Posts Tagged ‘salads’

I close my eyes and I can see a world that’s waiting up for me that I call my own ……

The rain was endless and it filled our stream alongside the house. The deep vibration of the water pounded on the river rocks. I peered down into my garden and reflected on the hours of contentment my summer garden had provided. I reminded myself that I had to be patient as there was still a winter to endure. It was time to enjoy the Christmas lights that twinkled up from the garden. The tiny soft white bulbs softened the harshness of the bare plants and provided a contrast to the bright green cedar trees.  It is a source of such comfort to look down on that bit of sparkle when you are held up indoors for days on end. But this morning was different…..the rain had eventually stopped. It was time to get outside.

Our first snow…..

A vision of the one I see…..

The first stop was a morning latte and croissant at my favourite haunt. It is a cosy bakery and it is filled with Christmas ambiance.  This obviously has an effect on the patrons as a young boy leaned across at his dad and sang into his ear. “You better watch out, you better not cry, Santa Claus is coming to town.” The conversation then ensued between dad and son was what Santa might be delivering down the chimney that year. The debatable question was how ‘naughty or nice’ he had been throughout the year. This private exchange that I had eavesdropped on really brought home some of the magic of Christmas.

A touch of Christmas….

We can live in a world that we design……

It is the time when the ‘little girl’ in me is ever present. Memories of childhood African Christmases abound. Although so different in many ways, the spirit was the same. It was a time to rejoice in our family and friends. So many of those traditions have continued. Instead of bright African sun warming us as we gathered around our braai outside, we huddle around a crackling fire with the snow covered mountain tops in the distance. We still eat the turkey but instead of salads we have roasted sweet potato. This year the turkey will be cooked outside, very slowly on our barbeque. Some things don’t change! For my own sanity I try to spice things up in the culinary department. Only to be told by the family that they want the ‘tried and tested’ recipes. Not sure what that is supposed to tell me. It does not dampen the spirit…… I rush around and collect greenery from my garden and a nearby forest. Decorations are brought up from the storeroom and deliberated over for the right effect. The Christmas tree is up and the twins have added the finishing touches. It is time to reflect on the season.

The twins add their final touch to the tree.

But it feels like home…..

This year I have tried to be mindful and to keep things natural and simple. I am so grateful for the wealth of nature that surrounds me ……even though it is sodden with rain!  I find such joy in preparing my home for my family and friends. This lead up to Christmas and the anticipation of the whole family sleeping under our roof, keeps me inspired.

May your Christmas be filled with special moments with the people that you love.



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My doors are standing wide open and the fresh spring air wafts in.  It is perfumed by the abundance of the spring bulbs that have opened over the last few days. Josh and I run onto the deck at each opportunity. He spotted some rabbits this morning near the stream at the bottom of the garden. It drove him crazy! Poor chap, he would love to sink his teeth into them. He stands and quivers in anticipation, as he peers through the railings. But not on my watch, he won’t!  Meanwhile Peter and his mates bob about unhindered and enthusiastically sample all the new shoots. As long as they restrict their endeavors to the wild plants and don’t develop an interest in the nursery bought ones. We should be safe as the forest holds all sorts of delectables to lure them away. Wild snow drops seem to be the firm favourite and distract the nibblers from my ‘planted bounty.’

The sun is warm……I had almost forgotten what that feels like. Josh lies tummy-up and ‘bene in die lug.’ He is broken out of his soporific state  with the rabbit exploits. After he has reclaimed his turf he returns to the horizontal position again. We both love it! I bask as well but not in the ‘bene in die lug’ position. I prefer my feet up onto the deck railings. If I position myself to one side I can I stare over at the emerging foliage down in our ‘little forest.’


Josh laps up the Canadian sun.

Josh laps up the Canadian sun!


All this beauty comes at a price though, as I found out when I began the ‘spring cleanup.’ Every muscle and bone in my body ached! The cold winter had left its traces behind and we raked, collected and piled. Oh I so missed the help that I had back in South Africa! It was back breaking! Bend, stretch and bend again! Eina! Fortunately the whole family climbed on board and in no time the drudgery of the clean up was over. Now I am left to survey our wonderwork from the deck. I luxuriate in my short reprieve. This is my favourite part! At least the muscles and bones are given a break for a few weeks. Locals insist that no planting can happen before the weekend of 24 May. So I have to accept the local knowledge and restrain myself. All I want to do is get out there and plant my summer colour.




But instead I sit and stare and enjoy the arrival of spring. I fill my head with thoughts of summer……. salads, cool drinks, sandals and open top cars. The warmth draws visits from family and friends too.

Oh role on SUMMER!


Sun in the face and wind in the hair!

Sun in the face and wind in the hair!





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