I hope you enjoy your visit
Jessie James

Sunday, 27 July 2008


I need some help from all those great bloggers out there!
Can anyone please tell me if it is possible to add a blinkie to your blog? I have looked in every category but without success. I love them because they add a little bit of action and they are great to use as hyperlinks.

Come on back and let me know some great magical wizard out there



Well as I keep saying I get loads through on email from inspirational stories to jokes.

I recently received a load of cartoons from my friend Denise which were entitled 'for the twisted mind' and I loved some of them so much that I just have to add them to my blog now and then. I hope you will find them just as funny as I did. Click on the image to make it bigger


will post now and then and not all at once as that would spoil the fun.

Thursday, 24 July 2008


I know I still have to chose who to tag but life is so hectic this week I will be back to give out the names and some sort of accolade that I am busy with.

Hugs and love


Sunday, 20 July 2008


Well my friend Denise at Bless This Mess has tagged me and I have to answer five questions and then tag five people who must answer then.

OK so

Ten years ago I was living in Benoni and working for the Insurance Institute of South Africa as a research and development officer. I helped with putting together exam papers, writing text books, representing IISA at the NQF forum where we were developing standards and also facilitating training for insurance people. I loved it and left when we went to the UK for a while.

Today's to do list isn't too bad as it is Sunday but

  • I have to go to the SPCA this morning as we have vets in who are doing 75 spays/neutering for us for people who can't afford to pay. The Vets are from Germany, & Cape Town with nursing assistants from Canada and SA.

  • Make Butternut soup for them to have for lunch with roles. No meat they are all vegetarian

  • have meting to discuss staff salaries at SPCA as we need to finalise pay rise and get it approved before the end of this week

  • I have to go pick up banners for a show house I am sitting at this afternoon

  • sit show at house from 2 til 4 and try and get leads for my own business of Express Agent doing home loans

My favourite snacks are savoury and are a bit restricted as I am diabetic and need to try and eat LOW GL foods - not very good at this afraid. One of my favourites though is pita bread sprinkled with oil and seasoning - garlic and sun dried tomato is favourite. Then toast in oven and eat with a bean paste made from olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and chick peas or butter beans. All blitzed up and a sprinkle of coriander leaves. Great

If I was a millionaire I would get husband back living at home - he lives in Abu Dhabi because of work and I would do all the things I want to do but can't because of money. I would go full time at SPCA and travel to Italy and Greece and Canada and OZ and all those places - on and Russia which I would love to visit.

Places I have lived are Benoni in SA, Pietermaritzburg in SA, Linlithgow, Scotland and Bo-Ness in Scotland. Born at a little place called Gateside about 11 miles from Edinburgh and 4 miles from Linlithgow. Also lived in Portchester, Fareham (down near Portsmouth) also in Scunthorpe where my husband is from. Have moved about 35 times so quite mobile.

Now who can I tag let me think. Will have to add to to do list as I need to shower and get to the SPCA as a matter of some urgency even though only 7 o'clock on Sunday morning.

Watch this space to see if you get tagged

The painting by the way is from a web site called Heron Dance and you should visit it as you can purchase the paintings etc. http://www.herondance.org/index.aspx?SID=1& I hope he doesn't mind me showing it to you as the stuff is stunning.



Saturday, 19 July 2008


Well I have to be honest when I received this email from my friend Denise of 'Bless This Mess' I really laughed because it is so true. Do you remember being told by your parents how tough life had been and they did have it tough. Mine came through 2nd World War and The Depression and life was just so different for them. I remember I was 16 before they had a refrigerator. Who do you know who doesn't have one of those today.

We went to the phone box to make a call - we had no home phone let alone a mobile phone. I walked to school so I could save the penny that I got for bus fare to buy a treat. It wasn't a long walk just about a mile and a half and that walked of the podge I would have got from the sweets.

Well anyway read this little story from the over 30's


'If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears With their tedious diatribes about how hard things were.

When they were growing up; what with walking Twenty-five miles to school every morning Uphill. BOTH ways.
Yadda, yadda, yadda
And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay A bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it And how easy they've got it! But now that...I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, We had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!! There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter, with a pen! .Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal; that's it!And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!!

