So THAT’S how it happened - Noah and the dinosaurs

Daniel has this small notebook that he draws in. Recently he made a little series of drawings all about Noah and the Ark.

In the first drawing, Noah is assigned by God to make the ark from wood provided to him.

The rain starts and the ark is now floating, but in the distance you can see two dinosaurs on a hill that forgot to board the ark.

By now, only the top of the heads of the dinosaurs are now still showing while the ark is still floating around. And that, dear friends, explains the extinction of dinosaurs from our planet!

Image credits :-) Daniel Kornelius

Long walk to freedom

At the baby shower Daniel also received a gift from his granny. It was a little survival kit for when he needs to walk away from home when his little sister just gets too much for him! He took it for a spin in the garden, not only inviting his mom along, but also telling me very sincerely that I do not have to worry because “he will always come home”….

A (extended) family affair

I have to confess. Being on the receiving side of baby shower gifts is fantastic! Surely every mom-to-be loves opening all those cute presents, seeing those small outfits and being in awe that this little person is about to enter your life. Those presents remind you about the joys of motherhood (rather than the fact that your life is about to spin out of control!). Lucky me already had a baby shower (see here), so what a precious moment to have another one when my Capetonian friends and family bestowed me and my little girl with their blessings and good wishes.

On a breezy Saturday afternoon, we all went to the Alphen Boutique Hotel in the Constantia Valley for a high tea at their La Belle Café and Bakery. The small bistro serves pastries and savoury snacks under big ancient oak trees. The wonderful atmosphere and the great snacks will certainly linger on in my memories, but the day was made special by something else.

I come from a very small family. Both my parents have only one sibling. Both my aunts attended the baby shower, one driving all the way from Ceres. My cousin came all the way from Malmesbury. My parents made sure to be in town (they live in Britstown in the middle of the Karoo) and my parents-in-law came from the West-Coast. Add to that my almost-90 year old granny and my sister and you find almost all my female family members around that table! My father, father-in-law, Daniel and his little playmate made up the male contingent of the party.

My husband loves to use the saying that one often forgets what people said to you, but you will never forget how they made you feel. Well, to sit at the table, eating yet another chocolate brownie, and to see them all there, filled me with such thankfulness to be part of the family into which I was born. I am blessed.

Image credits: Thanks to Madre Steenkamp for taking most of these photos

When in Stellenbosch ..... Route 44 Market

Earlier this year, a brand new food and craft market opened in Stellenbosch, located at Audacia Farm, on the R44 between Stellenbosch & Somerset West. It is a very child-friendly market with play areas for the kids, bungee trampolines and a little train. So, our babysitters during my friend’s wedding (it took 4 for them! An aunt, uncle and two grandparents :-), took Daniel to the market and we arrived just in time to see his huge smile when he and his granny came back from a trip in the vineyards on the colourful little train. 

The part I liked best was all the outside seating areas under the huge trees. We saw friends meeting up for lunch, students sipping on beers while listening to the live music, and kids running around. Although the market is open from 09:00 till 15:30, my husband ended up, with some of his Argus cycling friends, “carbo-loading” under the big trees until considerably later than that! It is a lovely way to spend a leisurely day and let the time pass slowly while appreciating the views of the vineyards and Stellenbosch Mountains.

The market is on every Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 - 15:30. You can like their Facebook page here.

Image credits: Nani Kornelius & Elanie Fourie

Love, peace, joy, patience

On the Friday of our weekend in the Cape, my husband and I were privileged to attend my friend Ilse’s marriage to Japie. 

I say ‘privileged’ for a few reasons. Firstly, some of the more obvious stuff. I am severely pregnant at this stage, so I am very glad to have been able to fly to Cape Town in order to attend. Good timing. 

The wedding was held on the edge of a lake in the mountains around Elgin and Grabouw in the Cape. Where we were at the water’s edge it was quite alpine, but to get there you had to drive across some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, cutting through vineyards and apple orchards, the branches laden heavy with fruit. So we had a lakeside resort with its log cabins all to ourselves, the peace only shattered by occasional laughter.

But, allow me a few words about the deeper reasons for feeling privileged to have been a witness to this event. In a world where people come into your life for “a reason, a season or a lifetime,” Ilse fell firmly into the ‘lifetime’ category within minutes of me meeting her. I have shared her joys and sorrows, and she has shared mine, for more than half our lives. Watching her arrive as a veiled bride on a barge across the lake, I was filled with a love and joy that was almost too much to bear.

And then, listening to Japie tell his bride that he “knows in his heart that she is the woman God intended for him to be with, and that he’s only sorry that she had to wait so long,” I knew that patience had been rewarded.

Love, peace, joy, patience. In our log cabin wedding venue by the side of the lake, they filled the air and our hearts.

More Babylonstoren, Part 2

As promised yesterday, here are a few images from the Babylonstoren Farm Shop. The shop has different areas, each beautifully decorated ( I even want to use the word curated). On the one side is a charcuterie, selling a variety of cold meats. A separate cheese room is filled with handcrafted cheeses. The wine tasting facility allows you to taste the wines from the estate, but a huge variety of wines from the cellars situated around the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountains are also for sale. My favourite room is the bakery where artisan breads are baked before dawn every morning. In the last room is a shop selling everything from jams, cordials and olive oil made from the produce from the farm, to aprons, panama hats and the Babel Cookbook. It is a feast for the eye.

More Babylonstoren, part 1

Babylonstoren is my favourite wine estate in the Cape. Having said that, calling it a wine estate is actually not doing it justice because this farm is about so much more than its vines. It has the most incredible formal fruit and vegetable garden, quite unlike any other that I’ve ever seen, and probably unique in the winelands. Every single plant is edible and you can sample the produce, as it comes into season, in their restaurant Babel or in the Green House, an open air tea garden under big oak trees. 

I’ve blogged about the farm before (see here and here) and even then, I had to do it in two posts since the images are so beautiful and overwhelming. After visiting the farm again this past weekend to show my husband this incredible place, I will again have to split this blog into two. Today I want to show you a bit of the garden and the Green House. Tomorrow I will show you bits of their new farm shop that moved to a new building since my previous visit.

Daniel’s joy while exploring the gardens was wonderful to watch. Every corner was part of a maze in his mind and he refused to believe that the pumpkins were real!

The Green House, with its colourful Luxembourg chairs, Delft inspired tableware and fresh foods straight from the garden, is delightful. I think this place is so special to me because it puts on display what life could be like, as opposed to what we often accept it must be like. I could easily spend a day under the oak trees, sipping on their colourful infused juices and just letting the privilege of being on this spot on earth for a while soak in.

You can visit their website here or like their Facebook page.