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.

57 Comments on Change

  1. What a lovely post susan with such beautiful pictures, so nice to know that you are so busy renovating your house, and you have taken a break in between. Its a refreshing experience to read your post. With lockdown its been difficult for us; with slow internet and sometimes unable to access. Today i came to work for few hours and i could read your blog. Take care and stay safe…

    • Lovely to see you here Genevive thanks for coming by. We’ve just had our lockdown re-implemented from level 1 to level 2. It’s not too harsh a lockdown but it’s possible that we can get lockeddown further if the 3rd wave carries on the way it is right now. I hear that there is a decline in covid in India right now, may this continue to be so. You too keep safe.

  2. Some beautiful photos of the sky and clouds. It is upsetting when there is turmoil in ones country. I know it was upsetting through our last administration here. We are just coming out, hopefully, from the pandemic restrictions here in June. We still have some turmoil with all the shootings. We had so many I think I am numb to it now.

    • The shootings are terrible and a tragic loss of life Deborah. Thanks heavens there are moments of beauty and calm and Nature (Nature is not always calm though) that hopefully pierces the numbness and remind us that we are alive … thank you for coming by.

  3. Always enjoy the photos and stories of you life journeys. This post is no exception. I am far, far behind on writing these days with household duties and more keeping me otherwise occupied. So, good for you to make an excursion to the blogosphere.

    • Thanks John! My first blog post in a long while apart from the #WATWB one yesterday. Household duties are never-ending. Best to approach them with a smile 🙂 I look forward always to your posts…

  4. Thank you for sharing beautiful photos of your travels Susan. I travelled vicariously 🙂

    We’ve not been able to travel for the last 16 months due to Covid restrictions. So, glimpses such of sunsets and the young full moon in skies all the way away, are very, very welcome.

    All the best for putting your house in ship shape order for your guests.

    I know it’s a busy time for you but I’m sharing my blog link here for you to visit when you do find some time:) I launched my first e-book on Saturday. It’s free to download. It’s a short memoir mingled with literary fiction and all the details and links etc. are in the post.

    Have a wonderful day.

    • Sorry this has been in my ‘pending’ file for so long Arti, it happens when a link is provided as you have. Thank you for your lovely comment. I hope all is well with you and family & friends. I will check out your link as soon as I can. Thank you.

  5. Hi,
    Thank you for the lovely pics of the sunset. i love them. Yes, the whole world is in turmoil. Changes are taking place and too many of us are closing our eyes. I am glad that your husband got his first vaccination. I got my first one too and did not have any complications. I take my second one next month. I hope you get yours soon.
    Take care and be safe. I have heard about the crime rates increasing in your country. But to be honest, they seem to be increasing everywhere.

    Shalom aleichem

    • Glad you had your vaccination Patricia with no negative after effects. The world is in turmoil for sure; it’s absolutely necessary to be aware of it all and not be blinded by any sense of false optimism (much though I would like to be like an ostrich and bury my head in the sand).

      Thank you for coming by, Keep well and stay safe. Shalom Aleichem to you, Susan

  6. Susan, what a delightful retreat! Makes me long for one myself. 😘
    I didn’t see the eclipse because it was cloudy. Hope you got a glimpse.
    Have a great day!

    • Hi Pam, the eclipse in your neck of the woods happens tonight. I can see the full moon from where I am sitting in my study, a little way above the horizon of the sea though somewhat clouded over. I’ll keep on checking it. It’s 6.00 p.m. my side and now dark.The eclipse is not visible here in SA. May you have a retreat for your own self soon! You too have a lovely day xx

  7. I’m very glad you took a breather from your ‘breath-taking’ schedule and made the time to send this out. It’s always such fun to see what you’re up to and hear your thoughts about what’s going on in your world…and ours. Your art retreat sounds just perfect.

    I sympathize with all the organizing and planning and long lists of to-dos that come with updating your home and preparing for company. We’ve had a back deck reno going on for several months and it’s still unfinished. For a while it was hard to find help because of the pandemic, but now we’re closing in on it. I’m ready for it to be over!

    And so we women of a certain age move through our days, you into winter, me into summer, still with plenty of strength, vitality, enthusiasm, good health, and much to look forward to. We are so blessed. Love, Jeanie

    • Thanks Jeanie for your lovely response. There was such a need on my side to connect. Just had to make the time (as for the art retreat as well) although I confess there’s the Friday end of month ‘We are the World Blogfest’ coming up and I wanted to get something up of my very own before this.

      Renovations always take longer than planned. Glad to hear the end for yours is in sight. We had thought of starting to paint the interior last year in February but covid happened. Not that we’re out of the woods by a long stretch – but hopefully we can get the painting started sooner rather than later.