You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Play station video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square!You actually had to use your Imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or screens; it was just one screen! Forever!!!!!!!!

And you could never win.

The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only m-net and there was no on screen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing!

You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the Channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning.

Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-b…..ds!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up we had to use the stove. Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid Jiffy Pop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about!

You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980!

Regards,The over 30 Crowd'
Yes kids have a lot of strain in some ways today but I honestly believe there were bad people around then as well. Life was slower and families looked out for each other much more than we do today. Life was sweeter because I had no mortgage no debt . The state of the economy was not something I had to worry about. I remember JFK being killed and then Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
What my grand kids learn in history I lived through a lot of it. I lived through the 80's in SA and the 90's and when I visited the Apartheid Museum at Gold Reef City with them I was amazed at what I had forgotten and what they had never known as the eldest was born in 1975.
We didn't have take aways every night or eat out ever night we were lucky we had home cooked meals and I remember I loved toast with dripping not realising we were hard up and ate it cause there was no bacon and eggs.
I wonder what the next generation will have that this one doesn't or perhaps they won't have cars that guzzle non existent fossil fuels and load shedding will mean having electricity occasionally. Will there be food or will they have moved continents for a better life - just as we did way back when I was under 30!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 17 July 2008


I love this little cartoon that came through via email. Had to share it


Well I get so many great things via email and when I received these pictures I just had to share them. I don't know where they are or who took the photos but aren't these fabulous.

When I first looked didn't even pick up the phone as a head.

Someone is very creative and makes some weird associations. Like would you think of telephones and sheep?
Thanks George for sending me these great pics.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


I received some pictures via email so don't know who posted them but I just have to share them with you as I was so amazed. Ceres is a place in the Cape where we grow loads of fruit and veg. In fact we have a fruit juice brand here called Ceres. Cold - or cold


I don't know about you but i get so many emails with inspirational stories and the like. This one really touched because we can all make a difference if we just reach out a small hand. It is like a small ripple in a pond and it grows and grows until we can achieve great things. Read on and remember it only takes you to make a difference.

MY boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared.Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries.

Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either.

If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.
I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job.

The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.Still no luck.

The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in t hat had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning.She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night.
I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pyjamas on and the kids would already be asleepThis seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.

When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meagre wage.

The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires!There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires.

Had angels taken up residence in Indiana ? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.

Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning.

Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.

On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank , and Jim , and a state trooper named Joe . A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up..

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes.

I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat.Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes.

There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.
Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....

THE POWER OF PRAYER. I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:

1. "Yes!"

2. "Not yet."

3. "I have something better in mind."

God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar. You may be going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that you cannot imagine.

My instructions were to pick four people that I wanted God to bless,and I picked you.

Please pass this to at least four people you want to be blessed and a copy back to me.This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards Let's continue to pray for one another.

Here is the prayer:....
Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and email buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power.


Monday, 14 July 2008


Well last night we took Dottie to the airport for her flight on board the Virgin Atlantic flight to London. It was so sad to see her go as we had enjoyed having her with us so much.

Yesterday was quite restful as we new she would have loads of packing and then we had to be at the airport two hours before the scheduled flight time of 20h40. I hope she got a good seat with someone friendly beside her.

Oh bye bye Dottie see you soon and remember the recipe for those Cosmo's and treat Jaqi and Chrissy to one. I am sure they would enjoy them.

Hugs Jessie

Sunday, 13 July 2008


Well I am back blogging away to keep you up to date on Dottie and her adventures in SA.

Her and DD have gone for a coffee at the local Mall and so I have 10 minutes on my own. Oh what a luxury.

Last night we had a great girl’s night in. It was cold and foggy outside but we girls made it warm and cosy inside with some heavenly cocktails, Nigella type food and a great movie.

We started of with some Cosmopolitans which are divine. Made from Vanilla Vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and a dash of lime juice they are like cold drink and very more-ish. After a couple each of these we got down to some great food which I have to say I copied from Nigella.

Fatoush made with toasted pita and crisp lettuce. I also love to add some fresh rocket as I think it just adds to it. With mini meatballs and raita it was really yummy.

