Category Archives: Share Your World

Share Your World Monday 6 March 2023

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World from Di

Does your spouse/partner (or do you) help with the household chores?

We are fortunate enough to have help in the garden and the house every Saturday but of course, there are daily chores to be done. I do most of the cleaning in the house. My husband is not averse to helping. He often cooks and likes to tidy up too. He also does all the outdoor stuff. Years ago we did a little quiz we found in a book which was titled, “101 Things to do to make your partner happy.” I can’t remember the exact title or the author but there was a section for the wife to answer and a section for the husband to answer. Well, we tested each other and the scores were exactly even! So I guess we have an equal relationship.

My philosophy is this – If something needs to be done either do it yourself without complaint or ask your partner to do it. I drop everything to do something for my husband and he drops everything to do for me if we ask each other nicely.

What is your least favourite chore

I don’t really have a least favourite. All chores are boring so I put in earphones and listen to an audiobook or podcast while doing them. I can’t just sit still and listen. My hands have to be occupied or I have to go for a walk.

As a kid, did you have to do chores to earn your pocket money/allowance?

Not really. I did some chores and was responsible for keeping my room tidy. I also had a much younger sibling whom I helped look after but that was more fun than work.

When we were helping our daughter raise her two little boys, they had regular chores – not for money but to instil in them that when families live together everybody needs to help. They were very good at doing their chores. One day while I was chatting with a visitor in our open-plan lounge/dining room, our youngest appeared and started to set the table. She was amazed. “Who asked him to do that?” she asked.

“Nobody. It’s one of his regular chores and he doesn’t need to be reminded,” I answered, proud as punch of the little chap! I certainly was not as helpful as he was when I was a kid.

The boys also shared a paper round. They alternated the days and when one had a sports match or for another reason was not able to do his round the other covered for him. This is what gave them their pocket money.

Did you save any of your pocket money or spend it all?

I did not get very much pocket money. It covered a monthy magazine and a few chocolate bars when I was at school. As a college student, I got less than anybody else I knew so had very few treats but I survived as all essential expenses were covered by my bursary.

Sometimes we take so much for granted

Share Your World 27 February 2023

This week Di asks questions about being part of a group. Here are my answers.

Did you attend Sunday School at your local church as a child? 

Yes – I went to a protestant Sunday School when I was very small. My parents then decided that we should return to the Catholic church and as we attended a government school my siblings and I went to Catechism on Wednesday afternoons. In my teens, I went to a protestant youth group and did not attend the Catholic church again. As an adult, I don’t attend church having become disillusioned with the hypocrisy but I do consider myself a Christian and have my own faith. I have no regrets about attending protestant or catholic churches. They were all part of forming my character. My main reason for nonattendance is that I dislike being told what to think and do. Christianity is about faith, not rules.

Did you attend after-school classes ie. drama, sports, as a teenager? 

Yes – sport was compulsory at the schools I attended. I played social tennis and netball. I wasn’t any good at sports but in my early twenties I started playing squash and I loved it. In my early thirties, I started jogging and loved that too. I stopped at around 55 years of age but continued walking and aerobic gym.

Did you go to evening classes after you had left school? 

I went to a sewing class but sucked at it. Later my neighbour taught me to sew and for many years I made most of my own clothes and those of my kids. I no longer sew.

In my forties, I attended a creative writing class which I was part of for about 10 years. Maybe if I hadn’t gone I would have finished my book sooner? Just joking – I really enjoyed those classes.

Do you now belong to any groups/meetings (ie WI, single (not dating), young Mums, slimming clubs, young wives, Men’s hobbies ) 

I belong to The Cape Bird Club and was secretary for 10 years. I am now 200 km away so am not as involved as previously but have done an online beginners’ course for them. I don’t attend the monthly meetings unless I happen to be in Town. Because I’m a member, I can go to the outings and/or camps when I’m able to.

A Group of CBC members on an outing

The Earl and I are also members of the Cape Boat and Ski-boat club in Cape Town and here in Struisbaai, we are members of The Diepsee Angling Club. Hubby, being the fisherman, is involved more than I am. We go to all the social functions. I am mostly involved when asked to take photographs for competitions or to write reports on them.

A collage of participating boats in one of the competitions

Every day is a gift to share

Share Your World Monday 6 February 2023

Once again we have some questions from Di at Pensitivity101 to answer.

 What kind of vacations did you have as a child?

