In your opinion, what do you buy way more of than most people?
I don’t buy a lot of anything. I spend money on experiences rather than things. Maybe I spend more on holidays than most people.
When I peep into shoppers’ trolleys, I am horrified to see tons of junk food. Perhaps I spend more on healthy food than other people? I spend money on ‘expensive’ foods like avocado pear which some people refuse to buy because they find them overpriced but then they fill their baskets with fizzy drinks and cookies. I’d rather have the avo.
Which workers have the worst jobs?
There are many yucky jobs that people perform. What could be worse than fixing blocked toilets? And how about cleaning up a gory crime scene? Perhaps the pay is worth it!
Opinion. John Cage is a composer who composed a piece named 4’33” for any instrument. The performers are instructed not to play their instrument for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Is this music or is this art? A combination of the two? Neither, it’s stupid. Your opinion?
I think John Cage was arrogant. He was trying to make a point that there was no such thing as silence. There would be some sound. But so what? People go to a recital to hear music, not ambient sound. He tried to make people feel guilty for not listening properly! In my opinion, that’s just rude. Of course, he caused a great stir and perhaps it was just his intention to attract attention and ruffle people’s feathers. Quite funny actually.
How good are you at drawing?
I am absolutely useless at drawing. So many artists have told me that ‘everybody’ can draw and that they could teach me to draw. It hasn’t happened yet. My drawings are worse than a pre-school level.
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)
Feel free to share one amazing thing you’ve experienced (any time frame).
I love Lauren’s meme. My hubby and I have just spent the Easter Weekend with our daughter Lauren. We visited Mountain Zebra National Park and immersed ourselves in nature. The wildflowers were beautiful, the animals amazing and we just loved the birds. It was an awesome break-away.
Are you more productive at night or in the morning? Do you think it’s possible to change and get used to another schedule?
Throughout my adult working life, I was a morning person. I had no trouble going to sleep early and waking up early. I was that irritating person that greeted her less enthusiastic colleagues chirpily while pouring a cup of coffee before the morning staff meeting. (Coffee is an essential food for teachers, chirpy or not!)
On holiday in game reserves, it is essential to be out at dawn. No problem – I would rally my sleepy travelling companions and make sure we were out there bright and early.
Now that I am retired, things are a little different! I can still rise early if I have to but these days I go to sleep later and rise later too. I am still more productive in the morning but I can certainly do stuff at night too.
Can people change from early birds to night owls? – Yes, I think so. Can night owls change into early birds? I can’t see any of the night owls of my acquaintance ever changing into early birds. If they couldn’t during their working lives, why should they try now?
What’s the biggest vehicle you’ve driven? If you don’t drive, what’s the biggest vehicle you’ve ridden in?
The biggest motorcar I ever drove was a Volkswagen Caravelle and I loved it. We sold it when we moved to Struisbaai in 2015. Now I hardly drive at all. The Earl drives a Ford Everest and I do drive it on occasion but it is not as easy to drive as the Caravelle.
What wonderful memories we made during the ten years we owned that amazing vehicle. I used it to transport kids to school outings and sports matches etc. We could pile kids, dogs and luggage in and still travel in comfort and above all it was a superb safari vehicle. However, there was many a time that I was mistaken for a minibus taxi! It was sad to see the disappointed faces of potential passengers trying to climb aboard while I explained that I was not able to transport them to their destination.
What songs would be played on a loop in hell? (Suspend disbelief for this one, it’s cool not to believe in Hell, but let’s use our imaginations to answer. Of course one can always skip the questions they find odd too. And yes, I took into account that individual tastes will influence individual choices.)
Chris de Burgh’s Spanish Train comes to mind.
(Deep and chewy philosophical question): What does it mean to be a person? What constitutes “personhood?” (there may be some diverse opinions, but we’re all mature adults in here, so be respectful of others please).
To be a person you have to have self-awareness, reason, morality and a sense of responsibility toward others. You need to know the difference between good and evil. There is good and evil in us all but some of us are human and others are monsters.
A human will have a conscience, feel remorse and work to improve him or herself.
The problem with people is that they are also “sheeple.” Monsters will take advantage of them.
