Side View’s weekend challenge………Tellurian

Sidey’s weekend challenge, had me scratching my head for an idea. A Tellurian is an inhabitant of the earth, or an ‘earthling’, which is a term commonly used in science fiction to identify humans as opposed to extraterrestrials. So what could I say about us mere mortals? There are so many of us crammed onto this planet we call our home, and we’re all different. Just like snowflakes, and even identical twins, there are no two exactly the same.

We all have our own personality, likes and dislikes, thoughts and feelings. The only thing which each of us has in common, is birth and death. So with this thought in mind, I wrote this acrostic poem.

Tellurian

T emporal, this stardust lodger,
E arthbound soul with heavenly fear
L abouring to make a living
L est he cannot feed himself
U nspiritual yet with eternal hope
R acially profiled by his peers
I n all creation he’s unique
A n uncelestial being,
N aked he arrives, and to dust he returns.

Hope you’re all having an awesome weekend. Chat again soon.

The homecoming………ups and downs.

Hi again everyone. Our SAA flight to Johannesburg was really very pleasant and I even got quite a few hours’ sleep. There were several young South African businessmen in our cabin, and as soon as they started chatting to one another, I felt I was home already. Their conversation was liberally sprinkled with those  words and phrases so unique to South Africa, which I hadn’t heard in six months, like “Howzit bru?; Jozi; to die for; hang of a; lekker; braai; jislaaik hey; ja-nee,” etc.. Just listening to them was like a breath of fresh air. I felt like saying the same thing to them that the Americans had often told me, “I just love your accent.”

I have to mention the food we had for dinner, even if it’s only to make my friend “The Asian” reach for another slice of her sister’s chocolate cake. Tongue out

Smoked salmon, with crab, capers and creme fraiche to start, along with a glass of Moet & Chandon:

 

Followed by beef fillet, roast pumpkin, parsnip and mange tout with dauphinoise potatoes and a very good Uva Mira merlot/cabernet sauvignon blend.

Raspberry chocolate mousse cake was the perfect end to a delicious meal. The choccies are still waiting to be eaten. I so prefer SAA over Virgin.

I always tell myself that when get on the plane, I’m going to drink only water, and have just a salad, but that never happens.

When we got home, the first thing we noticed was how warm the house was, and it didn’t take long to find out that the aircon wasn’t working. The temperature was 29C, so within ten minutes of walking in the door, hubby was up the ladder and onto the roof, checking it out. Two capacitors had blown,

so, being the amazing “jack of all trades” that he is, he went off to buy new ones, and within a couple of hours, it was all fixed again, for the princely sum of R115. Smile We think that it couldn’t have happened more than a day or two earlier, as nothing in the house had gone mouldy or mildewed, which it would have done if it had been off for too long.

Whilst visiting our local mall to buy groceries, I noticed quite a few changes since we left for America. Lots of things had shrunk! The parking spaces are all a lot smaller, the escalators have all got much narrower, whilst the stores themselves seem to have decreased in size. There are far fewer products to choose from, and at the checkout they don’t shower you with free plastic bags. The only thing that hasn’t shrunk is the petrol price, which at almost R11 per litre is so much more expensive than the just under R7 which we paid in the States, and of course the food prices seem to have gone through the roof. Cry

We went for a walk along our beachfront yesterday afternoon. It was good to see that the lighthouse is still there.

The Umhlanga rocks haven’t been washed away,

and the new pier is holding up well. Wink

Today is “Spring cleaning” day, and also buying a new dishwasher day, as the wretched thing decided to finally give up the ghost tonight. RIP

Have a great weekend everyone. Chat again soon.

 

 

 

AD is all clear, and Maxine is curious. ;)

 

Hi again, everyone. Well here I am at London Heathrow. The security check was quite painless, although I did beep as I went through the scanner, but the lady who checked me over was most pleasant and courteous, unlike the one at MIA. It was very quick and I wasn’t required to have an explosives test this time, so I got off lightly. Hubby of course was perfect. Innocent

My sister sent me this fun questionnaire from Maxine, and I thought you might also enjoy it.

