The Ring, It Fits!

Friday

Today was the day…

That was pretty busy! The prevailing south-easter boomed through. No swimming was done but several trips up and down the steps were undertaken as our new guests arrived. Mid-morning my friends came for tea. Just after they arrived, a car needed to be moved off the pavement because the water meter reader couldn’t get to the meter, so I had to find keys, run down and move the car, so now it’s the other side of the road.

Right after my friends left, the guests arrived. Yay! I’ve never met them before but Michelle was a great fan of the Rise & Shine show so I invited them up for dinner tomorrow evening.

I spent the afternoon working.

Late afternoon, I was washing my hands and had my wedding ring start to slip off my finger. I have had one engagement ring but a number of wedding bands. It began with my original plain 9 carat gold wedding ring which was put on my finger in 1986. Then for our 20th wedding anniversary, Mike gave me a band that had a number of tiny diamonds in it. I liked it because it added some bling and it was slightly bigger than the original band.  Then I got one that was even bigger and it is the one that I have been wearing most recently. Long ago, I stopped wearing my engagement ring. Like the original wedding band, it was just too tight.  I  thought with my age, my fingers were more puffy. I didn’t think for a second that as I gained my middle age weight, it extended to my fingers.

So as I stood in front of the sink and felt the big ring begin to slip off, I wondered if, now that I’ve lost weight, the original rings would fit. I dug them out and slipped them on. To my amazement, they fitted perfectly – just like 1986!

The band of the engagement ring is very thin now, so it may be time to consider getting that built up a bit, but it’s great to have them back on my finger.

Talking of our wedding, Valerie Gail reminded me the other day of how I donated my wedding dress to her for the Beautiful Gate charity shop and then rapidly changed my mind and asked for it back! I am so glad I did. I hardly remembered the event and in hindsight cannot imagine doing it again. I’m not sure why I am holding onto it. I think it is historic because my wedding dress is partially made of my sister’s wedding dress and that just makes it special. I was 58kg when I walked down the aisle, so I doubt very much I’ll be able to get into it, but one day I  may try! I’ll be sure to take a photo!

Weekend!

Psalm 55:17

Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice.

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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Look for the Seagulls

Thursday

Today was the day…

I learned that where whales swim, seagulls flock. If you look out to sea and spot a lot of seagulls, there most likely will be a whale somewhere around. Look for the seagulls. It occurred to me after someone posted a message to say there was an active whale and mentioned the location. I immediately started looking and sure enough, there were fountains of water as it breached and ploughed its way through the ocean. I followed its progress to quite far out in False Bay. And that was when I started to see flocks of seagulls circling, swooping and diving around the whale. A quick internet search on how whales feed led me to understand that some breeds of whale (including hump backs) communicate with each other (all that fin slapping) and together they trap fish by disorientating them into a net of bubbles. Once trapped, it’s a free for all. No wonder the seagulls are close by. Dinner is served! A Max-pixel contributor posted this pic…

Seagulls getting in the action

There were a couple of whales feeding for a few hours. It’s whale season. Charles Booysen got these photos today…we have such talented photographers in the Valley.

You can see how choppy the sea is. Today, when I woke up, first thing I saw was a cloud scudding determinedly across the sky right to left. The south-easter was pumping. The sea looked like a washing machine. There would be no swimming today. But to our surprise, it was a black south-easter. Within an hour or two a few gusting rain showers had blown through, doing a good job on washing the south-facing windows. So helpful!

Work was quite quiet, so after doing what I needed to do, I went and cleaned the cottage. Just over an hour later, it was spic and span and ready for tomorrow’s guests.

I took a midday walk to Fish Hoek for some shopping. The cat walk looking good as usual.

The thing about today is that we have been in the new house for 11 months. It’s been a whirlwind.

Psalm 120:1

In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me.

