Connectivity

My apologies for disappearing again.  I have had a short glitch in getting internet sorted out at Tiny House.  Hopefully I am up and running now.

Tomorrow I am off to Hoedspruit again for the grand opening of the iNyoka Gallery. One of the few glitzy affairs I will have attended in the last 5 years (maybe the only one even :) )  I will take lots of pictures to show those of you who are not attending.  I am so excited to be involved in this project.

I will be back blogging on Monday 22 Sept.

I will leave you with two more pictures of the farm where Tiny House is located.

Welcome to iNoyka Gallery

For the past year, I, along with a few other Hoedspruit artists, have been busy setting up an artists co-operative and gallery in Hoedspruit. It has been a labour of love with everyone pitching in to paint, drill, weld, wash and waterproof an old building – converting it into an art gallery.

Before

After

Finally after months and months of preparation we are ready for our grand opening on the 19th September.  Art by member artists from the whole region will be displayed for sale and there will also be an art auction to raise funds for the gallery.  We are proud to have some well known local artists exhibiting in this amazing space.

Please make every effort to join us on the 19th just outside Hoedspruit for a wonderful evening of art, wine-tasting, live music and delicious snacks.

If you are a local artist who would be interested in joining our co-op, please contact us on info@inyokagallery.com  

 

 

Wild horses couldn’t drag me away

On Saturday we attended the Wild Horse Festival in the small arty town of Kaapsehoop which is about 15 minutes outside of Mbombela, perched on top of a mountain.

 This sleepy village boasts amazing views over the Lowveld as well as some beautiful wild horses that freely roam around town, over the hillsides and in the nearby forests of pine trees.

Gold was discovered here in 1882 but the deposit was poor and most miners moved off towards the richer areas of Pilgrims Rest and Barberton. This led to the decline of the small town until it was repopulated by artists and folk looking for a peaceful weekend retreat.

This weekend’s festival was held to raise money to take care of the horses as well as a road fund to repair their roads. It was very well attended and we had a wonderful day browsing the market stalls, watched horses getting shod by blacksmiths, eating a most delicious mutton curry and watching rugby before heading home.

There is a good choice of accommodation in Kaapsehoop as well as many things to do in the surrounding area including horse trails, hiking, a visit to the nearby Kruger National Park, or a trip along the Panorama Route to name a few.

If you are ever in the area it is well worth a visit.

 

Farm fresh veggies!!

One week in and I have found a source of fabulous farm fresh vegetables and fruit.  The system is run by a lass called Chene and she drops off your bag weekly. You can also order farm fresh duck and duck fat from her.  

This is what I got for R60!

I am now on the hunt for a source of good grass fed meat and farm milk.

Views of our new home

Every weekend we try to get our dogs out for a good run.  This past weekend I took a few photos so show our new environment.  This is the farm we currently live on.  The trees without leaves are mostly pecan nut trees and the leafy ones are avocado trees.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed our walk/run/drive

 

As soon as things start greening up a bit these views will change so much. I look forward to taking more pictures as that happens.

 

I hope you enjoyed the tour – let me know what you think.

Toasted!

This is a long and complex story (with apologies to my friend Nes who has heard it all).

I owned a lovely silver toaster when I met B.  He owned an old TV toaster grill thingy that was falling apart.  He moved from Howick (7 hours away from me) to Hazyview (2 hours away from me) which was fabulous but his toaster disintegrated. Luckily, the lady who was handing him her house felt sorry for him and donated her wonderful shiny silver toaster to him.  Sadly things didn’t work out well in Hazyview and the decision was made that B would move up to Hoedspruit and in with me while he looked for another job.  We were now going to have two toasters! 

During this time my shiny silver toaster started playing up and I had to hold the handle down to toast any bread which was a bit of an issue.  B said “oh really don’t worry, I am going to be there soon with my toaster so throw yours out.”  So I said good bye to mine and looked forward to B arriving with his.

The day arrived when all his boxes were delivered which we piled into one cottage with all of his furniture.  We searched and searched but we could not find his toaster.  The box he had packed it in must have been right at the bottom of the heap. So for a year we were grilling bread in the oven or in a pan while we bemoaned the fact that we couldn’t find our toaster.