      Yes, we are blessed in spades when we acknowledge and are grateful for good health and vitality, a healthy attitude to life and still more that beckons … Love to you, Susan

  8. What a lovely getaway, Susan. It sounds invigorating for mind and spirit. Renovating rather than downsizing seems to be on the cards for Hub and me too. Well. painting rather than renovating. We do love our house.
    Overseas visitors. It sounds almost unimaginable to me. Our borders are still closed. Our vaccine rollout is slow too. I’m on a waiting list but it seems like I may have to wait a couple of months. I am going to see if I can get it earlier at another clinic.
    I wish you well with all the changes you are undertaking. The moon is about to eclipse here. It’s almost covered now.
    Happy days. Enjoy. Stay well.

    • Amazing that lunar eclipse is almost over Norah, and that it was happening as you typed your comment! That was exciting for me thank you.
      I wish you well with painting your home – seems we have a similar feeling about loving our homes. And good wishes for getting your vaccine sooner rather than later. Wonder when borders will finally be open.Thank you for coming by – I hope this finds you well 🌺

      • Thank you, Susan. The eclipse was beautiful, though not too red here.
        I have made a book for my covid jab in about 10 days, so I am pleased about that.
        Look after yourself. Stay safe and well.

  9. Wow, it sounds like a perfect getaway, Susan. Friends, creating, tastings, scenery, private studio! What’s not too love! 😀I have tasted gin only once in my life and I did not have a good experience. I should try it again. Popular around here, too. Company is always a good reason to get things ship shape. I suspect you and your husband have a formula for communicating and will weather these renovations. I enjoy getting your updates. The photos are wonderful. The scenery stunning. I love your smiles! xo

    • Thanks for coming by Erica – I’m curious about your not good experience with gin. Distilleries for independent gin making is a ‘thing’ here in SA though the usual Gilbey’s and Gordon’s remain ever popular. These Inverroche gins use our local fynbos for unique flavours. Not a drink for me I confess, though the occasional one with bitter lemon and lots of ice is quite refreshing. Can’t remember when I last had one!

      Yes, I have lovely memories. So important to get out and about every now and then as you well know. Will you check out the eclipse of the full moon where you are? It won’t be visible here in SA unfortunately. Though the full moon rising (I hear a song coming on) over the sea is a wondrous sight to behold. Be well 🙂 xx

  10. Hi Susan, it sounds like you had a lovely and relaxing time away. Your pictures are beautiful. Is the crime worse than usual? I suppose it must be given the job losses but I haven’t seen or heard much more about it than usual. I hope your renovations go well. I love that expression “driving each other up the wall”.

    • I think it’s worse ‘than usual’ Robbie. Sadly. Maybe better than being ‘driven into the sea’ with no life boat? Thanks for coming by. I wonder if I’d be able to make that melk tert – you make it sound so easy, and SO delicious ..:)

  11. Only you can skillfully combine so many disparate items into one cohesive post: olive tasting, gin tasting, and thoughts of changing your home decor. I had never heard this phrase before, but it fits the impulse to improve our environment: “shooz it up” a bit.

    Blessings on your developing another creative expression with art lessons. You look happy in the photos.

    Thank you for all this! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Marian. I’m unsure of the spelling of shooz, but I’m sure you’ve heard the word? Juz or juzz – shuz. Right now I can’t even think of how to pronounce the ‘oo’ in shooz but it’s not as in snooze. Perhaps a bit like like oosh. On that, I’m going to take a walk out in the countryside … (I think)

  12. It’s wonderful to connect with you Susan during this time of disconnection in my life. As my mother’s death takes me on a deep dive! Such is heartache, until hopefully, I can renovate my soul; work on the inside, slowly and surely … find a way to get this ole cosmic pin ball machine firing on all cylinders again, hitting all those things and making noise!

    What’s not to love; beautiful blue skies and wetting one’s palate with gin! If we can’t change the outside, let us work on the inside … hmm, which seems to be my lesson at the moment. Thank you for sharing your news … you have an incredible way of understanding all the sham of life and the betrayals, we as flawed and broken humans, are subject to.

    Your creative break sounds like it was just what was needed and has positively inspired you to embrace those inner changes. Eeek! Did I just read in your replies that there’s more changes in WordPress to come?! Oh my Goddess! I’m still struggling with their temperamental captcha code! Sending much love and light across the oceans between us, Deborah.

    • I love your metaphors Deborah, disconnection among connection and renovation of your soul in this landscape and sea-scape of grief-time. May the great Mother Goddess support you in all ways. I know you find succour in Nature with all her caprices.

      My husband will be the recipient of a bottle of Inverroche gin, Amber. for his birthday coming up. The nicest of the lot. Plus all sorts of other goodies from Stilbaai.

      I hope the captcha code sorts itself out. The only problem I’ve had with it is when I get my sums wrong 🙂

      Love to you dear sister friend, love and light to you, and hopefully some laughter. Susan

  13. Good to take a break like this … The place is amazing. …
    I like small houses, just enough for the needs. Easier to manage.

