Whale Watching That Wasn’t

Sunday

Today was the day…

After an interrupted night – there were party goers next door who found entertainment in screaming at the top of their voices. Why? I don’t know, but they tried it at about 8:30pm, 3am & 5am. I woke up to it, as did the neighbours, but, I was glad to discover, my guests did not. At 5am, of course, I did not know that. When I opened my door and looked down, the guest’s lights were on so I was sure they had been disturbed but when we spoke to them later in the day, they said they hadn’t. Such a relief. The noisy party people robbed me of my joy this morning. I had to steal it back.

Today Julian and I planned on going on a whale watching tour – this is something we have said we should do for years, but never done. Today was the day I phoned, booked and paid. We were minutes before leaving when the phone rang and the tour operator said the Captain had said the sea was too rough. Well. It looked really calm to me, but what do I know? They most likely didn’t have enough bookings and it wasn’t worth it. Anyway, now they owe us a trip for two.

Meantime, a whale did swim past our house – just one – gracefully porpoising towards Simon’s Town….if a whale can be graceful.

In light of no whale watching, we sent for a drive and ended up passing Cape Point and stopping at a very rural spot (South Point) for tea.

It’s very bucolic and the restaurant on the far side of rustic.

Onwards to Kommetjie where we walked to the Lighthouse.

Home again and hoping for a quiet evening.

Dinner time.

Philippians 4:7

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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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Domestic Kind of Day

Saturday

Today was the day…

We had the cottage guests leave – they were a small but busy family that were sleep- deprived for most of the week because their 14-month-old, Hugh, had a bit of a cold. They are a British family, living in the UAE and travelling in South Africa for a month. They  came to us from Hermanus and while they had been there, they had put Hugh in a creche for 3 days. Unfortunately, germs spread quickly and Hugh acquired a hard fought virus that resulted in little sleep all round. They were a really nice family. The Mom is a paramedic which helped with the medical issues. They are both teaching in the UAE so we had lots to talk about and I certainly will be contacting them in the future for some info. They slept in all the beds, so there was a ton of laundry to be done. Two loads were done in the new cottage washing machine and one has been done up here. There is half to go when we do our own laundry. If we don’t get a cottage booking, Ruth will come on Wednesday to cast her magic over the place. If we do get a booking, Mike and I will scramble to get it into shape.

Other guests arrive today, so we got the Seaview Apartment  up to standard and the new guests should arrive in just over an hour.

Mike and I shopped. Mike made bread and a bolognaise sauce to freeze.

I did this. I love codebreaker puzzles. Years ago I used to try do them by finding all the letters but not filling in the words. It’s crazy brain work. I tried again today. Mentally, I figured out the words and put the letters into the side blocks.

There were 4 letters not used…2, 5, 8 & 23. Maybe one of those numbers is there and I missed it! Anyway, that got my brain going.

The wind is howling in Fish Hoek today….true south-easter, like a summer one, but it won’t last long. When we wake up tomorrow, it should be calm and pleasant.

Psalm 29:11

The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.

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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4 Water Tanks Arrived

Friday

Today was the day…

4 water tanks arrived. The pictures tell the story…it wasn’t easy.

They are very bulky and 32kg each.

They didn’t fit between the tree and the wall, so Mike made a little bridge…

And over the wall…

And up the stairs..

Repeat 3 more times. 4 tanks now in place.

Another massive job done. It’s taken a huge amount of work to get to this point because  the back of the house had to be filled and levelled. It looked like this in March…

Next step is to connect the pipes to catch the rain. That will happen next week.

As for me, it’s weekend!! And I can turn off my computer and call it a week. Next plan: a walk.

Romans 8:6

The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

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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David in Bali

Thursday

Today was the day…

I had a long team meeting. A bunch of my colleagues all were in the UK simultaneously so they went to the MD’s house and had a day-long meeting. I joined them for the morning session which was a couple of hours long. I have now caught up on all the week’s work and am looking forward to a couple of hours off tomorrow morning.

