Happy Friday

Friday morning and the weekend is hours away.  It has been a busy but good week so far – we had a public holiday on Tuesday and it was great.  Had a sore throat yesterday (not fun) but feeling better this morning.

My gratitude list today includes:

  • A wonderful Tuesday.  Slept late and had hot cross buns while watching “The Catch”.  Caught up on housework and tackled the washing.  Fitted in a gym workout (yes in the heat!)  Went to Fraiche Ayres for a delicious lunch.  Relaxed outside with a glass of wine at home that evening.
  • Being disciplined with working out.  Trying to exercise more often these days.
  • Joining the FB group called the Peaceful Posse – an amazing group for bloggers
  • Feeling better – throat is less sore this morning
  • A big box of marshmallow Easter eggs from hubby last night.  Great get-well surprise!
  • Rain yesterday
  • Watching “Big little lies” What an amazing cast!
  • Clean home and empty laundry basket
  • Tea with honey
  • Going to see the Gannets in Lamberts Bay tomorrow

Wishing everyone a wonderful Friday and a great weekend.

xx

Why I’m swapping New Year resolutions for one little word

Lately I’ve seen a few people blogging about their OLW for 2017. An OLW stands for One Little Word. I found a link on a blog I regularly follow which took me to Ali Edwards website (http://aliedwards.com/). Ali Edwards is a designer, blogger and workshop instructor. She is also an author of four books about memory keeping. I totally agree with her that “a single word can be a powerful thing”.

Whilst I haven’t signed up for the workshop myself, I decided to select a word which I will carry throughout the year. Ali states on her website “There’s no right or wrong – your word might find you or you might select it based on what you hope to bring into your life in 2017”.

So this year I decided to forego the usual list of resolutions which I merrily write out before the year ends (and then promptly forget within a few weeks into the new one). I chose a word and that will be used as a guideline for the next 12 months.

Content.

Instead of my usual list consisting of “go to gym more often, eat healthily, learn to say no, learn to say no without guilt, stop over-thinking, step outside my comfort zone more, declutter, stress less and laugh more” I’m just using one word to remind me to do all of the above and more.

We live in a society that urges us constantly to achieve/accumulate/spend/see and quite honestly be more. More has become the norm. From more time spent on social media to more money spent on things we don’t need, it is exhausting keeping up with the endless cycle of ‘extra’ we are supposed to be adding each day.

So here is where my OLW comes in. Content is what I aim to feel in most situations. My goal is to climb into bed each evening feeling content with what I’ve achieved during the day. It doesn’t have to be huge and profound. It can be knowing I went to gym and ran an extra 10 minutes when I didn’t feel like it at the time. Or it can be the knowledge that I chose a healthy treat at the supermarket instead of a family sized bar of chocolate. Or I skipped the glass of wine and instead focused on drinking the recommended amount of water that day. That I put down the pair of shoes I didn’t need and bought a book that I can spend hours enjoying. It could be that I helped someone in the best way I could. Or I walked away from an unpleasant situation. Staying true to yourself is more important than getting the last word.

I aim to feel content in my decisions going forward. The mental gymnastics of “did I do or say the right thing?” is exhausting and robs one of happiness. Content ties in with a goal of mine which is to live in the moment. How many of us are constantly fretting over the past or worrying over the future and letting the present slip by silently? Yes it is easier said than done but I need to start somewhere and right now seems like a good place!

I would like to end the day knowing I’ve done something that added to my marriage, relationships and friendships. That I gave 100% at work. That I made healthy choices. That I learnt something new and look forward to putting it into practice. A day filled with positive things and few regrets. And that is what will make me content. Everyday won’t be perfect but instead of mulling over what doesn’t go right, I need to focus on what does and move on with a heart filled with content.

Goodbye Ouma

Haven’t blogged in ages as 2016 ended off on a very sad note for my family.  We lost my Grandmother in November after she had a huge stroke 8 weeks before.  It has been incredibly hard for me to accept that my Ouma is gone and I still find myself in a state of shock when I think about that fact.  I have never felt so heartbroken and the sadness is like a gigantic wave that arrives without warning and leaves me feeling drowned with loss.  That is the only way I can describe the grief I’m feeling at the moment.

The first of everything has not been easy.  The first month without her.  The first Christmas.  The first New Year.  I wish I could turn the clock back for just one more moment with her while she was healthy.  There was so much I still had to say.  I loved hearing about her stories from when she was growing up and how she met my grandfather and their early days together.  And it rips out my heart everytime I realise that we will never sit together drinking tea again.

I am so scared of forgetting something.  I have so many wonderful memories of her and I’m worried they will fade or I’ll forget some of them.  I miss her so much.

