie, Earl and Magnus put in to make it all possible.


Magus on roof, Earl and Willie – The  Earl should NOT be on a ladder!


Almost done

IMG_9635 Fire place

Our lovely new fire!

Today is Nelson Mandela’s 99th birthday.  I am grateful for what our Madiba did for this country. We still have our problems but if we follow his example we can still make it a great nation.