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.

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Looking back and pressing forward

Happy New Year everyone. Here are a few of my memories of 2014. It was very difficult to choose just one photo from each month, but I hope you enjoy these.

In January we were here in Florida, and I was wearing my fingers to the bone for the concert that never happened. After all the time and energy spent learning the songs and practising endlessly with the cast, I was more than a little p’d off with the organisers.

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In February, our 6 month visitors’ visa was up, so we had to say goodbye to our home here, and go back to South Africa.

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One of the first things we did on our return, was to take a trip up to Johannesburg to see our daughter and family. It was our grandson’s 15th birthday, and we had an unforgettable evening at the ‘Madame Zingara’ dinner and show at Monte Casino. Here is a waiter whose image is forever etched in my memory.

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In April, we went to my sister’s house for a delicious Easter lunch, and I provided the dessert, a decadent chocolate cheesecake complete with little bunnies, who all got eaten with not even a passing thought for their cuteness.

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In May, our mom celebrated her 89th birthday, and my sister made a delicious chocolate cake to share with all the residents at the care home.

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In June, hubby and I made a trip down the coast to meet up with my very longstanding blogger friend Kragenhai, and Cindy his gorgeous St Bernard.

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In July, I had a birthday high tea at the Oyster Box Hotel, just up the road from our house.

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In August, our daughter treated us to a luxurious weekend stay at the same hotel. It was fabulous to sit out on the balcony and watch the dolphins cavorting in the waves.

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We returned to Florida in September, and it was so exciting to see the brand new roof  on the ‘abandoned house’ we’d bought earlier in the year. Hubby started the renovation work inside, that same week.

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In October we took a flight up the New Jersey to see our son and his lovely family. One of the highlights was accompanying our little granddaughter on her school trip to the pumpkin farm.

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In November, we brought home this exquisite orchid, which is still blooming profusely.

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In December I decided to try my hand at painting, and joined an art class. It’s a six week course, and I still have two weeks to go.

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This morning, we will start the New Year as we mean to go on. There’s a ‘New Year’s Day Master Class’ at our gym. At 10am we have Kick Boxing and Boot Camp, followed by Bokwa and Strength Conditioning, and rounded off with Abs and Core plus a bit of Yoga. Two and a half hours in all. How are you spending your first day of the year? Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015.

An extraordinary night out at Madame Zingara’s.

My Silent Sunday post last week, got quite a lot of response. Most of you were a bit ‘gob-smacked’ by the image, some of you even asked for the address, The Ark asked, “My only question…were you intentionally in this restaurant/club or were you lost?”  My favourite comment came from Dianne Gray, “Woah! Keep your eyes on the drinks tray and don’t look down! ”  Just in case you missed this eye-boggling spectacle, here for your delight, is an encore.

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I’m sure that you would like to know the story behind it, so here goes. We went up to visit our daughter in Johannesburg for our grandson’s 15th birthday. When she told me that she’d booked for us to see ‘Madame Zingara’, it conjured up in my mind, visions of a gypsy fortune telling show. I went on line to investigate, and found this description: “Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams, the Grande Dame of Burlesque, is a unique dinner cirque spectacular, which enchants, captivates and inspires all who pass through her stained glass doors and enter her magical world.” It sounded really interesting, but I still had no idea what to expect.

The show is housed in one of the last remaining ‘Mirror Tents’ in the world, a magnificent velvet ‘Big Top’, which has apparently toured the globe for the past 80 years.

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Outside was a huge neon heart. As you may notice, my grandson was rather reluctant to pose in front of it.

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Many of the audience seemed to be in fancy dress, and we felt decidedly normal in comparison to some of the glittery and eccentrically dressed spectators.

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This friendly looking Pikeman, was waiting to greet us.

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A really ‘nice’ sailor guy was more than happy to pose for a pic.

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After that pleasant little interlude, I felt I must sit down on this sumptuous sofa, to sip my cocktail and gather my self together. My daughter Mandy called, “Mom, try to look decadent.”  I did my best.

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We were shown to our table, which was decorated with an arrangement sporting a rather impudent pair of legs.

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Our waitress was also not the shy, retiring type. She did get all our food orders absolutely perfect though.

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Unfortunately, no photography was allowed during the actual show, but there was still plenty  of spectacle in between. The guy on the next table got a free shoulder massage…….. I wasn’t jealous.

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A cute waiter passing by, took my daughter’s fancy and agreed to a hug and a photo.

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In between the amazing acrobatic and gymnastic displays, which left me breathless with admiration, we were entertained by mystifying magic tricks, like this one, where a red string appeared to be threaded in one ear and out the other.

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There were singers and dancers, and even Marilyn Monroe wearing her ‘Seven Year Itch’ white dress. She read out the names of all the people who were celebrating birthdays, including Justin our grandson, and then gave a very breathy rendition of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, as sung to JFK all those years ago. She did seem to have put on a bit of weight over the years.

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Some lucky people were chosen to fly up to the top of the tent, in a gilded cage. I was dying to have a turn, but wasn’t one of the chosen few.

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There were full  kitchen facilities attached to the tent, and our food was absolutely delicious. The glitter-dusted fairies who waited on tables, were superbly trained and very attentive. I ended my meal with a superb trio of sticky toffee pudding, vanilla mousse and raspberry and Amarula parfait.

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The surroundings were so opulent, with ornate mirrored columns, rich velvet drapes, stained glass windows and bevelled booths, that I completely forgot that we were sitting in a tent.  It was a truly magical evening, and one which I shall never forget.