Community Service

I have always been involved in our community.  It started at Sundays River when Pete and I moved here back in 2003.  I started a local publication

WOISwhich was a great way to meet and get to know a lot of folk in our village and I loved each edition I did every month for 5 years.  Chances are I would still be at it had Pete and I not gone to Mauritius for 3 years.  I am thrilled the gentleman who bought it from me is still doing a monthly issue.

I am involved in our Neighbourhood Watch programme which we started a year ago. Sadly the enthusiasm has worn off and we are left with just a hand full of community members who still do nightly patrols.  There are a lot of apathetic people who find a lot of time to complain but not enough time to get involved.

Neighbourhood watch logo

I joined our local police forum as an ordinary member and I now have a fancy title of Chairperson.  It has boosted my involvement from about 5% to a full 100%.  I certainly know how to make work for myself. :-D  Then again Mandy being Mandy I have to know how all the nuts and bolts work and love having things to tick off of a list.  So satisfying.

Kinkelbos CPF Logo

I feel our SAPS are sometimes unfairly given a bad name and are not always properly thanked so on a visit to our local station a few weeks back I took along some custard cookies.  Working closely with SAPS makes all the difference to understanding the challenges they face each day.  Kudos to our local station for doing an outstanding job.

SAPS thanks

Do you have the same problem with the same hand full of willing people being involved in all things community?

Sun Dried Tomato & Ginger Dressing

This is such a flavour packed colourful dressing which keeps well for up to a week in the fridge.  Just a splash is needed per serving so goes a long way and makes for a lovely hostess gift.

Sundried tomato ginger dressing

Sun Dried Tomato & Ginger Dressing


80ml rice wine vinegar
5 marinated sundried tomato quarters
15ml tomato paste
5ml salt
2.5ml black pepper
45ml honey
Zest & juice of 1 orange
10ml fresh ginger grated
125ml parsley
60ml mint
180ml olive oil


  1. Blend all the ingredients except the oil.
  2. Slowly add the oil until creamy and combined.
  3. Serve over roasted vegetable salad

Rosemary roasted vegetable salad

Roasted Beetroot Hummus

This recipe was in the September 2015 issue of Garden And Home magazine which we adjusted slightly.  This is great for the upcoming Christmas parties served with cucumber sticks or toasted seeded loaf fingers.

Roasted beetroot hummus

Roasted Beetroot Hummus


1 large beetroot peeled
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 400g tins chickpeas
3 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup water – we halved this and replaced the balance with olive oil
3 Tbsp tahini – we omitted this as we never had any
2 tsp ground cumin – we toasted and ground seed
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Cut the beetroot into quarters and place on a baking tray.  (I would suggest roasting more so as not to waste the oven on one beetroot – they are fabulous in salads)
  3. Drizzle with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Roast for ± 20 minutes until softened.  Allow to cool.
  4. Place the remaining ingredients and beetroot in a food processor and blend.

In My Kitchen – November 2015

I can’t believe we are nearing the end of another year and there is only one more installment after this before we wave good bye to 2015.  As always a big thank you to our friend Celia for bringing us all together each month with these fun IMK posts. :-)

In my kitchen…

Are Strawberry Popcorn seeds which Pete found while we were out shopping the other day.  Can’t wait to plant them.


In my kitchen…

Are beautiful mini wooden spoons Pete brought back from Malawai for me. :-)

Malawi spoons

In my kitchen…

Technically not in my kitchen but I wanted to share with you, is a teeny tiny book Pete got for me.  It is just bigger and fatter than a matchbox and is filled with the most wonderful quotes.
Your cat book

In my kitchen…

Are our new favourite in-between snack.  They are wonderfully light and crispy and go well with everything from a cup of tea to a glass of wine.

Woolies Rice Crackers

In my kitchen…

Is my new favourite all rounder cleaner.  I know it says for carpets and fabric but I am using it for just about everything – especially the spots where a free living cat is marking in our home.  Wish I could catch him to have him neutered and homed.

Woolies cleaner

In my kitchen…

Are some lovely shells we found on a deserted stretch of beach on a recent walk.

