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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Therapy

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Yesterday afternoon I needed to get out. I’m sure a lot of you have had the feeling that the walls are starting to press inward, not much, just enough to make the spaces inside feel smaller, and tighter, and the air a bit thicker…

So, in order to avoid being squashed to a pulp, I decided to jump into my car and escape to the farm! 🙂

Sometime Wednesday night, it had started to rain – a steady, heavy rain that continued well into the morning. I was completely in my element! Then the clouds slowly started to lift, and the sun played hide-and-seek for a while until it got bored and decided to completely show itself.

By the time I arrived at the farm, it was sunny, but with a lovely, fresh breeze blowing – always a great aid if you want to clear some cobwebs from your mind! So, I parked my car under a tree, grabbed my constant companion (also known as a camera!) and set off on foot.

I tried my best to look at everything I saw as if it was a potential subject for a great picture – the grass blowing in the breeze, the trees, the sky, the insects, my boots and even some cow dung! 😉  And once again, it ended with a few hits, and quite a few misses.

So here is the story of my afternoon of physical and mental therapy, in pictures.

Grass stalks blowing in the wind. And clouds, of course! 🙂

 

Some fungi growing on a piece of wood next to the path.

 

The spoor of either a duiker (a small kind of buck) or baby warthog. Next to my very sexy hiking boot, to give an idea of scale. 🙂

 

Some tiny daisy-like wildflowers.

 

The tiny pink flower of a wild creeper/ground cover type of plant.

 

More fungi growing on a dried out piece of cow dung! 🙂

 

Clouds framed by trees.

 

Lichen.

 

More lichen.

 

Interesting whorls of a tree.

 

Sweet little flower of a creeper, creeping all over a dead pile of wood.

 

Some kind of pretty, hardy grass forcing its way through some paving.

 

And finally, lying on my back (on an oil drum!) watching the clouds drift by...

 

I took a whole lot more pictures, but once again I think some of you are already yawning and falling asleep, so I’ll be sneaky and work some more pictures into future blogs!

And finally I have to say that my wild therapy, or maybe more aptly ‘therapy in the wild’, did wonders for my soul. I have new courage, more patience (something I am always in short supply of – you can ask my kids!! 🙂  ), and I am looking forward to the weekend, and I hope you are too!

Until we chat again – have a grrrrreat weekend, be blessed! 🙂

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Following a trend

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Over the past weekend, I saw at least 2 fellow-bloggers post beautiful pictures of elephants (TBM and PhotoBotos – sorry, I really don’t know how to post a link yet… 😦  ) It reminded me of a trip we took about 2 years ago to the Pilanesberg Nature reserve in Northwest Province. If you haven’t heard of Pilanesberg yet, you might have heard of Sun City, the huge ‘city’ that Sol Kerzner built seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and it went on to be a hugely popular destination, both for locals and tourists.

Anyway, one of the developers decided to take 3 of the agents (one of them me, of course!) that were marketing their development to Pilanesberg for a day out. It was a fun day, and I took a few photographs of animals, insects and scenery.

The reserve has a very wide variety of animals roaming about, and we were lucky enough to get VERY close to some of the elephants, as you’ll see from my pictures. To me, there are better reserves to go to if you wanted to see wild life, but a lot of people love going to Pilanesberg, probably because it is only about 2 hours drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria.

I hope my two friends don’t mind too much that I’m ‘following  the trend’, but I’ve wanted to share these elephant pictures for a while now, but most of my South African friends will find them slightly boring, so I’m sharing it today with all of you out there!

Big Foot approaching

 

Good morning, oh Ancient One.

 

Uhmmmm...OK, we were just on our way...

I just love these huge creatures that can tread so gently through the veld, there is a mysteriousness to them that appeals to the romantic in me. I  do know that they can be extremely destructive and dangerous, but that happens mainly when they are provoked, as is the case with most wild animals.

Until we chat again, hope you have a wonderful Monday – make the most of this new week!!! 🙂

 

Getting Spiritual

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Over the last week or two I’ve taken some photographs that I liked, and some I didn’t like, as is normally the case for me. After selecting these two for my post today, I realized that together they actually form a theme.

The first picture is of a church around the corner from our house, and ever since I started coming to Nylstroom on a regular basis just over two years ago, I’ve been wanting to go and take some pictures of it. Last week, I at last got around to doing it. I think the reason why I’m so fascinated by this specific church, is because it looks so different from most other churches. Normally churches and cathedrals are built from big blocks of sandstone or other rock, or it has a facebrick exterior. This charming little church is plastered and painted and is just so beautiful to look at (to me, that is).

Dutch Reformed Church, built in 1898

The conditions were far from perfect, as you can see. I think this would be a completely different picture taken against a bright blue sky. Maybe I’ll get around to taking a picture like that in the next two years, who knows? 😉

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The next picture was also something I’ve been wanting to do for a few months now. The cross in the picture I bought nearly 4 years ago when I was on holiday with my children. We went to a very well-known (locally), but very out of the way little town called Nieu Bethesda where they have a place called The Owl House (this might be a future blog all on its own!) Outside this place were people that make a selection of things out of cement to try and generate an income by selling these items to tourists. This cross caught my eye, and it came home with us!

I moved for the third time in  two years September of last year, and I placed the cross in my garden, where it’s been since then. Every time I’m at my house in Hartbeespoort, I look at the cross nestling in the plants, and I think how perfect it looks exactly where it is. The last time I was there, I had to take some pictures, and here is one of them!