“Hello  … I have a question “


Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced onety-one?

If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea… does that mean that one out of five enjoy it ?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages – aren’t they just stale bread to begin with?

If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren’t people from Holland called Holes ?

If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled ?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car isn’t called a racist ?

If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed ?

Do Lipton Tea employees take ‘coffee breaks?’

What hair colour do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men? I have wondered this for years.

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use; Toothpicks?

 

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them ? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail ?

Is it true that you never really learn to swear until you learn to drive ?

If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose ?

And last but by no means least, as income tax time approaches, did you ever notice that when you put the two words ‘The ‘ and ‘IRS’ together, it spells ‘THEIRS‘?

Well that was an exercise in patience, putting in all those little Maxines, but what else is there to do whilst waiting for hours before having the dubious pleasure of a ten hour overnight flight? Undecided

Have a great day tomorrow everyone. I will be too busy unpacking, phoning friends and family, and shopping for groceries, to do much blogging.

Chat again soon.

“When a man is tired of London, he’s tired of life.” (Samuel Johnson)

“London is a roost for every bird.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli.

Hi again, everyone. Well we had a great time walking our legs off around London. I have to say that it’s actually a very dirty city with filthy squashed chewing gum adorning the pavements, together with quite a lot of litter. I was reminded of the story of Dick Whittington and his cat, about a poor young boy who went off to seek his fortune in London because he had heard that the streets were “paved with gold,” and eventually served three terms as Lord Mayor of that city. Well, they might have been in the 14th Century, but definitely not these days. Frown It’s difficult to photograph any of the landmarks, because every statue has hoards of people adorning the steps up to it, as you can see here with the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus.

 

 

It was sculpted in aluminium by Alfred Gilbert, unveiled in 1893, and was described by the Magazine of Art as, “a striking contrast to the dull ugliness of the generality of our street sculpture……..a work which, while beautifying one of our hitherto desolate open spaces, should do much towards the elevation of public taste in the direction of decorative sculpture,” etc. It has been vandalised and repaired a few times, but is certainly no longer in a desolate open space. The city is teeming with people and it’s very rare to hear a British accent as one is jostled along by the crowds.  Nevertheless, it was great to visit this historic capital of the land of my birth and to marvel at some of the wonderful old buildings and monuments. I didn’t get to visit the Queen who is probably too busy preparing for her diamond jubilee celebration, but maybe next time.Undecided

We rode the tube trains, and I asked myself, “Where else could one see the contrast of a guy in a smart business suit, striped tie, and highly polished black leather shoes, sitting shoulder to shoulder with a Rasta man wearing earphones atop his shock of wild hair, and sporting an an odd assortment of mismatched clothes, grooving away to his music, and chewing gum? I would have loved a photo, but thought one or both would object to being put on my blog. Wink

We meandered up and down Regent and Oxford streets, occasionally popping into various eateries to have a sit down and regain our strength for the next onslaught. I thought long and hard about putting in this next photo, but decided that my blog friend ‘The Asian’ would be so disappointed if there was nothing to eat on my blog, so here are some of the scrumptious-looking cakes we ogled in a bakery window. We were sorely tempted to go inside, but I remembered that old hymn, “Yield not to temptation,” and just feasted with my eyes instead.

 

 

Today we fly on SAA back home again. I’m wondering how it will feel after spending so much time away, but am really excited to see my mom and sister again and then to visit our daughter and family over Easter, when we will be driving up to Jo’burg to spend a few days with them. We’re being picked up at King Shaka airport in our own car, and hubby will be able to drive on the right, (or should that be the left) side of the road for the first time in over six months.

Hope your week is going well. Chat to you again soon, from the seaside.

 

 

AD is officially declared non-explosive. ;)

Hi there from London England. My status on Letterdash used to read, “AD loves to travel.”  I should really have qualified that statement and added, “but only when she arrives at her destination.”

