I Tried to Catch a Train

Sunday

Today was the day…

I tried to catch a train. I have thought about and talked about this so often. The idea of catching a train from Sunny Cove station to Simon’s Town has been in my head for many months. Then one day, guests tried it and it worked. They got to Simon’s Town and back. It is possible. Today rain was forecast for most of the day, but it didn’t come. Seeing it pretty clear, I decided to walk to Harbour Bay & back. Mike chose to stay home.

Off I went with umbrella in hand. I soon shed my jacket – being warm enough to walk in a t-shirt. Around the Glencairn lookout area a little light rain began to fall which continued until I crossed the river. It soon stopped – my umbrella had served its purpose and was not needed again. I got to Harbour Bay and went to the Blue Kiwi – I had in mind to have one of their super food smoothies, which went down a treat.

It was after that the real fun began. I decided to walk on towards Simon’s Town. After all, if I couldn’t make it back, Mike was just a phone call away. Off I went, wondering how far I would walk.

As I approached Simon’s Town station, I spotted a train! Ah! That must be the 2pm train. I’ll catch it back. Hastening onward, I made for the station, planning to get there by 1:45pm.

As soon as I arrived, it didn’t look promising.

The entrance…

The door was locked.

There would be no train trip today.

I started back towards Fish Hoek when my phone rang. Mike checking up on me. He said he’d meet me at Town Square in Simon’s Town, so I happily turned around and continued towards Simon’s Town. I love it. This is looking over the wall at Admiralty House.

Simon’s Town…

I arrived at Town Square at the same time as Mike and hopped into the car. Then we drove through Simon’s Town and all the way round past Cape Point to Scarborough, where we stopped to admire the massive rolling waves.

We came home and Mike has made spaghetti bolognaise for dinner. I went down to the Little Lookout where David staying. I drew a massive 3 on his blackboard. Three more sleeps before his big adventure begins.

I must be ready to change it to 2 tomorrow! I’m committed now!

And that has been the day. An early blog as Mike has got a movie lined up for us.

Matthew 18:20

Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of 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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Personal Best of Note

Saturday

Today was the day…

It rained! Mike felt like egg and bacon for breakfast, so we took off at about 8am to try walk to the shops and back before the rain came. We made it down in time, but after we finished the shopping, there were drops falling and we got home with the back of our jeans wet. Bacon and eggs were great – although I overdid it a bit with the olive oil there.

David didn’t mind – this was his portion and went onto the cheese roll. I figured the next Saturday breakfast we have with David will, God willing, be my birthday in 4 months time.

We had a quiet morning which included reading and a chat with Stacey and Elsie.

The cold front came through as they tend to do in Cape Town – in fits and starts. It poured down and then was dry for a patch. Then there were a few blustery showers before some weak sunshine. In the afternoon, we did some shopping. Late afternoon, there was a dry spell and I managed to get out for a walk.

Out walking, I was memorizing. I have pretty much learned Psalm 139:1-8. One third of the way through. How I learn?  Verse 4 starts with Before. Verse 7 is made up of 2 x 7-word questions, : Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? I think I’ll consolidate these 8 before I move on. My brain is slow.

When I got back from my walk, Mike was watching a movie with his head phones on. He laughed out loud. When we were cooking dinner, he said, “today I reached my personal best.” “Oh,” I said, “What was that?”

“Life,” was his reply, “I’ve reached my personal best in being alive!”

That was the line he’d heard in the movie.

What a good way of seeing each day. Each day we walk the earth, we are celebrating our personal best! Each day is a personal best of note. Embrace it!

I’ve just looked up my Bible verse in my diary for today and what is it? The next two verses of Psalm 139: 9-10!

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.

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 Rickety Fence

Friday 

Today was the day…

We had two extra workers come. They were here to help lug fencing and poles up the hill. The other day, the worker for the house on the Simon’s Town side started cutting back some bushes between our houses, creating a path from his driveway to our property. I was not impressed. It was a useful path for lurkers to use. It was time to close the gap, so Mike ordered a roll of fencing wire and some poles and today we put up a rickety fence that runs right down that side of our boundary and closes the gap.