A monster has no morals, no conscience and feels no regret for doing harm to others. Monsters in History are Hitler, Idi Amin, Sadham Hussein and the like. Rapists and sadists are monsters. Anybody who needs to have power over others is a monster and does not deserve to be called nor treated like a person. Something in their DNA is wrong so they are therefore not to be considered a person.
GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)
How were your spirits (mood) over the past week?
I have been in good spirits. These are the small things that made me happy.
Our gardener did a wonderful job dividing and transplanting the clivias that were crowding other plants in one of our beds. He even created a lovely brick border without being asked. We are just so blessed.
The Earl’s protégé, Sam, who is spending a few days at Breede River surprised us by popping over for the afternoon. It’s an hour and a half drive! We had a lovely lunch together.
I got new linen for two bedrooms and some new towels too – this is because we now have our house with a holiday letting agent and we needed to upgrade a bit. Good news – we have tenants for Easter!
The bananas were going off so I made banana bread with almond flour and it was delicious!
Friends from Cape Town are moving permanently to Struisbaai and were here getting their new home ready for the final move. It was so good to see them.
I could go on as it is the small things that make me happy.
I have neglected participating in Share Your World for several weeks now. This is mainly because I am in Kruger National Park and all my blogging time is going into my daily trip reports when the internet plays fair. Right now, though, I am sitting in a coffee shop waiting for the car to be serviced and the cracked windscreen to be replaced. To pass the time I am catching up with reading WordPress blogs and doing a SYW.
Are human beings required to better themselves and will doing that make them happier?
Some people I know strive for perfection and it does not make them happy it just stresses them out. Others strive to better themselves and are pleased with the results and are happy because of the feeling of self-fulfillment. I believe that we should all strive to learn from our mistakes and try to become better human beings as this makes the world a better place for everyone. Happiness comes from within. I believe you choose to be happy and you choose what to do with your life. Expecting to be happy all the time is unrealistic. We have good times, bad times and in between times. That is the nature of things on this earth.
Is it easier to love or to be loved?
Of course it is easier to be loved. The trick is to accept that love graciously and to give love in return. Loving someone else is hard work but worth it. It’s easy to love a loveable person but unconditional love is something else. You can love a person but hate what they do. The exhausting part about loving someone unconditionally is exercising tolerance and withholding judgement.
Outside traumatic brain injury, can memories be completely erased?
I don’t think so. Your conscious mind might totally forget but somewhere deep in the subconscious those forgotten memories exist. Something might trigger a memory from absolutely nowhere. How does that happen?
Is there such a thing as a good death?
Yes. I want to die without pain or suffering. That would be a good death.
and one ‘silly’ one because the former questions were fairly serious: What do you imagine is inside a baseball?
What’s a baseball? Just joking – of course I know what a baseball is. I’ve never owned one though. What’s inside one? All the Americans’ passion for the game.
Feel free to share something uplifting this week!
Well, I have so much to be grateful for all the time but this week I am hugely grateful that I can be spending time in The Kruger National Park. Back home it’s cold and wet while here the mornings and nights are cool and the days sunny and warm. I am communing with nature and enjoying the African wildlife. What could be better than this?
There are so many beliefs in the world that cannot be proved and it is all very confusing. However, I believe that there is an element in all of them that points to a common almighty creator or force be it ‘the universe’, God, Allah or whatever. When I see a beautiful sunrise, awesome flora and fauna and the mighty ocean and I cannot help but believe that there is a God. Why do we need proof? I have yet to meet somebody who does not believe in some sort of unscientific thing not matter how they might protest against believing so. They do!
Do animals have morals? Exclude human beings from the equation please.
An animal will never wilfully do something cruel. Look at that apologetic look on your pet dog’s face when he knows he is in trouble. Wild animals only act to defend themselves or catch prey. They don’t destroy for the sake of it. There is no such thing as an evil animal. I don’t know whether you could call this having morals but they certainly are better behaved than people.
Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?
The chaos of nature has an order that we don’t understand. An orderly chaos if you please. It simply speaks of supreme creativity and then Man comes along and ruins it all.
Where is your least favorite place in the world?
