Happy Leap Day. ;)

A very happy Leap Day to you all.

This year we’ve all been blessed with an extra day, so what will you do with those twenty four hours which you wouldn’t normally have? If you’re spending the day at work and get paid monthly, then today your hard work is on the house. Once every four years, the gap between February’s pay day, and that in March, is one whole day longer, but your salary remains the same. February 29th is a bonus day, created by the Gregorian calendar to compensate for the difference between the calendar year and the time it takes for Earth to orbit the sun, so don’t you agree then that since it’s not a proper day, merely a virtual one, we should all take the day off to play catch up with ourselves? Just do something which you don’t normally have the time for, like phoning your granny, or visiting a friend, going for lunch in the middle of the week with your partner, seeing a movie you haven’t made time for yet. Really, there’s no excuse for working today is there? Try telling that to your boss or your teacher. Wink

Traditionally on Leap day, women can propose marriage to the man of their choice. After all, February is supposed to be the month of love, with Valentines Day bang slap in the middle, so if your partner is taking too long to pop the question, why not do it yourself? Maybe he just needs that extra little push over the edge.

In some countries, there is a tradition that if the man refuses the proposal, he has to pay a forfeit. In Denmark, the tradition is that refusal must be compensated with twelve pairs of gloves, and in Finland, he must buy her the fabric to make a new skirt. That seems to me to be letting him off too lightly, don’t you think? Rejection should come at a much higher price these days; maybe a new pink iPhone, or a pair of red ‘Jimmy Choos’. Laughing

Of course if you were born on February 29th, you are a ‘leapling’, and only get a birthday once every four years. Marcia Fast,  will enjoy her first legal glass of wine tonight at dinner with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, because technically speaking, this eighty-four-year-old will only be turning twenty one.

So it would seem that the secret of eternal youth is to be born on February 29th, as you’re never likely to be more than thirty years old.

Well, however you spend your bonus day this year, I hope you make the most of it. Of course if you’re the family cat, it means only one thing; another twenty four hours to relax and sleep. Cool

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.

The tattooed lady, and dancing with Vinnie. ;)

Hi there again. Well we both had a really busy day yesterday, but the house is all done and dusted and there’s only the ironing to do today after I’ve been to the gym. On my previous post there were pics of the little people in my life. I love the newness of small children, such soft skin and perfect all over. Why can’t we just stay like that forever, with flawless skin, unspoilt by the ravages of time? This question brings me to my thoughts on tattoos. I know that some of you have them, and that’s your choice, but there was a woman at the pool on Saturday, a mother of two small boys, who in my opinion, had gone completely overboard with the ink. Her back was also covered in tattoos. I found it so fascinatingly ugly, that I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

I remember that my Gran had a couple of tattoos on her arms, done when she was a young army wife during the second world war. One was of a ship’s anchor, and I don’t remember what the other one was, but I do know that they were her biggest regret, and not a pretty sight, especially as she grew older. She always wore sleeves to try and hide them, even in warm weather. Fads and styles are temporary, but life goes on, and every fad has its casualties, and I think that those who take it too far can pay a high price for wanting to be trendy or stylish. What do you do if you don’t like it once it’s done?

Sunday evening’s show was really fabulous, and featured Vinnie Talarico, a multi-talented Italian performer from New Jersey.


He has been singing professionally since he was nine years old. Just imagine a combination of Tom Jones, John Travolta and Neil Diamond. He was resplendent in satin shirt, silver belt,  a very shiny black dress suit, and he just oozed personality.

He sang songs made famous by various artists, like the three aforementioned, plus Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Pavarotti, Elvis, etc.. His jokes were really funny too and had us all in stitches. He was a great dancer and an awesome drummer. He told us that he had been taught to play the drums by Dave Brubeck’s drummer, Joe Morello. During the second half of the show, he took off his jacket and came down into the audience. He clowned around a bit, singing to some of the women in the front few rows. I was seated on the aisle of the third row, and just when I thought I was safe and he was going back on stage, he suddenly grabbed my hand and pulled me up to dance with him. “Undo my shirt,” he  whispered to me, as we gyrated in the aisle, with about five hundred pairs of eyes fixed on us in the spotlight.

