Mozart and Connie’s Cottages

There is an exquisite garden in Montagu in the Western Cape of South Africa. The garden is part of Connie’s Cottages which are self catering. The garden is much more extensive than shown in the one picture below. The beautifully planned garden reminded me of the theme from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. Recently we stayed at the Cottages. When we returned home I played the clip below as a small thank you to the owner Connie, for a really happy visit. And. Thank you Connie for allowing me to play your precious piano.

This post was not solicited. It is a genuine thank you

A message of hope from the Canopy: Learn from the changing seasons

The forest has spoken. This weekend, this leaf, dressed in gentle shades of autumn, drifted down from the forest canopy in the Island Nature Reserve near Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The leaf’s message was clear: “Autumn is here. Winter for all of us is not far off. But remember. After the winter will come the spring and then the warmth of another summer. Learn from me, a humble leaf. Learn the lesson of the seasons. The winter of this Covid will pass too. Have faith in the passage of time. Rest assured. A new day is coming for us all.”

See picture below.

Picture: Mariska Spoormaker. Thank you.

The Seasons are Changing in England and South Africa

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

March 2021

Change is in the air.

In England spring is beginning to shyly show her beautiful face.

In South Africa the autumn chill is starting to call for jerseys

Below are two pictures taken a few days ago. The first is of early spring daffodils in England. The second is of the South African “blood flower” now blooming in early autumn.

Read Mariska’s comment about the “blood flower” below the second picture.

Below: English spring daffodils – March 2021

Photo: Our relative in England

Below: South African autumn blood flowers – March 2021

Photo: Mariska Spoormaker

“When this bulb plant pushes out her red powder brush, you can know the time of summer is over. Some people call the Powderbrush / blood flower also the April Fool – why?” – Mariska Spoormaker on Facebook. (Behind the flowers is “Tiekie”, Mariska’s good friend and companion.

Sherwood Garden Centre in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

This is not a paid advertisement. I just want to share with you an enjoyable experience we had with friends this morning. It was a delicious breakfast at the Sherwood Garden Centre. It is a large nursery full of beautiful flowers and ideas for the garden. The people working there are friendly and helpful. Inside the Centre there is a restaurant and some interesting small shops. One of the shops is a second hand book shop with plenty of really interesting and valuable books.

Below are a number of pictures I took. Please scroll to the end (an exquisite miniature garden windmill).

When you arrive you are greeted by a cooling piano waterfall and by a naughty ant who was immediately put in its place! See the picture below.

I hope you enjoy the post.

Below:The Piano Waterfall

Below: The Naughty Ant

Below: Just some of the shops inside the large indoor area

Below: The excellent second hand book shop. The bookshop has many more books than you can see in the picture. Apparently there are more than 30 000 books to choose from.

Below: And of course – Some of the gorgeous flowers. There are plenty more.

The beautiful miniature windmill. Very South African. A great garden idea.

To repeat. I was not paid for this post. I just enjoyed myself.

Beautiful Zimbabwe – An Invitation to Think Back with Deep Gratitude

Please read this post, think about it, and then play the music at the end.

Do you remember the classic film “Out of Africa”? Mozart’s Clarinet Concert: Adagio was played as Meryl Streep and Robert Redford flew over thousands of pink flamingos in Central Africa. Heart rending. The Concerto has inspired this post about Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) in the 1950s. I was massively privileged to grow up there then, in Bulawayo, Matabeleland.

Did you live in Zimbabwe in the 1950s? I invite you to quietly think back.

Do you remember? The hot summer days. Hotter and hotter towards lunch time. The clouds building up. Getting darker and darker. So dark you had to put the lights on in the house. Then, the searing crack of lightning.followed by a massive clap of thunder. Too close for comfort. The sudden deluge of rain pounding the corrugated iron roof of the house. And outside, the downpour so heavy it became a thick white curtain. Half an hour. The storm was over. Out came the sun. The bright African sun. Running water everywhere. The ditches full. Flowing muddy water. The rain drops shining like thousands of glinting diamonds on the green grass and on the tall green mealies at the back of the house. And the smell! The wonderful smell of fresh rain on the rich African soil. Look up. Towering massive white clouds fill the sky. And there, miles away high in the clouds is a slow moving dark dot. You look carefully. It is a slowly circling vulture. Thank you Africa for the gift of growing up in the palm of your hand.

There is so much more to write about. It is emotionally draining to write this post so I will stop. I hope you understand. You of course have your own memories. Treasure them.

How do I feel? Please let the music I am playing speak to you. Thank you

Original house built c. 1910. Now with additions.

Thank you Africa. Thank you Mozart.

More Succulent Beauty

These beautiful succulents are in a friends’ garden in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Enjoy. There are three pictures. Please scroll down. Thank you.

Gorgeous fields of flowers in North Devon, England today.

What wonderful scenes in North Devon today. Very special. Thanks to my son in-law for the beautiful pictures.

Two pictures. Please scroll down.

Beautiful Flowers – Royal National Park Sydney

Beautiful flowers beyond description photographed by our friend in the Royal National Park in Sydney. Amazing colors. And look at the environmentally friendly coastal walkway. What a wonderful place. And yes, that is a spider web.

Please scroll down. There are 8 pictures.

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The spider web

Thanks again to our Australian friend for the pictures