Saturday, February 28, 2009

My first conversation with Connor ...

..... was yesterday (Friday) afternoon! I was thrilled .. and quite taken aback!

His 'talking' has increased by leaps and bounds since starting school in January - we knew it would. I usually have a little chat with his teacher when I collect him .. just to find out how he is .. how he is doing, or sometimes it's a just a quick 'hello and how are you?" And ... sometimes we have a mission to find out where his shoes are! Being the Granny, I have no idea what he was wearing when he arrived at school. The helpers are usually very good and have all the kiddies shoes 'under their control' but once we came home with blue crocs which were not his. I was sure I hadn't seen them before but he insisted they were his and wore them the whole afternoon!

Have gone off on a tangent there .... anyway ... most of the kiddies in his class can't really talk either, according to his teacher when he first started, but she said they would once they needed to communicate with each other. Well, it's happening ... and he is copying, or trying to copy every word and even linking two words together.

Usually a conversation with Connor would be in answer to a question ... would you like a biscuit? Yes ... etc. Now he is trying the "yes, peeeze"! Oh so cute! On the very odd occasion ... after many attempts it's "yes .. peeeze ... Nan!" Yay!!!

Yesterday he went into the pantry and grabbed the biscuit tin wanting a "bikkie ... thooo" with a nod of the head. (that's an iced zoo biscuit!) For some reason, he always has to have two and we have to put them in a bowl but before we do we check the animals on the biscuits ..

Me ... one biscuit with a squirrel (he can't say squirrel) ... but he can say gorilla!
C ... yes
Me ... oh look .. another biscuit with a squirrel
C .. yes (with big smile)
Me .. and what does a squirrel eat?
C .. Nuts!

I was floored! He would usually say "num num num .... "

Yay!!! Clever Connor!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Skywatch Friday : Table Mountain ...

..... Cape Town, South Africa ...

Not-a-spectacular-sky .. just plain blue with clouds peeping over Table Mountain just before it wafts over the cable car house.

This is for you Marcelle .....

For more beautiful skies, visit the Skywatch link ..

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday :

Gordon's Bay:
Western Cape

For more Wordless Wednesday wonders go here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Basket ware ..

... is an art that the African rural women have a real talent for .. as well as their beading. Firefly mentioned their beadwork a little while ago so I thought I would focus on their baskets.

There is a small roadside stall beside the main road near Champagne Castle Hotel where the women sit all day and every day, with nimble fingers, making baskets of all shapes and sizes .. from large laundry baskets .. snack platters and bowls .. trays .. trinket baskets, from large to small to teeny tiny ... mats ... waste paper baskets ..... etc ...

They not only have 'elaborate' stalls like this one, but they also sit under trees on the grass verges, twisting and weaving their grasses while displaying their goods to passer's-by. The baskets are of excellent quality and it's well worth stopping to browse and .... purchase some ... you won't be able to resist!!
I have bought many over the years ..... these are my two laundry baskets - the largest of the two we purchased about 11 years ago and it's still perfect! Well .. almost .... wearing a little where the lid goes but other than that, it's perfect ..... and it's been stuffed-to-overflowing with the family laundry over the years ...

Everytime we go to Kwa Zulu Natal, especially the Drakensberg area, I usually buy one .. be it a snack bowl or small bread basket or a trinket basket like these below ...

This little one is one of my favourites and I bought for Elaine years ago for her 'rings and things'. I love the tiny little lid with tiny handle ...

When we first started going to the Drakensberg area, all their basket ware was made in natural grasses and shades but over the years they have added colours .... the colours seem to be nylon which is a pity to add an unnatural fibre but that's what they do ... I suppose to make them eye-catching.

Another 'teeny tiny' basket ....

.. and then I have a collection of fruit, snack and bread baskets .... these are some of them ...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thokozisa .. the happy meeting of ways

This is the Central Drakensberg's version of a mall ....

African curios galore .....

Several sculptures are scattered around the 'mall' ...

Art Gallery is up the slope in this rondavel ...

Beautiful 100% woollen rugs are woven here by local women ....

.... and sold in the shop called the Hand Woven Rug Co ... or made to order and delivered locally and/or exported around the world ...
Well worth a visit when in the area.
They have a website - - take a peek!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Skywatch Friday : Peeping through ...

... the clouds ... .. are majestic mountains in Central Drakensberg.

I have added the photo below to show the whole range viewed from the Champagne Castle Hotel at the foothills of this magnificent mountain range. The highest peak - or what appears to be - in the centre is Cathkin Peak 3149 mtrs .. to the left of it .. the flat bit is Champagne Castle and is actually higher but it's behind so appears lower .. that's 3377 mtrs. To the right is Sterkhorn after the dip which is Gray's Pass. Then comes Dragon's Back - not very clear in this photo - so let me add another photo below this one to show the beautiful sharp peaks of Dragon's Back.

