Pull Up A Seat With Grandchildren

For XingfuMama’s ‘Pull Up A Seat Challenge’, here are a few seats which my grandchildren have enjoyed playing on in recent years.

The local mall has a play area for when they come to visit us in Florida.

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It’s always wonderful to see children enjoying simple pleasures.

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Who of us doesn’t remember the thrill of playing on the swings in the local park? Some things never change.

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When Sienna came to visit us in Johannesburg she wasn’t too old to enjoy the playground swings.

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Likewise with the rides in the shopping mall.

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A few years ago, this was my teenage grandson’s favourite seat as he wobbled around on his unicycle which he’d bought with our birthday money. He actually became quite proficient  on it, but alas such fads blossom and then die, so it now languishes in a corner of the garage.

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Thanks for looking at my nostalgic photos.  To join in XingfuMama’s ‘Pull Up A Seat ‘ challenge, just click the link. I hope you’re all having a good day.

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Floral Friday: First Gardenia Flower

A few weeks ago, my daughter sent me a gardenia bonsai, “Just because I love you, Mom.” What a lovely surprise it was, and I stood it in my kitchen, read the instructions and waited for the buds to come out. I was supposed to mist it daily, keep the pebbles moist in the tray and make sure not to water it too much. Not that difficult really. My daughter was disappointed when she saw the photo, because in the brochure, it showed a bright red pot with many flowers already blooming.

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I followed the instructions religiously, but all that happened was that a couple of buds fell off. Then I had the bright idea to stand it outside in the humidity instead of inside in the air conditioning. Light bulb moment! The very next day, my first flower started to appear and now it’s looking gorgeous.

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The fragrance is wonderful and takes me back to when I was a teenager in the 60’s. For Christmas, my very favourite aunt bought me my first bottle of perfume, which was ‘Gardenia’ by Goya. I can still remember how excited I was when I opened the bottle and dabbed a couple of drops behind my ears.

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Tonight we’re going to see the fabulous Judy Carmichael performing at one of our local theatres. I wish I could play piano just like her. Tomorrow evening, we have dinner and dancing here at the club, so that should be fun too. Wishing you all a very happy weekend.

 

 

Lunch with James Dean.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.” ~ James Dean

As we travelled to San Jose after an overnight stay in Paso Robles, hubby remarked that soon we would be crossing the San Andreas fault line and also would most likely drive through the road junction where James Dean met his untimely death in 1955 at the young age of twenty-four. I kept a look out of the window and was fascinated by the way the hills over to my right looked almost like undulating velvet. My shot through the car window is a bit blurry, but I’m sure you can see what I mean. “What a desolate but beautiful place,” I thought.

I was so intent on looking at the hills and thinking about the fault line, which actually crosses the road roughly midway between where the road accident happened and James Dean’s memorial, that I almost missed the spot where his fans come to leave their strange miscellany of tributes. Almost missed it, but not quite, as I must have pressed the shutter just at the right moment. Yay me!

Apparently people leave all sorts of objects there, from Chesterfield cigarettes, playing cards and beer bottles, to intimate items of women’s clothing hanging on the fence together with an assortment of American flags.

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Just after the junction where the crash had happened, we saw a diner with a few motorcycles parked outside. It seemed like a good place to stop for lunch and the official memorial was right there too.

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Inside the cafe, the walls were adorned with memorabilia pertaining to the young icon. At a table in the corner where most of the photos were displayed, sat three elderly biker guys chatting animatedly about the times they’d been pulled over by the traffic cops and what their fate had been. From the snatches of conversation that I overheard, they mostly got away scot-free with their misdemeanors. When they left, I got up to take a couple of photos and noticed one of them had left a jacket on the back of the chair where he’d been sitting. I was about to pick it up and take it outside to him, when he reappeared and we had a very friendly chat about where I was from and where we were headed, after which he offered to take my photo before retrieving his jacket and rejoining his friends.

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The whole corner was filled with photos of and newspaper cuttings about James Dean, together with photos of the wreckage of his Porsche 550 Spyder, which he nicknamed ‘Little Bastard’.

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Ironically, James’s last autograph was on the speeding ticket he’d collected on the same day he died and only two hours before his fatal accident.

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Here is the newspaper report of his death. As you can see, the entire front page was devoted to him.

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If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.” ~ James Dean

Although it seems as though the name ‘James Dean’ has always been known to me, only now, more than sixty years later did I think to find out more about him and how he died. If your curiosity has been sparked, here’s a fascinating article about the circumstances of his accident and what happened to his Porsche ‘Little Bastard’ afterwards. https://allthatsinteresting.com/james-dean-death

Wordless Wednesday: Any Old Iron

This mini junkyard at the Piggly Wiggly Country Village in South Africa, reminded me of that old Harry Champion song, ‘Any Old Iron’ which was often playing on the radio when I was a child. This bicycle looks as old as the song. I just realised that this photo fits Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge ‘Metal and Wood’, so am linking it to that too.

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Bench Series#14: Benches with a view

For the month of April, Jude is looking for benches with a view.

I feel very nostalgic when I look at these photos of benches along our promenade in Umhlanga Rocks, Hubby and I have walked past them so many times, and although it’s less than a year since we left, it sometimes feels like another lifetime ago.

