Having Fun On A Windy Day

It’s been a strange sort of vacation, with far too much time spent in doctors’ waiting rooms, hospital X-ray department, CT Scan and Bronchoscopy units. There is no part of my lungs which haven’t been minutely inspected and scrutinized. My persistent cough is apparently due to nothing more serious than chest inflammation and sensitive airways. I’m now on my third lot of antibiotics plus a course of corticosteroid tablets which actually give me nightmares. For example, last night I dreamed that I was staggering around with a fold-up bed on my back, looking for hubby who was supposed to be meeting me with the car. My cell phone wasn’t working, so I couldn’t call him. Luckily I woke up before I got too tired of lugging the bed around whilst totally lost. So many pills that I do believe were I to be shaken, I’d rattle.

On the bright side, I’ve seen quite a lot of my darling sister and a few very dear friends. We’ve had some really fun times together. Here after dinner, we had just discovered that our fingers are actually identical in length.

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Today is the last day in our beach front apartment here in South Africa. Tomorrow we drive up to stay with our daughter in Johannesburg for the weekend, before flying to England on Monday to see hubby’s soon to be 104-year-old mom, Kathleen.

We have a splendid view of the Indian Ocean from our balcony and yesterday hubby took these photos of intrepid guys having fun in the surf. I think it must feel really awesome to do this.  I’m not much of a water-baby myself,  but I do enjoy watching them.

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I may not be able to blog or comment for the next week or so until we get back home to Florida on July 4th. I wish you all a very good week and will see you again soon.

 

Keep Calm and Scary On

I’m so thankful to you all for your good wishes after my eye operation. I really appreciate my wonderful friends on WordPress, and am happy to report that my sight is improving every day. Although I still have the gas bubble bobbing around in my right eye, it is definitely getting lower, and it now seems that I’m peering over the top of it. Hopefully it will soon disappear altogether,  and my eye will be back to normal.

I just wanted to wish you all a happy Halloween and to show you the pumpkin carvings done by my three NJ grandchildren. My son sent me these photos yesterday.

I think that five-year-old Max did a scarily good job.

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His older sister Taylor, managed to come up with an awesome owl/bear.

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Big sister Sienna, created a very good likeness of herself, inside her pumpkin lantern.

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My sister has driven down the hill to see me, a few times this last week, and on Wednesday our daughter is flying down from Johannesburg to spend a few days with us. I also see my eye doctor on Wednesday morning, and will then find out how soon I’m allowed to fly. We are hoping to leave on November 15th for England to see hubby’s 103-year-old Mom, and will then be back home in Florida on the 22nd.

Hope you all have a great week, and that tonight is just scary enough for you who are celebrating Halloween.

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B&W Sunday: 103 Today

Paula’s B&W Sunday challenge is ‘Traces Of The Past’.

Today, Kathleen my darling mom-in-law, is celebrating her 103rd birthday.

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What an inspiration she is to the whole family. Born in 1913, she has come through both world wars, giving  birth to three children during the second one. She is still full of fun and loves a good laugh.

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Always elegant, she takes a pride in her appearance, and you will never see her without her earrings.

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She is still hail and hearty, having survived her husband and all of her siblings.  Living on her own in a two storey house, she told us last Sunday that to keep fit and get more exercise she had just walked up and down the stairs a few times. Being such a positive person even at her advanced age, means that she has a great many friends who enjoy her company. For her 90th birthday, she made this amazing strawberry pavlova for all her guests.

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Her 100th birthday was of course an extra special occasion, and attended by over a hundred people.

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A week later, she was on a Rhine Cruise with her family, rocking the night away.

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Today, she has eleven of her friends coming to her house for tea, and on Sunday, is taking family and friends out for lunch to the local pub. where we all had a wonderful Christmas lunch last year.

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Cheers to my gorgeous MiL, who has lived a long and happy life. She may have many traces of the past, but loves living in the modern world and certainly makes every day count.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count; it’s the life in your years.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Have a wonderful Thursday.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

For this week’s WPC, Michelle says, “Whether two of a kind or ten, give us subjects that are in sync with one another — show us partnerships.”

Here are two beautiful Red-shouldered Hawks we came across at a nearby nature reserve.I would say that they are partners, wouldn’t you?

