Thursday, April 30, 2009

Little chef in the making

After yoga yesterday, I picked up Bradley and after having a looong conversation with Beauty, we went along to Lifestyle Garden Centre. Beauty is obviously a bit lonely now that Connor is at school and is always ready for a chat when I drop in to fetch either one of the boys. Bradley is still on his school holidays .. Connor is at school .. so on my yoga/gym days B stays with Beauty until I fetch him. Chats with Beauty are varied ... yesterday was cooking ... Bryani ... milk tart ... caramel cake .... .... ... !

Oh yumm!! So after all that food talking I really, really needed a cup of coffee. A morning cup of coffee out-and-about always has to include a bubblegum milkshake for Bradley. He has always insisted that Lifestyle doesn't have them. Negotiations here!! Been to yoga ... body .. mind .. relaxed ... coffee in tea garden on beautiful day ... adds to the perfect morning!

Lifestyle just had to have bubblegum milkshakes - they cater for littlies, for heavens sake!!! Wonderful play area with jungle gyms, ride-on 'stuff' which cost a fortune per ride (!), and farmyard area (not that great anymore - I used to take Elaine 20 odd years ago when they had all sorts of animals including lemurs hanging around!)

... and I needed a fennel plant!

Yay - he agreed! Off we went ... and they DID have bubblegum milkshakes!! Also discovered the littlies can make their own pizzas! Oh what fun!!! Little chefs in the making ...

When we sat down, I said/asked "You must be hungry?" "Granny, how do you know when I'm hungry?" he said. Granny's have a sixth sense!!

Pizza sounded good to him .. and even better .. he had never made his own pizza before!! There is a kiddies height stone counter with a bench. The Pizza Chef helps them put on the 'chef outfit', gives them a rolling pin and ball of dough and ... then it's rolling ... patting ... flour on noses, cheeks, up to elbows ! Such fun!!

Must remember to always, always, always carry my little camera in my bag - had to use my cell phone for these .... couldn't let an opportunity like this go by without a photo!

And the finished product - deeeelicious !! He topped it with ham, cheese and pineapple and it was very very good!!! Brought the rest home in a take-away box ... gobbled up in no time once Connor found it! "Nice... pizza" with big grin on face!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hubby's back from London ...

.. and didn't have much time for taking photos as he spent most of the daylight hours sitting in a conference, but on this particular day he only had meetings, with spare time afterwards, and took advantage of the lovely spring weather walking around the Victoria area where he was based.

His hotel was not far from Buckingham Palace and took these photos to show me the striking flower display in the gardens in front of the Palace ....

.. went tiptoeing over the manicured lawns ....

... to get close-ups of the largest tulips he had ever seen ....

.. before he was promptly told to "keep off the grass" !!! Ooops !!

On his last evening there, he had dinner with his nephew and girlfriend and was introduced to their gorgeous little bundle of joy, Nathan ... isn't he a cutie pie?!!

On the flight over to London, hubby sat next a very interesting chappie from Czechia - a photographer who travels the world -
He had just spent some time in Zimbabwe and was making his way back to his home country. He said he had been to Zimbabwe 10 years ago and was absolutely devastated to see how much poverty there is now in the country. Breaks my heart - that's our home country .. the place where we were born ...
... the place where money has no value ...
He gave hubby this note - not sure what that'll buy but whatever it is, it won't buy it tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Weekly Winners : 19 - 25 April

Walking around my garden this week, I stopped by the aloes ...

.... then the tiny lilac flowers of a low growing indigenous shrub which I bought years ago as it was so pretty but have no clue what it's called ..
... strolled towards the pots with the miniature Calomondin oranges ...

... went past the berries of the Nandina domestica ...

... looked into infinity underneath the Australian Tree Fern ..

.. then one evening Bryan cooked us supper (which was rather yummy!) and watched him painstakingly slice garlic into wafer thin slithers with a razor blade ..

... I made oat crunchies with the help of Bradley and Connor ... and wasn't able to take photos of the 'work in progress' as I was all 'hands on deck' whilst trying to avoid a complete mess in the kitchen ...

.... made sure the littlies were kept busy most of the time ...

On Earth Day, Jeanette and I took some photos in the countryside in the late afternoon ...
.... and I found some pretty flowers amongst the grasses while Bradley walked up and down the road ....
... and lastly ... the 'wild child' doing a 'wild child thing'!!

