Another White Night

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today began in mist and this evening will be another white night as cloud descends on the town in a very autumnal manner.

Today I had a haircut. It was arranged for last Tuesday at 9am and then I got sick, so I postponed a week. I arrived at 9am and rang Tammy’s bell. She gingerly said, “hello”. I said cheerfully, “Hello! It’s Helga” She said “Okay, I’m opening”. I went up and that was when she told me our appointment was 12.30pm! I checked our whatsapps and sure enough, there it was – 12.30pm. This is what I had written in my diary.

Clearly my brain was somewhere else! Tammy is both adaptable and flexible – very easy going, so she had me sit in her lounge for 15 minutes while she finished her client’s hair and I went in next. All done.

I worked about 6 hours and then put my auto-response on and I am off-duty officially until 14th May. I can work if I want to, but there is no expectation on me.🎉

Tomorrow, I am off and Thursday we leave. Our third stop in Northern Europe is Flam where we have booked to go on a very high cable car, so hopefully the weather will be accommodating. Let’s have a look at the latest.

We’ll hope for visibility. I know that if the weather is bad, the cable car thing may be cancelled. We’ll wait to see.

Julian has arrived and dinner will soon be had.

Psalm 91:15
He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

 

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Sunrise From Simon’s Town Rd

Monday

Dear Elsie

Today is my second last day at work before I take a 3 week break. I got up early and did an early morning walk . I’m still coughing so not swimming, which is a shame because the weather has been so calm. I enjoyed sunrise from Simon’s Town rd. Picture perfect…

A little further on there was the Game Changer superyacht anchored off Glencairn

We have been seeing quite a lot of dolphins in the bay and the other day an Orca swam by.

The railway pilon that came down in a recent storm has now been repaired and trains are running again. It’s good to hear their distant rumble as they pass by. One day I hope to catch one from Sunny Cove to Simon’s Town.

I’m still keeping an eye on the weather. After Alesund, we arrive in Nordfjordeid – on the 8th May. No rain, but cloud is forecast. On this day we are due to go on a train trip.

This coming Friday, Mike and I will arrive in Arona and that’s where a rainy spring weekend is expected. It seems to clear from Monday through to the end of our stay so if it stays like that, it won’t be too bad.

Today I worked for 8 hours. Tomorrow I hand over to my colleagues – it will be my last day of work. I haven’t take this much leave for 7 years. When we went on our last holiday in 2022, I worked.

Last chapter of Joshua – final words are always important ones – the last instructions he gave before leaving earth…
Joshua 24:14
Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

 

 

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Exercise With A Purpose

Sunday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day, I left home not long after 7am and drove the big car back to the garage. It was a chilly morning.

I was eager to experience 10 degrees walking home, as that’s the expected maximum in northern Europe in our upcoming holiday. I took the guinea fowl way home.

Within 2km I needed to take my jacket off. I took a little detour and went up Ravine steps to the base of Elsie’s Peak (your peak Elsie!) and up to the short path that joins Mountain Rd with Contour Way. From there, I could see the construction that has started at the base of the mountain.

The mist had started to lift and we had the promise of some sunshine.

So it turned out to be exercise with a purpose. I got the big car off the kerb and got to walk in coldish weather. I think if we go on a hike in Alesund on 7th May, we will need to get out early, but I think if the temperature is between 7 & 9, that will be not be too bad.   I don’t think it will take too long. One thing I  know for sure, we are stair fit. It’s not uncommon for me to do our stairs about 4 times a day – that’s 340 steps, so 418 should be no problem. If we have some energy afterwards, we can also walk around the town. That will take about an hour. We’ll see how my blog of 7th May stacks up with these ideas.

Meantime, this afternoon I did a little shopping and on my way home, I spotted this enormous yacht in False Bay. I was so curious as to what it was, where it came from and what it was doing there. My curiosity was fulfilled when I opened Facebook and this photo of it in False Bay was posted by Charles Booysen.