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I’m sure that some of you remember seeing my photo taken in Rome, of  this loving couple who most probably had been partners for many years, dancing to the clarinetist’s rendition of ‘Bésame Mucho’.

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Talking about long term partnerships; hubby and I have been partners in love for a long time, and in December we’ll have been happily married for 50 years.

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Last but not least……these two spoons are ‘partners in crime’, and the ice cream is an excellent partner for the Tennessee Whiskey Cake.

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To participate in the challenge, click here https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/partners/

Wishing you all a wonderful week.

 

 

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Christmas Photo Miscellany

Christmas is long gone, but I did promise a few more photos from our visit to family in England. Here are a some of my favourites of fun moments captured mostly with my iPhone camera.

The day before Christmas, I spied Santa from my bedroom window, creeping back up MiL’s drive. I think he realised that he’d arrived too early and was trying to make his escape before anyone saw him.

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Hubby always has to wear his Christmas jacket on the day. He bought it in New York a couple of years ago, and this is the only way he can get his money’s-worth out of it. Don’t you just love those reindeer in their grass hula skirts?

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At The Fox Inn, we had our own room next to the bar, and the long table was set for sixteen.

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Here’s my beautiful family who came all the way from South Africa to be with Great Grandma for her 102nd Christmas.

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We all read out the jokes inside the crackers, and our granddaughter obviously found them hilarious.

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We’d all chosen our meals online, and whilst most had gone for the traditional turkey main course, our daughter had decided on lobster. I was quite envious when I saw it.

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After the meal and when everyone was very merry, our grandson found a guitar from somewhere, managed to tune it, and our lovely niece Portia sang an impromptu ballad in honour of our amazing hostess.

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Portia is quite the comedian, and whilst her brother Merlin was trying to sleep off his huge meal, she pretended she was going to play a game of darts right over his head.

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Lucca, my sister-in-law’s black poodle wasn’t left out of the festivities, and was very well behaved.

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The party lasted for about four hours, then we went back to grandma’s house across the road to open our presents and play some word games.  My favourite waiter, who really looked like one of Santa’s elves, posed for a photo as we thanked him for the excellent service.

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All too soon, the day arrived when we had to pack and leave for Heathrow  and our flight back to Florida. Before we leave England, I always like to say “Hi” to Mr Bear at the Harrod’s store, even if I don’t buy anything.

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Nine hours later, we touched down at Miami airport and our English Christmas is now just a fond memory. It was fun going through my photos. I hope you also enjoyed them.

Happy Tuesday to you all. I have to leave the house now so that our realtor can show it to a prospective buyer. I’ve polished and cleaned until it gleams, and as per her instructions, hidden the toothbrushes, the dish mop and all the other stuff which doesn’t add anything to the decor. Wish us luck. See you later.

 

 

Going on a short trip

Today we leave for a few days in Key West, where we’ll be meeting up with our son and family. I’m so looking forward to seeing them all again. Whilst we’re away, I’ve asked Mr. A to keep an eye on our place. He’s agreed to glide by a couple of times a day, but when I remarked on how much he seems to have grown lately, and asked him if he’d seen any ducklings around, he totally avoided the question.

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I did see the darling little baby out for a swim with his mom yesterday. She kept him very close.

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I guess that as any good mom would be, she was very alert to any danger which might be lurking.

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This sweet little neighbour has become a regular visitor to my bit of garden out back. He’s usually too quick for me to get a shot as he scurries across the patio on his way to the palm trees, but today he paused for a couple of moments. It seems quite the thing at the moment to name wild animals, so I’ve called him Cyril.

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He likes to eat upside down, which surely can’t be good for the digestion.

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He didn’t seem overly worried when I pointed this out to him.

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He just carried on eating and then raced off to report for lookout duty.

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Mr. GBH was far too busy scouting for fish when I went to tell him that I and my camera wouldn’t be around for a few days.

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The Great Egret hardly missed a beat as he high-stepped it along the water’s edge.

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I’m sorry to say that I won’t be taking any of you along with me, but I’ll be back at the weekend, so you’ll hardly have time to miss me. Have a great rest of the week. See you again soon.

A very special visitor

In just a few minutes, we’ll be leaving for the airport to pick up our eldest granddaughter Tamsyn, who is flying down from Johannesburg to spend the weekend with us. We’re so excited to see her again. She has exciting times ahead, as next week she flies to New York  to spend time with our son and his family. In September she will begin her university studies at university in England.

