#WATWB – 14 reasons to be happy

The last Friday of the month has rolled around again, at an alarming speed it seems to me. It’s the day on which bloggers from around the world post uplifting stories that put a smile on their faces and recognise that in spite of the anxiety on all fronts that we’re confronted with 24/7, there is much good in the world. This is the purpose of #WATWB – We Are The World Blogfest – to highlight humanity in action for the greater good.

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. Hosts for this month’s WATWB are: co-hosts are Eric Lahti (https://ericlahti.wordpress.com/) and Susan Scott (https://www.gardenofedenblog.com/

Brett Lindeque is our good to go to guy here in South Africa. This appeared the other day on social media. His energy and love for South Africans is palpable. The links give fuller stories for you to check out whenever you can or wish to. Of course, since I live here in South Africa, I’m more than happy to showcase these briefs. I’ve highlighted in colour and/or bold in the post the salient points.


14 Feel-Good Things Happening in South Africa Right Now!

BY BRENT LINDEQUE@BRENTLINDEQUESEP 22, 2021 385 1Photo Cred: On File | Supplied 

“Since we only have 14 Fridays left of 2021, I thought I would give you 14 feel-good reasons to be happy right now!

Johannesburg, South Africa (22 September 2021) –

It’s nearly Heritage day, which means we have a really short week to look forward to… I mean, tomorrow is kind of fake Friday, and that means the weekend is even closer, and there are only 14 of those left for this year.

Yup 14! Just 14 Fridays, Weekends and Sunday Fundays left of 2021!

We can sometimes get overwhelmed with sadness, but I want to remind you that good things are still happening right now. Even during this tragic time.

And since we have 14 Fridays left, I thought I would give you 14 reasons to be happy right now!

14 reasons to Feel-Good:

14. The regulations have changed, and our favourite locals can trade for longer, which is great news for them as a business…, but the really good news here is how South Africans have started seeing “support local” as more than just a catchy phrase. We are realising that by helping each other, we are able to rise. Flip, that’s beautiful!

13. Katherine Heigl – that incredibly famous actress from 27 dresses and Greys – shared a South African Vet’s campaign and helped her reach her crowdfunding target in 48 hours! What is the money for? To pay for sterilisations, vaccinations and de-worming for communities who can’t afford it. The target hasn’t since increased, but the public just keeps giving. Big love for this story!!!

12. We found out that Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation weigh their rescued Turtle hatchlings every Monday – to make sure they are growing and healthy, and making their way to eventually being released into the wild (when they are old enough). It is possibly the cutest thing and a reminder that Mondays are truly what you make of them!

11. We finally have Britbox in SA; Disney+ is set to launch next year, Dear Evan Hansen comes out this weekend, after almost 3 years of waiting, the new Bond is being released in a couple of days and the Matrix is back this December (after 22 years). Oh, and we’re in Marvel Phase 4!!! Lekker vibes!

10. A group of South Africans spotted an exhausted dog in the middle of Harties Dam and rallied together to save him. Guys, a whole bunch of humans, collectively worked together to save a little pup from drowning. That is humanity in action!

9. The country started the vaccination roll-out on the 18th of February 2021, and to date, over 8 million South Africans have been fully vaccinated!!! Whatever side you are on when it comes to the vaccine, there is no question that they are bringing a huge slice of normal to parts of the world that have a higher percentage… yes, I’m looking at you, UK, and I’m hoping you’ll take us off the damn red list!

8. People shared the most hopeful messages after asking what some of their post-covid goals are”. The most common… hugs. Just lots of hugs. And it’s already happening. It feels like we are moving forward. It feels like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and good grief, it’s like a breath of fresh air right now.

7. 109 South African Firefighters have just arrived back in the country after spending weeks helping Canada with the wildfires. The Canadian government cannot stop speaking about how professional and brave they were. So proud of all the men and women who flew our flag soo high!

6. It’s exactly 70 days to the 1st of December, but realistically it’s already started. Summer is here, and no one does December vibes like South Africans… even in a global pandemic. I would actually pay to watch a Documentary about our December culture. It is fascinating!!!

