This that and the next

I subscribe on Facebook to GBAS – the Good Book Appreciation Society (GBAS.) It has 1000’s of members I believe. Readers post a photograph of the book they’re reading and their review on it. Invariably, there’s a lot of discussion in the comments. It’s a wonderfully engaging link in which I am easily distracted and I occasionally add my two cents worth.

A few weeks ago on GBAS there was a review on Lynn Joffe’s book ‘The Gospel According to Wanda B. Lazarus’. I read all the comments, all wonderful, and because it looked irresistible I added ‘I want, I need, I desire’. Blow me down with a feather, Lynn got hold off me via messenger and the book arrived at my home in Plettenberg Bay, from Johannesburg. A gift! A great big bold bountiful beautiful book.

I thanked Lynn via messenger and said how excited I was. She had mentioned something about Lilith in our previous messenger chats. I requested her kindle address and said I would send her a kindle edition of ‘In Praise of Lilith, Eve & the Serpent in the Garden of Eden & Other Stories’. She already had it. I wanted to gift her something in return so I said I would send her ‘Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry’ by Susan E. Schwartz & myself. I had no copies of my own I told her, but would buy author copies from Amazon though this would take time. Shipping etc…

Now, when I opened the box that arrived with Lynn’s book we were out on the balcony having a late lunch. Son Mike said he MAY have two paper back copies of Aging & Becoming in a box at his house. Blow me down with a feather, he DID. When I asked him how come, he said he keeps things in a safe place.

The Aging & Becoming book went off to Lynn a few days days later. I confess I wanted to add a few things to the bag, and I could have done, but didn’t. I would have added chocolate, yoghurt covered dates, some nuts, cookies and whatever else took my fancy. (No doubt my tendency towards being a Jewish/shiksa mother.) I did wrap the book in tissue paper and put it in a bubble envelope into the bag.

She sent me a photo of her with my book in hand (so lovely to see!) and requested I do the same with her book and to send to her to put on her timeline with my permission.

Open Photo

I am so enjoying her book. It is Wanda B. Lazarus’ freewheel romp through the ages.. ‘It is a furiously funny feminist take on the myth of the Wandering Jew’ (back cover). On the front cover, Stephen Fry (yes, THAT Stephen Fry) says ‘Just what the world needs now – a novel charged with music, energy, bounce, juice and joy.’

Something else wonderful happened. My son David & Jüte are pregnant! Family knew before they announced it on social media. They wanted to share the good news after the 12 week period had passed. The link below shows the video they made a few days ago. It’s worth watching to the end.

Jacob Zuma, ex president, was imprisoned some days ago by ruling of the Constitutional Court for contempt of court. This is not for all the other charges he is facing. Just for his blatant disregard for the law. This country has exploded since then, especially over the last few days. A few dozen trucks have been burned on the highways, blocking them. Motorists are being stoned. Across the country, looters have trashed shops and shopping malls, brazenly carrying out TV’s, washing machines, goods of all descriptions, either by hand, on their backs or heads, or in the shops’ trolleys. You name it, it’s been stolen. During the day, during the night. Much captured on video, faces clearly seen. Billows of smoke from shopping centres. Businesses destroyed. Complete and utter chaos. Sugar cane plantations set alight. Not enough police, in fact far too few.

This is the tipping point. I do not know what will happen henceforth. Communities are now barricading their own suburbs and neighbourhoods for fear of these marauding crowds. The president addressed the country last night on TV pleading for calm, and now as I write, the SA National Defence Force has purportedly been called in to support the police.

The photo below is one I took from my study yesterday afternoon. Hopefully some sort of sign that peace will reign.

Well, that’s the news from my side. Wimbledon’s been and gone, the Euro soccer also. The Tour de France still happening. Some good news among the not good news. Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well and safe.

May the centre hold.

Work of Art from coffee pods

Heavens above and Lordy me, the last Friday of the month has been and gone. June, gone, up in a puff of smoke. The Solstice has been and gone, the full moon the other night was glorious and now July is around the corner. It’s now Saturday so I am late.

The end of the month on a Friday is a good choice of time to seek out Good News. The timing has its own particular touch. Friday, end of month, a weekend in which to explore others’ offerings on good news around the globe. It’s good to have an injection of good news, like a Vit B 12 one.

