David Leaving Day

Thursday

Today was the day…

David left. I spent a couple of hours with him as he packed…

Just after 1:30pm, he was ready to roll…

Let the next adventure begin…

By 4:30pm, he’d arrived at his first destination and said it was amazing! I’ll keep tabs on his travels. We will miss him, but I am also a little excited about getting his apartment in shape for the next guest!

The day was spectacular. Summer in special form. The beach had some inspirational art…

The water was fabulous and the net was being put out, so the moment the boat sped across to the barrel, I swam out there as well. It was lovely. Tomorrow looks like it may be a bit windy, but Saturday and Sunday look wonderful.

I worked for less than 5 hours. Tomorrow, with no swim, I’ll start early and give it a good push.

John 15:16

You didn’t choose Me. I choseย  you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Unexpected Guest

Wednesday

Today was the day…

We had an instant unexpected guest for the Little Lookout. It’s one of the things I specifically do. I put instant book on and allow guests to check in up to 9pm on the day. So if the place is available, I can get last minute bookings.ย  The LL has been ready since the Germans left. But with windows left open it had got a bit dusty so I went and gave it a good sweep and dust and pulled it back into shape. By 4pm Megan was safely installed. She’s American, a non-affiliated missionary and travelling alone. I was so surprised to have her dropped off and she seems toย  know no one in the hood. She was just told this would be a good area to visit. Lovely young lady.

Mike and I did our normal beach trip on what was another splendid morning. With schools back today, it was pretty quiet. Also we were a little earlier as we needed to be home by just after 8am.

I did 7 hours of work, but still have more to do, just not tonight!

And I helped David pack some of his stuff into storage. He’s done a great job scaling back and getting rid of stuff. By the time he ships on our, his flat will be just about empty. Tonight we went out for dinner with him. He’ll be back in a couple of months as he has to get some things done in Cape Town. Tomorrow we bid him farewell. He’s just about ready.

We will miss him being around and certainly he’s been great at security. He’s been the one to sort out misbehaving guests and neighbours when there have been the couple of issues.ย  I’m excited for his trip but will miss him.

Matthew 10:29-31

Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbers. Do not fear, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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British Passport Renewal

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I renewed my British passport. Well, I’m nearly done. The whole thing is online and they have tried to make it as easy as possible. The biggest trick was to get the passport photo right. It has to meet their specifications so I took a whole batch of cell phone photos and tried a few different things to get the lighting right. My first photo was Poor and not acceptable. Then I went to Fair but it was still not acceptable. Eventually, after about 4 tries, this one came up as Good and was acceptable!

I love being able to produce my own photo! My camera is so generous. It blows out my wrinkles and softens my skin. I’ll take this photo for my passport any day of the week.

My Brit passport expires in July, so it literally is 6 months til it expires and I didn’t waste a day in getting it in process. Once the photo was accepted, it took me through the quick and simple online process to the point of payment where I had to cough up just over 100 pounds, so R2000. With that in mind, I looked up on this blog, what happened ten years ago when I was applying. The process had just gone online but was a bit more paper based. It still cost R2000. Ten years prior to that, I walked into the British embassy in Cape Town and applied over the counter. This time round is easier. The only other thing I had to do today was go and get my entire South African passport photocopied. That’s what they ask for. If you have another country’s passport, they want to see what’s inside it, so I went down to Postnet and had it printed out in colour. That along with the old passport and proof of current address is all ready to be couriered to the UK. I’m hoping that will happen tomorrow, as Julian arrives tonight and he can arrange it. The guy at Postnet asked if I was planning to move to the UK. Absolutely not! Nope! No thank you. Cape Town is the place for me.

Today, there was a stiff north wind blowing and a few scattered drizzly showers blew through. The sea water was chilly but the air temperature was warm so my 40 minute swim was easily achieved and I was warm walking home, even though it did begin to rain. The outdoor showers at the beach are now operational again, so I didn’t need to shower at home. I haven’t done a lot of work today – 5 hours – I’ll catch up tomorrow.

