Category Archives: Share Your World

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?

Gratitude:
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!

Share Your World -31 October 2022

Here are my answers to this week’s Share Your World from Pensitivity101

If you were a ghost, who would you haunt, and why?

I don’t think I would haunt anybody but I would try to be a spirit guide to my grandchildren.

If broomsticks were legitimate modes of transport, would you like one?

Oh yes most definitely. How awesome it would be to fly around with a black cat for company. It would fulfill the inner witch inside me.

Would you cook in a cauldron?

It is actually a very popular way for South Africans to cook outdoors. The food cooked in a cauldron or potjie is called potjiekos. (Cauldron food) The ingredients will include stewing meat, potatoes and a variety of vegetables. I enjoy eating from a potjie if someone else has done the cooking. South Africans love entertaining around an open fire, and are particularly fond of braaing (barbecuing). Having a potjie is just another wonderful way of entertaining around an open fire.

Have you ever had your fortune told?

Yes. I had my fortune told at a fair when I was about twelve years old. The only thing I remember the gypsy-like woman telling me is that I would one day write a book. I had no plans to do so until something happened that I thought would make a good story so this prediction did in fact come true. ‘A Judge Decided’ was published at the end of 2020. It is available in bookshops in South Africa and will one day be available as an ebook but I haven’t got that far yet.

Today’s gratitude:
Who would you like to say thank you to?

Thank you to my family for being so totally awesome.

Share Your World – 24 October 2022

Thank you, Di for hosting SYW again this week

Here are my answers

How organised are you? Do you plan ahead, take things as they come, or does it depend on the circumstances?

When I was working and raising a family I was flexibly organised. There was a routine at home but if things disrupted this, I would just go with the flow. At work, I was ultra-organised and had lessons prepared well in advance and my marking was always up to date. You have to be organised when teaching small children otherwise there would be no way of handling the chaos that naturally reigns in a classroom!

Now in retirement, I don’t plan ahead too much. Some of our caravanning trips happen with just a day’s notice. I have my lists on the computer and that helps make sure that nothing is forgotten. If we plan a long trip then I usually do the bookings and organise the packing. The Earl plans the route and where we will stop over. He also has his list of things to pack. He is a man with a plan so should anything go wrong he has the tools to deal with it.

How many Christmas presents have you bought already?

I have not bought any Christmas presents yet. Now that our grandchildren are older we don’t do a huge present exchange on Christmas day. Our focus is on doing things together as a family. The ten of us all spend two to three weeks together at our middle daughter’s home, close to a beach in Plettenberg Bay. During our time together we go on one or two special outings instead of spending loads of money on gifts. On Christmas morning we have Secret Santa with each person only being allowed to spend up to R400 on a gift for a person whose name they drew out of a hat.

Do you prefer a family gathering for special occasions, or just you and your significant other?

We only celebrate milestone birthdays and anniversaries. My 70th is coming up and as the family can’t be together at that time of year we had an early celebration. My kids arranged a surprise weekend which was absolutely awesome. I blogged about it here

My Fabulous Family

How many words do you think your pet understands?

I don’t have a pet but the ones I had in the past certainly had an excellent understanding of the English language. I used to take my dog, Tammy running almost every day. She would be fast asleep in another part of the house and I would whisper to my husband, “I am going for a run” and that dog would be up and at my heels before I could get my running shoes on. She also reacted when I spelled the word out. I tried saying, “I’m going to put my takkies on,” but that got her running around barking in excitement. Other words that got her raring to go were beach and walk. She knew other words too, but the ones involving her going out for a run brought a very quick reaction. I would talk to that dog and I am quite sure she understood every word. She was very special.

Tammy was especially good with kids. This little visitor is teaching her to beg

Please share a gratitude meme for your readers.

I love this one from Oprah!

Share Your World 10 October 2022

Melanie asks some interesting questions this week. Here are my answers.

Can we really know everything?

No, I don’t believe we can know everything but some people know more than others. We tend to know more about things that really interest us while other stuff we might find terribly boring or not in the sphere of our mental ability. Of course, some people think they know everything.

Where were people before they were born?

Before I was born, I was a fetus growing into a human being in the womb. Before that I was a little part of Mom and a little part of Dad – I think?

Does the Law of Attraction exist?  (Law of Attraction as I understand it) is a school of thought where positive thinking brings about good changes.  Some say it’s made them wealthy.  Others say it improves their health or their outlook on life)

I think it might. When I was a child I was pretty negative and thought the universe was against me. As I grew older I changed my attitude and although I still had to work at it, things started going well for me. Of course, bad things did happen but facing them with a positive attitude did help me deal with each situation better than I otherwise would have. Maybe it’s not the law of attraction but the way in which I look at life. I have been in situations where people have said, “But how on earth are you coping with this?” My answer has always been – This too will pass – and thankfully it always has.

