Seals and Seagulls

Tuesday

Today was the day…

Mike and I went to the beach. The water is getting a little colder so we are going a little later.

I’ve been wanting to make a note of a couple of the things I’ve seen. The other day I was swimming back from the barrel and had flipped over onto my back for a little rest when I suddenly saw a seal dive beneath the water. It was quite close to the seaweed on the cat walk side and I thought it would be fun to see how close I could get to it. I slowly swam towards the sea weed but these pinnipeds are fast and shy. I couldn’t see it again, so I returned to lolling on my back until a few minutes later, a few metres away, there it was again.Β  Shy but curious. It dipped away and was gone.

Fun to see.

Today I had swum out to the barrel and was resting between it and the cat walk whenΒ  suddenly, alarmingly I heard a cry of ‘help!’ I took my goggles off and paid attention, looking towards the seaweed where divers are often in the water. There were a couple of seagulls floating on the water. Could it have been one of them?

I could see no one and didn’t hear another cry. I lay on my back and started kicking slowly back towards the beach, but keeping an ear open.Β  Then, “helphelp” – it was a seagull – squawking out what sounded like a cry for help. I was grateful I had a resolution and wasn’t swimming away from someone in trouble.

Last night, back at the house, I was surprised to look up from my bed and not be able to see any lights across the bay. It was all inky black.Β  I got up and went to the door only to find we were literally in a cloud – we could see fine wisps of misty cloud passing by. The foggy conditions had obliterated the lights of the city. It was the first time we experienced that since we moved in.

Today I worked for almost 7 hours. Work is busy. Yesterday I had 4 online appointments, today 3, tomorrow 4 and Thursday 2. I try to keep Friday free.

Mike & Courage continued working on the porch of the lower ground floor. Nothing is as easy as it looks and it always takes longer, but they are making progress.

Isaiah 57:2

Those who walk uprightly enter into peace.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

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Blocked Drain

Monday

Today was the day…

We needed to get a blocked drain sorted. Mike really, really does not like plumbing. That’s why we have Brian the plumber. Yesterday when we saw we had a blocked drain, he almost contacted Brian immediate to give him a head’s up that we would need him. He decided to wait until today, get some plumbing tools that he had back at the old house and investigate the problem first.Β  That’s what he did. With Courage as support, they opened the drainpipe and found a rock and a sock securely wedged right at the entrance. It was so easy to remove and once out, it was left perfectly clear. No photo needed! And no Brian called.

Mike also assembled his radial arm saw ready for use tomorrow…

Courage worked on the wall outside the lower ground floor…

We did not go swimming this morning. My neck and shoulders needed a break. Instead I started work early and worked for more than 9 hours. This evening though, we walked to Fish Hoek. We came back the mountain route and enjoyed the sunset over Fish Hoek. This is from the path between Hillside and Highway…

A lovely evening.

Now I’m calling it a day.

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through. Often I think of how beautiful Fish Hoek is. These views are spectacular. Yet what is ahead is far better – far beyond our imagination.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

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Active Sunday

Sunday

Today was the day…

…of another exceptional sunrise. They are magnificent during autumn…

Mike and I went down to the beach. The swim was wonderful and Mike had a good run. On our return, the Beretta’s came for coffee, bringing with them cake! It was delicious! After they left, I video chatted with the Swellendam family. Always good to catch up and share tea with Elsie!

Mike and I then walked to Harbour Bay. We came back along the coastal path which also entailed walking along the railway line. (There are no trains running from Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town due to sand on the tracks, so it is safe). It was an amazing walk – seeing the coast from the tracks was a new perspective. We arrived home exhausted!

Old railway sleepers strengthen the sea wall.

For some of the time, we walked along the wall.

Beautiful flowers along the way…

We had a late lunch with David. Then I cleaned the kitchen and have already climbed into my pajamas. It’s the end of an enjoyable weekend. The new week lies ahead. Blessed to have plenty of work to do.

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

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Who Needs Gym!?

