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The Georgia bug…

3 Dec

Last week end, we attended Derek’s last gig at the Arena Theater. With the wonders of technology, Phil could record some songs on his iphone and I could edit… and voilà!! We put the video on YouTube and it finished off all our bandwidth – although it was definitely worth the trouble,  I’m afraid there will only be one video!!!


Fruit Feast…

13 Nov

Group shot, 17 kids and a few more missing!

Fruit is healthy. Fruit looks good. Fruit is cheap. We had a Fruit Feast at the Maynardville park. It’s just a name. We had a picnic with loads of kids, quite a few parents, tons of dress-up clothes and much more other food than just fruit. It was fun! Next time we’ll try the fruit 🙂

Jethro and Kaira, a pirate and an indian, although she insisted that she was just a normal person!

That would be Katherine!!

Léa, flying fairy

Little Leah

On the tourniquet...

Mary, aka Leah!

Thanks Renette for organising the crowd, the clothes and the feast!

An evening with Derek Leisegang…

8 Oct

A couple of weeks ago, Derek had a gig at the Labia Theater in town. Usually photos speak louder than words but I’m afraid that my pictures don’t speak too loudly this time. The lighting (or lack of thereof) makes it hard to have a clear shot without having the atmosphere compromised… I’m afraid my pictures don’t do justice to the personality of the evening and the acoustic quality of the performance.

However, the evening was enchanting. I brought two friends with me, knowing that they would not be disappointed. And they were not. Derek’s stage presence is simple and real. His natural down-to-earth and humility is felt in his music and makes it only more attractive!

Georgia was the song of the evening – for me at least!! I just knew it would be the ending song, the ‘unexpected encore’…

In pictures…

The beautiful labia,

The empty stage. I think there is something to be said for an empty stage. I absolutely love the ambiance that reigns on a stage filled with instruments, and yet devoid of the artist. It has a personality of its own.


Part of the decor. The people that had agreed to do the sound and the lights cancelled at the last minute. While Derek managed to source out a new sound equipment, the lights had to be completely homemade: it included lights from different homes (ahem ahem), fairy lights, orchids, a red paper lamp – yes, the chinese kind – and even two goldfish.

The goldfish(es?) survived…

Did I mention personality?

Some of the beautiful guests,


View from the stage. Back to the 30s…

First part of the concert: K, Ray and the Bird. Talented musicians, one with a violin, one with a sax – one of my favourite instruments. It has such a soul!

One of their songs was called Truth. Interesting to reflect on. Unfortunately, it is not on the album Waiting for Harmony.

Finally…. the artist of the evening 🙂

This has to be ‘the Derek’s pose’ (maybe it’s just a guitarist pose…)

Talented musician Steven at the bass, look at those long hands…


Chris at the drum,


When all has been said and sung, time to pack up!


Only one criticism though…. it’s always too short!

Build-A-Bear: the birth of Bella, Robin and Scaredy aka Chocolate

16 Jul

During these long holidays, we took the kids to the Build-A-Bear workshop. It is a shop where you make your own teddy bear from scratch. The kids get to choose the outside of the teddy. They can decide whether they want a sound inside the teddy, like a monkey sound, a laughing sound, a ‘I love you’ message. They can even record their own message. Matty chose a monkey sound – how appropriate. Lea wanted to put her own message but I drew the line just before. I didn’t feel like hearing ‘Hello mama’ 30 times a day, and neither did she! Only a recorded message from a grandma would make sense!

Once the kids decided on the sound, the first step was to go to the fluffy machine (that’s where all the fluff gets put inside). It’s a big meany machine filled with what looks like soft cotton balls. In fact, one feels like just jumping in it! Once the fluffing is done, they each get a little fabric heart that they will put inside their teddy. But before, they have to rub it all over their body, kiss it, make a wish for Teddy’s life ( I wish that teddy will make my bed for me) and make a promise to their bear (I promise I won’t leave you to spend the night outside on the wet grass). They also need to think of a name for their respective teddy: we have Scaredy (because he’s scared), Robin (for Robin Hood) and Bella (meaning beautiful)

The promise

After that, they have to air-shower and brush their bear to remove all the unnecessary fluff.