Do we love ourselves more in the virtual world and less in the real world?  If so, why?   If nay, why?

I am assuming that the virtual world refers to social media and our presence on it. (I don’t go into any other virtual worlds with avatars etc) I feel the same about myself in both worlds. I share positive things both on and offline. I enjoy sharing my life experiences and love learning about and from others too.

GRATITUDE SECTION

Are you happy?

Yes, I believe I am happy. I choose to be happy. Sometimes things make me sad and if I can I try to do something about it but if I can’t I still choose to move on and get over it. I believe every emotion is important. We need to be angry, sad, jealous, frustrated, etc from time to time. It is all part of the human condition and spurs us into action. Being too happy can make one complacent and prevent one from taking action when necessary.

Share Your World – 3 October 2022

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

QUESTIONS -THINGS THAT GO ‘BUMP’ IN THE NIGHT  

Favourite horror or Halloween-themed song?  Or a song you rarely hear except around a holiday.

The only one that comes to mind is Time Warp from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

Yes, I do. It is a very creepy, huge, black insect. I try to swat it but it is too quick for me. It usually appears first thing in the morning when I am waking up or when I get really tired during the day. The experts tell me it’s called a floater and is quite harmless. It won’t bite or sting, they say. So why, then, does the annoying creature hang around my right eye!

Which urban legend scares you the most? (most countries have such stories – share yours if you would like to)  🦇

The African tribes of South Africa are very wary of The Tokoloshe, an evil spirit who gets up to all sorts of mischief. He is a small goblin-like creature and he becomes invisible when he drinks water or swallows a stone. Witch doctors or even ordinary people will call upon the Tokoloshe to bring harm to their enemies. Parents might also get their children to behave by warning them that the Tokoloshe will punish them if they don’t. According to the legend, the way to keep the Tokoloshe at bay is to place bricks under each leg of the bed. He is very short so prefers people to sleep at floor level where he can get them!

The Tokoloshe

You’re home alone but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?

We have good security so hopefully, hearing footsteps would be my imagination or the resident ghost that is rumoured to reside in my house. More than one person has alerted me to the fact that they have had paranormal experiences in my home. When my daughter was about twelve, she and her cousin of the same age were alone in the house and said they heard the door rattling. When they went to check they could not turn the door handle nor could they actually see anybody but they insist it was a ghost. Another visitor reported seeing an old woman in the room in which she slept. (Perhaps it was mother-in-law who died in this house!) We, however, have never experienced anything paranormal here.

So what would I do if I heard footsteps? I would lie perfectly still and pretend to be asleep. It would be dangerous to confront a burglar and scary to confront a ghost!

GRATITUDE SECTION

What is your favourite season?

I love Autumn/Fall. The weather is cooler but the days are sunny and still. I also love the colours. In the Western Cape, we call it the Secret Season because the weather is so perfect during March and April. There might be a few cold days but mostly it’s the best time for people from abroad to visit.

Share Your World 5 September 2022

Once again this week, Pensitivity100, is asking the questions. Here are my answers.

  1. Do you prefer tea, coffee or juice first thing in the morning?

Definitely coffee. Hot, strong, black without sugar.

2.  When it comes to food, what is your favourite smell?

Braai – no other cooking smells as good.

Braai Master at Work

3.  Do you prefer a take-out or dining in a restaurant?

I prefer to go to a restaurant. If we don’t cook ourselves we don’t want to clean up either. You need to wait for take-out anyway so why not just wait at the table and eat hot food straight away. On a road trip, stopping to eat at a diner or coffee shop means you will take a decent break from driving.

4.  If you are hosting a party, do you prepare the food yourself, get caterers in or ask everyone to bring something for the table?

Before we retired my husband and I would cater dinner parties for up to twelve people ourselves. We still enjoy entertaining small dinner parties but now we tend to limit the numbers. When it’s a braai or a fish dish, the Earl does the cooking with me helping with side dishes. When Greek Lamb is on the menu then I am totally in charge!

For a big part of more than twelve, we would definitely get caterers.

One of those wonderful dinner parties when we had a big enough table!

Gratitude:

What has been the highlight of your week over the last seven days?

We are really lucky that without having to drive too far we have some good restaurants that serve excellent food at reasonable prices. Last week we enjoyed a great lunch at “Agulhas Seafoods” with our friend Carl.

Good wine, awesome company
And superb ushi

Share Your World – 29 August 2022

Once again Di from Pensitivity101 is hosting Share Your World and she asks some lovely questions.