5. A story about Djo BaNkuna (also known as the Cabbage Bandit) has garnered so much traction that City By-Laws have come into question, and soon, we could all be planting veggies for our communities on our pavements… legally! Imagine looking back a year from now and finding our country in a position where we are helping feed the nation by using a square meter of our pavements to grow food. THAT WOULD BE EPIC!!!

Support
Photo Credit: Djo BaNkuna – Facebook

4. Chaeli Mycroft has just released an inspiring book about her life… and it’s a beautiful read. I got my copy yesterday and cannot put it down. From summiting Mount Kilimanjaro to being the first athlete in a wheelchair to complete the Comrades Marathon, winning the International Children’s Peace Prize, to founding the Chaeli Campaign to champion a more ability-focused and inclusive world. Such a lekker feel-good book!

3. A Cape Town Pizzeria has been voted the best in Africa… the awards come from Naples – the home of Pizza and Massimo’s in Hout Bay took first place. And you know what I love even more about this story? Massimo’s is also one of the most charitable restaurants in our country; the owner has just got the biggest heart!

2. Little Mighty Mack is heading into her 3rd round of chemo with the support of a nation behind her. This little human is a miracle in every sense of the word, and every time I read another update, I get more inspired. You got this girl! We are sending you all our love and strength!

Childhood Cancer
Photo Credit: Mighty Mack – Facebook

1. We’re here, and even though we have all faced massive traumas in the 545 days, we are getting through this – somehow – and I kinda feel like we’re moving in the right direction.

Yes, friends! We are here, we are surviving, and even when it might feel like it’s all bad, there are good things happening all around us.

That’s it. Happy 14. I hope you find some good things today.

Okay. Love you. Bye.”

Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful weekend. May the Force be with you. May Peace prevail. In Darkness be Light.

Gratitude Full Moon & Equinox

“I truly believe it is time to go in and in and in, finding a level of inner sustenance, a means of being connected to the greater whole, mentally well, physically as adept as possible, emotionally stable and thus increase our capacity to hold the space for the light to shine in every soul.”

Sandra, faeriembassy.wordpress.com in my last post Taking a Break.

All of your comments on that post were so heartwarming and encouraging and my thanks and gratitude are deep. My connections to you all are real and valuable.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sept_moon_IMG_8859-2.jpeg
last night’s full moon
Inspirational Yin Yang Sun Designs | LoveToKnow
wikipedia – imgres – the sun and moon – equinox, the moment of balance –

I’ve spent less time on my phone, more time on writing and re-thinking my painting. I’ll probably go back to my original thought. I made a mock up of it the other day on an A4 black card using oil pastels. Which I never use. The canvas is 10X larger and has been painted over several times.

I’ve been walking a fair bit. The lagoon is about a 15 minute walk away. from my home. At low tide I can walk on the sand banks. The sea is on the other side of the dunes. I often do that walk too. This side of the lagoon I snapped an oyster catcher (I could not get its red beak) and a crane.

snake while out walking with son Mike

One day, I’ll walk the whole Robberg Nature Reserve peninsula again. It’s a 4 to 5 hour hike in total. This last Sunday my husband & I walked a small part of it. Some clambering up rocks and a rest awhile.

So, in honour of the full moon, the Equinox and you the reader, this is a brief post. Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you. Be safe and well, keep your centre.

Taking a Break

I’ve finally made a decision that’s been a long while in coming. I know without a doubt that I spend too much time on social media. I am tracked so I know how many hours I spend on my phone. And the percentage increase. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram has me by the short and curlies. My morning gmail inbox is filled with news, business news local and international. Platforms I follow like academia.edu send me interesting papers that I save to read who knows when. They’re right up my street, psychological, in depth, on point … but the file for them TBR grows and grows. Other platforms I follow I save TBR later … all madly interesting. Brain Pickings, The Literary Hub, articles on Feminism, religion, Jungian psychology – mostly unread except maybe for a quick peek. The books on my kindle remain unread, the promise that I made to myself that I would review them, broken.

The painting on my easel remains unfinished, though I daub at it from time to time. My wardrobe needs decluttering and clothes given away – I’ve been saying this from the beginning of this month.

