The drought in Cape Town

As you may know I live in Cape Town in South Africa.  What you may not know is that we are having a terrible drought at the moment and conserving water has become of utmost importance.

For some time now we’ve been hearing about Day Zero which is when the taps are expected to run dry and we’ll have to queue for water.  This has been a massive worry for quite some time and we heard the other day that if we continue our water conserving efforts here in Cape Town, this will pushed out for the rest of the year.

So what are we doing at the moment?

From 1st February this year we have been limited to 50 litres per person per day.

Scary fact: some toilets use as much as 9 litres per flush. One laundry cycle (depending on your washing machine and the wash cycle selected) can use up more than the daily allowance in one wash!

So how do we get by on 50 litres per day?

We collect every drop of water used indoors (washing machine water, dishwashing water, the water used to wash hands and shower etc and save it in buckets.  Then we re-use this grey water around the home.  We’ve been flushing our toilets this way for a while now.  You’d be surprised how quickly you can fill a bucket with used water.  Simply doing the dishes can fill a bucket with ease.

We have to shower for less than 90 seconds – doable if you turn off the water between soaping and applying shampoo.

The days of soaking in a bubble bath are long forgotten memories. Sadly this was my way of relaxing after work. The tub, a cup of tea (or glass of wine depending on the day I’ve had) and me.   Now it is just me and my wine.

In our office at work we have no water to the taps in the bathrooms. So we spray our hands with sanitiser. The first thing I do everyday when I get home is wash my hands. I cannot tell you how good it feels. My hands are quite dry from the sanitiser (I buy wipes sometimes) and I do worry about the spread of germs.  There is water to the loos but this is for when it is necessary if you get my drift.  The phrase ‘If it is yellow, let it mellow’ was funny in “Meet the Fockers” but a reality for us here in Cape Town at the moment.  It is amazing how quickly we got into the routine (it did feel odd at first not flushing but now it is the norm).  We use a spray inside the toilet which neutralises the urine smell and this works well.

This whole experience has been an eye opener. Something that so many take for granted and use with free abandon has become precious and the need to conserve this commodity is on everyone’s minds.  At work we exchange ideas of how we are saving at home.  On FB there are groups with advice.  There is a lot of information out there and we need to just keep at this.  There are plans for water desalination plants but these are expensive and it take time.

When hubby and I are away in a place without water restrictions one of the first things we look forward to is a shower where we don’t have to count the seconds.  And yet we never linger long because the water saving mindset is always there.  We had to remind ourselves to flush when we were at Sun City last month instead of filling buckets with gray water.  Sounds crazy but it was such a treat!  It is amazing how quickly you can get into a routine.

We just hope this one doesn’t have to last forever.

xx

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The weekend that was

Some weekends are just so awesome that they need a recap!  This past one was just what I needed.  Hubby and I discussed a spontaneous getaway on Wednesday when we had our day off.  We have plans for the Easter weekend and we wondered if we could get accomodation so late for this past Saturday night.  Well we were in luck!  I even managed to get a spa appointment for Saturday morning at the perfect time – after breakfast and before check in.

We drove early on Saturday morning.  Drove through West Coast National Park and as you can see the weather wasn’t great.  However it did make for some interesting photos – I loved the clouds!

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We had breakfast at Ginja Beanz – a favourite of ours in Langebaan.

Their tramezzini’s are delicious with great combinations to choose from and we had a leisurely breakfast before I went to the spa for my appointment.  I am loving Zest Spa at the moment – third time I’ve visited them and I always feel welcome and relaxed when I arrive.  I tried gel overlays for the first time and then had 30 minutes of reflexology – absolute bliss!  Usually I go for a spa manicure and pedicure but I felt like trying something new.

We checked in at the Langebaan Country Estate, quickly did some grocery shopping and had a relaxing afternoon.  There was rugby on which enjoyed with a few drinks and snacks.  The apartment we stayed in was so comfortable and had everything we needed.

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Usually we braai when we are there but we decided to have pizza for dinner instead.  Very lazy but super tasty!

Sunday morning bright and early Mark went to West Coast National Park to take photos and got caught in a drizzle instead of spotting birds unfortunately!  I stayed in bed with a cup of tea and my book.

