Forty-Five | 52

A portrait of my child each week in 2015. Joining in with Jodie at Practicing Simplicity.

You’ve suddenly discovered ‘reading’. You’ll bring your favorites to us multiple times a day saying ‘Sit Mom. I read” and sit quietly while we read to/with you. But this book in particular is a favourite of yours. Your Aunty Linda gifted it to us. It’s called “The Yellow Balloon” (although we have the Dutch version). There are no words, but it is beautifully illustrated. You quickly mastered finding the little balloon on each page and now we spend time looking at all the other scenes (you are intrigued by the crane and love finding the cat on the roof of the ski chalet!)

Sending lots of love to Aunty Ash & Uncle Gareth today as well as cousin Connor as they welcome their daughter/sister! Wish we could be there xx

{Last Year}





Taking Stock {October}

Many many MANY baby beanies as baby-shower gifts. I know of FIVE showers coming up in the next 4 weeks.
Cooking: Two different potjies this weekend. I can’t wait!
Drinking: Looking forward to cracking open a lovely bottle of Pecan Streams Chenin Blanc tomorrow, but right now, tea.
Reading: Not much. Do crochet blogs count?
Wanting: A camcorder…really getting into little video clips

Looking: Back through this month’s photos. Wow, it’s been a busy month!
Playing: Hide & seek with Little Man…the best game EVER! Especially as he can’t stop himself from giggling in anticipation of being discovered!
Planning: Our KZN trip…dying to show Little Man the aquarium at uShaka!
Crocheting: Working on Little Man’s blanket, in between beanies and other gifts.
Wishing: Smooth sailing, calm, peace and love to my sister as she waits for her daughter. Wish I could be there with you Smash, you’ve got this! xx

Enjoying: Beautiful early morning light, long evenings.
Waiting: For news of my niece!! Come on little one; no one likes tardiness!
Thankful for: Family, especially ones far away who we seldom see but who jump at the chance to hang out xx
Wondering: How my mulberry jam & jelly will do at the Bathrust show next year
Loving: Deliveries from our local grocery store, saves me trekking out for critical office supplies (milk, coffee, rusks)!

Hoping: For a good chat via Skype with some Danish students. High school students studying politics and history and English.
Marvelling: At weather systems. From snow and gale force winds that ripped a neighbour’s roof off their house, to 35C and not a breath of wind in the space of 3 days.
Needing: To replace the basin in our master bathroom. There was a small incident with a candle holder and an elbow. But it means a chance to upgrade from ‘builder basic’ to something with a little personality & pizazz!
Smelling: Sun cream and perfume, fresh cut lawn, and the most incredible roses.
Wearing:Polka dots & jeans!

Noticing: How lucky I am. And taking a moment to appreciate that.
Thinking: About the recent protests and what it will mean for the future. No easy answers anywhere.
Listing: Baby birds chirping outside my office window.
Excited: To have at least one set of Grandparents in the same province from December! Now to convince the other set….
Waiting: To leave on a jet plane! Can’t wait for the holidays!


Forty-Four | 52

A portrait of my child each week in 2015.

It’s always hard to choose just one weekly photo and this week there are two that I love for completely different reasons.

On Friday night we planned pizza for dinner. We like to make it from scratch, including the dough. So you carefully watched as we added warm water, yeast, flour and olive oil and begun to knead. You were especially observant of how I sprinkled flour on the counter top. I placed the ball of dough aside to rise and turned back to find that you had sprinkled the rest of the flour, liberally, all over the counter, the flour and yourself. No matter, you had such fun. Drawing squiggles in it with your fingers, spooning it from bag to bowl and back again, scraping and scooping it up. I chose to fetch the camera and clean up later.

The on Saturday, we went to a lovely Halloween Party (barring the rather scary costumes, but we won’t talk about that). We carved a pumpkin (a feat!) and managed to stop you from eating ALL the sweets you were given. We kept you up a little past bedtime so we could light some candles and tuck them in the pumpkin. Riddly was not impressed with the weird glowing face at all.

{Last Year}


Forty-Three | 52

A portrait of my child, each week in 2015. Joining in with Jodie at Practising Simplicity.

It’s been a turbulent week here. Nation-wide student protests including at our local University. On top of that the local taxi association protested (rightly so!) over the state of the roads AND THEN an awful wave of xenophobic violence targeting certain individuals in the community. A week of rubber bullets, flash-bangs, low-flying menacing helicopters. Toyitoyi-ing, (singing & dancing the way we protest in South Africa!), burning tyres and anxiety. Our office was closed on Friday and I asked Nosi to stay at home and stay safe.  The students protests, at least here, have come to an end and now they are buckling down to write exams. The taxi association is rumored to have another protest scheduled for tomorrow…and the targets of the xenophobic violence are in hiding. It’s been quite a week.

