Category Archives: Travel

Last minute weekend escape

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The noisy guitarist & I had a last minute weekend away this past weekend to his parents farm near Ermelo. I didn’t make it to the Exclusive Books warehouse sale but the weekend away was a welcome change of scenery and a very relaxing weekend. I have been spending my Saturday mornings looking at cars for the past five weeks, I greatly enjoyed getting out of Jo’burg and not spending my Saturday test driving cars!

Here are some photos from a weekend including a few photos of the two wild cats on the farm. Photo credit to the noisy guitarist for this sunset photo of us while going for an evening walk on Saturday. I also picked up a porcupine quill on the walk, hopefully next time I will see a real porcupine, that would be thrilling!

Spying on the wild cats on the farm:

Spotted a Ginger Ninja cat

 

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The start of my recycling my food waste into food for soil

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I am very excited, I now have my own Bokashi digester bin!

I am very happy that my food waste will now longer go in the bin but in the Bokashi/Earth Probiotic bin in this way, my dustbin won’t smell as the food rots, I will reduce my impact on the landfills and I will be generating food for the soil to help my vegetable garden grow with these nutrients I will be providing. The liquid that accumulates can also be used to clean out drains which is certainly needed in my little house.

There are many very interesting tips and articles on the Earth Probiotic website: http://www.earthprobiotic.com/ Look on the Earth Probiotic website for stockists.

It seems to be an extremely easy system to use and very compact. I am currently keeping mine in the garage for easy access. 

I have already added some left over mielies, peas, broken up left over roll that had gone hard and a few other items. I was also keen to find out that the food scraps ferment in the Bokashi and don’t rot so there isn’t smelly moldy or rotten smell that will come off. It has only been two days but it smells a little like yeast so far. 

I think this Bokashi system could be very useful for many homes. I was glad to see that hotels and guest houses are now using it too. I am sure it will make a great difference to my life too.

I will update the blog with my progress.

Hope you are all having a super Monday!

 

– Speurder Linda

Flashback to Madeline

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By chance I caught ETV showing the movie version of one of my favourite childhood story books which brought back such memories.  I had forgotten about Madeline but goodness gosh how I loved the Madeline books! 

I must’ve taken them out of the library tens of times and watched the animated programs on tv many times as a child. The noisy guitarist from my room even asked if I learnt my eccentricities through reading Madeline on repeat on so many occasions, this was when  we were watching the scene of Madeline befriending the chicken in the car then proceeding to refuse to eat roast chicken that night at dinner after naming the chicken Fred. I give animals a name (Peter for spiders etc) too but I am not sure if it is due to reading Madeline. 

Which titles were your favourite books when growing up? I believe that it is vital to encourage reading amongst children and read to them very regularly even from when they are babies. 

I bought seven books from the Exclusive Books sale this afternoon after a delicious lunch at Food Lovers Market, now to relax and enjoy the approaching thunder storm.

What delightful treats! Hope you can also find some gems at the Exclusive Books sale, Fanatics members get 10% off the sale price today and tomorrow. 

In case you were wondering, the 5 km running race I completed this morning was excellent, I met lots of new people and the noisy guitarist from my bedroom completed a great 21 km running race.

Although a low point was the litter. Shocking! It was very upsetting and frustrating to see how many people littered during the run and afterwards.

They took their coke / waters from the outstretched hands of the kind volunteers then proceeded to discard on the ground after drinking it when there were plenty of bins around. I picked up as much as I could after the race but hundreds of waste items remained. When is this mentality going to change?

The finishing line and surrounding areas was covered with plastic and paper. I find it very shocking how lazy South Africans are regarding disposing of waste.  

I hope everyone is having a splendid weekend! Thanks for reading.

Off now to inhale this delicious thunder storm air and enjoy the storm.

Speurder Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer searching

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Speurder Linda has been searching for this bikini:

This bikini would suit me perfectly!

It is a Seafolly bikini which I had seen in the beach spread in the November edition of the SA Good Housekeeping magazine, I instantly liked it and knew it would look perfect on me. I was determined already then to get the bikini but it did slip further back in my mind as I thought December, summer and times when I would use it was weeks into the future with there being plenty of time to buy it before the holiays.

The magazine listed  Stuttafords as a stockist consequently I thought I could easily pick up the bikini from there in December closer to the time of going away. The South African importer of Seafolly wasn’t has helpful as I would have liked, perhaps she didn’t understand how fixated I was on buying one of their costumes. Finally after a few calls and even more emails to the importer which is located in Cape Town I was able to obtain the product codes for it and a selected list of stockists nearby in Jo’burg. With that information in hand I kick started my hunt for the bikini!