I’ve had a painful neck for some time now. Occasionally I take a strong anti-inflammatory. I use a heat pad on my neck and shoulders.. I make my own muti using chopped up raw turmeric, garlic, ginger, a few slices lemon, a squirt of apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, powdered turmeric and nutmeg, and a little honey (necessary), steeped in boiling water in a large mug. It helps. I’ve seen a physio a few times for dry needling and massage which helped.

I remember last year when I had a very painful foot in the early days of covid, which I suspect was from using my husband’s gym equipment incorrectly. Eventually, I went to see a GP here in Plett, who requested x-rays, no damage. What was interesting to me, was that no sooner had I made that appointment that the foot pain started to diminish. By the time the x-rays were done, there was no more pain, no treatment necessary. I wondered whether this was because I had made the first step in seeing a doctor, i.e. I was taking care of myself.

I’ve also made a link between sugar and neck pain. I have a very sweet tooth. Plus I have to say there is something rather greedy about my attitude towards food. Anyone who knows me, knows this. Just recently, my husband and I decided not to enable each other by having delicious things like yoghurt covered cashews, and cookies, and nuts and yoghurt covered dates – and almond croissants in the freezer. No more biscotti. No more chips in the pantry. No more delicious rusks (healthy, seeded, wheat free) with early morning tea, in bed.

At pottery classes there are always scrumptious things to eat at coffee break. The other day I took peeled and segmented clementines and sliced apples to the meeting. No doughnuts or chocolate brownies for me. The others also partook of the fruit – and even though the doughnuts and biscotti were staring at me, I wasn’t tempted.

Surprisingly, the neck pain has diminished. I’m stretching a little more, twisting my spine to enliven it. I spend more time in preparing food and enjoying the presentation of it. And the deliciousness of it. Simple. No bread (with oodles of butter) or crackers to go with it, just as is. No snacking in between meals. I’ve been known to demolish a slice of cake just before supper .. and after .. and in between. Snacking all day long …

So, this morning, a new week, a dedication by me to and for me to take a break. I’m sure I will continue reading your blogs, a source of nourishment for me. I’ll have to work out a time set aside for this. Daily? 2 or 3 times weekly? I’m not sure. While I’ve always meditated in the mornings, I can get out of the routine very quickly when the first thing I often do on waking is reach for my phone. Last thing at night too …That’s what I mean when I say I’ve been caught, captivated and captured … I want to break free, buzz like a bee, fly like a butterfly (with apologies to whoever first said this .. I think it was buzz like a butterfly, sting like a bee). There have been too many illnesses and death about and this is something I need to digest. Much saddened by the news today of the recent death of Julian David, Jungian Analyst, founder member of SAAJA (SA Association of Jungian Analysts), peacefully at his home in England and who made a lasting impression on me from a long time ago.

I plan to spend much more time writing … a novel about Lilith. Ok there I’ve said it. Been in the works for a while.

Thank you for reading. My love to you all. May the Force be with you. May Love be your operational word and your guiding star. May you be well, safe and centred.

Spring Day the first of September

I took this photo late afternoon today at my son’s home here in Plettenberg Bay. Friends here in South Africa have been sending messages as I have to them to celebrate the first official day of Spring! Up north Johannesburg way, they started the day off beautifully – warm and sunny. Here down south and across various parts of South Africa, it’s been cold!

I found a packet of seeds yesterday that a friend had given to me when last I was in Johannesburg. As always I admired her beautiful garden and asked about a bushy and beautiful plant among a setting in her garden. She said it was a flower called ‘Cleome’ and we harvested some seeds which she put into an envelope with instructions – plant in spring, sunny, a little shade is alright. Below is a photo I took that day, end March early April.

So, I sowed them today, first day of Spring! I don’t know how they’ll fare down south in our particular climate and soil. We’ll see!

I also planted some aloe cuttings today that I’d taken from my sister’s home in Cape Town. I was there recently. I wish I’d taken photos of my aloe garden garden today. It’s looking so fulsome. But here’s a fairly recent one. Just a small portion of it. I see I took it on 21st June … the solstice – not so recent after all!

