Monday, February 28, 2022

Missing my kitty journalist

 Dear Blogger friends. I realized recently that since our dearest Ambrose went across the Rainbow Bridge in April last year, there have been very little posts about the Hedges kitties and Skabby.  Ambrose would push his way onto my desk; he would annex my office chair OR he would merely fix me with a kitty stare from the top of the fridge until I relented and gave him office space to write his Sunday blog post. 

                          Walking across my keyboard...
...annexing my office chair ...
...or staring at me from a dizzy height

I would always be reminded by these antics that he had not yet has his turn at the computer. Oh dear. How I miss this feisty boy. 

Chappie balancing with confidence on the edge of a very deep bowl of water! 

Mama sniffed something in my handbag...
Cat nip! 

A pensive cat...

Sunday was the first time in three weeks that Skabby and I went for a walk - and still the going was very muddy 


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Amethyst Sunbird

Dear Blogger friends, once again I'm playing catch-up. Oh dear.

Thank you for your kind wishes and all the comments. I had a great two days with Aunt Gill and very successful Weigh-Less meetings in the two days in the city. The travel was a great challenge but I made it. And I feel I will be able to go again some time soon.

Two weeks ago at Parkrun, I managed to snap a sunbird busy on the red-hot pokers. These photos were taken from my vantage point as Parkrun Volunteer. I have just had my 50th stint as Volunteer. 

Amethyst Sunbird male 

While I was in the city, I manage to buy a charger ( I bought two) for a birding pen and book. This pen and the bird book had been given to me by a good friend, Rudi, who has since passed on. During 2015, I blogged regularly about Rudi's visits to our home in Marquard. 

A really nifty gadget which has awakened my desire to listen for bird calls in and around home

Many months ago, Ronnie asked if I knew where to get a charger for her pen which is identical to mine. You can imagine how thrilled she was when I brought her one home. You point the pen onto the image, and it delivers the exact call of that particular bird. 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here


Wednesday, February 16, 2022

At last

 Good morning dear Blogger friends.  Over the past four years that I've been on the farm, Angus and Amanda have visited at least, once a year.

The first time (June 2019), they parked their caravan between my cottage and Gavin and Janine's house fence. In September of that year, after I'd had surgery, they came down again. This time they stayed in the guest wing of Ron and John's farm house; Ronnie enjoying my grandchildren who were in the spare room off their bedroom! I was not allowed to drive so Amanda drove me and Thandi to The Bunker where we prepared for guests arriving for the September school holidays. 

During all their visits, Angus would have his toolbox and repair anything and everything that I needed fixed. 

 Shortly after Covid restrictions were lifted slightly,  in August 2020, they camped at Dragon Peaks in the foothills of the majestic Cathkin peak and Champagne Castle.  

Last year at the end of October, Amanda's dad passed away after contracting Covid. I went up to my old home town of Marquard and spent four days with my sister-in-law, Celia and "our" children. 

Therefore, Angus and Amanda's next visit to me, was at the end of January. (See my Monday's post) 

Among the many tasks I asked him to do for me, I wanted him to fix this bathroom caddy above my bath. I had bought this about two years ago and this seemed a good time for it to be used! 

What a pleasure not to have bottles and tubes on the window sill! 


Tuesday, February 15, 2022

 Good morning dear Blogger friends. As you can see, I'm on a roll and posting well ! 

I have a very busy week looming. On Tuesday I am having the first two open meetings for my Weigh-Less Groups in Winterton.

 On Wednesday, I am busy from 3am until after 14h00 with my Virtual Weigh-Less group. Members from all over the world weigh in on my private WhatsApp; I interact one on one with each member, and by 13h00 SA time, I deliver a motivation talk via WhatsApp voice note. 

I have 103 members online : from all over South Africa; from the neighboring Africa states; Mauritius; the UAE; Qatar; the UK; the US; Australia; Germany and Holland in and most recently, a member from Hanoi, Vietnam signed onto my group. Even though these members have never met me, in 2021, I had 22 members reaching their ideal goal weight. 

A year ago I took over the Pietermaritzburg Weigh-Less group online, when the Group Leader retired. These 26 members also clock in online on a Wednesday. However, this week I am having two separate open meetings, to meet these members and to try and recruit a Group Leader for these two areas. 

This meeting will take place on Thursday. The one for the city, is scheduled for Friday 18th February. I have not been down the N3 to the city since before Covid, so rather a challenge awaits me! 

