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Goodbyes…

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Halfway home….a little bit of sun starting to show.

Yesterday was a shitty day. Because, saying goodbye… 😦

I had a weird few days, actually. Let’s start it off on Saturday. Like I mentioned in my previous post, it was my birthday on Saturday, and I would have been alone, had my sons not decided to come visit. So, the first part of the day was in expectation of their arrival.

My boys and daughter in law arrived much later than expected, but it was glorious seeing them! They brought with them some gifts and flowers, and as a lovely surprise, a beautiful birthday cake! We spent the rest of the day together, catching up, chatting, debating, eating, drinking, you know – all the things people do on birthdays when they haven’t seen each other for some time (thank you Covid! 😦 )

The cake…

But as with a lot of situations, at the back of my mind was the knowledge that these few days together had another purpose, aside from my birthday. My youngest actually came down to say goodbye to his brother and I, as he is leaving South Africa for Ireland. At the moment he is not emigrating, but he might decide to do just that while living abroad. Since it is the second of my three children leaving the country, you could maybe imagine how I’m feeling. (Even as I’m writing this, I find it difficult to breathe…) I do, how ever, wish him all the good luck in the world. I hope it is everything he imagines and more. I hope he will be happy, and successful in all his endeavours. With all my heart.

So, the whole visit was bittersweet, from start to end. We did make a few more special memories together, and we did have fun doing it, so please don’t imagine that it was only doom and gloom the whole time! 🙂 But the whole vibe changed perceptibly as the time to say goodbye drew near…

Yesterday, after saying goodbye and on my way home, the weather was atrocious – wild wind blowing, dark clouds, intermittent rain…As I got nearer to my house, there was more sun and less wind – I did somehow feel it was a metaphor for my feelings and the whole situation – things will get better, and I will get over this feeling of despondency…

Simple pleasures.

Daisy doing what makes her happy!

What makes you happy?

We often take our Daisy girl (a very clever border collie x) for a walk in the mountains. It makes her a very happy dog. Lately, these walks have turned into swimming sessions. Now, she is ecstatically happy when we go to the mountains! I envy her the ability to be so exuberant because of something so simple…

That made me think about what I need to feel something like that.

A walk in the mountains is generally something I enjoy doing, because of the stunning natural beauty, and to be out in the fresh air. But often I am reluctant to go, because of the ‘effort’ involved. We have to load her in the truck, drive the 10kms to the mountains, walk with her, load a wet puppy in the car, and drive home again.

I can, if I wanted to, find a reason not to do a lot of things. And a reason not to enjoy it. And I often do. Have we become too evolved? Too ‘fancy’ or clever to just jump into something like a puppy and enjoy it?

I think it has something to do with living in the moment. The moment you start analyzing and thinking about it, it takes some of the joy away.

Simple things can definitely bring joy, if we give it a chance. Like an ice cream on a hot day. Or a hot bath on a cold day. The smell of rain. The smell of garlic, or freshly baked bread. The feeling of the grass beneath your feet. The sound of rain on the roof. Coming home after an absence of a few hours, days or weeks. A few balls of new yarn. A hug.

So, I’ll ask you again – what makes you happy?

Let’s be more like puppies. Or toddlers. Feel the joy in small things…

Until next time, be happy! 😀

Under the (thumb of) weather…

The weather is like a chameleon….
Photo by Thameur Dahmani on Pexels.com

Our weather has been as upside down lately as this whole year has been up to now…

As if Covid is not enough to deal with, the weather is acting up as well. We are supposed to be in Spring, with temperatures gradually climbing towards summer, but instead we are on a weather roller coaster!!!

How does this daily progression sound to you: 16°, 18°, 24°, 31°, 18°, 15°, 17°, 30°… (Celsius, of course) It is madness! I just never know what to wear. And a day might start off quite chilly, and by midday it is sweltering. (Just to clarify – anything above 30° is sweltering as far as I’m concerned…)

Also, the wind… Now, that is not something new in this area, but it is definitely one of the things I find very difficult to adjust to, since the place where I grew up and lived most of my life, basically only has wind in August, and then very mildly as well. And it is not the wind per se, but the severity thereof. This wind is trying it’s best to take down roofs, or snap tree trunks – I can hear it. Generally, wind is not conducive to peace of mind or calmness of the spirit, or sleep, for that matter! By it’s very nature, it is disturbing and disrupting.

It seems to go like this – the temperatures go slightly higher and higher over a few days, then suddenly it is hot as Hades, then the wind starts throwing tantrums and carries on for a day or two, and just as suddenly the temperatures drop right down to below the twenties.

It certainly keeps us humans on our feet, and Mother Nature in stitches, I’m sure!