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Had to take a pic in this adorable vehicle!

Afterwards we packed up, checked out and went to have breakfast at a restaurant on the Golf Estate.

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This was the view from the restaurant – so stunning – even on a cloudy day.

This morning when the alarm went off I spent a few minutes just remembering the weekend and I definitely started my Monday feeling relaxed.

xx

Hooray for Friday!

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It was a 4 day week here in South Africa with Wednesday being a Public Holiday.  Even with a shorter week I still feel in desperate need of a weekend.  Been fighting the flu and each time I think I’m over it, the cough returns!

Anyway it is Friday which means linking up with the fabulous Peaceful Posse.  Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ host this amazing Friday link up called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend.  My list this week:

  • Going to a beautiful wedding on Saturday.   It was a stunning day and everyone looked amazing.  We sat at the loveliest table and had such a wonderful time.  Here is a fun pic taken before the reception started.

Wedding pic

  • Dinner out on Tuesday. Had delicious burgers and a relaxing evening knowing the next day was a public holiday
  • A wonderful day off on Wednesday.  We slept late, had a leisurely breakfast, went for a long drive and had a relaxing afternoon. Weather was stunning.
  • Gin and Tonic
  • Being on target with my reading goals this year so far.
  • Working for a wonderful boss who is always available to talk about any work concerns.
  • Pay day today
  • My hair is finally starting to grow.  After my October haircut I thought it would be in a short bob forever.
  • Getting a spa appointment for tomorrow – left it for the last minute but still got the time I requested
  • My new blog……..won’t say more now but I’m revamping my humble blog and the new one should be up and running soon.

What is on your gratitude list right now?

xx

Book review: Surprise me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise me

Dan and Sylvie have been together for 10 years and live a happy but predictable life.  They have twin daughters, comfortable jobs and life plods along pleasantly.  On a visit to the Dr they are told they are very healthy and can expect to live over 60 more years.

This good news however fills them with panic.  They find themselves asking if they want to be together for over 6 more decades.  So Sylvie comes up with a plan to surprise each other and ends up with more than she bargained for.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books.  From the shopaholic series to her stand alone books – I’ve read most of them and enjoyed each one.  So I was excited to see there was a new one out and I had high expectations for “Surprise me”.  Unfortunately this was my least favourite book of hers.

I found Sylvie to be odd from the start.  She’s lived a priveledged life but carries around huge daddy issues.  When she finds out she’s got a long and healthy life ahead of her, she panics.  Seriously, who takes health for granted?  What a First World “problem” to have!  I felt sorry for her husband from early on in the book.  There is a surprise of note – quite a shocker – towards the end but it does little to save the story.

It isn’t often I regret buying a book but this was one of those times.

xx

My OLW recap

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I wrote about my OLW (One Little Word) for 2018 at the beginning of the year.

https://my30somethingadventures.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/my-word-for-2018/

I chose the word release and I’ve realised that while I had the best intentions, I haven’t been very good at putting my OLW into practice everyday.

Old habits surfaced not long after the countdown on New Years Eve. I reminded myself that it was a daily exercise and that it needs to be practiced regularly to become a habit. So this is what I’ve done so far.

  •  I’ve put the ‘unfollow’ and ‘mute’ options on FB and Twitter into good use. Those that just want to fill my timeline with negativity (as well as those that just want to clog it with endless brag posts) are getting an unfollow.  A few weeks ago I logged onto FB and could feel my blood pressure rise at a smug share of an article guaranteed to get a reaction.

I just sat there asking myself why are you wasting your time (and data) on this rubbish?? Unfollow! So I did.

  • I’ve stopped visiting websites that don’t bring joy. I’m over pretending various entertainment websites are adding anything to my life. Same with a few magazines which I used to enjoy reading. I feel like some articles are meant to add insecurity not happiness – and I’m over that. I don’t care who wore what better. Knowing how someone snubbed someone else in Hollywood is not going to add anything to my day, never mind my life. I prefer spending time catching up on the blogs or reading a book.
  • Releasing clutter. Often I hang onto something because I’m a sentimental old bat and cannot part with stuff. So I’ve accumulated a lot of unnecessary things because someone special gave me something decades ago. You know how it goes.   So I started with the kitchen cupboards and am pleased with my efforts so far.  The other day I tackled a shelf in the linen cupboard. I’m getting there.
  • Realising that there are a couple of people in my life who will never change but I don’t need to let them get to me.  Ignore, ignore, ignore.  Then repeat.  I refuse to downplay something awesome because some people are incapable of being happy for others. Hubby and I have distanced ourselves from two toxic people who think that they can take-take-take and give nothing but rudeness in return. Don’t need that in our lives and spelling that out last week was very enjoyable.