Rickety for the moment, but it will one day be secure. There’s just more landscaping to be done before we get to that stage. At least now, it works.

We have come a long way since November 2019

Meantime, after 7 hours of work, Mike and I walked to the end of the road. The build half way down is coming along although one of the columns looks decidedly skew! Yesterday, we had our engineer over for him to take a look at some of the walls Courage has built and we also spoke about this massive building going up down the road. He said the builder is quite a good one. I’m sure he’ll straighten the column before cement is poured.

David is visiting this evening and had dinner with us. I am lapping up the time we are spending with him. This time next week he’ll be 10000km away.

We are expecting a cold front to come sweeping in. The north wind has been showing its strength and tomorrow the balmy days we have had will give way to some typical Cape winter weather.

After a very slow June, bookings are beginning to trickle in for July and the Seaview apartment is fully booked until the 10th with 3 back to back bookings. They are good to have.

Weekend!

Hebrews 13:5

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake 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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Marvelling at the Sunrise

Thursday

Today was the day…

I marvelled at the sunrise. Such an unusual display of bright pink and red, followed 20 minutes later of a brighter sky with less colour.

This was about 6:50am – fishing boat and Venus in sight.

This was 7:10am

 It was another super-calm morning and one on which I was determined to swim. I did my 2km in water that was chillier than last time. I love swimming in the ocean. I just don’t love the idea of sharks being there first and with a fatal shark attack in Plettenberg Bay less than 48 hours previously, it was at the forefront of my mind. As someone on the beach commented the sharks would have no difficulty making the trip to Fish Hoek. The difference? Well, the water temperature to start – it’s about 4-5 degrees warmer in Plett. Plettenberg Bay can see a sea water temperature of up to 19C in June.  Then secondly, we have Orca whales (aka killer whales that prey on great white sharks) and they have been seen in False Bay. If I were throwing money at any project to prevent great whites from biting people, my project would be an Orca breeding programme.  People who swim in the sea love to hear the great whites have left False Bay. People who walk on the shore love to hear the great whites are back in False Bay. There were 2 spotted in December last year off Strandfontein, but none (that I’ve heard) since. Also, I read an interesting story of how some years ago,  a university in the US came over to do some research. They gathered the seal scat off seal island (in False Bay) and examined the stress hormone found in it. After the sharks disappeared from the bay, they repeated the exercise and found the stress hormone of seals was 75% less than the years before. Seals are also happy the sharks have left.

I worked close to 7 hours today. Last day of June – I’ve worked a full 160 hour month. Tomorrow, we start again.

Mike assembling dinner – simple fare tonight – baked potatoes with cream cheese and veggies.

Zechariah 14:9
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only Name.

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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Dinner for Two

Wednesday

Today was the day…

The crazy warm weather continued. We didn’t get to swim. I had work, so we got on with it and did some walking later on in the day. Washing dried in no time.

One of the things we did recently was moved the big 6 seater pearwood dining room table down to the cottage (it was a bit of a mission so we did it on the day we had extra workers).  The table was taking up a lot of space in our living area, so we bought up the table from the cottage which was originally Granny’s bespoke yellowwood table. It has a huge amount of sentimental value for me. I love it and it takes up a lot less space. Also, it’s much lighter than the pearwood, so it’s really easy to take it out onto the balcony. With this balmy weather we’ve been eating out there this week. Tonight was no exception, only it was dinner for two.

After dinner, Mike felt like some sugar, so we walked to Fish Hoek to the cafe to pick some up. Going down there was still load-shedding brightened by a spectacular sunset silhouette.

Coming home the lights had come on so we had the benefit of street lights because by then, the sun had well and truly set.

Tomorrow the last day of June.

Isaiah 4:6

It will be a shelter from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.

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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Warm Winter Days

Tuesday

Today was the day…

It was another warm winter’s day. It was windless as well, so we headed for the beach and had a lovely swim. The water was about 14C, so slightly cooler than last time. The air temperature was stunning. It was about 20/21C. Warm winter days and they are due to continue until the weekend when a cold front blows through. Meantime, we are enjoying them. Dinner last night with Julian and David…

Dinner view this evening, just Mike and I…

Yesterday evening we walked down the nearby building site. It is going to be humungous. Set over about 8 levels with a swimming pool at the bottom and a lift from the garage, it needs a lot of foundations.