This is one from my phone. You got very irritated with Riddly when she climbed into the bath you were trying to drag around!

{Last Year}

Forty-Two | 52

A portrait of my child each week in 2015. Joining in with Jodie at Practising Simplicity.

Jackie’s place has an awesome mulberry tree. Mom’s been picking heaps (3kg and counting) to make into jams and jellies, some for Christmas presents, some for us. You are a fan of a spoonful stirred through double cream yoghurt. Yoghurt & jam popsicles are also a hit!  We also learnt a lot about colours, green and red are no good, black or purple are.  You took your job very seriously and go quite frustrated when there was a fat ripe berry just out of reach.

{Last Year}

I have such fond memories of a similar tree at home in Harare. Coming back from school, grey & while polka-dotted school dress discarded in a heap on the floor. Shoes long since kicked off. Toes, and fingers semi-permanently purple. Fat, fresh berries, like tiny black holes hiding in the impossible greenery. Branches dipped low, begging to be climbed. As many picked as eaten, a quick wash and a dollop of thick cream. Summer-time dessert.

I’ve made one batch of whole-fruit apple & mulberry jam. The recipe recorded here for posterity, but you should perhaps know that this is the only batch of jam I’ve ever made that has actually set. I’m so proud of it, I plan to enter a jar into the Bathurst Show next year! Next; I want to try mulberry & rosemary jelly to go with our Christmas roast(s).

Mulberry & Apple Jam

~1.5 kg fresh/frozen mulberries
~500g tart green apples, cored and diced (Granny Smith are ideal)
250ml water
~4c sugar

Place fruit & water in a larger-than-necessary* non-reactive pot. Heat gently and encourage the fruit to break down with a potato masher. When the fruit is pulpy, add the sugar and place a candy/sugar thermometer in the pot. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and then the pot over a low-medium heat without stirring. When the thermometer reads 105C turn off the heat and test to see if the jam has set. (more on that here).
Spoon into jars and process as normal.

*You do not want mulberry splatter all over everything. Trust me.

Forty | 52

A portrait of my child, each week in 2015. Joining in with Jodie at Practising Simplicity.

This week’s photo isn’t one of my own, but is thanks to the brilliant and lovely Lara from Evanescent Photography. She’s a friend of mine and it a master at capturing beautiful photos! We had an impromptu photo shoot in Port Alfred while we were there for the Round Table Bi-Area conference. Thank you SO  much Lara. So very special!

12 weeks until the end of the year. Yikes!

{Last Year}

Taking Stock {September}

  • Making : Progress on this year’s vegetable garden
  • Cooking :  Burgers for dinner
  • Drinking :  Tea
  • Reading :  One Summer: America 1927 – Bill Bryson. <-Same as last month…at least I’m reading!
  • Wanting : Some uninterrupted crochet time!

  • Looking : Forward to the arrival of our newest niece! Not long to go now Smash! Hopefully we can come down to visit soon!
  • Playing : Music from the FreeMusicArchive. I love this song in particular.
  • Planning : More seedlings to plant, new garden beds
  • Crocheting : Baby blankets…in many different variations. Also, booties, & beanies.
  • Wishing : If I tell you, it won’t come true…

  • Enjoying: A few days of mizzle. All the better to fill the new raintank and settle tender little seedlings
  • Waiting: For pilates exam results….still….
  • Thankful: For supportive & understanding friends
  • Wondering: If we can manage to make the toys planned for Christmas!
  • Loving: Catching the last of the sunset on my way home from teaching pilates. A contrast to the early dark evenings of winter.

  • Hoping : Still hoping.
  • Marvelling :  LB’s language and skill seem to have taken a massive leap recently…new words daily, phrases, dexterity and comprehension. It’s quite phenomenal.
  • Needing : To start gathering things for my Santa’s Shoeboxes. Have you pledged one yet?
  • Smelling : Fresh coffee brewing downstairs
  • Wearing : My favourite pink scarf and slipper-boots!

  • Noticing: More and more evidence of spring. It really is remarkable!
  • Thinking: About Aunty Ann who had an op yesterday.
  • Listening to: FreeMusicArchive
  • Excited About: A family engagement and hopefully a super fun wedding in the future!
  • Waiting for: News from my sister!!


Thirty-Eight | 52

A portrait of my child each week in 2015. Joining in with Jodie at Practising Simplicity.

Mom did some early-morning baking so that you could take treats to school for tea-time. Your favourite thing in the whole world is licking the K-beater. Of course it is. It was mine too! I love your chocolate smeared face and your brilliant blue eyes. This is one of Mom’s favourite photos of you!

{Last Year}