Thursday, March 19, 2015

Doing the tourist-thing in Durban Part 2

Continuing our tourist travels in our own backyard (this blog is beginning to feel like a "Welcome to Durban" campaign .... it won't go on forever, promise!)

While Laura was with us we spent a day in the KZN Midlands.  We first visited our home-town, Greytown, where Laura's mom had spent a few months with my family as a Rotary Exchange Student back in the 80s.


Photo taken from Tranquili-tea restaurant in Greytown
 
 
We continued driving through the Midlands, stopping at Rawdon's for lunch, before making our way to the Nelson Mandela Capture site to round off our day.  There was so much more I would love to have done with Laura in the Midlands, but time was very limited unfortunately.
 

 
I love the Madiba statue, so unique! 
 

 
We made a visit to the iHeart market on the Saturday that Laura was with us.  By this time I had started fighting the flu, so while the younguns did the Sky-car at Moses Mabhida, I sat under a tree feeling sorry for myself.
 


 
Confession: I stole ^^ this^^ picture of the Moses Mabhida Stadium off the internet.
 
A couple of days later, Grant and the girls visited Phezulu Safari Park (at this point I had succumbed to the flu-bugs I had been fighting!)
 




 
 

We did all sorts of other bits and pieces while Laura was with us - we ate bunny chow, made a brief visit to uShaka, the girls went to a music show (Matthew Mole was there) and they spent a couple of days on the South Coast, they went to the beach (had a surfing lesson) and Laura learnt to make typical Durban roti, we also spent some time at our local hospital... but that's another story!  

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Doing the tourist-thing in Durban - Part 1

In recent months we have spent some time out-and-about in Durban with people visiting our province from overseas.  It's been quite refreshing to see Durbs through the eyes of a visitor.  I thought I would do a couple of posts about our experiences.

First up we had the delightful Laura visiting us from Australia.  Unfortunately her visit came at the height of the tourist season, so we skipped some of the traditional Durban attractions because of the sheer volume of people we would have had to wade through to see them.  (Think Durban beachfront over the New Year weekend.... uh-uh, not going to happen!)  Instead we found some different things to do.

First-up we visited CROW on their open day, which was a really interesting and different thing to do.  CROW is the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife and their open days happen on the last Sunday of every month from 11am to 1pm.   Our visit began with a short, informative talk by one of the staff members, after which we had a tour of the facilities and the chance to see many of the animals up close.  All the animals are rehabilitated and released back into the wild, except for the tortoises - you'll have to make a visit to CROW to find out why...







It was really interesting to hear how CROW operates and exactly what is involved in the rehabilitation of the wildlife - it's all much more complicated than I thought.

Our next outing was a trip on the Inchanga Choo-choo - the steam train that runs between Kloof and Inchanga.  We went on a Sunday evening train ride - the trains don't usually run on Sunday evenings, but this was during the Christmas season, so they had extra trains running.

We had a very enjoyable train ride, although the weather didn't co-operate with us.  We had some rain in Inchanga, which really put a damper on things (pardon the lame pun!)  There was a nice little market set up at the station in Inchanga, with lots of things to eat, live music and various stalls.  We had just enough time to explore, have something to eat and make a loo-stop before boarding the train for the ride back to Kloof.  We'll definitely do the train ride again one Sunday when hopefully the sun will shine on us.






To be continued.....

Friday, February 13, 2015

My thoughts on 50 Shades of Grey

Funny how a slightly "off-centre" movie, based on a slightly "off-centre" book, comes out and all of a sudden everyone has an opinion - particularly those who haven't watched the movie or read the book.  I find it all quite interesting and frankly rather annoying.

The way I see it, if you don't like it, don't watch it.  No-one's forcing you.  And if you haven't watched it, then for goodness' sake, don't publish your opinion about it all over the place and get upset with those who do want to watch it. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the books and the movie too.  I found them relaxing, absorbing and fun.  I especially loved the interesting psychological twists and turns, particularly in the books - I look forward to seeing how those play out in the movie sequel.  I love the underlying story of redemption, of love healing pain.  The sound-track was awesome and I thought the sex scenes were .... well...sexy.  And let's be honest, neither of the leads in the movie was particularly hard on the eyes!  

