Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bradley in action !!

Bradley playing cricket with Papa

Concentration !!

"Stop taking photos, Granny .. you're just like my Mommy !! "

Just have to add these two photos of Bradley and Connor - also taken yesterday in the garden.
Boo !!

Waiting for Mommy ..
We are off for a short holiday to the Kwa Zulu Natal coast - thought we would get in before the Christmas 'rush' when all the 'inlanders' make their way to the coastal regions! Hopefully it will be fairly quiet - we just need to 'chill' !!! Bye for now !!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She did it !!!!!!!!!

My first 'shot' at Wordless Wednesday! For more go here

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One more ...

Three distinctions so far .... and one more result to get!!! (Honours year for B. Com (Marketing)

Elaine is 'fairly' calm about them - I think the course of Vitamin B booster injections ... which she had 8 of ... are still in her system, otherwise she would be very stressed out waiting for the last one !!! Clever girl !!! We couldn't be prouder of you !!

Elaine's Graduation in March 2008

From the Outback to crystal waters

Jump, jump, Kangaroo Joe
Jump, jump, come on let's go

Jump, jump, up hill and down
Jump, jump, right into town.
Near Kalgoorlie
Rottnest Island
The Quokka is a marsupial - has become rare and is a protected species on several of the islands off Western Australia. It's small and weighs 2.5 - 5 kg. More info on
At first Pete thought they were really cute but they became a nuisance while they were in their meetings. They had to close the doors, otherwise these little creatures would come in and hop happily around their feet!

Beautiful blue waters

Perth in the distance

Buoys are for the day trippers to moor their boats

Crystal clear water

Sigh ... no .... BIG sigh ... maybe I will get there ... one day !!!!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Erin on Sunday

Yay - thank you to all the 'little people' inside my computer who made the cavern of a space disappear under the post "Pussy cat, pussy cat" - I feel much better now !!

Carl, Nicole and Erin came for a braai (bbq) on Sunday. She's is such a little cutie with her curly hair (so unlike Bradley and Connor !) and such a little chatter box .. her own language with the odd recognisable word in between!

Erin looks just like her daddy when he was a littlie!

Swimming with mommy

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ooops !

Ooops! I have a 'technical hitch' here with my last post! All my spacing ended up at the bottom and I don't know how to get it back !!!!!!!

Heeeelp, Jeanette !!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pussy cat, pussy cat ..

Where have you been?
I've been to London
To visit the queen ...

In June this year, Hubby and I had a week in London and then a week in and around Bath, staying in a village called Limpley Stoke. Ooooh .. it was absolutely fantastic! It was my very first overseas trip !! Loved it .. absolutely loved it! I took in all the sights and sounds - everything - (just in case I never have the opportunity to go again!)

Pete, on the other hand, has had many overseas business trips and uses every spare time to see as much as he can in all the places he's been to. I would have given anything ... anything to have accompanied, and accompany, him on his travels but it has never been possible.

He is, at this moment, winging his way back from Perth having had a successful but tiring trip. He phones most days while he is away, so I know just what he's getting up to!! The conference was held on Rottnest Island about 18 kms off shore of Perth. He was really impressed with this beautiful place and has taken lots of photographs. Can't wait to see them! One interesting aspect of the island is it's population of Quokkas - a small indigenous animal like a cross between a kangaroo and a large rat. They are only found on this island and a few islands around Australia. I will share some of photographs when he returns!

His business trips have taken him to some wonderful and interesting places ... and he has taken photographs where ever he's been. He was using the old film camera, during his early trips so his photographs had to be selective and sometimes did not come out all that well. The latter trips he has had the advantage of digital - what a difference it makes!!!

I have only one set of photos on this computer and the rest of the digitals are in the 'little black box' called the 'hard drive' or something like that, and I have no idea how to get at them !!!!! (not computer literate at all !!) Shall ask him when he's back so that I can share one or two !

He has ....

.... climbed up to and walked on the Great Wall of China

.... been to the top of the Empire State building - prints not very clear as it was smoggy but the Twin Towers are in the prints and so is the Statue of Liberty

.... walked in the Red Square and visited the Kremlin and Armory museum (photos in 'black box') - brought me prezzies of these Russian dolls - aren't they beautiful ?