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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Busy Summer Coming

Wednesday

Today was the day…

We went to the beach and I had the most marvellous swim. The water was flat and the wind very light, making swimming so easy. The water wasn’t warm but there were currents that were not quite as cold as most of the water so I swam through warmer streams. I swam to the barrel and back – the beyond the lighthouse and back and then to the barrel. By then I was finished and cold, so I got out. It was a good swim.

I worked for just over 5 hours and also spent at least an hour or more in the cottage getting it ready for the next guests. I sense it is going to be a busy summer coming. Over the next 25 days, the cottage is booked up on all but 5 of them. We have 4 sets of guests coming, starting this Friday.  Our biggest scramble will be at the month end when one couple leaves on 1st and another arrives. We’ll be ready.  Courage has been busy finishing the loft. Tomorrow, we have a guy coming at 10am to quote us for doing a minor repair to the cottage roof, cleaning it and then painting it. This is a good picture of the cottage roof before. The orange circle highlights the missing tiles. The white ones were where scaffolding planks damaged the roof last year when the house was being built.

Cottage roof

It’s going to be a lot cooler in the loft once it’s been cleaned and painted grey. That’s the plan. I’m hoping it won’t be too expensive.

End of a productive day. Dinner is ready and we are going to sit in front of the TV while we eat!

Psalm 91:15

When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.

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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Giants of the Deep

Tuesday

Today was the day…

We didn’t swim, but we did walk to the village for shopping. We got home, had breakfast and then I started work. Mid-morning Leanne came. Leanne is the plans lady who saw our house plans through Council. We now need them to be tweaked to ‘as built’ standard and get them through Council again! We also wanted to get advice on other projects that are coming up, so it was useful to see her and she was very helpful. This was back in November 2018 – one of the many plans meetings with Leanne.

Julian returned to Johannesburg. It’s very quiet without him.

I worked for 7 hours. This afternoon, I saw a whatsapp message about a whale in the bay. I studied the ocean and then suddenly right in front of us there was a whale that breached and slapped! When it comes down there is this sizeable thud as its tail hits the sea. I’m not sure if it was a Orca. It disappeared as swiftly as it came and we didn’t see it again. The problem I have is you can’t rewind! What is helpful is the amazing number of professional whale photographers we have in the area. They got some amazing shots of Orcas this last weekend…

So when the Orcas are in town, I swim with much more confidence that the great whites will be out of town. Here’s why…

I’ve just seen another message of whales at Sunny Cove. I rushed outside with my binoculars. It’s very frustrating knowing they are there, being in such an elevated position and not being able to see them! But when they do come out to play for more than 15 seconds, it’s worth paying attention!

Today, Courage started working in the cottage upstairs bathroom. We want to get it ready as soon as possible. Now that we are getting into the swing of things with Airbnb, it’s time to ramp up the number we can host to 5.  This is the view from the loft…

Main loft windows…

Out the side window…

We do have a double bed in it…

The bathroom needs some work and I think the room needs a second coat of paint. The floor also needs some work, but we’ll get there.

Time to pack up for the day.

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

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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Wrapped in Cold

Monday

Today was the day…

…that dawned with sunshine and a little wind. The wind was from the south-east. We went to the beach and enjoyed a super swim. The water felt cold! There are things I often think when I’m in the sea and one of them is I’m wrapped in cold. The water will get warmer. I swam for more than 30 minutes, taking about half of that to adjust to the water and then having a good swim to the barrel and back.

Home, shower, breakfast, work.

Today, I also had a gynae check up so that’s done for another two years, although the good doctor wants me to be diligent in taking this…..he is most worried about the state of my bones, so wants me to book a bone density test.

I bought a box of 90, so I have three months supply. I will be diligent.

For the rest of the day, I managed just over 4 hours work. My company is taking away some of the stuff I do. It’s the real donkey work, of which I am happy to let go. I’ve had a good year with the company and contributed to their success, so having proven myself in my current  role, they seem happy to consolidate it. We’ll see what the year ahead brings.