Cross with special memories

I know religion is a taboo subject to a lot of people, and I’m not going to go into that right now. I do know that most people like to think that there is Something or Someone out there looking after us, and to me my cross in my garden symbolizes that.

So dear blog friends, until next time, be blessed! 🙂

PS After reading through my blog before posting it, I realized that there is also a colour theme – white, blue, grey and green!! 🙂

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Picture taken on our small farm - my favourite little piece of the Bushveld.

 

I don’t have much to say today, so I won’t even try…

Until we chat again, be blessed. 🙂

Heavenly Detail

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Today I don’t feel much like talking, so my blog is going to be mainly photographs.

In 2008 my youngest son and I went to the UAE to visit a very dear friend of mine. On the day we arrived she took us to see the new mosque that was being built in Abu Dhabi and it made a huge impression on me. The amount of intricate detail that was visible everywhere you turned your head, blew my mind.

Some people might say it is overdone, and it probably is, but imagine the craftsmanship that went into all of this. The man hours, the pride in the finished product. I’ll let the details speak for themselves.

Pillared Walkway

Detail on pillar

Dome Detail

Ceiling in ladies' hall.

The men's area of worship.

Carpet Detail

Outer hall - workmen still busy working on the detail.

Flower detail

And finally, a picture of the mosque from the outside. You can see that it wasn’t finished yet when we were there, but it certainly was impressive. I only chose a few of the pictures, since I’ve taken enough to get you to the point of boredom. That is why I’m going to say goodbye now, and wish you a wonderful relaxing weekend. 🙂

The mosque

Being philosophical…

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I warned you. Remember? I told you last week that this week I’m going to get philosophical, so here goes – me at my philosophical best. 🙂

“Dream as if you’ll live forever; live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”

When I first read this quote, I thought : “WOW! How very profound. That is how one should live!”

Uhmmmm, people, think about it…you can’t live like that. The first part is fine. “Dream as if you’ll live forever”.  It is good. Dream. Don’t ever stop dreaming, please! When you are eighty and you still haven’t seen the Taj Mahal, or the Northern Lights, dream about it! Plan your trip. As long as you’re breathing – dream and try and make your dreams come true!

But, how can you live every day as if you’re going to die tomorrow? What would you do if you knew today was your last day on earth? Spend it with your family, or book a ticket to Alaska to quickly go see the Lights? Quickly write your will because you haven’t had time before? Write letters to people you still have things to say to, but they’re too far to go and see them? Make thing right with the brother/sister/father you haven’t seen for twenty years? Call everybody you know, to talk to them one last time?

I don’t know what I’ll do, I only know that it will probably not be the best day of my life. It will be a frantic day of ‘lasts’, I think. And to do all of that every day, is not the way I would like to live.

Stupid, stupid woman…I can just about hear you say that. 🙂 I’m being too literal, aren’t I?  😉 I don’t know who uttered these well-known words first, but he/she probably only meant that one should live one’s life to the full, every day.  And YES! I would like to live like that! Doing what I love, all the time, every day! Taking pictures all the time, posting a new blog at least once every day, going to the movies, visiting with friends – oh, what bliss!!!!

But the reality is that very, very few people can do that. If any. Because real life just isn’t like that. Life is also to have to go to work, to have to go grocery shopping, to look after a sick child, to clean your house, to make your bed. If you don’t do all of that, and you don’t die tomorrow, what is your house going to look like? In what state will your finances be?

Maybe all he/she meant was: whatever you do – do it to the very best of your ability. Give your all at work. Love with passion. Write from your heart. Say ‘YES’ to challenges. Say ‘NO’ to fear.  Smile as much as possible. Laugh. If there’s a song on the radio you love, turn up the volume. Dance or sing or both.

Is that what this person meant when first uttering those words? I think so. What do you think?

CHEERS TO LIFE!!!! 🙂

Relief!!!

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A very good morning to you all on this bright and beautiful Monday morning!!!!  🙂

I am smiling very broadly today. Go on, ask me why. Oh, OK, I’ll tell you! We had rain last night!!! 😀 After many, many weeks of extremely hot, very dry weather, the heavens opened last night and it poured down. I cannot begin to explain my relief to you.

I think I mentioned it before, but I’m not a big fan of intense heat. I LOVE winter. We are in a summer rainfall region, so if we don’t get any rain, it just gets warmer, and warmer, and hotter, and hotter… The clouds have been building up for weeks now, and every afternoon we think: ‘It’s going to rain tonight! Look how the clouds are building up!” And then it doesn’t. But last night, it did! (Did I mention that before?)

And of course, when I got up this morning, I was in great spirits – full of energy and smiles. It was beautiful outside – there was a low mist hanging around the house, and it was fresh and wet. SO, what did I do? I grabbed my camera and rushed outside to take pictures! Yay!!!

Except they really didn’t come out as I had hoped. The camera somehow refused to see what I was seeing, and all in all my endeavours were a bit of a disappointment to me. I tried to take a few to show you how beautiful the mist was in the garden, the raindrops on leaves and berries and spiderwebs… I just could not get it! 😦

Anyway, I enjoyed it, and here are a few of the passable shots – maybe you’ll get the idea! 🙂

Mist in the trees. Can you see the spider's web right in front, floating in the breeze?

 

Wet berries.

 

Rain water in an orange leaf. (Orange tree leaf?)

 

Water clinging to the back of an orange leaf.

 

And finally, a bright little flower to brighten up everyone's Monday!

 

Now, I have to go and do paperwork… I have to get everything together to take to my bookkeeper, so I can finalize 2 year’s worth of ‘stuff’…   😦

Until we chat again, heads up!!!! 😀