Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Spring garden

It's spring in South Africa, and even though we have not yet had any rain, all the plants are waking up from the winter slumber.  I've been watering and pruning and feeding my garden, and have put in a few new plants.  I love spring, it's my all time favourite season of the year.

I work, she watches 

my beloved salvia hotlips are about to bloom, the rain gauge is waiting to measure the spring rains

the last of the winter pansies 

A new arrangement of pots at the front door

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The little pink bicycle

Miss Katy has discovered wheels and she's a crazy one on her bicycle!

My neighbor gave me this little pink bicycle when his daughter outgrew it, Elizabeth used it until she needed a bigger bicycle and now the littlest biker chick owns it.  We'll pass it on when Katy outgrows it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Turning 7

Miss Elizabeth turned 7 on 25 August, and her choice was a party at Spur with all her school friends.

The calm before the storm!

Elizabeth with her best friend Jane Grace

Katy with her best friend from nursery school - Maleeya

Big Chief Elizabeth Pope

Elizabeth has always wanted a camera, so she inherited her late Aunty Rosie's digital camera.  If she loves photos as much as I do, this will be the first of many cameras for her.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The good, the bad and the ugly

I don't eat out that often but when I do, I expect reasonably good service and a fairly decent meal.  This year alone, I've probably had the 3 worst meals ever, but also some excellent food.  Here is my list...
The Excellent list
Café Del Sol in Bryanston and Olivedale - outstanding!  This is hands down my all time favourite group of restaurants
*  Gibsons Burgers at the Waterfront in Cape Town make the best burgers in South Africa - seriously!  Plus a zillion kinds of milkshakes
*  The burgers at RocoMamas are delish
Lamb Ragout at Café del Sol
The Good list
*  The Falafel is really good at Anat in Sandton City
*  The Meat Company in Montecasino - steak of course
*  Nothing beats a Wimpy breakfast
*  Tasha's Café in Mandela Square, Sandton
*  The food at Spur is fine for what it is - a reasonably good meal (I usually have steak or a burger) with childcare thrown in for free
Krunch salad bar in Sandton City serves good healthy fast food
Tuc 'n Tap is a new restaurant in Boskruin
Nougat cheesecake at Café del Sol
The Bad list
* Urban Angel used to be fantastic when they opened 4 years ago, but their food has not been great for quite a while now; pity as it's a great restaurant serving local organic food
*  The coffee and lemon meringue pie at Mugg & Bean are great, but I've never had a good meal there
Gourmet Garage in Montecasino is ok, but definitely not as good as they were a few years ago
*  Mikes Kitchen in Klerksdorp served up a piece of coal which they insisted was a steak
Pantelis pizzeria is a new restaurant in our area and I've really tried to give them a chance but after 3 bad meals, they are a definite no-go on my list
*  The vegan food at Leafy Greens was just not to my taste
The buffet at Leafy Greens 
The Ugly list
my 3 worst meals ever are...
*  a lasagna meal at a scrapbooking event held at a school on the West Rand
Khai Thai at Montecasino - we had 3 different kinds of noodle dishes which all tasted the same and were really really bad
*  a rib eye steak at Urban Angel

 Breakfast at Urban Angel is still good

Monday, September 5, 2016

A sense of connectedness

My dad had 2 brothers and a sister who lives in Australia, so I have lots of cousins.  Before my dad died 11 years ago, he chastised us for not keeping in touch as family; he couldn't understand that many of the cousins live in Johannesburg, yet we seldom see each other. 
For the last 2 years, I've really made a point of keeping in touch with my own brothers and sister, and seeing my cousins Bev and Owen more regularly.  I think this sense of connectedness naturally becomes more important as we get older; we start to realize what's really important and we start letting go of some of the crap. 
Owen recently arranged a lunch for cousins and friends after the passing of his mom...it was bittersweet but lovely.
I have not seen my cousin Malanie for probably 25 years.  It was lovely to reconnect and meet her children Bryce and Chloe
My cousin Beverly and her 13 year old daughter Amy...definitely
a case of 'like mother like daughter' 

We've committed to staying in touch and getting more of the family together regularly; we're planning a 'bring and share' lunch in Spring.  In doggy terms, I'm probably a border colley because I want to herd everyone together.  I do it with my friends and my family; I naturally want to get people together and I probably drive people nuts in the process, but I'm fine with that.  It is what it is.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Scrapbook layouts

Hello September!  Hello Spring.  I'm looking forward to summer and the rain.
Here are 2 scrapbook layouts which I did on Women's Day (9 August in South Africa)...

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ice cream and sprinkles

Most little people are crazy about ice cream and sprinkles, so that's what we had for dessert after a recent family lunch.  If they had their way, Jamie and Anna would have finished the whole bottle of sprinkles on their cones.

PS : I can HIGHLY recommend the soft scoop berry ice cream from Woolworths, it is SO good (says a non ice cream lover).