The main highlight of the day was having a video chat with David. He gave us all the news including his busking experience in Bali. He was out walking close to his apartment the other evening when he saw a guy with a banjo. He was an Indonesian fellow, so he stopped to speak to him about the banjo and they had a conversation about music. His English wasn’t so great, but he made himself sufficiently understood that he was going busking and asked David to join him with his guitar. And so David had a lesson in Bali Busking. The chap was a pro. He strode confidently into a random restaurant and together they played a couple of songs. Then Mr Banjo  man took off his hat and walked around the restaurant tables collecting some tips from the diners. Then it was off to the next restaurant with David in tow. It was on about the 3rd place, noticing a number of curious stares that David thought it might be a good idea to take off his Apple watch. Maybe this busker didn’t need the cash!  At the end of it all, Mr Banjo man tried to give David half the night’s profits. David said no, not needed! The next day Mr. Banjo returned to seek out David hoping he would join him busking on the beach, but David declined the opportunity. Busking is a marginal form of performance to a less than enthusiastic audience.

David had learned two things: 1. Indonesians are very generous. Almost everyone gave something, no matter how small. 2. There are a lot of places in his area of Bali who sell coffee for much cheaper than he has been getting. He headed back to one of those places today! R11 for coffee. Yes please. Good to catch up with him.

He’s having a good time, is on leave week-days for a couple of weeks and will be enjoying some adventuring.

Today Mike has been preparing for the big tank arrival. A bridge has been set up and a couple of extra guys are coming tomorrow to assist with their arrival. Hopefully, I’ll be around to get some photos.

1 Corinthians 16:14

Everything should be done in love.

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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Schengen Application

Wednesday

Today was the day…

I worked loads of hours – I’m not even going to look to see how many. I’m covering for two people today and tomorrow, so it will continue to be busy.

A big event of the day was Mike’s project. He spent a chunk of the day getting his Schengen Application sorted. First it was collating all the paperwork, then completing the online application. Finally, he got himself an appointment for next week.  Let’s hope for the best.

Julian and I walked to Fish Hoek beach and back. Sunset surf-skiers were doing some drills…it looked like it was the beginner’s class. The sea was flat and there was very little wind, so conditions were ideal for paddling. Maybe it wasn’t the complete beginner’s class because all of them looked pretty steady and balanced.

We went to dinner at Sav and ordered their new Kudu Loin. It was tough! Mike was the winner with the sirloin which was super tender. Note to self – skip the buck.

Home and we are now watching an old episode of Grand Designs – when I say old, I mean 23 years old so all those in their 30s in the episode are now in their mid 50s! I wonder where they all are today.

On the Airbnb front, our honeymoon couple who arrived from India the other day checked out and are off to Knysna. A previous guest, Herman, returns on Friday for a week and on Saturday, a couple come for the long weekend.

And that pretty much wraps up the events of 3rd August 2022.

1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the 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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Preparing for Water Tanks

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I felt more in control than yesterday. I’ve worked a 9+ hour day but did the last hour between 8 & 9pm and so had a break in-between. Also, mid-morning the MD of the company called and sorted a few queries out with me which leads me to believe my position in the company is secure. It’s always good to know that. It makes me feel a lot better.

Mike drove out to Philippi to pick up plumbing piping. This Friday we have 4 water tanks arriving & he needed to get the 25m piping to join the tanks. It was a long drive, but the place he went to is a supplier of irrigation systems for the surrounding farmers, so their price was much lower than local hardware stores and, their selection was greater. He also came home with 30m of rope from Rope World. This purchase is to haul the tanks up the stairs. It’s tricky because the tree makes it necessary to maneuver the tanks over the wall that Courage built. They will be fed through the gap on the bottom left of the photo below and then over the wall to where Courage is standing. They are not heavy (32kg each) but they are bulky. It’s going to be quite an exercise.

Mike is a pro at preparation and tries to think through the entire process to avoid any surprises.  He Googled how to get a washing machine up stairs and found amazing results which he put into practice yesterday. It made it much easier.

Julian arrived at lunch time and then around 5pm we walked down to the beach and back. The evening light was beautiful.

It’s quite interesting seeing this photo because the drainage ditch on the right – with the white wall in front of it, is a marker for me when I’m swimming. When I see that in view, I know I’ve arrived at the barrel. The tide was quite high.  It was good to get out and get some exercise.