The air-shower
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Then a crisis happened. Lea’s teddy bear needed an operation. Her back was opened and needed to be sowed back into shape. So off to the operation table! The ‘nurse’ told Lea to hold her bear’s hand and reassure the poor thing. I was amazed at how much into it Lea was, really caring for this bear as if it was for real!!

The concerned mum during the operation

Then it’s the most awaited stage – for the children. It’s also the cling-cling-cling (sound of money being spent!) stage for the parents: the dressing-up stage. They get to choose one outfit for their bear. These clothes cost more money than real shoes for my real children… but they are ssoooo cute! No surprise there: Lea chose a wedding dress, Killian chose a warrior outfit and Matty, being Matty, didn’t want anything because ‘his hair is his clothes’.

The dressing-up


Then, because these bears are real (yes they are, don’t you dare disagree!), they need a birth certiificate. To the computers for the Home Affairs stage!

The administrative birth

After the final solemn promise, right hand up, of looking after my bear, and always taking care of him – without forgetting the paying stage, we were eventually done! The kids were very happy and felt a great sense of responsibility. Although they look tired on this picture, be reassured, no, the Build-A-Bear workshop is not an exhausting time. tThe black rings under the eyes have more to do with the late(r) nights. Holiday mood!!!


A few weeks later, the kids still play very much with these teddies. Scaredy is not scaredy anymore (we don’t care what the birth certificate says!), he is now Chocolate because, says Matty, “He knows that I like chocolate!!!”. Bella has been put in many many many outfits, she has many friends, she’s had quite a few play dates and even went to a sow-your-own-shoes party!! Robin is a warrior that likes to play golf in between wars.

A teddy’s got to do what a teddy’s got to do!!!

When France tried to play football…

28 Jun

The Soccer World Cup is here. In fact, it’s been here for 2 and a half weeks now!! It has been really something. There is an ad on TV at the moment that starts by saying “Every 4 years, the world comes together…” and even if it sounds a bit of a hyperbole, it feels very true.

At the waterfront, there are tourists from every nation, every colour flag is hung, every foreign language is heard and every day, one would hear the screams of exhilaration as well as disappointment. Phil and I had the privilege to have tickets for the first game here in Cape Town and France was playing Uruguay. There is nothing like a world event to make you feel so patriotic that you would wear and display any kind of blue, white and red (french colours). Armed with my french beret, french arm socks and my painted french flag on my face, without forgetting the banner greeting my mum, hoping for a few seconds of air-time, a group of friends and Phil and I took the train to town. That experience could have been even better if we hadn’t taken the wrong train – the one that goes via all the dodge neighborhoods before reaching town. However, more fear than hurt later, we reached the city bowl, and what a view!!! People were everywhere, walking calmly yet joyfully and excitedly to reach our beautiful stadium. Vuvuzelas were pumping, flags were floating, people were buying from jerseys to scarves, from hats to backpacks and an absolute solidarity with people that you don’t know seemed to reign!! Except for the Uruguay fan behind us who didn’t seem very happy to see Thierry Henry come onto the field – not that it made any difference really!

The entire night was complete bliss – except maybe for the match itself that was slightly boring (0 − 0)

Here is us!









France is out – no comment. South Africa is out… Every time we take an interest in a team, they lose…

We’re scared to support Bresil and/or Portugal. As we speak, Bresil is playing against Chile and Juan just just scoooooooored the first goal!!!! Youhooooouuuuu!!!!!!

Right, got to go!!! 🙂

Oooooops just saw the second goal!!! Go Bresil!!!

When mini-walks are just too long…

2 May

Last week end was one of those week-ends. You know those where you wish that the week end is nearly over so that you can rest!! Busy, busy, too busy!!