Beach shells

What’s in your kitchen this month?

Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up and please note Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

Mushroom & Butter Bean Goulash

This is great dish to enjoy over rice and comes together in a short time, perfect for a week night meal.  Thanks to Karin for this great recipe.

Mushroom butterbean tomato

Mushroom & Butter Bean Goulash


1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece ginger grated
500g brown mushrooms chopped
2 X 410g tin chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp vegetable stock powder
1 Tbsp honey
410g tin butter beans rinsed
Coriander to serve


  1. Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and ginger.
  2. Add the mushrooms and fry until tender.
  3. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the butter beans and honey and serve with chopped coriander.

Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf

I got great new vegetarian recipes from my sister-in-law Karin while she and my brother were here visiting.  Fabulous flavourful healthy and very moreish meals.  It’s wonderful to see Greg and Karin’s kids enjoy these wonderful meals too.

Brown rice pilaf

Brown & Wild Rice Pilaf


1 cup of brown wild rice cooked according the package instructions
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion chopped
1 large red pepper chopped
500g  brown mushrooms chopped
2 stalks celery sliced
¼ cup soy sauce
410g tin lentils rinsed
½ cup chopped parsley
1 small punnet sprouts
Toasted flaked almonds


  1. Heat the oil and fry the onions and peppers.
  2. Add the mushrooms and celery and cook until the mushrooms and celery are tender.
  3. Stir in the sprouts, soy, lentils and parsley.
  4. Add the rice and flaked almonds.

Spring Garden

Seems the weather hasn’t quite decided if it is Spring yet.  We have had a few splashes of sun here and there with loads of rain and horrible gale winds.  It hasn’t dampened my excitement with getting going in the garden, although some of the seed I have planted may have blown or been washed into the neighbours garden – might have to fetch my veggies there once they grow. :-)

You may remember the gent I bought our garden bench from a while ago.  I couldn’t help myself and bought this sweet bridge from him a couple of weeks back.  It only cost R200 (± USD $14.48).


The veggie patch is doing well and our cauliflowers are coming along really nicely.


The spinach has also grown in leaps and bounds.  I shall have to enjoy it soon before the garden critters finish it.


The mini cabbages are also doing well after being thinned out.


I planted pumpkin seed which shot up out of the ground a couple of days after planting – they will be thinned out soon too.


Pumpkins for Africa!

Also new to the garden is zucchini – I am thrilled at how healthy they are looking.


Not wanting to worry about stakes and the like, I planted bush beans.


Naturally no garden would be complete without dill and coriander so they were planted too.

IMG_8139I have added a few more things: butternut, sweetcorn, lettuce, rhubarb, carrots, capsicums, parsley, thyme and lavender.  I am sure I have forgotten something in this list.

Our loquats are all ripening but seems the birds are beating us to them all.IMG_7651And passers by are all picking our lemons off the tree before we can.  IMG_8064

At least our peaches are hidden away and hopefully will be worm free again this year.

IMG_7620Now I patiently await our figs.


In My Kitchen – October 2015

As always a big thank you to our friend Celia for bringing us all together each month with these fun IMK posts. :-)

In my kitchen…

Were some sticky chicken wings – haven’t had them in a while and they were fabulous.

In my kitchen…

Is a quinoa salad, always such a wonderful taste explosion.

Karin's quinoa 2

In my kitchen…

Was some scrumptious macaroni and cheese, unbaked, my lazy way of making it.

In my kitchen…

Is a bottle of Amarula, a gift from my brother Greg and his wife Karin.  I can see getting rid of my winter weight will have to wait a while longer. :-)


In my kitchen…

Is a beautiful gift from Greg and Karin’s children, Tom and Anne.  A decorative whisk.

Decorative whisk

What’s in your kitchen this month?

Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up and please note Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

Sundays River Trash Bash 2015

September 19th marked the annual Internal Coastal Clean Up Day supported by over 90 countries worldwide.  How awesome is that!


I have not been part of the fun the past couple of years as it falls on the same weekend each year as a niece’s birthday in Plettenberg Bay.

