Next Guests!

Friday

Today was the day…

One set of guests left and the next ones arrived. It was a busy day, stripping the beds, washing the linen, cleaning, sanitising and double checking. A check list is a must. With the couple who are here now, one is celebrating her birthday, so I made my very easy microwave chocolate cake! My cake baking and icing leaves much to be desired, but they enjoyed the gesture…

And Mike finished making the welcome blackboard…

Now I’m feeling we are getting into our hosting groove. Bring on the bookings!

This morning we walked down to Fish Hoek at sunrise. This was from Echo Steps…

I had a good swim.

Talking of swimming, whale watchers were thrilled to see orcas off Simon’s Town. Look at some of these wonderful photos…

When there are orcas, it’s unlikely that there will be great white sharks.

Weekend!

Proverbs 16:3

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.

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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One Year Down the Line

Thursday

Today was the day…

That was a year after my orthognathic surgery. In this 2 minute animated video, I had the mandibular advancement – which is the third example.

So much has happened over this last year. I came out of hospital and within days was back at the building site, looking to see how things had progressed. I have recovered well. The only thing is that when you have this kind of surgery at my age, the nerves don’t heal as quickly and although a year has passed, I still have some numbness on the left side of my mouth. I’m so grateful it’s not pain and it doesn’t interfere with my life in any way.  I sent a photo to my surgeon thanking him.

Yesterday it was 8 months since we moved into the new house. 🙂 Time just doesn’t stand still.

Today, we went for the follow up appointment for the Covid vaccine trial we are on. It took about an hour for the three of us which wasn’t too bad. We go back in two weeks time.

This afternoon, Mike and I walked to Fish Hoek in light drizzle. We laughed while passing Sunny Cove station. They are well prepared for social distancing. Perhaps the painting contractor got paid per circle!

The beach was vast and misty…

Meanwhile, back at home, Courage was busy changing the layout of a few steps. Demolition had been done and he started to build them up again….

He’s done a great job. Courage is a good man!

Exodus 33:14

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, 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 😛

 

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First Guests Are In!

Wednesday

I guess it is a Red Letter Day. We have had visitors in the guesthouse before but never paying ones! This is a first and while we did our best to get it as ready as we would for other guests, when on Airbnb you can get bad feedback, so we want to try to avoid that. Anyway, I hope they have a good time and they are comfortable. It is a lovely little cottage and I’m excited to be able to share it.

Needless to say, today has been a busy day. Work was also very busy, so I did some of that before the beach. Because I work for a British based company, there’s no public holiday for me today, although, had I arranged it, I could have taken the day off.

The sea was gloriously flat this morning and swimming was easy. The tide was on the high side. I swam to the barrel and back and then up and down a bit. I just love swimming in the ocean. One of the things that is happening at the moment is that my core body temperature drops drastically when I get out the water. While walking home, my feet and my fingers are frozen. I am trying to improve this by changing after the swim and then layering on the clothes. This morning I had on two pairs of socks, my jacket and gloves! The gloves helped. The socks made my frozen feet feel they were a little more padded but still numb!  Early morning at Fish Hoek beach…

Julian arrived yesterday so this evening we are going out for dinner. I think we will get some walking done first.

I’ve pretty much got my to-do list done and now the blog is complete, I can kick back and relax.

Psalm 37:34

Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along His path.

One day at a time – one step at a time.

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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Bookings

Tuesday

Today was the day…

We got our second booking, but it turns out they are coming tomorrow! Second booking – first arrival.  I’m still finding my way round the Airbnb site and discovered that there were a few settings that would be good to adjust….like the super low rate should not be valid for weekends and public holidays. Also, it should contain some sort of cleaning fee and if there are more than 2 people, an additional charge for the 3rd should be made. I learned all of that information today. So I’ve changed the settings and it’s now also not possible to book December. Hopefully by then we will be more au fait with the process and have built up some credibility. Besides, we may want the guesthouse for our own family – that’s the reason we are making it a holiday let, so that family can come first.  The first three bookings get a 20% discount, so after this weekend, that will be two down and one to go. Hopefully, we’ll get some good feedback and be on with the show. I made the information pack and apart from a final sweep, we pretty much are ready for guests.

On the work front, things were quite quiet today, although successful. Mike had a restful day. He has been reading and relaxing more. His plan is to take off some of July and get some R&R ahead of another big landscaping push.

Tomorrow is a holiday in South Africa. The President has been speaking tonight. I’m so glad to hear teachers are going to be vaccinated.

I think everyone is keen for things to return to normal and the widespread vaccination programme is a big step in that direction. We are going for our next post Covid vaccine appointment on Thursday. As it’s part of a trial, we have to go Thursday and then 2 weeks time to have blood taken.  The clinic phoned me today to find out when we were coming.