Two more nights before David goes itinerant. He’s been clearing out his flat and downscaling drastically. By the time he drives away on Thursday, the flat will contain furniture only and by the end of Friday it will be spic and span after Ruth comes to give it a sprucing up. On Saturday, a potential (short-term) tenant comes to see it.ย  Whoever comes must feel comfortable.

Our lives are not boring.

Job 33:4

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Flamingos

Monday

Today was the day…

That dawned with a super still, crystal clear sea. The spectacular scenes began last night with rising moon creating golden water…

Some early morning photos…

We went to the beach to try out the glassy sea. It was cold! But closer to the cat walk, there was a warmer current, so it was more comfortable swimming that side. I was resting in the water when I saw two ladies squinting into the sky. A beautiful flock of elegant flamingos were flying overhead. They have been the talk of the town recently and a few people have managed to get photos. This was the first I had seen of them. So beautiful. This photo is from Lorraine…

And this one came from Marcelle…

Such a sight. The flock we saw this morning was much smaller, but I’ll be looking out for them tomorrow as well.

The sea from the cat walk…

I worked for most of the rest of the day and later in the afternoon, I walked down to Fish Hoek for a few provisions.

Today I had one booking for mid February and one cancellation. The cancellation I didn’t really mind. I wasn’t completely wild having a guest who declares he is a vampire. What’s with that? I’ll never know. So glad he cancelled. You don’t find these things out til the booking is done!

A quiet evening. I shall read.

Ephesians 1:4-5

Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. god decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Good Things About Being Airbnb Hosts

Sunday

Today was the day…

We woke up late. Why? Because last night after I got a late notice booking through Airbnb, we decided to go down to the cottage and start the clean. So for an hour from about 10:15pm, Mike and I got on with our chores. Mike’s was to clean the kitchen and mine was to put all the linen on the beds. Once done, we went home and went to bed close to midnight. Hence we woke up late, didn’t go to the beach. We went back to the cottage and spent another two hours making it perfect again. And we couldn’t have done it for a more appreciative recipient. James arrived and was really happy to be there. He and his Mom are here until Saturday.ย  I love the loft.

After we finished, I was thinking of all the good things about being Airbnb hosts. There were 5 things that came to mind – well 4 because the 5th was Mike’s. We’ll start with his:

  1. It stops us from being lazy! There are a whole lot of other things that keep us busy, but maintaining the holiday lets assists in preventing a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest!
  2. It gives us something to get out of bed for. Different interests are important to have – they give variety and something to wake up for. The guests will come and if the work is not done, we will have a situation.
  3. It’s something we can do together. Mike is super motivated to help when there’s no Ruth or Courage to do the work. We make an excellent cleaning team. Mike more so than me of course. He’s perfection 101. He can’t do a half job, so the kitchen gets whipped into shape when he’s in charge. Also, the patio gleams, the braai grid sparkles and the bird mess is gone for good! I do my share in scrubbing the bathroom up and down and cleaning all the nooks and crannies.
  4. It is completely satisfying. To finish cleaning and walk through this amazing asset gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. I know that we’ve cleaned it up to our standard – it’s a good feeling. Then to have someone arrive and really appreciate the lovely view, the wooden floors, the whole character and ambience of the shining cottage is the icing on the cake.
  5. The cherry on the icing on the cake is that it earns us money. A chunk of Mike’s pension went into the building of our house, so the rentals are a way of getting a return for the asset.

David had lunch with us. Last Sunday in Cape Town before he goes itinerant.

We had a walk this afternoon and encountered Warren and Cynthia who are looking to buy a plot a little higher on the mountainside behind us. They wanted some information, so we had a bit of a chat and they went off a little more knowledgeable.

A good Sunday.

Genesis 2:7

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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A Social Day

Saturday

Today was the day…

I got to swim! We went quite early and I swam in the shallows to the lighthouse and back. There was a bit of swell but it was really pleasant. Tomorrow looks like it will be similar, albeit slightly cooler.

Above is my photo. Fish Hoek beach has a better camera. Look!

The Russians left today. They were a fun, talented group who left the place in order and got some super aerial shots of the area. This is one. On Instagram he’s Klimod. He also posted a video of his wife showing their followers the ground floor.