The drive from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town was lovely – I set off Monday two weeks back. The canola fields were out in their full glory. Photos below were taken on the way back, this one last week Wednesday when I stopped the car to get out.

canola fields

I had a lovely time in Cape Town, saw a few friends but it was mostly low-key. My sister’s husband was away for the time I was there.

The one day we drove out to Gordon’s Bay where we used to live as teenagers. We walked the naval base pier to the end as we used to do as youngsters. Our parents’ ashes were tossed into the sea so many years ago and we walked it yet again and said a greeting and a prayer of thanks to them. We walked along the road past our house to the nunnery at the end – a cul-de-sac. Sat on a bench, walked on the beach, Bikini Beach, picked up a stone or two. We drove into Somerset West where we also lived and checked out our townhouse from the outside and then drove up the mountain to try to find our parents’ home. We thought we’d never find it but we did. Picked up a little bit of trash that was lying around. Photographed a pretty bush on the sidewalk. We shared memories … my sister’s memory is far better than mine … she always fills in the gaps.

bush opposite parents’ home
my sister, Gordon’s Bay
me on bench Bikini Beach with pier in background
Pier alongside yacht club and naval base

On the drive back last week I stopped in at a place for coffee where I’d had a breakfast before with my husband some few years ago. I’d done about 2 hours driving. Such a pretty place – those mountains! Here’s a photo of those mountains!

Nuys Valley Farm Stall

I sent a birthday greeting this morning to a dear friend in Johannesburg. Also saying Happy Spring Day! She responded by saying ‘I feel that something changes on Spring Day and will embrace it’. For me, that’s a lovely message – ‘something changes’ –

I sent my daughter-in-law a Happy Spring Day message. Including in it ‘a pinch and a punch for the first of the month’ – I don’t know where that saying comes from. She said ‘a first kick boom pow from the boy for the first of the month’ – and that baby had ‘started kicking with some incredibly powerful kicks a few minutes ago!’ So, even Emilio the embryo is responding to Spring Day ..

All is well here – the wheels of justice are turning slowly, but turning they certainly are. As another Johannesburg friend said today in a Spring Day message, ‘Lovely weather for Spring Day. When the sun and blossoms come out it is so wonderful and that even makes the ANC (our governing party) void look bearable’.

Thank you for reading. I hope this finds you all well in these troubling times. Be safe. Embrace change.

This is a photo from my garden of our townhouse in Johannesburg. A night light made all those pretty circles of light radiating out. I must get one for Plettenberg Bay – In darkness, be light

#WATWB orphan elephant sanctuary


It’s the last Friday of the month – unbelievable, but true. Next month is the equinox, equal day equal night in both northern and southern hemispheres when the earth stands still for a moment before the axis tilts yet again. Just around the corner. Change of season; in the southern hemisphere; winter into spring; in the northern hemisphere, summer into Autumn or Fall.

We are the World Blogfest (#WATWB) is a platform from which bloggers around the world post good news of something happening somewhere in the world, which not only always offsets any negativity or stress we may be feeling in these unsettling times, but also showcases the effect one person, who has an idea and who turns that into reality. And which manifested reality has a profound beneficial effect on the community (or, in this instance, on animals – orphaned baby elephants).

There are so many stories that we don’t know much about, and it’s lovely acknowledge and highlighting them. This platform was started by Belinda Witzenhausen and Damyanti Biswas a few years ago (it’s in its 4th year), and I’m pleased to have been part of it.

This story took my fancy. I know Hoedspruit as a gateway to the Kruger National Park and other game reserves as I’ve been there several times; it’s a gateway to Mocambique as well, but of this orphanage I do not know, perfectly placed right there. There’s a sweet little video of about 1.30 mins.

Mary J. Giese (https://maryjmelange.wordpress.com/ ) Belinda Witzenhausen (https://www.BelindaWitzenhausen.com/) are our co-hosts this month, for which we thank you. If you wish to help spread good news, please share any posts – non-political, non-religious. Under 500 words with a link to your story. Please use the #WATWB hashtag eg  https://twitter.com/watwb

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. I hope this finds you all well and safe. May the Force be with you all.

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.

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