.... been to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Alabama - found it so fascinating that on his second trip there, he went back for another 'look-see'

.... been to Halifax, Nova Scotia
.... been to Denver, Colorado, and the 'casino' town of Elko, Nevada (not to gamble!),
Colorado Springs, and the quaint town of Cripple Creek (cowboy country!)
.... spent a few hours in Salt Lake City and dashed around the streets taking photos - the large building is the Mormon Tabernacle and the smaller building is the first Mormon Temple built in 1867

.... been to Buenos Aires, Argentina and whilst there, visited the Recoleta Cemetary where lies the Tomb of Peron family

.... travelled down Patagonia, Argentina as far as San Juliano - this is Ferdinand Magellan's Monument and the other is the landscape through a dirty windscreen of a car!

.... flown over the Andes Mountains - photo taken through the window of plane

.... been to Lima, Peru and Sao Paulo, Brazil once or twice

.... visited a beautiful old town established about 350 years ago - Ouro Preto, Brazil
(found lovely photographs on this sight -

.... also ... been to African countries - Cote d'Ivoire (interesting photos here - also in the 'black box' ) !! and the DRC
.... Australia - Melbourne and .... then to Perth several times
.... Limerick, Ireland and Leuven, Belgium
.... and he has been to Bogata, Colombia several times.

Lucky, hey ?!
Will put a few photos from the latter places on another blog - it's going to rain just now and our internet goes off when it rains !!!! (The rusted box on top of the telephone pole still hasn't been replaced after about 3 months).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our Greenbelt .. and walking off the 'podgy-ness'

The very worst thing you can do is to hop on the bathroom scale when clothes starting feeling tighter around the middle! I know I shouldn't have done it .. !!! Oh my .. a few kilos more ! My heart sinks .. "I knew it .. have never been this weight before ... EVER ! " I say downhearted! I have always been a constant weight until the 'age thing' started coming into play! And now, it's like a yo-yo .. fortunately, I am lucky .. it's only a kilo here and there, but still !!!!! On one of my Mum's visits here, from Zimbabwe ... several years ago .. she said to me that I was looking a little "podgy" and "you know" - in her very English\Rhodesian accent - "we don't come from a family of large women" !!!! I have never forgotten that !! This comment came when we were getting out of the car at gym. I had taken her as my 'guest' to my gym class, which she enjoyed and came on several visits - and kept up with us!!

I never went to the aerobic classes or did the circuits and weights - only yoga and pilates. Started about 8 years ago and used really, really enjoy my yoga, twice a week, and pilates, twice a week, with a Wednesday (rest day!) in the middle. That is, until the gym went bankrupt and closed their doors with chains and padlocks !!

Also had about an 18 months break in between when Bradley was a baby (I looked after him full time from the age of 4 months when Jeanette went back to work). Oh .. and I tried taking him as a baby. Everyone said to me, it was easy .. just take him along and put him in the 'nursery' area while you do the class. Easier said than done (remember, I am the granny!) .. and he just didn't like that kiddies room - just cried. (Softie grannies like me do not let babies cry!) So that was no good. I then gave up the yoga, and was allowed to take him into the pilates class. We had our little corner of the class where I had him in his baby chair, then seated on a mat when he could sit. I even used to give him his bottle with my arm outstretched while I balanced the gym ball on my feet in the air (stretching hamstrings!) Was determined not to stop my classes!!! BUT, I had to eventually - when he started crawling .. he would crawl in and out of puffing and blowing ladies - and a few men - scattering toys everywhere. Our instructor was SO good about it and never said anything but I got the odd glare from her and I saw her chest breath deeper and slower (she also does yoga breathing !!! ) and then I knew ... the end had come!