For more Weekly Winners go to Sarcasticmom

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Skywatch Friday : Earth Day / Voting Day

Soft skies as the sun was setting over Honeydew, northwest of Johannesburg on Earth Day - 22 April

Eyewitness News helicopter from 702 Radio Station flew over voting stations - 22 April

For more Skywatch contributions follow the Skywatch link

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day .... Voting Day

Yesterday was our national and provincial voting day and Elaine and I decided to go later in the day .. late afternoon .. thinking it would be quicker. Jeanette and Lance also had the same thoughts ... and we discovered so did hundreds of other people !!!! Elaine, Bryan and I with a group of their friends - two of whom were first time voters - stood in the freezing cold dark for two and half hours. Fantastic to see all the young voters keen to make a difference to their country.

Elaine and I had braai/bbq with Jeanette and Lance, who live down the road from our polling station. We were hoping to see the amount of people reduce as the afternoon wore on but it didn't happen - in fact more and more people started arriving - so much for our plan! Every so often the Eyewitness News helicopter from 702 Radio Station hovered around ....

As it was also Earth Day, Jeanette and I, with Bradley went to Honeydew to take photos for the Earthmosiac project before we went to vote. My photos came out very dark and I have lightened them a bit.

I was doing it late last night and should have left it 'till this morning as, like an idiot, I have lightened the original photos as well as the copies I copied to lighten them. :( .. sooo I don't think I should submit any.

This one as nothing to do with the Earth Day photos but I thought it quite appropriate for the day ..... power for the people..

We spoke to a chappie who lives on one of the plots and who said the sunsets are magnificent, as well as owls that fly around as the sun goes down ... so we have to go back !!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My neighbour drives me nuts ... !

Today ... a public holiday .. it's a voting day and this country needs a day off to vote as the queues are always so long and winding - snaking down roads and round corners ... ! Elaine and I are going later .. much later .. as I am hoping that most people in our area would have voted by then .. hoping anyway .. and not having the same thoughts as me!

Today ... is a bit chilly and cloudy. Yesterday was the same .. so I had plans to stay in bed this morning! Relax .. have a lie-in/sleep-in! Hubby is away on business and Elaine was out for the night, so it was lil' ol' me and the doggies and the plan was to sleep-in .... but ....

Today ... my neighbour decided to start her banging at 6.30 this morning!! I get up every morning just after 5.00am .. always the first one up to open up the blinds, open the back door to let the doggies out, make tea, sandwiches/lunch boxes (for the 'workers'!) so that they can leave the house between 6.15 and 6.30 to avoid the horrendous traffic problems!!!

Today ... she starts banging at the garden wall nearest my bedroom window at 6.30!! This neighbour has driven me nuts ever since they moved in. He and his first wife used to party hard just about every weekend - and not just up to 1.00am/2am - it went on all the night - the whole night into the morning! Sometimes even the whole of the following day!! ... and then sometimes it would be the whole weekend!! They seemed to take it in turns .. 'who would lead/host the party next'!!

The first wife left him about 18 months ago and ..... it was quiet !!! For a while anyway .. and then the new girlfriend moved in. I have written about her previously when she started building platforms against our shared garden wall - platforms for no particular reason it seemed ... just to get rid of rubble, I think, but they were used for standing on to watch us over the wall!!!! The 'watching eyes' have stopped thankfully - although their dog, a huge Alsatian with large ears often stands on them and peers over the wall teasing our little Jackie, who naturally barks her
head off!! I have planted some more shrubs up against that wall and they are growing nicely - will soon hide the large-dog-with-large-ears!!

The neighbours house used to a tiny one set right in the middle of their property. Over the years and after many owners, it's been built onto on all sides - one of the sides being the bedroom section and their main bedroom and bathroom is now very close to our adjoining wall. Our bedroom is about 9 metres away from this wall.

She .... today .... at 6.30am ... started banging up against the garden wall!!! Since she's been there, she does all the gardening. Actually, she's doing a good job and is always busy doing stuff - apparently her father runs a plant nursery so often there are loads of plants being delivered. Now her mission is obviously to build some kind of retaining wall .. and possibly another platform ... against the wall closest to our bedrooms!!!! OMW ...

Imagine the large-dog-with-large-ears peering over there now!!! .. and then we will also have her little daughter getting her little plastic stool on top of the platform .. peering over too .... as she did from the first platforms ......

Slow deep yoga breathing ........