So I looked for good news this morning. I was lucky, I didn’t have to overly search. I like this story very much – Cape Town is part of my heritage, it is a beautiful city, works of art and of upcoming artists are frequently exhibited. Further, I like very much that the grounds from the coffee capsules are used for enriching the soil – fertiliser – for the growing of vegetables. Grounds into the ground. So this is altogether a win-win. Circular economy in action. Plus the viewer of Oscar The Seal (Cape Town’s mascot) will enjoy it and hopefully also be inspired in some way to do their bit in terms of recycling – for the planet and all its inhabitants.

Sylvia McGrath (https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.com ) & Belinda Witzehausen (https://www.BelindaWitzenhausen.com/) will be co-hosting. To them our thanks, and to Ashlynn Waterstone who keeps the home fires burning in terms of spreading the good news on social media. Please visit them, and do likewise with other #WATWB posts you may come across. If you retweet, FB or whatever please use the #WATWB hashtag.

If you would like to join in with posting for #WATWB or simply spread some joy on Facebook or Twitter, please click HERE for more information, guidelines and the hosts for this month’s event. You can go HERE to be part of the #WATWB Community Facebook page, where monthly posts congregate for your reading pleasure.

Thank you for reading. Have a lovely and safe weekend. May the Force be with you.

Solstice

I love this time of year when an imperceptible change of the seasons begin. I was driving to my pottery class this past Saturday morning, and couldn’t help but notice that all was in shade on the road just about all the way. (It’s about a 15 min drive.) I’ve noticed the long shadows all over town and on my walks these last weeks as the solstice has approached.

Although it’s winter here in the southern hemisphere, it hardly feels like it in Plettenberg Bay, in the southern part of South Africa. The days are warm and sunny, the nights are cold. We’ve lit a wood fire on a few occasions, or used the gas heater. I’m sure we’ll still get the bite. There’s been snow on the Drakensberg mountains in the last little while (on the eastern side). Up north in eg Johannesburg, they’ve felt the bite of winter. Real shiver me timbers stuff.

We’re in the third wave of Covid. Some places in South Africa have been hard hit with the rapid uptick of it. Colds and flu are normal for this time of year, but along with Covid, things are not good. This government has been very slack in providing vaccines, much due to corruption, including our Minister of Health, so help me G-d. Many are not playing their part in social distancing, masking, sanitising. Unemployment is at an all time high, the population is frightened and angry, riots and protests are ongoing as is crime, GBV. We have restrictions in place, at the moment Level 3. I know many, family included, who’ve had Covid, and a few friends and acquaintances who have sadly died.

From tomorrow we’ll be in our 3rd week of painting the interior of the house. Last week the painters couldn’t come for 2 days because of riots and the blocking of the national road preventing MANY from getting to their place of work in Plettenberg Bay. There are no curtains in the house as they’ve been taken down. Thankfully, we are not woken in the early hours from sunlight streaming in. I can’t use my study, everything’s covered up. Hopefully, all will be completed by the end of the month – and then it’s July! I swear this year is going faster than previous years.

I asked Mike and Neil on our walk – does the sun rise in the east and set in the west. They looked at me as if I was crazy. Of course they said, surely you know that. I said no, the sun doesn’t rise and set, the earth moves. As the earth continues its tilting, I wish you Solstice blessings in the northern and southern hemispheres and fruitful changes.

Margaret Attwood: “This is the solstice, the still point of the sun, its cusp and midnight, the year’s threshold and unlocking, where the past lets go of and becomes the future; the place of caught breath”.

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.

#WATWB – garbage to green

It always amazes me when the last Friday of the month comes round. These months are galloping by at a fast pace. The last Friday of the month is the day on which bloggers from around the world post a good news story, one that is uplifting and shows humanity in action. It reminds us that good things do happen, that people do look out for each other, and

that necessity is often the mother of invention.

There are so many stories I could have chosen. Communities are taking things into their own hands, fixing potholes, collecting trash, cleaning up rivers, things that should be the responsibility of the municipalities who have absconded their duties. Monies for these purposes have gone into back pockets. People are beginning to realise how their municipalities and our government have utterly failed them. I’m talking about all of us, not just ‘them’.

