When I was considering writing this post on the amazing beauty that surrounds us, I could not think of what to highlight as we are so spoiled for choice, hence the title, #whatisthebeautyof.
There are just so many beautiful things to see and do and so these are some of the things I chose to highlight.
GET FIT, FEEL GOOD AND STAY STRONG
There are so many options to becoming fit, and the fitter one becomes the better one feels. The more energy we have which enables us to tackle tasks which when overweight or unfit are really difficult.
The best thing to do is to find a passion for a sport or exercise class otherwise it is no pleasure at all and much easier to slack off and stop going altogether.
We, as a family was so thrilled, and naturally proud when my grandson George at the age of 13 was awarded his Western Province colors for ice hockey.
He found his passion for ice hockey after visiting the ice rink with his aunt and immediately feeling at home on the ice.
He was a valuable team player of hockey at school, and so his switch to ice hockey made a lot of sense.
Although it is not a sport without danger as it is played at such a rate, there is such beauty and grace as the team glide at speed over the ice.
It is extremely exciting to watch. Although, as a granny, I can assure you that my heart is in my throat a lot of the time, and am relieved when at the end of the game the players come off the ice unscathed. (Especially George.)
The reality is that we all need to get fit, feel good, and stay strong, especially as we age.
There are many ways in which we can do this, I have set up a small gym in my sewing room and spend at least three-quarters of an hour getting up a sweat, working out.
After all summer and swimming are just around the corner and I need to look as good as I can in my swimsuit.
In fact, it is such a great feeling to keep as well and fit as one can. There is amazing home gym equipment available which is worth having and utilizing, and no, not to hang your clothes on.
SPRING BLOOMING FLOWERS
As one of the most prolific flower kingdoms of the world, the Western Cape has so many beautiful indigenous flowers which really bloom in great swathes in what are usually the most desolate areas at other times of the year.
One of my favorite flowers is the glorious freesia which is also a great flower to pick as it lasts for ages in the vase.
They are heavily scented but the scent is not cloying. Although you get a variety of colors, the yellow is indigenous, the other are hybrids of the original.
To me, the yellow is still the loveliest of them all. It radiates its beauty among all the surrounding flowers. Standing out, proud and tall.
Driving up the West Coast to view the wildflowers in all their glory is a must, especially for any visitors. Make sure the weather is sunny and no forecast of rain or cloud, as the flowers will not open unless the sun is shining.
If you are going up the West Coast to see the flowers, turn off to visit the Fossil Park for an hour or so. It is well worth it.
The wildflowers in the Darling area are very different to the flowers further along in Kammieskroon, so if you want to see it all it is wise to book in for a night or two at guest houses, where you will be able to rest before going on the next day to feast your eyes on more beauty.
My fascination for rocks goes back to my childhood. At the bottom of our garden, we were fortunate to have a natural rockery with enormous rocks.
The games of cowboys and crooks, hide and go seek, and many other games were played on this rockery
Unfortunately, the only snap I have of the rockery is such a poor one, I would so love to have shared it with you.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, especially in Redcliff, we were surrounded by rocky hills and mountains. We would ride out on our bicycles to Cactus Poort. The baboons would be calling to one another on the rocks above the road, but we didn’t let that deter us.
The beauty of the wonders of nature, the hot, hot sun. the smell of the earth. the sounds of our chatter and laughter, and a bit of panting up the hills, still ring in my ears.
It was a wonderful childhood, free of fear. Spending endless happy days enjoying our environment.
I don’t think there can be a much better way to spend a couple of hours than walking along a bush path. It is going into the unknown, but knowing that others have been there before you. Trodden down the grass to make the path.
Crouching down to watch, with care, (not a good thing to have them think you might make a good meal) a line of army ants winding their way through the bush.
Listening to the lovely sound of bird song. It is mesmerizing.
Watching for the coming of autumn and the wonder of the change in the color of the trees. The Mopane trees offer a glorious magical display of color.
Making forts on top of enormous anthills, on which actual trees grew.
My husband was in awe of these anthills. He had heard me speak of them so often and used to joke with me, saying “yes, I know”, “everything is bigger and better in Zimbabwe”, (although he said Rhodesia, as it was then).
THE WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
Many of you will have have the pleasure of visiting a game farm. There are an abundance of them in South Africa and naturally in the rest of Africa.
