Friday, December 13, 2013


We have recently returned from a 10-day holiday to the Drakensberg mountains and the beach.

At this time of the year, the weather in South Africa is unpredictable.  The country has been experiencing extensive rain - particularly in Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal. We were gifted with exactly ONE day of sunshine during the entire trip.  Never-the-less, we rested well, had some super family time and I have some pretty photographs to share with you.
 I'll let the photos tell the story:

Below: The magnificent view from the Drakensberg Sun Resort

Above: Our room.
Above: The "Sunset" cruise on the lake.
Our welcoming committee.
Below: the view from our room.

Above: A storm is building.
Above: Dining room
When the weather eased, we set out on a 6km hike into the picturesque mountains. 
The 'Blue Grotto' cave and waterfall.
Above: I marvelled at the moss growing on the entire surface of a tree.
Above: fern tendril.


The second leg of our journey took us to 'Cabana Beach' - a seaside resort in Umhlanga, KZN.
 Our unit was on the 7th floor - with a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean.  On most days we counted 24 boats on the horizon - waiting to come into the harbour.
 Below: The pretty maroon flower of the succulents growing on the sand dunes.

 Below: The walkway along the beach front at Umhlanga.
 Below: The board walk at the lighthouse.

 Below: Sunrise on our 'one-and-only' sunny day.
 Below: A pigeon shelters from the rain on our balcony.

 Above: Beautiful duck in the hotel grounds.
 Above: Sunrise again (Sunny day)
Below: Charter-boat launching.
 Below: Who would think that the sun would ever shine?  :)
People emerged to frolic in the waves.
 Below: Sunrise on the day that we heard about the death of our beloved
Nelson Mandela, the father of our democracy and rainbow nation.
On this morning, the sun broke through the clouds to highlight the ships.
I couldn't help the thought:

"Our great ship has sailed. Hamba kahle, Tata Madiba."

 Below: Leaving for home in appalling weather.
 Below: The clouds lift along Van Reenen's pass.

 Below: Toby and Lexi celebrate our return.
 Below: The trio are determined not to let me out of their sight...EVER AGAIN!
Above: "I missed you too, my babies!"

As they say, "There is nothing like home!"

Sending lotsaluv to all my friends around the world.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Farewell Nelson Mandela.

Our nation mourns the passing of a great man.
May God bless our country and its people who were touched by his life.
May his great legacy live on.
Rest in peace,  Tata.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Build Young Lives With The Underdog Project...

Dear friends,

I have been asked to help raise awareness for this very worthwhile project, based in Cape Town, South Africa and I do this with absolute pleasure. If you can find it in your hearts to support these incredible and committed people, PLEASE do so! Individuals, Groups, Corporates - PLEASE consider this.  Every cent matters!
Below is part of their campaign pitch, but I encourage you to also visit their


Build Young Lives With 

The Underdog Project

The Underdog Project runs an after-school course that brings together at-risk teenagers and abandoned dogs for a little bit of positive reinforcement. 

Harnessing the therapeutic power of animals, Underdog tackles social and emotional problems of teens in a non-invasive way, through practical dog handling activities, humane education and life skills workshops.

Our mission is to empower young people and arm them with the confidence and skills to succeed in the real world. And at the same time we want to help their shelter dog partners to find homes.

Why back our campaign?

When you examine the drop-out rate of learners in South Africa’s school system, you begin to realize that we have a serious problem on our hands. More children may be enrolling, but fewer are finishing their schooling. 

For many of the teens we accept, The Underdog Project is their last chance of staying on track. It is crucial to teach these young people self-confidence and practical life-skills that can help them cope in the real world.

Next year our goal is to double the number of teenagers that we work with. Our team is made up of volunteers, some full time and others part time. What we really need to step up our game is a qualified, dependable, brilliant, creative, compassionate Underdog facilitator slash super-hero to run Underdog courses on a full time basis.

And that’s where you come in...