I like this story from Good Things Guy. It’s a quick read and shows how momentum is built (link below).

Along with Eric Lahti at https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/….. I am co-hosting this month. We hope you pop in to his and other stories and please share them on social media to spread uplifting news, whether of an individual or a community or organisation.

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy it’s easy to sign up. You can check it out here: here.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well and may the Force be with you. Have a great weekend. Below are photos from my home, the full moon Wednesday night (the lunar eclipse not visible here in South Africa) the sunrise and sunset on Thursday –

Change

My head is spinning a little –

I’m putting all that aside for a moment, right now I want to connect and write and post a blog.

I was away last week in Stilbaai up the coast 220 kms from Plettenberg Bay. Our art teacher Louise has taken a sabbatical and that’s where she went some weeks ago and plans to stay for a few months, learning more about portraiture. So, Mohammed and the mountain and all that, our art group – 6 of us – drove to Stilbaai on Monday, returned this past Thursday. Am still digesting this experience. In between painting on the porch, we visited an olive farm, the tasting a treat, the surroundings sublime; a gin distillery the tasting also a treat! Long walks on the beach with Di, the sunset the one evening was magnificent and it was extraordinary how the colours changed in minutes.

Di & I elected to stay in a guest house separate from the other 4 women who were sharing a house a little way away. The accommodations couldn’t have been more comfortable. Spacious, elegant, all the mod cons while retaining a holiday beach feel. We each had our own studio across the way from each other with own private garden looking over the nature reserve. I plan to return, this time with my husband and son …

For the last little while, my husband & I have vaguely talked about downsizing. Our home IS large and so is the property. We’ve looked at a few homes but we’ve decided that our home suits us and the view can’t be beaten. We’ve decided to paint the interior of our home and shooz it up. Well, we’ve tried a few sample shades of paint … decisions still to be made. Amazing how the colour of paint changes at different times of the day. I won’t go into any detail but we’ve changed the furniture of my study and the sitting room, got throws and cushions on appro and to top it all a large removal van of stuff from our townhouse in Johannesburg arrived this morning. Furniture, bedding, towels, cutlery, vases, plates, dishes – I don’t know what else ..

So, change is very much in the air. Relatives from LA will be arriving here towards the end of July, stopping over in Johannesburg to see Dave & Jüte at the townhouse in Johannesburg, then flying down to Plettenberg Bay to spend several days with us, before flying from Cape Town to spend several days in Botswana. We’re very excited – and I want our home to be ship shape when they arrive. MUCH to be done. I only hope that my husband & I don’t drive each other up the wall with all these renovations.

We had a cup of tea this afternoon with a friend who lives up the road. It was about 5.25 when I took this photo of the nearly full moon. It’s full moon on Wednesday, and I believe there will be a lunar eclipse.

I am madly behind with reading many of your posts. I hope to get stuck into this in the next day or so. But I was just so keen to say hello. I hope this finds you all well. It’s been a scary time with the Israel:Hamas violence last week erupting, and sides being taken with vitriol spewed all over social media. My husband has had his vaccine – as a doctor he had no problem with almost no after-effects. I am registered for it. The roll-out is exceedingly slow. South Africa is experiencing extremely high levels of crime. Corruption in very high places continues to be exposed which leaves us gasping at the betrayals of the government.

May the Force be with you. Thank you for reading.

#WATWB The Octopus Teacher

It always catches me by surprise how fast the last Friday of the month arrives! At this speedy rate 2022 will be here before we know it.

The last Friday of the month is the date on which bloggers from around the world post an item of news that caught their interest, that is/was uplifting, and that helps to lift the gloom in these trying times. This one certainly did. A South African documentary afterall! Filmed in the beautiful False Bay off Cape Town shores. It IS Good News, not only for the award it deservedly won, but also because of it’s message – an excerpt below.

“What has been most exciting for us as an organisation has been the feedback. We have received thousands of messages from people around the world. Many have started diving, studying marine sciences or using My Octopus Teacher as a tool in mental health workshops,and in discussions around emotional ecology and deep nature connection.
We wanted to showcase this wonderful ecosystem, the Great African Seaforest, to the world, and we have succeeded.”

I hope you read the full article –

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month – a skeleton staff this time round. Do pop by and say hello. Their stories are bound to be uplifting. And as always our thanks to Ashlynn Waterstone who works behind the scenes to keep us up and running.

