the journey of a budding author

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Repurpose


You buy that house because, among other conveniences, it has a swimming pool. Perfect for the children to learn to swim in. And they do. Learn to swim I mean. And they have wonderful times right throughout the summer, never changing out of their swimwear. You have pool parties for them, wild splashing games with friends all afternoon. Food is served on the terrace.And it is such fun and you thing this will always be your life.

Then comes phase two. Languid teens sunbathe at the poolside squealing at little brothers who tease them with bomb-dives that engulf them. Then the little brothers grow up and sunbathe at OTHER girl’s pools. And dad swims once or twice a season,mom hates cold water and eventually all that is left are massive bills for the chemicals to keep this dinosaur clean. We found out that we has a ‘sick’ pool that needed resurfacing, which would have come at a huge cost. And who would have swum in that newly surfaced pool anyway?

We had to take action and the first thing we did was empty it. And stare at it for a couple of years and make plans to do something with it. But what? Fill it in? Nah. Too difficult. Then we decided to make a sunken garden with a fish pond and splashing fountain, although it took another couple of years to begin the task.

Enlisting the help of the now-grown children (and one spouse and the gardener)  my husband  began to fulfill our dream of a lovely place to sit and have afternoon tea. After moving LOTS of soil, and huge quantities of blocks and working out how to empty any flooding that might occur in an area that is below ground level and planting rows and rows of roses in the terraces, the sunken garden with fish pond, was complete. And beautiful.

Designed by my husband Paul and built with strong able-bodied young people and the middle aged helping.

I made the tea and other refreshments and took the pictures.



the magnum opus begins



this post was in response to a wordpress weeky photo challenge


In this busy busy world we don’t take enough time to stop and rewind. So take time to relax , holiday season is upon us so in the busyness of Christmas preparations take time out  to. . . just . . relax!



Relaxation. Nothing like sitting in the middle of a stretch of water with nothing else to do but relax!



Holidays!  Sunset, a glass of wine and excellent company.The deep relaxation after a busy day in the sun


Nothing else to do after a picnic, but relax!

This post was in response to  a Weekly Photo Challenge : Relax


Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

These photos were taken worlds apart. The dragonfly alighted on our  boat while we were ambling down a quiet river in France. Fortunately I had my camera at the ready for other wonders, but this elegant creature stopped just long enough for me to get a photo. It was his colour that caught my eye but, just for a moment he sat on the rail and shone!

The other photo was taken on a cattle farm  in the north of South Africa. It was last winter and we were on holiday there. The winter veld is a dismal brown as there is no rain for months on end and the winds were bitter. We had found a sunny sheltered spot where we could cuddle up to our mugs of tea. The turquoise flash of this lovely lizard engaged my attention and I was glad  was able to get a photo because the click of the camera chased him back into a crack in the plaster. It wasn’t until I saw the two pictures together I realised that they were almost a matched pair with their brilliant colour and jewel-like shine.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected

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Two little girls 2007-03-01 15.43.03-1In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”

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Weekly photo Challenge: Unique

Winnie Young I  want to pay tribute to someone who was  very unique, Winnie Young, my late mother-in-law. When this photograph was taken she was 97 years old, 3 months away from her death. We were having some fun over lunch one day and she played along wonderfully, putting on my son’s sunglasses and giving a hippy salute.  Born in 1911 on a farm in the eastern Transvaal, she became a gym teacher in the difficult years of the Depression. She was widowed when her husband Bertie was killed in the Western Desert fairly early in world war two. She had two small children to care for and she courageously  carried on despite her grief.

She married a long-time admirer, Charles Young, some years later and she went on to have four more children. Charles died after twenty years of a very happy marriage. Again she had to carry on her life and support four children as the older two had grown up and left home.

She tried journalism for a living and as we all know that is not a passport to riches! But she went one day to interview a yoga teacher for a local paper and she was very intrigued. With her background in fitness teaching she started attending classes and soon was able to begin teaching herself. She started a small yoga school and this grew and expanded until she established The Young Yoga institute.

As arthritis began to take hold of her body, she turned more to the spiritual. A Deeply committed Catholic, she began to explore the Contemplatives of the ancient Church and was inspired to start a school of meditation. She did the most amazing embroidery, and knitted fine garments despite the fact that her hands were painful. We so enjoyed her protracted visits as did she. She loved sitting on our patio watching the birdlife.

She lived an amazing life. Indomitable would be a good word to describe her. She could be difficult sometimes but she was always loved and respected by those who knew her.