On Friday afternoon was the Mini-walk at Matty’s school. Iy started with my duty-to-help setting up while I left the kids at home to watch a video – and have some quiet time. At 4, time to go to the school. Matt has to be dressed in red, and so do the other ones too because it’s just so much more fun to all be part of it. The penguins – that would be Matt’s class – and the rest of the school had all prepared their war cry. In the Penguins case, it was the songs “I’m a penguin, I’m a penguin, and I like to dive…” and “Peter Peter Penguin marching by. Toes pointed out and head held up high…”. Not too war-oriented!

Here is the **happy** boy. (He doesn’t look happy but he was happy. I think he’s not one for the big crowd and excitement!)


Then off to the road – quite a long walk for little feet but he walked, and walked and sang 🙂


On the Saturday, we were off to the Sweet Valley Walkathon. I was thinking, if the mini-walk was pushing our limit, then what would the Walkathon bring?? But I wanted to walk with Lea and in the end, we were all in our walking shoes. The Grade 1s had to be dressed as a pirates, and thank goodness, the boys didn’t feel the pressure to dress up too. So we had one pirate girl and two very curious little brothers. The whistle went and the music started and off we went, on the road again. Soon Matty was going nowhere slowly and his mum – yes, that would be me!! – had to carry him on her back. Strangely enough, the walkathon was much shorter than the mini-walk! The effort was also helped by ‘coke’ (coca cola for the french), a drink that is a big NO-NO for us. We try to avoid the squirrel-from-over-the-hedge effect!! I had a friendly chat with Lea’s teacher who was wondering why Killian and Matty were barefoot. After explaining that Killian really doesn’t like shoes – something to do with his ADHD, I wonder – and that hey, he might very well be in her class next year, we both had a (nervous) laugh!

Here is the pirate with the medal around the neck,


and with two good friends from her class, Daina and Meghan,


The best part was still to come. There was a big fete organised after the walk and the kids had many many rounds on them. Some of the rides didn’t look too safe, a bit rusty on the edges but most of them would not have killed anyone. They were very very slow!!

We have to be saluted for our perseverance. We queued – no jokes – 2 long hours to have a turn on the big wheel. Never ever again will I think that my kids can’t queue, no, they can. When they want, they can!!!


That was the week end of fund-raising events. Am I glad that it is finished!!!


24 Mar

If you’re a true South African, you will know what a Potjie is (and you might even know how to spell it!). If you’re not South African, you will have a blank look on your face 🙂

A Potjie is a traditional south african dish – in fact, it is traditionally afrikaans! if you wiki (wikipedia) “Potjie’, this is what it says as historical facts: Potjiekos originated with the Voortrekkers, evolving as a stew made of venison and vegetables, cooked in the Potjie. As trekkers shot wild game, it was added to the pot. Each day when the wagons stopped, the pot was placed over a fire to simmer. New bones replaced old and fresh meat replaced meat eaten.

Today there are loads of recipe books and potjiekos chefs. They all have their ‘secret’ ingredients or secret recipe passed on from old generations to new generations. Every year, there are potjiekos competitions held. In one word, Afrikaans people take their potjie very seriously!!

Not my husband though! Phillip has never done a potjie (shocked face!) but Etienne – one of the guys in our bible study group – has, many times!

On sunday we had our annual Young Adults Potjie event and for the second time, it attracted quite a nice crowd! The food was delicious, the company even better…. we had a great time!! Kids enjoyed the outdoor and adults enjoyed chatting away amid flavours of potjiekos simmering.

This is a BIG pot. These guys are big so you can’t see clearly how big the pot is but I could cook one of my kids in that pot!! Not that I would of course…


Etienne is the guy on the right with the cap and the apron 🙂 Same apron as last year!

The good news for us, as a Bible Study group is that this Wednesday, we have our own private function with Etienne as our chef!! Not to make anyone jealous, but we also have Kirstin – the chef in making – who will bake another one of her delicious AND beautiful cake!!!

Oh and it’s tonight!!!… Yum, tummy rambling!! 🙂

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