Lovely weather for ducks.

Today is our last day in England, and when we woke up, it was again pouring with rain and decidedly chilly. I’d just got out of the shower, when hubby suddenly appeared, and grabbed the camera. He’d spotted a Mallard duck on the roof of the shed, and thought I might like a photo for my blog.

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We then wondered what Mrs Mallard was doing up there, and decided that she must be surveying the garden to see if it was a suitable mating ground. Sure enough, she flew off and returned with Mr Mallard. She had a little swim around the pond to try out the water temperature,

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and reported back that it seemed rather nice, and that she approved their choice of location.

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He was then ordered to investigate underneath the conifer, to make sure that there was plenty of room for their nest, which he obediently did.

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So it looks as though once they’ve set up house and got busy under that bush, mom-in-law’s little pond could be the setting for a very happy duck family scene. I was reading that a female can lay as many as twelve eggs, about half her body weight. I guess we human females have it quite easy in comparison. 🙂

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I have a lot of sorting out and packing to do before we leave, so please bear with me if I don’t manage to visit your blogs for a few days. When we get back home, I’m sure things will return to normal.

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English weather report in pictures.

We Brits do love to talk about the weather, which isn’t really surprising, considering how awful it can be at times. It’s a hot topic, or should that be ‘a cold topic’ at this time of year? 😕 Today is ‘Red Nose Day’ in England, and I must say in this cold weather, there are lots of people around with ‘real’ red noses. 🙂 Coughs, colds and sneezes seem to abound, but thankfully hubby and I are fine for now, at least.

You may be pleased to know that the temperatures here have risen a few degrees, and the angel on the plant pot, has thawed out. I’m sure she’s smiling  just a little. 🙂 We could even get up to 10 degrees today. Luxury!

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The bunny rabbit who was looking decidedly frozen on Wednesday,

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is now frolicking happily with the bright-eyed black cats on the lawn.

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The pond still had a layer of ice yesterday morning, but it soon melted.

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The crocuses are bloomin’ lovely, and the pigeon looks very well fed.

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I did see a squirrel, but he was far too quick for me. Today it’s raining, and we’re going out with hubby’s sister for the day. MiL is feeling much better, well enough to bake her famous ‘Victoria Sandwich’ cake this afternoon. Things are really looking up and warmer weather is definitely on the way. I’ll leave you with these gorgeous flowers we got dear MiL for Mothering Sunday. The Freesias have all opened up, and smell just like Spring.

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We have more family coming to stay tomorrow, so I’ll be busy catching up with all their news, and most probably, cooking, eating too much, and then of course there’s the inevitable washing up. I may find the odd moment to pop in on some of you, but if I don’t, do have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

Girls just wanna have fun.

Some of you asked for lots of photos of my son and granddaughter’s visit, so here are just a few.

So at last the waiting was over, and at just after 11am yesterday morning, my impatience was rewarded when they appeared through the glass doors, at King Shaka airport.

It was so great to get those hugs I’d been dreaming of, and we’ve been really busy since they arrived. Sienna was fascinated to see and feel how sunny and warm it is here, and asked her dad, “How can it be summer in Umhlanga when it’s winter in Cape Town?”

She loved her walk on the beach this morning,

The fishermen were out in force. I had to wonder if this is their full-time job, or if they’re on ‘sick leave’.

Yesterday’s visit to Mugg & Bean coffee shop, gave her the chance to make her own hot chocolate complete with marshmallow pieces.

At lunch today, there was a lovely little playground which she really enjoyed.

Then it was up to Gateway to do some shopping for pressies to take back home. A ride on the London bus,

and the New York fire engine were requested.

which we

Then it was into the movies to see, “Brave” in 3D, which was really great fun.

Tonight we went out for dinner to “Splashes”, and she made her own pizza, with the help of the chef who was really friendly and chatty.

She chose her own ingredients; ham, pineapple, cheese and bacon.

It turned out very well indeed.

Tomorrow we’ll be driving up the hill to see Sienna’s great-gran and my sister and family, and then we’re going for my very belated birthday lunch at the Ammazulu Palace, which I’ll tell you all about next time.

Please forgive me if I don’t find time to comment on some your posts at the moment. Life is a bit of a whirlwind, with so much to do.

Of flight delays and baking cookies.

Last night, we had just got into bed when the phone rang. It was our son calling from Paris to say that their night flight had been cancelled, because the plane had been delayed, and so of course he was going to miss his connecting flights in South Africa. Air France gave the reason for the delay as snow, which seemed very strange, as the plane was actually coming into Paris from China, where it’s mid summer. We  decided that it was all a ‘cock and bull’ story, and that the flight just wasn’t full enough, and by blaming weather conditions, they wouldn’t have to compensate anyone for the inconvenience. Apparently they were most unhelpful. The line was impossible, so we ended up chatting backwards and forwards on Whatsapp until almost  11-30pm here.

They did have a wonderful day in Paris, and of course Sienna had her first visit to the Eiffel Tower.

That song, “On a clear day, you can see forever,” came to mind when I saw this photo of her at the top.

They are on the plane now, winging their way to South Africa. They’re booked on the last flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town, where a good friend is meeting them. It will be a close thing, and I hope they make it through passport control, baggage claim and through to domestic check-in on time.

I’m so excited now that their arrival is so close. I’ve been trying to take my mind off it by keeping busy doing housework, baking decadent chocolate brownies,

and my famous banana walnut muffins.

Please help yourself; I can always make more. 😀

 

 

 

They’re on their way.

Some of you may who follow me, will know that my son and little granddaughter Sienna are coming to visit very soon. I’m so excited to see them again. When I woke up this morning, there was this photo on Facebook.

There’s my little angel looking so excited to be travelling all this way with her dad. They were stopping off in Paris for the day and catching the night flight to Johannesburg and then on to Cape Town, where they will stay with friends before flying to Durban on Monday. I think their body clocks will be all over the place, as they only got back to New York on Sunday after attending a family wedding in Hawaii. At least they can get over their jet lag in Cape Town, and should be back to normal by the time they get here.

Today I played piano at the Mall again. Every time I do, I seem to get a kiss from someone. I’m a sitting duck on that piano stool, and can’t really escape. Last week it was a male acquaintance who I used to see at the gym, and today it was a female acquaintance who I haven’t seen in a long while. It’s quite off-putting when I’m in the middle of a piece, as you can imagine. I’ve had my head patted and my shoulders squeezed on occasion. I’ve had people come and ask me directions to a certain shop, or enquire whether I give piano lessons, or if I can play “Meat Loaf!” 😆 Last week I had someone brusquely ask, “Do you play the organ?” to which question I decided the safest answer was, “No.” The security beeper goes off at the entrance to the clothing store on my right at regular intervals, and clumsy people bang into the piano as they walk past, even though there’s plenty of room.  All this happens whilst I’m blithely playing my little heart out. Today I felt led to give a rendition of “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” closely followed by “Send in the Clowns.” 🙂 Most people however, just give a friendly smile or a wave, which is always welcome.

It’s not strictly true to say that I don’t play the organ, and another day, I must remember to tell you a few hilarious stories from my organ playing past.

Now I’m off to watch some more Olympics. Have a great evening, or rest of the day, depending on where you are.

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.