Saturday

Today was the day…

Mike and I finished moving the cubic meter of sand from the road to the patio. With this kind of manual labour, who needs gym!?

On the patio…

On the street…

It was an amazing cardio workout. It made me remember the Grid. It was also good teamwork, although while I was doing some online work, Mike did 20 trips! I went down at that point and we rotated with me doing 2 trips and him 1 until I’d done about 15. That was all mid-morning. We had a break at lunchtime and walked to Fish Hoek. After an afternoon rest, we finished the job, which went quite quickly. Courage will be impressed when he arrives on Monday. The entire cubic meter was moved by Mike and I (but mainly Mike!)

The day actually began with me seeing this video. You may remember the event on Christmas Eve 2019.Β  Such a poignant testimony.

Life is so fragile. God is so faithful and with Him all things are possible.

This evening, He created a most majestic sunset….

Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

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Autumn Day Spectacular

Friday

Today was the day…

That dawned quiet and still. The wind hushed. Sunrise

As the sun rose, the most amazing piece of music filtered up. As I listened, I realised it was David playing down on his balcony. It was beautiful. What he was up to at sunrise appeared on YouTube later today…

What a gentle way to start the day!

Mike and I headed to the beach. The sea was great to swim in with good under water visibility, but swimming was hard because my arms were tired. They did a lot of swimming yesterday and then in the late afternoon they carried all those buckets of sand. They need to be rested. I still got in a good 40 minutes.

I worked for about 5 hours. Mike and Courage had a good day and by the time Courage left for home, the new slab had been thrown for the basement porch…

By the time mid afternoon came, the day could not look better…

While Mike was on the side balcony, he saw the guy who has bought a plot high up on the mountainside. His name is Rob. I went out to say hi. He said he will be getting the plans done and into Council. I mention it here because I want to keep an eye on how long it takes for him to go from this conversation to when he starts building. He also mentioned the Council, once plans are approved, will have to put his services next to our house –Β  down the Simon’s Town side. Okay, we’ll see when/if that happens. I asked him if his house will be made of wood and he said no, it’s going to be concrete. A multi-level concrete house that far up the mountainside with no road access. It’s going to be interesting to watch especially as he said the concrete is going to carried up there and mixed on site.Β  This is Rob’s plot – photos I took 5 months ago.

His view, it is true, will be very elevated…

If we have 83 steps to our front door, I think he will have 200! I’ll be watching with interest.

The other thing I did today was bring in my Bonsai. Adrian’s Dad gave this to us and it has not really been thriving on the balcony. Perhaps it will do better on my desk.

Good that I have this photo. When it starts to flourish, hopefully, I’ll take another. Talking of flourishing, the petunias by the front door have started to blossom again. They recovered quite quickly after being chomped by a deer. Let’s hope they survive a little longer.

And so that was Friday.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You!

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

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Carrying Buckets of Sand

Thursday

Today was the day…

A cubic metre of sand was delivered and is currently on the verge. Mike started carting bucket loads of it onto the side patio. He did 15 trips. After dinner, as I hadn’t done 10000 steps, I decided to go and do my bit. So, I too did 15 trips up 28 steps carrying 2 buckets of sand! It was hard work. The buckets and spade.

So as per Mike’s instruction, I was to put one and a half spadesful of sand in each bucket and carry them up the 28 steps one bucket in each hand so I was balanced. Having just done the delivery…

The growing pile of sand…

I set my watch to Cardio before I began…this is how effective carrying buckets of sand is…

Average heart rate 150! That was hard work. And I still didn’t get to 10000 steps, but I’m not going anywhere else tonight!Β  We went to the beach this morning. The sea was calm and the water not too cold. I was refreshed from not exercising yesterday.

We are in for some windless days so swimming should be fun.

Meanwhile, early this morning, I put fresh juice in the bird bottle. It may be a bit sweeter than before judging by the male long-tailed sugar bird that visited at sunset…

I worked for just over 5 hours. I also took Julian to the airport.