As soon as B moved again to Nelspruit where he found a great job, we were sure we would unearth the box that held the precious cargo.  I unpacked boxes for three days and I never found the phantom  toaster. 

On Sunday the enormous decision was taken to finally purchase a new toaster (hurrah!).  I was happy to get a small plastic one but B decided after all our pains that I deserved a really fancy expensive one.

As soon as we got home I celebrated by making some lovely soup and decided to warm some buns on the top of the new machine which I promptly set on fire.

Really on fire.

 Blackened.

 I think I am cursed!

Hello Nelspruit!

The city of Nelspruit (newly named Mbombela)

It’s quite a change moving from a tiny town to a city again, albeit a small city.  I am not a city girl so I am glad to say we have found a house to rent on a farm about 10 km’s from the city where we don’t hear traffic and still get to hear the occasional African Fish Eagle call.  We decided to get a small place so that we can save our pennies for our farm. And so we found Tiny House.

Tiny House

 It’s really very tiny but steeped in history (built in 1946) and has lovely Oregon pine floors and high ceilings. We have a stunning view over a sloping pecan nut tree orchard to the mountains and hills in the distance. What is also great is that we are still near the Kruger National Park so I can get my fix of wild animals and the game reserve.

This area has a fantastic history of a gold rush, a tragic war, trade routes and of course Jock of the Bushveld, Tsetse fly, malaria and sleeping sickness all played a roll in hindering development for a long time.

We have spent this last weekend unpacking, but will be out exploring from next week. I can’t wait.  

 

Farewell Hoedspruit

LeavingThe 29th of August was exactly five years to the day that I arrived in Hoedspruit.  By pure co-incidence, it is also the day that I packed good old Cleo into the car and we left again.  It was bittersweet.  This town has been amazing and the people have become such close friends.  When I was a city dweller I never knew as many folk as I got to know in this wonderful little town.

These five years have been life changing in many ways. I learned to live a simple life. I learned how to live all on my very own, and I learned a huge amount about myself and how I function. I also learned about what i value and what I want from life.

Yet I still leave with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. You see, I am off on a new adventure.

It’s been a while since I last posted and many things have happened. Most importantly I met the man who asked me to marry him last weekend. I said yes.

The result of this is that I move 3 hours away from Hoedspruit to another province called Mpumalanga to the capital city of Nelspruit (Mbombela).  Luckily I am marrying a farmer so we get to live on a farm a short way from the small city and we are also going to be looking to buy our own farm in the area.

I am hoping to blog again on a regular basis about our new adventure and about discovering Mbombela.  Wish me luck!

 

The Bean’s Big Birthday

Today is bittersweet for me. My little girl turns 21 years old.

Happy birthday to you Bean. May life bring you the most wonderful surprises and may you be blessed with love and laughter all the days of your life. You have certainly brought it to mine. I love you.

Setting up a business in a small town

We are currently setting up a business manufacturing small steel / wrought iron decor items as well as making awesome lights and other steel work like balustrades and gates.  It’s been a roller coaster ride so far because it’s really difficult to source items when you live out in the bush.  Slowly things are really starting to look good and we have quite a bit of interest in our products.

One of our big stores here in Hoedspruit, that stocks pretty much everything that we need, has such a difficult system to work with that I avoid it at all costs trying three or more stores before having to go there. The system is such that you are unable to walk in, pick up what you want and go to the till. One has to find a sales attendant to help you. They are all so busy packing stock and doing online quotes and helping clients over the phone that they do not have time to assist customers in the store so they avoid eye contact as much as possible. After hanging about for 30 mins one gets frustrated and starts begging for assistance. You are told they will come now but they don’t often come back and when they do the help with one item they then disappear again. Also, some prices are marked quite high and your sales assistant is allowed to give you quite large discounts. So one has to be all sweet and kind even when getting bad service otherwise you don’t get your discount. It seems to be at the salesman’s discretion whether you get discount or not. These are good folk – the system just sucks in my opinion. Yesterday after 45 mins in the store – I walked out in frustration and got everything I needed in 10 minutes at another store, one item in particular being 50% cheaper than the listed price in the big store. Guess where I am going next time?

Here are a few pictures of what we are making.

As soon as I have some pictures of our stunning outdoor wall lamps I will put them up for you to see.