Birthday Came Early

Thursday

Today was the day…

My birthday present came early, but I’m feeling quite bad, because I sort of claimed it! Julian is here and went out buying books. At a charity shop, he found a quite large painting and decided to buy it, not quite knowing where he would put it. As soon as I saw it, I absolutely loved it …

Early birthday present!? Julian agreed! I found the perfect place for it, above my rocking chair.

It’s also visible from the lounge.Β  Thank you J!

Today began with me walking down to the physio in time for 8am. Summer has arrived and the sea was flat, so I packed my towel and right after the physio session, I headed for the beach and met Mike there. He ran, I swam. The shark net was in place so swimming was easy. I swam almost 2km in 40 minutes. We walked home and my working day began. From time to time, the shark siren went off today as a bronze whaler was spotted on the Clovelly side of Fish Hoek beach. They seem to be more active as the trek fishermen are now back in business.

WeΒ  had a bar fridge delivered today for the basement – now officially being called the Little Lookout. Under the house has become the Workshop. It is enclosed and secure, so all the tools that are in the Little Lookout are being moved to the Workshop, so the LL can become habitable!

The work does not stop. It barrels onwards.

But tomorrow is Friday and that will be a little less busy. It’s good to hear that the UK has taken South Africa off the red list.

I can’t end the blog without a mention of Granny who crossed the great divide on this day 8 years ago. Missed and remembered with love. Just looking at this photo, makes me smile.

Good also to hear from my sister today whose recent CT scan was clear!

Habbakuk 3:19

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Birthday Came Early

Everyone Needs a Rocking Chair

Wednesday

Today was the day…

The south-easter blew and though I looked longingly at the sea and the beach, I concluded it was too windy to go for a swim. Perhaps tomorrow. My morning routine follows a similar pattern each day. I have coffee and then I sit in my rocking chair and do my Bible reading. As I sat there this morning, I thought how I didn’t realise I needed the rocking chair until after I got it. It really is a place of comfort and peace. When I’m tired of working and need a rest, I scuttle to my rocking chair. Everyone needs a rocking chair! If I have written that before, forgive me for saying it again! It’s been a gift from God that I didn’t know I wanted or needed!

View from my rocking chair…this was not today…I took it a couple of weeks ago…

I know it could be tempting to sit here all day! Today it became a place of rest a couple of times during my working day – more than 9 hours I worked but it did include a few eye breaks. After it, having done no exercise and with an eye-strain headache, I went walking and that helped to clear my brain and relax my muscles.

Two bookings came in today for the cottage. It’s filling up over the summer months.

We had a lovely evening dinner with Julian and David.

Now I am ready for bed.

Acts 3:19-20

Turn to God. Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord.

So true!

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on Everyone Needs a Rocking Chair

My Crazy Swimming Watch

Tuesday

Today was the day…

We swam in what were quite windy conditions. I went in my summer swimming costume which was fine, except my arms, which have been covered all winter, felt the cold more than the rest of my body. I usually swim 2km in about 42 or more minutes, but when it’s windy and the waves are high, I don’t swim. I bob up and down and swim breast stroke ever so slowly. I did swim to the barrel and back to the beach, but not nearly as far as I usually go; yet my watch recorded 2km! Completely erroneous, especially as I only swam for 33 minutes.

The water is warming. I’ve found a new wind website that tells the height of the waves. I now know anything higher than 2m is not going to be pleasant. Tomorrow it is going to be very windy again, but Thursday morning, we may get a dip.

For the rest of the day, I spent most of it working. Julian arrived late afternoon and that pretty much is all that happened today. Google did supply me with a Collage reminding me of my looks over the last few years. Before braces, during braces, before jaw surgery, after jaw surgery and finally to where we are today.

Google has its uses! Glad my chipmunk days are over!

