Today is the day on which I will be delivering our baby girl. So, I think it is time to warn you that this blog might become a bit baby-heavy for the next couple of weeks. Luckily for you I will not be able to bombard you with pictures because my favourite camera lens decided to protest in advance. I had to take it in for repairs. The man behind the counter told me it will take 8 working days to fix, but I showed him my tummy and told him it is URGENT!

In the meantime, let me show you a gift I received from my friend Isabeau. She started to crochet and needle about a year ago and made this adorable pair of Mary Jane booties for our little girl. I am charmed by the fact that they are so unique and humbled by how special it is when someone takes the time to artfully craft something especially for you.


Well, little girl, today is your Daddy’s birthday. The three of us will celebrate it today, but I will tell you a little secret. I think the most memorable day of April 2013 will, if all goes well, be tomorrow. We are ready to meet you and your room is waiting for you….


I turned 40 in January. I learned then that what seemed from the far off thirties like a massive turning point is really not that big of a deal. Life is good. Turning 40 is, however, a fantastic excuse to get the house doled up for a great party.

My husband turns 40 soon, in mid-April. After throwing about some ideas, we settled on Thai food and the rest of the party kind of set itself in motion from there - including my favourite part, the lights about which I wrote here.

As always, however, to paraphrase a well known expression: you can dress up a girl as a ballerina, but then she still has to dance...a party is made by the people. And our friends came through in fine style, including a surprise visit from one of my husband's closest friends, Jan, who flew in from Cape Town literally only for a couple of hours on the day that his own wife celebrated her birthday!

If it is true that you are known by the company you keep, then my husband is a lucky man. Many of the people there thanked us for the great time they had in the days following. In truth, we have to thank them for coming to celebrate with us, gracing our home with their presence and lighting up the night as much as the lanterns overhead.


We have a love-hate relationship with our neighbour’s huge Tipuana tree. It stands close to the border between our two properties, but I am convinced that we receive 80% of all that it sheds during the year, be it the brown winged seed pods, the multitude of golden-yellow little flowers or leaves. This past weekend my husband created a canopy of lights in Chinese lanterns for his birthday party and at least for one evening we LOVED “our” tree! To be truthful, as much as we hate the mess the tree creates, we cannot really imagine our lawn without the gorgeous shade it provides.

But this post is really about the lights. What he rigged up were four separate strings of a rope to carry the weight, tied to electrical cable for the light fittings. He then rigged up each strand between the tree and the parapet of our house. With each light fitted with a small 40 Watt bulb, the combined effect was a ceiling of Chinese glowing lanterns that bathed the entire lawn in soft light. 

The net effect was absolutely magic because of the atmosphere it created, and the rig deserves its own blog post for the simple fact that my white collar husband, who normally has only about a 50/50 success-failure rate when it comes to small household DIY jobs, pulled off an engineering marvel!

Coffee, brewed.

A week or two ago we went for lunch (one of those legendary ones where you arrive for lunch and only go home after dark) at our friends Jan en Janneke’s house. The two of them are quite the aficionados when it comes to their coffee and, as one should, coffee time is always taken seriously in their house. Jan’s latest toy is a bit scientific-looking, but also so beautiful and elegant that I just had to take a photo.

It is called a Cona Vacuum Brewer. It works on the principle of suction caused by the expansion and contractions of water vapour, and it basically still works pretty much the exact same way that was originally discovered back in 1840! There is no contact with metal or plastic components and the coffee is entirely prepared in glass. The coffee is always infused at precisely the correct temperature and over-extraction is not possible.

The results are worth the effort! The coffee was perfect and the bonus is the bit of theatre that turned the everyday task of making coffee into a gentler, slower, more drawn-out affair.

"A man may be a pessimistic determinist before lunch and an optimistic believer in the will's freedom after it."
~Aldous Huxley 

“Only one thing is certain about coffee.... Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.” 
~Mark Pendergrast

Hartebeespoort Cableway

It is school holidays at the moment and I promised Daniel a few excursions. One of them was to the newly re-opened Harties Cableway. We took two of his friends along and drove the 75km’s to Magaliesberg.

The original cableway was opened in 1973, but fell into disrepair by the early part of the new millennium. An entrepreneur decided to open the cableway again last year with new state of the art cable cars. The old ones are on display at the premises and I cannot believe that I’ve been on them – they look seriously dodgy! However, the new ones took the five of us to the top of the Magaliesberg safely while the boys seemed fascinated by the cables, the pylons holding it all up and the way in which the ground below receded.

The top of the mountain really was a revelation. You can amble round a 1km Dassie Loop, with 360ยบ views of the Hartbeespoort Dam on the one side and the Platinum mines on the other side. On a clear day you can see as far as Pretoria and Johannesburg. Points of interest are posted on information boards.

The top of the mountain also boasts a coffee shop, pizza-shack and cocktail bar, with a huge jungle gym for the kids. It is an ideal family day trip, and the fact that we appeared to be walking around with three blonde boys and a fourth clearly on the way generated quite a few semi-sympathetic comments!



You can read more on their website or like their Facebook page.


I hope you had a wonderful Easter long weekend. Mine was certainly fantastic. We had the best possible family time together – maybe it is because our little family of three is about to be “invaded” by a little girl in about two weeks’ time that I am extra nostalgic about the “just us three” time together. It seems to me that we just lovingly smiled at Daniel all weekend long, enjoyed every joke and observation (his interpretation of the meaning of Easter just left me speechless and amazed) and listened with more patience than normal to the “negotiations” (he tried to convince us that since Easter is three days long, he should receive three Easter eggs).

On Friday afternoon we went to a Cirque du Soleil show and the result was that Daniel’s hoola-hoop came out of hiding for numerous performances for the rest of the weekend. On Saturday we tried to go to the Irene market in Pretoria, but it seems everyone in Pretoria had the same idea and after hours in the traffic we gave up. We ended up taking Daniel and his little friend to play ten-pin bowling since we promised them an outing. The ball was bigger than their heads, but they loved it! The boys went riding on their bikes in the Botanical Gardens and had a picnic in the park. We went out for lunch, out for a supper at a Chinese restaurant and had take-away at home. We made croque-monsieurs one day, French toast another and had hot-cross buns on the patio (Oh Bread, how do I love thee?!). Under normal circumstances I would have wanted a weekend away for Easter, but in this case the contented feeling of togetherness supplied all the adventure needed….

Image credit: Pinterest