I was happy to be part of the volunteer team again this year.


As with all years, there are donations from our community and sponsorship from various companies including The Waste Trade Company, General Motors South Africa, Colchester KwikSpar, Algoa Plastics, PPC Cement and many more.

I was amazed at the wonderful sponsorship and donations this year, affording the kids incredible goody bags and wonderful prizes – it was extremely heart warming.

Trash Bash 2015 2

Goody bags were filled with so many wonderful things

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There were 150 local kiddies (mostly from Colchester primary school) who participated in the day which started with homemade soup, rolls and apples at registration after collecting their t-shirts.

Trash Bash 2015 3

Fuelling up before trash bashing

Before everyone set out on picking up what others have carelessly discarded, The Waste Trade Company’s representative Emmy Nxayeka  gave a fabulously enthusiastic and all important environmental talk emphasising the importance of the three R’s:-


“In order to drive environmental change we need to start by educating our youth,” Kay Hardy, general manager of The Waste Trade Company.

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Learning how to care for our environment

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Much excitement to go on the river

The day ended with boerewors (sausage) rolls and cake as well as the much anticipated prize giving.  The children get so excited wondering if they could possibility be the only boy and the only girl to win a bicycle.  Before the final draw for the bicycles, there were 40 other great prizes including backpacks, food hampers and grocery gift vouchers.

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The boys bike is donated by Colchester Spar and the girls bike by PPC Cement

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Lots of lovely prizes

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640kg of trash was collected over 2 hours

In My Kitchen – September 2015

Yippee, Spring has sprung – here’s to it getting warmer and warmer.

As always a big thank you to our friend Celia for bringing us all together each month with these fun IMK posts. :-)

In my kitchen…

As promised is an updated on the  “Kitty bubbly”.
It was very fruity and I would say bordering on semi sweet but was pleasant enough to toast with and share with friends.  If you are like me and prefer a brut sparkle, this is not for you.

2015-08-01 10.15.40

In my kitchen…

Is Jollof rice spice Pete brought back from Nigeria.  Haven’t used it yet but Jollof rice is a common meal in Nigeria which Pete enjoyed while there so I shall have to find an authentic recipe to try.

Jollof Rice Spice

In my kitchen…

Is a nunu giraffe spoon Pete got for me at the Giraffe Sanctuary when we were in Kenya.  I still think about how sweet and gentle the giraffe are.

Giraffe spoon

In my kitchen…

Is wine which never made it to my kitchen.  I drank it while in the comfort of our hotel room in Kenya.  Imperial vin is produced and bottled in Moldova which is a country in Eastern Europe, landlocked between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south.  Was it worth its price tag of R120, no but it was enjoyable enough as a once off.

Imperial Vin Cabernet

In my kitchen…

Is something else which obviously never made it home but I wanted to share with you.  Each afternoon at around 17h15, the door bell would ring in our room at the Kempinski and we would be handed a single serving of something sweet and delicious.  My favourite was this pistachio nougat with crushed fresh rose petals.  Heaven on a plate.

Kempinski sweet treat

What’s in your kitchen this month?

Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up and please note Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

The Incremental Photographer Course

My dear friend Moira, who blogs over at Moi du Toi Photography is a phenomenal photographer and she has just recently launched her Incremental Photographer course which is SO much more than any other course out there.  Moira is your personal mentor, guiding you through mastering shooting in manual.

online-photography-class_Artboard 4_Artboard 4

The course is for anyone who owns a DSLR camera and wishes to improve their photography and will provide you with a solid foundation with which to begin your photographic journey.

During the course, Moira will guide you through the process of shooting in Manual Mode and teach you how to juggle Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO to create properly exposed images, the art of Composition and how to use Natural Light at any time of the day to produce beautiful photographs.

Assignmnet wk 5 side lit

Thanks to Moira, I was able to capture this incredible photograph

Over the 5 week course, you will receive assignments to be completed and Moira will do personal assessments for you with weekly video critiques.