The satin shirt was damp with perspiration, and the buttons were tiny and many. “How far down?” I squeaked, as he fixed me with a sultry look. He didn’t answer, so I stopped just before his belly button, just to be decent, and anyway, hubby was right there watching, and his wife was in the back row. Embarassed On such occasions, one doesn’t wish to be a spoil sport, so I just played along. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. Wink My dance classes really came in handy as we did a bit of bump and grind and a few twirls. The audience were beside themselves. After the show, I had so many people come to chat and congratulate me on my performance. It seems I’m getting quite well known at the club, what with being gym member of the month, my piano playing, hula hooping, and now the dirty dancing. Not sure whether I’m famous, or infamous. LOL! He ended the show with some great songs from “Grease” and then for an encore, sang that beautiful Josh Groban song, “You raise me up.” What a fantastic evening it was.

I just love it here, with all the friendly outgoing people who’ve made us feel so welcome. It’s really going to seem very tame indeed when we get back to our house in SA at the end of March, where the neighbours keep very much to themselves and there’s no partying going on at all.

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

AD’s bumper family edition. ;)

Hi there again everyone. Well I’m back from “family leave,” which was a lovely and very special few days. Waiting at airport arrivals is always so exciting, and when we saw our son and the family suddenly appear around the corner, we shot out of our seats and hared along to meet them. The little ones were really pleased to see us again, and little Max was all smiles. It was hugs and kisses all round, and then off to get the hire car, and home. The girls loved their pretty room, and slept very well after such a long day.

Thursday dawned bright and sunny and we spent much of it by the pool. The children had so much fun in the water, and little S amazed us all by swimming properly for the first time, and doing somersaults and handstands on the bottom. On Friday, there was lots of entertainment for the children, including a hula hoop competition. Little S who is six years old, was very keen to enter, and did very well against the other contestants. They were giving out prizes of fun dollars, and she won quite a few of these in various competitions. We even won $100 bill, (enough to buy a tub of gelato at the restaurant), when we did a granny and granddaughter hula duo.

I think the guy was so amazed that this granny still had “the hula bones” as he called it, so he gave us the “Big money.” We ended up with enough ‘dollars’ to buy two tubs of gelato for the girls. Laughing

Little Max is such a cute and happy little guy, and just wandered around doing his own thing, picking up whatever he could find to play with.

Little T tired herself out so much, that at one point, the “sleeping beauty” spent some much needed snuggle time with her dad.

After lunch at the Oasis, there was a swimming competition in the lap pool, and little S was super keen to sign up for it. The first race was just one length, about 25 m, but instead of climbing out at the other end, she turned around and swam all the way back again. The organisers were most impressed. Not bad for such a small child who couldn’t swim until the day before.

She entered every race, including the Sombrero race. I think the hat was almost as big as she is, but she made it to the end.

I think she must have swum about ten lengths in all, and she was the youngest child by far.When it came to prize giving time, all the contestants lined up, and I could see her little face looking quite anxious, as she wondered whether she would get a prize.

Right at the end, she was awarded the first prize, a bag full of goodies, including enough chocolate to last for a whole year.

Sunday wasn’t such great weather, so we went to the local mall, where there’s a great indoor play area. This lady bug was a favourite with the two girls.

In the evening, we all went to the club for dinner, and then it was time for them all to leave again, and drive up to Disney where they will spend the next two days.
Hubby and I went to see a fantastic show, which I’ll tell you about tomorrow. When we got back home, the house seemed so empty and quiet. I actually had time to sit and do this blog. It’s going to feel very strange waking up tomorrow morning with only the two of us rattling around here, but I’m sure we’ll find plenty to occupy ourselves with, like cleaning all the little mouth and fingerprints off the mirrors and glass doors. They certainly do seem to hold a fascination for small children, don’t they. Smile

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.

Ad is excited. ;)

Hi again everyone. Well the day has finally arrived, and this evening we’ll be off to Palm Beach airport to meet our family. Last night, we spoke to the two granddaughters and they are soooo excited to see us again. Little T said that she wants to go to the beach, so we may have to take a drive down there.

