I Need to Sit on My Rocking Chair

Tuesday

Today was the day…

It rained! It only really set in late afternoon. We were able to get our exercise in and got home before the weather cooled and the wind blew in increasingly strong gusts. The sea water was cold and my swimming sessions have dropped from 45 minutes to 30 which is still a good workout.  It was good to get home, shower, get warm and have breakfast. I then settled down to work.

I have found that my rocking chair has become a little place of refuge. If I want an eye break when I’m working or just a little rest, I need to sit in my rocking chair. It’s so relaxing and is going to bring me many years of pleasure. I feel blessed that an old well worn musty piece of second hand furniture has found its way into my house! It’s so comfie. I’m sitting in it now. It’s easy to type because my laptop is on a specially designed laptop table. David gave it to me for my birthday or was it Christmas…

I’m going to need the refuge of my rocking chair in the month ahead. With dozens of teachers trying to get from SA to various parts of the world, navigating red tape, documentation, delays of visas, travel restrictions and numbers of Covid tests, August will be a month of stress for them with an overflow of manic calls coming my way. Rock rock rock! Lol. Remain calm and take one day at a time. Rock rock rock! I’m bracing myself.

The other main thing that happened today was that Mike and Courage installed a cleaning pipe into the water tank. Preparations under way…

All done…

The tank fills from the bottom and that’s where the dirty water accumulates. As the level of water in the tank rises and reaches the top, it has nowhere to go because the cleaning pipe has been fitted to block the overflow hole. As a result the (dirty) water at the bottom flows up the inside cleaning pipe through the outlet into the hosepipe and down the hill. Very clever! They finished the job just before the rain came.

Julian arrived today!

Hebrews 4:16

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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Good Morning Monday

Monday

Today was the day…

We went to the beach as the sun pushed its way through the clouds…I stood at the top of the stairs, took this photo and said, “Good Morning Monday!”

After it took me longer than usual to recover from yesterday’s 45 minute swim, today I decided to to grace the water for only 30 minutes. The air temperature was super warm with a berg wind breathing tepid air across the city ahead of the next cold front. It was about 19C out the water and a chilly 13 or so in.  It was easy walking home. For the first time in ages, we didn’t walk home with frozen feet!

I got on with work and took a couple of hours off in the middle of the day. That made up for the two hours I worked yesterday.

This afternoon, Mike and I walked down to the village to buy ingredients for dinner.  Deluxe Burgers Ala Mike. They were great!

He’s a keeper!

Now I’m sitting in my rocking chair watching the day fade. Good evening Monday…such subtle gentle colours blending sea with sky and hint of pink.

Our house is painted in a colour known as Fancourt Slate – both inside and out on all the walls – Fancourt Slate. If you want to know what colour that is, just look at the sea in the picture above. It’s the greyish colour of the sea.

I’m so proud of Stacey. She’s started her own YouTube channel and it’s doing well. It’s HDL for beginners. She’s such a great teacher even I begin to understand what she’s talking about. She got 50 subscribers overnight after doing a video on “how much combinatorial logic is too much?” 356 views on that already. There’s a niche market out there for hardware design engineers. 😀

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all 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 🙂

 

 

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Green Was a Clue

Sunday

Today was the day…

Mike and I went to Barracudas for lunch again. They have a 3-course Sunday special. We thought it would be the same as last week, soup, roast and malva pudding, so imagine our surprise when this appeared as the starter…

They were vegetable samosas. I didn’t know what the sauce was. I gingerly dipped mine in. The samosas were just out the oil so were hot inside. Mike was lavish with the sauce. He just about used the whole lot up. We didn’t have much breakfast. We were both hungry. He wolfed his down with lashings of green sauce.

Green was the clue.

A very short time after the last mouthful was swallowed, Mike began to glow! The full force of the green chili hit his insides. He drank more of his drink. He got up and took his jacket off. He went to the bathroom. His heart rate increased. He felt he was burning all over!

The Chili Effect. He didn’t really feel any endorphins but he did feel alert and alive! Towards the end the entire meal he started to recover. The meal was huge, so we decided to take a doggy bag and take the dessert home to enjoy with coffee later in the day. It was good. No more food required today, that’s for sure.