Time now for me to do a smidgen of work and then call it a day.

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Such a comfort.

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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New Relaxation Project

Monday

Today was the day…

I began a new relaxation project. I picked it up at the Chinese store. It’s bead art. I used to love cross-stitching but it’s very fine work. This is much easier…

You just follow the key on the left and stick the beads in the appropriate place.

I have started with the As. I have a long long way to go…

It’s going to be a nice winter project.

Today we went to the beach for a swim. The sea was so flat – absolutely no wind. These are perfect days for swimming. It was also not too cold. I swam to the barrel and back a couple of times. Home by about 9:30am, breakfast and I started work. I worked for nearly 6 hours. Then I walked to Fish Hoek to buy a few supplies for the guesthouse. That’s when I got the beading set.

Walking home from Fish Hoek…

Mike is pretty worn out from more manual work today than usual. Apart from some waterproofing at our old house, he coordinated the arrival of a cubic metre of sand and some wood. And he did some work under the house related to his saw.

The Victoria Mxenge fisheries protective vessel is back in the bay, albeit much further out. I could only identify it through the telescope.

Time to go make tea for Mike, so let me wrap this up.

Psalm 48:14

God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end.

Yip.

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 Bought Shells

Sunday

Today was the day…

We bought some beautiful sea shells. A lady just down the road was advertising them on Facebook, so we put in an offer, walked down and bought them. They are really lovely.

They look great on the dining room table in the vase they came in. They work well with the shells on the wall.  It was a good buy.

Today, we had our first enquiry asking about the guesthouse. If this couple decide to come, they will pay on Tuesday and arrive on Friday.

This afternoon, our neighbours came over for tea. What a lovely couple. Jonathan is an archeologist and Gill lectures part time. We look forward to seeing more of them.

Now I need to wrap this up and venture bravely into my work inbox. It may be a few hours before I crawl into bed.

But, it’s been a lovely day. We swam this morning and I had a nice chat with Elsie and Stacey. Elsie is talking so well. I made a microwave chocolate cake/brownies while we were on the call.

Psalm 25:12

Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose.

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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Out & About With Mike

Saturday

Today was the day…

I went out and about with Mike.  Today, we wanted to go and look for new cushions because the ones I had on our bed have migrated down to the guesthouse, where they look pretty good. Guesthouse bedroom now…

We went to Mr Price Home in Diep River and got a couple of new ones. We also bought blinds for our bedroom’s Juliette balcony door. Now that the sun is rising directly opposite our bed, we need them. Mike has put them up already. So after the shopping, we went out for breakfast. We went to Restorabilia’s Back Yard Cafe. I found out about this place one day when Julian and I walked in to look for old furniture. On that occasion we didn’t stop for a bite. Today, Mike & I had breakfast.

Afterwards, we browsed through some of the second hand shops back in Fish Hoek. Mike found three galvanised iron things for embedding posts in concrete. He previously bought three of them brand new for R750. Today’s purchase was R90 for three, so you can imagine how happy he was about that, especially as we will be needing them for our front door porch when the time comes.  We got them from a second hand shop in Fish Hoek – it’s a new one that only opened a month ago.

It has been another lovely day in Fish Hoek…

Perfect weather!

Proverbs 11:14

For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.

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 Are Live!

Friday

Today was the day…

I pulled the trigger on publishing the Air Bnb profile. We prayed and took the plunge. There are so many holiday rentals in Fish Hoek, so there’s lots of competition and those who have been in the game for years and years have so much more credibility than us. We are just at the start and no doubt there is a steep learning curve to come, but this is the starting point. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Although it make take a couple of months before we get our first booking.

20 on Echo Bnb page

This morning we woke up with Fish Hoek under a cloud again and not wanting to go swimming in the fog, we chose to stay home until the sun had risen and the sky was blue. I worked this morning and also finished the guesthouse work.  The mist was gone, so at lunchtime we wandered down and had a swim. I didn’t take my cell phone so don’t have photos but it looked like a bit of a holiday vibe with paddlers, swimmers and sun bathers. It did not feel like winter. The temperature of the water was 16. Pretty good I’d say.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Courage has worked so hard on the wall he’s been building. This was looking down the stairs before…

And this is now…

This is the bachelor entrance before…

And this is now.

Other angles. Looking up the stairs…

And from outside the flatlet…

That wall is here to stay! Next comes the balustrade.

I can’t end this blog without mentioning my wonderful Son-in-law who celebrates his birthday today. This week I learned you can send gift vouchers via Take-a-lot. Good to know! Thanks Adrian for all you do for our family, including the hosting of this blog. I appreciate you. Lots of love from Mom and Dad.

