Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Woman's Day in South Africa

Today is a public holiday in South Africa, Woman's day. This morning a few of my friends decided to come climb the hill on the farm with their children. It was a lovely way to spend the morning. Here are a few pictures to give you an idea.
This picture was taken from near our starting point. That is the hill we are about to climb in the background. As you can see everything is green and the flowers are already out as we approach spring. The building hiding amongst the trees is an old water tank.
As it is still winter, our rainy season, the sun was still rather low in the sky, it was about 10 am.

Although we all started together and kind of stayed that way on the flat area, as the climb began the group strung out. At this stage my camera was set to landscape and wide open. This is a hill I climb quite often and since I climb innumerable stairs every day at work I landed up getting quite far ahead of some of the less active people in the group. It's so nice to have company going up the hill. A few of the younger boys kept up with me as did my friend Wynand.
This is my friend Jakobus. As you can see he's quite pooped at this stage. That's his nine year old daughter standing next to him. He carried her piggy back style up from the bottom. Believe me, for a nine year old, this girl is not light. Later, on the way down, I also carried her for quite a long way. Man did she tire me out. But hey, that's what fathers and friends are for, to look after little girls when they get tired. It was fun and strangely enough she was the only female in our group. I think all the women were out with their friends celebrating Woman's Day. That's Ok.
Not quite at the top yet but over the toughest part. This is an area from which you can look out over Melkbos and the ocean. The boys were fascinated to see surfers in the breakers and cheered them on with gusto. As you can see the flowers are not out in full force yet, it's still too early in the season. As we climbed I pointed out some of the plants that are used for medicine such as Sutherlandia and Hoodia which grow wild up here. Sutherlandia is used to slow cancer and Hoodia is used as an appetite suppressant.
Unfortunately I don't have a picture of Hoodia but will get one as soon as I go up the hill again.
The boys discussed things like herbal tea's and different theories of how the Bushmen discovered the various qualities of these naturally growing plants.It was very interesting. Wynand and Jakobus spent most of their time talking about diets. Jakobus has his own cheese making business while Wynand is a surgeon, Me, I'm skinny enough and have no interest in dieting at all. I talked to the boys.

This is a view of Melkbos from the top of the hill.
Yes, it is only a small little town but one that suits me just fine. I'm a very blessed man to live in such an amazing place. Surrounded by animals and wild things, there is not much I can complain about. Not everyone can say they live in a nature reserve where wild things are welcome. Most people in developed countries today have to travel vast distances to find such undefiled beauty. Yes, God has truly blessed me.
The four boys at the farm boundary with Table Mountain and False Bay in the background.
I think that because of the rather leisurely assent they had time to take in their surroundings and see for themselves the value of conserving this amazing piece of nature. These kids don't get very many opportunities to spend a day with their fathers in the wild. It was so cool to see them together. There was no rush or pressure to achieve, just a relaxing day with friends and family. Of course I was there to capture it on camera.
My dogs of course came with.
For me to go up the hill without them is just not possible, they love going for walks with me. All I have to ask is, "Do you want to go for a walk?" and they get so excited, rushing all over the place and jumping up and down. It's good to have them with me.
Jakobus drought coffee and sandwiches with, now there's a domesticated man. One of my favourite sandwiches is Peanut butter and fish paste with a dash of Paprika, most people look at me as if I'm nuts but when I suggested this combination they all agreed, I was so surprised.
On the way down we came across one of my little friends. A great ending to a really fantastic stroll.
These walks, when accompanied by someone who knows about what thrives here, become very interesting for these youngsters and will be remembered for many years to come. They all follower different career paths eventually but will remember these special moments with friends. As for me, I love to talk about the farm and everything to do with it, it gives me the chance to reflect on just how fortunate I am to be living here.
And for all the women in the world, may the Lord bless you today on your special day. Lots of love, Geoff. This one's just for you.


  1. Beautiful! It must be so nice to look out over that gorgeous scenery all day! I think I would skip the fish paste though and just have jelly! Great photos!