At lunchtime, I had a nice video call with Stacey and then in the afternoon, I had a video call with my oldest friend Debbie. She’s in Poole and we chatted for nearly an hour. It was great to catch up.

In the evening, the Berettas came for a light dinner. So it’s been a social day.

I was just winding up for the night when I checked my cell phone and we’ve got a booking for the cottage. After the Russians left today, I stripped the beds and washed all the linen but I’ve not done anything else. The booking is for tomorrow! I’ll need to dedicate 2-3 hours tomorrow morning to pull it into shape!

I also took this photo today. ๐Ÿ™‚

He leaves on Thursday.ย  I’m beginning to adjust.

Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Preparing Myself

Friday

Today was the day…

That was a day to throw open all the doors, which we did! We washed all the towels and linen and it all dried quickly. There was hardly any windย  and it was still enough to eat al-fresco.

I did a solid day’s work. There was no swim, despite the magnificent day. Today we had to forgo our dip because David needed to take one of the cars to be fixed. It had to be there by 8ish, so Mike took him.

I am preparing myself psychologically as well as emotionally. David is leaving soon. He’s off on an extensive road trip. We don’t know when he will return and if he does, it may not be to us. I’m sure I felt the same way when Stacey and Adrian left for Swellendam. It’s not like David lives with us. He lives below us and we don’t really see him all that often – maybe once or twice a week in passing – but he’s there and now he won’t be. I don’t really want to talk about it because it’s stupid! I just don’t like change. And I think I always liked the idea of having the children nearby.

One thing that is going to happen, is David’s unit (name still to be decided) is going up on Airbnb. That will occupy my time, that’s for sure. Having said that, after a flurry of bookings, it’s quiet for the next week. The Little Lookout is empty, but ready. The cottage is vacated tomorrow and the next guests only arrive a week tomorrow. It is nice to catch our breath and for Courage to get on with work without worrying about imposing on guests, but the holiday lets are not there to be empty. The answer, of course, is to drop the price and then watch the magic happen. I was about to do that a couple of weeks ago when suddenly we got three bookings, so I held off. Now maybe it’s time. I’ll think about it over the weekend.

Yeah! Weekend!

Isaiah 43:7

Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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My You Tube Feed

Thursday

Today was the day…

I lacked my normal energy, so didn’t do too much work this morning. After a 3rd coffee and a myprodol, I felt much better this afternoon and got some proper work done. I also took the mouse cage back to its owner so that is sorted.

It’s been a windy day there was no swimming today. Tomorrow there may be but we have a chore to do early, so may only manage it later.

Meanwhile, Mike installed the start of the patio balustrade…

While Courage is has made a start on the lower wall.

It’s good to have Courage back.

I sat on my rocking chair and did some reading.ย  I’m reading this at the moment. Quite an adventurer…

And then I went to my Youย  Tube feed. It’s throwing out a lot of true crime stories at the moment. I got stuck on two…this ABC news production was absolutely gripping.

This is part 1. As you get the the end, hit the next part, but for some strange reason the 6th part is missing, so I had to Google it. Quite a story.

This second one was crazy because the crime happened in 2000, yet was only properly investigated and came to a conclusion in 2018.

I got sucked into the initial story and then watched most of the live testimonies in court. It was like watching a TV court drama unfold, but it was real life.

That’s been my entertainment for the day.

It’s going to be an early night.

Genesis 1:27

God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

The best is yet to come – keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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Things That Warm My Heart

Wednesday

Today was the day…

That was very busy. I had a number of video meetings which wiped out hours of the day. The wind was howling so there was no visit to the beach. As a result, I started work early, and apart from an hour off to get a hair cut, worked through to 5pm.

Amidst the busy-ness of the day, there were a couple of things that warmed my heart. This is one…how adorable is Elsie putting her washing on the line on a lovely sunny day in Swellendam?

Mike spent some time in his workshop. Mike in his happy place warmed my heart…

The workshop is under the house and he’s busy getting it so organised.ย  One of the first times I met him he was in overalls. He’s also making the balustrade for one of the patios.

Good job.