Dessert was easy as Woolworth make the best small custard tarts based on the Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese custard tarts) they really are rich and creamy. We had ours with a nice glass of Hannepoot wine which is sweet and a bit like a Sauternes so good for dessert.

A great meal which left all of us all a bit full and ready to chill with a good movie. So we settled down to watch ‘The Bucket List’ and oh it was so good. A real teary movie with two great actors. If you haven’t seen it we suggest you do so. A sad movie is one which of course we girls always enjoy.

Even though we were full we ended up having popcorn – home made and tumble chocolates.

After the movie we just sat and chatted for hours and ended up going to bed with hot chocolate with some whipped cream and mini marshmallows. Oh boy was it a feast or was it not.


Well back a bit later than expected as yesterday turned out to be quite a traumatic days with so much happening and time flying south that I am writing this on Sunday morning. Actually it is quite nice as I am remembering the good night we had on Friday with so much fun and Dottie was even on the table at one point. Oh boy did we enjoy it. The pictures we took were by the darling grandchildren and their friend. Hope you enjoy the latest antics of Dottie. I must say I think her oriental inspired outfit was really nice.

On Friday we had a pretty quiet day as Dottie need a little r & r after all the travelling she has been doing. We had a trip to the Beauty Shop where she had a nice relaxing pedicure and then a little bit of waxing – as you girls know always a problem. No pictures as Dottie wanted some privacy and relaxation.

She loved having her feet massaged and oh those wonderful creams with the peppermint mask it is just to die for. After that we had lunch at the local seafood restaurant – Jimmy’s Killer Prawns – where you can eat as many as you want for a reasonable price. Didn’t know Dottie liked them but she had a whale of a time – sorry about the pun as no whale was consumed. Back home we talked and cleaned and just generally chilled out.

But on Friday night we went to Ora Bella a local Italian restaurant that we quite like – must admit they have refurbished and added on to the place and the seat we had was in between two external doors and the temperature was so cold we all sat with coats on whilst eating, but we are not hardy South Africans for nothing.

Anyway the food we ate was as follows – no you can’t ignore it.

Starters consisted of chicken soup, snails, grilled calamari (squid) focaccia and small home baked Italian loaves. Guess which one Dottie had? The clue is it crawls or slithers around and came in a lovely white wine sauce. Actually her and I shared the plate of s….s!

Main course was haloumi cheese for me with a salad, trinchado (a spicy beef in a creamy sauce) for DH and DD, calamari for DGD and her friend, Pizza for DGS and DD and her DH had a huge seafood platter for two. Prawns, calamari, kabeljou, crab sticks and mussels. There was so much they couldn’t finish it. Dottie decided that she would try a bit of everyone’s. I was so impressed with her because she was so adventurous. Normally we find people going oh couldn’t eat that My DH can’t stand the sight of prawns with shells tails and head but he loves to eat them so I always end up peeling them but not Dottie she was in there like a trooper. She said the garlic and lemon butter they had been grilled with was divine.

Of course we had no room for dessert but rather had espresso for me, Irish coffee for Dottie, French coffee for DH and decaf latte for DS in Law. Of course we did have a few glasses of wine with dinner in the Italian tradition.

A great day with pampering eating and good company who could ask for more.

On Saturday DH left at lunch time so breakfast at 10h00 at our place with DD and DS in law and kids. No champagne though just simple bacon and eggs with mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and toast. Also Dottie met Elizabeth the lady who comes in on a Saturday to do some cleaning and the dreaded chore of – IRONING. That is a swear word as far as I am concerned as I am useless at it and just hate it!!!!!!!!! And Saturday night is girls night in. Back soon

Here is DD with Dottie. They got on so well as Dottie and her have similar interests and had so much to talk about.

Here is DGS the photographer who was quite shocked at Dottie having some wine and getting on the table. Oh he is still so young

Saturday, 12 July 2008


Well sorry to do this but such a hectic day ahead and we overslept until 5h45. I will give you all the low down on yesterday and what Dottie did later on. It was great fun though and she had a great time being pampered and fed.

