Can you remember what you did on the weekend of 7-9 January 2011? Gattina of Writer Cramps hosts this fun and interesting meme. Do pop onto her blog via the link below and join us in telling what you did this weekend.
Once again, Grant and I did a trip down to the Drakensberg, this time to surprise John for his 37th birthday. As usual we seem to have our weekends mid-week! It has been raining in the Free State for the past ten days. We left home on Wednesday in the rain and as it's been raining steadily in the Drakensberg for the past fortnight as well, we arrived at John and Debbie's home in the mountains in the pouring rain.
We spent two wonderful days of quality time with them although at times we couldn't hear each other speak because of the rain on their tin roof! We enjoyed birthday cake and tea together; Grant and John repaired the kitchen door; Debbie and I caught up on news and Grant and I had a lovely time with the precious grands.
We left home (in the Free State) in the rain; it had been raining steadily for days in the Drakensberg so we arrived in the rain and it continued to rain heavily while we were there!
When we arrived at the first low-level bridge on the way to John and Debbie's house, a municipal vehicle with a crane was picking up debris from one side of the bridge and placing it on the opposite bank. The occupants of the car in front of us wasted no time: they washed their pick-up while waiting to cross the stream
After we'd waited a short while, the lorry moved back in order for the present traffic to get through
Debris that washed up against the low-level bridge. If these logs and branches are not removed from banging against the structure, they can cause serious damage
Fording the river in our Nissan. LOL!
A few minutes later we could see John's house on the hill above. However...
... we had to drive around the mountain and approach their home from the other side where we found that the gate to their property was locked!
I phoned John and said we were at his gate, could he come and open it? A few minutes later he, Joshua and Eryn arrived on the motorbike. He was very pleased that we came to surprise him for his birthday!
John, with the two oldest children on the motorbike, leads the way back to their house ahead
I ordered a birthday cake over the phone from the local bakery. Even though I spelt Debbie's name three times (D E B B I E), when we arrived to collect the cake on Tuesday afternoon, this is what was on the cake! Much mirth when Debbie and John spotted this on Wednesday! And no, it's not the phonetic spelling of Phoebe. No-one here would even know there is such a name as Phoebe. The beauty is that the lady who took the order from me, knows Debbie very well from when they lived in Marquard and even asked after her when we collected the cake. Is this young woman a product of watching television only as a child and never reading a book? Mmm. (BTW, the icing got a little squashed in transit but we all knew it said: Happy Birthday!)
Grant and John adjust the kitchen door which had been sticking. The Hedges men just LOVE to fix things... BTW, editor often distorts my photos as has happened with the one above. Our men are tall and thin but not as shown in the photo. Fortunately neither of the subjects read my blog so they won't see their "skinny" selves in my photo!
On Thursday morning I managed to capture our oldest grandson, Joshua who'd just woken up, sitting on the stairs. He ventured halfway downstairs and then sat down to recollect himself! He had a boy doll called Caleb (dressed in pink, no less!) under his arm. Perhaps this is why modern fathers are much more hands-on than the men were when my sons were little?
This is the normal start to a busy mum's day. From left is Eryn, seven-and-a-half years old; Joshua, four-and-a-half; [Debbie]; next is Elijah clocking in at seven months and 22 month-old Bethany trying to protect her interests, err, her bottle!
While Debbie settles the two youngest children with toys in the campcot in one corber of the schoolroom...
...another child learns Zulu on the computer . Zulu is one of the 11 official languages in South Africa and already both Eryn and Joshua have a vast vocabulary of this musical - sounding language
And another is doing her pacers at the dining table
The sun came out on Friday morning and everyone was outside having fun. Here Joshua splodges in the mud while doing a spot of "gardening"
Bethany, who only started walking last month (at 21 months) is steady on her pins now and industriously sweeps the patio for mum
How about this cheesy grin for Gran!
John and Grant, deep in conversation as they walk down to the bottom of John and Debbie's land
John gives his dad a helping hand when the Nissan got stuck in the newly dug garden. (Note baby Elijah on John's back cheering his dad on!)
Crossing the Little Tugela river which runs past Winterton, on Friday, it was a raging torrent after ten days of heavy rains in the Drakensberg
Grant in his most treasured hat, a genuine Akubra , which was a gift from an Australian collegue while working on the gold mine in West Africa. "Chairs mate!" (lol!)
Beautiful sandstone cliffs in The Golden Gate Highlands National Park. This is our normal stop for coffee and sandwiches halfway between home in Marquard and the Drakensberg and on the way back again! The sun was out in the Park on Friday although a few kilometers up the road the storm clouds gathered and it started to rain again
We left home in the rain on Wednesday morning and arrived home in the rain on Friday afternoon
The last 34 kms before home. The countryside is so beautifully lush and green
For more on what people did over the weekend, click here