This is a difficult one to answer. Nowhere is unbearable to me. Places I visit all have their good and bad side. My original home is Cape Town. I will never hate it but I am so happy in Struisbaai that I only visit ‘home’ when I have to and when I am there I love catching up with family and friends and the beauty of Table Mountain never ceases to move me. Visiting the beach on which I grew up also holds a special place in my heart in spite of the fact that it has changed a great deal. I love Cape Town, but it is my least favourite place to go back to visit when there are so many other places in the country I love to explore.
Feel free to share something about the seasons that makes you smile!
We are in the marvelous month of May. It is Autumn/Fall going into winter. In the Western Cape seasons are not as clearly defined as in other parts of the world. Basically we have warm summers and cool winters but those shoulder seasons are the best. Autumn/Fall is my favourite time of the year. Summer brings strong south easterly winds. Winter brings the cold and rain. Autumn temperatures are mild. We have sunny days and no wind. The early mornings and nights are cooler but it is still not time to light the woodstove! The colours of autumn make me smile.
Having said that, here in Struisbaai we had some extreme weather last week. Fortunately we escaped the drama as we had to be in Cape Town for The Earl’s cataract procedure. There was torrential rain, thunder, lightning and hail the size of golf balls. A lot of damage was done. Some of our township people are still mopping up and charities are assisting them with temporary homes, blankets and food. But the sun is out again and fortunately our home was not affected.
Would you rather be a super nice person and be depressed all your life, or be happy and a total *sshole? (Credit goes to Cyranny for this question, aired on one of her “Cyranny’s Quickies” posts.)
If you are a total *sshole you’re not going to be happy. I have yet to meet a happy, horrible person. That person is usually horrible because of some darkness in their life and that is what is making them awful. So to answer the question – I know lots of depressed people who are really nice – too nice – because they empathise with everybody, worry about them and can’t seem to separate themselves from their worry and that’s why they are depressed. Maybe we need these depressed people because often they are the only ones who care about what’s going on in the depressing world we live in. They’re the ones who dress up and show up to help others even when they’re feeling so low it takes tremendous effort just to get out of bed.
Have you ever made someone cry?
Yes but not on purpose. It’s usually because of some thoughtless thing that’s popped out of my mouth. When it has happened I apologise and we’ve managed to laugh about it.
Are you a dreamer or a go-getter?
Both. You have to dream to go-get.
If you were in a band, what instrument would you play?
I have no musical talent so I would not be able to play in a band. However, if I could learn in an instant, I would like to play a keyboard.
Do you feel gratitude is necessary?
Yes. You don’t feel happy and satisfied if you’re not grateful for your blessings.
Sometimes we simply take for granted the old familiar places we visit so often. But when you take visitors exploring and see it through their fresh eyes, the joy and wonderment of it all gives you a renewed appreciation of your own backyard.
We recently had friends, Chris and Har visit us for a few days and we took them to all our favourite spots. In November last year we met them at an overnight campsite in Ermelo and then found ourselves at two of the same camps in The Kruger National Park. We discovered that we had a lot in common and told them that if ever they were in our neck of the woods they were should please contact us. And we are so glad they did because we had the most awesome time.
The stop-over with us was part of a caravanning road trip they were doing. They fitted us in between Cape Town and The Garden Route. Although they had visited the area many years before their memories of Struisbaai were quite vague.
On Monday we visited the Southern Tip, Agulhas, Suiderstrand and Arniston.
The coastline is rocky and interesting and quite different to what they are used to in KZN.
After driving around and showing Chris and Har the growth that has taken place in Agulhas and Struisbaai we took a drive to Arniston where we had lunch at the hotel. If you’re ever in the area this is a good place to overnight or just to have a meal,or a drink and a snack.
It’s a half hour drive from Struisbaai to Arniston if you’re not a birdwatcher. We all are and so it took about two hours!
We stopped many times along the way to see bokmakieries, yellow canaries, red bishops – in non breeding plumage, capped wheatear, common fiscal, francolin and guineafowl among others.
After a lovely day out we returned to Struisbaai and just before it became too dark, Har and I went for walk. We enjoyed seeing both the sun going down and the super moon rising.
The next day, Tuesday, we made our way to the quaint village of Elim, once again birding along the way and stopping at The Black Oystercatcher for a snack and a glass of their excellent Sauvignon Blanc.
