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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‘Meeting at the pier’ for Jude’s Bench Series #24

I’ve been absent from the blogs for a few days, as we’re still away on holiday. Yesterday we arrived at my MiL’s house in England, and over the next week will be having family and friend reunions before returning to Florida on 4th July. My blog friend, author Dianne Gray commented “I was about to call the WordPress police to see if you were okay,” so I thought I’d check in with a contribution for Jude’s Bench series, which this month calls for edited photos of benches.

In Umhlanga Rocks we have a splendid pier which boasts many benches where one can sit and watch the waves and ships, or gaze across at the lighthouse. My attention was caught by the little gathering next to the steps. There’s a security guard, and a very colourful beach vendor wearing an assortment of sunhats and carrying buckets, spades and fishing nets, chatting with a couple of their friends.

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I cropped the photo to focus on the group, and saturated the colours to make the scene look more jolly.

Here’s the original, complete with wonky horizon line. 😕

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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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An Assortment of Circles and Curves for Cee’s FFC

I have a few pics for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week. So many objects are round, or simple curved, and this little fairy toadstool in my MiL’s garden, seems to perfectly fit the bill.

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This vibrant piece of Ardmore ceramic art, always catches my eye when I visit my sister.

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This gorgeous Christmas snow-globe ornament was in the foyer of a hotel we stayed in on our journey from Florida to New Jersey, last December.

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On one of my walks up the hill into the village, I saw that someone had planted a sapling in the grass, and decided it needed a bit of curved metal rod to protect it. The cute yellow bows reminded me of that old song “Tie a  yellow ribbon round the old oak tree.”

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Of course, I have to include something from one of my beach walks here. Set into the concrete on our pier, there are several fish shapes made of ceramics, and I think my toes are also a bit curved. 🙂

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To see more entries for Cee’s FFC this week, just click on the badge below.

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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.