Thursday, January 1, 2009

What we did on New Years Eve ...

... was ... instead of having a quiet last day of 2008, which was the plan ...
we visited the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort. It's only a few kilometres away from where we live and I am ashamed to say that we haven't been there for ages !! I think the last time I went was when my Mum was visiting from Zimbabwe, when Bradley was around two and half years old!!! So that's about 4 years ago !! Not good enough - we have such a beautiful place on our doorstep and we don't enjoy it as we should.

That's going to change ... it's really beautiful, and hubby and I decided that we need to go back and stroll around the gardens more often ... and take a picnic basket. Picnics are allowed all around the gardens except in the area of the waterfall.

Bradley and Connor striding out ..

Jeanette asked us to look after the boys for the morning while she and Elaine went shopping - hence the trip to the Botanical Gardens to let them 'run free' for a bit !!! It worked ... they were exhausted when we got home !!

I was most impressed with the improvements that have been made to the Gardens since my last visit. Only indigenous plants are used throughout .. it's really pretty now .. and one can see just what can be used in our gardens without using the 'exotics'.

For more info on the Gardens go to : then go to Walter Sisulu under Botanical Gardens.

"A breeding pair of majestic Verreaux's Eagles nest on the cliffs alongside the Witpoortjie waterfall." It is the only pair of nesting Black Eagles in urban Johannesburg. On one occasion we have spotted them soaring and swirling in the blue skies - a truly magnificent sight!!!!

Pete and the boys at the waterfall

There are benches scattered in shady spots .... it was a scorcher of a day - hence the photo is not that good but this path leads to the cactii and aloes section ....

Yay !! Papa's buying us an ice cream !!

Bradley ran ahead of us pointing out different plants and flowers along the way. Connor too, stopped at intervals pointing to flowers and smelling them. (We have taught them well ... to appreciate nature, the environment and their surroundings !!!) Bradley stopped at a dandelion and shouted "Wow, Granny, look at this HUGE dandelion ... it's enormous !!!" But wouldn't stay put for me to take a photo of it with him. Connor became my willing subject!

Took two tired and very hot little boys home - and ... yay .. my car is air conditioned!! (Had to use my car as I have the two car seats for the boys). Weren't home long before Jeanette and Elaine came back after their successful shopping trip. I must add .. my eldest daughter has taught the youngest daughter how to shop ... they do it well !!!!!!

They also said that I need to go and do my food shopping quickly .. like now .. don't delay ... as the shops are bedlam with shelves emptying rapidly and long queues at till points. Oh no! So much for my quiet day!! Actually, it wasn't toooo bad by the time I got there - the shelves were being replenished with fresh stuff - maybe I was the lucky one after all - although the queues were still long! Just home in time to make a salad and organise our braai (barbeque) food to take with us as we were going to a party !!! Yes, a party !! We haven't been out on New Years Eve for many years. We tend to stay at home and have a quiet evening. Fireworks in the area drive the dogs mad - our little Jackie included - and we always feel that it isn't worth going out leaving the dogs when they are so frightened. We have heard of horrendous stories of dogs jumping through glass windows, leaping over huge garden walls, running away etc. There are by laws for the prevention of the use of fireworks but most people don't abide by the law.

Elaine went to the vet to get a calmative for Jackie, just in case, and she said there was a queue of people also getting the same for their animals. So sad that we have to do this for the sake of other people's fun.

The party was great - we all stood or sat in the garden on a balmy summer's evening .. until we could see a storm brewing in the distance and everyone grabbed their meat to slap onto the braai grids. The heavens opened just as most the meat was cooked then there was a mad scramble to get everything indoors. Quite a few drenched people later, we carried on indoors and saw the New Year in with the 'old' sounds of Abba !! The stage play and movie 'Mama Mia' was very popular here (I got the DVD for Christmas - love it!) It's the kind of movie that makes you smile all the way through, while tapping your feet and singing along with the songs!! I suppose only if you like Abba music !!

Our hostess and her friends belting out their version of "Dancing Queen"

Note the microphones !!

And our little Jackie ... she had scratched the passage door so hard that it unlatched (although it doesn't close all that well .. we usually lock it at night to keep the 'baddies' out!) So much for the calmative !!!! BUT thank goodness for the rain which I am sure put a 'dampener' on the fireworks this year! Jackie is petrified of thunder too, so that added to her stress. Happy little doggie when we got home .. rewarded her with a nice 'choccie'. Robbie, the labrador doesn't give a hoot about thunder or fireworks but he got his 'choccie' too!!

Richest blessings, peace, love and laughter to all for the New Year


  1. Amazing how one forgets those beautiful places on your doorstep.
    Lovely to have the kids outdoors, here in Germany its so cold all are kept indoors at the moment.
    Looks like you had a wonderful time with the grandson's - I do envy you...I miss mine so much.
    Happy New Year to you

  2. How wonderful to take the boys to such a beautiful place.

    Do you have a Flickr account? You should really think about getting one; to share your photos!

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

  3. Thanks for your comments.
    Flickr account - no I don't - OMW something else to learn if I did !!!

  4. What lovely photographs as always! Sounds like you had an amazing New Year! Our's was one of the quietest we have had. It was good though. Back to work tomorrow! :-( Hope you and your family have a prosperous New Year!