  2. You really spent a lovely day with friends celebrating the best day of the woman, congratulations to all women in South Africa !!!!!

  3. I have not had much time to read or blog lately and was so happy that I came to read your blog today.
    Thank you for taking me and your readers on your adventurous walk. Your photos are quite lovely. It reminded me of the joy of nature and in the sharing of life's simple pleasures with others. No doubt this was a day that will return again and agian in the memories of those that were there.

    Perhaps sometime you could photograph your dogs sometime. I would enjoy seeing them. Would they sit long enough to be photographed?

  4. Well Thank You Geoff. That is quite a lovely flower! I enjoyed all of your photos, such beautiful country.
    Your telling of the little girl made me laugh.
    When I first met my husband, my oldest daughter was then eight. We went to a car show in Chicago and he carried her on his shoulders all day!!! She just loved it. But I remember him telling me later on how sore he was the next day! She is 30 now, happy memories.
    Love Di ♥

  5. Sounds like a fantastic day! My kind of day; hiking! :)

    Wonderful pics, totally love the flowers.

    Now concerning peanut butter, fish paste and paprika, this is a new combination that I would be willing to try.


  6. Nice post. Such beautiful scenery. Love that lady bug!

  7. Just a wonderful post, Geoff. So interesting--everything about it.

    No wonder your friend was pooped! Carrying a child on his back! You had the easier task, on the way down!

    Yes, you do live in a beautiful place, what fantastic views, and I imagine there is always a fresh, clean, bracing breeze. Oh, to take in all that beauty! Especially the ocean! Hold on... I think I may be jealous! The dogs are great companions, I love dogs, but don't have one--money issues basically.

    How interesting about the plant properties. I believe that God has placed a plant to treat all sorts (if not all) illneses we may have.

    The other cool thing about the little town that supplies all your needs is that it's close by, but you don't have to live in it! Ah, peace and quiet!

    A great time was had by all and thank you so much for sharing. I'm going to go back and click on the photos to enlarge so I can enjoy even more! If I were there, I'd have to go to that wonderful, wide beach and ocean!

    Rock on, Geoff!

  8. Hey... did I see a freighter out there in the ocean? And are those your infamous African Daisies???

  9. Oh, another thought... wouldn't it be romantic to camp out for the night on top of that hill? Well, maybe for a few hours or so... With all the thoughts that would come drifting in on the breeze, you could solve the world's problems!

  10. P.S. Just re-read the snake post... am now nixing the idea of camping out on top of the mountain.

  11. Kathy hi. No not all day, I do still have to work. However I look forward to coming home to my little refuse from the maddening crowd each time I leave the farm.
    Peanut butter and fish paste not for you? You should possibly try peanut butter and Lettuce or peanut butter and bean sprouts with a dash of paprika or just plain salt and pepper, hmm delicious.
    God bless and thanks for the visit, I do love hearing from you, Geoff.

  12. Child of God, welcome back.
    Here at last is an adventuress spirit. Have you tried Geoff's weird sandwich yet? You may also like the other combinations I suggested to Kathy, very nice.
    Yes it was a great day, very relaxing.
    Blessings to you too, Geoff.

  13. Elettra, thanks. It was a very nice day and the weather played along beautifully too. You take care now, Geoff.

  14. One Woman's Thoughts, Hi. Yes I've noticed that you are not posting as often as you sometimes do but hey, We understand and also get a bit tied up sometimes. Don't stress, it's OK.
    Thanks for the compliments and yes it is a pleasure to share my home/garden with others.
    I have posted a few pictures of my dogs in some of my posts but, for you I will write a post about them. Their names are Archibald and Minnie. There is a story in that. God bless you my friend, take a little time for you, Geoff.

  15. Di, Hello again. You are welcome and I also like my flower garden, very low maintenance.
    I seem to spend a huge amount of time carrying children, I think they think I'm a climbing frame or something but I love it. Tiring but fun.
    God bless you Di, Geoff.