So come back later today. I have to zoom out now to SPCA (voluntary work) shopping (DD and DS in law coming for breakfast)

No tea bags no bread and need to get the usual culprits for breakfast as DH leaves at around noon today so real rushed. Give me until this afternoon please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jessie (stressed)

Friday, 11 July 2008


Please forgive the squashed up text below. Blogger is playing up and have edited etc. but it does not like it so sorry guys and gals out there


Well I told you that we were going somewhere special and we did. GOLD REEF CITY.

As you may know Jozi as she is affectionately known was non existent until 1886 when Gold was discovered at Langlaagte (the last g is pronounced like a guttural sound in your throat.) Jozi sprang up in no time and went from dusty mining camp to metropolis within a matter of about 5 years.

Anyway Gold Reef City is a theme park with hotel and casino and is also the site of the Apartheid Museum where you see many sites which we had forgotten. Dottie was up there on the wheel but you can't see her.
The theme park is great as the houses are Victorian in style but there is also this ultra modern casino and hotel over the road from the theme park. Anyway here are some pictures to enjoy.

Unfortunately it was not carnival time yesterday but from these web pictures you can see how great it is.

The casino and hotel complex.

The streets with Victorian buildings and the people dressed in the clothes of the late 19th century

Tribal dancers perform each day at Gold Reef City and you can see them doing the traditional 'gum boot' dance. They have beer bottle caps strung around their boots to make a shuffling noise. By the way in the gold mines they have a separate language which miners need to learn and is made up of a mixture of so many different languages. It is called fanagalore. Anyway way to serious here so lets get a move on with this update.

There are also water rides and the big wheel. We couldn't get a picture of Dottie on here as it just went to fast. Also tended to get me soaked, which on a day when temperatures were around 8 degrees was not too pleasant. We are having a real cold spell just now and even was down to -4 the other morning although day time it is around 10 to 12 degrees but at least the sun is shining like mad with no clouds around. I love high veld winters although this one is having to many cold spells in fact can a spell be two months long?

Well the highlight I think for Dottie was a trip down the mine. Mines in Jozi go down for miles and can be quite scary. You get in the cage and travel down with miners and see how they drill for gold the real stuff. You even get to see them melting the gold into an ingot and if you can lift with your one hand you get to keep it. Well of course Dottie thought she ought to give it a go but it was way to heavy for her and so we had to come home without the gold bar. Ach well you can't win them all.

Here she is in the mine. We did try getting her to wear a hard hat but unfortunately she got covered by and so it was a no go for her. But we made sure she was safe and at the first sign of trouble e would have grabbed her and covered with ourselves. My DD was so paranoid about Dottie but she seemed to like all the attention she got from the miners. Big muscle bound men. Okay enough now I guess you get the picture.

Well next we went to the casino for a look around and to see all those glittering machines which pay out occasionally. Dottie spent R50 in the casino just for a flutter you know and she came away with R100. So not too bad for a half hours playing.

Oh by the way guys Dottie has been reading those comments from you on the blog and she just wants to let you know that Woolies here is Marks & Spencers in UK. They sell the same products but instead of marks and sparks label it is Princess label inside.

Anyway we wound our weary way home late yesterday afternoon - as usual writing this at 5h30 in the morning and have decided not to fight it as I am a mornings person and with Dottie in bed I can sit down and think much clearer. Tonight we are going for supper at a local restaurant called Ora Bellas as DH goes back to Abu Dhabi tomorrow and it is going to be a traumatic weekend as Dottie flies home with Virgin Atlantic on Sunday - oh weep I will miss her as I have had a ball showing her things around home. You know I always think we live in a boring place with nothing to do but that is utter rubbish. I have realised how much there is to do within about 50kms of home - although with petrol at R10.50 per litre it is not cheap. I know that if you convert from Rands to Pounds it doesn't seem bad but salaries here are much lower with average one being probably about R7000 per month or £500 before tax.

Anyway enough griping check out these show girls we saw.
Hugs and kisses from Dottie and from me have a great day.
Love Jessie
ps just heard on the news that in Bethlehem in the Free State it is -8 degrees. Now remember we have no central heating or double glazing and our homes are built to keep cool

Thursday, 10 July 2008


Well yesterday (Wednesday) was another eventful day. For those of you who have been following Dotties stay will know that she went with my DD because I had a business meeting in Johannesburg. Well you are not allowed to laugh and think this funny but I got to the venue only to discover I was two days early. Meeting is actually tomorrow. Wow LOL and fall on the floor but this brain is definitely not doing well just now.