Elim village is situated on The Agulhas Plain and was established in 1824 as a Moravian mission station. It’s position was chosen as there was plenty of water there so they could plant vines and make wine for their communion.
The German missionaries taught the villagers many trades and skills including thatching. This is a craft the young men took to well and to this day they are renowned for their skill and often travel abroad to do thatching contracts.
Even today one may only live in Elim if you were born there or marry somebody who was born there. Many of the women are employed as protea pickers by the nearby protea farms. The men are engaged in various trades and some are farm workers.
Elim has a care centre and school for handicapped children which has an excellent reputation.
There was once a working water wheel but this no longer functions.
Sadly Chris and Har had to leave for the next leg of their journey on Wednesday morning but before they left we went in search of Black Oystercatchers before having some breakfast and sending them on their way.
We did not see the oystercatchers on the rocks but we got them flying and calling overhead.
It was spring low tide so the photos of the harbour were interesting
What a wonderful three days we had. May you enjoy the rest of your journey, Chris and Har!
Here are my answers to this weeks questions from Sparks
Which would you rather throw away: Love or Money?
I wouldn’t like to throw away either but if I had to choose it would leave the money and take love. Money is useful to help you enjoy life and your loved ones but it cannot replace the joy you get from being with those you love. I am sure I can live quite happily on love and fresh air.
Do you believe you should do one thing a day that scares you?
Like what? Pick up a spider or swim with sharks? One scary thing every day? No – not necessary. I will do something that scares me if I know that once I’ve done it I will feel good – like skiing down the Alps or flying in a light aircraft. But I don’t need to do that every day!
What’s the last thing you do at night?
I usually watch some TV, read a chapter or two of a book or do a sudoku puzzle.
If you could own a mythical creature (unicorn, phoenix, etc.), which one would you pick? (A nod to the soon ending 2021 A-Z Blogging Challenge, my topic this year “Mythical Creatures”)
Perhaps a fairy with a magic wand that with a swift wave would have all the household chores done in an instant.
GRATITUDE SECTION (Always Optional)
What Are You Grateful For?
I am grateful for having enough of everything that I need.
How well do you know your next-door neighbors? Do you like them? (credit to Cyranny for the question)
This is a good question. We have lived in Struisbaai for almost six years. The neighbours on one side were only in residence once or twice a year. We knew them vaguely to say hi, and then we ourselves would be leave for the holidays so never got to know them very well. There is now a young family living there and we are on friendly but not visiting terms with them. The little boy is six and we chat over the fence. Sometimes he deliberately drops a toy or kicks a ball over and then asks to fetch it. He is really cute.
We have had three different neighbours on the other side and got to know the first lot briefly. They worked for the airforce and were renting. When the house was sold, they left and we never saw them again. Then a single man moved in, made some renovations and then sold. While he was in residence we got to know him fairly well but we weren’t great buddies. Then the latest neighbours moved in, a fellow fishing enthusiast and his partner. Johnny’s daughter also stayed there for a while and we became quite fond of her but she has subsequently moved on. We have become quite friendly with Johnny and Anneline but they are often away and so are we. This is the nature of our lives. But we like our neighbours and recently have got to know them quite well.
Do you have a full length mirror? (credit to Sadje for the rest of the questions)
There is a full length mirror in my spare room which I like to use every day. It’s important to check that I’m not to scary when I go out to face the world.
However, when I’m camping I don’t have such a luxury unless the ablutions stretch to such an item. This is rare!
(for the men) Do you shave every day or do you like the ‘stubble’ look, or a beard?
My husband has a beard so does not shave every day. However, it’s not a full beard so a bit of trimming and shaving is necessary from time to time
(for the ladies) How long do you spend putting on make-up in the morning?
Not long. I put on base, blush and lipstick and that’s it.
How many items of clothing are in your bedroom (or closet) and not hung up?
All my dresses, trousers/jeans and shirts/blouses are hung in a cupboard/closet. Shorts, t-shirts, scarves and other items are folded in drawers. As I no longer have to dress up to go to work I have a very practical wardrobe. I wear skirts and dresses at home and shorts, tee shirts and jeans on camping holidays. I adore clothes but try to resist the temptation of buying more until what I have falls into rags. LOL
GRATITUDE QUESTION (as always optional)
Do you have a happy place?