Meanwhile  in Swellendam we have a little academic busy on her numbers. Stacey writes a few and she wants to try. Serious concentration.

So adorable! I am just crazy about this child. She is beyond cute.

2 Samuel 22:31

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.

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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Building up the Road

Monday

Today was the day…

I worked to the morning backdrop of 11 cement trucks rumbling up the road to a new build about 15 houses up.  The owner, Andrew, who once stayed at our cottage for a few days, is project managing his own massive, 7-storey build. For the last number of weeks, they have been laboriously digging foundations and today was the day the concrete was poured way down the bottom of the plot. For this first load, it cost R100000 and there are at least 2 to go. They don’t need to put piles in, but the concrete foundations have to be super strong to carry the weight of all that will go above. The massive boom truck blocked the road from 7-30am to 2pm. At lunchtime, we took a walk to see how they were getting along.

The big truck blocking the road.

The long arm of the boom pouring concrete. Look how small the people are in comparison and so far down…it’s going to be a gigantic house.

Also from this photo you can see how majestic the day is. It’s a topic of ongoing conversation – how warm Cape Town winters are compared to Johannesburg. Where would you rather be?  Keep an eye on the minimum temperatures as well.

Cape Town wins for warmth, even on the rainy days. We had the doors open and had a good washing day as well. We didn’t get to swim though. We woke up late and had too much work. We woke late because I had woken up around 2am and opened my bedroom door to the stench of wood smoke. There was a fire somewhere. The smell was very strong. Mike woke up at my exclamation and he went out on the balcony to investigate. He then went out his study door and there it wasn’t too bad. He went down to the cottage to investigate and it was better down there. We concluded possibly, the neighbour had got up and stoked the fire in his fireplace and a plume of smoke (which we couldn’t see) puffed out of his chimney which is parallel with us.  In the photo below, you can just see his chimney with the satellite dish under our balcony railing. As it was dark, we couldn’t see the smoke, but it is quite possible it was coming from there. I heard him chopping wood the other day so I know he’s been enjoying his fireplace.

With the mountain behind us, we are always weary of smoke. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

Tomorrow, we hope to swim.

Jeremiah 39:18

Because you trusted Me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe.

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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Sunday Activities

Sunday

Today was the day…

I got to do a long beachfront walk. We (Julian and I) went to Harbour Bay for breakfast, but after last night’s ribs I was not hungry at all. I had a smoothie. Afterwards, we walked towards Simon’s Town, getting as far as the train station before walking back to Harbour Bay. Julian then took the car and went on his way to a couple of appointments. I did some shopping and with it packed in my backpack, I walked home. Mike had gone to the Methodist Church, so he came down to meet me.

Simon’s Town from the road…

Else’s River (that’s exactly how it’s spelt)  at Glencairn beach…

On the walk home, I tried to get Psalm 139:1-4 into my head. Such familiar verses but to get the words exact and the order right was harder than I thought. Will keep at it! Then it will be 4 down and 20 to go.

We had trout for lunch which off-set the heaviness of last night’s ribs. We had the Sav Cafe Saturday night half price rib special. There was load-shedding but they still managed to service up a delicious meal.

A quiet Sunday afternoon, reading, watching some YouTube and getting the Seaview apartment washing done. I also stripped the cottage beds as those guests have left as well. I did half that washing, so I just need to wash the balance tomorrow.

Mike & Julian went to see Top Gun, so I’ve had a very sedate evening and the house is uncomfortably quiet.

New week ahead.

Psalm 28:8

The Lord gives His people strength. He is a safe fortress.

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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Saturday Activities

Saturday

Today was the day…

We remembered my brother Arnold. Today would have been his 62nd birthday. The last birthday he celebrated on earth was 15 years ago today, when he turned 47. We miss him, but have to believe his current life is far fuller and more meaningful than this life we live on earth.

Mike and I started the day with a swim! The water was warm and the sunshine full. It was lovely.