To read more about this VERY worthwhile project, please visit their

Sending lotsaluv to you all,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

For all my friends who suffer...

When life stands on a precipice and hope is dwindling fast;
When the broken pieces of your heart lie shattered, shocked, and you are left with only memories;
And when the bubble of solitude descends on you like a thick, heavy mantle,
And all light starts to fade,

My friend, know this…
That you are deeply, deeply loved!

That your loss, although huge and unfathomable, is part of the mist of life;
That it is fleeting and will eventually lift and rise.  It will leave you breathless in its glow of peace.  You will be comforted.  This is unfathomable too.

Dear firend, your soul will soar again…don’t loose hope.

Because you have a strength that you never imagined,
And a Master by your side too…
One that will lead you, guide you, love you, embrace you,
And call you His.

My friend, you are not alone in your sorrow but loved, valued and purposed.

(Dedicated to  ALL my friends in cyberspace who are battling at the moment - Mimi, Georgie, Benny's mom and MANY, MANY others.  We love you SO much!)

Monday, October 14, 2013



We were up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to get all our things ready and pack the car.  Lexi had been bathed and brushed up to her full glory.  Despite not feeling 100% both Lexi and I were ready for the day ahead. And the temperatures were forecast to be in the mid-30's.

The heat was sweltering as 71 beautiful Golden Retrievers gathered to compete in the 31st annual Golden Retriever Championship Breed Show on Saturday 12 October 2013.  The show was graciously sponsored by HILLS PET NUTRITION who were very generous with their prizes! 
The venue for the event was the beautiful grounds at the centre for the Guide Dogs for the Blind, in Johannesburg South Africa.
This particular show was to be our little Lexi's first appearance in the Breed Show ring.

The "Boss" and I arrived at the show grounds early so that we'd be able to set our gazebo up in a nice position with a good view of the ring. (We are the little dark tent in the far corner of the ring. We had everything we needed including lots of water for Lexi and a few chewies to keep her occupied.

 Like us, however, she was far more interested in the array of beautiful Goldens on display than in any treats we had on offer. The ringside was a buzz of activity as people brushed up their stunning Goldens in anticipation of the big event.

As most of my readers know, I don't personally enjoy being in the show ring, so I am really grateful to Estene Trollope for agreeing to take Lexi into the ring for me.  Lexi and Estene have a sweet bond and it is a pleasure for me to watch them together. They did some practising before the formalities started.
 Not only did Estene show Lexi, but also her own four beautiful dogs.
 (Estene's lovely Prada - Ch Quillquest Miuccia Prada at Chardale (Ch Siatham Baron Quillquest x Ch Siatham Classic Quillquest) was awarded Bitch CC and Best Opposite Sex )
("PRADA" is the cream golden next to the larger "CHAD" on the R.H.S)
The judge was the highly accredited Sjoerd Jobse (Sweden)
I must apologise for not having taken many photos of all the other beautiful dogs on display at the show.  (I wasn't feeling well and the heat was really getting to me, so only came home with a few photos - and mainly those of Lexi). Take my word for it, however, the standard of dogs was outstanding and I would like to congratulate all the winners.

Before we knew it, it was Lexi's turn in the ring...

 Although Lexi ran quite nicely, she was very jittery with the judge's static examination.
(Who knows if it had anything to do with her bout of 'garbage guts' which got us out of bed twice during the previous night.  Maybe, however, it is just a cast of being a novice at these things).  Either way, I think she looked lovely and Estene was a star!!!

 I have prepared a short video of her performance.  Enjoy...

Although Lexi didn't get anywhere at all in the show, it was a good experience and a lovely day. We so enjoyed watching all the Goldens.  Thank you, too, to the special people who stopped by our tent to say hello to our little Princess (especially the dear little toddler boy).
Lexi is ALWAYS keen to meet new people!

Once again, congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to the organisers, the sponsors - HILLS PET NUTRITION, the judge and the ring steward.

Sending lotsaluv,