Did you choose a OLW for 2018? If so, how is it going as you put it into practice?

xx

Our Sun City holiday

Last month Mark and I went to one of our favourite places – Sun City!  We love going there because it has so much to see and do.  We flew up one Saturday morning and checked into a B & B in Rustenberg.  This way we could add 2 days to our holiday.  We drove to Pilanesberg National Park on the Saturday and got some great sightings before we left to go have dinner.

The view from the balcony at the B & B was so beautiful – the garden was stunning.

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Early Sunday morning, Mark drove back to Pilanesberg and I had a lie in and a leisurely breakfast (I knew we were returning in the afternoon so I chilled out).  The weather was warm but not uncomfortably hot and that afternoon we spent hours driving around the Park which was instant relaxation for me.  I always feel like I leave stress behind when I’m in nature.

We checked out the next day and drove to Sun City.  Had breakfast at the Lost City Golf Course (I love their restaurant) and walked around before check in.  Did some grocery shopping and that evening we had a braai and lovely evening in our comfortable apartment.  I love a good braai and on holiday they just taste better!

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We visited the park throughout the week and enjoyed some amazing sightings.  Hubby got some awesome photos which obviously my humble phone camera cannot capture but here are a few of my snaps!

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Elephants.  We were amazed at how close some got and a couple of times had to reverse to get out of their way!

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Giraffes – so graceful and elegant!

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Warthogs who had enjoyed fun in some mud!

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Loads of Zebras

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Black-backed Jackals

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Beautiful Lionness.  This was a breathtaking sighting as we were the only car at one stage just watching this Lionness walk and call for her pride.  She walked around our car and was in no hurry to go anywhere.

The sighting of the holiday was on our second last day.  We had hoped to see a Leopard the entire time but during each visit to the Park we tried to not get our hopes up.

Well inbetween a drizzly Thursday afternoon as we drove along with fresh optimism and hope, Mark spotted movement under a tree.  He slowed down and there she was!  A beautiful Leopard who walked in front of the car, stopped to look at me in the passenger side and then walked into some long grass.  It was over in seconds but an amazing experience.  Mark managed to get a stunning photo that he printed and has put up at home – everytime I look at this beautiful Leopard picture I’m transported back to the afternoon and I’m speechless all over again.  They are elusive and not easily spotted.  Seeing one is such a treat and this was our second sighting in two trips.

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A new addition to Sun City was the Forest of Lights which we visited one night.  It was beautiful and tranquil walking through the stunning lights.

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This was on the way to the Valley of the Waves.  You can see the towers of the Palace sticking out.

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We enjoyed a couple of breakfasts (and scones and tea in the afternoon) at Gary Player Golf Club throughout the week.

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One evening after spending the afternoon in the Park we drove back to the apartment to find a pack of Mongeese running around outside!

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The week flew by and when we checked out on the Friday I was sorry to leave.  Pilanesberg National Park is one of my favourite places and I’m missing it already.

xx

Hello Friday!

What a week!  Work has been super busy – it was our quarter end so the days have flown by in a mad rush.

When the alarm went off this morning I just thought TGIF!  Weekend is here!

Each Friday I share my gratitude list and link up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend.  My list this week:

  • Treated myself with a DKNY Nectar Love gift set.  Stunning scent.