It’s been a good day.

Colossians 3:15

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

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Sleepless in Cape Town!

Wednesday

Today was the day…

…after I had a terrible night’s sleep. I woke up at 1:30am and went back to sleep after I heard the clock strike 4am. I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep. Of course, when I finally fell asleep again, I slept later than usual and woke up groggy and like a bear with a sore head! But I did notice the sunrise…

We didn’t go for our morning jaunt to the beach.

I worked all morning and then had a trip out with Julian to pick up a chair….only to find that particular shop is closed on a Wednesday. When we peered through the window, it looked like the chair was sold. We went to another store and found a really nice headboard, so we bought that and had it delivered. Now the cottage main bedroom has a headboard. We are slowly edging our way towards completion.

Mike and I sat on the balcony for tea. It was good just sitting and staring.

Altogether I worked just over 6 hours. Mike and I did a quick walk to the Glencairn lookout and back.

Then it was dinner time. Now Julian and Mike are watching a documentary and I am going to shower and get ready for an early night.

Romans 14:19

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

 

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Back to Work After Easter

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I went back to work. The great thing about this Easter weekend was that I didn’t do any work, apart from exchange a few Whatsapp messages. It was a complete break, but it did mean getting back to quite a lot of work today.

Mike & I went down to the beach on what began as a windy day. Sunrise…

I was nervous heading to the beach. The wind was fresh and cold! The idea of plunging into what I thought would be very cold water was not appealing. After we arrived, my courage was raised and I marched confidently towards the surf. It was not as cold as I thought it would be, but it was certainly very buoyant. It took quite a lot of swimming to get to what could be considered beyond the breakers and even there, the waves were incessant. I seemed to spend more time diving under them than swimming on top. I swam breast stroke out to the barrel and then lay on my back and kicked my legs breast stroke style going back. I then swam up and down a bit before swimming out to the barrel again. By then I’d been in for 35 minutes and it was enough. On the way out of the sea, I took my goggles off and dipped in the sea to rinse them, only to have a wave wash them out my hand. I asked some of the beach goers to keep an eye out for them, but I have resigned myself to getting new ones.

On getting home I got stuck into work until lunchtime, when Julian and I drove through to Mr Price Home in Diep River to buy carpets. We got a few. I’m really happy with the one for my bedroom.

We got home close to 4pm. At 4:15pm, I had a final Skype call for the day. At just after 5pm, Riana and Peter came to pick something up and stayed for tea. After they left, we had dinner and then Mike, Julian and I walked down to the beach and back.

A good, full productive day.

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 πŸ™‚

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Very Quiet Easter Monday

Monday

Today was the day…

We did very little. I went down to the cottage where the family had woken up and after some coaxing Elsie came upstairs to the big house with me. She watched me do all sorts of things, like make cappuccino, peel paw paw and wake Granpa up. Then she sat in bed with us and watched the sea outside. After a little while, we went to the kitchen and she stool on the little ladder at the kitchen counter and ate her breakfast.Β  Stacey and Adrian came up for breakfast and stayed for a couple of hours before packing the car and we waved them goodbye. It was so wonderful seeing them. Next month Elsie turns 3, so we’ll have to make a plan to visit them.

For the rest of the day, it was mainly spent at ease, hence the very early blog. I did walk to the village to buy a couple of things. There is a black south-easter blowing, so it’s cooler than yesterday and a lot windier.

Looking south, it was clearer…you can just see the shark net’s yellow buoys…

I walked a little on the beach. This is the shark net from the beach side.

The shark net is put out and taken in each day. It’s a bit of a palaver and it takes quite some time and manpower to get the job done. The last shark attack was in 2012, so in 2013, they started deploying the shark exclusion net. It’s the only one in the world that’s nota rigid permanent structure but is put out on an (almost) daily basis. This makes it environmentally friendly and according to the website, adaptable to changing weather conditions.Β  I certainly appreciate that net when it is in place.