  1. Which of the following could you do without? TV, Computer, Mobile Phone.

Wow – we have become so used to all of the above. South Africa only received television in 1975 (I was 23 years old) and so radio was the only tech we had for entertainment. My father was one of the first amongst our friends to buy a set – a Telefunken with the PAL colour system. People used to joke that it was called such as all your pals would gather at your house if they didn’t own their own set! Everybody was terrified that their children would not learn to read because of television and parents imposed strict rules to limit viewing! Well, our oldest went from Grade 1 to Grade 12 with television in the house and although she loved TV she was also an avid reader of books. Her class was to go through their whole school career with the evils of television! They all turned out fine!

But back to the question – which one can I do without? Television for sure. I would not miss it as any entertainment can be obtained on phone or computer. I adore my laptop and prefer editing photographs, Googling and writing emails, diaries and blogs on it rather than on my phone but if I had to I could cope without it. I can’t imagine life today without a mobile phone. It is so multifunctional that in today’s world you would be hard-pressed to do without it.

2.  Do you have a lot of old photographs in a box, or did you put them in albums?

Most are in albums. Many are in a box but I have scanned and saved some to an external drive. .

One of those photos in a box (and scanned in) – My grandmother with three of her four children. My mom and her younger brother. Her baby sister on Gran’s lap, Mom must have been abour 17 at the time.

3.  What was the first thing you bought for yourself when you started work?

I cannot remember but I know I felt really rich when I received it. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I wasn’t.

4.  What is the biggest thing you have bought that did not require finance?

My first car- an Austin Mini – cost me R400 in 1977. It was second-hand and I paid cash for it. I drove it for about five years.

GRATITUDE.

Share Your World – 22 August 2022

Once again Di from Pensitivity101 is hosting Share Your World. Here are my answers.

1.  Do you have family photographs on display in your main living room?

Not in the living room but I have a few in the braai room. One of them is featured below. It is of my parents and siblings all together and was taken at my parents’ 50th Wedding anniversary in 1998.

Big Brother, Me, Mom, Dad, Baby Brother, Little Sister

2.  What was the best vehicle you owned?
This could be a pushbike as a kid, your first car, a motorcycle, or something else.

The best vehicle I ever owned was a Volkwagen Caravelle TDI 4 Motion. When our children were growing up we had two Toyota Hi-Aces one after the other and I loved those too. The Caravelle came after selling my Toyota Camry.

Hubby asked what I would like to replace the Camry and as we still had two adult daughters and two grandsons aged 6 and 7 living with us, I immediately said, “A Hi-Ace, so we can transport everybody in comfort!”

Well, we shopped around and then found that a brand new Caravelle had come onto the market. It had all the bells and whistles that I desired. What an amazing car! We kept it for 10 years and I still miss it! It served us well. It was a seven-seater with plenty of packing space. Every year six of us travelled in comfort to spend Christmases with our family in KZN. The Earl and I loved using it to take friends to game reserves before we started caravanning. I used it to transport kids to sports matches and outings. It was just the best vehicle, anyone, with a big family and active lifestyle, could wish for. We made some amazing memories with that vehicle. The Hi-Aces were, for the same reasons, great too but the Caravelle was just a tad more luxurious. Also, we drove it for 10 years – the longest we’d ever kept a car. In 2015 we retired to Struisbaai so we no longer needed a people carrier. We now only have one car, a Ford Everest, which is perfect for towing a caravan. It is also a very comfortable car, can seat seven people although not as comfortably as the minibus, and has plenty of packing space which we need for caravanning. I miss the Caravelle but feel privileged to have a good car and a caravan to take its place.

Me at the wheel of the Caravelle (2005)

3.  Did you pass your driving test the first time?

Yes, I did. But it was 45 years ago and my mini-skirt might have helped!

4.  Does loud music from a neighbour or passing cars annoy you?

I am fairly tolerant of noise. If my neighbours are having a party, I don’t mind the loud music. I don’t mind too much if dogs bark or howl from time to time as long as it’s not constant. If it is I would say something and try to get the neighbour to do something about it. I have to admit, that has never happened. Perhaps I have been lucky with neighbours. I have never lived in a place where heavy traffic has passed by but where I lived before, we could hear police sirens, ambulances etc, screaming a short distance away. This did not happen too frequently and when it did I was pleased that whatever emergency was occurring, it was receiving the correct response.

My daughter deals with a noisy neighbourhood by wearing an eyemask and earplugs when she goes to sleep.

Of course, you could always move!

Gratitude:
What has made you smile over the last seven days?

A Rainbow after the rain.

This cute little boy.

Oops, he’s lost his shoe.