Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have just watched such a beautiful movie called The Life of Others.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend in!  It's on DVD.

Meet Spike, the cat of the house, aka Agent S and Bob the dog.  Okay, so you can see what a good looking boy Bob is, but while I was looking at my photos now for the first time, to find a good one to load, I cried I laughed so hard at one of him which would surely win the ugliest dog picture in the world.  Sorry Bob for doing this to you, but I'm afraid I have to share it!  I'm laughing so much I'm crying......yes that's his own tongue you're looking at!

Here's a little look at some of the art collection in Therese's home.

Therese and a friend Eric are busy putting together blog, and I have been privileged to sneak previews of their writing.  It is so clever and so funny, so as soon as they are ready to go live with it, I am going to punt it on this site.  They have put an enormous amount of work into it and it will be worth the wait!  That I can promise you! I'm not going to reveal any secrets here or give you any hints as to what it's about yet.........

Kalk Bay Modern

A few more photos from Kalk Bay, the Kalk Bay Modern and the Olympia Cafe, where we had the most delicious mussels in white wine, cream and garlic for lunch.

                                                                   Kalk Bay Modern

Kalk Bay Harbour     

Olympia Cafe and Deli

Just back from visiting Cupcake Country and Button Buzz.  Find Michelle and her creations at the Design Indaba opening tomorrow for the trade and open to the public from Friday to Sunday.  Also look at the website

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


This morning was the first day of a real holiday in years!  I woke up just before nine, had a bath, had freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh mango, yoghurt and honey for breakfast.

Then off to Kalk Bay we headed.  First stop was the Olympia Cafe and Deli.  Oh, the coffee was just what I had been craving for weeks.  Strong and aromatic.  Heaven.

Then we went up to Kalk Bay Modern, a gorgeous gallery filled with the best of Southern African fine arts, design and crafts.  Cheryl, you've done a great job!  Find their website at

Sunday almost didn't exist, it sped by in a blur of organizing, washing, ironing, packing, etc etc etc.  Finally I'm getting a break.  My friend Therese has talked me into heading off to the rat-race and spending time time in Cape Town.  Fab!  Thanks to Wendy and Jill, I had a lift.

Along the way we stopped off at a lovely farm stalled called Die Veldskoen.  Well done to Wennie and Lorna Barnard and Jacques and Nadia le Roux for putting together such a lovely road stop.  The Veldskoen is filled with pretty things, gorgeously packed preserves and homemade treats, and the coffee shop serves delicious food.

Along the way I tried to take photos out the window but every insect on the windscreen looked like a dinosaur splattered across the landscape.

I was delivered and collected from Cavendish Square, then Therese took me to her home where I am staying for a week.  How beautiful is this place?   TOO BEAUTIFUL!!  I'll get to post photos soon.
Therese has an art collection like I've never seen before in one place, besides an art gallery.  She tells me that when she was a teenager, instead of buying dresses, she saved her money and bough art.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Right, now this is where I become totally confused!  I have highlighted the entire days blog, then hit the arial button for font, and normal button for size, and black for colour, then the save button, and still I am getting a fruit salad of fonts, sizes and colours!  Have tried to correct for the 11th time, so if it is not correct, please just forgive me, it's out of my hands now.  I hope you still enjoy the read.........


Once again town is buzzing to the beat of the Kokkedoor.  The contestants have put on a 'kerk bazaar' for the town today and we were all asked to go along and support them.  We bought tickets at the door for R5.00 each, as many as you liked, and then everything there was on sale for R5.00.  Gorgeous cakes, cookies, meringues, suckers and lollipops, peanut brittle, homemade granadilla juice, and all things simply sweet and delicious.

The cameras were out, the sound men at the ready, the clapper board clapping, people laughing all having fun.  I didn't think it appropriate to take my camera with, although I would love to have got that on stills to post here.

At the end of the day, all the proceeds are going to the old age home.  Thank you Kokkedoor for your contributions to our community.


Something I really do enjoy here in the Karoo is the hospitality of the local farmers and their families.  I have made good friends with some of them and am terribly spoilt in having the opportunity to enjoy time with them in their homes and having the pleasure of the farmers proudly showing me around their beautiful farms.  The rich grazing, and verdant pastures are not what I expected to see in the Karoo.