Moira is currently running a special launch price of just USD $69.99 and there are only 10 places available to anyone worldwide so contact Moira today, you will be glad you did.  Class starts in 2 weeks.  I learnt so much and had so much fun doing the course until as you all know, my camera fell and died.


The word photography stems from two ancient Greek words: photo, for “light”, and graph, for “drawing”.
I look forward to teaching you how to draw with light.

Contact Moira to sign up for her incredible 5 week course via her Launch Page or her facebook page.

Nairobi, Kenya

On leaving the airport en route to the hotel (the same one Obama stayed in a week earlier) I caught site of no less than 8 giraffe in the Nairobi National Park which borders the city – only one in the world I believe.  I learnt later that it costs USD 50 (±ZAR 650) per person to get into the national park – madness!


The hotel, Kempinski, Villa Rosa – pure opulence – pucker 5 star!  Thousands of roses everywhere!  The room heavenly; including gown and slippers and for those inclined an iron and ironing board – not doing any of that while I am visiting, even an umbrella! 3 telephones to boot – heaven forbid you have to move to answer the phone. :-)


As we always do on our first evening away, we ordered room service.  Well!  Room service has never been this good, the dining table which was rolled into the room even had a fresh rose with our dinns staying warm in the warming drawer underneath the tray.  Pete ordered a hamburger and I ordered the green thai curry.  Both were outstanding – restaurant quality.  I could get used to 7 days a week room service, especially when you eat in your housecoat and slippers. :-)


The cloakrooms in the gym have a hot spa bath, sauna room and sauna and all the conveniences available for your convenience, even down to slip slops and individually packaged combs and shaving kits.  It was quite cool running in the same gym where Obama did his workouts for a couple of days.


Cool down walk after a 4km run

The second nights sleep was non existent.  We arrived on a Sunday so guess traffic was at its quietest.  Not so for the remaining part of the week.  24 hour seriously noisy seemingly permanent peek hour traffic and you can’t get away from it being in the city.  I was later told the roads are never quiet.  Might explain why they are in such bad condition.

We went to the Westgate Mall which has just reopened after the 4 day terrorist attack and bombing 2 years ago.  It was quite surreal being there after watching the horror on the telly.  So sad what happens in our world every day.

More seriously, our trip was a look-see about the possibility of a move to Nairobi for a couple of years for Pete to head up the start up of a sister company as he did when we lived in Mauritius.  Pete was given a housing allowance which clearly was extremely unrealistic,  he then doubled it and off we went to the estate agents.  Haa.  Well that budget didn’t turn up anything particularly worthwhile either, plus everything in the budget amount is unfurnished.  It is frightfully expensive to live in the city and close surrounds with neighbours right on top of you, a garden, even teeny tiny is a luxury and majority of the buildings are very old, think 70’s with lots of layers of lacquered paint and parquet flooring and avo or pink bathrooms.  We shall take our time until the right place comes along if it must and I shall have to get used to a non village, no space and little freedom.  I have put a spreadsheet together of the costs involved in living in Kenya and it is extremely expensive from start to finish!  We could live palatially for the same cost here at home!

Nairobi in a nutshell – like all other African countries, the city is loud, dirty, busy with drivers hell-bent on going as fast and as dangerously as they can on roads which are in dire need of repair and everything is scarily expensive.  I will say though, they are not aggressive like our local drivers.  The people are lovely and friendly and the further you go out of the city, the more beautiful it becomes.  My favourite was the makeshift nurseries on the side of the road – wish I could have taken a photo.

All the museums and the like are also expensive to visit but guess majority of the tourists are coming from first world countries so doesn’t dent their pockets like it does ours.  As a lot of you know, I always joke and say I want a giraffe and a squirrel to complete our family so Pete took me to the Giraffe Orphanage in Karen and I got to feed a lovely fellow named Eddy.  I am not one for animals in captivity but there is sometimes the need as with the Giraffe Centre, which was established to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe.


