A little bling

This past weekend B and I travelled to Johannesburg. We were there for two reasons. Firstly we wanted to introduce our parents and families to each other, which we did at a lovely dinner at Carvers, and secondly we had to pick up our engagement ring which B had made at a jeweler that his family have used for many years.

So I finally got my ring. Isn’t it pretty?

I have taken a ton of photos of the ring using both of my cameras and am yet to find the right setting/lens to do it justice.  More and more often now I am getting into photographic situations where I learn that I have to read up or attend a course on basic photography. That needs to go onto my “to do” list under “urgent”.  

I would like to share the words B used when we got engaged

A ring, in my opinion, is a symbol not of love or togetherness, but of what gets carried in the heart. This symbol may get scratched, lost or tarnished, but the feeling of commitment, the honesty, the respect that come from the soul and who we are as people needs to shine through more than any glistening diamond.

Thank you my love. (But I also hope that it never gets lost or tarnished  🙂 )


One of my friends here in Hoedspruit, Sarah, is involved with two charities mainly working with impoverished communities and children. Last week she was introduced to the Khutsong Center in Acornhoek  – just down the main road from our town.

Khutsong means “rest” in one of our local languages, and the Khutsong Center is just that – a place for 13 elderly people from rural villages to rest for their last days. It’s an incredibly poor project with a ramshackle hut that houses the eleven women and two men who are being taken care of. One of the aged is disabled and many are bedridden.

This is what Sarah says “……….. their gentle smiles have really tugged at my heart, and I would love to be able to make them feel, just for one day,on Christmas, that the world has not forgotten them………………………”

So what we are going to do is put together thirteen Christmas hampers for these wonderful old folk.  We need to include basic items such as tooth brushes and toothpaste and soap, a facecloth, some Vaseline, a blanket, something nice to make them feel good like a scarf or clothing item and then a few treats like biscuits and crisps.

If you would like to contribute in any way we would really appreciate your help.

Please contact Sarah at sarahdawnbergs@gmail.com if you can assist with any of the items.  Financial contributions can be made to  :

Paypal donations can be sent to nourish.org.za@gmail.com


Bank details : nourish NPO, First National Bank,  account 62321718324, Hatfield branch number 252145. Reference OLD AGE ( and ur name ) or email a proof of payment to sarahdawnbergs@gmail.com

Photo’s courtesy of Sarah Bergs.

I will write another post on this center when we go to hand these folk their Christmas hampers. I can’t wait to see their faces!

Meet Cleo

Cleo used to be a companion dog to an old lady who passed away.  She was taken over by her builder who developed a particularly strong bond with her. They lived happily together until the builder packed his bags and left the farm he was working on. He left Cleo alone at the farm. For months Cleo would sit on the road from where she saw her master leave, crying for him to come home. He never did.  The farm owner has been feeding Cleo for six months now but can’t take her home because he already has three dogs who would fight with her. He says he has never seen such a well behaved dog but she is pining for company.

The Bean and I have decided that we would  like to take Cleo in and give her a happy loving home.  We fetch her tomorrow morning.  I can’t wait!

A special day

This photo is one of my favorites  – taken in 1966.

It’s me and my dad.

(No comments about my big head, lack of hair and teeth etc. please.)

Today is a really special day for me.  It’s my dads birthday.  Last year I was lucky enough to spend the day with him. He was very ill at the time and I was very worried that it would be the last birthday I spent with him. Doctors said we didn’t have much time.

Through answered prayer and with the help of some alternative medicine and a lot of commitment to his healthcare (and amazing support from my step-mum) my dad is doing so very well. He seems like a new man.  Well, nearly new 🙂


Homemade gifts

This year I decided to give homemade gifts to my family for Christmas.  My reasoning was not purely from a financial perspective but also from a green/recycling angle as well as how much fun and love goes into making things for loved ones.  I have been dying to show you what we made but had to wait till everyone had their gifts.

The Bean and I made some homemade tomato and basil jam which we wrapped up – a bottle for everyone.

We  gave each of the girls a homemade recycled handbag made from old curtains.  These were made for us by my colleague Charlie – a trade and barter deal.

and for my dad I painted this painting

I think this has been the most rewarding Christmas ever – I so enjoyed preparing the gifts.

Did you make any of your gifts?  I would love to hear about them.

Edit:   There is a great recipe for a homemade scented hand scrub in the comments of this post. Thanks Greg.

Driving home for Christmas

well it’s not really home anymore because home is here in Hoedspruit, but it’s where home used to be….once.  Yep, that’s right, The Bean and I are leaving tomorrow for Johannesburg to spend our Christmas with family.

I really don’t enjoy going to the city but the call of all things family, and Christmas with loved ones overrules the dislike.  I am really so excited to see them all and feel the warmth and love that surrounds the festive season in my family home.


So, to all of you, I would like to wish you a really fantastic festive season, a merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and an awesome new year filled with love and laughter.


Photo: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images Dec 23, 2003


I will try to post as often as possible during the next week, however it certainly won’t be everyday.

My sneaky angel

who likes to wake me up at night and look at me like this….

Its really dark at night here ….

You see his poor nose – I think he has a mosquito bite allergy. I need to get antihistamines and/or cortisone for him. It gets terribly itchy at times and he scratches his nose open like this.

He is good company – my Fred.

Lest I forget….

Please never let me take this for granted

Far from the cities

And far from the streets

Far from the people

Is where my heart beats

It beats in slow time

In the vast open space

It beats out the rhyme

Of an African pace


With the sun baking down

And the buzz of blue flies

With chirping cicadas

And gentle breeze sighs

There’s no need to rush

No deadlines to chase

Just the slow steady pulse

Of an African pace


The cool of the morning

The heat of high noon

The balm of the sunset

The silk of the moon

The stars’ steady march

The rivers’ etched face

The life loving rhythm

Of an African pace


( “African Pace” by Wayne Visser)