Until recently I too was under the impression that the Karoo was nothing but a large dust bowl.  My, my, how pleasantly surprised I have been.  I had no idea that I would find fields of oats and Lucerne under irrigation either by canals or centre pivots.  In places I could almost believe I was back in lush Natal.  Many of the farms have massive dams, built by previous generations of farmers.

Forests of poplar trees are another beauty that grace these landscapes.  They are quite magnificent, especially in the autumn when their leaves turn to a multitude of shades of yellow and orange.

I met the Le Riches of Vonkfontein at the Fraserburg Show Dance, and the three of us hit it off right away.  I had been in Fraserburg for almost ten months, and had never ventured down their part of the world.  I was so taken aback by the sheer beauty of the entire drive and regretted not having had my camera with me, but soon realized that the trip with the camera would have to be a day on it’s own as there is so much to stop and photograph.  One needs a lot of time to appreciate their magnificent farm of 25 000 ha.  It is quite incredible just how much beauty there is all around.  The history of the area is fascinating, and they, as with many of the farmers in the area know of all the battles fought way back in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s in the Anglo Boer War.  They have collected all sorts of memorabilia found lying around from those days. Their farm falls into the Central Karoo and lies between Fraserburg, Loxton and Beaufort West, approximately an hour from each town. 

I left the farm Vonkfontein in a state of euphoria the following morning, already two hours later than scheduled for my trip to Beaufort West. Due to the fact that my head was in the clouds, I took a wrong turn off and headed off into the middle of nowhere.   It took me half an hour to realize that I had been going in the wrong direction!  No problem, I thought, I’d stop at the next farm and ask for directions. Hmmmm, in the Karoo the next farm is a very long way away!  I cautiously looked at my petrol gauge and released a sigh of relief knowing that I had filled up before leaving Fraserburg the day before.  I was rather hoping that the homestead I came across would belong to someone that did not know the Le Riches, then just perhaps I could pretend that this incident had never happened and they would never get to hear about it.  I knew I would never live it down! 

Finally I came across a farm.  I could see the staff cottages and what looked like a house, so I pulled off the district road and stopped to call out to anyone who might hear me.  No response.  I opened a farm gate, and proceeded through, hoping that there would be a place big enough for me to turn the car with the trailer.  Upon reaching the ‘house’ I saw that it was just a very smart shed.  Again I hollered and called, and once more, nothing, but for a barking dog and some clucking hens.  Back in the car I managed a tight squeeze of a circle and back down the road I went.  I continued on until I found the farm house, and looked around carefully to see if I could see any man eating Anatolian or other hounds before climbing out and knocking on the door to ask for help.  Before I made it up the steps a small dog gave the alarm call and the front door was opened.  A little Jack Russell rushed out and greeted me with his rather large farmer owner right behind him.  As it turned out, I ended up at the farm of the very good friends of the Le Riches, whom I had also met at the dance, and in true Karoo style, I was ushered in and could not rush off rudely without going through the whole welcoming ritual.  Finally I was able to excuse myself, by which time I was now hours behind schedule, and still had to retrace my path all the way back down the road to where I had begun in the first place. 

Off I went once more.  This time I was in a serious hurry, another very silly move, especially when you are writing the next chapter of your book in your head instead of concentrating on the road.  I hit a pothole with such force, trailer still in tow, that I was amazed for one, that the car and trailer still remained on the road, two, I did not have a flat tyre, and three, that I had not ripped out the sump.  Besides some new very annoying rattles, all seemed to be fine.  The only damage done was that I was sporting a very sore shoulder, and I now had a trailer with a lid that had been half ripped off.  Both could be fixed.  That mighty jolt bought me back to earth, and the rest of the journey was taken at a very leisurely pace.  Instead of being so busy in my head, I took the time to appreciate the scenery.  To get to Beaufort West from this area, one has a choice of three routes, each down a different pass.  Our first choice from Fraserburg is the tarred road that takes us down the Theekloof Pass to Leeu Gamka and then we turn up to Beaufort, the other takes you down the Oukloof Pass, and the third is down the Molteno Pass.  The Molteno Pass is the route to take from Vonkfontein.  Exquisitely dramatic is all I can say about the view pertaining to all three passes.