I want to bring Eddy the Giraffe home with me

Kenya Giraffe Centre

We also visited the Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) Museum which I loved.  What a life she lived!  It was wonderful being able to put my hands on her very bed and jewellery cabinet amongst other goodies which she sold to a friend, Lady McMillan after the farm went bankrupt and was later retrieved from the library the friend donated it to.  Sadly you aren’t allowed to take photo’s inside the house.  Apologies about the quality of the (phone) photos but my camera died when it fell out of my camera bag.  I am still sick to my stomach about it and not ready to talk about it. :-(



Addo, Addo, Addo

I hope you don’t tire of me sharing our trips with you from our visits into Addo.  We truly are in a special part of the world to be able to see these magnificent animals any day of the week when Pete is home.

Can you believe 3 cheetah broke into the park and they have certainly made themselves at home and we finally saw them.

A quick cheetah lesson:

♥ Male cheetahs (usually brothers) form coalitions while females remain solitary.

♥ Cheetahs weight ranges between 21 – 72 kilograms but average around 60kg.

Addo 2015 683

♥ The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world reaching speeds of up to 110km/h and can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds and a single stride can cover about 7.6 meters.  Only one paw touches the ground at any one time during a sprint.

♥ The Cheetah’s claws are semi-retractable enabling them to grip the ground helping them accelerate as they run.

♥ Their long tail acts as a rudder and helps to maintain their balance while chasing prey.

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♥ A cheetah has amazing eyesight during the day and can spot prey from 5 km away.

♥ Cheetahs have black stripes running from the corners of their eyes down to the corner of their mouth. These help block out sunlight, which helps them in spotting prey.

♥ Cheetahs communicate through a series of chirps, barks and hisses.

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Life isn’t always as I would like it to be either and one of the lioness (Josie) met with a bit of a feisty warthog who before becoming dinner left a lasting impression on her.  I was hoping to see her 3 cubs but alas, they were well hidden.  Don’t think mom was feeling all to well either as she flopped about every few steps before settling behind a bush to rest.

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Please let me be while I quietly heal

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Let me tell you a secret…

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Just for Anna :-)

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Addo 2015 598 Addo 2015 613

In My Kitchen – August 2015

Yippee, one more month until Spring.  Can’t wait.♥

BTW:  Pete and I are in Kenya so I may only chat with you when I get back. :-)

In my kitchen…

Village life truly is wonderful, especially when friends give you beautiful spinach from their garden delivered right to your front door!  Thank you so much Wayne and Kelly – honestly was the best spinach I have enjoyed.

KellyWayne spinach

In my kitchen…

Are 2 new custard jugs which I, well, just couldn’t resist, besides, every home needs 2 custard jugs.

Custard jugs

In my kitchen…

Are 2 new sets of espresso cups and saucers, well, just because my other sets do’t match each other – I know, I have issues. :-)

Espressco cups

In my kitchen…

Are mini sauce containers – you know, my other obsession, nunu things. :-)

Mini sauce bowls

In my kitchen…

Is what I would love outside my kitchen.  Wish I could remember where I saw this pic but I love the idea of recycling wooden palettes for a wall garden.  Think I would have one with herbs and the other with seasonal flowers.

palette garden

In my kitchen…

Is a new pack of Daim chocolates which Pete brought home recently from one of his international trips.  Good thing they are so teeny as I feel less guilty after having a whole one. :-)

Daim chocs

What’s in your kitchen this month?

Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up and please note Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

Winter Garden Update

I know I recently shared our garden with you but there have been a few changes since then so for your viewing pleasure (before it starts raining again)…

I could not resit this bench when I saw it for sale down the road from home.  The gentleman selling the furniture fell on hard times and refurbishes and recycles wooden palettes to earn an income.  He lives a very frugal life without electricity and running water and has the most love I have ever seen for his dog and cat.  They are his entire life.  I did not realise until I stopped to make enquiry about the bench that he has the most beautiful fully indigenous garden with veggie patches dotted all around.  Best R350 (± USD $28) I have ever spent on anything.  He even refurbishes the nails before re-using them to make his furniture.