I remember when she was just a sweet little tot.

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I wonder if she’ll be able to teach me some of these moves.

We’re going to have lots of fun, and on Sunday evening we’re going to see the  ‘Madame Zingara’ show which is on in Durban. Some of you may remember this pic which I took when we went to the Johannesburg show last year. If you did see it, you’ll definitely remember. 🙂

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Happy weekend to you all.

Five photos, five stories #2: Granddaughters meet Mr. Lion

Elaine of  ‘I used to be indecisive’ blog, has nominated me to do the ‘5 Photos, 5 Stories’ challenge. My photo for the second day was taken when my granddaughters Sienna and Taylor came to visit a couple of weeks ago. Hubby and I took them to the nature reserve which we often frequent. I was so happy to be able to introduce them to Mr. Leo the lion who lives in one of the boardwalk planks. Of course, they recognised him immediately. Can you see him?

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Today I would like to nominate Marylou of  ‘natuurfreak’ blog to do the’ 5 photos, 5 stories’ challenge. I always enjoy seeing her nature photos, and I’m sure  you will too.

The challenge is quite simply to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”. Of course there’s no obligation to do the challenge,; only if you would like to join in.

Meet some more members of my family.

As regular visitors to my blog may have noticed. I’m a very family orientated person, and love sharing news about them. I only have one sibling, and even though our personalities are very different, my sister and I are the best of friends. Yvonne has always been somewhat of an extrovert, and I remember her at a very young age, ‘playing the drums’ on our metal dustbin lid. Not a great hit with the neighbours, so her aspirations as a rock drummer died an early death. I was sent for piano lessons, whilst she had singing lessons, and soon she was winning first prize in all the local music festivals. I remember the two of us entering a talent competition at the beachfront, during one summer holiday. She won first prize with a stunning rendition of  the very moving religious Victorian ballad,’The Holy City’. Following that, in stark and comical contrast, the two of us had the audience in stitches, as we sang and enacted that old song, “There’s A Hole In My Bucket.” She was Henry and I was Liza, and we made some good pocket money out of that particular episode. She went on to study singing at college, and became an opera singer with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in London, supplementing her income with a bit of modelling and acting in her spare time. On the wall of her art studio, is a framed newspaper clipping from the 1970’s, when in a moment of zany madness, she posed for a well-known British tabloid, and earned herself the dubious reputation of being the D’Oyly Carte’s one and only ‘Page Three Girl’.

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Our dad only found out about this because one of his colleagues brought it to work to show him. He was not amused, or so he said. 🙂 Freddy Lloyd O.B.E.,the General Manager of the D’Oyly Carte at the time, summoned Yvonne to his office, and she was sure that he was going to give her notice for bringing the opera company into disrepute, but fortunately for her, he had a great sense of humour, and suggested, tongue in cheek, that they might find a way of interpolating her scanty outfit into the last night of the London season. Sadly, the idea was dropped, but I’m sure she’d have been a hit with the opera goers.

About eight years ago, she and her friend decided to go for art lessons, just for something to do, and her art teacher has really brought out the artistic talent which had lain dormant within her, for more than fifty years. Now, she spends much of her time, happily painting a variety of subjects. She loves the African bush and enjoys painting the animals found there, especially leopards.

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She also has a great talent for painting portraits of Southern African people.

 

She was commissioned to paint the late Nelson Mandela, and this painting now hangs in a South African museum dedicated to his memory.

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After my sister had been painting for a while, she did some research into our family history, and discovered that our great, great uncle was non other than Jan Toorop, the first Dutch Symbolist Impressionist and Art Nouveau Painter, which might explain why she has such artistic talent. Some of you may remember my post about her paintings being exhibited in Moscow last year. Who would ever have imagined that something like this could happen at this stage in her life? If she hadn’t taken that first step, she’d still be thinking that she couldn’t paint or draw anything other than matchstick men. I wonder how many of us have hidden talents which will never be used. It’s certainly food for thought, isn’t it?

Yvonne has just started a blog on WordPress, and if you would like to see portraits which she has done of her family, including one our late father, just click here. Tell her I sent you; I know she’ll be delighted to meet you.