When I was a pre-schooler I lived for three years in goldmine-littered Johannesburg which was far from the sea. The rest of the family on both sides resided in Cape Town and so my earliest holiday memories are of travelling there and back in the family Opal Caravan (Station Wagon). My two siblings and I, beside ourselves with excitement at leaving in the dead of night, would cuddle up together on a mattress at the back of the vehicle and finally fall asleep while Dad drove the 1400 kms, stopping only for loo breaks and picnic breakfasts and lunches at the side of the road. Then we would have three glorious weeks of family, sun and sea at Fish Hoek Beach.

When I was five we relocated to Fish Hoek and my father said that since we lived in a holiday resort it would not be necessary to go away for a holiday. But we did visit the Kruger National Park when I was seven years old and The Lakes at Wilderness when I was thirteen.

Have any of those remained favourites now that you’re an adult?

Although I only visited Kruger National Park once as a child, I never forgot it. I was forty-two years old when I went again and have been almost every year since.

The one bird I remember from when I visited Kruger at age 7 – Glossy Starling

What has been your best vacation ever?

This is a difficult one to answer. I have had so many awesome holidays. Game reserves aside I would say that the best holiday I had was cruising for a month from Mauritius to Venice in 2019.

Our cruise ship, Costa Victoria docked in Seychelles

Another very memorable holiday was in 1998 when we visited Australia. We did Sydney, Central, Sunshine and Gold Coast and also spent a few days bareboating in the Whitsunday Islands. It was truly amazing.

On board Chivas Regal – our Cabin Cruiser on the Whitsundays -Clockwise Aussie cousins Kath and Bruce, Me, Aussie Aunt Leonie

When our grandchildren were 7, 10, 14 and 15, we took them to Kruger National Park for the first time. This turned out to be totally amazing. We played game spotting games to keep their interest peaked but found that having four of them really worked well. The cousins got on super-well and the older two boys kept the younger two eager, engaged and entertained while travelling in the car as well as the time spent at the campsites. We have taken them on holidays since then but that one was certainly the best as seeing their delight at each sighting gave us more pleasure than seeing the creatures ourselves.

Shannon said, “Gran, I want to see a leopard on the road walking toward us.” No sooner were the words cold on her lips than this beauty appeared.

I blogged about this trip here

Do you prefer resorts where there are no kids allowed?

I don’t mind having kids around but at 70, a resort geared especially for families is not on my list of places to go. Now that we can, we travel out of school holidays. When we are caravanning off-season we find that there are very few children around but if there are we are quite happy to see them enjoying nature and the great outdoors.

Three of our grandchildren quietly observed a bushbuck at a picnic site while the fourth took the photo

Romantically Sharing my World

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World questions from Pensitivity100

 Do you consider yourself to be romantic?

If you are romantic it means that you do and say loving things to your significant other. So yes, I believe I am romantic and so is my husband.

Do you send cards on Valentine’s Day?

No not anymore. When I was teaching my school made a big thing out of every special day and Valentine’s Day was no exception. The kids and teachers would dress up in red and we would make cards in the classroom. With our little ones they were usually for Mom or Dad! Each child would also get a little Valentine’s gift and we would teach the children about Saint Valentine and how the tradition of Valentine’s day began.

All dressed up for Valentine’s Day

At home, I would give each of my family members heart-shaped chocolates.

Would you spend a considerable amount of money on a single red rose for your beloved?

I have never done that but I have been the recipient of a single red carnation. This was sent to me by my current husband after our first date! Yes – I fell for him straight away!

What is your idea of a romantic evening?

Dinner dancing at a smart restaurant. Years ago there was a hotel in Cape Town called the Cape Sun where we used to go for dinner dancing and then we would spend the night so we did not drink and drive. We did this at least twice a year and it did us so much good.

Love is all around. Embrace it.

I am really grateful for a strong, romantic marriage that has stood the test of time. We have been happily together for 40 years and today is our thirty-sixth wedding anniversary!

30 January 1987

Share Your World 23 January 2023

Here are my answers to this week’s SYW questions from Pensitivity100

 Do you find it relatively easy to fall asleep at night?

Not really. I sleep quite well once I am asleep but it takes a while to doze off.

Do you remember your dreams?

Mostly I do but I need to write them down otherwise they disappear very quickly. I often look up the meanings. Sometimes they ring true at others not at all.

If you can’t sleep, do you watch TV, read or listen to music in the hope you will nod off?

I can’t read or watch TV otherwise I will disturb my husband. I do Sudoku on my phone. That helps.

Can you literally sleep anywhere (chair, sofa, bus, train, flight etc)?

I can’t sleep on an aeroplane. I can sleep in a car – I think the movement rocks me to sleep. But yes – if I’m really tired I can sleep anywhere. I once fell asleep during a staff meeting – I was ill – not bored!

