Sunday, November 30, 2014

Poor mum

Hi everyone, this is Ambrose posting on Mum's blog. She has been frantic. She struggled to connect her new laptop to her blog. Then she got that right and suddenly she had no Internet connection. Our yoomen dad called in a nice gentleman working in his office. He comes from Dar and after trying all sorts of things to improve Mum's signal, he looked at the rooter. 

What's that Unca Shadow? Oh, is it called a ROUTER? Well, the wire had fallen out - Mum thinks we kitties pushed the router and the wire came loose. Now it's connected again and Mum is so happy! 

Which makes us happy too! And she returned after being gone for a LONG time...

Dad Ginger is so happy that he played rough and tumble with his scratching post

Which fell over! 

I rushed forward to see what my Dad Ginger had done! 

While he carried n playing with the ropes ! 

I hope you're all having a wonderful Sunday. Mum didn't say I had to post about the pups (although she had one in the house earlier!) but they are getting very big and noisy!

Mwadui ladies year end celebration

It's the end of the year and what a great excuse for a ladies' get-together again!
As always, it was held at the club, next to the swimming pool

Louise, Amanda and Debbie made lunch, salad and dessert

Debbie said I was always behind the camera and took mine to photograph yours truly.

Moi, at the pool. Isn't this the most beautiful setting for a ladies' luncheon?
While we waited for the proceedings to begin, Debbie snapped me trying to get to grips with my new Samsung Smartphone! 
Once Marita had welcomed everyone, she had an ice-breaker 

We were  each given a paper plate and a pencil. With the plate upside down on our heads, Marita gave us step-by-step instructions to draw a Christmas tree, decorate it, (with a star on top) add a fireplace with flames alongside, hang a stocking from the mantelpiece, and add a wrapped gift at the foot of the tree. Of course, I was taking photos and kept turning my plate and created a bunch of nonsense.

This lady took the game seriously! 

I'm sorry I didn't video this scene. Much hilarity when women get together and play silly games! 
Later everyone tucked into the delicious lunch: chicken lasagne, salad and bread rolls 
Which was perfectly rounded off with Debbie's cupcakes

Marita then recapped on the year's meetings and projects that had been implemented. At our last get-together in September, she'd asked the ladies to bring ideas of new projects in 2015 to this last function. 

Several ladies stood up and made suggestions. It soon became clear that the ladies would like have informal workshops whereby we all share our skills. They'd love to know how to knit, make toys from recycled items, use up tomatoes in a puree, bake inexpensive cookies,  and more. I for one, would love to improve my Swahili, learn basket-weaving etc. 

I  suggested that we form a women's group which meets monthly.  We could display items we'd made during the month and be judged on them. We'd have a speaker: Debbie could show us how to bake cupcakes; Amanda would show us how to cut and sew soft toys;  I would do a talk on budgets, how to write a business e-mail or draw up a business plan. (Amanda says she'll catch up on her much needed sleep - she suffers from insomnia - during my talk, LOL!) Anna made a list of all the suggestions for the new year. 

Then it was time for the gift exchange; we expat ladies suggested that  Marita do it as "Pass the Parcel". 

This was when the fun actually began!

Marita explained to everyone that the parcel in front of them had to be passed to the person next to you (she decided that we'd pass these to the right) When you'd passed your parcel to the lady on your right, you held out your left hand and took it from your neighbor. 



When Marita stopped the music, some women had two, three and even four parcels in front of them;  others had none. As you can imagine, this caused great hilarity and squealing in truly lady-like fashion! 
Each person starts with one parcel on her place mat. When the music started she had to pass this parcel to her right and take her neighbor's parcel on her left! 

After Marita thanked the WDL ladies for providing the lunch, and all of us for joining her,  I set up her camera on self-timer and we had a group photo.  I haven't yet worked out how to use that function on mine, so don't have that photo!

Here's wishing you all a Happy Sunday. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pups going strong

Joshua shows the pups a pod which they promptly played with !

Yesterday, Joshua stood in for Michael who has Fridays off. Joshua is the most enthusiastic of all the puppies nannies carers. He ran himself ragged on three different occasions that we took the dogs out for their twenty minute romp on the lawn. After running around with them for a few minutes, I picked up my camera, took photos and laughed at Joshua's and the pups' antics! 

Joshua never lets up; he runs about, turns and chases the pups and calls to them all the time! 

This picture says it all! 

I trust you're all having a wonderful weekend.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A flock of birds...

...before my eyes!

A rainbow graces the evening sky after welcome rains 

As I photographed the rainbow, a flock of birds (egrets?) flew across the horizon

And yes, of course, now that we're back in Mwadui, we're birding again! 

I'm linking this post to Skywatch Friday which you can visit here

You all have a wonderful weekend! 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Good fences, Good blogger!

I'm back on blogger after two days of searching for my own! Phew! Thanks to all who've helped me via e-mail. I've changed computers (more later about this beautiful new machine!). My son, Angus loaded my e-mails, Skype; I transferred all my zillions of photos and documents to an external hard drive. But I never thought I needed to know my username and password to log onto my own blog. Now I'm memorizing them both for future reference. 

A view of Dar Es Salaam Harbor from our hotel window

Pretty, isn't it?

We're finally back on site (those who know me, will also know that I LOVE returning home to Mwadui!) and had a wonderful reunion with our precious kitties and the pups.

