Floral Friday: Orchid Surprises

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

I have several orchids in my lanai which for the most part seem happy to be just green leaves. I often engage them in a very one-sided conversation, encouraging them to please try a bit harder. They appear to ignore my impatience, but just when I’ve almost given up hope, they surprise me with gorgeous flowers.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

WPC Transformation: A Fishy Tale

Our outdoor area has been undergoing a transformation lately, since we had the new screen room installed.  Some of you may remember my photos of iguanas sunning themselves on a pile of rocks around a defunct pond.


It was also a favourite perch for Samantha squirrel to eat her breakfast.


The occasional visit from the otter family also made for good entertainment value.


This was all well and good for the wildlife, but not a very pretty sight from my kitchen window, so hubby tackled the job of improving the aesthetics. First thing was to rebuild the waterfall and install a new pump.


After much thought and hard work, it took shape and the transformation began to look rather pretty.


The next thing to do was buy a few little fishies for the pond. We adopted six goldfish and two koi and have also grown some lotus from seeds, which seem to be doing quite well. The two koi are named Blue Flash and Silver Streak. The orangest goldfish is Donnie of course, and the others I can’t tell apart except for little Freddie who is the smallest and least sociable. Whilst the koi show off as they race up and down the pond doing laps, the goldfish mostly paddle around together in a jolly group. Poor little Freddie however, just keeps to himself and hides between the plant pots. I sit on the bench and call him to come and play but to no avail. I hope he’ll be okay but only time will tell.


The keeper of the pond is Ali, who we found hiding out at our local nursery. Because he’s so scary, his presence is very effective at making sure that all the inhabitants behave themselves.


We also have two toads on lookout duty from the edge of the waterfall. Warty and Rocky may not look very menacing but I can assure you that they stand for no nonsense.


Little Sammy would love to pop in and join the fun, but has to make do with peering in from  the outside of the screen.


This is a bit late for the WPC ‘Transformation’, but better late than never.

Hope you’re all having a splendid week. I’ll keep you updated on Freddie if he ever shows his little face again. I’m not hopeful.





Floral Friday Fotos: Birthday Flowers

Thanks so much for all your very kind birthday wishes yesterday. I had a most fabulous day. I really love flowers, and as well as other pressies, I received two lovely orchids from my sister in South Africa.



My son Jeff, sent me gorgeous roses and lilies, and now the whole house is luxuriating in their wonderful perfume.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Tomorrow I’ll be generous and share my birthday lunch with you.


If music be the food of love……we don’t have any.

We seem to have been eating at The Oyster Box Hotel quite a lot recently, so decided that before we leave here, we should pay a visit to our second favourite restaurant, ‘The Sugar Club’ at the Beverly Hills Hotel, right next door.


We haven’t been there for a couple of years, but have great memories of live music, a great menu which always included a divine Lobster Bisque, and their ‘pièce de résistance, Crêpes Suzette made and flambéed at the table by the Maître d’. I was so looking forward to ordering both these dishes.


When hubby phoned to book for Friday evening, he asked if there would be live music, and after being told that they only have it on Saturdays now, he changed the booking accordingly, and stipulated that we would like a table near the piano.


I have played this piano a couple of times as a stand in for the regular pianist, but alas, this time no musician turned up. We hoped he was just running late, but as the evening wore on, it was obvious that there would be no live music. The Lobster Bisque had also disappeared from the menu, so we both settled for fresh pear and gorgonzola salad with crispy proscuitto. It was delicious.


Although the food was excellent, the usual ambience was sadly missing. The lady on the desk asked us if everything was to our liking, so I confessed that I was really disappointed about the music. She apologised, and said that the previous evening they’d had a really good duo who played and sang until 10-30pm.  I said that if we hadn’t been told that there was only music on a Saturday, we would have been there to enjoy it. After our main course, we ordered dessert, and whilst we were waiting, Tony the chef appeared, and came over for a chat.


After we’d exchanged life histories, he also apologised for the lack of live music, and said that to recompense us, our desserts would be on the house. That did cheer us up somewhat. What a nice gesture! He said that they’d changed the menu the previous weekend, so I missed out on the Crêpes Suzette by a few days.  I compromised with this ‘White Chocolate Sphere’, and every spoonful was absolutely heavenly. You know when you really want something to never end? Well this was one of those times.


Tony had disappeared in the direction of the bar, and soon returned with two glasses of Moët et Chandon, which was another nice touch.



On the way out, we noticed in the foyer, that there was a huge bottle on display, so I’m sure that our two tipples didn’t even make a dent.


I really wouldn’t have minded taking a few of these orchids home with me, though.


This is our last weekend living here in Umhlanga. End of an era really, and it’s only fitting that it should end with a celebration. Tomorrow we’ll be off up the hill for BiL’s 60th Birthday lunch. So much eating going on. Last night we were at a dinner party with friends, and on Sunday evening we’ve booked at ‘Angelo’s’, our favourite Italian restaurant ever. Better to go out with a bang than a whimper; don’t you agree?

Wishing you all a great weekend, and don’t eat too much. 🙂







Floral Friday: A Glamorous Epiphyte

Last Saturday we met some really special friends for breakfast at the Makaranga Lodge up in Kloof. The gardens, where I photographed the amazing ‘Soul Mates’ sculpture for my Silent Sunday’s post, are so beautiful. This orchid growing on the trunk of a Coral tree, just caught my eye, and I had to snap the memory.


Wishing you all a very happy weekend.

Floral Friday: Orchids in Singapore

Some of the most beautiful orchids I’ve ever seen were at the National Orchid Garden in Singapore.

I think this beauty is a Catttelya Orchid.


This one is also really spectacular, and I’ve never seen another one like it. I wonder what it’s called.


It’s much cooler here today, only 18º C and very windy. I think winter has finally arrived in South Africa. Tomorrow, I’ll be off up the hill again to see my mom. I hope she’s warm enough. It will be her first winter in the care home. I’ve bought her some nifty purple,fingerless, knitted gloves, which have a piece on the the back, that can be pulled over to make them into mittens. Brilliant idea! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.


Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Romance

Ailsa’s travel theme this week, is ‘Romance’, and on Valentine’s evening, love and romance were definitely in the air at the dinner dance we attended. The red carpet was out to welcome us.

There were many elderly couples there, and I was happy to note that no matter how old we may be, or how many years we’ve been married, that exciting partner ‘Romance’ is really happy to tag along. My sweet neighbours across the street are both 90 years old, and yet there she was, petite and lovely, in her bright red dress, dancing up close with her husband of  almost seventy years, and the look of love was so evident in their eyes, as the band played this song, which in my opinion is one of the most romantic songs of all time. It brought tears of joy to my eyes, just watching them.

To see more entries for Ailsa’s Challenge, just click on the badge below.


Orchids and a metal bouquet for Jake’s Theme

It’s great to see Jake back again with his Sunday Post Challenge. I absolutely love flowers, but have very few photos, as I find they’re so difficult to photograph, to do justice to their beauty.

The Singapore Botanic Gardens has a wonderful orchid house, and this was, in my opinion, the most spectacular one.


I always like to have at least one orchid in my home. This one has been flowering for months, and has just a few blooms left on it.


Although we’re going back to South Africa soon, I couldn’t resist buying this orchid a couple of weeks ago. I’ll  have to donate it to my neighbour when we leave. Do you think she’ll mind?


Talking about giving flowers away, here’s a young lady who sits at the side of the road in Ambato Ecuador, generously offering her bouquet to all the passers-by.


I hope you’ve enjoyed my flowers for the challenge. To see Jake’s amazing graphics, just click on the badge below.