So it looks like there will be no swimming tomorrow as another windy day is forecast. Friday looks great and Saturday may or may not work. It looks like there won’t be much wind on Saturday but it also looks a little drizzly.

Over the hump! The weekend beckons.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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The Mouse Got Caught

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I had a very enjoyable swim in quite chilly water. The trick is to keep moving. Underwater visibility was amazing, so much so that I could follow the sand lanes. The current creates lanes in the sand, drawn across the ocean floor and a rough guide to where to swim. We got down to the beach at 7am so the shark net had not yet been deployed. Swimming conditions were perfect because the north wind was blowing – there were no waves, just gentle ripples and the tide was high enough to be able to do some decent swimming in shallow water.ย  I swam to the lighthouse and back – twice. My watch registered 2.2km. But it took 50+ minutes. I’m not a fast swimmer, and neither do I need to be.

Fish Hoek beach this morning – about 8:30am

Fish Hoek beach Saturday morning… 9am.

So last night, a message came through from the cottage guests. It was a message and a video saying the mouse was caught and they captured his release on video. I hope you can view this…

Very cute!

For the rest of the day, I worked. Mike and I walked to the end of Echo and down to the shop, which clocked up extra exercise.

Julian arrived back in Johannesburg safely.

It’s the end of the day.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you;

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mouse in the House

Monday

Today was the day…

I got a message from the Russians who said there was a mouse in the house – they were looking for a mouse trap or a cat! I had neither. In all the time I’ve been cleaning the house and we’ve been renting it out, there has not been a mouse that I’ve seen. I have seen a lot of stripy field mice on the steps and around and about but no house mice. I’m not sure which brand of mouse they saw but it’s freaking one of the girls out. The other three guests are nonplussed. I put word out on the street whatsapp group, asking if anyone had a non-lethal mouse trap. I don’t like the idea of killing the little critters. I got an immediate response and did a quick visit up the road to pick it up.

We’ll see if they have success. At least I am seen to be trying to help without killing the mouse.

The other thing that happened today is that Julian left early this morning for Johannesburg. What was different is that he drove away in the i10! Taking two days, he has already arrived at his half way point and will tackle the balance tomorrow. Before 6am, he was on his way…bye bye i10.

There was no swimming today. Courage arrived back at work after almost a month off. It was good to have him back. We had a profitable day.

Psalm 139:13-14

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous – how well I know it.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Morning & Evening at Fish Hoek Beach

Sunday

Today was the day…

We went to the beach morning and evening. This morning, we got there early – 7am to avoid the rush and crush of yesterday’s crowds. The net wasn’t nearly ready to go out so I was restricted to the shallows. There were lots of people round. One of the things Google has done for me, is taken a few of the photos I took and made a panoramic picture. This was when we left at about 8am.

Then this evening, we went for a walk to the end of Fish Hoek beach. The shark spotters were bringing in the net…

It’s been a beautiful day and is a lovely evening. The fish hook…

This evening as we left, I took a few photos and Google again pasted them together…

In between, we had lunch at Barracudas which included Valerie Gail. I haven’t seen her in a while and it was good to catch up.

And just before 4pm, my new guests arrived in the cottage. January is filling up. 19 of the 31 days are booked. I hope to get at least one more booking for the cottage. The Little Lookout is free from Tuesday.ย  It’s been a good day and a happy weekend.

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Celebration of Summer

Saturday

Today was the day…

That surprised us! Temperatures rose to the 30s and in Piketberg I heard it was 46C! Stacey said it was 38C in Swellendam. Here at the beach, the crowds came out in droves. It was a real celebration of summer. We haven’t seen the beach this crowded this season.ย  Mike and I walked down at 8am and it was already packed.

Well known photographer Aly Ison posted this one to Facebook…

It’s the last hurrah as many people go back to work on Monday. Tomorrow looks like it will be a little cooler. The shark spotters came with the net but as the inflatable was dragging it out, I think they thought they had dropped it, so they spun around and got it caught in the outboard motor.ย  There are always a team of three on the boat. Two jumped in the water and the third paddled the boat back to the shore. The other two pushed from behind. The net was dragged out of the sea and loaded up in the trailer and the boat was taken away. A short while later, the boat re-appeared and the process began again. By then we had finished a super swim and were on our way home.ย  Nice to see the beach packed.

