Visuals

These last few months have been so busy – it’s hard to believe that we’re heading towards the end of October which means November is around the corner and, as we know, it’s then full steam ahead at a cracking pace for Christmas and New Year. I sometimes wonder if I’ll feel ‘settled’, maybe only February next year.

We vacated our townhouse in Johannesburg mid July so that new tenants could move in – and a few days after being in Plett, we kept to the booking we’d made at the De Hoop Nature Reserve. It was such a wonderful weekend –

We drove from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town in early August so my husband could catch his flight from Cape Town to London and from there, after a few days of staying with friends, he flew to Edinburgh to join golfing friends. Thereafter he joined his sister from the US in Scotland and they handed over their great uncle’s medals to the Scottish Military Museum in Edinburgh.

On the drive to Cape Town, about 600 kms from Plett, we passed canola fields – there were fields upon fields of this gorgeous gold –

After getting my husband off, I hung around in Cape Town for a few days, staying with my sweet sister. I saw only two very special friends as well as my younger son and his lovely wife. This was the sky from my sister’s garden one evening. The photo IS the right way up – and that IS the moon in the centre –

I then hived off to Wellington (about an hour away from my sister’s home in Cape Town) where I stayed with my dear friend in her gorgeous home on a wine estate among the most magnificent mountains. We set off the next day, her husband doing the driving (so we could chat and I could look out the window and remember) for Stanford, a lovely little village some distance away and stayed overnight with her sister. We went up river the next day – and did some walking, saying hello to Sarah’s horses in a field that late afternoon.

A day or so later, after returning to Wellington, I set off for home in Plett driving on a route I was not very familiar with. The windiest of roads and the most magnificent scenery – I would have liked to stop, but I didn’t and took several photos while my car was in motion.This one doesn’t do it justice –

So, back home in Plett, on my own … valuable time. A friend flew down from Johannesburg and stayed here at my home, her husband a few days later for the weekend. It was lovely to show them Plett and surrounds … My husband returned at the end of August after an excellent time away, fit as a fiddle and full of stories.

September flew by … the equinox was a landmark, the days becoming longer. We ordered a bit of extra furniture, ordered new curtains & changed some things around. New built in bookcases were installed in my study. My left foot gave me grief for several weeks but it is now better.

But the shadows of September were long. Too many deaths of people I know. Sudden, tragic – too many aching hearts.

Earlier this month, we trekked again up to Johannesburg, this time staying for 2 nights at the Mountain Zebra Lodge in the Karoo en route. This is such a beautiful place -the photograph shows the evening light. There was very welcome rain the one night.

Then Johannesburg, staying in the most comfortable apartment given us by good friends. Oh, those spring colours –

We visited our tenants in the townhouse and it was a joy to see how beautifully Michelle had maintained our garden – an orchid I left behind, roses budding, everything lush and green glowing and those jacarandas over the garden wall were magnificent ..

A friend or two here and there, lunch and dinner, brunch and coffee, a bit of shopping looking for a slinky heeled sandal ..

Then off again, this time up to a game lodge in Madikwe, about 450 kms north of Jo’burg very close to the Botswana border. We’d been invited by our UK friends – we’ve been there before. The comforts, company and cuisine were excellent and the game viewing superb. We did early morning game drives, returning to the lodge for a slap up breakfast, and out again in the landrover at 4.30 returning around 7.00. 

Back to Johannesburg again to our very comfortable apartment, then full steam ahead for ‘The Wedding’ last Sat 12th October. There was a dinner last Thursday pre-wedding; wonderful to see old friends. The wedding service and reception is one that we’ll never forget – the photo below is of flowers at the entrance of the church.

We left Johannesburg last Sunday morning – there was a wedding brunch on Sunday, but we’d long decided to forgo that as we needed to get back to Plett. We overnighted in Graaf Reinet, about 850 south of Jo’burg. We went out for dinner in the town that evening. The photo immediately below is of the full moon rising over an historic building and the next one is of the main church, also very historic. I wish we’d had time to visit the Valley of Desolation – next time …

A deep breath for the both of us – we arrived back home in Plett this past Monday. Do all good things come to an end? No, I don’t think so … we set off again tomorrow morning. We’ll be staying with same friends in Wellington tomorrow night and on Saturday shooting over to Stellenbosch (about 3/4 hr away) to attend my sister and her husband’s birthday celebrations on a wine farm that day and night. Sunday is a very big day on our sports calendar … South Africa is playing Japan, the hosts for the World Cup Rugby this time round (every four years). It’s the quarter final … and there is NO WAY that we will be travelling on that day. They play around midday on Sunday. South Africa will be glued to their TV sets.

We’ll get back to Plett on Monday next week, either euphoric – or not –

 The last photo is of what was originally just a cutting of a small branch and tendrils, transplanted from Jo’burg and attached to a tree here in Plett in our garden a few months ago and I am thrilled to see how well it has flourished and bloomed.