He added a link to its name, the superyacht “Gamechanger” so I googled who owned it and it came up with billionaire heiress, Karen Lo.  I don’t know if she’s in town, but her yacht is. I was hoping it would cruise a little closer to Fish Hoek so we could see it from our house, but it seemed to stay on the Glencairn side.

One of my favourite verses from Joshua, (apart from 1:9) is this one. If you ever feel wrongly judged, remember….

Joshua 22:22
The Mighty One, God, the Lord! The Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows!

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Swellendam & Back

Saturday

Dear Elsie

Today we visited you in Swellendam! We left early in the morning when it was still dark. After the sun rose, we drove through a lot of mist.

Because it was so misty, we ended up going really slowly but as a result, the petrol consumption was very good!

We had a wonderful few hours with you. I took 30 photos of you!

And you had such a lot of fun on your hammock as well. We were there for a number of reasons, to drop some things off and to have your Mom do some sewing for Granpa. We had such a happy time but all too soon it was time to leave for home again.

We had an uneventful trip back to Cape Town. We drove via Baden Powell Drive which was quiet and free flowing. Some time ago, protestors dug a trench across the road to disrupt traffic. We found that part!

On arriving home, the missing coffee machine part arrived via Uber parcel and Mike lost no time getting it working.  It’s one touch, bean to cup!  First cappuccino…

This evening we popped into the Beretta’s. I’ve borrowed Peter’s First Ascent jacket for our trip. It is as warm as toast and I am as happy as pie.

Psalm 89:1
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Out With The Old Coffee Machines

Friday

Dear Elsie

I was happy to get voice notes from you today! I am looking forward to seeing you. One thing I haven’t yet written about relates to our coffee machine we bought exactly 5 years ago. It suddenly started tripping the switch and just like that, we had a problem.

We got our first Breville coffee machine in March 2015 and that only lasted 4 years before the grinder went. Mike did a repair but it wasn’t long before the grinder went again. We bought our current one in April 2019, so 5 years later, the grinder works but the coffee making side doesn’t. To overcome the issue, for the last week, we have ground the coffee with our current one and then made the coffee in the old one. We have one in the kitchen and one in the scullery and my first few hundred steps of the day are spent going between the two! Breville 2019 – coffee gets ground here…

Breville 2015 – coffee gets made here.

So today, Mike packed them and took them to the Kenwood Guys in Milnerton for servicing. While there, they showed him a bean to cup Delonghi that they were asking half the price for. It was in exceptional condition. Mike phoned me to ask my opinion. Always one to want to save money, I said yes….so this zooty new Delonghi Prima Donna coffee machine was bought.

The other two are being repaired by the Kenwood Guys and then they will go into the rental units.

Coffee issues fixed – or so we thought – until we got home and tried to make a cup. There was a fault light. On phoning the Kenwood Guys, they sheepishly admitted that the missing part (they told us about and that they would send to us) was actually required to make the thing work. 🤯 It hasn’t come today but they assure us it will come tomorrow with Uber package. We’ll see.  There’s always something.

At least it’s not Covid. As I was still coughing today, Mike insisted I do a Covid test.

Grateful for that.

I am up to date with my work and have had a successful week. Last day is Tuesday.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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1 Out Of 8 Women Will Get Breast Cancer

Thursday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day Riana & I went for our annual Mammograms. It is a shocking statistic that 1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer during the course of their life. My mother had breast cancer.  Within my friend’s group, 3 have had breast cancer, including Riana. My 36 year old colleague is recovering from it. The 41 year old best friend of the radiographer who did my ultrasound today is dying from it.  It seems to be so prevalent in our community, yet so easily detected, that it would be remiss of me not to have an annual mammogram. And so I was back here.

And the gratitude I have for this day increased as all was well with both Riana and I.

Happy days! The radiographer who did our ultrasounds laughed and said we were breast friends and bosom buddies! It has become an annual outing for Ri and I to go for our mammogram. The cost? R2,071.77 for both a mammo and an ultrasound. I haven’t had an ultrasound for probably a decade, but they said they wanted to do one to double check & it didn’t add to the cost of the mammo.

