Saturday, May 20, 2017

Critters, family and friends

Hi everybody. I've been absent from Blogger for a few days. We had Grant's maternal aunt, Gill and her husband, Neville to stay. They're both in their early 80's but spritely and were such easy visitors.

Although they didn't expect to be entertained or taken around, we decided to take them to our friends, Steve and Estelle's home under the Champagne Castle peak. I posted about our visit there two weeks ago: Estelle and Steve are the world-famous Muthi's "mum and dad". 

Muthi, 21 years old,  obliged me with a photo 

Steve has moved his art shop to his home and we knew that it would be a most interesting visit to take Gill and Neville to meet them 

We'd also arranged with Steve to take us on a tour to see his eclectic mix of accommodation. He has a Zulu Hut, a Squatter Camp house and two caves (which I'd posted about before) 
Gill entering the Zulu hut with Neville behind her
The rustic shower inside the Zulu Hut

The other accommodation is a Squatter Campstyle house called Diddly Squat. Gill and Grant entering Diddly Squat with me and Neville on their heels
Every detail inside the ethnic accommodation is so authentic. The shower is built in the corner of the open-plan kitchen-cum-bedroom

The table is covered with a plastic tablecloth; the washing - up area is a plastic bowl inside a concrete sink; the walls are made of corrugated iron; and covered in magazine pages...There are posters of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Theresa on the wall above the kitchen counter 
The view over the valley is of another accommodation settlement; the autumnal trees and tranquil lake - so relaxing 
Steve always points out the beautiful view from his home
The one cave accommodation that I've posted about before
I couldn't resist a close-up of the tree aloes against the mountain peaks

Afterwards Estelle served tea and crumpets around their table and Steve regaled our family with stories from the valley. 

On Thursday morning, friend Anthony came over for scones and tea. He and Gill reminisced about the days when Gill's dad (Grant's grandfather) had a farm in the area not too far from here. Anthony used to take Gill's step-sister, Judy, out while they were both still at school. 
Ant, Gill and Neville enjoying a chat 

That afternoon Gill and Neville took me and Grant out for lunch at a nearby eatery called The Black Scabbard (A Portuguese bistro) Grant and I had never been there and it turned out to be quite pleasant. 

Gill had fish and chips; I had a chick-pea, lettuce and tomato salad and Grant and Neville had the signature dish: Espetada 
Grant with his order of Espetada which he said was very nice

For desert we all ordered Pastei de Nata which, when it arrived, I realized was one of my and Grant's absolute favorite puddings. It's a delicious filo pastry filled with baked custard and served with vanilla ice-cream.

We were all very replete when we left this restaurant...

As we drove out, Grant's phone rang; it was John Muirhead (Ant's brother) who said he'd taken his wife, Ronnie up to our house and was waiting at the gate! I told Gill now she'd meet the "other" brother and his wife. Great was her delight when Ronnie (who grew up in the valley and married John 49 years ago) asked her how Judy was. Ronnie remembered Judy very well! 
We sat and had tea and cookies around the kitchen table 

That night as Grant and I went to bed in the rondawel, we were thrilled to see both the horses asleep on their plentiful hay in the stables! 

On Friday before Gill and Neville left for their home in a retirement village about two hours' drive from us, I set up the camera for a family photo.
Neville, Gill, Jo and Grant and both the dogs 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here



  1. It looks as if you had a wonderful time - in extremely beautiful surroundings.

  2. It's so beautiful where your friends live. I just love the view so much. It's wonderful that your relatives were able to visit there and reminisce with old chums. Enjoy the beautiful Fall days. xx

  3. Hello, Jo! I love all the critters! Cute dogs and the horses in their beds! I am glad you had a great visit with Grant's aunt and family . The cave homes are neat! Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post! Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  4. love the family foto with the dogs in it to. those little zulu houses are just amazing, that sink is so cute.. and the big one we have seen before is just beautiful. i would love to visit Muthi and her homes and of course with you and Grant. glad you got to see friedns and family

  5. A wonderful story and a wonderful time spent with family. I love the family photo at the end.

  6. Sounds like you all had a wonderful visit in & what a unique place Steve & Estelle have!
    Muthi is a real treasure!
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  7. Looks like a happy time! Interesting to see the zulu houses! Great post!

  8. I like the idea of staying in a cave. Such a delightful visit.


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