Wine, mostly women, and song.

Hello again. I have to report that the Valentine lunch was really great. I would give it five stars as far as the venue and the food went. The restaurant was really elegant and we had two round tables for the thirty of us. There were many more people from other communities around the area, and there wasn’t a spare seat in the house.


The starter was a mixed green salad, with apples, pecans and gorgonzola, tossed with a citrus vinaigrette dressing; delicious.  I was really pleased to be sitting next to a lady who I have come across several times before at various functions. She is about my mom’s age, and such a character. We get on really well together. She did make me laugh when the soprano started singing.



She had one of those overly vibratoed voices that really wobble around between the notes. I’m sure she was excellent in her younger days, but she had us wincing every time she went for the high notes. My friend suddenly turned to me and said, “I don’t like her voice much. She’s screeching.” She was exactly right, and I’m afraid it didn’t get any better as the show went on. I kept getting dug in the ribs, as we both tried not to giggle. Anyway, the two male singers were much more listenable to, but when I looked around the room after a while, there was a glazed look on many people’s faces, especially the men who had been dragged there by their spouses. I also saw at least a couple of people who looked as though they had dozed off.

The tenor was Cuban, and had a lovely voice, but it was strange to hear him sing, “On the street where you live,” with a Cuban accent. He said that when he came to America, he got two things for free that he’d never had before, a social security number and an accent. I knew exactly what he meant, being in the same position myself with regards to the accent. Smile Listening to the accompanist, a professor of music, reminded me of the days when I used to accompany various singers. I especially noticed how he had to compensate for their late or early entry into parts of the songs. I found that most singers don’t have a great sense of timing, which can make things a little hairy for the pianist, who has to ad lib quite a lot to keep up with them.

The baritone, the best of the three, looked a bit like Pavarotti, and gave a great rendition of the Toreador Song from Carmen.



We were more than ready for our main course after the first half of the show. Hubby had extremely tender and tasty Tournedos of beef with mushroom sauce, whilst I had Filet of Talapia, a mild white fish, sauteed in white wine sauce with raisins, onion and peppers. I couldn’t fault the food at all, so don’t understand the one star review that a couple of people had given on the internet site. After the second half of the show, which was songs from shows such as My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, and Phantom of the Opera, we had our dessert, a delicious Profiterole filled with coffee ice cream, topped with chocolate sauce. The only problem with this, was that there was only one each.


On the way out, I stopped to have a look at the piano, a black baby grand, and was horrified to see that not only was it very scratched, but it was covered in a thick layer of dust.The Maitre’D came over to chat, and told me that they had inherited it from a school which had closed down, so I told him that it badly needed dusting, and that whenever I go to play anywhere, I always have to carry a duster with me, as most places never think to look after their pianos and keep them clean. I don’t think it sank in though.

We decided to go to the club for sundowners, and as the barman had said he would love to hear me play the piano, I plucked up courage and did so. My little recital was very well received, and I think it may become a regular thing for me on a Thursday evening. Laughing

Tonight we are dressing up for the Valentine’s dinner dance, so wish hubby and I good luck on the dance floor. Pray that nobody watches our feet as we do the soft shoe shuffle.

Have a great weekend everyone. Chat again soon.



Wearing my heart on my toenails.

Good morning everyone. Today is the trip to Benvenutos Restaurant for the Valentine lunch, which is to be  accompanied by light opera and show tunes. I had a look at the revues on Google and am hoping that the 5 star ones and not the 1 star ones are to be believed. Some people raved about the place, and others said they got food poisoning, so if I’m still alive tomorrow, I’ll tell you what it was like. Undecided

I went to have my nails done especially for the occasion. The fingers are attended to by the young men there, but they leave the pedicures to their female colleagues. I got the impression that it’s not the thing in the Vietnamese culture for men to sit at women’s feet. I could be wrong. There are eight massage chair/ foot spas, and in the one next to me was a woman with her shorts rolled up over the knees, to reveal rather large legs with knee replacement scars on both. Bizarrely, when I glanced down at her feet, I was surprised to see quite dainty feet with a delicate gold chain around each ankle, something I’ve always wanted, but never dared to do; don’t ask me why. She told me that she’d worn them for thirty years and had never taken them off, like her wedding ring. We struck up a conversation, or rather I did, and were soon chatting away like old friends. I remarked that American women seem to have a real love for getting their nails done, and she admitted that even with the economy being as it is, the mani and pedicure would be the last thing to go, along with the waxing and facials. I believed her. That salon was like a sausage machine, churning out well groomed fingers and toes by the dozen. Many of the clients were really elderly, and one old dear who looked about ninety, was brought in by her carer, along with her oxygen tank. She could hardly walk, but she wanted her nails to look nice. I bet Florida’s morgues have the best groomed corpses in the USA. Wink


My pedicurist asked me in her sing song English, “You want heart for Valentine?” It was a bit difficult to decipher what she was asking me, especially as she was wearing a mask over her nose and mouth, but eventually I managed to work it out, and agreed. After much effort on her part, with her fine brushes and tiny tweezers, this is what I ended up with.


