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The Sound of Music, or how to reach a comfortable compromise

9 Mar

After much discussion, where my husband and I disagreed on whether we should go or not, we compromised and decided not to go to the theatre to watch the Sound of Music. I was the one rooting for ‘not going’. It wasn’t that I did not want to go – I love the theatre, any kind of show: ballet, opera, plays, musical, one-man show – but rather, it was the financial exercise that was more of a stumbling block. My husband calls me stingy. I like to think of myself more as a ‘conservative spender’.

Killian, baffled.

Killian, baffled.

My daughter and I have been to the theatre together before. We used to take her to the ballet every December, we went to Potted Potter last year (which we absolutely loved loved loved!!) and recently we went to Sleeping Beauty on Ice (freebie tickets, mind you) What a thrill!! But my boys have never experienced the theatre yet, except for children’s theatre. My reasoning for not taking them to Sound of Music was that I was not convinced I wanted to pay R300 for a ticket to take them to a two and a half hour play, and have them moan half way through the show because they are bored, tired or both. Call me stingy, I don’t really care!

Then, a friend gifted us with two tickets to go and watch the Sound of Music. What is that? Didn’t my friend know that we had found a comfortable compromise already? My husband and I had reached a decision to ‘not go’, but now the discussion was back on the table. “You go with one of the boys” I said, being totally selfless and loving and kind. No, the husband said. I really think we must take all the kids. ALL the kids? ALL the kids.

Matt, all dressed up.

Matt, all dressed up.

So reaching a new settlement in deciding to ‘ALL go’, we booked three extra tickets. Given that we couldn’t book the three extra tickets next to the gifted two, I nagged enough and we chose seats that were slightly more towards the back and therefore cheaper. I also convinced Phillip that the three boys should sit together while the two civilised girls will watch the show peacefully (thank you selfless husband).

I was so sure that this theatre experience would backfire on us him, that I even agreed to forfeit a previous bet prize if I was proven wrong in thinking that the boys would not cope. That’s right, my husband owed me – or so I thought.

Thursday 8pm came and excitement rose. Many questions were asked (what, where, when, how long, who and why), they were asked more than once (thank you ADHD child for testing my patience at every corner). And finally Artscape, here we came.

The show was amazing. The singing is breath-taking (the main nun… what a voice!), the acting is of a very high-standard, the decor is very well done and the story is beautifully arranged. We laughed, we cried, we clapped, we stood up and clapped some more. The boys’ first experience to the theatre could not have been better selected. I’m so glad my husband knows better than me, sometimes. Words can not do justice to the show and, if you can afford it, and if it won’t create discord within your family, spoil yourself, go and enjoy this show. You won’t regret it!!

Léa. Waiting in anticipation

Léa, waiting in anticipation and reading from the other spectators’ program.

Did I mention that I forfeited a bet?? Well for this time, I didn’t mind being proven wrong.

Just this time.

Holiday beaches

7 Jan

I choose this rainy day to start a few quick posts about the December holidays. They were just here, I swear I smelled them. They are now finished. Swoosh, just like that! Anticipation of Ouma and Oupa arriving, excitement at seeing cousin Cleoné and a few weeks later, those are already memories.

This year we actually managed a few outings to the beach (It is hard to get to the beach when you have a solar-heated pool at home ok!)

We (re)discovered Noordhoek beach (Phillip and I go there every 14 years).

Building sandmen

Building sandmen

African dancing

African dancing

Chased by the sea

Chased by the sea

Captivated by sand

Captivated by sand

A warm pool of cousins

A warm pool of cousins

Taming the untameable calm  lagoon

Taming the untameable calm lagoon

A mother in the making

A mother in the making

Irresistible grin

Irresistible grin

Deciding on the target

Deciding on the target

My favourite mopkop

My favourite mopkop

We also visited Hout Bay beach. Kids love the dunes there.

National sport: dune-climbing

National sport: dune-climbing

... I'm not sure what they're doing, but it looks pretty cool

… I’m not sure what they’re doing, but it looks pretty cool

Life support. Holding hands.

Life support. Holding hands.



Ecstatic (Léa's favourite word at the moment)

Ecstatic (Léa’s favourite word at the moment)

Joyful. 2

Joyful. 2

Proof: Killian and I were there. Love the background.

Proof: Killian and I were there.
Love the background.


Hibernating mode

17 Sep

It’s only been a month, and a bit, that I haven’t updated this blog of mine. I think it went into hibernation, like me. The winter has been long and hardy and like a true procrastinating bear, I went into my cave and put back to tomorrow what could be done today.

So without any further ado, I shall write. Write about Matty, his teeth, Léa and her birthday, Killian, his hair and many other important topics such as these. All that, in time.

For now, I just want to post some pictures of the cold winter we had. A few weeks ago, we went to Hermanus just for one night with some friends. The winter sea has that **awe* element that makes you reflect about the grandeur and power of God. Watching it, I nearly froze (of coldness) but I survived and dare I say, almost enjoyed it.

My precious…

Are you warm enough papa? Stolen moment… Love it.

Found a little cave, sheltered from the wind. Thumbs up and still all my teeth!

Oh my word, am I cold!!! Many many layers!! Under that fake smile lies grumpiness…

Half-smiley girl

Cuddly boy and his mum…

Killian and Stopayne (It’s the name of his blankie). I’m so glad I captured this. Stopayne is as much part of our family as any goldfish or rat would be: same smell and lack of personality…

Photos, photos, photos!!!

20 Jul


The impact cousins have on the french language…

15 Jul

When we visit my mum in France, my sister and her family who live 7 hours away usually make the trip to come and say hello. This time around, even though we went there in June i.e. during school term, they still made the long journey by car, with a 7 year old and a 6 year old, just for 3 days, just to see us!! It was short but it was goooooddd!!!