  16. Rebecca, thanks for the visit. I'm one of the lucky ones.
    Lady bird, silly child. Haven't you ever heard the nursery rhyme, "Lady bird, lady bird fly away, your house is on fire..."? Not a very nice rhyme though. I think it originated shortly after the great fire of London or something.
    God bless you and your family, especially in the mornings at wake up time, Geoff. :)

  17. Okay, peanut butter we know. But fish paste? Do tell.

  18. Joy I've left you to last because I have a whole lot of answering to do for you.
    Thank you for finding my post interesting and for the compliment. Yes carrying her down was a lot easier and she kept on telling me how funny I was, children are so easy to entertain.
    Yes I am very blessed, beautiful view every time I open my eyes. Not just a fresh breeze though, when the wind blows here it really blows. Mostly the wind comes from two directions, in summer it blows from the south east bringing heat and dry conditions and of course dust. In winter it blows from the north west bringing rain and cold straight off the ocean but it is always clean and fresh.
    Don't be too jealous though, there is a price I pay for living amongst such beauty. In winter the road and in fact everything around my house turns to mud and we all know how you feel about mud. Spiders are a constant companion in my home too, not dangerous ones but they still cover everything with cobwebs. Another thing I have to deal with is of course snakes. I personally don't mind them but then again I am a bit eccentric anyway.
    Yes dogs do make great companions so do women, I don't have one, money issues mostly. :)
    Did you know that prior to the flood humans only ate plants? It was only after the flood that God gave man animals to eat. The funny thing is, they lived (man that is) for hundreds of years. Go check it out in the following verses in the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 29 and chapter 9 verse 3. you will be amazed.
    Melkbos is a haven and will always stay small for a number of reasons. There is a nuclear power plant less than 10km away and the international regulations concerning the number of houses within a certain radius of a nuclear plant restricts growth. Cool. Another thing that keeps development from taking over is the nature corridor that lies between Melkbos and the greater Cape Town, once again cool. Peace and quiet indeed.
    Yes everyone did enjoy their walk. That Ocean is the Atlantic Ocean and because of the cold Benguela current that runs up the coast directly from the Antarctic. It's freezing. Good fishing though and the surfers take full advantage of the huge waves we sometimes get here. The beach is a good place to go for walks except when the wind is blowing really hard.
    Ok, that's the reply to your first comment. On to the next one.
    That ship you are seeing is in Table Bay. The harbour is on the opposite side of the bay, they anchor out in the bay waiting to be allowed in to unload. It looks like a bulk ore carrier and is probably just stopping here to send crew ashore before heading up to one of our other harbours on the east coast that handle bulk. I'm not absolutely sure about this though.
    The flowers are indeed African daisies, I've got a book "Wildflowers of South Africa" by John Manning open next to me right now and have been trying to identify what they are. There are more than 80 different species of daisy in this book. I think the white ones are possibly Osteospermum pinnatum, otherwise known as Satin boneseed or as in Afrikaans, Jakkalsbos. The orange one is commonly known as a Namaqualand daisy or Dimorphotheca sinuata. How's that for an answer.
    OK now for the next one.
    Yes and of course yes. I don't know about camping out but a picnic basket and a good bottle of South African wine and someone to share it with would be really cool. You are welcome to join me you know. Hell of a long way to travel for a picnic though.
    And now for your last comment. What on earth are you cancelling your plans for a picnic for. I will be with you and as you already know snakes don't stand a chance with me around, Ha, Ha.
    God bless you my friend, until next time, Geoff.

  19. Oh! I am loving this!!! I haven't had such a good laugh since I don't know when!

    Yes, I know humans first ate only plants... and then...(insert dramatic pause) 'The Fall'. Will look up the Bible verse, but I know what you are refering to.

    Our local plant nursery sells (I think) the Osteospermum pinnatum in the spring as a bedding plant. (Maybe). It sounds familiar.

    So, your oceanside swim (for me, wading--with a life jacket) would not be like the United States Florida eastern coast water that is like warm bath water? Bummer.

    I like picnics. Send money. ;) LOL
    Have a great weekend Geoff!

    P.S. thanks for all the interesting information.

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