No wonder the salon is called “Cute Q Nails.” I’m hooked, and won’t go anywhere else now.

Hope you all have a super Thursday. Chat again soon.



A “monkey’s wedding” day in Florida.

Good morning again. Yesterday, we had such a lot of rain in the morning, and the gym was very busy. I could hear people grumbling because they couldn’t play golf or tennis. I saw my next door neighbour on the treadmill, and her husband on the bike. They hate to be inactive, which I think goes for many of the folk here. Even some of those who are not very mobile, attend classes for “Chair Pilates” and water aerobics etc.. I was thinking yesterday about how I’ve never seen anyone smoking here at all. The club is totally non smoking, although there are no signs up. I think it’s just understood. Many of the people look to me as if they had been smokers at one time, so it seems that as they got older, they became more sensible of their health, and gave up, preferring to play sport and exercise instead. A very wise decision, I think.

We went for lunch at the Oasis restaurant by the pool, and by that time, the weather had cleared, the sun was shining brightly and there were several people in the water and on the loungers. You really wouldn’t guess it was the middle of winter. As we were walking out of the foyer, I stopped to admire this beautiful flower arrangement. One of the guys walking through, jokingly said, “I hope you didn’t get me in the picture, or I’d have to confiscate your camera.” Well, I think he was joking.Undecided


After lunch, we went to do a little shopping, and it rained again. This sun and showers weather is what we always used to refer to as “A monkey’s wedding” weather when I was a child, although I’m not sure why.



I don’t have much news to blog about, except that we’re going to a Valentine’s lunch on Thursday, organised by the ladies committee, and there will be “snippets of opera” whatever that may mean. On Friday evening there’s a Valentine cocktail reception and dinner dance. Our social life is really looking up since we moved here. Maybe hubby and I will even take to the dance floor, if there’s a big enough crowd to get lost in. I’m so looking forward to it and I shall have a good excuse to wear my red dress, which hasn’t had an outing for a couple of years. Wink

Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.


AD has a delicious Super-bowl evening.

Hi again everyone.Hope your week has got off to a good start. The Superbowl dinner on Sunday evening, was great and very well attended. There were screens set up all over the two dining rooms, some large and some smaller ones. Hubby and I got front row seats at a table very close to the main screen. The sound was turned down, but there was so much chatter going on that we wouldn’t have been able to hear the commentary anyway. The New York Giants were in the lead for most of the first quarter, but just before the break, the New England Patriots started to make headway. I hadn’t a clue what was going on, but it was fascinating to watch these guys just rushing at one another and tackling even the ones who didn’t have the ball. It looked even more barbaric than rugby. They would just knock one another flying, or pick the guy up as though he weighed nothing, and just throw him to the ground.

The food wasn’t junk food at all, and there was lots of choice. The ‘sub’ station had two-metre long rolls with delicious fillings, and hubby had a slice of the tuna one. He did leave half of the bread though; not good for the waistline. I had a bowl of mixed salads, and then went to inspect the tureen of turkey chilli. I was overheard expressing my apprehension that it might be a bit too spicy for me, by the woman next in the line, who asked where I was from. “Oh, my rabbi in New Jersey is from South Africa,” she said, “I love your accent, let me taste it for you and I’ll tell you if it’s hot or not.” It was just right, like baby bear’s porridge, neither too hot, nor too mild. People are so sweet here; the elderly man on the next table told me I looked very nice, and when I thanked him for the compliment, and said that I didn’t understand the game at all, he told me that he used to earn his living as a professional player. It was hard to imagine this dear old man, now needing a walker to get around, as a strong youngster, light on his feet, racing around the football field. Then of course, I got to imagining the players on the screen as they may be in fifty years time, with their sticks and walkers. It was a sad thought.

Annie21, who lives in the States, had told me to watch out for the ads, as they are usually very entertaining. She was right about that. Apparently it costs $3,5m for a 30 second commercial on Superbowl night!

I saw Elton John in a Pepsi ad:

I read that he was thrilled out of his mind to be asked to be King for a day. Hubby said, “But I thought he was a queen, not a king.” Surprised

Clint Eastwood was at his most gritty and gravelly, in a Chrysler ad:

Then there was David Beckham advertising himself in H&M undies. Laughing

Half time saw 53-year-old Madonna prancing around the stage with  male dancers,  acrobats and cheerleaders. I wonder how much she was paid to do her song and dance act. I really think she’s had her day though. She’s definitely no longer the ‘it’ girl.

