about me

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Married to Nick for 13 years, with 2 children; Sabrina - 12 and Dominic - 11. I am a girlfriend through and through in that I love girly things and anything that celebrates the essence of being a woman. I love vintage, shabby chic, the country and try my best to do my bit for the environment. SO yes...we have 3 bins in our house and try our best to recycle! I believe that with everything in life, the closer we stick to nature, the better off we'll be. I would love to have a balance in life, but have learnt that balance is not always possible, so strive for significance instead, in the hopes that that will be just as meaningful, and the rest will hopefully follow.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Unexpected twists and turns in the road...

A beautiful African bush sunset, with the trees I fell in love with...
I couldn't decide whether I was more smitten with the animals or the trees:-)
A magnificent african bush sunrise...wish my camera could translate the beauty of the sounds of the early morning too!
Panoramic views
We LOVED this area around the 3 rondavels, which a camera cannot do justice to!

I’m sure I’ve said this countless times before, but you just never know how things are going to work out… . One minute you’re on a journey, you’ve plotted your course, you’ve done your planning, and the next minute, your compass has you facing a totally different direction....holidays are no exception:-)

In my last blog post, I mentioned that we were about to embark on our second campervan trip, to introduce our children to the wonderful sights and sounds of the Eastern Transvaal. We’ve been dying to experience the Kruger National Park with them, and the magnificent beauty of the area referred to as the ‘Panorama region’.
The never ending scenic view from Olifants Camp in Kruger.

Well as it turns out, the movie “RV” with Robin Williams, ended up being far too close to home, as our trip turned into ‘a series of unfortunate events’. I won't bore you with AAAALLL the details, but by the end of the trip, there wasn't really that much that HADN'T gone wrong with our motorhome, which resulted in us spending the last 5 nights of our campervan trip in hotels!....niiiiice..... I feel I must just mentioned that hotels are LOVELY, when you're geared up for them. As campervaning travel is different to ordinary camping like tenting, and your clothes go straight into cupboards…imagine how that translates into an unplanned, spur of the moment, hotel stay, or 5 - with no suitcases!!! Think about it…..each member of the family has to literally walk in through the lobby (which is always lit up like a Christmas tree!!) with a pile of clothes in their hand. If you’re a GF, you’re silently praying that your knickers and bra don’t fall out from the place you think you squashed them into...somewhere in the middle of the pile:-/. This while your hair dryer dangles off some other part of your body. Your TOILETRY/VANITY CASE, squashed under your arm, half open, (due to bloody broken zip)….shoes, boots, jackets stuffed into the one bag you have….which happens to be from PEP STORES (thankfully with DAMASK print, but PEP nonetheless!!!), which you (fortunately) bought when you popped into PEP in Graskop, to buy extra warm clothes, after all the unforeseen detours for repairs, resulted in you not staying in one place long enough to do WASHING! ...breathe....Bear in mind, that to add to the stress, dinner dress code in hotels is smart/casual, compared to your current wardrobe of shorts and bush attire…for KRUGER around the braai!....I can do this...i can do this...i can sooo do this!
The Baobab tree in the Kruger Park - it was love at first sight for me...

So...up until the last day we could still drive the van beautifully, but unfortunately the battery that drives the interior lights and water pressure had died a slow and MISERABLE death, so rendered the living area unsuitable for night time etc. I would have to say that possibly one of the things I loved (read loathed) the most are the number of unplanned detours we had to make to towns we never knew existed!! I'm all for small towns...love love love them, BUT SERIOUSLY???...towns so small, that 5 minutes after you've entered them, you already know that the guy at the hardware store, is the son of the lady who works at the post office!!...and...and...just a tip...don't ever trust signposts in a small town....picture a big sign...(kind of like the HOLLYWOOD sign of small towns, type size) that says..... "PANCAKES!!!!"...yum, lovely...something like that. So I'm asking the lady (who I swear is Glooooria, from Mr Bones) if it would be a good decision to go and have a bite to eat at the pancake place across the road - "Ag NEE!!", she says...."VAT place closed down FREE YERRS AGO OLREDDY"....hmmmm.....ya well no fine. You'd think they'd take the sign down FREE YERRS AGO OLREDDY???? So our next best bet was to eat at a place which had the DREADED....neon flashing sign outside...u-huh....exactly...not very different to the one you see in the movies, that always eludes to a place that's tacky... :-/...it came with stray cats and everything!!.....I can do this...i can soooo do this!!!!!!
This little Lilac-breasted Roller had injured her wing....