<a href=”https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/“>Sylvia McGrath</a>, and <a href=”https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/”>Belinda Witzenhausen</a>.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well. May the month of May be a blessed one. May the Force be with you all.

#WATWB I’m Staying

It’s the last Friday of the month yet again. The function of these good news posts that bloggers from around the world put up faithfully on the last Friday of each month, keeps me sane in a world gone mad. These sorts of good news stories remind us of the humanity of people, their willingness to step into the metaphoric (in this case literal) traffic and help another.

There’s a movement in South Africa called ‘#I’m Staying’. So many are leaving this beautiful country for safer shores – we’ve become a gangster state, the Rainbow Nation so called by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is shattered. Mr. Nelson Mandela’s dream is as if it never happened. But when we hear of the willingness of people across all races helping one another, we know that the political big wigs dirty tricks of using race to drive a wedge between ‘the whites and blacks’ will not work (though much of the time sadly they do – factions within factions).

Kerry Wilson: 24 February  · So never did I ever think I would have my very own, #Imstaying moment… yesterday afternoon I was on the N1 Highway in heavy traffic and my car decided that’s it, she’s giving up and the clutch went just before Rivonia road, with me stuck in the middle lane… as I don’t do panic very well, I sat there and just cried and had people hooting at me, swearing at me, trying to pass me… no one willing to actually help me. When suddenly out of no where there is this lady at my window and she says to me mam, don’t worry, we are firefighters and we going to help you….I was bewildered, this group of people stopped behind me, jumped out their car and stopped traffic on a very busy highway for me…. then proceeded to push my car across the lanes till I was safe, not only that they stayed with me till my husband arrived to save the day and tow our car to our wonderful mechanic Colin Schnaier who has now fixed my car and is ready for collection.I would just like to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Penny Mabaso, Dudu Ratlhogo, Matome Moila, Thabang Skhosana, all from the City of Johannesburg Emergency management services. You guys were my hero yesterday and I cannot thank you enough!!! — with Penny Mabaso and 3 others.

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month; https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/ Sylvia McGrath

https://www.godyears.net/ Roshan Radhakrishnan

http://shilpaagarg.com/ Shilpa Garg

https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/ Eric Lahti “https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/ Belinda Witzenhausen