The little 'blob' in the centre of the photo is the Sphinx which I featured last week - that's where hubby and I got to on our mountain walk. Spectacular!

Dragon's Back ....

More spectacular Skywatch photos are shared - just link to Skywatch

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mmmmmm!! .... Mmmmmm!!

Didn't want to open this gorgeous box but I had to ... just had to try one ... after I was given very explicit instructions on firstly .. how to open it ... then .. open the package ... 'slowly and carefully' .. put my nose at the package opening .. and s-l-o-w-l-y whiff ... that gorgeous chocolatie aroma ....

A 'little belated birthday gift' from our Colombian friend who came for dinner last night.

Now, how can anyone resist not having one, after all that ... so my explicit instructions were to pop one in the mouth and ... don't chew ... let it melt .. s-l-o-w-l-y and enjoy the deliciously indulgent flavours ... yu!! Oooh! Ahh!! "Nice?" ..need he ask! "Mmm .. deeelishish!" still savouring the soft creamy insides having enjoyed the soft dark chocolatie outer layer while it melted s-l-o-w-l-y ! .. "and then comes the after-taste" he said .. mmm - yep .. got that too !

To have/eat/melt-in-mouth one of these delicacies is "best with a glass of a good chilled champagne"!! I was told. We didn't have the chilled 'champers' but had this excellent red Bordeaux wine ...

Have just looked up this on the website - 2004 bottle was awarded the Decanter South Africa Bordeaux Varietals Trophy for 2008 and the Caylon Trophy for the best Bordeaux blend for 2008. Its a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc matured in French Nevers barrels for 25 months. Yum!

This is the friend - not the bottle .. but the person - who couldn't make it to our braai/bbq on Friday evening and actually spent the weekend sampling one of our hospitals! Thought he would like to compare it to a hotel room, he said! He has recovered and I knew he would love a dinner of lamb roast with roast potatoes and veggies. I was right! He did enjoy it and for his pud' - I made his favourite - chocolate eclairs, filled with fresh organic whipped cream (thought I would get the organic as it's healthier!!!) and topped with chocolatie chocolate !!!

Pssst !! ... have a whiff ....

Look .. but don't touch !!

Mr T .... I will be waiting in anticipation for my 'red dot' on South America! I have been amazed, truly amazed, ever since starting my blog a few months ago, at how many 'hits' I have got from different corners of the globe! It has been overwhelming and encouraging! Thanks to all of you!! But I now need/would love a 'red dot' on South America on my little teeny tiny map! I have told him about my blog so I will be waiting ....... patiently!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday :

Sadly neglected ....
For more Wordless Wednesday entries visit here

Connor is TWO !!

'Granny's speciality' birthday cakes! (Nana to Connor .. he insists!) Granny to the others but I am HIS Nana!
The Birthday Boy with big brother and Aunty 'Naine
A not-very-well birthday boy - poor little sausage had a fever by the afternoon

Mommy and Bradley showing me how it works
Mommy with her two boys

Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthday Party Boy !!

Connor's 2nd birthday party was yesterday.

Mommy and Daddy's garden was filled with clothed children and then costume-clad children ... adults ... toys .... trodden on sweets and cake ... and then it was time for THE CAKE. What a cake !! It had a 'pane on it ... a big red 2 ... and 2 candles ! Our beautiful grandson has turned 2!! Two years ago he was attached to a wall of tubes and machines in NICU ... and look at him now ..
Deeeeep breath ...

Oh no .... one left !

The tasting test

Hmm ... hurry mommy!
Opening prezzies once everyone had left
'Reading' a birthday card
Mommy and me reading one of my new books

Connor's actual birthday was today - 16th - so there was more fun. Cookies, a special birthday crown and friends at school this morning .... and then I made him a 'Granny's special' birthday cake for this afternoon. Poor little sausage had a temperature and did not want any birthday fuss .... until Papa came home .. and then Mommy came ... so we could finally light his candles and open his prezzie from us .......

... tomorrow's blog .... (still have to download photos!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weekly Winners : 8 - 14 Feb

For those who don't know .... hubby and I spent last weekend at Champagne Castle in Central Drakensberg.

It was extremely difficult choosing photos for Weekly Winners this week, as between the two of us, we took loads of photographs.

Hope you enjoy the selection ......

Gushing stream
Mossy branch

Gentle waters
Steps to ......

Budding proteas

Nearly-nipped-us crab!
Nibbled-leaved protea
Sleeping hiker
Intricate nature

Blurry birdies! Caught in the act!

Charming chapel

Bursting thistles
African art

Misty mornings

Horse lashes-to-die-for!

More wonderful Weekly Winners pop in to see Lotus