Having Fun On A Windy Day

It’s been a strange sort of vacation, with far too much time spent in doctors’ waiting rooms, hospital X-ray department, CT Scan and Bronchoscopy units. There is no part of my lungs which haven’t been minutely inspected and scrutinized. My persistent cough is apparently due to nothing more serious than chest inflammation and sensitive airways. I’m now on my third lot of antibiotics plus a course of corticosteroid tablets which actually give me nightmares. For example, last night I dreamed that I was staggering around with a fold-up bed on my back, looking for hubby who was supposed to be meeting me with the car. My cell phone wasn’t working, so I couldn’t call him. Luckily I woke up before I got too tired of lugging the bed around whilst totally lost. So many pills that I do believe were I to be shaken, I’d rattle.

On the bright side, I’ve seen quite a lot of my darling sister and a few very dear friends. We’ve had some really fun times together. Here after dinner, we had just discovered that our fingers are actually identical in length.

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Today is the last day in our beach front apartment here in South Africa. Tomorrow we drive up to stay with our daughter in Johannesburg for the weekend, before flying to England on Monday to see hubby’s soon to be 104-year-old mom, Kathleen.

We have a splendid view of the Indian Ocean from our balcony and yesterday hubby took these photos of intrepid guys having fun in the surf. I think it must feel really awesome to do this.  I’m not much of a water-baby myself,  but I do enjoy watching them.

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I may not be able to blog or comment for the next week or so until we get back home to Florida on July 4th. I wish you all a very good week and will see you again soon.

 

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Weird Faces in Umhlanga’s Rocks

There are huge rocks along the coastline here in Umhlanga Rocks, hence it’s name. As some of you may remember, I ‘suffer’ from a condition called Pareidolia, which means that I see faces in almost everything I look at. These rocks are no exception. Can you see what I see?

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Here are some more, which to me look like animals racing towards the beach.  I’m sure the closest one is a dog.

IMG_7700Thanks to you to all of you for your kind “get well” wishes. I’m feeling quite a bit better today. Happy Thursday.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Salut!

Salut!

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.

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

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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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.)

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

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

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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.”

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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.

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

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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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. 🙂

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.

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

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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.

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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,

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until I thought he must be quite dizzy.

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

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One last “Hurrah” for my Hibiscus on Floral Friday.

As we locked the door to our house for the last time on Wednesday, the Hibiscus in the three pots alongside our front path, waved goodbye to me. They promised to stay healthy and to always to be there,  welcoming the new owner every time she returns home, just as they’ve done for us for so many years.

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I will of course have to plant some exactly the same in our Florida garden.

We’re gradually getting used to our temporary accommodation, but have almost driven into the driveway of our old house a few times, as it’s only a few metres up the road. Wishing you all a splendid weekend.

WPC: Floating Containers and Packing Boxes

Every day when I look out of my bedroom window, I see container ships full of cargo. Sometimes they seem so close that I feel I could reach out an touch them. Well maybe, not quite, but our neighbour’s son and his friends could certainly  swim out to it. This one is empty of containers, judging by the height of the Plimsoll Line above the water.

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It was quite hazy this morning, so some looked quite ghostly. I hope those containers are well secured. They look very close to the edge.

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The Anuket Amger is an oil and chemical tanker.

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The Min Rui is a general cargo ship from Hong Kong. I wonder what it’s bringing into Durban Harbour. Most probably cheap clothing, which tends to last for only one season.

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These ships can sit motionless for days on end. We have regular strikes here, so the port is often very congested.

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At the present time, I’m more concerned with a different sort of container. These have started sprouting up in one of the bedrooms.

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To see more entries for the Photo Challenge this week, just click on the badge below.

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CBBH Photo Challenge: High Tea and ‘Food Glorious Food’.

Food is the subject of Marianne’s CBBH Photo Challenge this month. When I look back at my blog and Facebook posts, I’m amazed to realise just how often, food features in my photos. I remember saying long ago, that life would be much simpler if we could rather take nutritional pills every day, instead of having to think of what we were going to cook, and then having to clean up the kitchen afterwards. Over the years, my attitude to food and cooking has changed drastically, and I now really enjoy dreaming up tasty meals and baking scrumptious desserts. Eating well, is one of the great pleasures of life; don’t you agree?

Hubby’s early Father’s Day present from our daughter, required absolutely no effort on my part. It was a gift voucher for ‘High Tea’ at our favourite 5 star hotel just up the beach. He did wonder why I had laid his clothes out on the bed, and told him to get out of his shorts and T-shirt, and to be dressed by 2pm, but I managed to keep the venue a secret until I chauffeured him through the gate, and then presented him with the magic red envelope.

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High Tea at The Oyster Box Hotel is renowned for its sumptuous treats, from freshly baked scones, pastries, quiches, cakes, finger sandwiches, spicy savouries and extensive cheese platter. It’s not an occasion to be hurried, so a leisurely afternoon of sheer indulgence was on the cards for the two of us. (Click on any photo to see the drool-worthy images.)

Duke Orsino said in Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night, “ If music be the food of love, play on; give me excess of it, that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die. That strain again! It had a dying fall. Oh it came upon my ear like the sweet sound that breathes upon a bank of violets; stealing and giving odour. Enough, no more! ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.”

I was reminded of this quote, as I listened to the piano player who ‘tickled the ivories’ that afternoon. He wasn’t the usual pianist, and I suspect, may have been one of the waiters who had been roped in to help out. Being a pianist myself, I do hear every note that is played, and I’m sorry to say that he sounded to me like a beginner, practising playing by ear. He started off with a few bars of  ‘I’m In The Mood For Love’, which then progressed into a very abbreviated version of Beethoven’s ‘Für Elise’, which inexplicably morphed into ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’. We had lots more bits and bobs of various songs, as well as some very obvious wrong notes. It was so awful, but very entertaining too, and gave me a few chuckles. He looked so intense and really was trying his best, so I decided not to shoot him, even with my camera. LOL!

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For my Blog Hop this month, I would like to recommend that you visit, Tina at http://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/. Her photos are out of this world, and I know you’ll really enjoy her ‘Extra Special Destinations’ post.

My second recommendation, is LuAnn at ‘Paintyourlandscape’. She and her husband Terry are full-time RVers from the Midwest, and I just know that you’ll love tagging along with them on their fascinating adventures to really interesting and beautiful places.

To take part in Marianne’s CBBH Challenge, and to see other entries, just click on the badge below.

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WPC: Monkey Business at the Threshold

Sadly, my mom is not strong enough to come down to the seaside to visit us, so today, we took lunch up to my sister’s house and spent a lovely time there with the family. After a couple of hours, mom’s energy started to flag, and we had to take her back to the care home where she now lives. Every time we drive up to the threshold of the home, we are met by an assortment of monkeys, and today was no exception.

In the car park were two Vervet monkeys taking it in turns to preen one another.

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At the entrance gate,  a whole family were doing guard duty.

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As we were about to enter the building. I spotted this one hanging out in a tree.

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There were also two cute baby ones, but they scuttled off before I could snap their picture. We put mom to bed for her afternoon nap, and then drove back down the hill to our home by the sea.

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As we came over the hill, and the Indian Ocean sprang into view, I was thinking about the fact that hubby and I are on the threshold of a new adventure. We have accepted a very good offer on our house, and will be selling up here in the next three months. This has been on the cards for three years now, ever since we bought our home in Florida, but yesterday, the right person walked over our threshold, fell in love with the house and decided that this is where she wants to live. The next three months are going to be quite hectic.

To join in the Weekly Photo Challenge, just click on the badge below.

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