WPC: My Local Beach

Here I am back at my ‘local’ beach in South Africa for a few weeks. Since I last posted, we’ve spent time in London, then visited our daughter in Johannesburg, and now we’re happily ensconced in our beachfront apartment with a view. Umhlanga Rocks is the seaside town we called ‘local’ for fifteen years.

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It seemed like we’d never been away, when on our early morning walk, the iconic red and white lighthouse came into view.

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There were fisherman on the rocks and cargo ships waiting to go into port, just as there always were.

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A prayer meeting of huddled worshippers was in full swing, their voices clearly audible above the sound of the crashing waves.

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The familiar sight of the pier with it’s whale-bone shaped arches, really made me feel  nostalgic.

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Looking down at one obviously very dedicated sunbather, was quite a ‘sight for sore eyes’ as my Granny used to say. Hubby told me that his scanty swim suit is what is known as a ‘Budgie Smuggler’, which made me laugh out loud.

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As we wended our way home for breakfast, the sky had turned a gorgeous shade of blue, and my favourite lighthouse in all the world was looking its very best.

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So, no Iguanas or Sammy squirrel here to show you, although I have seen a couple of local monkeys around. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some photos if they stay still for long enough.

Wishing you all a very happy weekend. Tonight we’re meeting my sister and her husband for dinner at one of our local restaurants.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

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Welcome to the USA and a very Happy Birthday

There was great excitement and relief here yesterday when the mail man delivered two priority mail envelopes containing our beautiful and long awaited Green Cards. I was surprised to see that they are actually green and not white, as someone had once told me. I’m even quite pleased with my photo, as on i.d. documents I usually end up looking like an alien.

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Now it’s all systems go  for our trip over to South Africa. The flights are booked for Tuesday, and hubby has found a lovely 3-bedroomed beachfront apartment for us to rent for a month. I’m so excited to see my gorgeous Umhlanga lighthouse again.

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Our daughter will be coming down from Johannesburg for Mom’s 90th, and will stay with us for a few days. Now all that’s left is to book the car hire and a hotel in London for a couple of nights, as we don’t fancy doing two night flights back to back. We’ll arrive in Johannesburg on the Saturday morning and will do the 6 hour drive down to the coast, arriving in the evening. Isn’t it amazing how things just work out? Thanks so much for all your thumb holding and positive thoughts and wishes. You may uncross everything now, including your eyes. I’m not looking forward to the packing, as I always find it so difficult deciding what to leave behind. Gilly suggested that I just take a “capsule wardrobe” but not the size of the Soyuz space capsule. 🙂

Today is my darling hubby’s birthday. Happy Birthday to the love of my life, and may we have many more happy years together

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We’re going out for the day to celebrate with a fabulous lunch at the elegant Grand Lux Cafe, and to do a bit of shopping for his birthday present and also for gifts to take over for the family. He’s decided to give himself the day off from doing house renovations. It’s coming along very well, and we should be able to move in by December.

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend. I’ll catch up with your blogs a bit later.

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Another Nostalgic Beach Walk for Jo.

Today I’ve been clearing more drawers and cupboards, and on Friday, the removals truck will arrive to take away the furniture which is going up to our daughter in Johannesburg. My beloved grand piano will also be going along for the ride. I know I’ll shed a tear to see it go, as we’ve been such good friends for the past 30+ years. Well at least I know it’s going to a very good home, and it’s not like I’ll never see it again.

Last Sunday, we actually found time to go for a walk, and of course I took a few pics along the way, for Jo’s challenge. There were many people with the same idea, and the dog walkers were really out in force. (Click on any image to enlarge and see gallery).

The ‘ice cream/everything you need for the beach’ lady was doing her impressive balancing act.

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The ever hopeful fishermen were optimistically casting their lines.

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The security guys were doing their job, but not getting much exercise.

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A quick stop to admire the lighthouse.

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Then it’s up onto the pier.

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We’re now peering down from the pier at the sand sculptor, who is hoping for a few more romantics to give him twenty rands. If another one comes along, Shane will be history.  🙂

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Good to see the lifeguards are watching out for the surfers at Bronze beach.