Riana came up for coffee afterwards. We had a chat and then she left.  The day was spectacular so I moved into the lounge to enjoy a special work view.

It had been a misty sunrise.

Very privileged to live here. It doesn’t get old.

The afternoon was taken up with work and I may do a little more now…. or maybe not! Tomorrow is another day. I’m glad to be feeling better.

This year, so far, I don’t think I’ve written the Proverb of the day.

This is Proverbs 13:11
Dishonest money dwindles away but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

 

 

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Sleep Deprived

Wednesday

Dear Elsie

Today I woke up still feeling a bit under the weather. I’m not completely better, but my throat is no longer sore. I now have a streaming nose. I am also sleep deprived. I haven’t slept well the last few nights. Last night it was a mosquito that woke me up and tormented me for an hour. The night before it was my sore throat. I am sure I will sleep better tonight.

The sun rose and with mist rolling into the bay, it looked amazing.

Way before sunrise, I spent a little time sitting on the balcony admiring & enjoying the stillness of the early morning. Later, after the mist rolled in, the temperature was a number of degrees colder than my morning visit to the balcony. The wind is from the north, although no rain is forecast. It’s just very autumnal weather.

I do enjoy it when the weather is decisive… and that seems to be what we can expect on our upcoming holiday. It will range from cold to very cold. I have found Accuweather to be pretty reliable. This is Flam, one of our stops.

A bit on the chilly side but we will be happy with partly sunny.  Of course, it could change, but we hope for the best.

After feeling very tired, I’m getting a second wind and going to take myself off up the road. I’ll look out for the puff adder that has arrived on the street and comes out from time to time. The snake man comes rushing over only to find it’s slithered away.

I left the house and as I walked down the road, I realised I had a follower.

He gapped it when a car came along.

Meanwhile, at the end of the road, the yachts were in full view.

On the way home, Dhiresh was arriving at his temporary accommodation, so I stopped to chat. His house was badly damaged by the fire. It only affected one floor but it’s going to take 6 months to fix. He hopes to be back in by Christmas.  He said that it happened so fast and he just had to rush to get his family out. Then he realised he’d left some keys inside and dashed back in to get them. He said the smoke was crippling. It was so debilitating, he could do nothing else except grab the keys and struggle back out.

Psalm 86:7
When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Shadow Fun

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today I felt a little better so spent no time in bed and most of the day at my desk. I got 7 hours of work done. I also took a drive to the traffic department to try get the new half-car into  my name. There was hardly a person in the place. I went straight to the front of queue and within a minute was summoned to the window. I found there needs to be an extra step done ( in Johannesburg), so it will need to wait another week.

This afternoon, I went out on the balcony and when the sun is at a certain angle, I can see my shadow on the cottage roof. I gave myself a wave.

When I showed it to Mike, he came to join me.

Shadow fun!

Also, while on the balcony, I took a photo of the Ruth First fisheries ship which was patroling the bay today. They have an inflatable that they put down and 3 men took it off to a fishing boat that was heading back to Kalk Bay Harbour. On returning to the ship, the dinghy got hoisted up with what looked like all three men still in it.

While we were enjoying the view, we saw a plane fly overhead. I looked it up on Flight Radar and we watched it descend after a very long flight from over the pond.

I’ve just walked to the end of the street. What a beautiful evening.

Calm days are forecast for the days ahead.

Luke 18:14
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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A Sick Day

Monday

Dear Elsie

I haven’t been sick for years, but yesterday I started brewing a sore throat and today it got worse. I felt feverish & unwell but my temperature wasn’t raised. I was able to spend some time working from bed and when my laptop battery level dropped I went to my desk. I had one meeting and then spent the rest of the day taking it very easy with very low impact work to be done. I still managed 8 hours. If you are going to be sick, have a nice view & some furry company.

Mike’s just given me the throat lozenges. Maybe they will help – maybe not.