We got home, changed and then went out with Julian to trawl through some charity shops. We ended up at the Joyce Chevalier market.  After that, Mike needed to go to Plumstead electrical so we dashed through there, arriving 10 minutes before they closed. A genteel drive home took us past Restorabilia in Diep River where we stopped for carrot cake and coffee.

Inside Restorabilia… they are so full of amazing things -it’s a place to get good ideas.

Outside…

That cat is smart! He was curled up on one of the chairs at another table. As we finished, he sauntered across to our table and jumped up. I had a little milk left from my coffee  and he went for it, so I poured it into the saucer and he lapped it up. He’s the cat that got the cream for sure!

After getting home, Stacey, Elsie and I had a good chinwag. Elsie is growing up so fast now and getting so talkative. She has opinions. I cleaned the bird bottle out and refilled it with sugar water. I hung it back up outside and within seconds, literally two seconds, a massive Cape long tail sugar bird arrived. I showed Elsie and she said ‘oh my word!’ So sweet.

Dinner – ribs at Sav during load shedding.

Psalm 18:48

You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; You save me from violent opponents.

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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Ella Has Arrived

Friday

Today was the day…

We got the happy news that my sister became a Granny! Welcome to the world Ella Cooper!

Such a cutey pie. There’s something so special about a newborn. Congratulations Anne! I’m so happy for you. Darryl and Ella – just look at that newborn smile.

And in keeping with the same theme of babies. Today was a significant day in the US.

End of Roe vss Wade.

For me, it was a good day. I got about 5 hours of work done and then went for a drive with Mike to a building yard in Southfield area. It was a hodge podge of mostly useless things. But we could have got a nice front door, a number of old windows, a couple of massive mirrors, some bathroom basins – if we had needed them. We didn’t so we browsed and then left. It was a nice outing though.

Home, finished up some work and then went walking to the end of the road and back.

The weather has completely cleared and for the next several days we are forecast to have sunshine and blue skies. Perhaps tomorrow we will get to swim.

Psalm 16:1 – my prayer…

Keep Ella safe, O God for we have come to You for refuge.

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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No More Masks

Thursday

Today was the day…

A day of celebration in South Africa as we said goodbye to the law of Covid required masks. It was just yesterday I commented on the great scourge of the face mask. We woke up to this news today…

No more masks indoors. No more masks in schools. No more masks in churches. No more masks in malls. No more masks in taxis.

It’s so wonderful!

Not that I was out and about shopping and enjoying going maskless. It poured with rain for most of the day, so I stayed indoors and worked. As it was a rainy day, Courage did some inside chores which have been long overdue. Mike went out and bought the lights we needed for our lounge, bedroom and balcony.

Lounge light…

Bedroom light…

and balcony light from my desk..

We walked to the end of the road and back. There was a serious black south-easter blowing but the rain is soon forecast to end and there will be no rain (so we believe) tomorrow.

Psalm 4:8

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

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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Doors Are Done

Wednesday

Today was the day…

We went swimming! It was a very balmy winter’s day – another lull before the rain. The water was amazingly warm for this time of the year – 15C they said. I swam for just over 30 minutes, got in a good bit of exercise and walked home without Mike. He took off to the shops after our swim, as he had run out of muesli and I found some money in my rucksack. He had no face mask, so he stopped by Gattis and bought one. One day in the future, some reader will think, ‘why did he need a mask?’ I am hoping it is the dying days of Covid 19 where masks are mandatory for indoors.  Our SA Covid numbers are low – I am so looking forward to the day when masks are a scourge of the past.

I only worked for just over 6 hours as I got in from the swim after 9am and I started work a little later than that.

This week Mike finished the doors for the courtyard to the Seaview Apartment. Julian arrived today so I can now put up the photos.

Before…

And with doors…

Mike’s done a great job! And so did Courage.

Behind the house is also coming along…this will be yet another little patio.

I have been super busy at work. Whew! What a blessing this month has been. But it’s swings and roundabouts because the Airbnb business has been extremely quiet.

We had a lovely dinner out this evening, catching up with Julian after his holiday to the UK.

We are currently loadshedding, so most of Fish Hoek is in darkness.