Of course Dottie was so sympathetic that I thought she was going to bust a gut and have hysterics. Well you can imagine I was so impressed with my house guest and all you know.

Anyway DD ad her had a great time at our local Mall which is called Lakeside because it is next to a lake - we are quite clever you know not simpletons at all. Here is a view of it for those interested and you can also find out a bit more by going to this site Benoni

As you can see it is shaped like a paddle steamer but it does not move. It is what the navy would call a stone frigate - well you get my drift of course.

So they had great coffee and cinnamon buns at Woolworth's food. I love the coffee there even the skinny cappuccino tastes like real fat stuff. Anyway as usual back to the story.

They shopped and checked out record bars or as they are now CD shops. They didn't buy much but Dottie found some Zulu beaded charms and was fascinated. Here is a picture of a maiden wearing some of them and if your interested here is a link that tells you all about it. Warthog. Being topless is normal for the unmarried women. Of course when they are at work they dress in 'normal' clothing that we would consider normal that is. After all imagine doing the cooking at McDonald's dressed like that it could cause a few nasty moments. Actually I was in a local town recently and there were about 10 Zulu warriors and maidens walking along the high street in traditional clothes and carrying traditional weapons.

If your interested the Warthog link gives a huge amount of information. I think I will add it to my blog as a permanent link. OK I will get back to the story.

Anyway when they got back and after a simple lunch of Butternut soup and Pizza - straight from the local Spar we decided to visit Ruby Bay my DGD's horse. Well Dottie was a bit nervous and obviously so because he is about 17 hands high so no small puppy here - hem sorry horse.

Well he was a perfect gentleman mainly I think cause DGD was there but here is a couple of photos of Dottie and him

As you can see she was on his back for a few moments and did not fall in the poop and also gave his neck a stroke without getting snaffled, bitten or generally hurt.
She loved the open air and just that wonderful smell of horses. Of course she did get a little bit dirty but not to bad.
We then headed home for supper and a bit of relaxation. I have to admit that I am writing this in the morning because I nodded of on the sofa as we were sitting in a nice warm room with the log fire on and I was very tired. Not only is Dottie visiting but we are having our Bathroom and Shower Room tiled and so the mess is unreal.
Today we are going out somewhere special but I am keeping it a secret until later.
Come back soon you all
Jessie and Lots of love to everyone from Dottie

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Well you probably all think I skipped yesterdays adventures but in fact we spent a great time in Pretoria yesterday and when we got home some friends pitched up and stayed for supper and a few drinks and so on and so on. Well it is now 4h30 in the morning and I am busy writing this while the rest of the world sleeps. I actually love this time in the day as it is peaceful and quiet. Which is probably just as well as I think there was too much wine last night and the bottles just never seemed to empty and you can't leave it there or it goes of. OK lets get down to the real interest you have and I have to say madam is sleeping it off this morning I think.

With the high altitude we live at you can understand that lack of oxygen causes a bit of wine to go straight to the head. I remember being quite dizzy when we first moved here and that was

When wine was a stranger to me.

Yesterday we had such a great time in Pretoria which is the capital of South Africa. There are two Parliaments in South Africa Pretoria and Cape Town. Our politicians don't like bad weather and Cape Town is not nice in winter as it rains a lot and is very stormy.

At least that used to be the case not sure if they do it anymore but we will at least keep thinking that. The office of the President is based in Pretoria probably just as well to be a long way from parliament. Thabo is not dumb no matter what you may think. Anyway we digress.

We visited the union buildings which are a Herbert Baker creation and you can find out about the place at Wikepedia. Well here is Dottie standing down in the gardens in front of these quite magnificent buildings.

Actually she thought they were stunning and so impressive. She actually told me she is amazed at how civilised we are down here. With no naked warriors running around etc. Maybe she is a bit disappointed in us. Well of course we had to go and see the beautiful fountains we have also in Pretoria and these quite literally took her breath away.