Ginger dozes in the sun, after three weeks confinement inside the house! 
Shadow enjoys the sunshine and new grass 
Ambrose searches for any hapless lizards or bugs to pounce on !

As always, Regina and Mary looked after the cats very well. Ambrose has gained weight and is finally showing a certain maturity. Watch this space for when he posts on my blog over the weekend! Regina tells me that Ginger and Shadow got on very well while I was away. For those who missed my posts before I went on leave at the end of October, I was caught in the crossfire of a serious fight between these two male cats. The result was several nasty wounds on my calf. I'm fine now, BTW!

Then the reunion with the pups! Of course they've grown. And once they realized that I'd returned, they jumped up against the fence, clamoring to get out!
The pups at ten weeks! 
Princess proudly poses with her beautiful pups
Although they're weaned, the pups still try to suckle whenever they get a chance!

The pups explored every inch of our back garden on their first introduction to it!

Although the pups are of a mixed breed, and all have pointy faces, they are fat and healthy belying the fact that they're African dogs

Michael sits in the garden with me while Princess and her pups cavort all over the lawn
Back in their enclosure, the pups recharge their batteries for the next outing. Michael and I take them out for a romp on the lawn at least four times a day!

The time is fast approaching for me home these pups. I'm still working on my darling husband, (who doesn't know it, but is a pushover when it comes to animals!) to keep two -  and not only one - pup.

Meanwhile I'm linking this post to Good Fences Thursday. I also wish you all a wonderful Thursday. It's become good for me now that I'm back on blogger again!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Weekend post (Part 2)

Once we'd left Grant's aunt in Howick, we took the scenic route along the Midlands Meander.  We'd booked an overnight stay at Rawdon's Hotel.

Rawdons Hotel was built in 1956 by David Rawdon and was taken over by the Attwood family in 1967. The current owners, Don and Wendy Attwood, have handed the hotel over to their daughter Susan and husband, Peter Dean.  Rawdons is 4700ft above sea level, enjoys an excellent climate and is situated among some of the best farming areas and horse studs in South Africa. 

Rawdons Hotel is a welcome retreat for tourists and weekenders offering splendid a la carte, Table d’Hote and pub menus. The comfortable rooms are decorated with antiques that the family have collected over the years and one can choose from a number of suites including a romantic honeymoon hideaway. A top fly fishing destination, Rawdons boasts seven stocked dams on the 200 ha estate. The hotel also offers lawn tennis and quiet walking trails around the property for those not interested in fishing. A thriving independent brewery delights visitors with a range of naturally brewed ales and lagers of outstanding quality. pub, “The Boar” where, in winter, the fire crackles with warm welcoming hospitality.

 An olde-world hotel in the heart of the Natal Midlands
The view from our bedroom window 
The interior of the hotel was filled with beautiful antiques

It was refreshing to see an old-fashioned lounge with a reading area instead of an Internet Cafe corner
 A  beautifully carved fireplace caught my eye
We headed for the cozy pub for coffee and cake!

 Afterwards we walked along the lake and of course, I took photos of the birds. Above is a yellow-billed duck
My only photo of a Little Grebe in SA was of its back end!
A pair of Egyptian Geese on the jetty across the lake
 Red-knobbed Coot on a nest
That evening Rina and I dressed in our bling for dinner

I can't remember what I had for dinner, but the dessert was delicious! 

Today we're off to Home Affairs in Bethlehem to collect our new Identity Cards. When we return, I hope to start packing for our return to Tanzania.

Until then, you all have a wonderful weekend. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Have I said something...

Hi everyone,

I know I haven't been too active on my blog during November. However, I did post quite a long (and I thought, interesting - lol) post on Sunday.

And another this morning.

Yet, no comments.

Is it something I said?


Seriously though; since I started blogging six years ago, I have never published a post and not heard from the readers. 

I've checked my comment settings and nothing has changed since I last had comments. Can anyone help?



And just to add something cute, here is a pic of the youngest Hedges ...

 Keren-Happuch who is six months old today

Monday, November 17, 2014

Weekend away in SA November 2014 (Part 1)

Last week Joel and Abby came over from next door. Of course, there always has to be treats at Gran's house. Joel walks in and says: "Aunty Rina, I'm hungry for Nesquick" He then opens the fridge, takes out the milk and places it on the table. Then he fetches his and Abby's cups from a special place in the cupboard. Rina keeps Nesquick (chocolate milk powder) especially for the children. 
 Abby and Joel enjoy their treat of chocolate milk at Gran's house
 Outside on the patio, Angie and Megan relax in the shade 

 Eddie never relaxes! Here she lies in the sun panting after a run around the garden 
 Chappie also relaxes on the patio
Tipsy, one of Rina's two cats that I sent out from Tanzania last year, has never had it so good! 
Likewise, his brother, Topsy lies in the sun on "their" chairs! 

Over the weekend we traveled down to Kwa-Zulu Natal to visit family and friends. First we stopped at Grant's aunt, Gill and her husband, Neville. Gill served us with a delicious light lunch and we showed them photos of Pam's new abode in the retirement center in Marquard. 
 Grant's aunt, Gill and her husband, Neville
 Grant and me, with dear sweet Gill and Neville outside their home in Howick

I'll post about the rest of the weekend soon.

I hope you're all having a great week. Ours is heading for the last few days in SA.