Home, dinner, chat, work, blog, shower, bed.

Another personal best. Lol.

John 16:33

In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

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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10.5 Hours of Work

Monday

Today was the day…

The first day of a colleague being away and me covering for him. I’ve still go 38 of his emails to go through, but it certainly isn’t going to be tonight! On this 1st day of August, I’ve worked 10 hours and 32 minutes and 34 seconds. That’s what the clock says anyway.

It’s been a really busy day because for ‘eye’ breaks, I was up and down the stairs. The new washing machine arrived. The old one is in the garage. The honeymooning guests arrived. They plan on going up Table Mountain tomorrow and also paragliding or going out to see if they can spot some whales. It’s a little windy today but tomorrow is expected to be a little calmer.

We had leftover spagbol for dinner and walked to the end of the road and back. The wind was icy.

Then I started working again and now, I’ve had enough. I need a neck massage.

Time to go have a hot shower and call it a day. Blessed to be busy.

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

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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An Active Sunday

Sunday

Today was the day…

That was quite busy. We went to the beach and had our 4th swim this month. Just before we left for the beach, I got a photo from David. He’s living his best Bali life! His new cell phone takes great photos. This looks like it should be in a magazine!

Back in Fish Hoek, the water was not like Bali water – it was c-o-l-d. I swam for half an hour. Home for a hot shower and breakfast. Then I had a video call with Stacey and Elsie.

From there, Mike and I went down to the Seaview Apartment and gave it a clean. The weekend guests had checked out and a new couple who are on honeymoon are flying in overnight from India. They will arrive tomorrow afternoon.

With that done, I had a short break before having a lovely long call with my friend Debbie. She’s the friend who had a horse riding accident in January 2013, suffering, as a result,  a debilitating brain injury.  She made an amazing recovery and now speaks well and easily. She moved to England a few years after the accident because there she would be able to get benefits and health care not available to her in South Africa. She now lives alone with her two dogs and  has an active life living close to her sister and very elderly parents (aged 97 & 87).  It was good to catch up with her.

This evening, we had the Berettas over for spagbol and another catch up.

Now it’s time to wind down the weekend and look ahead to a busy week.

Last day of July:

Matthew 28:20

“Behold, I am with your always, to the end of the age”

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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Feeling Much Better

Saturday

Today was the day…

I woke up feeling better – and I’m feeling almost back to normal.

The main event for the day was the arrival of guests into the cottage for a week. While I was waiting for them to arrive, I did some cleaning of our own home and also the laundry.

The guests arrived with their little son. They have been travelling in SA from  UK/Dubai – so they are British living in Dubai and are spending their summer holiday in a Cape Town winter. A very nice family who are particularly interesting to me because they are teaching in the UAE & I recruit teachers – so I was eager to hear their first hand account living and teaching in the UAE – they have been there for 5 years.

After they were settled in, I went walking. Down at Fish Hoek beach I bumped into Ray and Sue and had a bit of a catch up. It rained this morning and left the beach looking pristine.

I walked back along the mountain side, stopping to enjoy this sight.

Before dinner, I took another little walk up Echo and walked down to look at the house being built. It’s going to be a monster. I walked down to the bottom…

The other thing I did today was order a new washing machine for the cottage. With guests in for a week, a washing machine is useful and they have already asked about the broken one in the laundry. It was time and Makro had a special. Let’s hope it arrives before Friday!

David update – he’s in Bali for the next month. It’s part of Indonesia. He’s certainly getting around.

2 Corinthians 6:16

God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their god, and they shall be My people.”

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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Downside of the Hot Springs

Friday

Today was the day…

I woke up with a raging UTI. It’s the downside of the hot springs. Somewhere along the line I picked up unwanted germs. I made an appointment with the doctor and dashed off to see him this afternoon.

I’ve just got home laden with the requirements to sort me out. By this time tomorrow, I should be back to normal. In a couple of hours time, I’ll be more comfortable.