We went to the beach in the morning. I ended up swimming for 45 minutes. The water was 13C.  I took a bit of time to recover, which I did wrapped in a blanket on my rocking chair while talking to Stacey and Elsie!

I did some beading and some reading. The birds are back in full force. Today we had a lovely young male long-tail Cape sugar bird…

A bulbul and small white-eye also tried to get in on the action!

It’s great to have them back.

Google reminded me of what Mike was doing on 25th July last year…I remember this day – it was a Saturday and there were no workers on site so we were able to get on with it undisturbed.

One year later….Mike today enjoying the fruits of his labour.

Time to wrap up for the weekend and start working for the week ahead.

2 Chronicles 30:18-19

May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Kalk Bay Boats

Saturday

Today was the day…

We went to the beach as well as Kalk Bay. The sea today was far more hospitable than yesterday. I swam for 40 minutes and then, not being able to feel my feet, decided it was time to get out.  We came home and had a peaceful morning which included laundry and some beading.

In the afternoon, we decided to drive to Fish Hoek, park the car and walk to Kalk Bay. We bought ourselves cappuccino from Olympia Cafe and went to the Harbour.  The seals were out in full force – some swimming enthusiastically in the harbour, while others lazed about on the dock.

I took a video of them which is on my Instagram page (Helgavan1). Quite fun to watch them just chilling! We often see them swimming off Fish Hoek and it was interesting to see them close up. Despite their size, they were very agile in getting up and down from the water to the harbour. I was amazed at how easy they found it.

A beautiful day in Kalk Bay…

Looking towards Muizenberg…

Looking towards Simon’s Town…

Almost daily, we see the Kalk Bay fishing boats out in the bay.  Today I took a photo of 6 of them – maybe I’ll recognise them from our house when they are out at sea.

There are loads more.

It was a lovely walk. We did some shopping on the way home – buying dinner and it’s now about to finish cooking.

Super Saturday!

1 Chronicles 28:9

The Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him you will find Him.

Amen!

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Chairs for Two

Friday

Today was the day…

We each got chairs! Last night I decided to buy the rocking chair and unbeknown to me, Mike decided to buy the lazy-boy he had also seen and tried out at the second hand shop. Today he disappeared off to arrange the sale and in due course the deliveries were made. The chairs lugged up the 83 steps.

Mike fully reclines. Mine reclines but is also a rocking chair. I love it!

Today we ventured back to the  beach. With the sea churning up the sand and the swell bigger than I’m used to, I marched off to brave the rolling waves and choppy waters. Once I got past the main line of breakers, it was a matter of keeping my head above the water and just enjoying going up and down. Mike soon arrived and got swept out a little further than he felt safe. When he realised he couldn’t touch the bottom, he made for the beach. Meanwhile, I had swum out to the barrel which was being bashed about by waves from different directions. When I got there and started back, I got caught in whirlpool-like water. For a few seconds I pondered about panicking but then concluded I was very close to the beach and I just needed to be more concerted in my efforts to swim back, instead of letting the water carry me hither and thither. I soon found myself making progress and after a full 30 minutes in the sea, I felt it spew me out and I made my way back to the bench. Mike informed me the water temperature was 12.5C which is the coldest I’ve swum in. The roughness of the water distracted from the cold. No photo can do justice to how rough it was to be in it. But I did take a couple just to remember it by.

This evening we had Freedom Foods legendary ribs and they lived up to their name. Afterwards, we walked to the village and back. There’s a bright full moon casting a shimmering light on the sea and it’s now time for the weekend! I couldn’t be happier.

John 8:12

I am the light of the world. If you follow Me you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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My Island

Thursday

Today was the day…

There were black clouds and they loomed menacingly in the distance. We snuggled down a little deeper and didn’t go for our early morning exercise. Actually, I had woken early and did some  work from the comfort of my bed. At 5:30am, I thought we would be beaching but when daylight came and we saw the weather we decided against it.  We did walk down to the village later this afternoon and took a stroll through the second hand shops. One of them had a 6m ladder that Mike has been looking for so he plans to go and buy that tomorrow. I also saw a comfortable rocking chair and am tempted to buy that as well. I think rocking chairs should be standard kit for Grannies. When Elsie comes next, we will rock. If it’s still there tomorrow, I may buy it.  I have a spot for it in the corner of my bedroom. When summer comes, it can move outside onto the balcony. Yes! I think I will buy it.