We went home to watch the second half of the game, and I was delighted when the New York Giants, who weren’t the favourites, won 21-17, after a touchdown by Eli Manning.

He was awarded the “most valuable player” award, and was presented with this beautiful black Chevy Corvette, special centennial edition. What a superb prize!

So, I watched my first Superbowl match, amidst the roars and groans of American fans. It was the most watched TV programme in US history, with 111,3 million viewers, and was certainly an evening to remember.

Yesterday we had rain almost all day, but it was very welcome for the new grass and plants. We chickened out of the ballroom dance class last night. I’m not sure if we will go again. This instructor is way too fancy for hubby and I. We just want to learn how to not to step on one another’s toes, not compete on “Dancing with the stars.” Frown

Wishing you all a very happy Tuesday. Chat again soon.

Of weekend, Skype family chats, and sister’s paintings.

Hi there, everyone. So far so good for the weekend. Lots of time spent on Skype today. First up was my sister who came through as soon as I opened my laptop. I had just got out of bed, but she insisted we switch on the video so that my mom could see my “little face.” Obviously I don’t look too scary before I’ve combed my hair and washed my face, because we chatted for almost an hour, and they didn’t laugh or run away. Laughing

Sister has sold another of her paintings.


She’s doing really well this year, and has also sold another hand embellished print at an upmarket game lodge, which displays the original in their foyer.



She and her husband are eager to buy a reed and thatch cottage on the beach in Mozambique. It’s three hours drive off the beaten track, has four bedrooms, but only one very basic bathroom, no glass in the windows, just insect screening, but worst of all, no electricity. She said that we must go and visit them, so I immediately asked, “Can I use my hair drier there?” The answer was in the negative, as the generator isn’t up to it. So now what do I do? I am a person who loves my creature comforts above everything. Undecided

Next up on Skype was my dear MiL, sounding really chipper and very cheerful. The weather wasn’t good enough for her to go out for her usual walk. You may have seen that England is rather chilly at the moment and snowing, and I don’t think that I would go walking around the local sports field either, especially at almost 99-years-old! She wisely decided to stay home and bake a cake instead.

Then it was my daughter’s turn, and we also got to speak to our two grandchildren, and admire their fancy new sneakers sent over via a friend by their uncle in New York. What amazing clothes there are available now for young teenagers. I remember that when I was their age, there was a choice between white plimsolls or black plimsolls. Now you can get ones with tigers, skulls and hearts on, in fact almost anything your heart desires.

I haven’t  been to the Superbowl dinner yet. It’s in a couple of hours, so I’ll report back sometime tomorrow. I suppose it is almost tomorrow in SA by now, and by the time you read this, I’ll be in bed. This seven hour time difference thing is very strange. Sleep well.

Hope you all had a superb weekend. Chat again soon.



Side View’s ‘Weekend’ challenge…….acrostic poem


W aiting eager for relaxation
E ach workday seems like a year
E ndless weekdays in between
K eep my eyes just fixed on Friday
E lusive though it often seems
N early there, the prize is waiting
D one with work and now I’m free

W here has all my free time gone to
E ven whilst I was enjoying
E very moment of weekend fun
K eeping work on the back burner
E njoyment seemed to be the key
N ow it’s Sunday, almost over
D amn, my weekend’s been and gone

Hope you’re all having a brilliant one.

My weekend Superbowl plans and some funnies for you. ;)

Good morning everyone. It’s still Thursday night here, but I thought I’d post this before I go to bed. This weekend, I’m going to have a brand new experience. I’ll be watching a Superbowl game in the company of Americans. We’ve booked for dinner at the club, where there’ll be a Superbowl menu to choose from ……probably serious junk food, quite different from the usual upmarket fare we usually get. The game is the 42nd annual championship and is between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants. We are booked for dinner at the kickoff time, so shouldn’t miss anything. I haven’t a clue what the rules are, but I’m sure I’ll know when someone has scored. It could get very noisy. The Americans take their football, which looks like Rugby with crash helmets and spandex suits with huge shoulder pads, Laughing very seriously indeed.

According to a couple of guys I spoke to at the gym, this is THE game of the year, and not to be missed.

I thought you might all like a laugh to send you off into your happy weekend. This was filched off the Internet by one of our club members, and published in the magazine.


1. My Parents taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished

2. My Parents taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3.  My Parents taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next

4. My Parents taught me LOGIC.
” Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My Parents taught me MORE LOGIC.
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the
store with me.”