Flowers from a child, be they weeds or roses, have equal worth.

Flowers or a handmade gift from a child is so special. I find it hard to part with the cards and gifts given to me by my small learners when I was teaching.

Handmade cards and jewelry and just the sweetest gifts

Share Your World Monday 26 December 2022

Here are my answers to the last SYW of 2022 from Pensitivity101

It’s Boxing Day for those of us who celebrate Christmas, but hopefully, these questions are suitable for those who have alternative celebrations be it now in December or another time in the year.

1.   If you have been given a variety of gifts, do you have a clear-out of older stuff to make room for it?

I don’t specifically have a clear-out after Christmas but I do try not to keep things I no longer need. I either give stuff away to people less fortunate than I am. The real junk goes into recycling.

2.  Do you overindulge in food for special occasions and then come to regret it with either weight gain, guilt or severe indigestion?

I do indulge a little more than usual on special occasions. Who can resist that special dessert after a delicious Christmas dinner? If I really overdo it I pay with an upset stomach. So I try to just have a tiny bit of the ‘wrong’ food that I indulge in.

This year everybody had a job to do for Christmas Lunch.

Getting ready to prepare Christmas Dinner
Preparing the meal
Josh set the table
Gammon by Lauren, Greek Lamb by Gran, Tzaziki by Laurie, Potato Salad by Lisa, Greek Salad by Shannon
Trifle by Gran

Those who didn’t cook, cleared away and packed the dishwasher!

3.  What is your favourite part of any celebration?

Having the people I love most in the world all together to celebrate. Right now I am with all my children and grandchildren. The grandkids are all over 18 now so I’m not sure for how much longer I am going to be this lucky!

Oldest daughter and Grandsons 1 and 2
Son-in-law, Middle daughter and youngest grandson
Granddaughter and her young man
Youngest daughter and my hubby

4.   Are you looking forward to getting bargains in the January Sales?

No, not really. I am not a bargain hunter. I think I have everything need but if I see something that takes my fancy and it is going cheap I might not be able to resist.

Every day is a gift and a chance to make memories.

For our family that is what it is all about. I am the family photographer and have a huge collection of PowerPoint Memories. I am grateful that I get to see my family often and that we enjoy doing things together.

This morning the younger members of the family hiked the Robberg. I have done the Robberg a few times but gave it a miss this time as my foot is sore. Well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Me on Robberg Hike in 2019

Lauren, The Earl, and I went to The Old Nic for breakfast and to help Lauren spend her birthday gift vouchers. Lisa and Laurie joined us a little later.

The Old Nic has lovely gardens, a nursery, wine tasting centre and a few speciality shops
Mungos sells African woven fabric and Lauren had vouchers to spend here. She bought a lovely beach towel.
We couldn’t leave without popping into the chocolate shop. I indulged in a chocolate shot – chocolate from a fountain poured into a dark chocolate cup. It was to die for and worth every cent of the R27 I paid for it. We also walked out with a packet of treats – all dark chocolate without sugar – that’s allowed isn’t it? I do believe that chocolate is an essential food group and a little goes a very long way to making me happy.

Share Your World – 5 December 2022

Here are my answers to this week’s SYW challenge

Do you have a favourite outfit you like to wear?

I had a favourite long-sleeved shirt that I bought at Marks and Spencer in 2013. I would have it still but it actually wore out! It got a tiny hole in the back. I darned it and as the hole became bigger I darned it some more. It tucked into my jeans so you could not see it but very recently it just got too bad to mend. My friend, Stephen saw me tear up my beloved shirt and said, “Hey, I can use that – I need rags in my workshop.” And so my beloved shirt lives on doing menial labour.

I live thirteen thousand kilometres away from the nearest Marks and Spencer but when next I visit the UK I hope to find another shirt like the one I loved so much. Sadly, I can’t find a photo of me in it!

I couldn’t find this photo when I first published but then this turned up!

I also have a favourite dress – also bought in 2013 at a little boutique called East. I have it still and wear it often.

My dress in 2013
Only the wearer has aged – Me in my favourite dress – my grandson, Josh, beside me

What is the worst thing you were forced to wear as a child (school uniforms aside)?

My parents gave me free choice as far as clothing was concerned but I did have to wear a hat to church. I don’t know why, but I hated wearing a hat. I still hate wearing a hat but I did wear one to Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

Okay – so I dressed up to watch the wedding on TV! I had a few friends over for tea too!

Do you have a sweet tooth, and if so, are you a chewer, cruncher, or sucker?