Every now and again I will be walking through our apartment and I’ll get a glimpse of something from a different angle. It will suddenly stand out and I’ll think, “Wow! That looks good!” Then I’ll call Mike and he’ll come stand next to me and see the same thing. That happened today with My Island. Wow! Look at this! We have one of these. I have an island.

As Mike and I stood there admiring it, I reminded him that he and Courage built it. Yip. The two of them constructed this from the ground up. Mike designed it, ordered the wood and put it all together. It had to be strong enough to hold the granite. It worked perfectly. Amazing. I have an island. I never imagined I’d ever have one like this.

The other thing that happened today was a rather disconcerting message that came through the neighbourhood whatsapp group.

I took a walk this evening to the end of Echo Rd to see where he would have tried to fire his flare…the road is right below Elsie’s Peak.

With all the rain we have had, everything is so wet, but it’s scary to think there are people around who are trying such things.

On the way back from the walk, I caught sight of a whale in the sea. It was splashing around very close to the shore – literally just metres away from the seaweed. As I watched, it swam a little further out. I hear there is a Southern right whale with its calf about. Perhaps that was what I saw.

Seven hours work today. It was a good day. And, it’s almost the weekend.

Hebrews 10:22

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you!

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

 

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Getting Perspective

Wednesday

Today was the day…

That came with a lot of rain. We watched the waves and the wind cause a kind of whirlpool with the wind blowing one direction and the waves coming from another. We didn’t go swimming, but after work today, we did take a walk. Coming home along the cat walk… the  rocks stood out against gloomy skies

Today I worked out what year Granny would have been my age. She was born in 1924, so in 1980 she would have turned 56! How crazy is that? It really gave me perspective. I only met her in 1985. When she was the age I am now, she had so many more years of life – another 33 to be exact. Wow! Imagine if I have another 33 years to go before I cross the great divide. It was quite thought provoking. Three decades is a sizeable amount of time. Someone told me they were going to live to 100 or die trying!

Last night, I watched this video….it’s worth 27 minutes. This guy is also my age.

Swimming in the deep blue sea certainly comes with risk. I don’t ever want to be so far out that this could happen to me. Closer to the shore is certainly safer.

With winter upon us, we are wrapped up warmly and Mike is busy looking up a Netflix period drama. He is wanting me to join him, so let me go.

Psalm 69:32

The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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Front Row Seat To The Weather

Tuesday

Today was the day…

It rained, so we did not swim. One of the things I didn’t expect when we moved here was how much we would be able to watch the weather move in. This morning when we woke up it looked very ominous…

Rain came in showers throughout the day. This afternoon, I spotted a rainbow…

Then it grew…

Half an hour later….this…

Front row seats to the weather. It’s always quite a spectacle. Now I just need to see some whales. I keep missing them.

Today was also the day we went for our 6 week post vaccination blood test for the Covid trial we are part of. It was quick today. Next appointment is in November.

Work has been quite busy but with our appointment today, I cleared the entire morning, so today I have only worked about 4 hours. I’ll do some  more a little later I think.

Julian, Jess and Gerrie left to go home today. Suddenly it goes from busy to very quiet. It’s always an adjustment. I posted links to our  Airbnb page on a couple of Facebook groups this afternoon. I need to get some more guests.

Mike and I will take a walk before the next shower!

1 Chronicles 16:11

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

 

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Family Art Challenge

Monday

Today was the day…

We had a family art challenge in the evening, so let’s begin there! Julian raised the issue of how he hadn’t drawn anything in decades and he didn’t know if he would be able to.  What followed a discussion and then decision that we would dish out paper and draw a picture. First it was to be something in the room, but then with no rules, everyone just got on with it. Gerrie, Jess and Mike…

Julian and David…such concentration.

