Posts Tagged ‘temperatures’


I dissolve the last of my homemade rusks into my morning cup of tea. Delicious! I love the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the sweetness of the honey. There is something to be said for a morning ritual. The hot drink glides down my throat and warms me as I look out over the back garden. There is a pile of ice and snow that has built up over the last few months. It looks like a growing mine dump! The temperatures have slipped below zero again. It is time for the fur trimmed coat yet again.

My clothes lie strewn over my bed. The bright colours pop against the backdrop of the snow scene outside my window. Strappy sandals, white shorts and cotton tops…..I deliberate over what to pack. Somehow I just cannot imagine being in warm temperatures again. The bathing costume is a must and also my khaki sunhat. My suitcase awaits like a giant cavernous hole!

The colours must coordinate so that I don’t have to pack too much ‘stuff.’ Then there is all the Canadian memorabilia. Maple toffees, maple syrup and even a bottle of Maple whiskey! I pack things in my case, rethink and pull things out.Oh how I hate all these decisions!


The Waterfront at night

The Waterfront at night


Tonight I will be winging my way back to South Africa…..floods of memories fill my mind as I listen to the Soweto Choir do their tribute to our great Madiba. What will it feel like to see all those loved ones who I have missed so much? Where will we go? A definite will be a trip out to Stellenbosch and the beautiful wine country. My roots are there as well as my family. Then there will be a ride out to Hout Bay to eat fresh fish out of a newspaper next to the sea. I will take in the ‘fishermen talk’ as they discuss their catch for the day and laugh at their humour. The excitement of spending time with my children and being able to be present at the scan of our new arrivals, makes my heart skip a beat!.  Then back up to the big city and just having time with wonderful and dear friends.

Majestic Table Mountain

Majestic Table Mountain

As I swallow that last rusk I am comforted by the fact that the famous Woolworths rusks will be part of my morning routine back in sunny South Africa!

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Josh has his own walkway!

Josh has his own walkway!

Get out as much as possible! Ha! Ha!

Get out as much as possible! Ha! Ha!










All that I am, all that I ever was……..

It has been a grey week where the sun has not showed its face from behind the clouds at all! I begin to understand the meaning of ‘winter in Canada’ as we fight to stay warm. We heed the advice of ‘getting outside as much as we can.’  Even then we go for days with this grey hue all around us. Then you just need to add some rain to the mix! To be cold is one thing, but to be wet and cold is a whole new ball game! I comfort myself indoors with my emails from friends and family back in South Africa as they recount their sun- filled picnics and barbeques. Oh happy days! My stash of ‘Ouma rusks’ are a constant source of pleasure as I am confined indoors.

Just know that these things will not change for us at all……

So one gets on with the process of acceptance of how things are. It is cold……..dam cold! The ingenuity kicks in and we develop coping strategies. Fortunately for us, our concerned Canadian neighbours have taken us under their wing. They fill us in with many tips for surviving a cold winter. They range from the right boots to wear on black ice to safety tips for ‘blonde drivers’ in white -out conditions. I dread the day when I have to put these into practice! But for the most part, we have thought up some of our own too. A domestic pet is quite a challenge, as you have to cope with their ablutions when they are cooped up all day. If you have a pup you can teach them to ring a bell that hangs at the front door. They knock it with their snout and then you respond accordingly. Unfortunately we tried that with our Josh but as the saying goes…..you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! So we had to think of other ways to meet his daily needs. The problem was that this fussy little canine preferred to relieve himself on grass. Oh my hat! I ask you? Where do you find a patch of grass when there is a foot of snow outside? The snow shovel came out and we cleared him a little patch near the side of the house. He is now happy to oblige on his spot of Canada Green.

If I lay here, would you lie with me and forget the world?

Depression is the real scary part of winter. The television and radio carry adverts and hints on how to cope with this dreary time. We have much to keep us entertained indoors from interesting reads, challenging puzzles and home theatre. Josh, our Jack Russell, is not partial to the confinement of winter.  He jumps deep into his basket and rearranges his blanket over his head. This is his fleeting form of hibernation. I must add that this state of being is quickly interrupted with the ring of the doorbell. We have had to think of ways to ‘entertain’ him. (I never thought that my day would consist of dreaming of ways to improve my dog’s psychological wellbeing!)We now dig a pathway through the snow on the deck so that he can still see his nemesis, our resident squirrel. His relentless occupation of getting his teeth into Mr. Squirrel keeps him entertained and his spirits up.

Show me a garden that is bursting into life…….

So I page through my gardening manuals and read up on plants that can withstand these freezing temperatures. I dream up ideas and designs for my garden here in Canada. We planted a whole heap of spring bulbs. They are resting under the snow in my front garden. Soon they will be triggered into a burst of new life. I will see their bright colours in the sun!

Venturing out with friends...a trip to the city.

Venturing out with friends…a trip to the city.

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I am grateful today……..

My constant companion, Josh.


1.For a warm coat, I needed it in my walk around the city of Toronto   today with temperatures and the chill factor of minus 10.

2. For the quick, warm and comfortable ride on the go-train into the city. No sitting in the traffic for me!

3. For the sustenance of a plate of steaming hot butternut soup made from scratch in a lovely restaurant in The Distillery District.

4. For being able to keep walking for so long today in the city without feeling the pain of the sciatica in my leg. Old age is creeping in!

5. For the positive response that Bryan has received with his job interviews in Toronto.

6. For Philip’s energy and drive with his demanding job here.

7. For having the privilege of being able to be a ‘stay at home mom’ for the first time in my life. I now have time to play!

8. For being able to watch David grow into his own person. It is not easy to have 2 brothers precede you.

9. For David making the senior rugby squad, he has worked so hard to be considered for this. Yes, they do play rugby here!

10. For my friends and family, who even with their busy lives, still keep in touch with me on a regular basis. Contact with home makes my heart sing!

11. For the job offer made to me by a school in SA. This made me realize that I am still remembered and considered for my skill as a teacher even though I am no longer there.

12. For the message from a past pupil on Facebook. It is special to know that the connections you made with young people are still relevant.

13. For my furry child, Josh, he is such an enthusiastic companion and has such a zest for life.

14. For my improving vision that allows me to take in the beauty of my surroundings on my daily walks.

15. For the first buds that have appeared on the shrubs in my garden. Spring is on its way!

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