Do pop by and say hello and check out their stories. Get a shot in the arm of uplifting news. Plus the other shots I hope you’re all getting. Below are guidelines and a link at the end should you wish to join on the last Friday of each month .. pinched, copied and pasted from Eric Lahti one of the co-hosts – thanks Eric!

~~~GUIDELINES~~~
1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.
2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.
3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
6. To sign up, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.
This is a Blog Hop!
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

May the Force be with you. Have a great April. Chag Sameach and Happy Easter wishes to you all.

Equinox

from google

Days are becoming longer, nights shorter in the northern hemisphere, the official start of Spring; shorter days longer nights here in the summer hemisphere. So easily noted by the lengthening shadows earlier in the evening, sunrise dawning later and the leaves turning golden …

How quickly everything happens – we arrived in Johannesburg last evening from Plettenberg Bay (about 1300 kms away) after overnighting at our favourite place in the Karoo.

My friend Nicki travelled by car with us up to the highveld (2000 mtrs asl). She’d flown down to Plett from Johannesburg just over a week ago to come and stay. I fetched her from the airport and we stopped in at a nursery for coffee and where there is a labyrinth, which we both walked.

It was wonderful to show her how and where I live and take her to the places I like to visit and to see everything with new eyes. She was the easiest guest. I reckon her gift to us and to me especially is that I felt comfortable with her, I was just myself, peculiarities and all, which she took in her easy-going stride –

a long walk on Keurbooms Strand, oyster catchers having a chat
Keurbooms beach
The Arch on Keurbooms – a long walk to reach, keeping in mind a river to cross there and back –
colourful rocks on a walk

On another day, we went to Bramon Estate, the venue where my son David and his wife were married 5 years ago on her 25th birthday, on 19th March. (Jüte turned 30 yesterday; they are celebrating both events at a very fancy game lodge in the Sabi Sand over this weekend. I will TRY to put up a little video they sent me of one of their game drives). But Nicki and I stopped in at Bramon and had a glass of Bramon bubbly in their honour!

A very full glass in the middle of the day
Nature’s Valley-deeply forested
Another day – Sky Villa, just outside Plettenberg Bay.
The lagoon close to where I live in Plett, the sea on the other side of the dunes.
praying mantis on balcony a few evenings ago

I mentioned earlier in this post that we stopped over last night in the Karoo to break the long car journey. It’s the loveliest place, a working sheep farm in Springfontein. Delicious Karoo lamb for dinner. Those stars were so bright, as was the newish moon. Orion’s Belt and the Southern Cross were practically pumping in their brightness. My husband saw a shooting star as I as was looking the other way. Lucky fish!

We’re staying in our ‘old’ townhouse in Morningside Johannesburg which Dave and Jüte are now living in! They’ll be back tomorrow from the bush. My husband leaves from here tomorrow to go the Drakensberg for an annual golf tournament. Dave & Jüte fly down to Cape Town on Tuesday, my husband back from golf on Wednesday and the plan is for us to leave on Thursday for a private game farm up country. No sooner are we back from this, it will be time to return to Plettenberg Bay with the car loaded with ‘stuff’ that Dave & Jüte want removed. It’s all a little too hectic for me, especially as I write this on the Equinox which is always a reminder of the necessary pause for balance as the seasons change.

Roses picked from townhouse this afternoon – they speak the language of all seasons –

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well. May the Force be with you all.

#WATWB cleaning communities

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is watw_blogfest_sidebar.jpg

It’s the last Friday of the month, the day on which bloggers from around the world post a story that seeks to uplift, showing humanity in action. Here in South Africa where we’re pretty alarmed at our dysfunctional government steeped in corruption, and in among the mess where municipalities are not serving their constituencies, it is heartening to see communities taking action and cleaning up their villages, towns and cities.

Kranshoek is about 10 kms from where I live. Jeanray is pictured here.

May be an image of 1 person, playing American football, outdoors and text that says ""Kranshoekis is beautiful community and want keep clean the health children who play outside ndthe people who live here. It's good for the community the impact that cleaning up can have." -Jeanray CHICAGO 36"

He now heads up the weekly clean-ups in Kranshoek. Jeanray has stepped up to try continue the work that Quinton Snyman started in the community. Quinton served the community in so many ways. Always on duty to help others first. Jeanray says: “Kranshoek is a beautiful community and I want to keep it clean for the health of the children who play outside and the people who live here.It’s good for the community to see the impact that cleaning up can have.”

We have volunteers who do similar clean ups on a regular basis right here in my town of Plettenberg Bay. Bags were collected in less than an hour near Lemon Grass Boutique hotel where many people live in the bushes. Photo of Alison Bryant and her amazing team ‘Keep Plett Clean’.

May be an image of 1 person, standing, outdoors and tree

