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.





Share Your World 3 July 2017

Happy Independence Day to all Americans reading this blog today – 2017/07/04.

Here are my answers to Cee’s Share Your World 3 July 2017

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other?

I love food and as long as my meal is High Fat Low Carbohydrate, I tuck in with relish.  I enjoy most cuisines.  For our main meal we are pretty basic – meat, fish or poultry, sweet potato, vegetables and/or salad.  The South African braai features at least three times a week.  We also cook in a kettle braai.   I enjoy Greek and Italian food, curries and sushi.   When I’m in a foreign country I eat what the locals eat while still trying to avoid too many carbohydrates.


The coals are ready – the fish goes onto the grid


The end result


My friend Willie even ate the eye – we’re funny that way in South Africa – well some of us!

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

A great deal of junk was disposed of during THE GREAT MOVE.    Still some was brought to Struisbaai with us.  Some is stored in the garden shed. The photographs, Video Tapes and CDs are in the spare room cupboards waiting patiently to be sorted.  One day …….

Otherwise the entertaining area is okay – not perfect but the guests just have to turn a blind eye.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life?

I’ve stuck to good daily habits my whole life.  I’m giving them up now!  I do like to take a daily walk but when it’s cold I think – what the heck!

No seriously – I need to sort out the stored junk – so perhaps half an hour a day?

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?  

I would only work in a circus that excluded animal acts. Animals belong in The Wild. I enjoy watching trapeze artists, tightrope walkers and acrobats.  The trapeze is probably what I’d like to do but it’s a bit late to start that now!

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

The last two weeks have been tough.  After two months in hospital my beloved aunt was finally diagnosed to have inoperable cancer and two weeks later, on Sunday, she died.  I am grateful for the care she received from family, friends and hospital staff and that her suffering did not drag on.  I am also grateful for the happy times we had spent together.  May she Rest in Peace.


Leonie and Me on the last holiday we shared – Tasmania 2013


Share Your World 8 May 2017

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

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

In the summer you might find me barefoot.  Right now I am wearing shoes, but I often kick them off and wear slippers.   I like my feet to be comfortable and in winter I might put on Ugg Boots.  They may be ugly but they’re comfy.  I have the generic version – not the overly expensive ones.


What was your favorite food when you were a child?

When I was very young, I was an extremely fussy eater but for breakfast I loved my  Jungle Oats. My mother told everyone that if it weren’t for that one meal, I would probably starve because for the rest of the day I would eat very little else.  My uncle teased me constantly and would make me cry by telling me the factory had burned down.

jungle oats


Perhaps that’s why I went off it and started on eggs instead.  My sister and I would share a boiled egg – she would eat the white and I would have the yolk!

Yes – I was a very picky eater and would not eat cooked vegetables but being of Greek origin we always had salads with every meal and those I ate quite happily.    For a packed lunch, my mom would give me polony or chunks of cheese and carrot sticks because I wouldn’t eat my peanut butter and jam (jelly to the Americans) sandwiches, although I loved them freshly made.  My mother despaired of me ever eating properly but thinking back, I wonder why she worried – I ate lamb, beef, chicken and fish and plenty of salads.   Pretty healthy I think!   I didn’t like pasta, rice, potato or anything that looked suspicious. I had a fear of food and stressed if I had to eat away from home. This changed when I went away to college.  The food was awful but it was eat it or starve!   I got fat at college but lost it all in my last term – by starving myself!   My fight with food continued into adulthood but only as far as  trying to keep the weight off was concerned.  Finally in my old age I have discovered Low Carb High Fat and it fits in almost exactly with how I used to eat as a child, the only difference being that now I will eat the veggies cooked.picky-eating

Are you a listener or talker?

I enjoy conversation – both listening and talking.   Friends tend to come to me for advice and I do listen but then I try to fix things with lots of advice – not always the right approach.

women chatting

Favorite thing to (pick one):  Photograph?  Write? Or Cook?

I can’t pick one so I’ll tell you what I like to photograph, write about and cook.

I like photographing birds and wildlife.


A striated (Green-backed) heron

I like cooking omelettes.


Bacon, onion, tomato and Feta omelette

I like writing about my trips to wild places


“Then suddenly we came upon a leopard languishing on the branch of a tree”


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 week we had catching up with family at Gariep Dam, Free State.   The weather was pleasant and we just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company.



I am looking forward to planning our next trip away in the caravan.



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!


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



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.

Queen Elizabeth cruise

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.


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.