Today, David got his first vaccine. ✅ He had Pfizer. Next one in 2 weeks. I’m so glad. He gets about more than we do and it protects him and those he sees. I think that’s one of the things that has become clearer to me – get vaccinated for those around you. Protecting yourself, protects them too. You trust God either way – I’m trusting God by being vaccinated.

A good Monday.

James 5:13

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

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 Russians Have Left

Sunday

Today was the day…

…that the guests in the cottage checked out. They were the Russian couple from St Petersburg and were our first international couple. They stayed 3 weeks. They left the place in immaculate condition and even started the linen in the washing machine, so all I needed to do was put it on the line. That was super helpful. Next guests, Michelle and her husband, arrive on Friday. Michelle used to listen to me on CCFm.  They are staying 4 nights. Then the next weekend, we have another couple coming for 4 nights. Friday 1st October guests arrive for 10 nights. They are our first returning guests and booked directly with us. The goal for this week is to get the upstairs renovation finished so we can open up bookings for 5 people. The upstairs has its own entrance. This is the view from that patio…

It was a rainy morning but this afternoon it cleared and tomorrow looks like it will be fair. Philip van der Walt took this amazing photo from the Clovelly side of Fish Hoek beach. Spring for sure!

We had a late afternoon dinner and then walked to the end of Fish Hoek beach and back. Now I’m going to do a little work before settling down for some TV.

New week.

Isaiah 58:9

You shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, “Here I am.”

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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High Tea for Three

Saturday

Today was the day….

We swam! I think it was the first time this week. Oh conditions were perfect. The wind was fresh but from the north – it blew the sea flat. I swam to the lighthouse and back and then to the barrel and back. It’s very difficult to swim in a straight line!

Mike had a lot of work today, so spent the day holed up in his office bent over his laptop. I cleaned the house. Then, this afternoon, I joined Julian and Valerie-Gail and we went to the Mount Nelson for High Tea. We were last there, according to this blog, on 2nd September 2018. It felt so much longer ago than that but this is what Covid has done for us. The Mount Nelson is looking lovely.

The high tea was up to their usual high standard. We drank tea – and a lot of it – I loved the cinnamon one the most.

Lots of eats…

Valerie Gail in the lounge…

Such a nice afternoon. Thank you Julian! We arrived with blue skies and sunshine, but when we left, it was overcast and cloudy, with a dash of drizzle.

Home safely, via the shops to pick up some dinner for Mike.

I’ve enjoyed the day very much!

Psalm 86:6

Give ear,  O Lord,  to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace.

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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Warmth to Windy

Friday

Today was the day…

That bought with it a strong north-westerly wind. It roared across Cape Town replacing the warmth of yesterday with a chilly  possibility of another cold front. No swimming, but Mike and I did walk to the shops and back, passing the beach which looked pristine.

The sea looked perfectly swim-able! Hopefully tomorrow.

For the rest of the day, I had a chilled morning, meeting Riana for coffee and then worked the afternoon.

Meanwhile, Google has been reminding me of how the house looked a year ago. Mike building the kitchen…

The side balcony was under construction…

We have come a long way since then. This was when the stairs were still under rubble! You had to scramble to get to the front door.

Google also reminded me of this…July 2018. Mike and Elsie. Heartwarming!

Weekend!

Jeremiah 29:12

You will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to 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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Summer is Coming

Thursday

Today was the day…

That we saw some serious signs of summer. It was beautiful and sunny and warm. In fact even now, we are sitting on the balcony and it’s warmer outside than in. Summer is coming. This was our dinner view. With no wind, we enjoyed dining al fresco!

Today we had a pre-breakfast swim at the hot springs. We then checked out and had breakfast before hitting the road. We got home around noon and so I was able to catch up with work, get up to speed with the washing and enjoy the amazing weather. I also acquired a cracking headache which is getting better.

Today is 14 years since my beloved brother Arnie passed away. It was a traumatic day. I was thinking this morning that even though time passes, the pain remains. It is just slightly less acute than the day it happened. Arnie is missed. He would love this place. Arnold at 20. I was 16. xx

One day we’ll meet again.’