The other thing the doctor gave me was a lecture on my (too high) cholesterol. With the amount of heart disease in our family, he said I was absolutely destined for a surgical intervention if I didn’t do something.  My Dad had a bypass and my brother has a stent. My Mom had high blood pressure. I need to take the pills.  When he had tested my urine, I told him I’d like him to check my cholesterol, which he was happy to do. When the lecture started, I reminded him I had asked for it to be checked and I was okay with taking the pills as long as they were only 10mg. “No, 40mg” he said. “I roared! Don’t bother wasting your time on 40mg – if you give me those, I’ll quarter them.” In fact, when I had my last prescription (a year ago – okay my bad for not going back), I only took 5mg a day. I cut 10mg pills in half. It became messy when the chemist didn’t have 10 and I ended up trying to quarter 20mg pills. I hate chemicals. 5mg a day worked perfectly and within a month or two my cholesterol level was within normal levels – whatever that is meant to be. The very good news is my sugar levels are perfect and my blood pressure is normal.

Today, a cold front swept through. We also said goodbye to Herman, such a wonderful guest. He went onto give us one of the best reviews we’ve ever had. So kind of him. I hope he comes back.

When we drove through to Swellendam on Wednesday, it was a treat to see how much Elsie had grown. I took this photo of her and told her how little she was when I took the first photos.

As cute as a button in March 2020

So cute!

And now it’s weekend. (And I’m already feeling more comfortable thanks to extra special pill).

Leviticus 26:12

I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be My people.

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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We Have a Gem in Courage

Thursday

Today was the day…

We woke up in Caledon, slept in a bit and then went for a long pre-breakfast walk. It was cold and misty but a 40 minute walk warmed us up. There is a long dirt road that runs through the top of the Spa property – parallel to the N2. It is part of the boundary of the Caledon Zip lining course and on the right there are various tracks that lead to the zip lines. We passed not a soul.

Back at the hotel, we had breakfast, then brushed teeth, handed in our key cards and headed home. We arrived back in Fish Hoek to a majestic summer’s day. Summer in winter for sure.  The yacht in the bay is still sailing around the coast. Right now, it’s heading past us towards Simon’s Town.

We found Courage hard at work. He had been staying in the Little Lookout while we were away. With the day so warm and sunny, he had washed all the LL linen and it was hanging out to dry on our return. In fact, with the sunshine, it had dried and is now folded and ready to go back on the bed. He had also put up the new security gate at our main front door. We haven’t had one on that door for the (almost) 2 years we’ve been here, but we decided we’d feel more secure when we we are out, if there is one. It does make a difference.  We have a gem in Courage, that’s for sure. He is proving himself.

Tomorrow, Herman, a lovely guest from Pretoria checks out and new guests from Durban arrive. On Saturday, UK guests arrive in the cottage for a week, so things are picking up.

Back to work tomorrow and then the weekend!

Psalm 145:18

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.

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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The Marvellous Overberg

Wednesday

Today was the day…

That began with the sound of a very old, loud rumbling train that chugged very slowly along a railway line below the resort. It was a large industrial train carrying something like coal. It sounded like the groan of a plane flying very low. It was only when I heard it’s warning siren that I recognised it was a train. Having never heard a train from here before I went to the window to look. In time, it grunted and spluttered its way into sight and I watched it snake its way around a bend. There’s something about a train rumbling past. I think it makes me think of England.  We love the trains that run from Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town. They are far enough away to create a comforting holiday ambience. Close up they are smelly, screechy things! It was this morning’s train that got me up and out of bed.

The day was also welcomed by a plethora of bird life – the tweeting of birds and the incessant quack & cluck of a persistent Egyptian goose – one of a pair – reaching out to others in the property – it reminded me of a person yelling at the top of his voice to other people who were a little distance away. From time to time, other geese would respond!

Photo showing the Egyptian geese. The train disappeared behind the house and trees in the top right corner…

This is more of the view from our window…cat in the bottom left corner – cat’s paradise for sure.

Then I walked to the Fresh Stop and picked up cappuccino for Mike and I. I don’t think I’ll do that tomorrow morning – it will be hotel coffee for us until we saunter down for breakfast.

The highlight of the day was visiting the Swellendam family. The marvellous Overberg is looking absolutely stunning…

It was a pleasure and joy to see Adrian, Stacey and Elsie. Elsie had my full and undivided attention. I don’t know how many times she went up and down this jungle gym but she soon learned that going down the slide on her tummy was also an option. We had a wonderful time together.