We went to one of our favorite place, the lake St Cassien!!  I’m always amazed at how well the kids so quickly get along. They see each other once every 2 or 3 years and yet Léa and Margot played together as if they had seen each other the previous week and the boys were fighting for Thomas’attention.

The best part about having the cousins around was that my conundrum about languages got resolved within a day. Why make the effort to speak french to mum when mum can speak english? Why make the effort to speak french to my granny when I only need the vocabulary for greetings and food. But if I need to play with the cousins…. ahah! By the end of the 3 days, my kids had seriously improved their fluency in French. And they sounded so cute!!!

So thank you my sister for coming all the way to say hello and touch base!!! We had a fun time!!! And thank you to my mum and Claude for moving out of their flat for one night to accommodate all of us!!! :–)

Forum Julii

29 Jun

aka Fréjus – France. Three years later…

A picture descriptive of our holidays!

Sandy and happy

We arrived on Saturday, white and tired. By Sunday, we were less tired, more red and very sandy. As always, our holidays in France are characterized by sun and beach. No time to waste!

Léa and Matt, watching sandcastle disappear to the sea

That is Matty in a nutshell!!

It was Mother’s Day the first day after we arrived: the best gift I could give my mum! We spent the day at the beach Base Nature, all together, Goway (the dog) included!

We managed to get burned on our first day. I (stupidly) thought that the June sun is mild enough to go without any protection… ah ah! It set the tone for the rest of our time there! It also gave plenty of material to tease Phillip and his peeling state 🙂

On Fréjus, St-Raphaël, Ste-Maxime, St-Tropez…

23 May


Look at this map. Do you see St-Raphaël? Do you see Fréjus?

It’s not just a map with names. It might mean nothing to you, but to me, it’s my entire childhood, right into adulthood!! This is where we are going in exactly 9 days!!!!

**happy face**


And then zoom out…. and you get this:

In the foreground, the harbour, in the background the cathedral and all the intricate pedestrian streets where I have so many fond memories!

Now I thought I was excited at the idea of going!  But what I see in my children’s eyes when we start talking about the imminence of our trip is the delight of their own memories and what France means to them: the walks to the beach, Marineland, Luna Park, Mamie’s apartment and the big garden downstairs, the ice-creams, the evening outings, the plane trip (!!)…

And I’m excited at the idea of building more memories this year, with new places to enjoy. This time we’re even going to camp…

And I look at the countdown roster that they each made,

…and I know that we are ALL ready to go. Countdown 9. 8. 7. 6….

Winter in July

21 Jul


Freezing times, falling times, quadbiking times, hiking times, picking-up-sticks times, laughing times, stuffing-our-faces-with M&Ms times, fighting-like-Ninjas times, resting times…

And these were our holidays in Klein Kariba 🙂

On the 6th of March…

18 Apr

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One of the special moments we had during my mum’s visit (which was now more than a month ago!!! Hard to believe…) was her birthday. I can’t remember when last we were all together to celebrate it. I remember a few years ago baking a cake for her birthday and sending pictures of it with the kids around.

Ah ah! But this year we were all together to celebrate her 29th birthday 😉

The obligatory gift was a handbag. We, women, always ALWAYS need a new handbag. (Kerry, are you owning a handbag by now??) But not any handbag! My friend Kirstin designs beautiful bags with her unique style and label Button Mushroom (the site hasn’t been updated for a while and her new range of bags is even better). She’s always been there for me, never failed me like a true designer friend, and always provided me with handsome-looking original and unique gifts 🙂

My mum was very chaffed with hers 🙂 Another birthday, another opportunity!

A friend of my mum and Claude had told them about a wine farm in the Cape area. It turned out to be Morganhof . So my mum decided to treat everyone and go there for lunch on that special 6th of March!

Morganhof!! What a lovely place! A (triangular!) table was awaiting us, under the trees, outside, surrounded with the most beautiful landscape. Peacoks roaming free, fishpond in a distance… Excellent food and a free bottle of wine – apologising for the wait… My mum and Claude were astonished by this gesture – so were we! If you know me, you know how much I love free stuff and although I don’t drink wine, I was almost tempted to, just to make the most of the gift 🙂

The most treasured moment was probably when my mum’s three grandchildren (that would be my children) sang happy birthday to her. And if technology works with me, what follows should be the short video clip of THE song.

Amazing how all three of their personality shines through these 23 seconds: the People-Pleaser, the Contrary-Mary and the Clown!

That was a well-celebrated birthday, à la sud-africaine…

Ratelfontein – Day 5 (Part2)

25 Jan

Well, day 5 was a long day! After we all recovered from our emotions, we went for another drive in the afternoon with Eugene as our driver. We saw some roads that only had the names of it, because they were not made to be driven on it. On those roads, you had to really hang onto anything that is grab-able if you didn’t want to fall off the wagon!

Lea managed to spot a leguan ( not sure of the spelling but I’m talking about that BIG lizard). We stopped the car and came closer to take pictures. As we did so, its neck started to swell; it’s a tactic to try and scare us. Me, in the middle of the Karoo, with my little flip-flops, scared that a snake would come and tickle my toes, I wasn’t too reassured. I tried to get closer but as I did so, the reptile started to hit its tail vehemently, again in an attempt to scare us. Well, it worked with me so I handed my camera to Ali, who, fearless, went closer and closer.


We saw some more magnificent creatures,


Killian opened the gates for us, taking his job very seriously,


And we drove towards awesome sunsets in the horizon,


And that was day 5!!! Pfew!!

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