Isaiah 30:15

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged | Comments Off on My Crazy Swimming Watch

Another Covid Death in our Circle

Monday

Today was the day…

We heard of another person in our outer circle who had died of Covid. This was someone I hadn’t met, but is related to my niece’s husband. He was not vaccinated. He was on the fence about whether he should or shouldn’t. When his wife went to be vaccinated, he went along, but when he had to queue, he said he wasn’t happy to. His wife got vaccinated, but he didn’t. Unnecessarily dead at 59, leaving heartache and bereavement behind him. The effect of Covid varies from person to person. No one knows if or when they’ll get it. If it strikes badly, immediately, they regret not being vaccinated and then it’s too late. The other day when Mike and I were at the cardiologist there was an elderly lady there who was keen to chat. We asked if she had been vaccinated and she said, ‘no.’ Mike said the main reason he got vaccinated is that he didn’t want to die a painful death of not being able to breath. This info-graphic says it all.

We are grateful to be exiting the 3rd wave. It’s a perfect time to get vaccinated before the next one hits. If you are not vaccinated, it’s the best gift you can give both yourself and your family.

The other thing that happened today is that there has been a massive outage of Facebook and Whatsapp.

I’m not sure when it’s going to come back up again. What’s interesting is that this is a global problem and not just in South Africa. I can live without Facebook, but to not have Whatsapp is a bit of an inconvenience.

We didn’t swim today – the wind has been howling. Tomorrow morning, it’s expected to drop so hopefully I’ll get in the big blue.

I did 7 hours of work and walked to Fish Hoek for a couple of things.

Psalm 18:29

In Your strength, I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on Another Covid Death in our Circle

Strangely Moved

Sunday

Today was the day….

Julian went to my Dad’s graveside in Harare. I was strangely moved when he sent me a photo. The last time I was there was after his death in 2008. The graveyard is a little neglected and overgrown, but still the wording is just made out. Julian needed to sweep some dirt off it and the colour has come off his name and dates of birth and death, which were 22nd July 1932 to 15th August 2008. Julian and I had been to see him for his 76th birthday. We prayed for him and on that occasion he too prayed – I remember that prayer. He that he would not be an invalid or burden to his family. Three weeks later, he had heart failure and died a few days later.

The words come from Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.

My Mom, my brother, (Arnold) and Mike’s Mom, (Granny) and Mike’s Dad were all cremated, so it’s poignant to see the place I said goodbye to my Dad. Mike’s Dad’s ashes were interred in the Moth memorial wall in East London.Β  I think having a place to go and reflect on the life of someone is important. I don’t think it needs to be a grave site but I think it’s a good idea to reserve ashes for a special place and plant a tree over them, or make a plaque in their memory. We still have Granny’s ashes. Perhaps that is what we will do as we work on the landscaping here on the mountainside. Granny loved the sea and the mountains and gardening. We’ll make a plan.

Julian had a flying visit to Zim – arrived there yesterday – is back in Johannesburg tonight.

This morning we were blessed with a majestic sunrise.

We went to the beach. The water is warming. I swam my 2km, some was towards the lighthouse and back. After that, the shark net was put in place and I swam up and down to the drum a couple of times. We’ve had a restful day.

Psalm 29:11

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

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

Posted in A Thousand Thanks, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on Strangely Moved

Not All Sharks are Created Equal

Saturday

Today was the day…

There was an official shark sighting at Fish Hoek. This is an event that completely rains on my parade! While it was overcast, it was a beautiful morning with not too much wind, so we set off enthusiastically to the beach and I had a wonderful 40 minute, 2km swim. Out to the barrel twice and up and down towards the lighthouse. We got there early so the shark net was not yet deployed.

Home, shower, breakfast, long chat with Stacey. It was all wonderful.

Then I turned on my laptop and logged onto Facebook…

Darn! You know how this does my head in?! So, I walked down to do some shopping and stopped by the shark sign. By then the red flag was down. It was a Bronze Whaler (or Copper) shark that was seen. It’s the first official sighting since December last year.

I googled…

Not all sharks are created equal. The water was so much warmer than recently. Tomorrow looks like it will also be a windless day, but Monday not. If the wind is not blowing, it makes it easier to swim in the shallow water.Β  Also if I go down later, the shark net will be in place.

From types of sharks to types of sea gulls. There were these sea gulls, clearly very different to one another. I learned the smaller one is a Hartlaub’s Gull, very common to our coast.