So many people have been wonderful during this difficult time.  My husband has supported me through this sad time with endless love and I am appreciative of everything he has done.  The day he received the phonecall that Ouma had passed away, he was at my office in minutes and we drove to the frail care facility to say a final farewell to my Gran.  He spent the whole day with my family doing whatever he could. I cannot thank him enough.

I’ve received so many kind words, support and love from friends.  The cards filled with supportive messages,  the Whatsapps, the e-mails and the hugs. Again I cannot thank all of them enough.  One morning a friend at work messaged me something that I really needed to hear at that exact moment and it tied in with one of my Gran’s favourite Bible verses.

My Gran lived to 90 and I know we are extremely lucky to have had her in our lives for so many years.  I know she isn’t in any pain or suffering anymore.  I know she is in a better place and reunited with my Grandfather.  I know all these things.  The rational part of me knows that she is at peace and happy and healthy.  And yet….. I still desperately wish that I could just have one more moment with her.  Just one more afternoon drinking tea together.  Just one more chance to say thank you.  One more time to laugh together at something random but special to the two of us.  Just one more opportunity to tell her how much she meant to me.

xx

 

 

 

Fernkloof Nature Reserve and Cape Agulhas

Two weekends ago, we drove to Hermanus hoping to spot whales.  We didn’t see any but decided to make the most of our weekend and visited Fernkloof Nature Reserve.  We have done a hike before – many years ago – and it was thoroughly enjoyable.  However on Friday we chose to do something more relaxing and got out our cameras and walked around looking at the beautiful gardens and many birds.  It is incredibly peaceful there and I took a few pictures to try capture this lovely morning.

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There are so many vibrant flowers around – I didn’t know where to look first.

The weather was so warm and there wasn’t a breath of wind which made it a perfect start to our weekend.

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We made our way to Tapas afterwards for some refreshments.  A relaxed restaurant so close to the Old Harbour – we love the vibe there.

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Saturday we went to visit Cape Agulhas.  On previous occassions we really enjoyed taking pictures of the wreck of the Meisho Maru that ran aground in 1982 and can be seen from the rocks as it is in the shallow waters.

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We may not have spotted any whales but we did catch a sighting of an octopus that swam across the shallow rock pool right behind us.  I don’t think we’ll be eating calamari in the near future!

Swellendam mini-break

Mark and I felt like a relaxing weekend recently and so we decided to visit Swellendam.  We had stayed there many years ago and were eager for another visit.

We got there early on the Saturday morning and immediately drove to the Bontebok National Park.

The Park is beautiful and so quiet.  We felt relaxed driving around and it was great being in nature.  We saw some birds and Bontebok in the distance and could not have wished for a more peaceful start to our weekend.

Ready for breakfast we drove to find a restaurant and decided to try La Belle Alliance.  Such a lovely restaurant with stunning views.

If you are a fan of museums then you have to visit the Drostdy Museum.  This consists of several historic buildings and visitors can visit The Drostdy, Old Gaol and Ambagswerf, Mayville and Zandrift (which houses a restaurant).

 

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I could spend hours walking around a museum but I was keen to also visit Swellendam’s Fairy Sanctuary which everyone talks about.  It is so tranquil – you feel relaxed from the moment you enter the garden.

We had booked our stay at the Swellendam Country Lodge Guest House B & B and made our way there afterwards.  It is a stunning guest house with a beautiful garden and we felt instantly at home after checking in.  The room we stayed in was welcoming and so comfortable and the bathroom was modern and really pretty.

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Before the rugby we went for a drink at the Old Mill Restaurant which was recommended by a few people.  The weather was a bit chilly but every so often the sun would shine through the clouds and warm us up!

That said we decided to have dinner inside the restaurant that evening and it was so cosy by the fireplace.  Mark had the steak and I enjoyed a creamy pasta before we walked back to the guesthouse (conveniently situated next door!)

The next morning we made a quick visit to Bontebok National Park again and then returned for a delicious breakfast at the guesthouse.  The table had a tray filled with cheese, cold meat and fruit and we helped ourselves to cereal, stewed fruit and yoghurt before ordering a hot breakfast – eggs, bacon, tomato, mushrooms and toast – awesome start to the day!

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We packed up and made our way home shortly afterwards, determined to book another stay soon.

West Coast weekend

This past weekend was spent up the West Coast.  We drove up on Saturday and went to Old Malmesbury Road to do some early morning bird watching.  Mark got some stunning pictures of a Yellow Bishop and I got a few of pretty snaps of flowers along the road.  We drove around and spotted some cows sitting peacefully amongst flowers and enjoying a chilled Saturday morning!