So for the rest of the week, our house, usually so quiet, will be overrun by cute little tiny feet, and ring with not so tiny voices. Smile




I shall probably be absent from here for a few days, but I’ll be having lots of fun. I’m sure to have some pics for you when I return.

Have a great week everyone. Chat again soon.




It’s curtains for AD. ;)

Good morning again. As I mentioned to you, we were busy at the weekend, putting up curtains, or should I say “drapes” as they are called here. At the risk of Kragenhai calling me a slave-driver once again, let me hasten to add that I helped to choose them and took them out of the packets. Hubby only climbed up the ladder, drilled the holes, fixed the curtain rods to the wall, and hung the curtains, whilst I offered advice and encouragement from the sidelines. Wink Hopestar asked if I would show some pics, so here are the ones in the main bedroom and through to the dressing room and bathroom. We have vertical blinds on all the windows, so decided just to frame them to make them look prettier.



The grandchildren’s room is done in turquoise and green. I hope they like it.

Our lounge has big sliding doors out to the covered veranda, so we put up these drapes either side.

Yesterday was a very messy day, with hubby moving the light fitting so that it is now over the dining room table instead of a few feet to one side. He had this brilliant idea of standing the ladder on old sheets on top of the table, so that he could reach the ceiling which is about 4.5m high. This was after he’d climbed into the roof via the trap door in the garage in order to run the wire and put the stiffener to fasten the box to the rafters to take the considerable weight of the light fitting. Rather him than me. I can hardly bear to watch, as I dislike even climbing up the kitchen steps which have only two treads. Surprised


Whilst he was up the ladder, I decided to secretly take some pics for my blog.



I had the flash on, and after the second flash of light, I heard hubby say to himself, “WHAT is going on here?!” He was checking the wiring, thinking the flash was coming from the fitting. When he realised it was only me playing around, he said that I was very naughty, as I’d got him quite worried up there. Laughing

Anyway, it’s all done and dusted, and now we’re just waiting for the drapes for the dining room windows to arrive, as we had to order them in extra length.



The stores here are amazing. If they haven’t got exactly the length you’re looking for, they order it on line and it arrives through the post within a week. The post is very reliable too, and things don’t go astray either, which is something I can easily get used to.

Only one more day until our son and family arrive. We’re so excited to see them on Wednesday evening. The weather here is gorgeous and I’m sure they’re going to have loads of fun playing at the pool. There are lots of children around at the moment as it’s school holidays. Last night at dinner, many families had their children and grandchildren with them. It was lovely to see them all together, and it was lovely to see how well behaved the little ones were; a real credit to their parents. Today we’re off to the gym, and then to look at the “President’s Day” sales, before doing a bit of grocery shopping.

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.




Side View’s weekend challenge “My first” visit to the USA in pics.

Sidey’s weekend challenge, “my first,” made me think of my first visit to the USA in 1995. Hubby was attending a conference  at the Anaheim Convention Centre just across the car park from Disneyland. It was our first experience of riding on the wrong side of the road, and after thirty six hours of travelling, hubby was an absolute star at driving a strange car on the Los Angeles freeways whilst nursing a twelve hour jetlag. We didn’t have a GPS, but he found the hotel without much trouble at all. Whilst he was at the convention, son and I, after ordering breakfast in the room at the Pan Pacific, took the hotel courtesy bus to the South Coast Mall, our first experience of American shopping malls.

We were like kids in a candy store, as everything seemed so inexpensive, and there was such an incredible choice of goods. At that time the exchange rate was about R3 to the dollar. Oh bliss! I remember when hubby got back on that first afternoon. We gave him five minutes to get changed and then he had to take us back there in the rental car, for more retail therapy. Laughing
On the Sunday we went to the Crystal Cathedral,

and listened to the most amazing recital on this massive organ.

After the conference was over, we went to Disneyland, did the rides and watched the shows and the parade. What an experience!

Then we did a ten day road trip from LA, to Palm Springs, where we went up the mountain on an aerial tramway,

on to Tucson Arizona, where we visited an Indian interpretive centre and had lunch,

Next stop was the OK Corral at Tombstone, where the most famous gun fight in the Wild West, took place in 1881.

