Tag Archives: Western Cape

Marriage & Romance

How wonderful to watch some of the Royal Wedding yesterday, so many years after Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s. Teenagers then, we crowded into our school hall for most of that day, savouring the moment, not to mention the opportunity to skip classes. Even in South Africa, we felt strangely included, similarly to yesterday.

Thanks to the massive scale world media of course, but perhaps also in part because of our British ancestry. At least, that would figure according to Malcolm Gladwell’s fascinating book, Outliers. As for the present, though, Prince William looked dashing, what a beautiful bride Catherine Middleton made . . . and what a gorgeous dress Sarah Burton (for Alexander McQueen) made. I whole-heartedly endorse the fashionistas’ praise 🙂

On the subject of weddings, we recently attended one in Botriver, near Cape Town. I mentioned our pending trip in a previous post, promising some photo’s, but to be honest I took pitifully few – feeling rather too social. Instead, I’d like to share a link to the official photographer’s beautiful blog, which showcases a stunning celebration: Tasha Seccombe Photography. There are four posts altogether, if you feel like a leisurely browse.

It took place on a wine farm in the wildest wind, lending a wintry, Highlands feel. Being partly Scottish, I loved the bagpipes, along with the kilt worn by Warren (the groom) – and the bride, Jen, was simply lovely. Apart from plenty of traditional delights, technology played a role too. Jen’s parents were in England, unable to travel for health reasons, so they shared the experience via Skype. Isn’t that cool?

Our sincerest wishes go to both couples for a magic married life, filled with romance. Being a chik-lit/romance novelist, that’s significant to me 😀 While in Cape Town, I did take the following pic of Foresters Arms (“Forries” to the locals) because this restaurant and pub features in my first novel, Out of Air, and I wanted a photo for the book’s website. We had a fabulous Friday lunch there, finding it as vibrant today as in 1994, when the story is set:


FORESTERS ARMS restaurant & pub – Cape Town, South Africa

So if you happen to take a trip to the Mother City – and fancy a British feel – put it on your list of places to eat . . . drink . . . and be merry! Continue reading

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Twin Anniversary and Engagement Celebration!

This is a special day for us. My twin sister Ruth was married 20 years ago today at the gorgeous Alphen Hotel in Cape Town, where she had lunch with her husband, before their party tonight. By complete chance (if there is such a thing :-)), Dave proposed to me 16 years ago today on Signal Hill, from a spot right about where this photo was taken:


TABLE BAY and ROBBEN ISLAND from SIGNAL HILL – Cape Town, South Africa

He had Table Mountain in mind, but was too impatient, or tense, to wait for the cable car queues. We weren’t aware of it then, but apparently both sites are situated on significant energy meridians. I haven’t looked into this, but true or not, it was certainly auspicious for us. That year we celebrated with Ruth and Etienne, since dinner was already planned on their behalf. We’ll enjoy ours in Jo’burg tonight, and drink a toast to them too!

I don’t usually include pics of myself in posts, but today is unusual – and being identical twins is curious to some 😉 – so here’s a recent one of the two of us together:


NAOMI & RUTH – by DAVE

Heart-felt thanks to my beloved husband, for asking me to marry him all those years ago, and pressing a beautiful ring into my hands – which I almost dropped down the hillside, because Dave has the most stunning blue eyes imaginable . . . Continue reading

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Preserving Penguins and preventing seasickness…

Those of you who’ve read about My Books, will know that our endangered African Penguins are close to my heart. This stems from childhood, when my late father sailed on our national research ships to the Southern islands and Antarctica, sometimes returning with penguins and seals. Despite the passing decades, I’ll never forget them, nor the pungent cocktail of diesel and oil mixed with the sea, so characteristic of the Cape Town docks. The docks of the old days, before the development of the vibrant V&A Waterfront.

So it’s wonderful to learn of support for the world’s penguins. My fabulous Facebook friend, Dyan deNapoli (The Penguin Lady) is in the process of launching her book The Great Penguin Rescue. Documenting a devastating oil spill that threatened 40,000 African Penguins, it will no doubt be a PHENOMENAL read, so take a look! For anyone unfamiliar with these birds, here are some pics of the Boulders Beach colony in Simonstown:


AFRICAN PENGUINS – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa


AFRICAN PENGUINS – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa


AFRICAN PENGUIN – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa


AFRICAN PENGUIN – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Dyan also recently drew our attention to a stunning new website of the Global Penguin Society, which ‘is dedicated to the survival and protection of the world´s penguin species, fostering integrated ocean conservation through science, management and community education.’ High five to them for all for their amazing effort!