As an adult, I believe I am free to enjoy whatever movie I like.  I fail to understand why some people are so judgemental of other people's preferences.  Why can't we simply respect the views and choices of others without judging them? 

A lot of people seem to be getting their knickers in a knot about the type of sex depicted in the movie.  My view is, if two consenting adults want to enjoy some kinky sex, well then where is the problem?  Let them get on with it.  If it's not the kind of sex that you would enjoy, well then don't have that kind of sex...don't look at it, don't brood on it.  Problem solved.  And as for the violence, well frankly I have seen more violence in a LOT of movies my husband likes to watch and that wasn't consensual...

I just don't understand why we can't live and let live, why we have to attack everyone who believes differently to us.  And I totally fail to understand why people are getting more worked up about this than, for example, about the 200 school-girls that were kidnapped in Nigeria.  It baffles me.

Let's freak out about the important stuff people, and leave the movie-goers in peace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Morning Trade

After threatening to go for months, we made our first visit to the Morning Trade a few weeks ago, meeting Rox, Jon and Isabella there for an early lunch.





The Morning Trade is situated in the Rivertown area, which seems to be developing a nice vibe, and is open on Sundays from 8:00 to 14:00.  There are lots of farm fresh goodies and artisan foods for sale.

I was very impressed with the quality of goods on offer - lovely baked goodies, cold meats, veggies, coffees etc.




My only gripe is that a couple of food items were sold out by the time we got there at 12:00ish.  I think we'll aim to be there for breakfast next time, instead of planning to lunch there as we did this time.


All in all, well worth a visit and we will definitely be back.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Highland Nook

Last weekend we went off to Highland Nook for what seems to be becoming our annual family week-end away.  This time we went sans Rox, Jon and Isabella, unfortunately.

The weather played some bizarre games with us on the way up (seriously, it was SO weird!):




But other than the crazy temps and a minor hail storm at Nottingham Rd, we had a lovely trip up and soon we were enjoying the mountain views:




There are many things I love about Highland Nook, one of them being that my precious Jackie-dog can come with us when we go there.  Jax LOVES her visits to Highland Nook, the endless fascination of things to see and smell..... and it all starts on the drive up:
 

 
 
She slowly morphs from pampered urban lap-dog, to farm dog extraordinaire!
 
And it's not only Jackie that undergoes something of a shift, it always amazes me how within an hour or two of arrival at Highland Nook, everything slows down and becomes a whole lot more laid-back.  I just love it, wish I could spend a weekend there every month!
 
There are 3 cottages at Highland Nook, we like to stay in Stoneage, while Dad and co. stay in The Croft (didn't get any pics of their cottage).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If I'd used my brain I would have taken a photo of our adorable bedroom, tucked upstairs, under the thatch.  Too cute.  I also failed to get a photo of one of my very favourite Highland Nook things.. the shower.  The houses only have baths, so we generally head up to the ablution block in the camp site for our showers (only a short little walk away).  The shower is a rustic, outdoorsy facility.  I adore it!  You can literally see the sky as you shower.  I have no idea why I get so excited about it, but I do!  Am kicking myself for not getting a pic.
 
Fortunately, before leaving home we had a good look at the weather report and saw that we were in for some significantly cooler weather than the 34 degree Celsius temps we left home in, so we packed our Winter woollies.  Saturday dawned very fresh... not quite as fresh as Paula (pictured below) would have you believe... but a crisp day nonetheless.
 

 
Aunty Wend in a worryingly "kappie komando" look....
 
 
So, what did we do all weekend?  Well we relaxed,
 

 
 
 
we read, we hung out at the dam,



we chilled,


 

Jax made some new friends!
 
 
we took some walks
 
 
oh the fascinating smells on these walks...!

 
 
and we braaied.
 

 
 
Utter bliss!
 
 
I was not asked to do this review or reimbursed in any way, these opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Reflections Day 31- My Word for 2015 is...

My word for 2015 is: STEADY

 

For me, embracing the word "steady" will mean opening my life to:

calm
 
discipline
 
order
 
peace
 
balance

 
 
 

Here's to a GREAT 2015!