Thursday, March 28, 2013


We are so often so taken up with our own lives that we don't stop to think about the lives of others.    Growing up in the fresh air and wide open spaces of the Karoo is such a blessing for some, and yet the hardships that can accompany that could bring tragedy with it too.  I love to look at the faces of the older folk and how interestingly they age.  Each line telling it's own story.  How hard has life been?  Are the lines on that face from walking and working the sun searing sun?  Are they from stress, from abuse?  Or are some of them brought on from the abuse of alcohol? 

I see old men working the lands, shearing the sheep.  I see old women collecting wood, tending to children.  And then I learn, they're not all old, some just look old.  Some in fact, are younger than I am, and then you know, life has been tough.

I look, and I wonder, what is your story?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013





Whilst browsing through the museum one day, I opened a door that I shouldn't have, and peeked inside.  There were documents and photos lying all over the place and I went in and took a look through some of them.  I found the journals of a woman called Mary Brown, which I began to read.  I was so fascinated by them, that I asked the curator to make me copies.  

These diaries took me back to the 1870's, when Mary Brown and her husband John were living in Fraserburg.  John was the local district surgeon.  Mary gives full details of what her days entailed.  The many tragic deaths of infants, including their beloved son, John.  She describes how they spent most Sundays at the  river, which sadly no longer exists.  She tells of how they would take a horse and cart and go and spend weeks away at a farm called Ayesfontein as it was so far away.  Ayesfontein is still there less than 20km from town, but the grand old house that used to house about four families at a time is not.  The last of it was demolished by the current owner's father a few years ago.  Some of the original orchard still exists as well as ruins of the old mill.

In 1873, Olive Schreiner came to live in Fraserburg with her sister, Alice Hemming for a short while.  She and Mary Brown became great friends and later on, once Mary and John had moved back to England, Olive sent them a script for them to find a publisher for her book.  This was the great novel, The Story of an African Farm which was published in 1883 and dedicated to Mrs John Brown.  Olive was known to say that she felt the book half belonged to them.


This property is a real gem!  Situated on the edge of town, it has two bedrooms en-suite in the main house and the old barn has been converted into two more en-suite rooms with kitchenettes and lounge areas.  There are lovely verandas and a stone plunge pool with views!  The large property is 6258sqm, has lei water and a beautiful dam.

Asking Price:

Friday, March 22, 2013


Herewith are a few examples of photos from a wedding on my website  Take a peak.  It is still very much a work in progress and will continue to grow and improve.  I am so looking forward to doing my next wedding on the 13th of April 2013 at Abrahamskraal on the outskirts of Prince Albert.

I am going to be doing pets as well now as I have had a lot of request for that, as well as any special occasions, babies etc.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


A few things we sure have an abundance of in the Karoo are wide open spaces, glorious sunsets, and good wine.  We are so blessed that we can take a cycle ride or get in our cars to favourite spots were we can enjoy a couple of glasses of the finest with great friends.

The beautiful ice bucket is one made right here in Prince Albert by a company called Avoova.  Take a look at their website and have a look at all their magnificent product made from ostrich egg shells.  They have a wide variety of products from small to pieces of furniture.

Monday, March 18, 2013


When I had my shop in the Seven Arches, the Rock Martins used to come and nest on the veranda.  It was always fun to watch the progress of the babies as they grew and then learned to fly.  One morning, one of the babies was on the floor, and having survived all the feral cats in the area, I thought it deserved a second chance.  I'm quite sure the other two chicks kicked it out, survival of the fittest and all that, but I decided to help this one out.  I found a Samsung box in my cupboard and let it sit there.  It grew so tame that it would hop out the box onto my desk and up my arm.  Everyone was coming up with names.  In the end he was called Sammy Dean Martin.  Work that one out. :-).

After eight days of hand feeding and caring for for him, I sat with him on the veranda and put the box below the nest.  The parents, after all that time, would swoop down, one at a time, then settle on the sign just above the box.  Then they both sat there looking at him, and then they started to sweep down over him.  I was really amazed.  So I decided that I would try and put him back in the nest and just watch what happened.  I phoned my good friend Athol and asked him if he had a very long ladder, which he did and he replaced the chick for me.  What was even more amazing, was that they accepted him back and we watched him grow and take his first flight.  He hung around for a long time and I'm convinced it was him who came back to nest next to his old home, as he would fly low over me and settle next to me.  And then I watched him raise his family.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


If you have had the pleasure of travelling to and through Prince Albert, you would have noticed the beautiful folds of the majestic Swartberg Mountains, the rubicund rocks and the verdant lichen that clings to them on certain slopes.

There are two options to getting through the mountains, one is over the Swartberg Pass, which has now been upgraded and fixed and makes for an exciting drive on a narrow road with sheer drops.  The views are breathtaking.  I have not climbed the mountain to get the perfect perspective shot of the pass with the road winding through yet, but you can get an idea of what it looks like and the small stone walls on the steepest edges.  The pass was built by prisoners and ruins of the buildings they slept in are still evident here and there as in one of these photos.

Once you are almost at the top you can take the turn off to 'Die Hell' or Gamkaskloof as it is officially called.  Be prepared for a long trip of about three hours each way from town.  Make it all about the journey and not just the destination.  Make sure you go with enough water and take along some 'padkos' and your camera.  There is an abundance of wild flowers and birds and you may be lucky enough to see tortoises, Klipspringer or Mountain Reedbuck along the way too.  For the very lucky you may have the chance to spot a lynx.

The other option through the mountains is via the Meiringspoort, which is just as spectacular as the Swartberg Pass, only you are passing through at ground level with the mountains looming over you.  You cross various rivers 27 times.  I always tell people that both the Swartberg Pass and the Meiringspoort should be on your list of 50 things to do before you die. They are magnificent!!


This beautiful 7.3 Ha small holding right on the edge of town is probably one of the best buys available.  For someone looking at settling into the perfect lifestyle of owning a little 'farm', this one offers some of the best views and will keep you busy enough without your having to work full time.  If you chose to of course, you could.  There are currently over 1300 olive trees and some other fruit trees for bottling and preserves.  A number of various crops have been successfully grown here such as lucerne, sunflowers and artichokes.  You could grow seeds for the co-op or just put it to pastures and let a few sheep, a cow and a horse graze peacefully while you enjoy watching them.

There is an art deco style house, a large shed and a labourers cottage on the property.

Price:  R4 000 000

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Looking for something different, quirky, original, handmade?  True Karoo is the place for you!  Don't miss it when you're next in Prince Albert.  Their sign is made by the late Kevin Hough, a legend in this town and famous for his metal work.  All the lettering is made out of scrap metal.  Some of Kevin's 'bikes' are also available to view on the True Karoo stoep.  And no, they're not dyslexic, the black board is there as a talking point, to make people stop and look.

Wooden Angels

More wooden Angels

Ostrich eggshell flower wreath

Wire Angel

Metal girl "Pippie Pantoffels"

Wire dancer

Dragon fly

Metal man