They taste okay! Better to be under the weather this week than next. I hope to be better by tomorrow.

I had an little exchange with Riana today which highlighted the differences between Mike and I.

She replied it sounds right, because if it were her going on holiday, she too would be all ready 10 days ahead of time and her husband would have done nothing. Riana and Mike share many similarities which is why I get on so well with Ri. She makes me laugh. One day we were driving together and she told me how much she likes traffic circles. Mike has a thing about circles. He loves them. If we are going somewhere, he will say, ‘this intersection would work so much better with a circle.’ Riana had found a fellow circle fan. Mike loves being super organised, likes toast cold & milk in coffee hot – all Riana’s preferences as well.

I will be ready when the time comes.

Psalm 84:5
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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Learning From The Fire

Sunday

Dear Elsie

One week – it’s been one week since we had that frightening Sunday afternoon. Today I walked to Glencairn and took photos of the charred mountainside, trying to figure out why some houses burnt and others were spared. Sunrise as I left.

The thatched guesthouse – nothing could be done to prevent this one. It was the first to ignite and was set alight by flying embers as the fire started. The thatch caught fire and it burnt from above. This house is far away from where the fire started and none of the houses next to it suffered any damage.

The direction of the gale force wind had something to do with which houses got damaged and which didn’t. It seemed it was blowing at an angle and the powerful energy propelled the flames towards the properties.

In the main body of the burn, the flames obliterated everything in its path. The fire was pumped by the wind directly up to the houses, causing flames to leap into the air, cracking windows and then blowing mercilessly into the house in the middle at the top (house with the curved balconies). It ripped through two floors. I think that particular house incurred its wrath because the blaze had gathered momentum and was at its fieriest worst. The house to its left had the lower windows broken by the force. Other houses in its path suffered a worse fate, razing two of them to the ground. How this one missed its fury is beyond me.

The two houses above this wooden one both had broken windows and suffered immense damage.

The house in the middle of the photo below seemed to be well protected by a solid bank of gabion baskets.

This section of bushes is closer to the quarry side of Simon’s Town Rd. It needs to be cut back. This is what the burn area looked like before the fire started.

It was a thought-provoking walk to be sure. I soon arrived at Glencairn, walked down the track and back up the hill.

Just to extend the walk a little, I walked up Hillside and home via Daisy Lane.

It was just over 5km. A good walk.

I spent the rest of the day at home. Raiku is settling but I am beginning to think more and more about getting a friend for him – we’ll consider that on our return from holiday.

Precious one.

My lessons from Luke continue.

Luke 17:10
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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An Organising Day

Saturday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day that I did some organising, relaxing and some cleaning. The wind is blowing the dust from the burned patch & it gets under doors and through windows. I gave most of our apartment a good clean.

I also went and did a shop. I went prepared. I took a backpack and filled it with groceries so I could carry it up on my back and also have 4 more shopping bags.  With 85 steps to climb, I have got wiser.

Meanwhile, this afternoon, Julian and Mike drove into town to see the ships. The Queen Victoria had already sailed but the Queen Mary was still in port. 

Late this afternoon, Mike was looking for some of our travel stuff when he came across his art book. In 1998, we went to Kleinbaai with the family and Mike documented the trip by painting pictures. These are a few of them.

And so ends a quiet but useful day.

Luke 16:10, 15
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
15b God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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Swimming at Kommetjie

Friday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I did something I’ve never done before. I swam in the sea off Kommetjie. The wind was blowing strongly in Fish Hoek, but on the Kommetjie side, it was much calmer and the sea was flat.

Not a lot of people around, but there were a trickle of walkers.

I went with David…

I took a thermometer to see how cold it was. A crisp 10 point something. After his dip, David took a few photos.

Swimming… I was in for 15 minutes. That was sufficient.

A shower and change and we left feeling very refreshed. We stopped at Noordhoek Farm Village & then home for an afternoon of work.

This month I’m going to be doing a number of things I’ve never done before, but I didn’t think it would start today.

