The most iconic sight in South Africa – Table Mountain

Taken with my trusted Sony Ericsson Xperia – always in my palm, so I do not miss a shot!

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We need your help – let your heart guide you –

My husband and I, being animal lovers par excellence, have a dream of building kennels for neglected animals on the West Coast of South Africa, near Langebaan, where stray animals can be kept, doctored if need be etc.  We currently have 5 dogs, adopted from various areas in South Africa, 4 cats and an injured giant eagle owl living with us for more than a year already (she lost a claw and a half a wing in an apparent electrical shock, so cannot fend for herself).

My husband, a farmer, have always had a passion for animals and this would be a dream come true for us to erect clean, sustainable kennels near Langebaan, where future funds can be raised by advertising to the hoardes of holiday-makers on this beautiful part of South Africa, to bring their beloved pets along on holiday, but leave them with us.  This will allow the owners to come and collect their pooches once a day for a walk on the beach or a drive, but provide them with board and lodging overnight where animals are not allowed in guest accommodation.  Such funds can then be applied to house strays, or injured animals, where the help of the local vet will be enlisted.

I found Jackie, my African dog, hanging around the cottage we rented whilst on holiday 7 years ago, and after 5 days of her not leaving my side, I asked the cleaner girl about her background, only to learn that she was abandoned at the site by her previous owners.  I immediately booked a plane ticket for her to Cape Town on the same aircraft due to take me home, and she has been my loyal companion ever since.  See my blog – – post “Jackie – an African dog’s travel (B)log”.

Greta, Socks and Fifi were at the SPCA kennels in Kimberley, North West Province, for most of their lives and I shall never forget their exuberance when I let them out the van after we got to the farm, on discovering a huge lawn to run around on!  See blog – post “Adopt a dog month October – go on, adopt a dog at the SPCA or your local shelter”.

Buster, my beautiful black boy, was so maltreated when he was found in the field and looking so poorly, the manager wanted to shoot him but had the heart to first phone my husband to tell him about it.  I will never forget the day when he was offloaded at my house – mud caked onto his coat, some of it sticking into the gaping holes where a barbed wire must have been tied around his neck.  We nursed him, nurtured him, loved him and he bacame the most intelligent, beautiful black boy a dog lover could dream of.  For their afternoon walk, I did one lap of the course with all of them first, and then dropped the older dogs, including my beloved Bonjo who was 12 years old already, before taking Buster around for a faster second lap to get him to excercise properly – he would run beside me with ears flat, his gait like that of a young filly – all legs!

Lady was lying in the dark shoulder of the road when my husband drove to the other farms early one morning, after what must have been the coldest night of winter last year.  He did not realise it was a dog at first, driving on, but then saw her lift her head in his rear view mirror, which promted him to turn around and go back.  She had just enough strength to still lift a paw in greeting, barely being able to see out of frosted-over eyes.  He took her into the hold of the vehicle with him, and turned on the heater for the next 200kms to warm her enough for her to peer at him from under his elbow where she had tucked her nose, water still streaming from her eyes for days after.  We had her spayed, and then the fateful Sunday when these two beautiful creatures, Lady (photo attached) and Buster were shot in cold blood by a neigbouring farmer after getting through his fence.  This episode was one of the most inexplicable, most painful experiences in our lives, and we miss them every day.  See blog – post “My beloved dogs killed in cold blood”.

And then of course Alleycat – when we first knew we were going to Zanzibar, we found Alley a good home, but clearly not to his liking, as he walked home across a river, much to his tearful father’s delight, and we promptly booked a ticket for him to go to Zanzibar as well, as were our beloved dogs.

And Koekoes, my owl, whom we love with all our hearts – so helpless, defenceless, but so precious to us!  She has a rockery, built with dad’s loving hands, where she lives during the day, and at night she hops off and roams in the passage.  She is not allowed out without supervision, as I have witnessed black crows diving down on her mockingly, surely knowing she is disabled.  She talks to me in her loving sounds every time she just gets a glimpse of me, and clucks and puffs at the dogs when they come too near.  See blog, post “The Menagerie is growing”.

So, as you can see, we have personally had a really rough year with heartache with our animals, and we want to make a difference, if only on a small scale, by acquiring land and building a care centre for abandoned, injured or lost animals.

Please help us to make our dream come true!  If this truly happens, I will keep a blog with updates going for all to see going forward.

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Balmy, beautiful West Coast nightfalls

I guess I do not have to say anything at all – the pictures speak for themselves.  Seeing as it is the West Coast of South Africa, the sun sets over a silver sea every day, instead of over some African Bush.  And Langebaan lagoon, being so sheltered against nature’s whims, offers pure protection to all who indulge in water sports – from boating to kite-surfing, which is pursued by enthusiasts from across the globe here.

Saldanha harbour is a naturally deep harbour, and offers shelter to larger vessels and oil-rigs.  This area has just been declared the new Industrial Development Zone in South Africa, and one can only hope and pray that no oil disaster ever pollutes the azure waters of the lagoon.

The photos were taken from a camp-site at Leentjiesklip, a charming holiday destinations, where campers and small home owners enjoy an idyllic lifestyle.  Enjoy!!!

Posted in Africa, Nature, South Africa | 1 Comment

Heady champagne days in Langebaan

Paradise – sparkling water, white powdery sand, sun and surf!  I am in love with Langebaan!

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The tyre around my tummy

Earlier this week I lamented on FaceBook about this damn tyre around my midriff, questioning its origin, as it seems to have snuck up on me during just last night? No, of course not!  It has now been a companion for some time, but it actually seems to inflate faster than a life-raft being triggered!!