Once Bradley started nursery school a few months before he turned 2 - I was back to my yoga and pilates. Loved it ... until the gym closed their doors! I was reluctant to join another gym as I really like the way my yoga teacher teaches so I waited for her to start a morning class. Thankfully she now has one, but only once a week .. she needs more people before it's worth while to start a second one (cost of hiring the small hall etc etc) - so we are always looking for new faces to join us. Evening classes are hopeless as they start at 5.30 twice a week - I still, usually, have the kiddies at that time, so can't make it.

I have found a private gym class - one of those 'jumpy jumpy' kind .. to get the heart rate up and all that ... but can only go once a week as the one class clashes with the yoga. Prefer the yoga - so I do yoga once a week and 'jumpy jumpy' gym once a week.
All this long story leads me to the question of this extra podgy-ness that has appeared from nowhere!!! I eat healthily and now that it's summer, eat less ... so I have started walking again, which I used to do regularly before I joined gyms .. way back!
Monday's are not good days for walking, but must persevere! It's garbage collection day and now that it's summer, instead of breathing in lovely fresh morning air, it's tainted with garbage smells, whether it's before the bins are emptied or afterwards !! Pooh-wee !!
The whole point of this story !!!!! and I'm getting to it !!! ... was to share photos of the vlei/veld/greenbelt down the road from our house.
I don't think I could EVER do a "Wordless Wednesday" !!!!
Now that we've had rain, it's looking green and good! I can't walk through it, though, on my own .. you don't do that sort of thing here in our area - really really not safe ! Even the other day, to take photographs, I had my little camera tucked in an insignificent sock and carried it in the palm of my hand - whipping it out every now and again to take my photos !!! Like a spy camera !!! My cell phone and house keys are tucked away in my shorts - out of sight! There is a chappie that comes on a regular basis to cut the grass - he is not from our local municipality as they are quite useless (most of the time) - he is paid for by us in the community to keep the greenbelt 'user-friendly'.

(Below) Using the full zoom - the 'Pirate Ship' (new Wesbank\FNB building) and then part of the city of Johannesburg in the distance. This building is a 'monster' of a building. All residents were up in arms when building operations started. I think we've got used to it now and it's not so offensive anymore. It's on the other side of the N1 highway in the suburb of Fairlands, quite a distance - I'm not good at judging distances in kilometres, but I'd say about 3 or 4 kms away.

Closer photo, still using zoom, of the 'Pirate Ship'

There is a small tree on the verge of one of the roads which I usually use on my walk, that has glass ornaments hanging from it. I am amazed that they haven't been stolen yet. I spotted them a few weeks ago, and they're still there !!

Pretty, isn't it ? !

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Peek-a-boo !!!

Emerging life of agapanthus

Green beans
I am not a vege' grower! I have tried ... and tried ... sometimes I have success !!! Yay !! But most of the time, when I try, I have one good handful of 'whatever' - and then I end up with plants and vege's not to be proud of ! Actually, not all the time ... thinking back to last summer .. I planted some Aubergine/egg plant and harvested quite a few .. yay again ! I even gave some away !!! Wow - and they were good and plump! Oh yes, also had lots and lots of Rocket popping up all over the place! Lovely to add to green salads. I prefer to stick to the herbs I use in cooking - very rewarding picking fresh herbs for the cooking pot. I have parsley, origanum, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and chives (tinie tiny one!). I try and let them go to seed so I can have lots and lots but it never seems to work with me - except with the Rocket - they popped up .. everywhere !! As you can see too, I do not 'do' elaborate cooking either - very very basic stuff!! But healthy ? Yes, I think we eat healthily !!

I decided to try my hand at these beans. I was tempted to buy a packet of seeds when we had a friend, Mr T, out here from Columbia who is mad about growing his own vegetables but he says the variety of seeds and seedlings is limited in Bogata. Have no idea if you're allowed to take packets of seeds out of the country, but I think it is possible as they are vacuum sealed ... and anyway .. we went vege seed buying the one day when he was out here recently. He bought two handfuls of packets. Ooh ... and I got carried away looking at all those packets with photos of plump, disease free, fresh looking vege's !! He persuaded me to buy the packet of beans - 'Go on' he said 'they're so easy to grow' !!!! They are the knee high, bushy variety that don't need staking. Ok ... we shall see how I do !!!

