Monday, October 31, 2011



We were on the plane between Sydney and Auckland during the final match between France and New Zealand (The All Blacks), on our return from a trip to our homeland, South Africa...              
It was a nail biting few hours with some score updates from the pilot at intervals. Needless to say by the time we heard that New Zealand had won; only twenty minutes before landing, I was close to ill from the tension. I was fearing the worst when the pilot's commentary stopped on 9-8... for what seemed like an eternity. My worst fears were the depression that the country would experience if they lost to France, as the teams, most anticipated to be a threat to New Zealand were South Africa and Australia; not France ! Being on an Oz plane didn't help, as there wasn't exactly champagne on offer when NZ won. We were incredibly lucky though, to coincidentally witness the celebratory fireworks display from the air.
    I think that New Zealand sighed with huge relief, more than felt a feeling of victorious jubilation, winning by a mere margin. It was tough with some of the best players like Dan Carter out of the World Cup due to an injury... But the Boys shone through with amazing courage and dignity... And a win's a win. . . and now a week later, there are All Black and New Zealand flags flying all over the city, from motor cars and bridges, out of office windows, on homes and in trees.  Richie McCaw, the captain, is a National Hero and all in all 'We love our Boys' ! Parades were held in Auckland and Wellington and the Ellis Webb trophy proudly displayed to the 1000s who came out into the streets to cheer the team... And a baby born that week has been called Ellis Webb ! 



My hope is that it has put our wonderful small country of a mere 4 and a half million people fair and square on the wold map and that tourism will flourish. It's what we needed to boost our morale after the Christchurch earthquakes, too. NZ is a breathtakingly beautiful country and the Kiwis and many immigrants that reside here would be proud as punch to WELCOME YOU !

Friday, October 28, 2011

Freestate Visit....September 2011

I was born in the Freestate - 

....where the Caledon River connects Lesotho with SA. It's a land with a unique landscape and majestic vistas which excite my senses... it's a land that's part of my childhood roots and part of my visceral life blood.

We go on a trip back to these roots. I soak in the vistas; the koppies, ancient rock formations, majestic clouds, rusty windmills, lofty sunsets and the multi hues of rugged golden earthy browns through to crisp verdant greens. 
There's a serenity there away from the madding crowd. I watch a family of primeval baboons nonchalantly sunning themselves on a clump of rocks.

I attentively listen to the 'Piet my Vrou' and the doves melodious cooing.  It makes my life feel as though its frozen in time; as though yesterday I was that freckle -faced, pigeon toed school girl in my Ficksburg black pleated school uniform, sitting in the back of Dad's 1957 Chevvy on the way back to weekly boarding school, along a dusty farm road where windmills salute the heavens; past antediluvian sandstone edifices.

      I muse about this as I watch three mesmerised hunting dogs on the back of a bakkie, as they wait for their farmer -master with a six pack paunch, who just nipped in to the bottle store for another six pack.
     My eyes are drawn back to the windmills as they hover alongside sturdy, mature sandstone buildings with red corrugated iron roofs. Clarens nestles and snuggles below its amphitheatre of mountains and sandstone koppies. The quietness is pregnant with expectation. Time seems to stand still in Clarens. It's a place I like to visit when I return to SA from New Zealand; as though it permits me to sneak back to a previous lifetime of mine.

       And as the day steadily trickles into evening, people wend their way to drink a pint, then drive back to their bed and breakfast spots, to their homes, to the farms in the area where the lofty poplar trees stand alone. The setting sun will rise again tomorrow and Clarens will abundantly share its creative optimism and gentle rhythmic hum all over again.  


Sunday, October 16, 2011

A superb holiday in South Africa!


Superb holiday in South Africa soon to be on my blog with
 MY REFLECTIONS, combined with pictures of some memorable and meaningful adventures.  

FROM NZ TO SA -  VIA SYDNEY..... 16 September 2011