I do have a sweet tooth but not for the kind of sweets/candy/lollies that most children like. I hate chewing gum/bubble gum – so I’m not a chewer. If I do have a boiled sweet then I prefer to suck. Chocolate is my preferred sweet treat and I allow that to melt slowly in my mouth and may have it with black coffee which makes the experience even more enjoyable.

Do you think you could eat your weight in chocolate?

When I was much younger I considered myself to be a chocoholic. I could certainly consume an entire bar all by myself. No, I could not eat my weight in anything in one sitting. Chocolate is still a favourite treat but these days it’s dark chocolate and only one square at a time. I do, sometimes, indulge in the odd chocolate from a box – Lindt! Anything chocolate-flavoured goes down well with me.

Share Your World 28 November 2022

It’s Monday again and so to the Share Your World Challenge from Pensitivity101

Do you have any family traditions?

Our family traditions have changed over the years. When I was a child growing up in the sixties, Christmas was a big thing. We did not receive expensive gifts but it was certainly a magical time. Every year our grandparents took us to the city and to at least three different department stores to visit Father Christmas. At each store, we received a Lucky Dip filled with the junkiest toys ever. Each year our grandparents complained that the toys became nastier than the year before but we adored them – puzzles that fell apart after putting them together just once, tiny plastic dolls whose limbs were off in seconds for the girls and even tinier cars with wheels that broke even faster for the boys. The colouring books with very breakable crayons were the best treat ever. So what if they were binned within the week – we loved those toys while they lasted.

In spite of it being in the middle of summer, we would sit down to a hot Christmas lunch with all the traditional fare – cooked by Granny with helps from Mom and aunts of course. Grandpa would decorate the huge pine tree in the garden with the most colourful and twinkly lights ever. In the evenings the neighbours would come to the gate to stare and exclaim in delight. Nobody else did anything like it in that neighbourhood. We had a very big extended family and so our Christmas gathering was very exciting with lots of inexpensive presents being exchanged and rowdy games played in the garden while the adults napped after over-indulging in lunch!

In our teens, we would go to bed early on Christmas Eve and then wake up at 11 pm to attend Midnight Mass. From 11:30 we would sing all the traditional hymns before Mass began at midnight. When we got home my mother would read, “A Visit from St Nick” by Clement Clarke Moore and we would be allowed to open one gift before going to bed and only rising much later in the morning.

By the time I was thirteen my mother and a cousin would alternate hosting Christmas as it became a bit too much for Granny. We continued to have great fun though.

With December on its way, have you ever been carol singing?

I have not gone carol singing door to door but I have attended carol singing services at schools where I have taught. In fact for a few years, my school, as an end-of-year function, had a sing-along of all kinds of well-known favourites, ending with a few carols, and I was the one to lead the proceedings!

Do you decorate your home for the Christmas holidays?

When our kids were growing up we certainly did. I haven’t done so for quite a number of years. Our daughter now hosts Christmas and she does a tree and decorations etc. This year I will be providing new table decorations.

Do you enjoy the Christmas rush for preparations and shopping?

Not like I did in my youth. Christmas is lovely but now that our grandchildren are grown we do not buy gifts for everybody. We have Secret Santa and buy only one gift for the chosen person. The whole family is together for two to three weeks and our Christmas gift to each other is to do special things as a family. We spend money on one or two special outings and treat each other to a restaurant meal or order in Sushi.

Our friends in the US have just celebrated Thanksgiving.

I think we should follow the example of the Americans and set aside a day to be thankful. If I was sitting around a Thanksgiving Table and had to share what I was thankful for, my list would be very long and the other guests would probably tell me to sit down and be quiet!

I am thankful for my amazing family. I am thankful that they are safe and pray that will never change. I am thankful that my grandchildren still want to spend time with their grandparents even though their friends are more fun. I am thankful for my lovely husband who still wants to have adventures and refuses to sit still and rock in a rocking chair! I am thankful that I live in a cosy, comfortable house in a beautiful part of the world that is still relatively free from crime. I am thankful for amazing friends who I can rely on when I need them. I can go on. Let’s just say that Life is Good and I am so grateful that I can still enjoy it.

Share Your World Monday 14 November 2022

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World

Does the weather affect your mood?

Not really. It is something we can’t control so it’s best to just go with it and adapt. Obviously, I get irritated if I’m caught in the rain or there is mist when we’re travelling because that can be quite dangerous. But if it doesn’t interfere too much with my plans I just deal with what’s thrown at me.

I found that wind affected the kids in my class at school. They were way more hyper. Rainy weather made them restless too because they couldn’t go out to play.

If a stranger smiles at you or says ‘good morning’ when they pass you in the street, do you return it?

Always. But I’m probably the first one to greet or smile.

Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner
and someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile,
then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don’t leave it undetected.
Let’s start an epidemic quick,
and get the world infected!

If you had a choice of just one of these things to eat, what would it be and why?
Chocolate, a sweet pastry, a plate of chips/fries (this is not a forever choice, just one instance).

Chocolate every time. The reason is that chocolate makes me feel happy. I consider it an essential food group for teachers too. Nothing improves stress like chocolate does.

If you could go back to when you were a specific age, what would that be? Why?

I can’t pick an age. If I could be younger now, that would be fine but I don’t want to go back to any particular era. I have arrived in the future and in many ways it is awesome. I had a wonderful childhood with a great deal of freedom. My teens weren’t great but they were okay – just glad that phase is over. My twenties were marginally better as I enjoyed college and teaching. But my life really took an awesome turn in my thirties when I married my current husband. Raising kids and grandkids, having a fulfilling career, good friends and enjoyable hobbies all made me happy. Now I have freedom, enough money to live on without going to work, a comfortable home, good health most of the time and technology. Going back would take all that away from me, so no when you’ve arrived in the future why would you want to go back to the past?

I’d happily have the cabin in the woods.

Isn’t it strange that a big house and lots of money etc does not mean you will be happy? However, as my brother always says, “I’d rather be rich and miserable than poor and miserable.” I believe that it’s your attitude and how you treat people that make you happy.

I am quite smug about my health and grateful that I am seldom ill. But over the last month, things have gone a little pear-shaped. Mild COVID hit my hubby and me a few weeks ago. This week I landed up in the hospital for two days. I had Diverticulitis and did not respond to oral meds so had to go on a drip. I am grateful that I was close to a hospital as we are visiting our daughter in Plettenberg Bay and our other two daughters are visiting too so there was plenty of support for my hubby. I am back now and will stay with the kids until I feel well enough to travel back to Struisbaai.

Share Your World Monday 7 November 2022

SYW is now being hosted by Di at Pesitivity100 as my dear blogging friend Melanie has passed away. I never met Melanie but we communicated through our blogging and I felt that I knew her. I will really miss her blog posts. This week’s questions are all about friendship and I dedicate my answers to Melanie from Sparks from a Combustible Mind.

Do you consider friends an extension of your family?

I consider my good friends as part of my family and will always be there for them.

Would you confide in a friend more than you would a family member?

There are some family members that I would confide in and others that I would not. I have friends that I am very close to and trust totally so I would confide in them.

How long have you known your best friend?

My best friend and I met when we were seven years old. She has just turned 70 and I turn 70 in a couple of weeks’ time. Our friendship has stood the test of time and distance. I have other close friends who I love dearly but she is the one who I am closest to.

Do you believe distance has a negative effect on friendships?

It certainly can but it’s not necessarily so. If you are soulmates you will be friends for life. You might lose touch with friends who move a long way away but then you could also lose touch with someone who lives close by.

I have drifted from a number of friends since leaving school and college. However, some I have kept up with and we are still good friends.

My best friend and I are definitely soulmates. We met at school when we were seven years old. Her father was transferred to another city when we were eleven. In those days we couldn’t even telephone each other as you would have to book a trunk call and our parents did not encourage that! So we kept in touch with hand-written letters. Imagine that! I just wish we’d kept the letters but we didn’t. Of course, the letter-writing was quite erratic but we did manage to see each other for holidays. Through High School, we saw each other perhaps twice. We connected again when I went to college and she lived with her parents 120 km away and I spent the odd weekend with her. When she moved to Johannesburg and I went back to Cape Town, I thought we might never meet again. But after completing her degree through a distance learning university she came to the University of Cape Town to do her Teacher’s Diploma. It was like we’d never been apart and we picked up that friendship once again. I was married with a small baby but my marriage was falling apart and she was there for me when I got divorced. We even taught at the same school very briefly. I thought we would never be apart again. But it was not meant to be. She got married and her husband needed to be in Johannesburg so off she went again! Imagine my joy when a few years and two kids later they moved to Cape Town! We were once again inseparable. It didn’t last long. Three years later they emigrated to England and she’s been there ever since. Hooray for the internet! This has really made being apart so much easier. And we see each other fairly often. She has been back to SA several times and I have visited her over there too. I am so excited because she is coming over in December and will be spending some time with me!

The friendship that my BFF and I have has stood the test of time. and distance. So many times she has called me just as I’ve decided to call her. Before she even knew my mother had died, she got the urge to phone and she did. It wasn’t the first. We both seem to just know when the other is in need. Whether we are apart or together, on WhatsApp or in the flesh, we connect on a very special level. We are true soulmates!