All that nakedness is not good for a girl

Of course whilst we were driving the 50kms to Pretoria we had to listen to that great song 'Marching To Pretoria' and just so you don't miss out I have included two links to youtube which demonstrate this miraculous piece of music. Sung Version and here is the childhood version Taps

We also visited Paul Kruger's house who was a very big man indeed. Dottie nearly fainted when she saw his slippers they are size 14 or something colossal like that. He died in Switzerland but his remains are in the cemetery in Pretoria in Church Street. He was known as Oom Paul (Oom is what Afrikaans children call their grandfather or an elderly person) He was definitely quite a man

Pretoria has so much to see and do and is one of my favourite cities and I think Dottie was very impressed by it. We need to visit Johannesburg also with its many beautiful sites and features. Can you imagine a city which sprang to life in a very few years?

We left Pretoria after seeing so many great things that we could still be writing this in a week and popped into Irene on the way home where we visited Smuts House - the home of Jan Smuts. Dottie could not believe how small and unmansion like it was (is there such a word I ask?) Can you believe the Queen visited and stayed there?

Dottie just had to buy this postcard to take home with her.

There is a fabulous craft and farmers market in the grounds every second week and Dottie was sad that she did not get to see this. I think we could do to visit it and buy some good stout shoes as she is walking her feet of just now and I think may be getting shorter with so much wear and tear.

Well as I say we went back home and had drinks and supper and laughed and talked forever. Dottie was definitely the bell of the ball or girl of the moment or whatever.

Watch this space for more exciting tails from the bottom of the earth. Today I am on a business trip so DD is taking Dottie to the local Mall for a bit of shopping and coffee and the like. I am sure there will be Cinnamon buns in there somewhere and maybe a bit of wors and pap would go down well. After all when in Africa do as the Africans do.

hugs from all of us exhausted people. Oh and from Dottie too!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 7 July 2008


About 55kms from where we live we are very lucky to have a Buddhist Temple called Nan Hua and it is truly stunning sitting in a nothingness of veld (grassland). I thought Dottie would enjoy a visit there and it isn't too far for a weary traveller. Also the peace and tranquility is chicken soup for the soul - unless you are Buddhist then it is just soup for the soul.

We set of with a rather funky looking Dottie as you can see here she is posing by the rather chilly pool. You know those cases are small but I am sure they used to belong to that rather well known children's nurse. No NOT Julie Andrews but what's her name you know the one that goes flying round roof tops - oh BLAST another senior moment.

Anyway when we got there Dottie was just so gobsmacked - love that phrase it is just so descriptive -0h anyway get back girl to the story. Well to cut a long story shorter she decided clothes not right so we had to visit this shop they have there and she found this divine outfit - and wig excuse me.
So here we see Tiger Lilly or Suki Sue depending on how she feels.

Boy is she funny. We had so many laughs and we ended up at one point lying on the floor looking up at these magnificent ceilings. Oh DD the young one just mentioned Mary Poppins. Oh thank you for that memory implant.

Anyway lets get back to where we were if I can remember.

So here is that ceiling
I have to be honest though that there are so many beautiful things for example this gorgeous camel dating back to some dynasty - no Joan Collins was not there - even she is too young. Sorry Joan if you read this.

Anyway having seen all this beautiful stuff we met up with a lady monk - is there such a thing and of course guess what - we had to get in on the act and pose for a photo shot so here she is the latest gorgeous - at least not bald - photogenic support of peace and harmony, actually it was a great place to visit and only shown you about a tenth of the photos because I kept snapping and missing this young lady behind lampposts and statues and fountains and lions and you name. Oh Dottie it is so nice to see things through the eyes of the young at heart. Now no more about age just enjoy this gorgeous story.

I wonder if we could find a way to do Breakfast at Tiffany's - sound so much better than Wimpy. Here is our monk

Oh boy tomorrow I think we are probably 'Marching to Pretoria'
Love to all her adoring fans from Dottie and from me her side kick or something
Time for Fatouch ( i think that's how you spell it - anyway salad made with dried bread and leaves) and a bottle of wine no only a glass each a bottle for at least one.