All my life, since I was a teenager and watched a reel to reel documentary
on New Zealand, I have wanted to visit this far away country.
I have just spent a full 6 weeks exploring this relatively young and incredibly beautiful country in the most remarkable way,
with a loved one who has lived and worked there for 33 years and understands and connects to every aspect of this complex and most wonderful place on this, our planet.
It will not be possible to share all of the experiences of this adventure in one blog page but I would like to give an essence of the time spent in the North Island because it was extraordinary.
Visually, there is no comparison in my experience, this is a country filled with “Pinch me” reactions, around every bend in the road is another crazy response,
until one starts to sound like a stuck record, but you don’t even hear you own repetitive reactions, so overwhelming are the views.
With regard to the community, I have never known such hospitality, so much kindness and so much sharing.
So much peacefulness, mindfulness
and so much freedom.
People work hard, there is no litter, everyone recycles their used goods,
and water is the favourite beverage…
(Below coffee I must admit, they makes the best flat white’s I have ever tasted!)
4 seasons in a day, rainbows stretching across the horizon,
I would love to take a year out to explore this extraordinary and unique country.
With museums, galleries, exhibitions, libraries, botanical gardens,
ferries,ferneries,islands,history and endless beautiful beaches and azure blue seas,
bays with indigenous trees rolling into the oceans.
Fat delicious wood pigeons, and tiny owls called more porks!
Volcanic mountains and islands, geysers and hot springs, all beckoning and enticingly spectacular,
I had to tear myself away.
Back home, to life on another continent.
How my vision has changed, my world just got bigger a new vision and a different understanding of mindful trust,
from a community that is exercising that right to life on this earth,
in a most conscientious and thoughtful way.
Amidst green, grey and very blue.
With a frequent rainbow thrown in for pure joy!
Thank you New Zealand, What a wonderland you have displayed for me.
Like that little coquettish Fantail, you have pulled me into your world,
Life will always be a bit different for me now.
I am going exploring…
Off to take some time out from work,
power outages, routine, markets, medical practices, home maintenance
responsibilities and the general run of the mill realities.
Cape Town will keep going,
the mountain will keep standing
business will keep booming,
and also the dinosaurs.
and planned some more.
Flowers grown, imported bought and sold.
Winter will progress,
The earth will keep revolving,
Everything will turn green in this verdant winter rainfall region
and life will continue.
In it’s own extraordinary and ever changing way.
The words from the musical “My fair lady” come to my mind…
‘Art and music will thrive without you
Somehow Keats will survive without you
And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain
(or maybe Mitchell’s…)
Even that will remain without you, I can do without you
You, dear friend, who taught so well
You can go to Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire
(or down South)
They can still rule the land without you
Windsor Castle will stand without you
(Or maybe Cape Town Castle…)
And without much ado we can
All muddle through without you
Without pulling it the tide comes in
Without your twirling it, the Earth can spin
Without your pushing them, the clouds roll by
If they can do without you
ducky so can I….
Ducky is coming with me
I can’t go exploring without Peking,
It wouldn’t be Fair,
Time flies don’t we know it!
I have just had a notification from WordPress
to say that I have been writing
this blog for 3 years!
This is scary news indeed,
it feels like just a few months have passed
since I set myself the task of recording the passage of events
that is life in unchartered territory.
Often song lyrics come to mind;
The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door
And may Suchi keep reminding me that fun times
with loved ones
are the ones we remember,
and may her family keep growing…and get visa’s more easily.
(With the exception of the visa’s.)
I always love that touch! (Every December, WordPress blogs have continuous snow flurries cascading as you read. It appeals to the young one in me, always!)
It is the middle of March…
Where did I put January and February?
Ive looked for them but there is little evidence to be found,
so I suspect my alter ego swept them under the carpet with her broom
before escaping for a breather on it,
husky dog perched and ready to choose the flight path.
The past few months have been extraordinary.
Loads of varied work.
I have placed more flowers in vases in the past 3 months
than I have had cappuccino’s in my lifetime (almost!)
Weddings, Birthdays, exotic locations and even more exotic stems.
At the same time I have been working on my own range of
“Bottled in the Cape” which has been selling well.
This started slowly and is growing happily.
Jewelry in tiny bottles…
Bottled submersible lights as vases,
inspired by our power outages.
Solar jars with interest and all things(inedible)
that can be bottled and packaged under my label
have been up for consideration.
(just not the Husky pup, or the broom!)
We have had 4 massive fires in the Southern Cape
that have created havoc and devastation.