After about 20 minutes everyone had finished their masterpieces. You can see where the talent lies. Mike and Jess excelled themselves. Mike’s Rialto Bridge in Venice

And Jessica’s amazing eye!

For the rest of us, well there is some hidden talent there…a bit rusty but lots of potential!

It was a bucket of fun!

Rain is forecast for this week and we heard it was going to be raining by mid-morning today, so we left for the beach a little earlier than usual, just in time for sunrise…

The sea was flat and calm and swimming conditions were great. I first swam to the barrel but the achievement of the day was that I swam from the cat walk to the lighthouse and back without stopping.

I then met up with Mike who had finished his run, before swimming to the barrel and back again and then my swim was done. We got home ahead of the rain.

I then worked for 8 hours! It’s been a busy but productive day.

John 15:5

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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Long-Tail Birds are Back

Sunday

Today was the day…

The long-tail birds came back to the feeder. They have been gone a while. My thoughts were they were preferring the sweet nectar of blooming proteas which have been verdant in the neighbourhood. Maybe those are past their prime and my sweet sugar water is holding more attraction. There haven’t been lots of them. Usually the most enthusiastic visitors are little white eyes and the bigger Cape bulbuls. Quite often they come together with the bulbuls taking long thirsty sips, while the little white eyes perch above waiting for their turn!  This was the one that I was pleased to see – a young male long-tail coming to taste if it’s sweet enough.

We went to the beach twice today. The first for our morning swim and later we walked to Barracudas for their 3 course lunch special. Thanks Jess and Gerrie for the treat! The day was sunny and warm and families took advantage of it. We are enjoying this weather – it will not last.

As usual, I had a video call with the Swellendam family. It’s always great to catch up with them.

After lunch, we walked home and enjoyed coffee and a visit. I did some reading and some beading.  I also have had to do some work, so I’m about to get this posted and then get to it. But first, tea.

Psalm 73:28

As for me, it is good to be  near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Winter Doesn’t Get Better Than This ⛵

Saturday

Today was the day….

…that was another super winter’s day. There were clouds, but they were accompanied by a vast expanse of blue sky. My morning beach photo bears testimony to enviable weather…

When we arrived on the cat walk we noticed a strange oblong shape suspended in the sky. The people in the sea were staring up at it wondering what it was. As we got closer to the beach, we could see it was a helium shaped birthday balloon in the shape of number 1. It possibly had accidentally been let go and it was heading for the heavens. While Mike was chatting to some of the locals, I headed into the water. Mike then went for his run and ran for a little longer than usual so it was only at the 20 minute mark that he joined me in the sea. I ended up swimming for another 30 minutes after that. It was high tide so the barrel was a good swim out and back. I also watched the Stand up Paddlers for a short while. Sheez, those girls have strong core muscles. That’s hard work.

Later in the day…

Tomorrow is expected to be equally as beautiful.

This evening we went out for dinner, something we haven’t done for a while since restaurants were closed. They are now open under new conditions.

Today also is my spiritual birthday. Never to be forgotten. I wrote more extensively about it last year. Today 42 years ago my life changed for good. Forever grateful.

Isaiah 55:6

Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

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Kamikaze Navy Boat

Friday

Today was the day…

…that was like a mild summer’s day. It was cloudless and sunny. This was sunrise from Echo Steps…

The tide was high and the water cool. I swam for 40  minutes. There were loads of locals around, enjoying the sunshine and taking a dip. During high tide the water covers the seaweed and the drum looks like it’s miles away. It made it all the more fun swimming to it.  We were on our way home along the cat walk when to our surprise a kamikaze navy patrol boat came hurtling at what seemed like high speed towards the beach. What really shocked me was how close it came. It passed the drum and only when it was just before the breaking waves did it turn. That’s where I usually swim! There was another patrol boat behind it but it didn’t do the same thing.  Maybe youngsters having some fun.

For the rest of the day, I worked. I shopped. I cooked.

Today it is 9 months since we  moved into the new house. It’s been an amazing time. So many new experiences.

Psalm 63:1

You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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When The Winter Days Are Glorious

Thursday

Today was the day…

….a winter day that was glorious and when the winter days are glorious, the van Niekerks must SWIM!