Garden July 2015 3 Rummaging through our leaky old corner back shed I found a piece of sleeper gifted to Pete from our previous neighbours son about a zillion years ago and decided its time to get out into the garden and one can never have too much seating so another bench was made. The cats love this and I often find them sunning themselves on one of the corners while watching over the garden..Garden July 2015 1

From the leaky shed into the wendy house which holds an untold amount of boxes and other storage bits and bobs plus an outdated old satellite dish which I converted into a much wanted bird bath.  Waste not want not I say.  My dad said it should be blue but I thought green blended so much better with the garden.  A few birdies have visited but none I have yet been able to capture on camera.Garden July 2015 2

Going back to the leaky shed, hanging up in a corner was a small ladder which was looking worse for ware so out it came and a quick refurbishment and placed outside our bedroom door with a few potted veld plants and its as pretty as a picture.Garden July 2015 8

On the backside of our bedroom is a strip that never gets any sun and always has a muddy slope of soil so it was morning of laying some unused bricks to make a walk way.  Can’t believe it took me this long to do!Garden July 2015 7

Amongst the unused bits and bobs was a number of pots and bowls which I have started displaying around the garden.  There are a few more to come.  I will take some updated shots as soon as I have been back into the veld for more plants. Garden July 2015 4 Speaking of being in the veld, just over the road from our home is a huge amount of mother in laws tongue which I have potted and standing in a makeshift nursery in front of Pete’s workshop.Garden July 2015 5

After cleaning out the pots outside the front door, it dawned on me we have not had lavender in our garden for the longest time so I had to succumb to spending a little cash on a beautiful lavender bush which I am not able to find in the veld. :-)Garden July 2015 22

Always at the ready to lend a hand is my beautiful boy who has an incredible knack of bumping me off my feet more often than not when I am trying to take a photo – there are loads of blurry shots in amongst the few I manage to salvage.Garden July 2015 21 On the backside of our lapa is a long bare wall so  a narrow bed was made with a variation of 2 flowering bushes – one is a yellow daisy of sorts and the other is a blue/purple spur something or another.  I am never very good at remembering names of plants.Garden July 2015 20

I hope its not too late but I finally planted last years sweet pea seeds – I saved just the violet colour ones.  Can’t wait for the fragrant flowers for vases throughout the house come Spring.Garden July 2015 6 All things going well, we will have some tasty cauliflowers – I have no idea how long they take to grow but the plants are looking very healthy. :-)Garden July 2015 16

There is also some healthy happy looking spinach.
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Seems we will also have some mini cabbages at some stage – think I will have to thin this bed soon.Garden July 2015 9 - Copy

And finally is a pot that nearly broke my back.  Our lovely neighbours were kind enough to gift the pot but it was up to me to get it over the wall and obviously I could not wait for help and had to get it over myself.  Not sure if it was the coat of paint or all the rain which has left one of the plants looking a little worse for ware. Hopefully a little TLC will get it all perky again otherwise out it comes.
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How is your winter garden or summer garden if you are in the northern parts of the world?

Running Update

Somewhere between my Running Slow post and today my 5km became 4km and then 3km where I seemed to settle.  This was over a period of 10 months and then it happened, the unthinkable, the dreaded, unwanted, ever more difficult to shake off weight gain!  A whole 4 kilograms!  *Screams*  No rocket science involved that less calories burned with the same food and wine intake equals weight gain.  Urgh!

Trail runners

Before I realised there was all this extra weight running around with me, I started getting shin splints – seriously painful shin splints which needless to say did not help my times and it took me the better part of 2 months to figure out buying a pair of inner soles for my runners would solve the problem.  Oh, joy of joys, it was like running on air.  Bliss.  Soon 3km became 4km – yippee.  See, the 5km excuse at this stage is its winter and gets too dark for me to be out that long – that’s my legitimate reason.  You believe me right?

Inner soles

Speaking of winter running – what a pleasure,  I find summer running incredibly draining – the heat is just too much for me, even though I am a summer lover, just not for running.  Makes sense right?

 Anyhoo, seems I am back on track which is awesome.  Here’s to being back up to speed with my 5km daily runs before summer gets here, oh, and I seem to have lost 2 of those 4 sneaky kilos. :-)

How’s your exercise routine going?