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  • Dinner at one of our favourite restaurants on Tuesday night.
  • I’ve been lazy with preparing lunch and so I ordered through work this week.  It was very convenient and saved time going to the shops at lunchtime.
  • Glitter nail polish that changes in the sun.  Looks like clear glitter indoors and goes a pretty peach shade outside.
  • Reorganising our bedside tables and decluttering some drawers.
  • Wore my new navy floral dress yesterday.  Forgot to take pic but will be wearing it again soon.
  • The series “Life in pieces”.  Jen is my favourite character.
  • Getting a Lindt orange chocolate today from a colleague as a thank you for something I’d helped with.
  • The first cup of tea in the morning while I read. This week has been hectically busy but I kept my this routine and it helped.
  • Getting a last minute appointment at one of my favourite spas for tomorrow.

Tomorrow we are going to do a day trip to Langebaan and I’ve getting a manicure, pedicure and my eyebrows seen to.  Cannot wait for some pampering and relaxation.

What is on your gratitude list this week?  Anything special planned for the weekend?

xx

March mantras and goals

How is it March already?  It means autumn is around the corner and I am not ready to say goodbye to summer.  I bought really pretty sandals the other day and intend to enjoy them before the weather cools down.

Anyway on the goals front for February, I did appallingly.  Last month’s goals were:

  • Run more often – Nope
  • Read 2 books (minimum) Read 3
  • Sort linen cupboard – Nope.  Looked at it.  Closed door.  Switched on TV.
  • Pack healthy lunches for work – I got back into the habit of ordering lunch at work.  Came up with some ideas for hubby’s lunches. 
  • Cook a new recipe  – Nope.  I watched an immense amount of Masterschef and that was the closest I got to thinking of recipes.
  • Be more mindful – an ongoing goal I don’t manage to achieve as often as I should.
  • Stop letting jealous people get to me – getting there slowly but surely.  Ignored the 2 biggest cannot-be-happy-for-others-unless-we-are-involved-and-or-getting-something-out-of-it people in my life. 

March goals:

  • Sort linen cupboard.  Seriously.
  • Learn to say no more often.
  • Continue water conserving efforts.
  • Blog at least 8 times and include our Sun City holiday and a post on the drought in Cape Town.
  • Plan a spontaneous day trip or weekend away
  • Go to gym more often
  • Read 3 books

Mantras for March:

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A rather crappy habit I have is mulling over anything that happened 10 minutes or 10 years ago.  So this quote is so relevant for me.

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A wonderful habit I need to get into.

Well there it is.  What are your goals for this month?

xx

Friday at last!

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TGIF!

What a week!  It won’t go down as my favourite or anwhere near the top 1000 for that matter.  I got back from leave on Monday (worst day to return to work because the week ends up feeling like a year).  Side note:  had a fantastic time in Sun City and the post will follow next week.

Anyway this week was incredibly long and busy and there just didn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  I feel like I’ve been doing a juggling act playing catch up from when I was on leave and every time I tick one thing off the list there are five more urgent things waiting.  Quite frankly I need to learn how to say no.  I cannot wait for 4:00pm to show up so I can get my weekend started.

Each Friday I share my gratitude list and link up with Lindsay http://theflynnigans.com/ Charlotte http://mypixieblog.com/ and Beth http://coffeeuntilcocktailsblog.com/ called What’s up weekend?  Bloggers share their gratitude lists and it is a great way to start the weekend.  My list this week included:

  • An awesome time in Sun City. Seeing the leopard on our second last day was amazing! Relaxing, being away from work stress and just soaking up the sights and sounds of nature felt so good. I love Pilanesberg National Park and we visited every single day we were away.
  • Coming home on Friday to a spotless home.  Cleaned the day before going on holiday and so glad we did – always feels so good returning to an organised home.
  • My Mom is feeling better – she was in alot of pain earlier this week but got it sorted on Monday.
  • Breakfast at two of our favourite restaurants over the weekend.
  • Bought myself a new dress on Sunday.   Loving navy blue at the moment and don’t know why it took me so long to realise it suits me.
  • Wine after a super shitty day.
  • Roast chicken and comfort food.
  • New slippers
  • Driving on my own and building up my confidence as a driver.  Yes I’ve had my licence for 16 years and no I still don’t enjoy driving.
  • Friday at long last.  Well timed as I have zero patience left for this week.  It has taken my all and I’ve had enough!

Tonight is date night and we are going to the movies and then to dinner.  Cannot wait.  Literally counting down the minutes.

What is on your gratitude list for this week?  Any exciting plans for the weekend?

xxx