I was very lucky to find it at the first of four shops on the stockist, it was an inconspicuous shop in Rivonia. I actually walked right past it a few times before realising that this must be the shop on my list. I can’t even remember the name of the shop now, I think it is ‘AZ U R’.

I immediately spotted the bikini from the magazine but also tried on eight other bikinis in case I found anything else that fitted better and to be certain that this was this really was the right bikini. Unsurprisingly the Seafolly bikini I had been searching for fitted perfectly, it really did. I loved the colours, the fit is ideal and suits my figure.

Then the catch as there had to be…the gorgeous Seafolly swimming costume was R1300 with a 25% discount which results in it being just under R1000.00.I checked other stockists and even other Seafolly bikinis but the price seems to be similar for all Seafolly bikinis.

It seems so much to spend on a bikini when living in a third world country with extreme poverty, R1000 on an item of clothing really is excessive, many people don’t even receive see that amount per month not to mention that it is a large amount of money in these tough economic times.

R1000 had seemed quite steep for me considering I don’t live at the coast so only use a bikini a few times a year. But considerations for me when buying a bikini are obviously how comfortable it is, since I swim a lot in the sea as well as far out into the water when at the coast it need to be remain on my body and be supportive of my ‘ample assets’ with string bikinis and most bikinis not being sufficiently supportive.

I was hesitant to spend R1000 on a bikini consequently I then searched for other bikinis even trying full costumes. I searched and searched! Unsuccessfully. I couldn’t find a bikini that fitted as well. I tortured myself to try on the Seafolly bikini twice more to be doubly sure that it really did fit me.

By the time of my leaving Jo’burg to go away on holiday I still hadn’t found a bikini that fitted as well for less than R1000.00.

I finally settled for a black one piece from Woolworths for R299.00-despite my strong resolve to boycott Woolworths – but what a disaster it has been with the top part of the costume falling off completely when I swim leaving me exposed or the straps fall off and aren’t adjustable.

I certainly won’t be able to swim into the deep water in the sea with this costume! I can’t even swim in a swimming pool in it. It is a very impractical design. It must’ve been designed for those women who only lie on the beach and never swim or walk around. I can’t imagine being on the beach or at a pool and not swimming.

What a disappointment! 

It seemed like cost does equate to quality as there is far more support and better materials were used in the Seafolly costume compared to the Woolworths one piece.

Now I am regretting not having bought the Seafolly costume. As my one friend said, if it is good enough quality to last a few years and fits well then take it, look after it and save yourself the search next year as well as the following year.

December  has flown by and I am still starring longingly at this costume in the magazine. Just imagine how stunning I would look in it and how it would be perfect for me although I am still feeling in two minds when I stop to snap out of my unrealistic dreamy notions.

Long weekend away treat: Maliba

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My boyfriend & I celebrated our three year anniversary (and an early birthday celebration for me) at Maliba Mountain Lodge in Lesotho.

Frog lovers at entrance to Maliba

It was fantastic!

Last year August we had gone to Vic Falls over the time of my birthday with it easily one of the best holidays I have been on and I was worried that Maliba wouldn’t be as good as the photos on their website.

The photos didn’t do it justice, it was stunning and a very memorable few nights away.
It is a different destination to Vic Falls and also different to gorgeous nature lover’s paradise Phophonyane falls eco lodge where we stayed last December but highly recommended.

The accommodation, food, service, layout and personalised touches of Maliba really are five star.

What awaited us in your room when we arrived at Maliba

The staff are all very friendly and were very patient with my numerous questions to find out background information on the construction of Maliba, what it is like to live in Lesotho, the language and proud to share stories about visits from their King.
They didn’t even mind when I tested out the Sotho which I had practiced in the car on them. Rose, Daniel and Adel were very hospitable and keen to share their culture with me. Next time I will definitely go on cultural tour to learn more about the Basotho people.

The trail where we had walked was covered in snow on the last morning

There is a lovely botanical garden at Maliba with information on the plants endemic to the region. I particularly loved the spiral aloes which are only found in Lesotho and are the national flower. 

Spiral aloe

Eksteen’s panorama photograph captured the expanse of Maliba and the chalets. It won Maliba’s photo of the month for August and will be used on their website. Eksteen wrote a more in depth blog post on our stay at Maliba: http://www.thesickleaves.com/a-crown-jewel-in-the-mountain-kingdom