I couldn’t figure out what the big ones were, despite Googling ‘big speckled sea gulls’. Some websites said they were kelp gulls, others Cape gulls, but on both occasions they showed pictures of regular gulls. I’ll have to do more research.

Mike has bread in the bread machine and we are having it for dinner!

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Not All Sharks are Created Equal

Guests out Guests in

Friday

Today was the day that was hectic!

I did a bit of work and then as soon as the guests left, I went down to the cottage to change the linen and set it up for the guests who arrived this afternoon. Fortunately, Courage bought his wife Ruth and she did most of the cleaning. I changed the linen and washed and dried all the laundry.

I did manage to get out to see friends and on the way home, I picked up this little addition for the guests.

Actually, Julian bought cupcakes in the boxes a few weeks ago. I just picked up fresh cupcakes today and re-used the boxes!

Other events today – Courage and Mike completed the frame for the other side of under the house, and started putting in the corrugated door…it needed a few extra hands….

We had wood delivered. Someone on the neighbourhood WhatsApp group said he had 30kg bags of fire wood for R80. Sounded a deal to me and with the summer months ahead, who knows, we may braai! I ordered and the guy who was selling came in from the farm this afternoon and dropped it off. It’s now in the garage.

The guests came. Courage and Ruth left. Then Mike and I walked to the end of Echo Rd where we had heard a new house was going to be built. They are busy clearing the plot and have done well.

We enjoyed fish for dinner.

Ephesians 6:10

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Guests out Guests in

On This Day….4 years, 3 years, 2 years & 1 year Ago

Thursday

Today was the day….

That I had my final conference day. It was another windy day – and it looks like tomorrow will also be windy. I went to an early physio appointment where my left ankle tendon had some hands on treatment. It really does help.

This week I have been reminded by Google as to what I was doing over the last few years. Four years ago, in 2017, we had just arrived in Italy and had started our adventure in Vietri-Sul-Mare – at the start of Italy’s amazing Amalfi Coast. From the patio of our Bnb.

In 2018, it was a much more low key day. It’s hard to believe this was 3 years ago because I remember it so clearly. We had a travelling breakfast at Harbour Bay, first at the Blue Door cafΓ© for coffee, then the Cattle Baron for a cooked breakfast and we ended at the coffee shop next door for more coffee and a muffin.

On 30th September 2019, preparation was underway for our build. A path had been cleared up the mountain. The strelitzia on the right is still there and in bloom!

I’ll need to take a photo from the same place to show what it looks like now.

On this day in 2020, we visited our Granite…remember this?

It was described as sun damaged but after fabrication, it looks like this…you can see some of the patterns from the above piece and match them onto the kitchen island below.

It’s always good to look back. Each new project begins with a single step and slowly but surely a house gets built.

Today I sat at my desk working for 7 hours. I was/am finished! I also walked to Fish Hoek and back and that helped blow stress out my head and reduce my eye strain.

Now I’m ready for bed.

End of September 2021.

Psalm 66:19

Truly God has listened; He has attend to the voice of my prayer.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

Posted in Apartment living, Building a house on a mountainside, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on On This Day….4 years, 3 years, 2 years & 1 year Ago

A Good Medical Day

Wednesday

Today was the day…

Mike went to the cardiologist for a check up. He had some strange chest pain the other day and when he had an ECG at our GP, the doctor picked up an anomaly, so referred him to the cardiologist. He had blood work done which was completely normal. Today he had a stress ECG and an Echocardiogram both of which were also 100% fine.

So that’s that done! So grateful!

The wind has been howling. This is a sure sign of summer on its way. It’s crazy how big the waves are. One of the things that happens in summer is the wind picks up as the day progresses, so it may come to pass that we are able to get an early morning swim in before we have the wind proceed from breeze to fresh to strong to gale force! It feels very strong right now. Wind guru concurs. From the look of this, we may get a swim in Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

Believe it or not, as I sit here, I’m watching a couple of water craft blow past. The waves are humungous. One of them is a paddler in a surfski and the other, to my astonishment is a stand up paddler. How he manages to stay aboard amidst the high swell and sudden gusts of wind, I don’t know, but he is. He must have legs of iron and stomach muscles of steel. He’s quickly blowing towards Fish Hoek beach and is still afloat.Β  It’s definitely not a day that you would find me in the blue. The resilience and strength of the human frame is amazing.