This post is way longer than I imagined it would be.

May you all flourish and bloom even amidst these troubling times. May the Force be with you and thank you for reading.

53 Comments on Visuals

  1. Hi Susan, what an interesting post filled with so many adventures. I’m so sorry for the losses you suffered in September. Loss is always difficult, especially when unexpected.
    I love the photograph of the moon and clouds taken from your sister’s house. How glorious. And so many other wonderful photographs and tales as well. May the adventures continue, and your force be with you.

    • Hi Norah, thanks for coming by 🙂 Glad you especially liked the moon sailing along in the pink clouds – I was so pleased to see and ‘capture’ this.

      Have a great week and may the Force be with you –

  2. Hi Susan – oh this reminded me of my many journeys around South Africa – mostly by myself as I explored and toured … lots of memories. So pleased all is going well – though things happen …

    … the ‘boxing’ match can start on Saturday – and we’ll see … I think I’ll win either way … always support the SAns if there’s no home contingent … and now I’ve Canada too … ah well – life goes on and thank goodness for rugby!

    Take care and enjoy … cheers Hilary

    • I agree re rugby Hilary, and tennis also … rugby fever is mounting. We last won it in 2007 when France was the host nation and we beat England then … which we want to do again!!!! xoxo

  3. Wow! My head is spinning, Susan. Such beautiful journeys–plants, animals, people. I’m also laughing as I compareyour life with mine. Hmmm… I took the Puppy and Willow to Watkins Glen (a 15 minute drive to the village) and walked with them in the park and along the streets rather than going to the beautiful glen or the lake since the goal was puppy socialization. She met many friendly people. I got a blog almost finished after the 10-week-old pup fell asleep. I stayed home until 1 pm the day before that and then raced into town to run errands and buy food while a friend puppy sat. Another day, a friend came with his puppy and we talked about politics in my barn while the pups wrestled and ran. My days are close to home as I knew they would be when I adopted a pup. This suits my temperament these days–Artemis in the wilderness with her dogs. Sending you happy trails as a balance to my stay-at-home days. It will soon be Hestia time here and the dogs and I will snuggle close to the wood stove hearth. Be well. Enjoy the beauty around you.

    • This was a humdinger of a trip Elaine. To think that this time last week we were in Wellington after my sister and her husband’s 70th birthday party in Stellenbosch the previous night. Anyway, we’re here for a while … though I’m keen to get up to Johannesburg again mid-November .. am not madly in the mood right now for plotting and planning though I’ll have to attend to arrangements soon …

      I wonder sometimes about those who are always on the move and the why’s … but I’ll just have to keep on wondering. I know that I can go for weeks without seeing anyone socially and I know I am in danger of becoming a hermit. But when I do get out and about I enjoy it! I envy your time in the woods, tending to Nature and your dogs Willow and Joy. New Moon tomorrow night! Maybe I’ll do some planting this week … my garden is looking lovely right now, bursts of colour here and there. Have a lovely week and thank you for coming by 🙂

  4. My you’ve been busy, Susan! It sounds like you had some lovely time with friends and family, and you certainly captured some beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  5. Hi Susan, It would have been a very special and poignant moment, handing over the medals to the museum. The canola fields are spectacular when you are there at certain times of the year. I have seen them once when driving through part of our Prairies. You covered a great deal of distance this year, Susan. I know you had mentioned some of the game viewing in one of your comments. Surreal to be right there. A really interesting post with gorgeous photos!

    • Sorry I’ve taken so long to respond Erica – we’re just back home after being away for the weekend of more celebrations. There’s no place like like home and a cup of tea! Although it was lovely driving through familiar territory at a different time of year. For my husband and his sister, it was extremely poignant handing over those medals of great historical interest. He was head of MI5 during WW2. Have a great week 🙂

  6. This is a veritable travelogue, Susan: moving house, traveling, and visiting friends and family. How happy I am that you have a reliable tenant too. Not always are landlords so fortunate.

    As Deborah mentions here, how lovely it is to see you flourishing and blooming as summer approaches. Perhaps, now though, you need a little rest. Perhaps too, time will slow down a wee bit as it has for me lately.

    • The story of how we came to have a corporate tenant is an amazing one Marian, almost unbelievable 🙂

      We’re in the middle of the next leg of our travelling. It’s so lovely to be here right now in Wellington with very dear friends. After tonight’s festivities in Stellenbosch, and tomorrow’s rugby, we’ll head home on Monday. Glad time has slowed down a bit after your book tour 🙂 and that you’re getting some well deserved rest. Have a lovely weekend.

  7. What a beautiful catch up, Susan. I feel as though we’ve just had a great visit and I’ve lived with you your recent highs and lows. Your photos helped to further bring everything to life. I especially like the one of the sky from your sister’s garden. Enjoy Wellington and Stelenbosch and the big game on Sunday!