Friday, February 22, 2013


I was so happy to get a message from my friend Derek McKenzie yesterday evening saying that he was in Prince Albert and we'd be doing some catching up over coffee today.
Those of you who do not know Derek's work, do yourselves a favour and go to his site and have a look at his work.  I adore his work and think he is one of the true artists.  This man is all about quality!  His work is truely special.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Living in Fraserburg was an experience I will never forget and will cherish for always.  During my stay there, I recorded stories that happened and will share those with you too.  Here is one that I clearly remember.

The drive to Port Elizabeth from here is a truly beautiful one, down from the Karoo Highlands and into the Klein Karoo all the way to the coast.  Just the other side of Prince Albert, one travels through the Meiringspoort.  This has to be one of the most breath taking passes that I have ever seen.  On the way down, I stopped to absorb it all.  The fold mountains of the Swartberg Mountain range, the colours, the sounds and the smells.  Because of the recent rain, the waterfalls were pumping to a rhythmic beat.  The smell of the damp earth, refreshing.  The rubicund rocks with their blend of ochres, browns and verdant lichen intriguing.  The sheer height of the mountains, overwhelming.  My wish for you all is that one day you too may travel this road and go through this experience.  It’s a real must to put on your list of one hundred things to do before you die.

The trip in general was not the most successful for supplies, as the shops were badly stocked and disorganized and I wasted so much time running from place to place for the items I needed.  In the end I had to prioritize and just get the most important things, cat food, shop supplies and paint.

My last stop was the cat food.  Leaving the veterinary surgery, I tripped and very nearly fell. Not a pretty sight to be sure.  My arms were laden with five months supply of cat food, which by some miracle, I managed to cling onto.  This was one of those moments when I wanted to swear and curse out as loud as I could, but the very nice vet himself was standing right next to me, so I politely smiled and said F#*@! under my breath.  The situation turned even more embarrassing when I couldn’t put my foot down, as any pressure made me want to swear again, only louder this time.  I am not sure if the gentleman was just a real sweetie, or afraid of a libel suit, but the next minute, he had me sitting in the car and was massaging my ankle with HORSE gel. (Thank goodness I’d remembered to shave my legs the night before!)  After assuring him I was quite alright and the pain in the ankle had eased, he finally let me go.  To be very honest, the handsome vet was the most pleasant part of the trip.

Four and a half hours later, I decided to take a break and stopped in Prince Albert for a cold drink.  I hobbled over and sat down at a table on the patio at one of the street cafes.  The town was surprisingly quiet and only one other table was occupied.  I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation and picked up that the couple, with broad Canadian accents, were looking to purchase a property in the Karoo.  So being me, I struck up a conversation with them, and being as passionate about my new home town and lifestyle as I was, I told them all about Fraserburg, which they said they had seen on the internet when searching, but had no intention to go out that far. Having just run an Estate Agent’s office there for the previous ten days while the owners were away, I happened to know exactly what was on the market at the time and was able to give them a bit of a run down on what was available.  As it turned out, Karen was a South African who had studied medicine at the University of Cape Town and had then gone travelling.  She met her husband in Canada and had remained there ever since, returning once a year for a family holiday.  She has since divorced and has been with her new man, Richard, an herbalist and permaculture gardener for the last five years.  They were looking to buy a place to holiday at for the next four years while her kids finished school, and then move out to South Africa permanently.  After much chatting and swapping of numbers, I was once more on my way.

The following day, Sunday, I received a call from the Canadians to say that they had changed the course of their trip and were now on their way to Fraserburg. We've remained friends ever since.


Every day I have so much to be grateful for.  My wonderful niece Chanel is such an inspiration and has been so instrumental in helping me to get this blog off the ground.  I still feel like the old aunty who has so much to learn from the 'younsters' at this stage, and I used to hate it when I heard older people (not that I'm old of course. ;-)  ) saying that years back.  But I seem to fumble around, when they make it all look so easy.  I look in the permalink block and it says type in a post name and save the URL, so I go searching all over the place looking for a special block to type it in, and it's not there.  No, says the niece, that's not how it works, this is what you must do.  Oh, sigh, why didn't I know that?  Anyway, I so do love that I am learning something new every day.