I’ve just gone back to my Bible and relooked at what I read this morning. I read something from the Old Testament, Psalms, Proverbs and New Testament. Each portion bought gems to remember:

Isaiah 58:9Β  –Β  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.

Psalm 71:18 –Β Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.

(Some who are reading this are that next generation).

Proverbs 24:10 – If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!

Philippians 1:6 – Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Words to live by.

The best is yet to come – we are only passing through.Β  I imagine myself to be here on holiday – on holiday on planet earth. One day, I will pack up and go home.

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on A Good Medical Day

Super Host Status

Tuesday

Today was the day…

That wasn’t quite as rushed as yesterday. My work conference meant we didn’t go to the beach, despite it being a beautiful day with very little wind and the sea looked so inviting. Our new guests arrived and are settling in. We have reached the criteria for being an Air BnB Super Host!

We just made it in the nick of time as we had until Friday to meet the criteria. Not that anything changes. We will just carry on trying to do our best and making each group of guests feel as comfortable as possible.

Late this afternoon, I walked to Fish Hoek to view a headboard. It was a jolly nice one and Tony, the seller has a small truck and was happy to deliver. I walked home while he first went shopping andΒ  then bought the headboard up to us. R400 delivered.

That was a good buy. Now I just need one more for the loft. I think this one will go in the basement which we are trying to rename something more suitable. The basement conjures up something underground, which this is not. It’s one large room with an en suite shower room,Β  so maybe we should call it ‘the suite’. It is about 50 steps from the road and has a little sea view.

We do not have a conference day tomorrow, which is a nice break. I’ve got quite a lot of work to do, but am taking off at lunchtime as Mike has an appointment with the cardiologist. He’s been very healthy but has had a few grumblings of late, so it’s time to check them out. His initial blood tests came back clear which was good news.

It’s been a good day.

Joel 2:32

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Super Host Status

Great Deal of Satisfaction

Monday

Today was the day…

We started our company conference. It’s three mornings this week, so swimming won’t be happening.

After the conference, the cottage guests had left and so I got stuck into cleaning the cottage. It takes 2-3 hours and is now spic and span and ready for tomorrow’s couple.

I get a great deal of satisfaction getting it to ‘ready’ stage. The last guests came with a cute dog called Bambini but he shed a lot of his doghair so I needed to do things like vacuum the couch.Β  The guests that arrive tomorrow leave on Friday morning and another couple arrive Friday afternoon, so I have got all my ducks in a row in preparation for a quick turnaround. I walked down to the village and bought extra pillow cases and towels. It was a good walk on a windless, overcast day…

It feels I’ve worked a week and it’s only Monday!

Psalm 145:18

The Lord is near to all who call on Him…

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs, Living on Fish Hoek mountainside | Tagged , | Comments Off on Great Deal of Satisfaction

Kom Lighthouse Walk

Sunday

Today was the day…

It was cool and overcast, but breathless, so we went to the beach and I had a swim. The rest of the day was spent quietly. This afternoon, Julian and I went to Kommetjie Lighthouse….we parked the other side of the lagoon…

And walked to the Lighthouse and back. Beautiful day….looking this way…

And that….

And we have arrived…

It was such a beautiful day. The rolling waves were perfect for surfers who were out in droves. They were fun to watch.

Recently, I have been mourning with a friend. It’s so difficult when someone is hurting so badly. There are things we won’t understand this side of eternity. They are deep, heartbroken things of which we think we will never recover. They seep into every emotional cell of our being. Sometimes it won’t be possible to take one day at a time – and just the next hour must be taken or even just the next breath. Time will pass and somehow in God’s amazing grace, each of us gets through and some time we will see how God never wastes pain and He can use tragedy for a purpose far greater than can be seen today.

We keep trusting.

