This is Big Sky Country – South Africa
Hello from Somerset West in the Western Cape, South Africa. My other home. Here until February and plan to enjoy and explore as much as I can. The Instagram needs some input!
Flying from cold London to intense heat in Mauritius, it is to the summer of South Africa. Must admit to being relieved at the cooler weather on arrival, even rain, but now we are back to the full on Summer sun. Unless you are at the beach, or beside a swimming pool, not the best, but the evenings make up for the heat of the day. Complete opposite lifestyle to the one I live in London, I am in our family home, complete with a little garden and playing at all it entails. Putting my hands in soil, clipping rose bushes and the fragrance of fresh herb bushes is idyllic. Rather than the sounds of London birdlife, it is the Guinea fowl that chirrup me awake in the mornings. This is Africa and I am revelling in the joy of being here.
Christmas in the summer is not something I am used to, and it was wonderful. Double Christmas celebrations! Shared with friends and family, the eating is done to excess. Throw in the odd braai (barbecue) and my favourite wine, Tranquil Blush from Haute Cabriere, I am happy to laze the days away.
Last week I took my youngest daughter to George, up the Garden Route. My car has been cloistered in the garage for six months, so this was most beneficial to ‘clear the pipes’. Love road trips with a passion and South Africans do them so well. Though I have done this route a few times, I find the countryside nothing less than breathtaking. Big Sky, vast landscapes, white washed farm houses all around. It is a four hour drive and I literally kissed her goodbye and turned around to return home. Nothing like the best company, awesome music on full blast and the open road. A little different to the bus in London, not so?
When I returned to South Africa in April, it was going to be a sort of permanent arrangement. It did not suit me and I was back to London, on my own terms. Now I return of my own accord and cannot be happier to spend the summer here. This is a holiday, surrounded by our family things and the pace is slow, as it should be on holiday. I have time to read, watch movies, go for long walks and eat healthily. No sad looking supermarkets with sad food in the grey days, and of course I have the best Woolies in the world on my doorstep! Crush on the freshness of all. Even the coffee is brilliant, which is saying something from this Barrista.
Yeah, it’s that kind of spoiling myself time. Thinking of the right nail colours is important when lounging. Spoiling myself to facials and all sorts of body grooming, which on the pound, is peanuts. But, I have not been that idle, still read my favourites and these are some of the links I love to share this week.
A lady in London (one of my favourites) has listed some amazing winter walks to follow in winter in London. The city offers so much, at anytime of the year, so wrap up warmly and get out there, post Christmas, when we all feel a little deflated after the Christmas buzz.
Love my fellow bloggers and these are some amazing women over Fifty who you should follow on Instagram. We all have a story to tell, whether it be our love for fashion, following a divorce, beginning a new business and just living life to the full. I take huge inspiration from all of them. Love the fact that we all are able to have a voice now and resonate from each other.
Somehow, in the sunshine, I still need my Country Living fix and this quiz popped up. Afraid I was dismal at it, but how would you fair?
Being on holiday, and not working seven days a week, this is the time to get those resolutions for the new year in place. I want to update my playlists, begin the new diary, plan my travels, get more technologically savvy and again, sort out the clutter stuff. Been listening to the local radio stations on my mum’s radio and this song is getting so much airtime Also the song of an ad in London and so yes, in the mood and love her.
Lizzo. Good as Hell.
Being the end of the year, it’s reflection time. Some of the best books for 2019 – how many have you read?
I have my perfectly pristine diary all ready for 2020! Though I do use the Google calendar on my phone, having a diary in my handbag is vital to me. The same type of diary I have had for fifteen odd years – have to have the horizontal diary and I can only get it here in South Africa, so she is here on my desk, all ready to fill with exciting dates and times. Diaries are a reflection of my entire life, not just meeting times so one can say, the journey is in all the dairies past, tucked away in a cupboard – my life is literally an open book.
Getting back to the garden. Truth is I am trying to coax my David Austen roses to survive the harsh Cape climate.
Everyone else has better sense and planted indigenous. The winds are fierce, there is a water shortage but no, I want my Litchfield Angels and have planted four of them. They have, despite me not being here for six months, sort of survived and I have a bloom – hello girl! I am a fan of the Piet Oudolf idea of roses and grasses combined in a bed – got the grasses and nursing the roses. Fortunately I have an amazing helper in Dosha, who comes to help me when I am away.
But it is back to the joy of being here in South Africa this week. There is so much to do, the beaches are packed to bursting, the wine farms are beyond mere words, the sightseeing and Table Mountain is awesome. Love the shopping, sipping and savouring of it all. So this week, it has been, for me, great to be here. More to come, but this week, the things I love the most, are the people, the climate, the views and the lifestyle of South Africa. Wish you were here.