Romans 8:14

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

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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Swimming in the Mist

Thursday

Today was the day…

I swam in the midst of mist! It was pea soup down at Fish Hoek beach. Check out some of these photos.

The city of Cape Town truck came to pick up seaweed. I love the “I love Fish Hoek” sticker on the side of the truck.

This is my favourite photo of the day. Ghostly stand up paddlers…

I was in the water watching them for a while. When I was in, it didn’t seem so bad, but by the time I’d finished the mist seemed to come down and visibility was very poor. The water wasn’t particularly cold.

Back home, for a while, it looked like this…

But for most of the day, it was quite foggy all round. A British kind of day!

Today I took a whole batch of photos of the interior of the cottage. I was going to make our Air Bnb profile live tonight but the photo I took of the kitchen has me in the mirror! I’ll take another one tomorrow.  Meantime, we are making progress.

I’m excited!

There is a local photographer named Fanie Kloppers and he took this photo last night. He posted it on FB and he writes, “4 photos blended, so taken over a course of 4 hours. I had to take the stars during loadshedding, myself before sunset and lights on the water after the lights came back on after 20.10 The vehicle tracks was a 4th photo I had to use otherwise the lights would be blown out. ”

Stunning.

I think I’ve done everything I need to do today. Time for bed.

Psalm 25:9

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.

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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Post Jab Symptoms

Wednesday

Today was the day…

That we took it easy. We were expecting to feel a bit under the weather. I had a mild headache (as if I had been deprived of coffee) and was not quite as energetic as usual. I had one or two body aches but nothing to write home about.  Julian had a mild headache this morning as well. Mike didn’t have the headache but he had a bit of fatigue. As the day passed by, I went back to normal – headache gone, no more fatigue.  Mike has been a little more tired this evening, but is feeling fine. Julian is fine.

So that’s that then.

Because we were taking it easy, we didn’t rush off to the beach for our morning exercise, but we did walk very slowly down to the village to get some shopping. It was a beautiful day. We live in paradise.

A diver enjoyed the sparkling conditions…

And fishermen on the rocks…

Last night I spent some time on our Air Bnb profile. I almost published it but then realised I hadn’t finished taking photos so this week I’ll try to get that done and then I’m going to make it live. It’s time!

I meant to mention that the good ship Victoria Mxenge, the Fisheries Protective vessel that arrived Saturday at lunchtime, slipped out of the bay during the early hours of yesterday morning. She had been there a full 48 hours and was there for most of Monday night. Then suddenly Tuesday morning, by daybreak she was gone.

We have had a prolonged warm spell and it’s set to continue for the rest of the week. Good washing weather – perfect to wash all the sheets we got from the charity shop. Rain is forecast for part of next week. We’ll see if we get it.

Isaiah 30:21

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

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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Covid Vaccine Done!

Tuesday

Today was the day…

I joined Mike and Julian and we all got vaccinated against Covid. It was the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. We are now part of a trial to monitor its effectiveness. We have to go back in a week, 3 weeks, 6 weeks and in 6 months. It took a couple of hours to get screened and then vaccinated, but was so worth it.

I’m really pleased we’ve got it done and all of us together.

This morning, the sun rose over the mountains…..

Mike trained the telescope onto the Sugar Loaf mountain (the little triangular one). When you drive that way, you will see the transmitter station that is on top. We struggled to get a photo through the lens of the telescope, but Mike managed this one…

It’s also known as Hans Se Kop…here’s a photo I found on line taken by Des Deary.

If you are ever driving in the Somerset West area, it’s hard to miss. Amazing what you can see through the telescope.  It took me a bit of time to track down the name of the mountain.

There was a first for Julian today. He caught an uber to the airport to return to Johannesburg. I could have taken him but he decided to try it out. It felt very weird seeing him driving off with a stranger.

I spent the afternoon working. This evening we went down to the cottage and I took a few photos.  The terrace…

Sunset…

I don’t expect an deluge of visitors – we join an abundance of holiday accommodation in our area.

Psalm 119:105

Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

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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27°C in Cape Town

Monday

Today was the day…

It was as warm as summer! Throughout last night a strong north wind was blowing warm air across the city. So strong was the wind it blew over one of the cast iron chairs on our balcony. There were many clonks of furniture as the wind blew various items across the outside areas. It continued to blow for most of to day. My car thermometer registered 27°C both here in Fish Hoek and in Sun Valley when I did some shopping.

Right now, though, it has cooled slightly and thankfully the wind has dropped. Tomorrow, the maximum forecast temperature is 19°C. I’ve just been up to Julian’s floor and taken a photo from his balcony. It’s looking more ominous although no rain is forecast.