Do pop by the co-hosts this month to read of uplifting stories and share on social media.

a href=”https://ericlahti.wordpress.comEric”>Lahti</a>, <a href=”https://www.godyears.net”>Roshan Radhakrishnan</a>, <a href=”http://shilpaagarg.com/“>Shilpa Garg</a>, <a href=”https://gardenofedenblog.com/“>Susan Scott </a> and <a href=”https://professorowlsbookcorner.com/“>Sylvia McGrath</a>.

If you want to share your good news of an uplifting story, follow this link to sign up here: https://bit.ly/3aSG3qL

Thank you for reading! Have a great March and may the Force be with you.

Aging

I do not know why I’ve never noticed this before. My husband bought it some while ago, and since he usually loads the fancy washing machine with all it bells, knobs and whistles, the message in the bottle passed me by.

A very nice organic, locally made moisturiser, affordable. I like it, but why o why anti-aging?

How this fell into my lap the other day I do not know – photo below – I barely remember my 21st. What I do recall is that my mother attended – she had left the ‘family home’ a few months before to live up in Johannesburg, leaving me and my father in Somerset West, in the western cape – about 20 kms from Cape Town. But, she flew down to attend this formal occasion. If I TRY to remember about it, I was probably overcome that my parents were together. It was several months after my 21st that my mother agreed to return home and work things out with my father. On condition that the house was sparkling clean on her return. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. But as soon as I could, I left them to themselves. One day I’ll tell the story in a blog post. I wrote about it in my first book, in an essay entitled “The Opposites”. They were so opposite to each other in all ways …

Time flies. Every day a new day. Life in Plettenberg Bay is beginning to feel more settled for me. My husband is mostly in golf heaven, does Pilates (I think) with his NBF early mornings once or twice a week and goes for coffee and swimming in the sea afterwards. Also gets out and about with NBF on their bicycles in the early mornings, coffee and swimming afterwards.

I’ve had a few swims in the sea … it was two weeks back that the beaches were UNbanned. Such bliss, that sea … of course I get tumbled this way and that – my ways of catching the wave are unique. I must get the body board out and play some more (pretend I’m 10 years younger).

Our art classes re-started at the beginning of February so that’s a real plus. We looked at Miró a week or so back and somehow this style is helpful to me in sketching my dreams –

And pottery is my new love. Very new for me. I wonder if it will become a passion. Creating beautiful objects. I’m very excited to see how my current ‘piece’ will turn out. It’s drying as we speak at the pottery studio. I like my teacher. We wear masks … not so wonderful …

I’ve made one or two friends. I’m not sure any of them enjoy walking, one has a heart problem, the other a tricky hip. The other I don’t know well at all. I like them all. Two are recently widowed. A very good friend of mine does such a lot of travelling, she’s hardly ever here but when she is, we go on long beach walks .. (longer than I would on my own).

My younger son Dave and his wife left Cape Town about two weeks ago and are now in our townhouse in Johannesburg. He sent me this photo while driving through the Karoo.

and awaiting them was a very lush garden. Johannesburg and surrounds have had so much rain in the last few weeks … he sent me this photo –

To keep on topic of aging – is this a dinosaur tree? My husband and I went walking the other evening and took a different route. I’ve seen this tree before quite a long time ago …

On another walk a few days ago we saw this tortoise behind a fence at the nature conservancy down the road from us. I suspect s/he is an oldie – check out its beautiful markings …

The other evening I listened to a podcast in which Laura London of Jung Speaking interviewed Dr James Hollis, Jungian Analyst of his latest book “Prisms’. It was a delight to listen to. He will be 81 this year. He said in the interview that he’s been repeatedly asked to write or lecture on old age, and of course in his books he touches on it, but in the interview he said he’s too busy living and working, learning and loving to worry too much about aging in spite of being on treatment for cancer.

I had to smile inwardly at that. Such a great attitude.

I like this quote from him as it pertains to a widening of the lens as we grow older: ‘Our experience subtly alters, even distorts, the lens through which we see the world, and the choices we make are based on that altered vision’. From: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life

Another photo or two – the hydrangeas from my son Mike’s garden here in Plett, and the yellow rose from my friend’s garden.

I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, in spite of all the hardships that the virus has brought in its wake. Things are extremely tricky on all fronts here in South Africa. It’s quite lawless, the law and the constitutional court is being shown the middle finger by those in positions of power. Most days, Dorothy Parker’s words come to mind ”What fresh hell is this?” What else is there to do but hope? And pray. Remaining realistic at the same time even if it doesn’t look good. I am not optimistic about the future of this country, very sad to say.

Nevertheless, and this is hopeful for me: there seems to be more of a receptivity of feminine energies being recognised and incorporated into the masculine ones, each to the benefit of the other. The patriarchal reign has been a long one, at the expense of the wisdom of the feminine. Repressed, these energies are now flowering all over. Women’s voices are being heard at last, and women who did not know they had a voice are finding that they do.