Planted them two weeks ago and viola ! up they're popping!

I heard, the other day, that all his vege's are doing well - he planted his when he got back. I waited for the rains to come, so mine are a little behind in their development, than his. But apparently it rains practically every day in Bogata! He has an advantage!! Will keep you posted ... on mine ... not his !!
And getting his handfuls of seeds through customs, I think was a breeze for him. He travels so often that I'm sure they practically wave him through like a celebrity and welcome him home every time! He always goes back loaded .. really loaded.. with bottles of our South African wines - way over the restrictions ... so a handful .. no, two handfuls of seed packets, would not have been a problem.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Down memory lane ... and splashes of garden

A very relaxing weekend started off with Bradley's graduation ceremony where one of the songs they sung began with :- Boom, boom, boom .. boom, boom, boom, .... and I had that song in my head the entire weekend -

Win or lose, sink or swim
One thing is certain we'll never give in
Side by side, hand in hand
We all stand together

Play the game, fight the fight
But what's the point on a beautiful night?
Arm in arm, hand in hand
We all stand together

La la la ................

(Written by Paul McCartney)

Rupert the Bear and the Frog Song ... 'I remember that' Elaine said with great big grin and eyes lighting up, 'from when I was little' !!!

At the graduation, all the little kiddies sang with such gusto, it brought tears to my eyes, especially when they linked arms and sang loudly ' we all stand together' - words to live by in this country of ours. This generation WILL make a difference!

And then they sang our National Anthem - Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica - hands to hearts .. loud and proud ! A very special evening!

Sunday was spent doing ... um ... nothing much !! So nice, for a change! As hubby is away on a business trip, it's only Elaine and I, and the doggies, at home and we had absolutely no plan for the day. When that happens I tend to spend the day ..with dirty gardening gloves, secateurs, spade, fork and my 'gardening bucket' in hand.

Elaine's boyfriend, Bryan, popped in on his way to work (he often goes to work on Sundays), for breakfast .. and never left. We sat, even me, and did the unthinkable for a glorious sunny day -watched a home video! Elaine wanted to show Bryan what our labrador, Robbie, was like when he was a pup - in 1997. I kept passing the TV area and glancing at the antics of this cutest little puppy .. all fluffy and chubby with the cutest eyes and ears .. and nose .. and then couldn't take any longer ... just had to sit and watch. We watched the whole tape! Haven't seen those old videos in years - oh my, how time passes !! And oh my, how we have all changed!!!! Jeanette had recently got married, Carl was still living at home, studying for his B.Tech in Emergency Medical Care, and Elaine was 10 years old! So glad I did all those videos in those days but I need to convert them onto DVD's !!

Robbie - 6 weeks old with Elaine and her cousin, Daniella

After going down memory lane for a bit - and it's good for the soul to do that once in while - I left the 'love birds' watching TV, then attempted to do my gardening. Kept stopping to grab my camera! Exciting .. now that I can share my garden, plants and flowers with all of you !!! Although Jeanette has done the honours many, many times !!!! When I see her walking down the driveway with camera bag slung over her shoulder and says those four little words - "I need a photo!" ... it's either the garden's turn, the children's turn, or the dog's turn to be the photographic subjects!
Agapanthus "Blue Velvet"

Wild Iris (this one is the pale yellow variety altho' it looks white here)

Flower of the Philodendron selloum

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Weekly Winners - 9 Nov - 16 Nov

This was a sticker on the envelope given to Bradley at his graduation ceremony. Oh my... time has flown .. seems like the other day Pete and I were celebrating the birth of our first grandson and now he was graduating from Grade 00 to Grade 0 next year!!! All dressed in black gowns and caps with red tassles. A huge step up .. they even have their own section in the school, completely separate from the littlies and the biggies!

(Thro' the crack in the door) - Elaine studying for her very last exam for her Honours at University

Hickory Dickory Dock
The mouse ran up the clock ....

Nicole, Erin and Connor

The 'music man' from the Salvation Army

Nearly full moon

A garden path in my garden

Pearly droplets on the hebe shrub

More Weekly Winners on