Psalm 81:10
I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

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Drone Fire Photos

Thursday

Dear Elsie

Today has been super windy and so no swimming was possible. Yesterday a bunch of drone photos were posted that captured the affects of the fire.  They were taken by Andrew Willets. I’ve put the whole lot here as a reminder of that awful Sunday 7th April. A day we certainly will not forget.

You can see the house far left where there was extensive damage to the middle floor.

 

We are now focusing on what brush needs to be cut back. The fire season is at an end but this kind of thing can happen at any time.

A final photo – this one of Kalk Bay Fish Hoek by Nigel Riley – this was yesterday when the wind hadn’t  yet picked up.

We live in a beautiful part of the world for sure.

Today was a 9 hour day. My job is the gift that keeps on giving.

Luke 14:11
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

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I Had The Sea To Myself

Wednesday

Dear Elsie

Today was the day I just about had the sea to myself. What a wonderful opportunity. The day was cool as it had rained overnight. We nearly didn’t go but, as the wind was not blowing, it was too good to pass up. We dressed warmly and headed for the beach. I don’t take my cell phone to the beach anymore, but this is pretty much what it looked like except there was still quite a lot of seaweed around this side of the beach.

Not as much seaweed as yesterday – not so mu(l)ch! The sea is self cleaning and spews the contents of any loose debris unceremoniously onto the beach. I picked my way through the kelp and into the water I went. By then, everyone was out and I spent 30 delightful  minutes swimming. The temperature was about 15C I think. The water was colder than the air temperature and it was about 16C. I was so amazed there was no one else. As I got out a few girls were having their 10 minute dip and a local, Andrew got in after that. It was so worth going and I was glad I did. With the wind picking up, I don’t think I’ll be going again until next week.

I also worked close to 8 hours.

Julian arrived today. Yay!

The Bible verse I post each day comes from my daily readings. As I read through the Bible, today I have got to Joshua. I cannot read Joshua 1:9 without remembering the very first time I encountered this famous verse. I was 16 and my Dad was teaching me to drive. My Dad used to memorise Scripture and to do so, he wrote out Bible verses & stuck them on the right side of the dashboard.  Joshua 1:9 was the appropriate verse when I was learning to drive. Unconfident new driver, nervous parent, I was driving up to a stop street and clearly approaching it a bit too fast for my Dad’s liking. He didn’t think I was going to stop, so he started urgently saying, “Stop! Stopppp!” I rammed on brakes and promptly stalled. I sat back in the seat and said,

“Be strong and courageous – do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

So facetious but my Dad would be happy that from that day to this, I’ve always remembered Joshua 1:9.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xxx 🙂

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Final Clean Up Day

Tuesday

Dear Elsie

Today the sun rose with the hope of a beautiful new day…

We went to the beach and while the water wasn’t very cold, it was loaded with an enormous amount of kelp. I swam in more seaweed than I’ve ever swum in before. If you google benefits of kelp you find it to be so good for you, I must have looked at least 5 years younger when I got out. Hopefully we’ll be back tomorrow & the kelp would have left.

So today was a day to finish the clean up, reflect, analyse and evaluate the events of Sunday. It was a crazy day. This was posted on the street whatsapp group.

Actually, the first responders arrived 4 minutes earlier at 12.22pm.

Phew, that was shattering. And the devastation very obvious for all to see.

We don’t want this to happen again. Being on the mountain side, we are very wary of fire being a hazard but never in our wildest dreams would we have thought below our road would have been where the fire would be and in 12 minutes it would raze two houses. Mind-boggling.

I had a good day at work. It’s been decided I will take the full three weeks off when we are travelling and I won’t do any work while I’m away, unless I want to dip into email while on the ship. But I won’t attend any meetings and I’ll only check email if I want to. My colleagues will cover for me. I am now very excited. I haven’t had a non-working holiday for years.

One of my favourite verses…

Deuteronomy 33:27
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

It’s not about now – we are only passing through.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Gran xx 🙂

 

 

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