The rest of the morning was spent finishing the cottage clean. There is, for me, a great deal of satisfaction in getting it ship-shape.ย  This afternoon, I had a nice chat with Stacey; and also didย  some shopping.

It’s after 6pm and the beach is still buzzing. The photo of the day must go to Gavin Finlayson who snapped this amazing shot…certainly an award winning one…

I think the day will end with dinner on the balcony.

Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

We hope for fulfilled dreams in 2022.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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What I Do When I Have a Bad Day

Friday

Today was the day…

I woke up to unpleasant work news. In the big scheme of things it’s not life-changing or life-threatening but it’s a nuisance because nobody wins. I’m not going to bother explaining, but it left me with a lingering feeling of having a bad day.

The problem is what I do when I have a bad day:

I eat!

So that’s what I’ve done today. I’ve scoffed my way through the day and now am full. I’ll still eat dinner mind you, but I think I’ll stop after that. What has made me feel I’ve already overdone it, may have something to do with three delicious teaspoons of Stacey’s marvellous jar of fudge and 2 rusks dunked in coffee.ย  No more til dinner. At least I’m putting my work blues behind me and am cheered up.

Mike and I finished cleaning the Little Lookout. The guests will arrive soon. The cottage guests left really early. Mike and I went down to clear the laundry and put black bags in the bin for the rubbish to be collected today. The wind was blowing so there was no beach going. The cottage was left in order and the guests had taken out their rubbish which was super helpful. We did all the laundry – 3 washing machine loads and will go in tomorrow to clean and get it ready for Sunday’s Russians.

This afternoon, I got a call from Werner who wanted to drop off the Plumber’s Report. We had a good chat and he checked out the Little Lookout, admiring all we had done. We reminisced about building this house during 2020.

It is still remarkable to us that this house got built. I went through the building process many times repeating unless the Lord builds the house, they who build it labour in vain. The Lord surely got it built. And as I sit here, typing, let me not forget that Granny’s Bible is just about half a metre away, firmly cemented in the foundations of this house. The Word of God is our foundation and central to our lives. That’s what Granny’s Bible being in the foundations reminds me each time I think of it. Here’s another verse, I memorised as a teenager:

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Origin of Fish Hoek

Thursday

Today was the day…

The Little Lookout guests checked out and we got stuck in to clean it – it’s now ready for more guests tomorrow. Early tomorrow the cottage guests leave for the long journey by road back to Johannesburg. The wind is howling and it’s forecast to continue so we won’t be swimming tomorrow. We’ll be cleaning the cottage instead. Next guests for the cottage are due on Sunday.

We had a lovely beach jaunt this morning. The net was out, so I got to swim to the barrel at high tide (so the barrel is further). There was a bit of swell which makes swimming a little more challenging but it wasn’t rough enough for it to be difficult. The Fish Hoek beach Facebook page published some great photos…

We got home, had breakfast and I settled into doing some work. One of the distractions was this boat which was cruising round the bay. It is a Cape Research and Development boat. Fish Hoek Beach FB got a picture of it which is better than mine.

It had a little inflatable with it and there were two occupants who took the inflatable closer to the coast to check something out.

This evening a FB user posted this map on Facebook. You can see the website here.

I was so interested in the names, because the map is dated 1752 – 100 years after Jan van Riebeeck arrived. The names go back that far. At Glencairn the river is Else’s River which on the map originated as Pt de la Baye d’Elsey. I’m not sure who it was named after, but Elsie’s Peak also would had its origin from the same root. The one that held my attention was the name for Fish Hoek. Pte de l’ Hamecon. The other names are recognisable, like Buffel Baay,ย  Simons-Baye, Kelkberg and Maysenberg so what’s with Fish Hoek being Hamecon?ย  I looked it up.

From this photo, you can see the shape of a fish hook. Over time it took on Fish Hoek as in fish corner. There’s a bit of history I never knew.

A good day and now time to wrap it up.

1 Peter 1:13

Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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