Yes I do. I love being in my caravan and I am there right now. We’re on a road trip with some new friends who have the same Gecko off-road caravan as ours. We will be travelling for two weeks and this to me is bliss. I am generally a happy person but being off on a trip with the caravan is just the cherry on top and I love it. The best place in the world to be is Kruger National Park but that’s a once a year thing. Righ now we’re visiting other national parks in South Africa as well as visiting small places along the way. It’s just another ‘lousy’ day in Africa!
Do you feel you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?
If I want to know something, I ask or I go to that know-it-all called Google. She has all the answers.
I don’t ask too many personal questions though. If it is none of my business, I’d prefer not to know.
When did you fail to speak up when you feel you should have?
I regret not following through with something that happened to my step-child at school. The brief for a assignment was to write to a friend whose parents were getting a divorce. I think what she wrote was excellent but the teacher commented that she did not show empathy and clearly didn’t understand the situation. Well, how dare he. My child was coping with the loss of her mother, her step-sister (my own child) was a product of a ‘broken’ home and she saw the effects of that. We spoke about our problems in our home, dealt with them and moved on! Her advice to her fictional friend was sound. Don’t blame yourself and get on with your life. (not those exact words but you get my drift) I wrote a letter explaining that his pupil was a very caring girl, who’d coped with grief and was kind and loving toward her siblings, and how dare he judge her when he didn’t even know her! I never got an answer and only later found out that it was because she wouldn’t give my note to her English teacher. She feared she would be picked on if she did so I let it go. This was many years ago (she is 50 years old now) and I still in my head, I play out the conversation I wanted to have with that idiot although now I can’t even remember his name.
When was the last time you felt lucky?*
I feel lucky all the time. It would be awful if it finally ran out!
What is a boulder?
It is huge, smooth rock which comes in different hues and can be rather fun to sit on and stare out at the view below. They are found everywhere, on the mountain, beside the sea and even in the garden of the house I lived in as a child. It must have rolled down from the mountain behind us many, many years before. I loved that boulder and would climb up on top of it and lay down flat on my back and watch the clouds and dream.
*If the lucky question feels like a re-tread, sorry.
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)
Feel free to share your gratitude with everyone!
See the lucky question – I am hugely grateful for things usually going well in my life, for the lovely seaside village I live in, for my and my hubbies health, for good friends, children and grandchildren that still live in the country and are close enough to visit, enough money to live comfortably and the energy to still enjoy the remaining years of our lives.
In your opinion, do May/December (older partner with much younger partner) romances ever work?
Yes, of course it can work but I don’t believe it is something that should be the norm especially if the age gap is more than fifteen years. There are things to be considered. If you are very young and energetic with plans to live an active and adventurous life don’t expect your older partner to be raring to go with you. He/she might be able for a few years but then the ravages of old age are going to set in. Having said that some oldies can be way more energetic than some youngsters. Also if you’re the younger partner, be prepared to become nurse and purse when your octogenarian becomes frail!
What physical action or gesture do you find romantic?
What is your idea of a romantic dinner?
Picture the scene – a calm, warm summer evening on a tropical beach, the candlelit table with a white cloth set at the edge of the water. Champagne and seafood served by a butler, barefoot but dressed in bow tie and tails, my love and I in our finery, enjoying the moonlight when Lady in Red is sung by Chris de Burgh himself and we dance cheek to cheek on the sand.
Well, that’s the dream but something similar will do.
Is ‘love’ a real ‘thing’ or merely a physical chemical response and brain activity pulling our emotional strings?
Love is real. Of course there are physical chemical responses in the brain etc but it’s still real. True love comes when you find a partner who you can live with forever in spite of their faults. Love is a verb. You have to do love as well as feel it. When you can live through troubles, hardships and dramas and are drawn closer together through them, then you have true love. It takes two to have true love. It is definitely not a one-sided thing. If your love is not reciprocated, get away fast – it won’t last.
GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)
How do you show your loved ones that you love them?
I’m sure they know because I’m so nice to them but just in case – I tell them!