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We decided to stop somewhere for a bite to eat and drove to Melkbosstrand where we had a delicious breakfast at Die Damhuis.  The restaurant has stunning décor and the food was delicious.

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Driving past Blouberg beach, we stopped to watch kitesurfers making the most of the beautiful weather.

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We were staying overnight in Melkbos, so we made our way to Atlantic Beach Lodge and visited the clubhouse.

The sunshine was a welcome reminder that spring had arrived and it was great to chill and soak it up with an ice cold drink.

We checked in shortly after and our room was very comfortable and gave us a stunning view of the fairway of the first hole par 5.

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It was a wonderful stay complete with a relaxed breakfast the next morning.  We packed up and then drove to Langebaan to see the wild flowers.  We were certainly not disappointed – the flowers are amazing and well worth the drive.

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It was magnificent to see vibrant flowers everywhere and to be in nature enjoying the spring weather.  Driving back to Cape Town, we agreed that a trip up the West Coast is needed again soon!

3 Day weekends

3 Day weekends are the BEST.  I love stretching a weekend by taking a days leave – it feels like a mini-break and it is even better when decided spontaneously.

On Thursday morning, hubby and I decided to take Friday off – the weather was predicted to be awesome and we planned to make the most of it!

We went for a cycle in the afternoon and soaked up the sunshine.  It felt wonderful to exercise outdoors and the time flew by.  I haven’t been cycling for long, I’ve always wanted a mountain bike and then a few months ago hubby surprised me with one.  I love the blue and green 🙂

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We went to watch “Nerve” in the evening and it was a brilliant movie which kept me on the edge of my seat.  I enjoy movies that keep one guessing and this is definitely one of those.  Dinner afterwards made it a perfect date day 🙂

Saturday morning we went to have breakfast at one of our favourite breakfast spots and I had the most delicious eggs benedict.  The Village Bistro serves amazing omelettes as well which Mark always orders.

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We took a drive afterwards to Old Malmesbury Road and there were so many Red Bishops flying around.  They are such beautiful birds with their vibrant feathers and we managed to spot two Yellow Bishops as well.

The Canola fields looked so bright and the warm sunshine just confirmed that spring is around the corner!

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That evening we went to a friends 30th birthday party at Societi Bistro in Gardens.  The theme was Old Hollywood Glamour and everyone looked amazing.  The venue and food was great and it was a wonderful evening surrounded by lovely friends.

Sunday morning was relaxed – we visited Fraiche Ayres and chilled while we planned our day.  They have magazines for customers and I found an interesting travel article while I enjoyed my coffee.

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I love weekends that have a bit of everything.  Time enjoyed outdoors, dates with my hubby, fun with friends and some relaxation thrown in – it is a great combination.

I arrived at the office this morning filled with gratitude.

Hope everyone has a great week further.

 

 

 

Weekend getaway

This past weekend, Hubby treated me to a relaxing mini-break in Hermanus.  We drove through early on Saturday morning and arrived in time for a delicious breakfast at Oskars.  This restaurant makes amazing omelettes and the coffee was great. The decor is really pretty.

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I adored their coffee cups and milk jugs

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We then drove to Stanford where Mark took some beautiful pictures of the canola fields.

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Back in Hermanus we stopped off at Tapas for a drink before we checked into our hotel.

Unfortunately we didn’t spot any whales but we took lots of walks and it was so relaxing.  Mark took this picture of two contented seagulls which I thought was too cute.

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We could feel the stresses of the week lifting while we soaked up the tranquil atmosphere and deadlines and to-do lists from the week faded as we walked along the cliff path and looked out over the Old Harbour.

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The rugby was exciting to say the least and then we went to our favourite restaurant in Hermanus – Cattle Baron for tasty burgers and chips.

On Sunday before we packed up and came home, the sun came out and despite a chilly breeze we took a stroll after breakfast (one last look for the whales).  We didn’t spot any and so headed back to Cape Town soon after.

I guess that is an excuse to go back to Hermanus soon 🙂

 

Warning: Nervous driver on board

I have never enjoying driving but I assumed after I got my licence at 19 that the confidence would follow.

I was wrong.  I’m still waiting.

I did the driving test over 14 years ago and I passed first time and yet I still dread driving and it is one of my least favourite tasks.

My licence is like an ornament I store in my purse.

Anyway thanks to hubby’s encouragement, I’ve decided to face this fear.  I drove us to work this morning (and I needed two cups of tea afterwards to calm my frazzled nerves)  but I’m determined that I get over this phobia.

Driving is something that so many people take for granted – I’m determined to grow my confidence so that I can achieve this level of independence.

So far everyone has promised me it will happen.  I’m hoping they are right!