I came home via the mountainside – always a nice walk.

Last night, I made my Airbnb page for the guesthouse, which I called a cottage! I haven’t published it yet. Just a few more things to do and then it will be ready.

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 πŸ™‚

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Easter Sunday 2021

Sunday

Today was the day…

We celebrated Easter Sunday. I go to bed with my heart full. It’s been a lovely day. I woke quite early…it was overcast and somewhat misty…

I enjoyed coffee and Bible reading at the window. We walked the beach a little later than usual. A spectacularly still morning with a very flat Fish Hoek bay.

I swam to my heart’s content!

When we got home, we had breakfast and then the four of us (Mike, Julian, David and Me) sat and watched the Easter sermon by the Methodist Church minister Delme Linscott. After that we prepared for the arrival of the Swellendam family. I was so excited to see them. We had decided to braai, but instead of all of us going down to the guesthouse balcony for the braai, the guys lugged the braai up to our floor. It worked super well up here…

Braaiing on the go…

We whiled away a lovely afternoon. Elsie is super cute.Β  Elsie, if you encounter this entry in the future, today you climbed up most of the steps. I think altogether you climbed more than 70 steps! Later,Β  I put out a chair for your Wolfie and sat him on it with some snacks. You liked that. Then you had me get the matching chair and put it next to his. We then put Wolfie in another spot and you came and sat on his chair and I sat in the chair next to you and we had our meal together. When I got up and Uncle David came and sat down next to you, you were not happy! You loved seeing the blinds going up and down and you watched the yacht sailing by. You helped me make salad and you ate Flings for the first time. You turn 3 next month and you are beyond delightful. I love you to the moon and back!

It was lovely to see Adrian and Stacey. Stacey came laden with cushions she had made for the guest cottage and leather covers for the couch. Her hard work has just about pushed us over the guesthouse finish line and the next step is for me to get it up onto Airbnb. It needs to start earning its keep.

Julian and I ended the day by walking down to the end of Fish Hoek beach and back. The day remained really windless until a short while ago when the south-easter picked up a bit and is going to blow throughout tomorrow.

Matthew 11:28

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

 

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Mike the Stonemason

Saturday

Today was the day…

Mike, Julian and I moved some rocks and Mike worked on the wall. Our rock moving was done in the broad sunlight, which wasn’t ideal so only lasted just under an hour. However, we did come back in the cool of the day (now) and this is my unusual blog view. I’m sitting outside the basement door….just above the newly built wall in the picture…

There is a lot of landscaping to go…

Mike and Courage have been working on the entrance to the basement. This room has so much potential as a holiday rental. The basement has a little sea view…

The problem is that the front doors of all the entrances face full north-west, which means when the inclement weather comes, it blows directly into the basement door and in heavy rain, into the basement. The entrance needs a little porch to protect it from the weather. Stone boundary walls are being built with retaining walls as well. Mike has become a stone mason…here he is working on a patch of the boundary wall. He and Courage have been working together. Mike is getting some exercise while Courage is off for Easter.

It’s labour intensive work, but at least we have all the rocks we need! Mike didn’t spend the whole day working on the wall. We went to the beach at around 8am.

And came home mid-morning.

Breakfast, rockΒ  moving, cappuccino, laundry. Mike read his book. I visited Julian upstairs and then did some housework.

In the afternoon, Julian and I went looking at furniture to try furnish the basement and to find a final chair for the cottage. We were not successful with the furniture but we did buy a couple of lamps and rugs.

Now I’m home and sitting keeping Mike company while he chisels rock. It’s getting a little chilly and time for me to pack up and go inside. Next stop, dinner preparation and an evening at rest.

Proverbs 15:13

A happy heart makes the face cheerful.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

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Good Friday 2021

Friday

Today was the day…

…that we remember the day that Jesus died on the cross for us. In our Covid world, with South Africa between waves, retail rushed to stay open and while churches across the land held services, many took bookings and it made it uncertain to just pitch up. David went to his church.Β  Mike and I did walked to the village for a couple of things. Late morning, Julian and I went to Simon’s Town and then in the afternoon, I walked to the beach for a swim.