The very very last straw, of which there were many (snigger) was when on our final night, Nick walked out to the van to fetch something, only to realise that THE ENGINE BATTERY had now also finally given up the ghost...SAY WHAT?!?!?.... picture in your mind, Jim Carey in THE MASK, when his jaw drops and his eyes bug out AT THE SAME TIME.....yes that would be me when I heard the news at the dinner table that night, when my DH *casually* sauntered back to the table, his eyes a little too wide for my liking, and then, with just the teeensiest quiver in his voice, said...."you won't believe what's happened"....to which I answered "Hey buddy, right now, I'd reckon AAANYTHING'S possible"...still...I wasn't expecting the DAMN ENGINE to have choked and died....I mean it's a MERCEDES for pete's sake!!! is nothing good for anything these days?? ......not when I had already visualised our first meal back at home, not when I could smell the vanilla candles, not when I could see my girls (read hens) roaming on our lawn....not when I could almost touch and feel the cool linen THAT WAS MINE!!!!...sob...and see the bling and clean clothes in my cupboard DAMMIT!!......SAY WHAT?!?!....

But all that said, the main thing is that we got to see and do everything we wanted to, despite all the twists and turns in the road (no pun intended!). We spent quality time with our children, who had our undivided attention 100% of the time. We had some good laughs, and some real, what I like to call “amazing race” moments too! And best of all, our hotel trips are paid for, and the entire cost of our trip is going to be refunded to us - it's the least they could do.

I just have to say that the Eastern Transvaal region has views and sights that leave you in absolute awe. Waterfalls, forests, wildlife, sounds of nature, and a history so rich and interesting. I would definitely recommend this mode of travel for touring, despite our unfortunate experiences on this trip. Seeing sights from this vantage point is just unbeatable!!

I’ve compiled a list in my mind of things this trip has taught me….

1. We really are so blessed to have two amazing, helpful, well behaved children, who handle disappointment so well....possibly better than their parents:-/

2. No matter how bad things get, a hot shower, clean hair, and clean underwear can get you through anything.

3. Not all “smalltown folk” are wholesome country folk, who paint, grow their own veg, bake bread and have quaint gardens….thinking Midlands, Hermanus, Clarens???....thiiink again!!....have we seen some funny types???…..It's funny how sometimes the MOMENT you lay eye's on someone, just know they cut their own hair...and not with a pair of scissors either....seriously chick???

4. A pair of blue jeans, a black turtleneck, boots, scarf and jacket can be reworked, reworked again…and then some!

5. It’s surprising how a subtle touch of leopard print can add a bit of glam to the above outfit that’s been reworked, reworked again….and then some!

6. When you’re living on the edge, a bra seems….well….inconsequential :-/….(I say this never having gone bra-less a DAY IN MY LIFE!)

7. Camping holidays, in any shape, form or size are not for the fainthearted.

8. Just when you think you've seen some of the best sights this country has to offer, you get surprised time and time again.

9. I’m so booking my next trip on a cruiseliner!...kidding:-)

Below our Dom at a panorama view, near God's window in Graskop....
Bourkes Luck Potholes - one of the countries most beautiful natural wonders.

The children and I at Bourkes Luck.

Below...Pilgrims Rest...still so 1800's! I loved the olde worlde everything of this place...


  1. Aww man, sorry to hear about all the mishaps, but at the end of the day it sounds like you all had a holiday to remember. Lovely photos and I must say when Dereck and I went to that end of the world a couple of years ago, we also just loved those amazing views.

  2. i laughed
    i screamed
    i laughed some more
    i squeeled
    i cringed
    i laughed
    i got a pretty picture
    i laughed
    i had a hilarious vision of note !
    shew my friend
    wonderfull memories are made of this......

  3. Oh Bee, only you and your little tribe gf....but the best thing is you took it all with good grace and good humour and over the years with the retelling you will suddenly find yourself realising that it has become the BEST of holidays I promise!
    Missing you all madly (as always)

  4. ps BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING photos gf....AMAZING!
    pps Next time you want to capture the sounds gf try the movie mode lol