I cannot express just how blessed we are in the town Prince Albert, so if there is more that you wish to know and I have not gotten around to writing about it here yet, please have a look at the Prince Albert website which is or


Loving the country life, I also adore all things with a country feel, beautiful things, pretty things, for the house and garden, as well as photography and art, so I will share with you some of the places Chanel and I have found so you too can link in and share their sites.

I have started to follow Lanalou Style.  She has the most gorgeous things on there and feel inspired just looking at it all.


People always ask me "what brought you to the Karoo?"  Well here's the start of that story......I'll take you back to the beginning of this journey, to the Fraserburg days........

Ten years ago I decided it was time for a lifestyle change.  I was fed up with the city, the noise, the pollution and the traffic jams.  I decided at that point to start looking for a place in the country to relocate to.  I gave up the corporate life and bought a small silk business that I was sure I could run from anywhere in the country, as long as there was a post office within easy reach. 

A few years later, two weeks before my 40th Birthday, I moved to a little, remote farming village called Fraserburg in the Karoo Highlands.  Until I had taken the time to drive slowly through the back roads of the Karoo, exploring with my friend Carol, I had the stereotypical belief that the Karoo was just a large arid and desolate region, a place that most people find boring and depressing.  This perception is of course one that is acquired due to people making their trips between Johannesburg and Cape Town all about the destination and not about the journey.  From the main road, there is not all that much to see.  That eye opening trip and my experiences since moving here have proven quite the contrary.  Through this blog, I would like to show you, the reader, that there is so much diversity and beauty within the Karoo.  You just need to look to find it.  May you enjoy the hues of the Karoo, together with my experiences as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Karoo Hues


This is such a wonderful place to be.  I couldn't ask for more.  Chatting on Facebook yesterday to an old friend whom I haven't seen in many years, and catching up, just reminded me of why I'm here.  He was saying that he was looking forward to going back to the farm after spending some time in Durban.  I was saying how I can only spend very short periods of time in the city now, and then I'm hankering to get back to the country. I've said this often and I'll continue to say it, I'd rather be poor here, than rich in the city.  My riches come from the mountains...the fresh air....the views....the interesting plants....watching the birds....watching a tortoise take a lazy walk and enjoy a meal on a vygie.......taking my dogs for long walks, getting home after dark and not having to worry about my safety.....seeing a kudu leap over the fence to browse on the other side.......seeing the eyes of a baby lynx caught in my headlights, then watching it sprint away into the safety of darkness......and the wonderful friends I've made here, that I can call family.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Over time you'll get to see all of Prince Albert through this blog.  Today, the first stop, is La Di Dah, situated on the main road on the south side of town.  They have wonderful gifts and decor items, as well as a fabulous coffee shop come restaurant.  The food is delicious and the service is great.
Locals can enjoy the 'Local is Lekker' breakfast, out of season and not on weekends, which consists of bacon, egg, tomato, toast and coffee, for only R30!  Now there's a bargain.  Sit inside and shop with your eyes while eating, or sit outside and enjoy the view of the tranquil dam with the sound of water gently trickling in.


A lazy evening on Therese's stoep.  An evening here always consists of good wine, delicious food and great company.  Daniel her son came up with her this time.  He's just returned from living in China for a few years.  Daniel is a vegetarian, and believes that to eat meat, one must value and appreciate what you are eating and therefore be able to slaughter it yourself.  He went on his mission and slaughtered a chicken, Therese cooked it, and we had it for dinner.  I'm not sure if it was psychological or what, but I battled to eat that chicken.  Aren't I just the hypocrite!  It's so much easier to eat meat when you don't have to know the gory details.  Therese always serves gourmet meals, but I didn't enjoy the chicken.  The veges were marvelous, and so too were the Adams figs with bulgarian yoghurt at the end.  Yum.  Sorry guys!  but I'm glad I was there to try it with you.
What lovely evenings we've whiled away on this verandah, a gentle breeze (and sometimes a howling gale) blowing the white curtains, the view of the windmills, the chickens fussing about, the geese resting near by on the perfectly green lawn framed by a myriad of colour from the flower beds.