Last photo taken yesterday, a walk on the beach, son Mike and the 2 oldies –

A long post I know … thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well. May the Force be with you.

#WATWB Beyond Walls

#WATWB Beyond Walls Land Art

It’s the last Friday of the month of this year 2021, which means bloggers from around the world post an item of news that is uplifting in these very difficult times.

This one caught my eye, not only because this extraordinary land art has ‘landed’ in Cape Town, but for what it represents – ‘… unity, mutual aid and common effort beyond geographical constraints …’.

Using tons of biodegradable paint the artist Saype (Say Peace) has done several very large frescoes across the world, eg the forecourt of the UN in Geneva, with a message of togetherness. The Mother City, Cape Town, South Africa represents an essential step of the project due to its history marked by Apartheid. “Beyond Walls” symbolises the breaking down of political and social barriers among communities with the hope to further encourage positive dialogue. It forms the largest human chain in the world. The one in Cape Town has installations of land art in Cape Town itself as well as in two suburbs, of two forearms clasping each other.

For the fuller story, please see the link below.

Cape Town, Sea Point

Our co-hosts for this month are below. Please check them out for a good dose of positive news, which helps negate the darkness, and spread the message on social media using the #WATWB

SylviaMcGrath https://www.professorowlsbookcorner.wordpress.com/

Simon Falk https://simonfalk28.wordpress.com/

Shilpa Garg http://shilpaagarg.com/

Mary Giese https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/

Belinda Witzenhausen https://bwitzenhausen.wordpress.com/

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you well wherever you are and may the Force be with you.

It’s full moon tonight (Thurs) so here’s a photo I’ve just taken

Solstice, travels, lockdown –

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything. I was in Cape Town to see my sister mid-October. I saw a few friends, somewhat curtailed on account of bad flu (was concerned it might have been covid) right in the middle of my 12 day stay. But it was lovely. My sister looked after me so well, chicken broth, just like our mother used to make it. I have to post a photo of Table Mountain which I took while there – an unusual view of it from Rondebosch when I went walking –

We drove up to Johannesburg from Plettenberg Bay at the end of November overnighting in the Karoo to break the trip. We usually stay at the same place, a working farm. It’s the first time we’ve stayed there at the end of November; usually it’s February or June/July/August. All was so green.

Prior Grange Springfontein Nov 2020

The purpose of the Plett-Johannesburg trip was two-fold. One, our corporate rental had come to an end, so we had to consider what to do about the townhouse. The second reason was to see a few medical specialists, all now done and all in order. The amazing thing is that my son David who lives in Cape Town with my daughter-in-law Jüte, both want to come and live here! So they’ll move in at the end of January probably! David was here for several days while we were here – 3 gigs inter alia – and fell in love with the townhouse all over again. Photo below is from my Johannesburg study. I suspect David will turn the study into his studio – and Jüte will make a name for herself as a highly qualified chef, as she already has in Cape Town.

garden lhs, cut roses on rhs which I gave to a friend in the complex

We’ve seen friends and it’s been wonderful to catch up. Neil has golfed his heart out. The other day someone came up to his group who were having a beer on the verandah of the golf course, holding out a hat and saying that he’s collecting money to pay for an airticket for Neil to fly back to Plett asap. Enough already for winning so many matches –

Neil at townhouse as chirpy as anything

I’m looking forward to our return to Plett tomorrow. This time we’ll leave in the early hours and go all the way through. It’s been a good 3 weeks up here on the highveld.

Last Sunday we went to the Wilds Nature Reserve with a friend. Oh it was lovely to walk along this recently restored special nature spot in the middle of Johannesburg. For many years it had been a crime hotspot.

Unbelievably, irrationally, inexcusably, the president and his council have imposed lockdowns on certain beaches including Plett! For the festive season! We are reeling from this – yes, it’s true that covid appears to be in a 2nd wave and most of us agree with some of the measures (gatherings like funerals). But beaches? It’s true that some beaches get overcrowded especially on public holidays but not in the western cape. There’s a big outcry about this. Not only because of the potential effect on businesses, restaurants, but just the sheer awfulness of denying us the pleasure of walking on beaches while wearing masks, keeping social distance etc … It’s true that there are many other lovely things to do in my neck of the woods. Before we left to come up to Jo’burg, Neil and I went to Nature’s Valley, some way away (30 kms or so) and did a lovely hike after we’d had a delicious lunch with the most magnificent view of the crashing waves right in front of us. Urgent applications to the High Court are being made for the government to relax the ban on beaches …


Solstice