Wordless Wednesday :

Thought I'd choose this photo for Wordless Wednesday to represent the queues of people at voting stations today ....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

E&B roll at Fritz .... and the electrician

I really need to find out how to change the day and date to OUR time/the present/now/at this moment on top of the blog!! It's TUESDAY today !!

I would normally have had a healthy salad, or something healthy anyway, last night. Hubby is away on business (as previously mentioned) and Elaine was at 'mommy's night' - she and Bryan pop along to Bryan's parents for dinner on Mondays.

So there I was, all alone ... littlies gone home, their toys packed away - peace and quiet again!! Darkness creeps in early now that winter is not far away ... turned TV off, put on my favourite (for the moment) CD of Crystal Healing music which soothes the soul - used to listen to whales' songs - yes, I am a touch strange at times !!! ... aromatic incense and candles wafting through the dimly lit house ...

... so there I was, all alone .... and needed supper!

Ummm ... no healthy meal for me - egg and bacon toasted sandwich ... yes .. that's what I needed!!

Had been eyeing the bacon in the fridge since Sunday - Elaine and Bryan cooked a huge breakfast for themselves while I toiled in the the garden, my mouth watering as I caught whiffs of bacon cooking! I couldn't eat anything but cereal, when I got up early to prepare myself for the day's gardening, as we had no power and we don't have a gas stove. Pulled out the gas bottle to boil water for tea but wasn't going to all that hassle to make myself a fried-breakfast-for-one!

So ... I had it last night!!! .... Oh it was yummy! Loads of bacon! Had to finish the packet of course - and then an egg - just one .. need to watch the cholestrol :) !

... so there I sat ... in the dim light with my music and incense ..... munching on my toasted egg and bacon sandwich !!!! .. oh yes .. and a glass of smooth Shiraz - (De Waal Shiraz from Uiterwyk Wine Estate)

It took me back to the days when we (my brothers and I) were little .... it was a HUGE treat for us (my brothers and I sitting in the back seat) to go the Fritz Drive-In Restaurant on 13th Avenue/Rhodes Street, Bulawayo (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) and get take-aways!!!! We either ate our food there .... with the little tray attached to the window ... or if we were in a 'hurry' we would munch on our food on the way home. Goodness knows what we would be in hurry for in those days .... maybe to catch the news on radio - no radio in car ... no TV at home ...

... so ... down memory lane I went .... I could even smell my Fritz' egg and bacon roll wrapped up in it's paper bag .....

I still have a menu from Fritz! That egg and bacon cost 2/3d in 1969 - that's the year I went back there when I was a madly-in-love-with-a-boy-who-never-gave-me-a-glance teenager on New Years Eve before we went to watch the sun come up at the Matopos Hills - in fact at the sight of Cecil John's Rhodes grave (founder of Rhodesia) - where the view is spectacular!

... and then my thoughts came back home to events of the day when I couldn't get hold of my usual electrician who repairs the bits and pieces that go wrong in the house. Haven't needed his services for ages now ... but needed him yesterday - hubby is away remember! No .. and it's not what's going through 'some' minds - I needed an electrician to fix an electrical problem!!!

What a shock I got when heard that he has cancer and is gravely ill in hospital - never to go home again. Such a nice man - hard working ... always worked on his own and always chatted while he worked. Elaine and his son went to Primary School together right from Grade 1 to Grade 7 and came to one or two of her birthday parties before they became 'girls only'.

My thoughts and prayers are with you Peter and your family.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekly Winners : 12 - 18 April

Spent the whole day in the garden today - bliss!!! Gardening .... not chilling!!! Hubby is away on business ... Elaine and Bryan have spent the day here ... they were just chilling ....

... and these are my Weekly Winners from this past week -

'Simplicity' rose - I love the deeper shades of this rose when autumn comes
Reflections in the bird bath!

Gecko in my kitchen (about 7 cm long)

Elaine - home from work ... Robbie always walks to the front door with her!

A boy and his wagon ..

"Hello ....

... don't be shy ...
.. you look beautiful ..
.. yes .. you are a beauty .. but oh .. how sad ... a broken wing."

Bought tulips for the vase ...

Camelias' autumn show in my garden ...

Fun on the 'mountain'

"my turn, my turn!!"

Mmm ... mmm .... yummy !! Red wine we had on Easter Sunday for lunch with friends and family - from Boekenhoutskloof, Franschoek, Western Cape

...'lady' on top of foil of bottle ..

... and the cork!

For more Weekly Winners ... visit Lotus on