As an aside about sea travel, Dyan offers invaluable advice for preventing seasickness: ReliefBands. She apparently felt no discomfort during five days of crossing the Drake Passage (to Antarctica and back) on a stabilizer-free ship, while others on board were beyond green. The bands ‘have a metal plate that sits against your wrist and provides an electrical pulse that stimulates a nerve, reducing peristaltic activity in your stomach’.

This recommendation came in response to a query on my Mom’s behalf, as she plans to visit ‘The Ice’ next year, shortly after turning seventy. Hard core women, or what? I can’t take the thought of those hectic seas, preferring to stick much closer to coast-lines, but these bands are a definite for future dive trips! I’ll task my Mom with photography 🙂

And how’s this for a cool side benefit? A user testimonial for ReliefBands mentions going on Adventureland rides that kids adore, with ‘NO ill effects whatsoever’! WOW, if that’s possible, perhaps there’s hope for me to read in cars. Now that would be AWESOME 😀 Continue reading

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Serving humanity on Mandela Day

Nelson Mandela turns 92 today. What better way to honour his contribution to the world than by participating in Mandela Day, declared ‘Nelson Mandela International Day’ by the United Nations last year. People across the globe are performing 67 minutes of community service today, in tribute to the over 67 years that Madiba devoted to public service and striving for social justice.

It was awesome to see him attend the World Cup final here in Johannesburg, along with Morgan Freeman, who portrayed him masterfully in the movie Invictus. In the words of this iconic actor: “Madiba doesn’t want a day of celebration. He asked that we spent 67 minutes on that one day in service of humanity.”

Still in South Africa, Morgan Freeman waved off a group of motorcycle riders on Tuesday, at the start of their road trip in support of Mandela Day. Although not riding himself, he is taking part in the event, which has traversed South Africa, from the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg all the way to Cape Town. This is the final day, being spent erecting a fence at the AIDS Response centre in Khayelitsha, convening at the Cape Town City Hall, followed by a press conference at the One&Only Hotel at the V&A Waterfront.

To set the Mother City scene for you, here’s a photo showing the One&Only Hotel (marked in red) in close proximity to the Greenpoint Stadium, which has been the setting for much World Cup jubilation over the past few weeks!

TABLE BAY, CAPE TOWN, including GREENPOINT STADIUM & V&A WATERFRONT Continue reading

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Global Day of Action – “Hands Across The Sand”

Here’s something special that SANCCOB are doing in Cape Town today: participating in the global Hands Across The Sand initiative.

This morning, people who care are joining hands across the sand at Blouberg Beach, wearing green and bearing placards that say “Yes” to clean energy, while doing their bit in a bid to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Rocky, SANCCOB’s endearing ambassador penguin, will be there as a living reminder of the threat of ocean-related pollution to sea birds. African Penguins have recently been reclassified as ENDANGERED, as per the IUCN Data List, with oil pollution rating as a key contributing factor in their declining numbers. Their plight features in my first novel, OUT OF AIR (see My Books).

Here are two pics of these engaging birds, which Dave took last year at Boulders Beach:


AFRICAN PENGUIN – Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa Continue reading

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Wonderful Western Cape

Since my last post which mentioned our trip to the Western Cape, we’ve struggled with a week of frustrating computer problems. It’s fabulous to have my toys working again, so that I can share some photo’s from this captivating province!

Here’s one taken at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, with Table Mountain in the background:


V&A WATERFRONT & TABLE MOUNTAIN – Cape Town, South Africa Continue reading

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Special Photo for Freedom Day

South Africa celebrated Freedom Day on Tuesday 27th April, in commemoration of our first democratic elections which took place in 1994, resulting in Nelson Mandela‘s election as President. This iconic man has contributed so much wisdom to the world that it begs to be shared. Here are two quotes for today’s inspiration:

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ – Nelson Mandela

This post is 2 days late because Dave and I were in the Western Cape, taking a mini holiday around his last race in Montagu (more images to follow soon). Here’s a special photo that he took from Signal Hill, which is where he proposed to me a little over 15 years ago, on an equally beautiful day :-). In the spirit of the classic wedding phrase, this image includes:

Something OldRobben Island (left of pic, where Madiba was incarcerated for many years),
Something NewGreenpoint Stadium, all ready for the 2010 Soccer World Cup!,
Something Borrowed – perfect Autumn weather,
Something Blue – a small slice of Table Bay . . .

ROBBEN ISLAND + GREENPOINT STADIUM – from Signal Hill, Cape Town

On a personal note, Freedom Day is particularly relevant to my first novel, Out of Air, which is a lively love story set in Cape Town during 1994 🙂 More info is included on My Books page.
Continue reading

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