One of my pet peeves is the taxi ride to and from the airport. The Limo’ arrived on time to pick us up; so far so good. We had three cases and two cabin bags, which is one case less then we usually travel with. The three cases would have easily gone in the boot if the driver had put the biggest one in first and the other two side by side on top, but no, he put the smallest one in first, the mid-size one on top, and then like the “Big Bad Wolf”, he huffed and he puffed whilst he shoe-horned the third case into the front passenger seat, after moving the seat back so that my knees were almost touching my chin. He swore that it weighed 75 lbs and when hubby told him that he’d just weighed it and it was only 50lbs, he said that it couldn’t possibly be. The fact that he was overweight and very unfit, didn’t seem to come into the equation. He informed us that because of “insurance rules”  hubby wasn’t allowed to even so much as touch the cases at either end of the journey. Luckily a very jolly Jamaican porter appeared as we arrived, and for a goodly tip, lifted each case, virtually with his pinky finger and transported them through to the check-in.

All the luggage passed the weight test, and off we went to security which was absolutely chaotic. When it was my turn to go through, I was directed to the full body scanner. I didn’t beep for  the first time ever, and thought I was home and dry, but as I walked triumphantly out of the booth, I was accosted by a stern-looking woman who wanted to give me the touch test. Having found nothing concealed upon my person, she then sent me off to someone else who informed me that I was going to be tested for explosives, but only after I asked what he was about to do to me. I knew that at this stage, it would not be in my interest to burst into fits of hysterical giggles, so I held my breath whilst he swabbed my hands and put the swabs through the scanner. He solemnly announced that I was clear and  was free to go, and I scurried back to hubby who was wondering where on earth I’d disappeared to. Why do I always get the special treatment? Maybe they’re suspicious of me because I look so unlike the profile of a shoe bomber. Chatting to our son later, he said that it might be even worse at Heathrow, so I’d better be prepared for a body cavity search on Tuesday. Aren’t sons so precious? Laughing

The flight was uneventful, except for someone getting ill just as we were about to make an early take off. An ambulance had to be called, and of course then there was the search for the person’s baggage in the hold so that it could be taken off. Is it very selfish to think, “Oh BOTHER!” on such occasions? Undecided The night passed in a haze of ice-cold air being constantly blown into the cabin and that non-stop noise as of “a rushing mighty wind,” which always makes me suspicious that one of the windows is open. We landed just after 9am and the weather here is very sunny and mild. The taxi from the airport was the typical London cab, with plenty of room for the luggage inside. We are told that our hotel room won’t be available until 2pm, so we’re sitting in the lounge whiling away the time until we can get in there for a shower and a change of clothes. I wouldn’t mind a couple of hours’ sleep before we catch the train into London and spend what’s left of the day moseying around. We’ve done all the sights many times, but I guess there’s always something new to see.

My daughter just put a pic on Facebook of my grandson who turned thirteen last Tuesday. Here is our family’s newest teenager with his big sister.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Chat again soon.

Side View’s challenge “Decision.” What to pack and what to leave behind?

Hi there everyone. Today has been a day of packing decisions for me. Undecided  I’ve had to decide what I want to take back to South Africa and what to leave behind. Usually when you go on holiday, you just pack everything and take it home, but this time it’s different. Anyway, I’ve done one case, mostly with pressies and a few winter clothes, some of which I’ll need in London. I see the minimum and maximum there is 3C and 16C, so I’ll definitely want a warm jacket when we get off the plane about 9am.

The workmen did a great job of enclosing the lanai with windows and sliding glass doors. This morning, we saw that Lizzie had decided to come back and check on the the new insect netting on one of the screen doors. She must have been patiently watching and waiting for the work to be finished, so that she could try out her refurbished hunting ground. She seems to like it………can you see that little smile on her face? Smile
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We’ve made a start with covering the furniture and upholstery with dust sheets. The sight of it makes me sad, but I’m sure that the time will fly by until we are back here again. I’ve been getting a few e-mails from the Club telling of more wonderful outings, celebration dinners, and a Mexican poolside party in May. I would so love to be here for them.