The airways have been choked with both smoke and helicopters…
(no room up there for broomsticks)
We are blessed in this province to have the most dedicated team
of firemen and women, and many volunteers who have worked tirelessly
for 10 days in the most extreme conditions, to bring each separate
disaster under control.
The communities also came up trumps, with donations of
food and drinks and medical supplies for people and animals too.
There was also a substantial amount of money raised through
local media to start a fund for necessary equipment for the
ongoing problem of fires in this region at all times.
I haven’t managed to complete the 100 target,
work has had to fit in around the happy chaos,
but that can be a task for a new year, this has been
the year of so much connectivity
in such a variety of different environments
and joy filled occasions.
A year of stories and infusions of love.
And lots of weddings!
It has been 365 days of where and when we will meet again.
I made a promise to myself….
It feels like yesterday that I posted my last blog
and my intention to reach 100 by the end of this year
is looking dubious to say the least.
On the flip side, It has been an explosive year
of change, travel, weddings, new wonders
and new families enriching all of our lives.
A time of teaching drawing… and learning,
dovetailing various diverse work types
and challenging new and exciting adventures
in a very hectic medical practice,
as a general ‘pair of hands’.
Busy times both family and solo,
starting a new stock range,
making jewellery, taking photographs,
planting miniature gardens…
doing flowers for events and blackboards for weddings.
Loads of creative energy and loads of epic family gatherings.
We welcome a wonderful new daughter/sister/friend
into our African lives full of surprises,
hopefully nothing too challenging.
Although, Sofia is brave and tenacious
but mostly very brave.
Bonus… I can run again.
I love to run… I love the freedom of open spaces
in our beautiful city of Cape Town,
the wind in my face and the unconstrained liberty
that comes with this most freeing of pastimes.
It energises and feeds my soul.
I am happy to not meet my deadline of 100,
I am delighted to welcome new members into the family,
I am beyond grateful to have found new ways
to channel my creative energy,
and pleased to have that form of energy
back in my personal stable.
3 years ago I pushed myself to the limit
and paid the ultimate price.
Matter over mind.
I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia
and could not walk,draw, write, drive, concentrate
or use the dominant side of my body at all.
6 weeks of lying flat, 2 years of slow improvement.
Scary times indeed.
Such a huge learning curve
with regard to the fragile makeup
of our mind and body relationship.
I am so grateful to have
my mobility again,
for my wonderful and supportive friends and family.
Our ever growing family… we are blessed all round.
I am so grateful to have
my creative energy restored once more.
So forget deadlines, forget 100 blogs,
I will never take anything for granted again.
This is one thing I promise.
Amor and more.
and 10 days of festivities
in the most exciting eclectic passionate visually diverse
meat eating soccer playing location
then drop one word
I am pretty close to speechless
(clearly not quite!)
sleepless in B.A.
sleep was not part of the recipe
stopped and stayed for hours in one place
with lots of other revellers
we got to know our wonderful new family
and their all embracing friends
and they got to understand a bit about us all this and more
culminating in a wedding beyond magnificent
perfectly organised to the final detail
with the first dance a fusion
of tango and African gumboot dance
(thank you Johnny Clegg for ‘Impi’) way beyond magnificent
a never to be forgotten event
thank you Sofi and James
Dadour and Lili
and gentle and generous ways
and zero evidence of any stress at all
you made magic and miracles happen
in magnificent Buenos Aires.
I am constantly amazed
at the extraordinary ability of a tiny camera
to capture minuscule details of life around us.
Things that our eyes struggle to see are caught in a wing beat,
This is when I love technology the most.
But I guess we are living in a time of
nano technology, as everything around us
becomes more compact and compressed.
Except spring flowers, they are larger than ever!
I was in my favourite garden (again…!)
And found a multitude of our indigenous fynbos (our very own floral kingdom)
bursting into new life, after a harsh Cape winter.
See if you can spot the beetle pretending to be a stamen on a Silver tree flower.
Time to say no more, just attach some of my favourite
spring bursts of energy, plants and animals in unison.
Yay to warmer weather and longer days!
And I think to myself…
This is my Sunday Best revisited.
Only this time, with pictures of Jonkershoek Reserve
on a perfectly beautiful day,
walking for loved ones.
With gratitude and love for a life well lived.
A Yellowwood tree old and knotted but still with green shoots in parts.
The valley and well worn pathway.
A Featherhead bush.
(Unidentified but magical plant growing on a sheer rock face. Will get back to you on that name!)
A Gecko, sunning itself on the rock.
A Blue Sugarbush.