Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Colours for 2016

I don't care what Plascon, Dulux and Pantone have selected, these are my colours for summer 2016.

And then it rained

Gentle but wild things

Up the next morning, Sunday, and off to hike at Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve. The sun was out so it is hot, and it's in Pretoria, so hotter than you think. But we had hats and water, so all good.

From the car park you can see the buck, and zebras. 27 steps later and the ostriches put on a display, not for us, but for love, I think.

A much gentler climb than yesterday and walking through the woods expecting to see duikers but didn't. Wouldn't you expect to see duikers on the Duiker Trail?  Beautiful drapes of moss everywhere, in different shades of green. More grasses and pretty flowers and different from the ones we saw at Kloofendal. 

So good to be outside, good thoughts and plans for the year start to take shape as we amble along the path. 

A most enjoyable morning.

Along the ridge, east to west

You know how you drive past a place and you think: I should go there some day and have a look. Then years pass, but one day you do it, you follow the directional boards and you're actually there. So this is how we ended up doing a hike at Kloofendal Nature Reserve on Saturday morning. 

We selected the Dassie Trail because it wasn't the shortest, or the longest. I should have realised that I would need the agility of a dassie, or mountain goat, for this terrain. We only saw one dassie but I am sure many of them saw us. I stop to photograph every little flower, yes I know, so very annoying. That's why we can't hike in a group with others. But the flowers and grasses are all so pretty. Wonderful bird life. It was a great walk and we will be going back.

Goodwill and good men

This is the kind of thing I expect to see on the front page, rather than match fixing in cricket. Argh.

On the way to Kloofendal we passed this convoy of trucks, loaded with feed, obviously for farmers in the drought-stricken areas. I got goosebumps, there is so much goodwill and so many good people. Thank you. Thank God for you. You make me feel ashamed for not contributing, for doing nothing.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Express yourself

We have painted a blackboard onto a wall in the stairwell at work. We can say or draw anything we want. We may not remove someone else’s statement or art to make room for ours. The board is cleaned every Monday morning. White and coloured chalk has been provided. Just to have a bit of fun at work, and to say what you really, really want ;-)

Let's Salsa

Had the studio lunch at Salsa today. Great food, giant portions, excellent service. Thanks.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Party cancelled due to rain

Y.M. had planned a pool party at work, because of the heat wave we have been experiencing. Yes, in the fountain. Just when it was time to party the rain came. We are so grateful for the rain. We'll just have to reschedule the party.

Theatre evening

Went to see Swan Lake on ice, lovely show. Great evening.

Beam me up, Scotty

Evening sky, Wednesday, on my way home.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Jet black without the jets

Ned and Nancy

I know Annie Sloan and chalk paint are all the rage but honestly this shop, Ned and Nancy's Interiors, is about more than selling chalk paint. The interior is so gorgeous, charming and inviting, almost cozy. The attention to detail and the selection of merchandise encourages you to pull out your wallet and just fill the boot of your car, you forget you're recovering from Christmas shopping. Have a look at the fridge along the back wall. I am definitely painting my fridge, not black though. And I am going to take Ned's advise and add a detail with another colour. Looking forward to this project. Maybe I'll do the kitchen cupboards as well, hmm.

I love the way they have displayed the colour range of chalk paint by painting the tin cups. It gives a much better indication than the swatch strip.

They have copper pipe bathroom fixtures that are marvellous and so different, go get them.
But go next week, Ned said they're low on stock right now but should have a full shop in a week.

I think they offer workshop as well, but I don't want to commit to that. Contact them and find out. They are in the Lonehill shopping centre.

A cup of coffee and a good book

I feel as though I haven't been out in like for ever. I arrive at Exclusive Books in Hyde Park and can't believe how it has been transformed. Beautiful.

I heard them speak some months ago on 702 about new investors/buyers (forgive me for not remembering the detail). They were asked if there was still a future for a bookshop (with the growing trend in online shopping) and the interviewee spoke with such enthusiasm of their vision that I was completely taken in.

Well, here is that vision before me. It would seem that people are making it as part of their personal space. So books as usual and a coffee shop. These long tables where strangers are sitting side-by-side, okay, they are not interacting, sigh. Then the restaurant, The Social Kitchen, with big open windows and the loveliest ambience. Take yourself there and have a great meal, add a good cocktail and buy a book. I am sure you'll enjoy the experience. 

I think it's advisable to book the restaurant, as it seems awfully popular.

Monday, 4 January 2016

My book club 2016

I am part of a group on Facebook: The Good Book Appreciation Society and have been following everyone's posts. So on New Year's Eve I went out to buy a few books to read during 2016. I bought many of them based on the group's reviews. I can't wait be get started. In fact I have already read The Grownup and I thoroughly enjoyed it. On the last page I went: OMW! and turned the page for more, despite the fact that I knew it was the end.