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Here’s a weird looking animal, rearing up from the foliage.

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Did you ever see such a red and white striped tree branch before? If you’re tall, please mind your head! Personally, I think they should just saw it off; the dead branch, not your head. 🙂

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Time to turn around now and head back home for lunch. The beach is getting quite busy.

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No stopping at the shop for a candy bar or ice cream; it will spoil your lunch, as my mom always used to tell me.

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Looks like someone passed out here, but best not disturb his dreams.

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Let’s just take off our sandals and stop for one last look at the ocean.

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I hope you enjoyed walking with me. To see more walks for Jo’s challenge, just click here.

Jo’s Monday Walk Challenge: Up the hill, and back along the beach front.

If we need to buy just a few groceries, we go for a walk up to the village. So, it’s turn right out of the gate, across the road, and then up the steep hill which is very good for the calf muscles and the heart rate.

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Click on any image to enlarge photos.

The lighthouse is having a fly past by some advertising banner.

The lighthouse is having a fly past by some advertising banner.

A perfectly peaceful way to spend a morning.

A perfectly peaceful way to spend a morning.

This lady has a very nice backrest, built by her kids.

This lady has found a very comfortable back rest.

A great place to sit and read the newspaper.

What a great place to sit and read the newspaper.

These ladies certainly won't need any sunscreen.

These ladies certainly won’t be needing any sunscreen.

The beach vendor is a man of many hats.

The beach vendor is a man of many hats.

This guy could do with a bit on his back, though.

This guy could do with a bit of sunscreen on his back.

Can you see the face on this huge rock? He doesn't look too friendly.

Can you see the face on this huge rock? He doesn’t look too friendly.

The stroller brigade are out in force today.

The stroller brigade are out in force today.

One more hilly bit, and we're almost there.

One more hilly bit, and we’re almost there.

Then it’s just a walk through the park and a wave to the monkey on the climbing frame, and we’re back home.

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I hope you enjoyed your walk with me. To see more entries for Jo’s challenge, and also join her one her Monday walk this week, just click here.

 

 

My darling mom needs a holiday by the sea.

Yesterday was a lovely day, although somewhat tinged with sadness. Hubby and I went off up the hill to meet my sister, my mom, and two of mom’s dearest friends, Marge and Tom. We met at a local restaurant, and it just broke my heart to see how difficult it was for my once strong and independent mother to even manoeuvre herself from her walker, into her seat. Since her bout of pneumonia late last year, she has become so frail and her mind is very confused. She did manage a cappuccino and half a slice of carrot cake, and we all kept up a lively conversation, trying to include her, but I could tell that her mind wasn’t able to process what was being said, and it was obvious that the bright lighting and ambient noise were bothering her. Tom is younger than mom, and has been a wonderful help to her, after she had to give up driving her car a couple of years ago. He used to take her shopping and to church every week. Marge, who has been her best friend for many years, was so attentive and kind, helping her to get the cake onto her fork, and opening the sugar packet for her. She is 91, a couple of years older than mom, but really bright and capable.

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We took mom back to the care home, and helped to put her to bed, as she was so tired after her little outing. The people who work there are really kind, and I’m happy to know that she is so well cared for, but I find it really distressing to see how little she can do for herself. When I think of the lively, bustling mom who brought me up, now so vulnerable and utterly dependent on other people to do everything for her, I could weep.

As we came over the brow of the hill, and were on the downhill run to home, I decided that what I needed was a long walk by the sea.

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The sound of the waves crashing over the rocks, was somehow very soothing to my troubled mind.

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Soon we were on our way to the lighthouse, the sight of which never fails to lift my spirits.

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Next stop was the pier, which although quite a new addition, looks like it’s been there forever.

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A sprinkling of fishermen were on the beach at the end of the promenade, and we sat for a while, in quiet contemplation, just looking out to sea.

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I was thinking that mom would really enjoy a mini vacation by the sea, and although our house has quite steep stairs, just maybe, with me in front and hubby bringing up the rear, we could manage to get her up and down them. It’s worth a try, so when we get back from visiting our daughter in Johannesburg in a couple of weeks’ time, we’re going to attempt it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

I wish you all a very happy weekend.