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all seasons in one day

Arriving back home was quite eerie; while it was lovely to be home, it was quite interesting to see the house differently arranged, according to Simon and Ingi's [a.k.a. Ping] style, as is the garden. Although they were apprehensive about our opinion of these changes, they had nothing to worry about, as we were happy, and all was good.
It was strange to come back from a gloriously abundant [florally speaking] UK summer, straight into a wet Cape Town winter. Simon and Ingi, the skatties, planted Sparaxis bulbs to surprise, and Sandi's favourite pansies were in bloom in the front bed to welcome us!
As it was David’s birthday, the family gathered for tea to welcome us.
Although Jamie and Lis couldn't be there for this occasion, they arrived in time for Sandi's birthday, so the MamaSan had her brood all around her at last.
Another cat, Tai Chi, has joined the family, making a total of five furries in situ.
And here she is - practising to be a surfer dudette on Jamie's boards!
The three "new kids on the block" having din-dins on their own
but granny Amber won't eat with the rabble!
Daisy, our other matriarch, refused to be photographed, but we had to sneak in this old shot of her just to complete the furry fam bit.
The younger ones take great pleasure in chasing the two older ones, which involves much yelling and waving of arms from all of us! Punjab, the pâté prince, decided to start spraying all over the place, as he was probably unsettled too. Simon and Ingi insisted on us having their master bedroom [i.e. our old room] in the house, and moving into the granny flat, which is packed to the rafters with our boxes. Not what we had planned, as we had intended to move into the granny flat, but very kind and thoughtful of the darlings. So there was much to-ing and fro-ing, as we daily retrieved clothes and belongings from each other's rooms! No wonder the cats were confused and both T'ai Chi and Gobbelina perched on high vantage points to watch the crazy antics of their humans.
The things that were wonderful were:
• Seeing family and friends again
• Looking at the mountain every day
• Winding up the cuckoo clock
• Eating out in CT
• Eating abundant sushi at the Blowfish
• Drinking cheap, but good Goatshed red
• Seeing a new direction develop for the Greenhouse
• Getting David’s new driver’s licence just in time before we left again
• Comparing one’s freedom with the existence of colleagues
• Meeting two of Jamie's new puppies, Mowgli and Kong
• Having a lesson with Anton on the lawn in Kundalini yoga
• No deterioration on David’s hearing test
• Celebrating both our birthdays and wedding anniversary at home.

Things which were not so good were:
• Packing up the practice at the Greenhouse, 6 months after we had spent so much time and effort leaving it in good order, and 25 years after we had started it
• Not having enough time to really enjoy CT as we had hoped
• Sandi’s home PC which crashed, had its innards replaced, but never really woke up from its long sleep
• Sandi’s colour laser label printer which jammed, and has not yet recovered, in spite of several visits to the repair shop. Not ideal in the middle of product production time [very stressful as there were lots of bespoke remedies and product orders requiring personal preparation before we left again]
• Having to share one car between 4 of us after Simon overheated the Carina, and it was out of action for a week
• Sandi dashing off to Johannesburg for two Professional Board meetings, and the politics that always accompany such events
• Finding 2 London congestion charges in the post [£182] along with a lawyer’s letter of demand
• Noticing how the cost of living has increased sharply in SA since February
• Both of us having flu [again!]
• Having to deal with practice taxes etc
• David dropping a concrete slab on his finger, while repairing the driveway.

Gastronomic highlights included many good meals enjoyed in the company of dear friends and family:
• As-much-as-you-can-eat Sushi at the Blowfish
• Shabbat with the Morrises [Sandi had flu and regretted not being up to her usual hungry self to enjoy the feast]
• Lunch at Constantia Neck with Granny Gaby and the family [without Sandi, who still had flu]
• Our favourite Chinese fare at Mainland China
• Shabbat with Janet and Tash
Sandi cuddling Janet's little dog Boebie

Sandi cuddling Janet's little dog Boebie

Simon will drink anything out of a nasturtium leaf!

Simon will drink anything out of a nasturtium leaf!

• Indian supper and pizzas cooked by Simon and Ingi’s friends, in our kitchen
• Lunch at Fyndraai near Franschoek with Bernard and Jeanne Brom, and a lovely walk through the vineyards of the estate
IMG_8363.jpgIMG_8374.jpgDew drop on a vine stem

Dew drop on a vine stem

Sun setting on the Franschoek mountains

Sun setting on the Franschoek mountains

• Lunch at The Goatshed, Fairview Estate - our fave cheese and wine destination
• Lunch with Madel, our boys' 1st Montessori teacher, and long-time family friend
• Supper with David and Paddy Lilley
• Mia’s first birthday tea - the youngest Duk/Nye family member
• Sandi’s birthday dinner at Magica Roma, our home-turf Italian delight
• Greek supper at Marika’s with Ian and Dalene Morris
• Many gourmet delights prepared by Sandi at home - for birthdays, anniversary, and just to feed the mob
• Addy, our beloved housekeeper’s, famous samp and beans a.k.a. gnushu
• A celebratory lunch for nephew Greg’s birthday at Tania [Sandi's sister], Rebecca, and Grandpa Jack’s home.
• We also had a spectacular picnic in Darling, but more about that in the next posting.

What a celebration-filled month!

One crisp and sunny Sunday afternoon Dalene and Ian took us for a walk in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve [its existence hitherto unknown] where we walked among Bontebok, fynbos and had stunning panoramic views of Cape Town, while sipping chilled Veuve Clicquot and eating choc-dipped strawberries. Those Morrises sure are stylish!
So, all in all, the Nye roller-coaster experiences continued, but we decided to test our philosophical bent and patiently accept that: "It is what it is", and just get on with it. Home is however truly where the heart is!

Posted by davidsandi 04:48 Archived in South Africa

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