Pull Up A Seat And Enjoy

For XingfuMama’s ‘Pull Up A Seat Challenge’ this week, I’ve chosen seating for welcome refreshments.

Afternoon tea was very welcome when we visited my Mom-in-law the week before her 106th birthday.


Hubby enjoying his morning coffee out on the balcony at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. Our daughter had treated us to a night’s stay there for Father’s Day.


The locals enjoying the outside eateries in Xi’an,


Mint tea being served to the tourists in a house just outside Marrakech.


To join in XingfuMama’s ‘Pull Up A Seat Challenge’, Just click the link.



Valentine Symmetry for WPC

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” ~ Oscar Wilde


“My favourite place in all the world is next to you.” ~ Anon


Wishing you all a beautiful, love-filled Valentine’s Day.


To join in the challenge, click the badge.





WPC Dialogue: Too cold to swim

For the Weekly Photo Challenge ‘Dialogue’, I chose these two photos taken at the deserted pool area of the Oyster Box Hotel, because they both tell the same story.


“It’s winter here, and day or night, the water is far too chilly for anyone to be tempted in for a swim.”


To see more interpretations of the challenge, click on the badge.


The real story behind my B&W ‘hospital’ pics.

Okay, so I was very naughty yesterday, when I only showed you the rather clinical pics I took of the Oyster Box Hotel. What I failed to mention, was that it was an outdoor corridor, and if one looks over to the left, one can see this beautiful scene. (Just ignore the ugly high-rise buildings that have made an unwelcome appearance over the last few years.)


Assuming you don’t suffer from vertigo, you could look down and see this charming courtyard, lined with palm trees.


The mural at the one end, features cheeky monkeys, and for very good reason, as there are so many of them around.


Looking straight across, you’ll be able to watch the yellow Weaver birds busily building and re-building their nests. (Click on the pics to enlarge.)

Just around the corner from here, is the Lighthouse Bar, where we decided to try a couple of cocktails before dinner. Hubby ordered a ‘Lighthouse Heaven’ and mine was a very potent ‘Umshlanga Shling.”


There is so much local artwork all around the hotel, and interesting sculptures too. It’s almost like an art gallery.

What do you think of these quirky red chairs? Unusual to say the least.


Looking down from the first floor, one can see the Palm Court restaurant, which is where high tea is served.


I almost forgot about the amazing reception lounge. It’s style is a mix of old Colonial and African contemporary, with black and white tiled floors, oriental carpets, mirrored walls, and gorgeous furniture.


The original 1950’s staircase with its marble steps and carved wooden balustrade, winds it’s way up to the red and white themed Lighthouse bar, where in 2012, Prince Albert of Monaco and Princess Charlene, partied before their wedding .


Our room was really beautiful, with a very comfortable king size bed, feather pillows, gorgeous marble bathroom, and a balcony overlooking the ocean and lighthouse. There’s me, sipping my champagne at the start of the fun,

IMG_5518and here’s hubby, wearing his red and white ‘lighthouse’ dressing gown, enjoying his first coffee on Sunday morning, before going down to a really sumptuous breakfast. We were so spoilt. What a great birthday present it was.


I think that’s enough for one post, but I just had to show you that I didn’t really stay in a hospital for the weekend. I didn’t want you all feeling sorry for me. 🙂

Black and White Tuesday: Hotel or Hospital?

Our weekend at The Oyster Box Hotel, provided lots of photo opportunities. As we walked down the passageway on our way to breakfast, I couldn’t help remarking that the scene before us looked more like a hospital then a luxury hotel.

These photos were taken in colour, if you can believe it.


I thought to myself, how nice it would be to have the room staff dressed in red and white uniform, to match the lighthouse. In this pic, you can see a teensy-weensy bit of colour.


When morning gilds the skies, for Ailsa’s Travel Theme.

I’m back home again after our super mini vacation. I’ll tell you more about it next week, with photos, but I just have to share my sunrise photos from today, and link to Ailsa’s Horizon Travel Theme.

I’m not usually an early riser, but today I happened to wake up at 6am, so crept out of bed and onto the balcony without waking hubby. I managed to open both the shutters and the sliding door without making a noise. I was so proud of myself. 🙂

Here’s what I saw:

The sun was just a tiny spec on the horizon.

The sun had only just woken up too, and was only a tiny spec.

Then it started to rise up out of the Indian ocean.