Most visitors to this country will visit the Kruger National Park and enjoy seeing the animals in their natural state. It is really a must when visiting Africa.
There is something so special seeing wildlife out in the open, especially when you are not expecting to come across them.
Often when driving in the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal one comes across baboons and monkeys along the roadside. The children were always so excited to see them, even though it was fleeting as they disappear so quickly into the trees or vegetation alongside the road.
When my father turned eighty, we took him and Mom on a trip from Cape Town first to visit with his sister in the Transkei, who shared a birthday with him.
Auntie Myra was four years older than Dad and she always said he was her birthday present.
After spending a few happy days catching up with cousins on the farm, we took our time visiting friends and family along the way.
It was great for my parents to see places they had lived in and would not see again, visiting and reminiscing with their dear friends and family.
Our next long stay was when we reached Merry Pebbles, which is a resort just outside of Sabie. This was our home from home for two weeks.
Each day we would either spend quietly, enjoying the pools at the resort. They had two, one of which was heated which suited us just fine or explore all the wonders of the surrounding area.
The wooden chalet we stayed in was delightful and was equipped with everything anyone could need and wish to feel comfortable and at home.
If and when, you visit the Eastern Transvaal, be sure to visit Pilgrims Rest, Sabie, the Blyde River Canyon, and naturally the Kruger National Park.
We had quite an experience when an elephant decided to charge our car, with plenty of urging on our behalf, my husband eventually backed up rather hurriedly, and the elephant must have realized he had won. Don’t take on an elephant, it will surely win.
Driving through the park was so exciting, despite, or perhaps, because of the elephant. We were on full alert to see every animal there was to see.
Mum and Dad spoke often of the experiences we had on this holiday, and it was very special to share it with them.
ARTIST THE WAY
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
We all see things differently and that is why some people appreciate modern art while another prefer other forms of art.
What a privilege it is to interview different artists and view their work.
Spending a week at the Hermanus Fynarts Festival, last year was a very special time for me to meet so many artists, see their different styles and enjoying getting to know them.
The Gallery owners went out of their way to welcome me into the gallery.
Hermanus is on the coast about an hour and a half’s drive from Cape Town.
There are two roads you can take to get to Hermanus. You can go out on the N2 freeway and turn off when you see the sign for Hermanus or take what is to me the most scenic route, without the freeway traffic to contend with.
Take the turnoff and drive past Gordon’s Bay, you will then find yourself on the most beautiful road, with the mountain on one side and the sea on the other. Clarence Drive is my favorite drive.
I go out this way to visit with my friends Maureen and Gavin. Maureen and I spend precious time painting, while Gavin looks after the two ladies with great care and good humor.
Maureen is a very talented artist, she has many strings to her bow.
- She is a watercolorist of note.
- Church Banner maker, having taught groups of ladies to make banners.
- Home Maker supreme
We have been friends for forty-eight years and she has inspired me all that time with her unending talents.
What a pleasure it is being able to work online. How else could we go traveling around the countryside enjoying the beauty of nature, if we had a nine to five office job?
For years I endured the confinement of an office, all the while wanting to be able to just be out in the open. It was only once I started my own businesses that I was able to keep my own hours.
Even having a business, which I did for many years, ties you down.
It is only now that I am working online that this offers me the freedom that I longed for.
Knowing all the while I am working, if I get stuck at any time I need only to contact the helpline on Wealthy Affiliate, or one of the owners, or other members, and the problem will go away.
Earlier this year I was away for a month, naturally, I took my trusty, if rather slow laptop along and was able to work when and where and if I wanted.
In November, I shall be away on a caravan trip with my sister-in-law Hazel, again with the laptop, a table on which to work and while enjoying the holiday, can also get some work done.
Now isn’t that just the best thing ever?
If you haven’t taken the step into the online world, it is not too late to do so. My transition into this way of making money began at the age of 73, so you are never too old or too young to begin.
If you feel you need a bit of company now and then, there are plenty of places set up for others just like us. My daughter and I discovered ” Bootlegger”, enjoyed a really yummy breakfast and found the people so friendly, while on the way to half a spa day together.
We will definitely be returning to Bootlegger.
DO YOU HAVE TIME TO ENJOY THE BEAUTY WHICH SURROUNDS YOU?
THERE ARE OPTIONS.