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Although the benches look identical, you can see that that they aren’t in the same place, as there are no railings in the second pic. The aloes on the right, will just be coming into flower now, but it won’t be very long before the birds find them and peck them to pieces, to get at the nectar.

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This is me, on our favourite bench right at the end of the path, sitting drinking in the view before starting on our way back home for tea.

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Click here too join in Jude’s Bench Challenge.

B&W Shoes and Feet at the Beach for Cee’s Challenge

“Anything with shoes or feet as the main focus of your photo” is Cee’s B&W Challenge this week.

I’ve chosen to be nostalgic and take a look at some shots from my beach in Umhlanga Rocks.  I’m really missing those almost daily walks along the promenade, when I could do a bit of people watching.

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There were many different kinds of beach attire to be seen, but bare feet were usually the order of the day.

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It was a great place to relax and read the Sunday papers,

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or to just veg out and do nothing.

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The perfect place to take the family pets for a walk.

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If your feet get tired,  just kick off your shoes and watch the waves for a while.

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The more energetic would go running along the promenade,

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but the majority were more than content just to have a bit of relaxation from the daily grind.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my B&W trip down memory lane, or should that be “memory beach?” 😕

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One last nostalgic walk before we leave this paradise.

Today we took our last walk along the beach promenade. It was a beautiful spring morning, and there were already so many fishermen at the water’s edge.

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We set off towards the lighthouse, which is something I’m really going to miss seeing, as our little lake in Florida doesn’t warrant one. The birds there seem to know exactly where they want come ashore, and without any help.

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The Candelabra Aloes are looking rather sorry for themselves at this time of year. Their beautiful orange flowers have been picked off by the birds, and all that is left are the seeds.

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The huge rocks along the shoreline look sombre in the sun’s first rays, as the beach cleaners arrive to start their day’s work.

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This morning was the only time I’ve seen the pier totally deserted.

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The ‘Pearls’ luxury tower block will soon be overshadowed by more highrise condos and a shopping mall which is due to be built right behind it. This once small village-like seaside resort is now getting far too crowded, especially at holiday time.

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The ever present ‘Dinky Donut’ stand was closed for breakfast. Hubby and I have always managed to resist buying a tray of these calorific  deep-fried morsels. I wonder who forgot to paint the second ‘D’ on the side. 😕

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This little girl looks to be having fun, whilst her dad plays with his laptop, but I’m sure she’d have even more fun if they could build a sandcastle together.

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This one is luckier, as she races after her daddy, down to the sea in the safety area between the two lifeguard flags.

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The sun makes the sea really sparkle, as these two runners pound the sand.

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Here’s that wizened and twisted tree which shades the path so well on a hot sunny day.

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We reach the bench at the end of the path, where I sit and watch the waves for a while, wondering how long it will be before we return here.

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The wind is starting to blow quite hard now, so we head back for a shower and coffee. The guy with his metal detector is a regular along the beach. I’d love to know what his success rate is.

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There is little progress on the new lifeguard tower, which was scheduled to be completed by October. Today the workmen look to be drilling holes in the old concrete base. Maybe they’re going to pack them with explosives and blow it up!

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This sign is definitely worth a photo. We’ve eaten some really great fresh fish caught by various members of our family over the years.

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The two of us walk along in companiable silence, and then I notice our ‘fat’ shadows linked together on the pathway. Must be all the good food we’ve eaten recently.

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There across the water, is a hazy view of the city of Durban.

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Then it’s up the hill behind these two walkers, one of whom appears to have a red tail.

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The bright red, matches the lighthouse and the umbrellas outside The Oyster Box Hotel.

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Then there’s just one lone fisherman and a single boat on the horizon, before we bid the beach and ocean goodbye and turn back into the road.

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Tomorrow is going to be quite hectic as we pack all our belongings into our cases, and other stuff which we’re not taking with us, into boxes for one of our friend’s young married kids. We are driving up to Johannesburg to stay with our daughter for a few days, before flying to England. I’ll pop in on you when I can, and maybe even do a post or two if the internet access allows. Have a great week.

I’m linking this post to Restless Jo’s Monday Walk Challenge. She’s gallivanting in the The Algarve at the moment, but welcomes us to submit our entries whilst she’s away. Just click on the badge below.

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High Tea and Nostalgia.

On  my Birthday, I took a break from sorting and packing, and off we went to meet my sister for High Tea at the Oyster Box. Here are a few pics of our splendid afternoon there, sipping sparkling wine, drinking tea from fine china cups, and sampling the many delights from the buffet. This amazing hotel is going to feature very high on my nostalgic memory list when we leave this lovely bit of paradise.

Me on my 'Birthday Throne' in the foyer.

Me on my ‘Birthday Throne’ in the foyer.

Click on any photo to see gallery.

When I opened my birthday greetings on FaceBook, I saw that my daughter had dug up a photo of the two of us, taken over 40 years ago. How’s that for nostalgia? I can recall making those dresses, as though it were yesterday.

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Only two more sleeps in this house, and then the removals people come to pack up all our stuff to go into storage. I have butterflies in my tummy.