We made another decision yesterday and bought me an iPhone 4S. Here, the price is two thirds  of what you pay in South Africa.The Apple Store was buzzing as usual, but we didn’t have too long to wait before a consultant came to help us. He was Spanish and although he told us he’d lived in the USA for 20 years, he spoke just like Manuel the waiter in “Fawlty Towers,” and I couldn’t really understand a word of what he was saying.

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He asked if I wanted it set up for “The Cloud” whatever that is. Hubby said that we don’t have enough band width in SA for that, with only having 10GB a month, whereas over here we have 250GB. I don’t think “Manuel” had a clue what that meant, as he probably couldn’t imagine such a measly amount of bandwidth. He just shook his head in disbelief.

My new phone is white and beautiful, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do with it yet. He put all my contacts from my other phone onto it for me, so that should help, and I have a little booklet entitled “Fingertips,” which I shall study on the plane, and hope that by the time we touch down at Heathrow, I’ll know how to use my new toy. I think it will be great to take decent photos with my cell phone, instead of having to carry a camera around in my bag. Hubby also told me that I won’t ever get lost again, as apparently I can just tell it I want to go home and it will give me the directions. I’m dying to try that one out. Wink

I hope you all have a great weekend. I must finish those cases now. Think of me sleeping on the plane; well I hope I’ll be sleeping amyway. I may chat again from London if I find the time and the Internet connection.

Celebrations, bling nails, and my covetable accent. ;)

 

Hi again. Hope all my South African friends and family enjoyed the day off work. I would lose track of what’s being celebrated or protested about in SA, if it weren’t for News24. The only thing I see on the news here, are the Republican party candidates for the US November presidential elections. Nothing else seems to feature at all. We have one neighbour in our street who always reminds us of what celebration is coming up. She was there with the pumpkins and scarecrow for Halloween, and as soon as was over, out came  Santa with snowman and reindeer. For Valentine’s day there were of course, hearts and flowers, and in the last couple of weeks we’ve had St Patrick’s Day. He did look to me as though he was being hanged, and not too happy about it either.
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No sooner was that over, and out popped the Easter Bunny, who also has a rather desperate and bewildered look on his face.
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Hubby was chatting to the guy who lives at this particular house, and he takes no responsibility for these rather twee/corny garden displays. He blames it all on his wife, and says that his garage is full of all this paraphernalia which has to be put out by him at the appropriate time. I know that some of the close neighbours aren’t too thrilled about it, but I think it’s rather cute.

Today I realised another thing I’m going to miss when we leave. I went to my Vietnamese-run “Cutie Nails” salon and had my toes and fingers done. I saw on Flower’s post that she has just tried a new nail place in the town where she has moved to in Germany. She always used to show us a monthly update on her latest “Nail do,” but can’t get her images to work any more. I’ll show you mine for the last time until we come back here again. I decided to ask for gold and diamond feathering, and I think she did an excellent job.
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Last night we met several friends in the bar and sat chatting for ages to all and sundry, whilst eating the delicious snacks. I didn’t play the piano as there was such a crowd of people there, and I wouldn’t have been heard above the noise. We keep meeting new people, who all seem to have heard of us, and come over to listen to our accent. One lady said, “I just love your accent, and I want to learn it.” I’m thinking that maybe I can make some the next time we’re over here, by offering to give “English/South African accent lessons.” Laughing

Today we have a meeting with the club committee. They want us to tell them how we came to a decision to buy into this particular club, so that they can promote it better to overseas buyers. I think I’ll let hubby do all the talking, as he was the brains behind the whole exercise.

Have a great day everyone Chat again soon.

Count down to Saturday. Delicious food and some Doo-Wop.

We are now into our last week here in Florida, and this time next week we’ll be on our way home to South Africa.

We had a really great weekend. On Saturday, we went to the pool and sat reading for a couple of hours. The weather was perfect and many people were enjoying themselves. We have a hot tub, as well as three heated pools here, and they are always in use. A week ago, the clocks were put forward an hour, so we have lighter evenings. I really wish we would do this in South Africa. It would be so pleasant to go for a stroll along the beach after dinner, but even in summer it gets dark so early, and unfortunately one wouldn’t want to go walking around after sundown.