Isaiah 46:4

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue 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™‚

Posted in Day to Day Blogs | Comments Off on Kom Lighthouse Walk

Dotty Day!

Saturday

Today was the day…

That’s been really chilled with not much going on in the vN home! Mike and I did go for a dip this morning, but truth be told, it wasn’t as good as usual because my springsuit has started chafing me on the right side of my neck and inside of my right elbow. I have been doing a lot more crawl and I guess it’s like getting a blister. I only swam for about 35 minutes. I still enjoyed it but swimming was less comfortable. It’s almost summer and time to ditch the long sleeved springsuit in favour of my regular costume. The one thing about this morning’s swim is that the shark net was out and I it was great to swim under its protection. It makes one big sea pool.

Home and the Spring Regatta continues. Gavin Finlayson took this amazing photo from Fish Hoek beach with his super duper powerful camera.

Mike and I did some shopping but not much else, although I did get to chat to Stacey and Elsie. She is getting cuter by the day and is so good at doing puzzles.

I also got some dotting done…#beadart

I’m 2/3 done…

Right now, I am breathing in an amazing aromas of bread that Mike has got on the go.Β  I’m looking forward to that.

Time to wrap up and go for a walk.

Psalm 34:17

The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Dotty Day!

Spring Regatta

Friday – Heritage Day

Today was the day…

I took most of the day off. What a treat and it’s a long weekend!Β  The day dawned with a majestic Heritage Day sunrise…

You can see there was very little wind and this would make for wonderful swimming conditions. I swam to the barrel and then decided to make a bee-line for the lighthouse. At times I felt I was swimming in the middle of the bay. It was deep and dark. I reminded myself that Orca whales had been seen in the bay recently – they are the wonders of the deep that keep the great white sharks out. Orcas won’t eat people. Great whites will.Β  The 1 in my satellite pic was where it felt very deep.

I had to do quite a lot of swimming to get to 2km and in the end it was 50 minutes of hard work that got me there.

Then we came home, got showered and changed and walked to Fish Hoek for breakfast.

Home in time to watch the yachts in the Spring Regatta. They had to go round a buoy and we saw some action as two yachts approached it. The one in front didn’t get the turn right, so the vessel behind snuck around the buoy and took the lead! This is taken through the telescope…

The other thing that happened today is Christmas got booked! I’m so excited about this. We have a part of 3 arriving 23rd December and leaving 28th….a daughter and her parents. This will work well.

Now it’s time for dinner!

1 Peter 3:12

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer.

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Living on Fish Hoek mountainside | Tagged , | Comments Off on Spring Regatta

Crazy Busy Day

Thursday

Today was a day that blitzed by. It contained a degree of stress due to too many appointments and not enough time. I did get to swim though. The north wind was blowing gently (initially) so the sea was flat and swimming conditions were fantastic. I swam to the drum, from there to the lighthouse – back to the drum and then tried to make up to 2km. In the end it was 45 minutes of swimming but just under my goal.

Home and a crazy day of work began. I went to the physio at noon and got home close to 1:30pm. I had three Skype calls and my guests arriving right after that. Fortunately, the guests ran late and the stress got less as I got each appointment complete. Eventually, there was time for everything and by 5pm, the guests were happily settled and we went upstairs and had tea with Julian. Mike and Julian have now gone for a walk. With my left foot tendon being worked on today, I’ve forgone the walk and am on my bed with my feet up finishing the blog.

I’ve just gone down a rabbit trail on Facebook looking for a headboard. We need two. One for the basement bed and one for the bed in the loft. Courage has been working hard on the loft and it’s looking amazing! No headboards available right now.

Time to wrap up and enjoy the feeling of a long weekend ahead. Even though I’ll do a bit of work tomorrow, I’ll most likely take most of the day off! Yeah! Freedom Food will provide the braai! The guests said the Spring Regatta is over the next three days and there will be a lot of activity in False Bay. We’ll be watching!

Luke 9:23
Then He said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

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

Keep the smile going.

God bless you.

In His Grip,

Helga xx πŸ™‚

 

Posted in Apartment living, Day to Day Blogs | Tagged , | Comments Off on Crazy Busy Day