Psalm 23:6

“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

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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It Doesn’t Have a Head!

Wednesday

Today was the day….

We woke up in Caledon and had a lovely morning between the hot springs, breakfast and rest! The internet has been pretty bad here, so I couldn’t work, but later in the evening, like now, it’s finally working. The Victorian Spa

The highlight of the day was driving through to Swellendam for dinner with the family. The journey between Caledon and Swellendam is just so easy now the road works are complete. The road is smooth and the surrounding countryside is nothing less than spectacular. All the rain that has fallen has turned the rolling hills as green as England and being spring, the canola fields are spectacular.

Everything is so clean and the farmlands so orderly – it’s a pleasure to drive these parts. We saw what looked like a white eagle, which was quite amazing.

We arrived in Swellendam mid afternoon and shortly afterwards left for a walk through the nature reserve. There is a fantastic network of mountain bike tracks that make for endless places to walk.

One of the things we took was this! Martha the Mannequin.

Elsie was fascinated. She kept looking at it and saying, “It doesn’t have a head!” It was quite difficult to explain the purpose of such a doll. Whenever I tried to explain, she would say, “It doesn’t have a head!” Eventually, I resorted to “Mama will make her a head” to which she responded ‘it doesn’t have arms!’ So confusing! Elsie is also showing good negotiation skills. Dinner was about to happen but Elsie said she wanted some Flings. I told her she could have 2, to which she replied, 5! We had a lovely time together.

We arrived back in Caledon at just before 8pm. We met up with Julian who arrived for the night as well and we went to the hot pools for an evening dip.

Now back at our room, I’m in bed and ready to sleep!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you 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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Hot Springs 2021

Tuesday

Today was the day…

We went on a road trip to the hot springs! We stopped at Grabouw to pick up Mike’s passport. It took an hour and a half.  While Mike was waiting in the queue, I walked the 4km round trip into Grabouw and back.  He was almost done when I arrived back.

The countryside is so clean and green. Plenty of rolling canola fields.

Room view…

Looking the other way out our window….

The hot springs do not disappoint…

The hot water has already done my ankle good. It can’t help but open up the blood supply to my ailing tendon. The ligament doesn’t have a chance!

We are about to go out for dinner. Fat Henry here we come! As much as I love sitting in my rocking chair, it is good to get away and have a little change of environment. And tomorrow, we get to see the Swellendam family!

Yesterday, I downloaded this from Facebook. It just goes to show the importance of being vaccinated.

It is really startling to see stats like this.

Proverbs 15:8

The Lord delights in the prayers of the upright.

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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I Take It All Back…

Monday

Today was the day…

The whales came out to play. I take back all my comments about them being elusive and their presence fleeting. This morning the message went out, ‘whales in the bay’ and then they clarified ‘off Kalk Bay’. Sure enough, there they were. Three of them. It looked like they were Southern Right whales –  two adults and a calf. They arrived and stayed a while, flipping their tales and spraying water, just chilling and providing some greater pleasure for the dozens of cars that stopped to watch. I think they may have come closer to the coast for the sake of the little one and now that it is warming up, perhaps we will see more of them.  I’ve been waiting for photos to appear on Facebook and they have just come up. Photographer Aly Ison got some great pics…

I saw this boat arrive and thought they were super close!

They were there for a couple of hours before moving off who knows where!

I worked for about 7 hours and had a productive work day.

Romans 8:6

We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

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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From the Rocking Chair

Sunday

Today was the day…

I spent quite a lot of time in the rocking chair! My rocking chair is my go-to place. If I want to rest, if I want to read, if I feel I want refuge, the rocking chair is it! I never knew I would appreciate the rocking chair as much as I do. I did quite a bit of reading in the rocking chair today. I can recommend the book – Christ in our Chaos – Delme Linscott. (You can read more about it here: https://www.livingingrace.co.za/christ-in-our-chaos/

I took photos throughout the day….7:48am

Rain came…10:12am

Then sunshine…12:03pm

Afternoon clouds…15:41

Just before sunset – 6pm…

After sunset – 7pm…

There was no beach time, but we did spend some time on the mountain behind us. It has been a calm day.  Now it’s time for our next episode of Downtown Abbey and the weekend is over.