It was strange going without Mike. The tide was out. The sea was not too cold and the waves friendly. It’s funny how I now describe as friendly the same waves that a few months ago I would have described as monstrous. With practice, I now know how to handle them.Β 

With shark nets in place, I swam up and down and round and round and finally got to my goal of 2km. I forgot to turn my watch off until after I was back at the bench.

On the way home, I stopped and sat on a bench for a while. Nice to pause and pray.

Home for a shower and tea and now we are in for a quiet evening.

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 πŸ™‚

 

 

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Our April Fool’s Joke

Thursday

Today was …

April Fool’s Day!

I’m never comfortable playing April Fool’s pranks because I don’t like lying and lying is always involved. Today it was very short lived and gave us a good laugh. I sent David a whatsapp message. David often goes running and swimming at spots beyond Simon’s Town.

I was very forgiving..

He came up to my office where Julian was having a little laugh because after all it was largely his idea! David was indignant. A R1500 fine is no laughing matter. Julian had truly thought he would have picked up on it. But David was sunk. “Let me see it,” he said. I had hardly any time to do anything, so I quickly pulled notepad up on my laptop and said, “there…” He leaned forward….

That was when he laughed, hit Julian with a cushion and was thrilled that there was no R1500 fine after all! I also got caught today. Expat Explore sent an amazing travel email as they often do, but this one was for a Round the World trip. Imagine that. I thought they were brave because with Covid and all it’s tricky. Launching April 1 should have been a clue. 80 days Around the World!Β 

Wow! Imagine that? Sounds amazing? It then said, click for details…and this was the result…

Haha, that was a good one.

I worked about 5 hours today and now have put my auto response on for my email. I may do some work on Monday but pretty much, I’m off until Tuesday.

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

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End of Orthodontic Treatment

Wednesday

Today was the day…

I finished my orthodontic treatment. There is sure to be the odd appointment but it is pretty much over. Even the dentist gave me a fist pump at the end of it!

Today, on an overcast and drizzly last day of March 2021, I walked into the cosmetic dentist’s rooms and had the final veneers and crowns done.

Two years and 137 days, I went from this…which was 13th November 2018

This is maybe a better photo…although it’s also a selfie

To this…

Amazing! It’s all done.

The day began with drizzle. As we hadn’t gone to the beach yesterday, undeterred, we marched off in the light rain.

Mike watching a seal.

I had a good swim. The sea was flat and it actually felt a little harder to swim, but I got more than a kilometer in and we came home refreshed, albeit still damp from the rain.

Mike and David went off to the Net, with Mike giving the talk. David led the worship. It’s the first time they have done that together.

I worked this morning and then spent the afternoon at the dentist. It was another two hours but not as grueling as last week.

I got home around 5:30pm. Soon after we walked to dinner at Harbour Bay which was a good way to celebrate.

I have a bit of work to do tomorrow and then I’m off for all of Easter.

Today, being the last day of March, also means it is the last day of my Storyworth subscription, so I’m off to scramble the answer to another question. I’ve done most of them but have just enough time to get another in.

John 16:22

You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

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March Full Moon

Tuesday

Today was the day…

…that I was tired. I slept so badly last night. I’m not sure why. It was the March full moon and it was spectacular…

This morning I decided to forgo swimming exercise and I walked to Harbour Bay and back instead. It was a lovely walk…autumn flowers along the way…I think they are called Barleria Obtusa.

I stopped and watched some interaction between seagulls. It was fun to watch. I’m not sure what it is about walking to Harbour Bay and back but getting back always seems a lot quicker than going.

For the rest of the day, I worked and then went to the airport and picked up Julian who is here for Easter.

I’m now tired and ready to turn in for the night.

Ecclesiastes 7:14

When times are good, be happy, but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.

He can be trusted in all seasons of life.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

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