Now it’s time for dinner. Last night we sought out Fat Henrys. He has moved from his usual spot and while the new venue lacks ambience the food was as delicious as we remembered it. Tonight we are going further down the road to a restaurant we have not yet tried. The reviews are good, so we will see if it meets our needs.

At about 6am this morning, I woke suddenly to the thought I didn’t do my blog last night! When I realised I had, I quickly went back to sleep. Note to self: today’s blog is done!

Hebrews 12:1
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

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 Springs Time

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I finished up work and we headed out of town. We dropped Julian at the airport on the way. By 1:40pm, I was in the hot springs. Mike generously went & bought cappuccino for us.  You are not allowed food or drink in the Victorian Spa area, but we didn’t know that initially.

The security guard came and sternly told us no food or drinks in the baths, so we moved outside to a recliner and drank them there. The day has been warm and sunny and soon it was too hot on the recliner. The water in the Victorian pool above was perfect. Not too hot and not too cold. It meant we could spend a goodly amount of time lolling around. It’s fresh spring water and so not as buoyant as the sea. It makes swimming harder!

It’s marvellous getting away for a few days. We fall into a bit of a routine with dinner tonight to be at one of our favourites. As we have only had breakfast today, it will possibly be an early dinner, followed by a night swim a little later on.

The reviews at the Caledon Hot springs have not been great over the last few months, but so far today it’s been fine. To start with the internet is working. That’s an improvement. And the breakfast is back in the main hotel dining room instead of squashed into the restaurant opposite the casino.  The quality of the food last time we were here was pretty bad, so we are hoping for an improvement in that department as well. During Covid, I felt it was unfair to rate any of these kind of establishments badly. Covid really has been difficult to cope with. Now we are mask free and things are slowly returning to normal, our expectations of the holiday industry are rising. We were really happy with MSC and the ship trip to Namibia. Apart from the 3 hours it took us to get on board, everything else was great.

Courage is home holding the fort.

This one I can memorise:

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray continually.

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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The Great Spaghetti Spill

Monday

Today was the day…

I had a great spaghetti spill.  It was lunchtime and I went to make myself honey on  Finns. I opened the cupboard to get out the honey when suddenly an open packet of spaghetti started flowing. It had been stored with the open side facing the cupboard door and must have slipped forward. Out came the spaghetti in a perfect display of being poured out like pick-up-sticks. I gasped and then laughed.

There was no one around to witness the great spaghetti spill so I took the photos above to demonstrate my new version of pick-up-sticks. I then set about picking them all up and it was amazingly easy. Very few broke and as they are going to one day be boiled, I just gathered them all and put them back in the box. I was sure to put the box back with the closed side facing the cupboard door.

Mike has felt a little under the weather today. Tomorrow, we are taking off for a couple of nights. Courage is going to hold the fort. I worked 8 hours today. I’ll work a few hours tomorrow morning and then put auto response on my email.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Words to embrace.

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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End of a Good Restful Weekend

Sunday

Today was the day…

That we took it all quite easy. Mike slept in. At 11am, the guests shipped on out and we spent an hour and a half cleaning the Seaview Apartment. The new guest arrived at just before 1pm, so our timing was perfect. With him settled, I went for a walk around the neighbourhood, walking down to Kommetjie Rd and spotting a sight that must have a back story. It’s the corner 13th Ave and Kom. Ouch!

As I walk I drummed Psalm 139:11-12 into my head. It’s been a struggle getting these two verses under my belt, but I’m almost there. I walked back on the mountainside, walking on a path upon which I hadn’t yet trod. As I took a step down, I noticed a piece of steel under the ground. I pushed it with my foot and it moved, so I leaned down and picked it up.  It was solid and  heavy.  A relic of the past from who knows where!

I bought it home with me.  Maybe it can be imbedded in one of the future walls.

While Friday I felt frazzled and very tired, by this afternoon, I felt far more rested.  Tomorrow, we start afresh with the pleasure of looking forward to a few days off this week.

2 Corinthians 6:16

God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, & I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

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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