So, until next time, I’ll hold on to something solid (in order not to blow away) while I’m putting clothes on and taking it off again, and you guys stay safe! 😀

Wine country (also known as ‘peace for the soul’.)

Pic taken from the tasting deck at Excelsior Wines.

I seriously cannot believe that four days have passed since my last post. It is scary how time is flying at the moment…

Since I live in one of the most beautiful areas (in my humble opinion, anyway!) in our country, I thought I’d tell you a bit about it, and of course, show you a bit of its beauty.

I am going to keep it short, but I’ll post something about our wines and area regularly – you know about my personal aversion to never ending posts!

I live in a town called Robertson, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Now, some of you may know – South Africa produces some of the best wines in the world. Visitors to our country normally concentrate their wine tastings and tours in the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek (translated from Dutch, it means French Corner) and Paarl areas, but our valley, the Breede River Valley, makes wine every bit as good as the ones produced there. Also, the areas around our wine farms are as beautiful!

So, I am making it my mission to promote our area to potential visitors, as I think a bit of extra marketing never hurt any business! I actually moved here 2 years ago from a very different part of the country, and I cannot tell you the difference it has made in my life!

It probably has more to do with personal peace and less with the specific area, but since it makes me so happy to be here, you can understand that I want to share this with the world – or at least with anyone that wants to listen! Don’t you think your surroundings have a profound influence on how happy you are?

The few pictures I am sharing with you today, was taken last week Thursday, on a wine appreciation tour I did with a few other locals. ( I am only doing a few quick photo’s as an appetizer, I’ll go into more detail of each place in separate posts – if you are interested! 😉 )

We visited five of the many gems in the area, and it was an eye opener to realize exactly what quality of wines there are in this area. And the people! Knowledgeable, friendly and welcoming. If ever you do come to South Africa, please put our valley on your itinerary!

Until next time, cheers! 😀

The setting of Silverthorn Wines.
The vineyards at Esona Boutique Wine Estate.
The barge on the river at Viljoensdrift Wines.
The huge cellars at Van Loveren.

Grounding.

Can you feel it?

You know how electrical appliances have to be earthed to be safe?

Well, it turns out humans have to be ‘earthed’ too. And before you start snorting and going ‘ya, right’ and rolling your eyes, please take an hour out of your life and watch ‘The Earthing Movie’ by Rebecca and Josh Tickell https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44ddtR0XDVU

I have never been one for mumbo jumbo and I’m even sceptical about homeopathy. Not that I don’t think natural healing is a lot better than chemicals, it’s just that I’ve never really seen anything work really well. I’ve tried a few natural remedies myself over time, but also, no joy.

But strangely, this ‘earthing’ or ‘grounding’ thing has captured my attention. In a very small nutshell, when your body touches the earth (hands, feet, or your whole body), you are ‘charged’, and because of this, amazing things happen in your body, like the clearing up of inflammation.

I am definitely going to try it, because a lot of what is said in this doccie makes so much sense to me. As I’m writing this, I am sitting barefoot. I’ve just come in from the garden where I turned on the sprinkler and took a walk checking out some of my plants – barefoot. And it feels so good! I cannot remember when was the last time I did this.

I was raised wearing shoes and socks. I was hardly ever allowed to walk and play barefoot. My mom liked me to look good all the time. (Strange, but true…) So, over the years, I’ve never really enjoyed going without shoes. I did do it sometimes, of course, but it was never a joy. I also don’t like dirty feet! (I know, what can I say…) I am definitely looking at that in a different light now.

I felt the wet grass under my feet today. No, I mean I really felt the grass – the texture of the grass, the wetness of it, and it was actually pleasant! I am all for new experiences, so I am trying this to see what differences it can maybe make in my life and health.

I would love to hear your opinions on this, please. Have you heard of this before? Have you tried it? Will you try it?

I mean come on people, it is FREE! It won’t take anything away from you, but it just might add something positive. So be brave, open your minds, and give it a try! If I can at my age (I’m ancient), surely you can too! 😉

Until next time, feel the earth move under your feet… 😀

Spring 2020

I’ve been trying to write for 2 days now.

Normally, when I sit behind the laptop, an idea appears and I can start writing. Not this week… I have no idea why.

So, I’ve decided to do more pictures today than words. I’ve taken some pictures of what is going on in my garden about an hour ago, and spring is definitely here, except the weather is still not quite there – very windy with lowish temperatures, but I’m sure that we’ll soon be gasping for breath! So, without much ado, here is spring in my garden!

Nasturtium
Clivia in late afternoon sun.
Lavender in soft light.
Daisies.

So there you have it, blog friends! A few pieces of my garden. I hope where ever you are, that you can find joy in your surroundings.

Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy and happy. 🙂