Posts Tagged ‘boots’



(This song was written and first played by the Zombies in 1968. This rendition is by Dave Matthews, a South African, who now lives in Seattle.)


It is another day of temperatures below zero! I mumble as I sit down in the mudroom. (This is a room at the front of most Canadian houses and it has all the coats and winter garb.) I pull out my blue fur- trimmed coat and my thick boots. I am sick of this outfit!  I have forgotten what my feet look like as they have been all trussed up in heavy boots for months! Each morning we look out for any sign of some reprieve……..another day of rain and grey skies. Oh no!

Even the locals are ‘gatvol.’ Sometimes I have to resort to my local dialect as there is just no other word that best described this feeling.  I could think of a few other choice words which could best describe this k…k weather but I am sure that this blog would then be blocked!  But there is hope……. 


One of the joys of winter!

One of the joys of winter!



Spring is slow at gracing us with her presence. You have to look hard for it as it pours most days!  My tulip bulbs are sprouting and their glossy leaves have broken through the earth. Thank goodness! They survived the beady eyes of the squirrels during the fall. This was when all the delicately juicy specimens were gathered up as their stash for the winter.  Somehow the new bed that I had created in the garden was overlooked by the vigilant gatherers. The resident rabbit is the next threat. The new growth is just too much for him to resist. Luckily Josh keeps a watchful eye from the window. He performs a war dance whenever any livestock dare to trespass on our verge. So for the moment the bulbs are safe.

I resort to the indoor tulips!

I resort to the indoor tulips!


The morning greets us with an abundance of bird calls….robin, thrush and the splendid red cardinals. The woodpeckers often disrupt the melodious calls with their beating thuds against the bark. They busily make new homes for fussy females and the pending brood. The majestic birds of prey have made their weary journey back across the sea. They can be seen gliding overhead and filling up on local delicacies like squirrel and the odd mouse. Our resident red -tailed hawk has appeared. He was less noisy but probably still exhausted after his long commute. He is sure to be squawking away in the elm trees and creating havoc once he has regained his strength.

Our magnificent cardinals.

Our magnificent cardinals.



Spring is a time to renew, recover and replenish. Nature does it and it enthuses us winter-weary humans to do the same. The excitement is tangible. A mere glimpse of a ‘patch of blue’ draws people outside and into the street.  Enthusiastic neighbours gather round and wield their power hoses. The clean up has started! Driveways and front steps are washed and the residue salt and grime disappear down the drains. Sleek new road tyres are fitted to the family cars and the robust winter tyres packed away.  Our basements are bulging with all the winter paraphernalia! The mud room gets a facelift and all the heavy coats and skis make way for bathing costumes and sandals. Hoorah!

All this adds to the delight and realization that SPRING is almost here!





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“Give the girl correct footwear and she can conquer the world.” Bette Middler

If shoes could speak.......


They were slipped off at the front door and stacked neatly in a row as this was the custom in Canada. No shoes were allowed in the house!

They sat there like faithful hounds waiting patiently at the door for their owners. There were a few that frequent daily lectures; others sprint off to the Go Train each day and one pair had recently walked the streets of Rome. Some of their owners had their feet firmly planted on the ground, while others drifted about in their search for answers. All were in various stages of ageing, but still managed to go about their business of protecting the human foot with dignity and dedication.

You might have gathered that I have a shoe fetish and made sure that I renewed my stock before I left the South African shores. When you know shoes, you also know exactly what you like and where to find them. So thank goodness for Queen Victoria who invented the lady’s boot, way back in 1840. I was going to need every colour and style I could find for those long Canadian winters. I did not need any encouragement to go out and acquire a few more pairs. This time I had to make sensible buys encompassing the attributes of being durable, waterproof and glamorous. So if I had to trudge around in the freezing cold, why not do it with a bit of style? I did manage to fulfill two of the criteria but the melting snow managed to leak through and soak my already cold feet. So much for the glamour part! But in true form I went into the `boer maak `n plan’ mode and a can of waterproof sealing spray did the trick. We were back in business.

The shoes at the front door were being gathered up by their owners as they ventured out into the cold night. It had been a wonderful party. The warm South African spirit of our hosts prevailed as we mingled and were treated with fine food and music. It was time to slide our feet back into our shoes and make our way home.

 This girl has her correct footwear and is ready to conquer the world!


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My stomach churned as I looked down at my feet. They were trussed up in gigantic ski boots! I opened the door and the cold air blasted across my face. I pulled my fur jacket up against my chin and gingerly ‘penguin walked’ down the stairs. Right, let’s do this!


So there I was, all fitted out in all the right equipment complete with helmet. We debated about the headgear as I had no intention of breaking any speed records. Then the vision of me careering off the side of a slope came to mind and ‘action girl’ thought that it was probably a good idea. My stomach lurched as I gazed up the steep slopes and contemplated my fate!


 My skiing instructor was a retired, gallant gentleman and he carefully guided me through the initial steps. I flew up in the air a few times and landed with ‘bene in die lug.’ Getting up after a fall was no easy feat either, as your skis were all tangled beneath you. I was all legs and skis! At one stage I hurtled off the course and was caught by a kind hand and brought back on track. Slowly I gained confidence and began to push my heels out and weave my way down the slope. My God, she has got it! I screamed with delight! There was no holding me back now. It was amazing to feel the snow slip beneath you and I just could not get enough. I raced up and down and even walked up the slope when the ski lift experienced mechanical problems.


Eventually I started experiencing some of my own mechanical problems! The body does not quite work as it used to, although it had surprised me with its endurance and agility on this particular day. An ankle bruise and a sore neck from a spectacular flip backwards made me submit and I made my way to the clubhouse.


 As I walked back I had a wonderful sense of achievement. I know that I had only played around on the bunny slopes, but I had walked through my fear and not given in to it. I had played like a kid again and screamed and shouted with joy. I am sure it will be a different story when I wake up tomorrow and feel the stiffness in the old bones!

 ‘Môre is nog ‘n dag.’

Action girl!



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