6. My  Parents taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My Parents taught me IRONY.
“Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8.  My Parents taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My Parents taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My Parents taught me about STAMINA.
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11.  My Parents taught me about WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My Parents  taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve  told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My Parents taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

14. My Parents taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION.
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My Parents taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have
wonderful parents like you do.”

16. My Parents taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My Parents taught me about RECEIVING.
“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My Parents taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that

19. My Parents taught me ESP.
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My Parents taught me HUMOUR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My Parents taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My Parents taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. My Parents taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My Parents taught me WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

And my  favourite:

25.  My Parents taught me about JUSTICE.
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you !”

I could tick quite a few of these, as I’m sure you can too, but to add to this, I found a cartoon which reminds me of my childhood. This what my sister and I had instilled into us from an early age. Undecided

Have a great weekend everyone. I’ll see you when I wake up. Chat again soon.

AD goes beach walking and meets a Portuguese man o’war.

Good morning everyone. Isn’t it quiet these days on My.News24; only eleven posts yesterday. It seems that the lifeboats have been launched and almost everyone has left the ship. I couldn’t help thinking back to the good times when there were so many more bloggers around. I’d even be glad to see some of the trolls back again, just to make it more interesting. The spats that used to go on really made for interesting reading, but now it’s just the faithful few. I wonder who will be the last off the ship. Very sad indeed.

Anyway, I’m still here, and yesterday we took a drive to our nearest beach, which is only a few miles down the road. It was a gorgeous day, and it’s hard to believe that we’re in the middle of winter here. This time, we found parking very easily and made our way through the park and on down to the beach.

There are many signs up with the rules and regulations, one of which says. “No dogs allowed in the park, or on the beach.” Another one says, “Put your butts in here before crossing the boardwalk.” So there are no mutts and no butts allowed. Wink I have to say that the absence of litter, including cigarette butts, is such a pleasure. I suppose that’s because we have visible law enforcement officers to keep a watchful eye on everything.

There were quite a lot of people sunbathing, and most of them looked to be senior citizens. It wasn’t a beach for beautiful body watching at all, but people here don’t seem to care. They just let it all hang out and be blowed to everyone else. I’m glad that speedos aren’t the fashion for men any more. I did spot one on a guy who must have been at least seventy-five years old, but thankfully he was reed thin. Some of the tans around could be described as true mahogany. People here just love to sunbathe.

Hubby and I went for a long walk up the beach, past the houses built along the shoreline.

A bit further along, we came across this rather bloated looking Portuguese man o’war. As we were taking the photo, a woman came past and said, “Oh, there’ll probably be hundreds of them around here next week.” There were warning signs up at the entrance to the beach, and I read that in February last year, thousands of these creatures washed up on South Florida beaches. Those long tentacles can really sting you very badly.

These cute little birds were hopping around at the water’s edge, pecking away at the sand. It was so funny to watch them scurrying away as fast as their little legs would go, when the surf washed up too close to them, and then scuttling back again as soon as it was gone.

There were no restaurants near the beach, so we decided to rather go home for lunch, and then the afternoon was spent moving some furniture around between the two spare bedrooms, and  putting up a new shelf in the garage for hubby’s tools. Today we’re off to the gym and then to the pool restaurant for lunch.

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

Topics:  South Florida beaches, Portuguese man 0’war, sunbathing, blogs My. News 24

Of Valentine pressies and a visit to the beach.

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month. Can you believe that we’re already more than a twelfth of the way to next Christmas. Only 328 shopping days left! Surprised Before we know it, Valentine’s Day will be upon us, and I’ve been trying to find one of those big marzipan chocolate hearts wrapped in red foil, like the ones that Woolies used to sell until a couple of years ago. I can’t get one over here either, which is really sad, as hubby adores them. It was something I always gave him with his Valentine card.

I was really excited yesterday, as we went to collect my early Valentine’s pressie. We visited our favourite furniture store at the weekend, and I saw the ideal cupboard in which to house my music books, so with it being red, it was decided that it was ideal for Valentine’s. We went to collect it from the warehouse, and it just fitted in the back of the Jeep. We had just the right place for it, very close to the piano. I love it. Laughing


Today we’re off to our local beach. I’m sure that it will be much easier to find parking than the last time we tried a couple of weekends ago. I don’t have a bucket and spade, but we’ll probably just go for a long walk along the seashore, and then find a nice place to have lunch. Judging by this pic I got off the Internet, it looks gorgeous, and the sea is really calm; very different from the big waves in Umhlanga Rocks. There’ll definitely be no surfing going on here.


Hope you all have a great day too. Chat again soon.