    • Thanks for coming by Pradeep. The time WILL come when we will go smaller, the idea appeals especially for management of it.

  14. Hi Susan – Stilbaai looks quite delightful … and obviously your retreat looks both to be a brilliant place to stay, and to have given you much pleasure and soulful peace. Excellent you’ll be going back with your hubby and son.
    Change is always difficult – but it sounds like you have the ideal property and it’ll reflect your choices of today – which makes sense for the time being. I’m glad your jabs are in the wheels of process … I’ve had both mine – but still taking things easy.
    Enjoy the coming of your friends … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks for coming by Hilary. So much to see in this beautiful country. I could spend my days road tripping and exploring. Just have to make plans in among all the other ones. I have a friend who changes her living space according to the seasons. Well, she was an interior decorator in a former life, but I simply cannot imagine this. Glad you’ve had the jab. Be well, Susan

  15. I enjoyed reading about your lovely retreat. Good luck with your renovations. You’ll be very pleased when all is finished. I’m glad you are scheduled for your vaccine. We, along with all our children and grandchildren, have had our jabs. Our state now says if you’ve been vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask in stores. It surprised me, when taking our daughter to the airport yesterday, that we had to wear masks with no exceptions. I do enjoy breathing normally!

    • You’re reminding me to keep the goal in sight thanks Anne! Do you have to show proof of vaccination in order to enter a store without mask? I can understand about airports enforcing that rule. We wear masks in public spaces as well as stores though take them off while on the beach or walking.

      • We do not have to show proof of vaccination to go maskless in stores and restaurants. I don’t know about domestic flights. Daughter Lise now has her card showing she was vaccinated, but she was required to have proof of testing to fly to Europe.

        • I reckon if there is going to be travel outside of borders, we’ll have to carry proof of vaccinations. Thanks for your answer Anne.

  16. Hi Susan – great to see your post. Your getaway looked wonderful. Those “small” glasses of gin would get me in trouble, though! I understand the downsizing dilemma. Our youngest goes off to college in the fall. I think we will stick around for now, though. We’ve gotten our vaccines – all of us got different ones with a few side effects, but nothing major. Masks are suddenly not required, but a lot of people are still wearing them. Take care and good luck with your house projects!

    • Thanks Barbara, it feels good to be connected. Glad you’ve had your vaccination with no major side effects. The gin tasting required a tiny sip neat, then a squeeze of a lemon rind into the 2 clear ones, sip, then topped up with tonic, sip or drink. Same ritual with the darker ones though with a squeeze of orange rind. Luckily, no after effects! We’re still masking, sanitising, safe distance etc.

  17. I’m glad to hear from you, Susan, and glad to know the mix of beauty and terror in your world. It sounds like you’ve found a healing retreat, and I hope your vaccine comes soon. These are perilous times. Stay safe and peaceful, and thanks for staying connected.

    • Thanks for coming by Elaine . Those days were special as were the women and getting to know them a little better. Sweet, warm, fun and friendly. Gotta have this in these times. Actually at all times, but more appreciated in these particular times. Not only on an art retreat but via connection as we do on blogs..

  18. Hi, Susan – I am delighted that you took time away to say hello. I’ve missed your posts. Your art retreat looks amazing. I absolutely love your Muhammed-Mountain attitude. I also adore that gin-tasting tray — how cool is that?!
    Good luck with the many changes ahead. And please keep us posted.

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement Donna! It feels good to be connected. Thank you also for your good luck wishes. I wonder how long this whole thing will take. I reckon the paint first then the rest will follow?

  19. Dear Susan;
    Looks like a lovely time with sunshine as well. The world falling down more severely now and change needed so maybe it will happen. Change in the personal and collective home.
    Best to you,

    • Thanks Susan for your comment. We were lucky with the weather which was forecast as grey and drizzly. Change is the only constant I guess, let’s hope it’s for the best. Susan

  20. Like Gwynn said in her comment, everything I do with WP seems to involve some sort of change/problem. I look forward to the day when it’s all old hat here. I like know that you’re taking your time deciding on your wall colors. I’ve found that when we do that we both like the results. Looking forward to learning which color [colors?] you choose.

    • As I said to Gwynn, WP is a challenge every time! One day, just when we get the hang of it, it will no doubt change again. We put up a few more colour charts this morning and I THINK we’ve made a decision. The colours for my study will have a wall in a winey-red above my desk, the stairs coming up to it will be in a soft light grey as will the rest of the walls. My husband is shocked I tell ya.Thanks for coming by Ally Bean.

  21. Speaking of change, how are you dealing with the CHANGE in WordPress? I am having a terrible time with it.

    Your pictures are lovely and your blog is great.

    • I battle every time with WP Gwynn. I couldn’t for example make a few of the pictures smaller or put them alongside each other. Those that I DID manage, I deleted ‘accidentally’ a few times. That little black block with a plus sign on it is useful. Thanks for coming by!

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