Then it started to rise up out of the Indian ocean, like a UFO on fire.

Then it spread its rosy glow a bit further across the horizon.

It soon started to spread its rosy glow across the horizon.

Sun up! Time to wake hubby and get ready for breakfast.

Then all of a sudden, it was ‘Sun up’! Time to wake hubby, and get ready for a sumptuous breakfast.

There's nothing quite like a sunrise over the Indian Ocean.

There’s nothing quite like a sunrise over the Indian Ocean.

I hope you’ve all had as enjoyable a weekend as I have.

Silhouettes on Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

This photo came to mind when I saw that the theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, is ‘Silhouette’. It was taken from the perfect spot, as we sat just behind these two palm trees, patiently waiting for the sun to set.


Isn’t it amazing how a single photo can bring back a flood of happy memories? Now I’m off to the Oyster Box to make a few more. Have a wonderful weekend.



A cute black Scottie came visiting today.

Michelle has a Weekly Pet Challenge, where she invites us to post pics of our pets, or any other animals.

This morning, we had the sweetest little visitor. He had come for a nose around to see who was living here.


I grabbed my iPhone just as he turned tail and toddled off into the bushes. Obviously he didn’t find us very interesting.


A while later, I spotted him again, so went outside for a chat. Now the only bit of Scottish I know, is “Hoots mon” and “Och aye the noo,” but he just sat and stared blankly back at me. Maybe my accent wasn’t quite right.


He did allow me to pat him for a while, before rushing off to do a great impersonation of a ‘whirling dervish’, on the grass. Round and round he rolled, this way and that,


until I thought he must be quite dizzy.


But nothing of the sort. He jumped back onto all fours, and nonchalantly wandered over to inspect one of the garden sprays.


Then, without so much as a backward glance at me, waiting to get a full face photo, he disappeared off round the corner, never to be see again.


I suppose there’s always tomorrow. I will keep a look out for him.

Wishing you all a great weekend. Hubby and I are off to stay at ‘The Oyster Box Hotel’ just up the road.


Some of you may remember that this was my daughter’s birthday present to me, and we’re so looking forward to it. We’ve booked for the dinner dance tomorrow evening, but it will seem a bit strange, packing a case and checking into a hotel only two miles away. Have you ever done such a thing?



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.


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.

It’s my Birthday and I’ll Blog if I want to.

“No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Hands up if you remember this song sung by Lesley Gore in 1963. Well, if you danced to this as a teenager, then you’re probably about the same age as me.

I was going to take my special day off, but changed my mind. After all, what’s a day without just a little bit of blogging? Yesterday, my darling sister prepared a very special birthday lunch for me, and invited a few friends to help me celebrate. When we arrived, the table was all set and looked really festive. (I’ve just noticed, looking at the pics, that the table mats, cake decorations and the top I was wearing, all happen to match. How’s that for co-ordination?)


She had made delicious prawn cocktail starter, followed by a classic Beef Stroganoff with rice and delicious roasted vegetables. Dessert was Crème Brûlée, which was absolutely sublime, and then came the crowning glory; her gorgeously decadent Cleopatra Chocolate Birthday Cake. You have to taste this to believe it. The topping is pure, undiluted, melted chocolate.


It had only one candle, which wasn’t too difficult to blow out, except that the people taking photographs kept making me laugh, so it took a while.


The conversation around the table was both lively, and at times, totally hilarious, and we all had so much fun. Today is my actual birthday, and we’re going to have ‘High Tea’ again at The Oyster Box Hotel. My sister will be joining us too. I’m so excited with my birthday present from hubby, which is three of her Gustav Klimt style paintings, some of which which I showed you the other day for Ailsa’a Travel Theme. They will be lovingly packed up with the rest of our furniture and have pride of place in our house in Florida. He also bought me some potent-sounding anti-aging cream, which I’m hoping is a miracle in a jar. I have lots of other lovely pressies, including from my daughter, a night for two in an ocean terrace room at the gorgeous ‘Oyster Box Hotel’, a spa manicure and pedicure from my son, and various edible and inedible treats from friends. Last night I had a long Skype conversation with the family in New Jersey, who all sang “Happy Birthday to Granny.” So very special.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me if I disappear for a while to make the most of my special day. This coming weekend, we move out of our home and into the one we’re renting for the month of August, so I may not be around quite as much as usual for the next few days, but I’m sure I’ll find time to do a couple of posts in between all the packing. Have a great week.