Emma’s Ellies

The lovely Emma over at Surrey Kitchen asked if I would do a guest post on her favourite animal, the elephant and even though she has visited South Africa, she never got to see any babies so I set out to share as many babies as I could find in our park in the Eastern Cape; Addo Elephant National Park.

Do pop over to Emma’s Ellies to see a few adorable pics of some baby ellies and some fun facts too.

Earth’s Essence Pinotage

A short while back, I entered and was the lucky winner of 4 bottles of Earth’s Essence Pinotage on Tandy’s blog, Lavender and Lime.

Earth's Essence

Traditional KWV wines are fabulous so I was excited to try this “new age” way they are preserving Pinotage:

By utilising a revolutionary natural process using indigenous Rooibos and Honeybush during the winemaking process their powerful anti-oxidants protect the wine naturally negating the use of added sulphites or preservatives.

Firstly a label on a bottle of wine will either entice me to buy it or look past it on the shelf of the bottle store and I must say the Earth Essence label is very eye catching and your eye is immediately drawn to the bottom of the label “No Sulphites or preservatives added“. Not to mention the wonderful name – Earth’s Essence. The shape of the bottle and screw top are also pleasing, so a good start before evening opening the bottle!

Now, I am not a fan of Rooibos tea so was slightly sceptical about the whole Rooibos flavour but was a greatly mistaken.  This wine truly is fantastic.  So as not to undermine this great wine, I quote the makers:

This Pinotage shows upfront fruit sweetness with prominent cranberries, Turkish delight and dark chocolate aromas.  Nuances of nuts, Rooibos, Honeybush and sweet basil are complimented by the grippy tannin structure and the intense, lingering finish.

 What a wonderful wine!  Thank you again Lavender and Lime, Earth’s Essence and Tin Can PR for the awesome prize.

In My Kitchen – July 2015

It seems I spoke to quickly last month as we have had a month of cold days.  One month down, 2 more to go.  Here’s hoping they pass mildly and that Spring shows her beautiful face with warm days.

In my kitchen…

Can’t think why I never included this a couple of months back.  It is a bottle of bubbly Pete bought for me when we were in the Game store in Maputo, Mozambique.  I only wanted it because of the kitty picture.  Still haven’t opened it so have no idea whether it is drink worthy.

Gatao Bubbly

In my kitchen…

Is a kitty mould from my wonderful neighbours Dean and Lesley.  I think I shall use it to make a few catnip treats for my fur babies.

Kitty mould

In my kitchen…

Is a birthday present from my brother Chris and sister in law Elmien and their 4 littlelies.  Thanks guys!  I hope you will come and visit soon so I can make a few cupcakes for you.

Cucake recipe book

In my kitchen…

Is a jar of homemade pickled onions made for us by our friend Cazzie.  They are nearly ready to be eaten.  Can’t wait to taste what they are like with the chilli.

Caz picked onions

In my kitchen…

Are Sistema mini sauce and salt and pepper containers from friends Frans and Yolandie.  It was part of my birthday gift from them.  They know we always take a picnic with us on the boat or when we go into the park so these containers will be very handy.

Sistema containers

In my kitchen…

Is a Thai Green Curry paste, which I am sure will be used quite often through the winter cold nights.  I use it most often for coconut curry.

Woolies Thai Green Curry Paste

What’s in your kitchen this month?

Please remember to link back to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial if you partake in the fun and drop her a quick note to let her know when your post will be up and please note Celia needs all IMK posts submitted by the 10th of every month.

Pearl Barley

Do you ever have those days where you are looking for something satisfying and hearty to eat but don’t want a protein packed sandwich or the leftovers from the previous evening dinner isn’t what you feel like… Well, pearl barley is a perfect fit for those days and couldn’t be easier to prepare.

Pearl Barley

Pearl Barley


1 large onion sliced
2 large garlic cloves crushed
1 inch piece ginger grated
2 scant teaspoons of dukkah spice
1 cup pearl barley
5 cups chicken stock


  1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and dukkah spice and fry for one minute.
  3. Add the barley and chicken stock, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for approximately 45 minutes until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.