It’s been a good day. I’m grateful.

Psalm 9:9

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

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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Old Fish Hoek & New

Tuesday

Today was the day…

That started off windy but soon clouded over. A black south-easter blew dark clouds over the bay and it looked very foreboding. Today, I saw a whole lot of photos posted on Facebook of old Fish Hoek. They were so interesting to see. This is one of when Hillside and Highway are just visible on Fish Hoek Mountain, but there is no sign of Echo Rd.

I’m not sure of the year of the photo above. In the photo below, Echo Rd is a mere track and our original little cottage is visible sitting quietly and uncrowded on the mountainside.

It probably was the 1960s/70s as there were more houses being built.

We didn’t go to the beach today, but this afternoon, I took a walk down to Fish Hoek to buy chocolate for Mike. As I passed Sunnycove Station, I noticed this new sign…

They have really enhanced the station garden both inside and out.

From the cat walk, it was overcast and dark enough to trigger the street lights. They came on at 4pm.

No rain came and we are not expecting any tomorrow either. It seems Thursday is the rainy day.

Mike and David are watching chess! Yup! There’s some competition on and I can hear exclamations so something is happening. I’m tucked up in bed drinking rooibos tea.

This week has been significant. With our end of year month long cruise still on track, we’ve been looking at other parts of the trip and yesterday we took the plunge and booked our flights!  I’ve also booked the accommodation on Lake Como, so just need to find a place for a couple of nights in Milan. And right now, I’m researching walks around the town we will be staying in Lake Como. We will be there, DV,  for 5 nights, possibly 6, so need to walk on all the good weather days.

The chess is over.

Psalm 139:1-2
You have searched me, Lord, and You know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar.

I want to try and learn this Psalm.

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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Mike’s Best Move

Monday

Today was the day…

…that dawned with lots of wind. It was an easy decision not to go to the beach for a swim. I got straight to work early and as a result worked more than 8 hours.

The other thing that happened today was long overdue. Mike had been out the other day and bought overalls for Courage. Today Mike got to give them to him. Courage was very pleased…

Last night, David analysed the tense chess game he and Mike had enjoyed yesterday. This was Mike’s best move – for the position Mike found himself in, this was literally the only good move possible!

This is the game review. Not much in it. Mike got 77.9. David got 82.5 – very evenly matched. I think David was very relieved to have won. He plays a huge amount online, but seldom over the board. Mike seldom plays, so the outcome was impressive. 

I like the comment from the coach! Intense indeed!  They need to play again.

Today is Stacey and Adrian’s 13th wedding anniversary. For us, that’s the most significant thing about 20th June.

A good first working day of the week.

2 Samuel 22:3

My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

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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Father’s Day Chess

Sunday

Today was the day…

We celebrated Father’s Day. David came in to wish Mike and then disappeared off to catch up on some sleep. We went to the beach in full winter kit. The water wasn’t too bad, but it was difficult to gauge the temperature because the air temperature was cool and there was a lot of cloud. I swam for 35 minutes, got out, had a cold (beach) shower, poured 3 litres of really hot water over my head (I’d bought it from home) and then got dressed. My fingers were white and my toes were numb. Back home, I had a hot shower and then sat in the sun til I had warmed up.  We had a good call with Stacey.

After that I walked to Fish Hoek to pick up some groceries for lunch. Home, cooked the veg and assembled lunch. David finished teaching and came down for the afternoon. After lunch, Mike and David had a long conversation about chess. Eventually, I said, “You are talking so much about chess, why don’t you have a game?” They were ripe for the suggestion and immediately sat down to play. 3:20pm

David is the strongest player in our family, but Mike is  no pushover…4:34pm

Two hours in – 5:20pm

David has been capturing each move on his cell phone app so the game can be analysed when they are finished.

I went out on the balcony while they were playing and spotted some splashing in the bay. I looked through the telescope and saw 2 or 3 whales slapping the sea. It was quite a sight. I asked the chess players if they wanted to come and take a look while the whales were still around, but there were no takers.

5:30pm – Game over. White resigns! Well done David. Now for the analysis.

It’s been a pleasant day.

Psalm 37:7

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.

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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