Until my car accident a few years ago – actually 8 years already, I had the enviable flat tummy, with some faint lines clearly visible of a six-pack.  I could wear little mid-riff tops right up to that point, and be confident.  Since then, hormonal tummy fat, in the distinct form of a tube, has gathered firmly above my once well-protruding hip bones.

Of course I have slacked up on the exercise, I absolutely adore sweets and treats, and I am just generally less mobile than before!

I’ve read some articles about cutting out wheat, with the promised result of this tube deflating again almost overnight, but now some of my darling friends tell me they have cut out bread and wheat products many moons ago, and yet they still carry the tube?  Any thoughts on this out there?  Photos found on the web – I’ll be damned if I give mine any airing!!

Tummy Tuck Surgery Before and After imagetummy_fat_148966606.jpg

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A love letter to my man

406208_10150617429434257_668159256_10780631_1649982000_n 393974_10150617415394257_668159256_10780468_1841048_n 397020_10150617683859257_668159256_10782176_961845086_nMy darling Kobus, tomorrow will be two years that we said “I do” under the arch in the garden of De Oude Werf in Riebeeck West.  We decorated the arch with flowers from the garden of the guest-house, remember?  Firstly you got some scratches from cutting the bougainvilla plants, and then, to top it, we all got too much sun from frolicking in the pool right up until about an hour before you needed to get to the venue, leaving me and the girls behind to do the girlie things of dolling up, adding the little touches like a silver diamante encrusted Alice band to my hair, and of course remembering to also don the garter!.

This time two years ago, Belinda had cooked the most heavenly meal, in abundance, for us and all our children.  The cherry on top was of course our wedding cake, a gift from her, and presented to us the night before our special day.  (Not that the rest of the weekend was not incredibly special anyway).  Wow, it was beautiful – rich, moist chocolate cake covered in white chocolate ganache, and dotted with the most beautiful colourful icing daisies, dusted with gold dust – it also tasted heavenly.

Our ceremony was an intimate, loving affair with only our closest friends and family – all wearing whatever they found comfortable in the sweltering heat of the day.  The message by Pastor Duvenhage, the beauty of your loving face as you said your piece to me, the headiness of the colourful garden and the smiles on our friends faces made me realise that I had really found that illusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after all.  We cried when Belinda sang Etta James’s “At Last”, we laughed, we were proud of our two youngest sons, who spoke so well and toasted us – Allister and Kobus jnr, and Sakkie shared the excitement and anticipation in the car as he drove the girls and I to the venue.  You and I lay in bed and spoke the night away afterwards, and only fell into each other’s loving arms when the roosters started to announce the new day, sleeping like the dead for a few hours.

It has been two years – and you still spoil me with flowers – lots of them picked in the fields next to our many road trips.  You still send tingles down my spine with just a look, a loving rub of my feet, the sight of your sexy bod, your kisses and your amazing nature.  And I will love you for eternity and beyond.

Thank you Father for sending me my piece of gold, and bless those who still need to find theirs.

I love you Kobus.

Posted in Love and Life, South Africa | 4 Comments

I did not make it to midnight – 2014

The small bottle of champagne I chilled for myself, was empty at around 11.15 pm, and Prince Charles and Camilla even started to look quite attractive there on the Royal Variety show on television just before I sank into a deep sleep.  I woke up with a startle only at 00h24, realising I had missed the midnite countdown, and the show was still on, lame and by now they did not look so good anymore!  I was mildly aware of some loud bangs in the distance, not sure if it was fireworks or thunder, but thankfully turned over and slept further.

This was my first new year’s eve alone in my life – at age 52!! – my husband lying in a hospital bed within walking distance from my plush guest house room.  Not at all what we had envisaged to see in the new year.  A big spit-braai (barbecue) was planned on the farm, fancy invites and all, but after him landing up in the hospital in Bloemfontein yesterday morning, I ran around like a headless chicken to get pet-sitters, the geyser sorted, pack and drive here for 2 hours to get to him.  After spending a few hours lying in bed with him, I left, came back alone, and spent the rest of the evening on FaceBook, watching some forlorn small fireworks being let off on the field opposite, eating the most delicious chocolate wafers and drinking that bottle of champers!

I also thought of all my loved ones, friends and acquaintances that have touched my life in some or other way this past year.  My kids were out partying, and thinking of them swelled my heart – two bright, lovely young people, and the reason for me being on earth.  My family all gathered around a lovely big fire, laughter and love visible on their faces as per the photos my niece posted on FaceBook, and I longed to be there.  I thought of Nicki, in Phuket on her first overseas trip in her 50 years of being alive, Gina who has been in Thailand for a while, teaching, and missing her kids here in South Africa and the weird fact that both of them posted photos of elephant rides or experiences in Thailand this past week.  I thought of Lucrecia in Texas, a lady I met once in my life, but who has, like me, taken on a totally new direction and also got married at a later stage in life, and who has supported me via cyberspace with her refreshing outlook on life, and is an inspiration of note – and apparently a wonderful Jazz singer, even though I have not heard her sing yet.  She stands up for what she believes in, even in her new adopted country, by taking part in protests, she eats organically and just generally has her heart in the right place.  Then there is my Scrabble partner, Teresa, from Australia – never met in person, but we have become FaceBook friends, and I have seen her go through a tough year with loved ones dying, and she in turn has been a wonderful support when we lost our dogs to some murderer who shot them.

And so I can go on – my friends are a constant source of strength and support in my life.

And now it is time to get up from bed on this first day of a new year – 2014, let the smell of the beautiful rose garden at the guest house permeate my room, some turtle doves are singing in the trees, a gently breeze blowing, and even though it was the first New Year‘s eve spent alone at the turn of the old year to the new, I feel at peace and happy with life – stressful as it may be at times – simply because I am loved and I love deeply.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2014 – may you hear the birds sing every day and open the windows of your life to let the sweet smell of roses in.

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