True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.

Monday, 26 October 2015

The graph of life

Rob Lowe said, "I have a lot of great memories, but I can't imagine anything more exciting than the life I have now." Oh, I can so totally agree with him!

Looking back at my life, I can honestly say that the years have just gotten better and better. Of course there have been bad times, sad times, even devastating times, but like a graph, the ups far exceed the downs. The paths I've taken in life now seems like they were pre-destined, leading me through a maze of experiences. Some awesome, some not so good, but each with a lesson.

And it's what we learn from each lesson that further determines where the next path will lead us, whether our life graph will steadily go up or down.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

58 Beverley Hills, Ballito - Saying hello!

Since selling and saying goodbye to my 3-bedroomed ground-floor unit in Malibu (Beverley Hills, Ballito, KwaZulu Natal) above in August 2003, I purchased a 3-bedroomed free-standing house in the same complex, on which construction was just starting in August 2003. I knew it would take a month or three and I just couldn't wait for it to get finished!

The foundations of my new house in August 2003

 I was going down to Ballito on a regular basis, once a week, to check on the progress, and six weeks later, in mid-October 2003, the building was nearly complete and up to roof height!

Soon they would be starting finishing off the inside; tiling, installing kitchen and bathrooms, built-in cupboards, ceilings, painting etc, I could hardly wait!

The amazing view from the front patio of the house over all the rubble and construction work. And luckily nothing else can be built in front of me, so the view is forever!

Catch me next time when I show the interior and finishes of the house. I'm already planning the dΓ©cor and furnishings and am totally excited!

Hope you have a fabulous day!


Monday, 14 September 2015

Seven hours of pleasure

at the beach . to breathe . embrace the surf . bare feet freedom . feel the spray . celebrate summer 

It's wonderful what a week at the coast can do - no wonder they say, 'a change is as good as a holiday'. Spending time in nature is always a plus for me. When we open ourselves to the natural world, we escape the fast-paced bustle of our daily lives. That experience, not only reduces our stress, it also grounds us, reaffirming our connection to the Earth and all its creatures.

Whenever I go down to our holiday home in Ballito, just the 6½-7-hour (650km), drive in itself is quite an experience - it is a route well-known to me and I have my favourite landmarks which tell me how far I am and how far I still have to go. I never do the whole trip in one go, but often stop to take photographs, do some sight-seeing and have a bite to eat.

Driving through the flat landscape of the Free State, situated on flat, boundless plains in the heart of South Africa, one of my favourite stop-overs is a quaint coffee and gift shop about 200km into my trip - unusual building style, excellent food and a shopper's paradise for curios, gifts and even clothing. I often take a short walk through the grassy landscape and it is here where I spotted a Spike-heeled Lark (Chersomanes albofasciata) for the first time but was not quick enough to get a photo.

The long road ahead

The first half of the journey goes through this flat landscape for about 300km and as one gets to the border of KwaZulu Natal at Harrismith, which is 1661m above sea level, the scenery changes dramatically. Big plains get overtaken by mountainous terrain, sharply dropping off as one descends Van Reenen's Pass into KwaZulu Natal, with a breath-taking view over the Valley of a 1000 Hills.
(Going down van Reenen's Pass - Pic from KwaZulu Natal tourism)

Harrismith area

The drive through Natal, which is green year-round, is a real pleasure with lots of sightings of various Eagles, Vultures and other birds of prey and on one particular stretch of road near Swinburne, I always keep an eye out for the Yellow-billed Kite and I am never disappointed - they seem to have a great liking for that area.

After the long drive, seeing the beach for the first time is ALWAYS like seeing it for the first time again! A wonderful sight which also means the long journey is at an end! I normally leave home as early as possible, like 5am, to arrive in Ballito before lunch, just in time for a snack before unpacking and taking on the day.

One of my favourite tidal pools, lots of little creatures to see

A beach plant bravely enduring the elements and flowering against all odds

A perfect end to the day - cocktails at sunset with family or friends at one of my favourite restaurants right on the beach over-looking the ocean.


Friday, 11 September 2015

The Place Where You Are

We rush through our days with so much to do, so much we should be doing, so much we’re missing out on … but how often do we stop to appreciate the place where we are right now?

I don’t mean to focus on the journey, because that’s many different places … but instead to focus on where you are at this particular time. The physical place you’re in, the emotional state you’re in, the phase you are in life.

Pause for a moment, right now, to notice where you are.

What is it like? What is the light like? What about the sounds, the smells, the feelings your body is feeling, the people around you? What is your state of mind? What are you worried about, joyful about? What is stopping you from appreciating this moment?

Memories are wonderful, they are meant to warm you up from the inside, make you revel in the wonders you have experienced. What memories are NOT meant to do, is keep you locked in the past, harping on old, hurt feelings and holding onto grudges.

Find something to be grateful about where you are: if you’re around someone you love, enjoy that. If you’re doing something that makes the world a better place, be happy about that. If you’re in some place beautiful, be thankful for that.

What if you don’t like where you are? This is something to appreciate as well. Stop and feel your emotions about where you are. See that you are hurting. See that you wish things to be different. How does that feel in your body? Allow it to happen, and realize that it is temporary but a part of life. Not good or bad, just happening.

Then think about all the things you aren’t suffering from: If you aren’t in a war-torn area of the world, give thanks to the stars. If you aren’t suffering from health problems, aren’t sleeping on the streets, aren’t about to die … that’s a minor miracle. You are alive, and life is a wondrous thing to participate in.


Tuesday, 8 September 2015

8 Malibu, Ballito - Nov 2003 - Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye to my holiday home

Since moving in during May (2003), I've enjoyed 6 months of absolute bliss, coming down from Gauteng  so often that I've come to feel like one of the "locals"! Spending time with family and friends, having special time at the beach, exploring surrounding areas and enjoying the local cuisine, I've totally fallen in love with this beautiful little coastal town.

But now all my personal belongings have been cleared out as I've had an offer from somebody to purchase the unit. Selling feels like I'm selling my soul, but there's no ways I'm giving up "coastal living", so I will be using the money to buy a 3-bedroomed free-standing house in the same complex.

The house is still being built, as you can see from the above photo, (it is the bottom one with the white plastic on the roof), so I will have plenty of time to gather new furnishings. At the top of the picture is the units where I had my flat.

It's sad to know I'm done. But looking back, I've got a lot of great memories.

My last sunrise at Malibu, 21st November 2003

My last sunrise at Malibu, 21st November 2003


8 Malibu, Ballito - Aug 2003

An up-date on the dΓ©cor

 Main bathroom - new blinds

Second bathroom - new blind

 Main bedroom

Second bedroom - some now scatter cushions and an extra throw on the bed

 Second bedroom - a vintage cabinet painted white with Granite top and castors serves as a dressing table

Dining room and entrance - some coat hooks, pictures and a clock

Dining room with a new addition of a Victorian dining chair

Dining room

 Kitchen - new blinds

Breakfast counter in the kitchen




A Stinkwood Riempies bench and two matching chairs on the patio. Also a vintage 1950's armchair painted white and re-upholstered in a beachy blue and white material

the patio and the newly-planted lawn

4.30am view of the ocean, just before sunrise

The gardener tending to the new lawn in front of the unit. Just below him is progress on the rest of the complex

The view!