With our guest house almost ready for letting, we have been on the lookout for good quality linen. It can be found in the most unlikely places. Julian went into the Living Grace charity shop opposite CCFm in Muizenberg and picked up a whole lot and I mean a WHOLE lot of king size really good quality flat sheets.

So with some “easy” sewing, they can be converted to queen size fitted sheets. I watched a YouTube video and it does seem pretty straight forward except my sewing skills leave much to be desired. I know someone I can call on! Lol.

There’s no rush, so when I next visit Swellendam, I may just take some linen with me and perhaps we can do a deal! You won’t get this quality linen for R50 too often. One of the sheets had Rovos Rail written on it!

I can almost see Stacey itching to lay her hands on it. She loves fabric.

We did not go to the beach today. I had quite a lot of left ankle pain yesterday and so I’ve tried to rest it today, with good results. It’s not too bad this evening.

It’s been a good day. Almost dinner time.

Psalm 143:8

Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.

That’s a good prayer to pray.

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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Sunrise to Sunset

Sunday 

Today was the day…

…that a warm berg wind blew. It was like summer. The sunrise was spectacular…

As was the sunset…

In between, we went to the beach and had a relaxing swim. There was a guy dressed up like a Khoisan man. He walked across the beach hitting his gourd maraca.

We had breakfast with Julian and then a quiet Sunday at home. I had a chat with Elsie and Stacey and later in the afternoon went up to Rob’s plot high above ours. He has leveled a section and thrown a small concrete slab possibly for a store room. He’s also planted 3 lemon trees.

The ship is still there…

A lovely day.

Google reminded me of what was going down with the build a year ago. It looked like this…

The sunrise from our future lounge when we went early one morning to do the electrics this time last year…

This was the living area from the entrance in June 2020.

And this was this evening…June 2021

A big project starts with a single step. We remain in awe that this got built. Unless the Lord builds the house, they who build it labour in vain. We are in gratitude to the Lord.

Isaiah 58:11

The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.

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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A Lovely Evening…

Saturday

Today was the day…

…that was stunning June weather. It’s supposed to be winter but today was reminiscent of spring. The sun shone, the sky was blue  and the wind a gentle breeze. Mike and I went to the beach. Mike had his run and dip. I had my swim. Afterwards, I got changed and we picked up a few groceries before walking home for breakfast. I didn’t take this photo, but we did see evidence of the cause. There was a burst water main on Highway Rd and a lady called Leone was the overnight carer for an elderly lady. The volume of water resulted in her car dipping into the sinkhole. Imagine coming out after a night’s work and finding this…

It was a bit of a palaver to get it out but she eventually did and she appreciated all the community support.

At lunch time, this ship arrived just off the coast. It came from the direction of Simon’s Town, did a U-turn and dropped anchor at this spot.

Through the telescope we could see her name. She’s the Victoria Mxenge – one of the Fisheries Protective Vessels and apparently operated by the SA Navy Fleet Command. She seems to have settled in for the night as she’s still there.

We had a lovely evening with our friends John and Avril. They made the trek  up the stairs, stopping to chat with David. This is a convenient pitstop as it allows visitors to catch their breath. It’s one of things I had to get used to is people arriving at my front door completely out of breath!

Once inside, they had a look at the ship and the coastline across the bay…

Ship at sunset…

We had a lovely evening together. I love having friends round. Always good to catch up and learn new things about them.  John must write that book!

It’s been a good day.

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

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 Icing on the Cake

Friday

Today was the day…

There was a bit of south-easter, but Mike and I, after initially thinking we wouldn’t go, got ourselves up and headed to the beach. When the wind is blowing and there is a bit of swell, my rule is to just stay in the sea for 30 minutes. Inevitably, I start swimming  and warm up. The water was not too cold. Mike’s thermometer measured 15.5C which is a great improvement on other days when it was 13.9C. We went down a little later than usual and so it was warmer walking back, although my feet still felt like blocks of ice. The time will come when I will take a jacket down with me and walk back bundled up.

Later today, Julian and I walked down to Fish Hoek. The beach in the late afternoon sun…

This morning a picture came to mind that I haven’t thought of for decades. The image of our wedding cake. It came to mind because I’ve just started reading the book of Acts in the Bible and I was reading of the Holy Spirit coming and the early church being established. The fruit of the Spirit were very evident in their daily lives. For our wedding, we asked for the fruit of the Spirit to be iced around the cake. It was 1986 and the baker of the cake wasn’t as skilled as she could have been but she did the best she could.

I dug out our photo album and took a photo of the photo.

Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

You can never over-do the fruit of the Spirit.

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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