It’s a few days until the solstice on Monday 21st December where we will have the longest day and shortest night, and vice versa in the northern hemisphere. I hear that this solstice is particularly eventful and rare. Jupiter and Saturn will be so close together that they form a star, now being hailed as the coming of the Star of Bethlehem.

What a year 2020 has been. May the end of it give us 2020 vision where we see more clearly a 2020 (perfect) vision for a better world, a safer more peaceful one. It is said that healing begins only after the trauma … so it may be a while yet. But with hope in our hearts and a desire for a better world coupled with the ability to make it happen, it is very possible.

To you all, a blessed Christmas and New Year. It’s been a tough year for many of us. I don’t have to enumerate the sadnesses and difficulties we’ve all experienced in one way or another. May you be well and stay well. Thank you all for your support to my blog, I appreciate it more than you could know. My love and good wishes to you all –

#WATWB catching the wave

The last Friday of the month has rolled around – again! Time for bloggers around the world to post a piece of good news that helps to uplift the mood and lessen the tension that anyone may be experiencing in these strange and disturbing times.

This is the purpose of #WATWB .. to highlight stories that spread good will, good thought and feeling, stories that are different, maybe a little unusual, that show a person, or an organisation, an event ‘paying it forward’ – many times illustrating people who rise above their circumstances and have a good news story to tell. With the aid of another or others and that’s person sense of courage and fortitude, much can be and is achieved.

My contribution is a little different. It popped up on my FB feed a few days ago as a memory. It’s a 4 year old post put up by David Scott. Given that my last month’s post for #WATWB was tilted ‘say no to racism’ I thought it appropriate to ‘use’ this one, this time round. A young man’s observations – and another ‘no to racism’ – and some hope in looking forward to what is possible – catching the wave –

David Scott is feeling hopeful

27 October 2016  · Cape Town  · Yesterday, I saw something quite profound. I was sitting in the water on my surfboard at Muizenberg & the offshore wind had created spray from the waves, which cast a rainbow. As I saw this, I noticed that the rainbow was arching over the children beneath it, black & white – all enjoying themselves in the ocean. I was touched by their interaction – the black kids were pushing white kids into the waves, the white kids were cheering the black kids on when they caught the wave – they were all getting enjoyment out of seeing the other succeed. I was reminded that in order to see this picture, I had to paddle past the breakers. What we see with the student protests can often feel like waves smashing into us, knocking us back – but without them, there would be no spray to cast the rainbow. It gave me hope that Mandela & Tutu’s idea of a rainbow nation is not so crazy after all. We may be a long way from it, but what I saw yesterday showed me that true democracy is not as far fetched as it sounds. It’s also why I love surfing at Muizenberg. There’s such a diversity of people there but your social status is irrelevant – everyone is equal in the water.

Surfing rules in Muizenberg | SA Country Life
This actually is a photo of the Muizenberg beach 🙂

Please pop by and visit our co-hosts for this month. Our thanks to them. Their stories are sure to be wonderful, uplifting & restorative – Our co-hosts are Sylvia McGrath Mary J. Giese Shilpa Garg
Sylvia Stein and  Belinda McGrath Witzenhausen

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Click HERE  to sign up for this if you’d like to. The linky list will open up in a new window.

Thank you for reading. May you be well and safe and have a lovely weekend. May the Force be with you ..

Interview with Dr. Jean Raffa

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean Raffa the other day via Zoom on her new book “The Soul’s Twins ~ Emancipate your Feminine & Masculine Archetypes”. The video is below, and runs for 45 mins. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Jean’s biographical details are below, and also included is the trailer to her launch of her book. The music is lovely as is the content and the graphics. The trailer runs for 7 mins.

Dr. Jean Raffa is an author, speaker, and leader of workshops and dream groups. Formerly a television producer and college professor, Jean changed directions in mid-life to write about her passions:  Jungian psychology, empowering the feminine in all of us, and psychological and spiritual growth.  Her books—The Bridge to Wholeness: A Feminine Alternative to the Hero Myth, and Dream Theatres of the Soul: Empowering the Feminine Through Jungian Dreamwork—have been used in university classes and dreamwork courses throughout the country. Her book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, received the 2013 Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council.

Her newest book, The Soul’s Twins, is about how to create partnership between femininity and masculinity within yourself and in your relationships. It will be launched in November of 2020.

You can find more information about Jean at her website and blog, http://www.jeanbenedictraffa.com, on her Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/jeanraffa. She can be contacted at jeanraffaauthor@gmail.com

Thank you for listening and reading. I hope this finds you all well and safe. Happy All Souls’ Day. May the Force be with you..

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