Grand Canyon, which we saw really early in the morning after a sleepless night in our motel at Flagstaff where we were kept awake by the train horn noise from the busy Burlington Northern Santa Fe line which passed very close by. At 3am, we decided enough was enough, and bleary eyed, just packed up and left.

The Hoover Dam, in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border of Arizona and Nevada, was an awesome sight.

In Las Vegas, we stayed in a really plush hotel at a very reasonable rate. They must have been very disappointed when we left without gambling a single cent. Wink

We drove through the beautiful Yosemite National Park, and as you can see, we weren’t dressed for the snow.

In San Francisco,  we rode on the famous tram cars and saw the amazing Golden Gate Bridge.

Then it was back to LA, where we stayed in Santa Monica for a few days.

Little did we know that this first time to the USA, was to be the first of many visits, and that our son would end up living and working in New York, less than five years later. Here we are now with a house in Florida, toying with the idea of moving here permanently. Some first times can escalate beyond all imaginings.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend, Chat again soon.

Meet our birthday boy. ;)

Good morning everyone. Yesterday was baby Maxwell’s first birthday, so I thought you might like to see what a handsome little guy he’s become. Doesn’t he just have a smile to light up anyone’s day?

Here he is with his dad, and the guitar shaped birthday cake made by his mom. I bet it’s really delicious, and hubby and I wouldn’t mind a piece each.

They are coming down to visit us for a few days this coming Wednesday. We’re so excited to see them all again. They’re looking forward to getting away from the cold weather up north, and being able spend some time at the pool.

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday, to see that there is apparently life at Letterdash, when a new ‘Inside LD’ post suddenly popped up on my screen; so maybe all is not lost. He/she who shall remain nameless owing to the fact that he/she doesn’t seem to have a name, is going to answer our queries when he/she finds the time in his/her busy schedule. I’m sorry to keep referring to he/she, as I was brought up to believe that people should be referred to by their name. Anyhow, we are assured us that the spam is being dealt with, but may not be entirely eradicated. I guess that’s a step in the right direction. It’s good to know that we haven’t been abandoned as we had feared, and that we aren’t in danger of having our blogs deleted. “Lets see what transpires”, as my old gran was often heard to say. In the meantime, we seem to have lost so many bloggers over the past couple of months, and the mood of those still here has been less than cheery. Let’s hope the damage control will bring forth fruit, and we can salvage what’s left. Are you feeling more positive about the situation now, or not?

Have a great day. Chat again soon.

Chocolate for dinner and a true love story.

Good morning everyone. I hope you all had a great Valentine’s Day, yesterday. We did go for lunch, as I told you. There was so much going on at the club; a golf tournament, a tennis tournament to raise funds for breast cancer awareness, and also a bridge tournament. We were very fortunate to find a parking space. I’ve never seen the carpark so full. I really fancied a burger with all the trimmings, and asked for mine on a giant portobello mushroom instead of a bun, so that I could then eat all my sweet potato fries with a clear conscience. Washed down with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, it was a delicious meal, and I enjoyed it far more than that veal chop on Saturday evening.

Hubby had a “Hobo Frittata” with a side order of crispy bacon and sausage.



In the evening we were still quite full, so decided to just have chocolate for dinner, and not just any old chocolate, it was dark chocolate covered macadamias. Isn’t it wonderful being a grown up? I’d never have been allowed to do that as a child. Laughing

The table opposite was occupied by eight husbands whose wives were probably all playing bridge. It was so great to watch the camaraderie between these men. They can chat just as much as us women when they get together.

Of course, love is in the air this Valentine’s week, and I saw something on Sky News yesterday which really illustrated to me what true love is. I know that when you are in love with someone, you will do anything for them, and go to any lengths to be with them. If they are in danger, you will even risk your life to save them, which is exactly what this man did on Sunday, on a bitterly cold day in England. His dog had got itself stranded out on the the ice-covered River Stour, so without hesitation, this foolhardy man stripped down to his underpants and crawled inch by inch across the ice to save his pet.