On Thursday night, I will stay over with Grant's 84 year old aunt, Gill who I have known since I was 15. We will have a great time catching up on family news and being together.


Monday, February 14, 2022

Family visit

 Good morning dear Blogger friends. Last month Angus booked The Bunker for the first week of February. They came to celebrate my birthday (albeit a week early) and at the same time, Angus did several running repairs on my cottage as well as some tidying up at The Bunker (cable tied the electric cords for the bedside lamps and at the kettle and toaster in the kitchen) Amanda re-formula'ed my farm wages and sorted out a PDF issue I'd had with my Weigh-Less member's online enrolment forms. Angus also added a Malware program to Ronnie's desktop as she has been the victim of mountains of spam.  

We are experiencing horrifically hot weather this February. Ronnie invited my family to come and swim at any time. Which they did! 

The comments from the family in the guest book at The Bunker 

We had a delicious lunch at the Waffle hut last Wednesday. When they checked out on Saturday, they came by where I was volunteering at Parkrun.

Abby will be ten in March, Joel turned 12 on 30th January 
and Liam, the littlest Hedges turned seven on 12th January

 Wonderful friends from all over the world, and here in the Champagne Valley and a weeklong visit from my children. 


Sunday, February 13, 2022

The day continues...

 Thank you for the birthday wishes. After posting on my blog this morning, I drove to Cedarwood shopping center where I met my friends for lunch. 

What a lovely outing and what a special time with these friends. 

From left: Less and Lynn (owners of The Bunker); Caroline, moi, Estelle and Steve in the foreground 

I always love spending time with Caroline, a good friend and also our Taigelates instructor. On the fourth anniversary of Grant's death, Caro unearthed a photo of Grant and the main builder, Amon on the site of our cottage which he was building on Caroline's property. I'll always be grateful to her for the kindness and respect she showed Grant during the last three months of his life on earth. 

As I said, I have wonderful, loyal and precious friends in the Valley.

Grant and Amon with three other men working alongside them on the building project 

I was blessed with a great haul of birthday gifts 

Back home, I continued with my chores and at 3.45 my friend Arina phoned and said she was coming over from her home at Morely (about 12km from my home) She wanted to have a cup of tea with me for my birthday. 

Happy Sunday to you all! 

69 and holding...

 Good morning dear Blogger friends. I remember having a keyring in 1992 which said 39 and holding. (I turned 40 in 1993) 

Mmm. That was many years ago. And here I am today at 69 and holding.

Thank you, Penny for you wishes!

And thank you, dear Gaelyn for your wishes! 

At 6.30, Angus, Amanda and my three Free State grandies phoned me and sang Happy Birthday to me.  Amanda's mom, newly widowed Celia, also a good friend of mine since the 90's, was visiting them and added her voice. So very special.

 One of the many WhatsApp messages. Readers who have followed my posts for many years, may remember how Amanda and I discovered a home for albino children in Shinyanga, Tanzania in 2012. We made toys, collected clothes in South Africa and distributed to the children. We assisted with medical needs. We had a proper "brick and tile" ablution block built for the children. A teacher and her husband from the USA, continue to work at this home

Last night I had Ron and John and Gavin and Janine over to my house for dinner. I have spent the last five Christmas Eves at their dinner table; been at every birthday and anniversary celebration at both neighbor's homes. Although I contributed to the table on many occasions, I had never had them over to my little cottage.
My simple dinner tables setting 
Nine and Gavin spoilt me with a bag of tasty snacks 
Ronnie and John gave me a unique grater with several size grater holes and a holder at the bottom which collects the result. So cool! 

Earlier this week, my Avon mentor who has become a very close friend, and I had our nails done by Jenna next door. Jenna is the older daughter of Gavin and Nine.  I have a monthly appointment with her when she is home from teaching at St John's in Pietermaritzburg. This week Arina had her nails done after me. 

And later we had lunch at my house! 

Arina (the hand below) told Jenna she'd like a similar design to mine! I had mine done in light green and white as I have three important Weigh-Less open meetings this week. These shades are part of the Weigh-Less logo (the silver pinkie? I LOVE bling and Jenna always obliges) 

I'm off to the Valley to have lunch with my dear friends, Steve and Estelle and Mac's Cafe on the veranda where I managed Steve's art shop for two years before Covid. Although I wanted to take them to lunch, Estelle says they have taken me out for my birthday since my first one as a widow in 2018, and today is no different. I have invited Caroline and Les and Lynn who own The Bunker.

It's great to be alive!