    • We’ve arrived in Wellington, via Swellendam off to Stellenbosch tomorrow – so I made this up – winging through Swellies, now in Wellies, tomorrow in Stellies – I’m getting light headed because of all this travelling! Thanks for coming by Donna, have a great weekend!

  8. Thanks for sharing so many beautiful images – memorable impressions. I felt quite dizzy trying to map your movements and had to read backwards up again. It’s lovely to know your’re blessed with friends. Mine are spread all over the world these days, and their attention is often with grandchildren. So I’m becoming a hermit, partly through lack of resources, otherwise I might lift on wings, like you.
    Though truth be told, my strong affinity with air and the imagination requires grounding. That’s where my garden comes in 🙂 while travelling happens inwards for now.

    • Thanks Ashen for your lovely comment, a belated response from me as we’ve just arrived where there’s internet connection… My friends are also all over the world, I wish I saw them more often. Lifting on wings happens rarely in my life but when it does, it’s magic… as much as is the inward journey 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!

  9. Like Marsha, I felt I was travelling (whirling!) with you, as I trailed your beautiful, bright adventures Susan! I loved your stunning photos, most especially that vertical pink-striped sky one and the vibrant, floral colours of spring! I imagined myself sat upon a small magic carpet flying high above your travels, breathless at the beauty of the visions below! Heaven really is a place called Earth!

    Is it me or has your writing become loose and leisurely with such a great flow?! The feeling I catch is one full of heart. Oh, and I love how you pick up on even the smallest detail … looking out of a window, chatting to friends … then we’re out into the open, marvelling and paying homage to the incredible South African wildlife … again, accompanied by amazing visuals!

    Oh my Goddess! What joy it is to see you flourish and bloom here in the Garden of Eden into the beautiful soul-flower that you are! I loved your relaxed writing pace and the deep enjoyment I felt in your rich words. Warm spring (and here autumnal) wishes, Deborah.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment Deborah! We’ve just arrived in Wellington (long drive) and I have a moment to get onto internet before we go to a wine estate for supper. I’m sitting on the balcony surrounded by beauty, majestic mountains and lovely friends who’re getting ready for dinner –

      This post is a change for sure – no politics and bemoaning the state of everything. In some way I do feel my heart softening. And maybe more aware of the changing of seasons, and the month by month changes …

      Have a lovely weekend, and blessed autumnal greetings to you 🙂

  10. I feel I’m traveling with you. I go to a map of South Africa and look up all the locations you mention. Love your stories!

    • Thanks Marsha – do look up Madikwe on Google and some of the camps there – I’ve stayed at Tree Frog (this last time and on a few other occasions), Hillside and Bosman camps. A few others though I can’t remember their names right now. Graaf Reinet is also of historic interest. And information and photographs of Wellington and Stellenbosch (wine country) will blow you away with their majestic scenery!

  11. Gracious, Susan! What a pace you set! And so many beautiful and exotic sights to see within driving distance. I imagine there were times when your head was spinning….like the Sufi dancer at the beginning of your piece.:-)

    Thanks for the visuals. They say so much.

    It’s finally beginning to cool down a bit, which is a blessing for us in Florida. Wishing you a blessed summer.

    • Thanks for coming by Jeannie – the distances were considerable but South Africans are known for hitting the road! I reckon I chose the Sufi dancer somewhat unconsciously; I know I’ve used it before and it’s saved on my blog images so when I was scrolling through for a header …

      A blessed Fall to you and cooler climes at this time – thanks for your lovely wishes for Summer –

  12. Loved the photos. I thought I was busy! My plans for next summer for a 40th anniversary may not be as extensive as yours. As we extend our time in the Third Age, travel and enjoyment of all our days is essential.

    • That’s the way I think of ‘all of our days’ to enjoy them to the utmost, but somehow finding quiet time as well … thanks for coming by John and enjoy your plotting and planning 🙂

  13. Oh Mrs Scott! I loved that so much, you sure do appreciate all the good things in life and especially nature. I could hear your voice reading it to me – such a treat! Love to you and Neil XXX

    • Oh Mrs. Campbell, thank you! You were one of the people I wanted to see in Jo’burg but this will have to wait until next month … I’m plotting and planning and have already looked up possible airfares – though who knows, I may travel by car this time in my trusty little one – Love to you and ‘children’ –

  14. What fun you have. You’ve done many entertaining and soul enriching things while on the move lately. I realize you’re heading into summer right about now, so I look forward to more photos of your pretty colorful world.

    • I’m sure you’re enjoying your beautiful Fall Ally Bean …. summer is truly on its way here with a heat wave forecast. Thanks for saying about upcoming photos – where we’re going is such a beautiful part of the world. As is where we are …

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