Miraculously he managed to reach his pet just as he himself tumbled into the icy water. They both managed to clamber to safety, whereupon he calmly got dressed again and they continued on their walk. The incident was captured on camera by another dog walker, who couldn’t believe what he was seeing. What a foolish act of bravery. It just goes to prove that when a loved one is in danger, be that a person or a pet, we are likely to throw caution to the four winds and do what is necessary to save them. I think it’s such a wonderful story, and am so glad it had a happy ending.

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.





AD is having a flowery Valentines day.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. It’s a beautiful, sunny day here, and later this morning, we’ll be going for lunch at the Oasis restaurant by the pool. Hubby gave me a card to match my toenails. Laughing It has a shiny red heart with a diamond stuck in the corner. Not a real diamond of course, but it’s the thought that counts isn’t it?


I’m having a very flowery day today. The red rose from the dinner dance is still looking lovely.



Hubby went to Home Depot yesterday, and just to prove that they do sell more interesting things than nails, bolts, paint and ladders etc, he came home with these gorgeous orchids.






Much less fattening than a box of chocolates, don’t you agree?


I wish you all lots of love and laughter today. If you don’t have a Valentine, then treat yourself to something special, just because you are.
Hope you’re having a great day. Chat again soon.






Weekend challenge……. REVENGE…..a short story.

Hi again everyone. I hope you’re all having a great weekend. Sidey’s challenge reminded me of this short story I wrote in 2010. I’ve tweaked the ending a bit, and hope that those of you who read it before, will enjoy reading it again. Having been a church organist myself for many years, I hasten to assure you that this is neither a true story, nor as one blogger erroneously suspected, a confession. Laughing




Miss Amelia Jenkins adjusted her neat little bottom on the hard organ bench. Almost thirty years of dedication, with never an absence from duty, not even for a holiday by the sea. Why, she even insisted on cleaning the organ loft area herself; no-one else had been up there for many years. “What selfless devotion,” the parishioners often remarked amongst themselves.

As she selected the music to practise for Sunday’s service, she thought back to a time when this organ loft had been her little love nest, unbeknown to anyone but Jamey and herself. He’d captured her affections, telling her that looking up from his pew on a Sunday morning, he’d thought her the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen, with her hair like a golden halo lit by the sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows. She’d had high hopes for their future together.

Then came the fateful day when he’d told her that their secret meetings must stop. He had become engaged to Gloria, a local businessman’s daughter. She was a good catch for any man, he’d said. Pretending not to care, she’d generously agreed to play the organ for their wedding. He was to meet her one last time in their special place, to discuss the music for the auspicious day.

She’d unlocked the gate and let him in. He’d seemed rather surprised to see the two glasses and the bottle of fine red cabernet. “A toast to your marriage,” she’d announced, as he lifted the glass to his lips and drained it dry. “Belladonna is now your bride. No pretty woman named Gloria for you my sweet,” she’d muttered, as she heaved his lifeless body through the trap door beneath the organ bench.

Gloria had been devastated to find that she’d been jilted. No-one could imagine where Jamey had disappeared to. “Cold feet,” they’d said. “Definitely cold,” Amelia had thought to herself, with a wry smile. She’d done her homework well, and the quick lime worked a treat. The flesh had soon been eaten away and Jamey was now just a pile of bones, their love affair a distant memory.

She tapped the trap door impatiently with her shoe, as she racked her brain for another place to hide his bones. After all, thirty years without a holiday is a long time. “I’ll think of something,” she said out loud to herself, as her fingers touched the organ keys and the church was filled with the majestic strains of that well loved melody, “Abide with me.”

As the music filled the night air, the church elders were meeting in the vestry. Gordon Hislop announced “I propose that we show our appreciation to dear Amelia for her long years of unstinting service. It’s high time she took a holiday. We’ll insist upon it, and whilst she’s away, we’ll replace that old organ with a new and larger one. The floor boards will of course need to be replaced to take the extra weight. She’ll be so surprised and delighted when she returns.” “Amen to that,” his fellow committee  members concurred, as Gloria, now the vicar’s wife, entered with a tray of tea and biscuits.

©September2010 Another Day (Letterdash)