Matthew 6:6

When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward 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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I Hung Out With Both My Kids

Saturday

Today was the day…

We went to the beach latish, as it was at first quite overcast and with no sign of the sun, I hesitated. Then suddenly, the sun came out from behind a big cloud and the appeal of the beach drew us down there. The water was colder than the other day. Joe, a regular local, said it was about 12C. I had a good swim, first to the barrel and then to the lighthouse and back. The sea was flat and swimming in the shallows was easy and safe.  Home, shower & breakfast. By then it was after 11am. Then two things happened. David arrived and Stacey called. I literally hung out with both my kids at the same time which is rare these days. After David left, Stacey and I continued the conversation for about an hour. It was great! Love you Stace!

We saw a whale in the bay today. It was swimming from Simon’s Town towards Fish Hoek. Again I was bemused at just how irritating  these great monsters of the sea can be! It goes like this:

  • Minute 1: Read on the Street’s whatsapp group: Whale Alert!
  • Minute 1: Rush to the window and look out. Squint. Scan up and down.
  • Minute 3: See the whale! Get really excited. Call the family. Come see the whale.
  • Minute 3.5: Whale gone.
  • Minute 3.6: No more whale.
  • Minute 4: End of excitement.

I’m sure if they knew the amount of excitement they caused they would stay longer.

When we moved in on 16th October last year, we had a humpback whale  right in front of the house. The whale hung out there for longer than 15 seconds and even slapped its fin on the water (means of communication with other whales), but for us it was a welcome wave! Little did I understand at that magical moment in time, that this would be such a rarity. I think we have seen about a handful of glimpses since. But I’m always on the lookout!

This afternoon, Mike and I drove to Constantia Emporium for a little shopping. Home now and a quiet evening ahead with dinner of Coronation chicken followed by Downtown Abbey!

The Russian guests are staying another week.

Psalm 141:2

Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

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 It Rains, Courage Does This….

Friday

Today was the day…

That was another rainy day in Cape Town. The rain came in showers with pops of sunshine in between. When it rains, Courage does this: he does more excavation under the house. Remember the big rock the other day…

It’s gone and the path has been excavated down…

This was Courage yesterday…on a sunny day he builds the wall.

Today, during the dry patches, he carried more fill into our patio area, so at the start of the weekend, it looks like this…

It will soon be at the step level. The wall is looking amazing. That wall has got serious longevity. It will be standing long after I’m dancing in heaven.

I worked for almost 7 hours. The sun kept coming out and tempting me to head for the beach, but then a shower would come and that would be that. Tomorrow looks like we will get in an early morning swim. Yesterday when I was swimming, the last of the snow sat upon the highest mountain in the distance and I marvelled that I could see it while in the sea. That was unexpected. The water didn’t feel that cold, yet there I was in Fish Hoek’s little bay looking at a snow capped mountain – albeit far away.

Today I saw an article on Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, who, in less than a month, turns 97. His wife is still alive – Rosalynn is her name – she is 94 and in July they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. That’s a long life well lived.

From a very long life to one that went from the womb to the arms of Jesus. I was heart-broken for my friend Morgan (she lived in the cottage at our old house in 2017 ). She married Corey and was full term with their first baby. When she went for her 40 week scan a week ago, their little girl’s heart had stopped beating. She had been moving in Morgan’s tummy the night before. Somehow, the cord got wrapped 3 times around her neck and she passed away. Absolute devastation. They don’t understand but they cling to the Lord knowing it is not about now and that we are only passing through.  I am praying for them tonight. They named their daughter Emmersyn Hope – meaning Daughter of the Powerful Hope. She is in the arms of that Powerful Hope we hold onto.

Ephesians 6:18

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

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

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx

 

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