On Saturday night, we went for dinner at the Oasis restaurant, and I’ve put some foodie pics in, just for my blog friend, ‘The Asian’.  Wink I started off with Wild Mushroom strudel which I didn’t take a pic of because I couldn’t wait to start eating. It was so delicious. My main course was Asian Beef Tips with Pad Thai; very yummy indeed.
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Hubby opted for the Lamb Monte Carlo with veggies and Potatoes Dauphinoise.
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To finish me off, I ordered a small “sugarless” Gelato with M&M sprinkles. When it arrived,there were so many M&M’s, which I’m sure added back all the sugar and then some. I ate them all anyway. Laughing
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The Club chairwoman came over to our table to tell me that my alligator article will appear in the April edition of the magazine, and they will post me a copy to South Africa. She also suggested that I might help them with the writing of the magazine when we return in October. I’m not quite sure how much work that would be, but I’ll definitely have a go at it.

On Sunday evening we had another great show, which featured a singing group called “The Five Boroughs.”

They were formed in 1986 in South Florida by singer Frank Lovino, to carry on the tradition of the harmony vocal groups of the 1950s and 1960s, The group consists of five transplanted New Yorkers, all from different boroughs. They entertained us with wonderful close harmony renditions of many of the old ‘doo-wop’ songs such as that old Del Shannon hit, “My little runaway,” and “Rockin’ Robin,”  Bobby Day’s only big hit from the late 1950’s. The backing band were fantastic, with keyboard, drums, sax, bass guitar and lead guitar. I could have listened to them all night. What fun. I will really miss these shows and have been looking longingly at the lineup for the period we’ll be away. I wish I could be in two places at the same time, or could master the art of time travel.

Well I suppose I’d better start sorting out what I want to take with me, and get packing. The workmen are here and the job’s going very well. There are only two of them working away non stop, and they are very quiet too, except of course for the necessary noise of the machinery they’re using. I really approve of the work ethic here. In my experience, Americans work, and not only do they value their work, they also respect it. Smile

Chat again soon.

Photo Challenge. “Unusual” mother and son photo. ;)

I see that there’s a weekly photo challenge on WordPress. As the theme for this week is “unusual,”  I decided to post my most unusual Mother/Son photo, taken whilst on a Nile cruise many years ago. What a fun evening the Saturday night fancy dress party was. I even got to do a bit of Belly Dancing. Cool

There was a competition which involved wrapping a person in umpteen yards of toilet roll, until they were completely ‘mummified’. Our teenage son was the chosen ‘victim’ of a pert young lady who was at that time the reigning ‘Cotton Queen’ in her Texan home town. They won first prize, and I got to be the ‘Mummy’s mummy’. Laughing

Side View’s weekend challenge, “I wonder.”

Sidey’s weekend challenge, “I wonder,” reminded me of this poem which I learned at school. I decided to illustrate it with some pics of my own as well as a few from Google images. I’m particularly proud of the rainbow one, taken one evening when we visited New England in the Fall of 2001. The winter trees one was taken as we drove on our memorable journey from Jackson Hole to Yellowstone, a couple of years ago.

I Wonder  ~ Jeannie Kirby (1922-91)

“I wonder why the grass is green,

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And why the wind is never seen

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Who taught the birds to build a nest,

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And told the trees to take a rest?

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And when the moon is not quite round,

Where can the missing bit be found?

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Who lights the stars, when they blow out,

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And makes the lightning flash about?

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Who paints the rainbow in the sky,

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And hangs the fluffy clouds so high?

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Why is it now, do you suppose,
That Dad won’t tell me if he knows?

I also caught “Lizzy” earlier today, sitting on the patio and looking as though she was wondering where the insect screening had disappeared to. Hopefully the job will be finished by Tuesday, and there’ll be some new netting where her dinner can be caught. Wink

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Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Chat again soon.