The air temperature walking down was about 12C, so again the water temperature felt slightly warmer. When Mike arrived in from his run, he took his water thermometer into the sea and it registered 13.5C. This is the chilliest I’ve swum this season. Yet swimming conditions were perfect. I swam out to the barrel twice and about 2/3 of the way to the lighthouse – my watch registered 2km but I don’t know how accurate that is. I swam for 40 minutes. So refreshing.

As I’m sitting here, a fishing boat is barreling towards the shore line, creating a significant V

And since uploading this photo…it’s closer…although is now turning around. I think the fishermen are looking for a place to put down their traps… their lights are on now.

Always something to see.

As I write, I’m also waiting for the arrival of new guests! Family ones!

The plumber came to finish his work. Mike waited in the cottage lounge…

Today I baked cookies…

Snickerdoodle cookies – cinnamon biscuits! They taste better than they look. Lol.

We are ready! And they are here!

Matthew 6:33

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

 

 

 

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Snow on the Mountains

Wednesday

Today was the day…

The clouds lifted and in the distance, across the bay, on the mountains, there was snow.

Johan from our whatsapp group also posted this one…

By this afternoon it was beginning to melt. Tomorrow a sunny day is forecast.

While we enjoyed the beauty of the snow capped  mountains and a calm sea from the comfort and safety of our mountainside apartment,  chaos and violence reigned in parts of Johannesburg and Durban. The stories coming from those cities and visuals on social media and television left us all feeling quite depressed and saddened. There was an estimate that 40000 businesses have been destroyed or looted. It’s so devastating. With the situation severe in Durban, shops and petrol stations have been closed and now no deliveries are being made. People can’t go out to buy the basics. Hopefully things will improve in the coming days. The army has been called out in an attempt to gain control, but so much damage has been done, it’s going to take years to recover. Meanwhile, residents across Durban are coming out in droves to help clean up. Someone called Inga posted wise words on FB.

We pray for our land.

With the day being so calm and windless with no rain forecast and a hint of sunshine, Mike and I began the day by going to the beach. The air temperature was about 12C. So walking into the sea, it felt warmer at 14C! Swimming conditions were super so I swam to the barrel.  In this photo, the barrel looks quite far from the beach, but it’s not that bad. It took me 5 minutes to swim to it today.

By the time I got out the water, the sun had come out and it was a welcome sight.

I spent most of the rest of the day working, although I did get out for an hour to go and wish my friend Happy Birthday!

1 Chronicles 22:19

Devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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Hot Water Cylinder Got Changed

Tuesday

Today was the day…

The guesthouse hot water cylinder got changed. The plumber stayed the entire day until he finally got the job done. The old cylinder went home with him. It doesn’t look it but it was a real wreck.

Meanwhile, with that job being done upstairs, downstairs Courage had a project of his own. He sanded down the floor in the bedroom…

And gave it a coat of varnish.

What a difference! It will be perfect for the next (family) guests coming on Thursday.

The other day, I asked to join a Stellenbosch Community Facebook Group that has 15 thousand members. They asked if I lived in Stellenbosch and if not I had to explain why I would want to join their group. I explained that I was new to Airbnb and of the 4 guests we had, 2 were from Stellenbosch and I figured others would also want to visit Fish Hoek. They approved my request and so I posted the link to our AirBnb page to their group. Hopefully, that will generate some traffic and maybe even a booking.

This morning there were showers on and off. We decided not to repeat the performance of yesterday morning, but did walk down to do some shopping. When we came out of the shop it was pouring down! We bought two umbrellas from the Crazy Store and walked home with those as protection. Yesterday when we walked up Echo steps on our way home, it was raining so hard water was pouring down the steps – it literally was a waterfall and we had to slosh through it. Fortunately it wasn’t that bad this morning.

Today, I worked just over 6 hours.

Mike has just taken Courage home. Julian will arrive any moment. Dinner is in the hotbox. I love the hotbox. It is so efficient. We have three of them including this double one in the bottom draw of the island unit. They are just so great.

Zephaniah 2:3

Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow His commands.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx 🙂

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