Boring Beige, but without the beige

I wanted to make up one of my colour mood boards but then I got confused as to what is beige. Sigh! When is it beige and not off-white, or cream, or caramel, or a hint of yellow?

Happy New Year!

December break 2015

A lunch with friends before the family arrives and everything is delightfully mismatched and the table sloping slightly westwards in its southern corner. Our guests arrive and love it. Love the meal too. Spicy coconut chicken, fresh baked bread (to mop up the sauce) and a salad. I am normally so diligent in the visual recording of my meals but today I forgot. Oops. Anyway, you can find the recipe on

Two men jog past my house at noon. When the Lindt chocolate is unable to keep its pose in the house - it can't decide whether to cling to the wrapper or try and hold on to its centre because its so very hot. Two men run past my house in the noonday sun. Insane.

Do you know how hot it really is without taking a barometer reading? Those candles that change colours when lit (heat-activated) are going through their colour phases without a flame on the wick.

Rain from the east. Wind from every direction. The trees sway this way and that faster then a row of spectators at a Wimbledon final. The rain follows a zigzag pattern from the top to the bottom taking its direction from the wind. So cool now after a hot day. In the morning we see how many branches the wind wrestled from the trees, torn off with force and now lie discarded on the garden floor.

Its 05:48. Last chance today to bake the Christmas cookies. However, my lazy body and my lazy bones seem more inclined towards lying on the bed and reading a book. And so the battle begins, since the body is already on the bed it feels this is an easy victory. But the mind always wins because it plays the guilt card. Well, it was late afternoon before I started baking. I was sweating like a Chinese child labourer, oven on and about 32 degrees. The house smells wonderfully like Christmas.

I got a bowl of homemade fudge and placed it with all the other presents in the basket under the Christmas tree. We went swimming and when we came back in the house we realised why the dogs had been so quiet, they had eaten all the fudge. We should have known, like children who are too quiet they were up to no good. BJ threw up later that evening because his body couldn't find a happy balance between how delicious the fudge was and how bad it is for his system. Lots of pacing, panting and going outside. Eventually, I had had enough and gave him a heaped teaspoon of alkaline powder and that settled everything.

Tuesday 12:36. Awaiting the arrival of our guests. Excited.

So the family arrive late afternoon. It is so frigging hot and no one can get to sleep, any of the night they were here. We had all the doors and windows open but without a breeze it remains hot. The mosquitoes seem annoyed with the hot weather and take their anger out on us day and night, it seems relentless. 

We are so grateful for the swimming pool. Spend so much time in it, it is fun. Play games or just swim backwards and forwards then float about like dead fish. We put the dogs under the shower every day to cool off.

Christmas Eve I lay the table. We eat an early dinner, just something light, salads. My sister-in-law made a delicious watermelon, grape and feta salad. She cut the watermelon into shapes, very pretty. Play the Christmas music as our mom and dad used too. The girls sing us a Christmas carol, the candles are lit and everyone is quiet for a moment. Then we open the presents. Awesome. I'll show you all the gifts I got later. Out onto the patio for dessert, delicious.

We all had a good time together. On Sunday before they left I make a big lunch despite the hot weather. More swimming. Teaching the girls dominoes etc. Before you can say: hot as hell we were back at the airport and it was all over.

I promised Trish I would bring a cake to her dinner and while I knew the baking pan was the wrong format for the type of cake I was making I wanted a wreath-shaped cake.  Well my hummingbird cake stuck to the pan in one spot when I tried to turn it out and so it was in broken pieces and crumbs. Trish suggested I turn it into a trifle. Good idea. A generous sprinkling of kirschwasser, some drunken pineapple (soaked in kirschwasser), smashed nuts, Woolies chocolate mousse and some whipped cream and we had a trifle. My first trifle, I think it's a very English thing, and I have never thought they look very appetising. Anyway, it saved me and tasted good but I will probably never make another.

Jill had loaned me 4 books and I have managed to read 3 of them. I enjoyed Me before you and City of Dark Magic.

Too hot to get to all the things that need to be done around the house so we took ourselves off to the movies twice. Lady in the Van. Maggie Smith was so natural and made it seem like everyone else was acting. I don't know how to explain it. And we saw Sisters. I am a big fan of Tina Fey but this is the first of her movies I have enjoyed, entertaining, a good laugh.

One whole day we spent watching Homeland 4 - I know you have all seen it already but we don't have any of the mod cons (yet) so we are a little behind with our favourite series. Thoroughly enjoyed it. it was a great day. small pleasures.

Back to work tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for all my wonderful gifts!