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Archive for September, 2013

Memory, turn your face to the moonlight.

 

A grey figure is hunched over her wooden kitchen table. The blackened kettle whistles on the Agar stove as she patiently sieves, mixes and blends. She gently wipes the flour off her hands on her starched white apron and blows a grey hair from her face. It is a cold Karoo evening but there is a lot to do before she can light the lamp and crawl into bed. Her body aches at the thought of her cosy bed with the patch work quilt. “Tomorrow I will see the whole family again.”

A Karoo morning....

A Karoo morning….

Another day is dawning….

It is 6am and I stumble out of bed and precariously make my way down the stairs.I want to surprise the extended family with a batch of my ‘famous’ cheese muffins. Auto pilot switches on and out come all the ‘tools of the trade.’ All these electrical appliances had to be replaced when we made the journey across the sea, as nothing was compatible with the Canadian voltage. So I was spoilt with a rather zooty looking stainless steel mixer. It does everything! It is useful but I hate to admit that it is not my favourite. The piece that steals my heart is my old hand driven sieve. You know the one with the handle that turns…

I regular get reprimanded by my family. “Mom, when are you going to throw that old thing out? It is all rusted up!” My retort is always the same……

Are you going to throw me out when I am not useful anymore?

The old sieve finds a new home...

The old sieve finds a new home…

 

Memories, I can smile at the old days.

My sieve was found in an old junk shop. I rescued it from the kitchen scrap yard! I could not help myself……It reminded me of the one that my mom has used all these years. We have delighted in the Christmas cakes, tea loaves and ‘dinosaur pies’ that my mom’s expert hands and this little wonder have churned out from her busy kitchen. So call me sentimental, but I relive those special times with each turn of my ‘rusty old timer.’ 

And the new day will begin…..

The timer blasts forth and I take out my golden offerings from the oven. The mustardy, cheesy aroma makes my stomach grumble. Soon my mob will come thundering in with bleary eyes. They always seem to know when there are freshly baked offerings. I am left wondering about the family that once sat around that wooden table in the middle of the Klein Karoo. At least their old sieve has a caring custodian.

Antiquity versus modernity!

Antiquity versus modernity!

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It crept stealthily around the great elm tree at the bottom of the garden.  It stopped and its graceful form was silhouetted against the undergrowth. Slowly it moved closer and one leg hovered. It hesitated while it kept an eye out for any impending danger. Satisfied, the great blue heron trusted its surroundings enough to stay a while. It began to scout the blades of grass. This beautiful bird was so reminiscent of its familiar African cousins.  It had a different demeanour and was prepared to risk a closer look. It edged forward as it grabbed the sought after delectable grub.

 

Our graceful visitor

Our graceful visitor

 

There is something inside of me that just sings out loud when I venture into my garden. The inner child just wants to rush out! My garden is full of surprises and still taps into my sense of wonder. The joy of a spring bulb, the revival of an iced shrub and the scurrying visitors all keep me intrigued. It is a place where I can go to and remember who I am. It does not matter what country I live in. The joy and contentment it provides, remains the same.

 

The bastions lure you to explore further....

The bastions lure you to explore further….

 

 There are times in life when you have to dig deep, real deep to find that peace and contentment. Some find it in their chosen career path, others in the things they possess and some simply need to face a challenge. We focus on survival in our concrete jungles but in our gardens we can stop for respite. So I am fortunate that my garden provides that for me! There is something so honest and straight forward about tending a garden. As I wallow about with my plants, it puts all things that I ponder into perspective. It reminds me that there are no short cuts in life. As I begin to cut back the vigorous summer growth, I am also reminded that there is a time for everything in a garden. Each season brings hope and promise.

Some wise man once said: There is no paradise on this earth; it is up to us to create it. I just did!

 

Summer 2012 018

 

 

 

 

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The other day I relented and had to face facts! I do not need the extensive summer wardrobe that I brought over from South Africa. So a big clear out took place. Shoes, hats, dresses all flew out of my cupboard and onto a huge pile in my bedroom. There I said my fond farewells to some of my favourite summer ensembles………my white linen dress, my shell t-shirt and some of my Woolies favourites. It was a sad moment as I have always taken great delight in choosing my outfit for each day. I find it artistic as well as therapeutic. It is all about coordinating my accessories and the chosen items of clothing. That spotted navy scarf will just do the right thing with the white crisp shirt! I found all of this especially useful in my ‘teaching days.’ In my mind, a pop of colour and an interesting accessory would at least capture my pupils’ initial attention…for about 5 seconds that is! Then it was up to me to sock it to them with interesting content and a captivating presentation to hold their easily swayed minds. 

A Canadian sunset from our deck..

A Canadian sunset from our deck..

So to get back to the decluttering process….  I just cannot wear my selection of summer attire in the few weeks that Canadians call ‘summer.’  After all we only have 3 short months! The other point is how much ‘coordination of the wardrobe’ is required when I spend most of my day in the garden with my hands deep in the soil? Although I still manage to match my wellingtons with my sun hat and I always add a string of pearls to the mix.  I suppose there are some things that just don’t change…..

 

A bit of this and that.....

A bit of this and that…..

All this might sound trivial but the real point of the exercise was to make way for the extensive winter wardrobe. During our first winter I was the proud owner of a thick padded navy jacket with a fox fur trim. It served me well and kept out the howling, icy winds. The problem was that I wore this coat continuously for almost 7 months straight. Need I say I am tired of it!  So this year I have made space for a few more additions to the coat repertoire. There should be room for something in  a blaze of tartan and possibly a touch more fur! (I never thought I would say this but it is so warm!)

The sun beats down on my face as I lap up every moment of its warmth. I have to make the most of it while it lasts. There is still time…… 

I can feel the vitamin D soaking in.....

I can feel the vitamin D soaking in…..

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