Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

Spurs fan??? ;)

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

Spoilt girl!

Lance (as usual) amazes me with his gifts. 

I got a treasure chest (a wood trunk I eyed out a while back... unknown to me he went back and bought it, and filled it with chocolate coins, fluffy socks, nail polish - his favourite colour on me -, mascara, cream - the correct kind, having excema I have to be so careful -, and other goodies), which literally overflowed when I opened it.. I was so bowled over with all the thought he put into it. 

I also got a Kenwood kMix Mixer (I am forever asking him to stir my baking!haha); socks shoes for around the house (he knows how cold my feet get with the wood floors, always in socks); and 2 x Kirsty Allsopp books (Yippee).

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Adopt a Smurf for Christmas!

Adopt a Smurf for Christmas!

Beautiful Richmond

Chicken salad at Gauchos

Rib eye steak at Gauchos

Time for Christmas Eve lunch!

Merry Christmas!

Nieces and nephew in the US :)


My new microwave that looks like a TV!

Someone likes the lil car her uncle and aunt got her :)

Latest photo of my Joburg brother and family

Some choices are hard to make...

Clever lil nieces and nephew made this :) Well done guys!

Friday, 9 December 2011

2011 --> 2012

So, looking back, this year was a great travel year! 

South Africa in January (Jhb and Kruger), then again in April (Jhb and the Cape), The Algarve, Portugal in August, Dominican Republic, Caribbean in October, Nice, France in November... and I have just booked a surprise visit to Paris with Eurostar for mum in Feb 2012... possibly another trip to South Africa on the cards... but otherwise no plans in the offing for 2012.

How will your 2011 compare to your 2012?

How do you celebrate Christmas?

We've just started the Christmas season with a 3 day trip to Nice in the French Riviera... we had an amazing time... the Christmas Market started on Saturday, the ice skating etc. Huuuuge ferris wheel (which I love and Lance doesn't!! But he went up anyway bless him!). Was great. Will probably get to putting these pics up before my Caribbean pics at this rate.

Working with kids, we have tons of Christmas activities, personalising stockings, making decorations etc. The tree will go up this week. We are seeing various extended family members over the next 2 weeks for Christmas meals, on Christmas Eve we (hubby, sis and I) are dining at a lovely restaurant in Richmond, Christmas Day will be understated with church, a roast and then going to the soup kitchen to help out. 

We do pressies for immediate family adults only if we are with them at Christmas, the nephews and nieces always get gifts, they are young still. For us it's not about the hype, the commercialism... we do get into the spirit of the season though 

Looks like Italy... sounds like France...

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine...

Nice, French Riviera

Hubby and I took a last minute trip to Nice for 3 days... the Christmas market had just begun, the city was awash with Christmas lights, the atmosphere was lovely... thoroughly enjoyed it! 

The tree is up!

So the tree is up... later than usual as we were in the French Riviera last week... will take it down by February. 


Unplanning a planned day

From a planned day of chilling, pressie wrapping and amarula sipping, I now have a poorly hubby in bed with mangreensnotflu, am helping 2 clients with emergency care work (when will I learn to say no??? Both pregnant and look so desperate!) and awaiting the electrician... dodgy burn smell from a dimmer switch. 

Sorry kindle. I'll play with you tomorrow.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Our time in the Caribbean

We had 10 glorious days in the Dominican Republic last month, and it was all about the sun and the beach and the pool. 

We did a boat trip and went caving, saw mangroves and a bird national park, but it was mostly spent around the pool and the beach... we snorkelled, swam, read (loads - hubby got me a kindle for our anniversary), played board games, took photos. Even though we aren't big beach people (Lance used to be a body boarder, but the shark episodes in Cape Town have kinda put him off that!), we thoroughly enjoyed our time to rest. 

We certainly celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary in style though, 5 star accommodation in a villa on Cayo Levantado, on a beautiful island in the middle of the Caribbean. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Update my lovelies!

A quick update since the vakansie et al. 

We had a lovely trip to the Dominican Republic. 10 days of sun, swim and snorkel! I will be posting a photo album on Facebook soon. Thanks for the lovely anniversary messages, 10 years flies by so quickly! Our 20th anniversary will be in SA for sure! :)

The Caribbean was a lot of fun, friendly people, yummy fruit and a laid back attitude. Difficult to see the poverty in the third world town you drive through (Santa Barbara, Samana District), before you arrive at a 5 star resort. And then being served in a very colonial style atmosphere. Went against the grain in a big way. But we did get into it and enjoy it, as you'll see in the photos. Have attached some for those not on FB.

The one huge downside was the humidity, the heat I can take, but I really battled with the humidity, and 3 days before we left I developed a nasty rash. Blisters all over my chest, neck and face! My skin just couldn't handle the intense humidity. Was lying low and only going out when necessary/in the dark. Never loved the cold as much as I do now. I itch the one minute, and sting the next. Have cream mask which is helping loads. Nasty to look at (and bright red!) and itchy and sore. Kept skin cool in the shade of the pool and had many cold showers and aloe vera. 
I look a sight, surprised passport control let me in! I looked diseased. When I got back I saw the doc and chemist and with antihistimines and creams (and bally steroids!) it's coming right. Most of the blisters have gone, just have some on my chest and arms now. 

I do have a secondary (doc says) reaction, where my skin goes bright red when warm... so am keeping as cool as possible, and fanning myself a lot (mini electric fan). I cannot even go into a store as their heating is on, it's chilly outside now, but I stay put in the cold while Lance goes inside.

Re the hospital appointment last week, I had the xray (for bruised ribs due to coughing - asthma), and ultrasound (for weird lump on abdomen). I haven't got the results back yet for the xray, the ultrasound doctor told me I have a small hernia next to one of my surgery scars, and that the swelling is probably leaked fluid/something from the stomach. Hmm! I then got a letter to see my doctor, and am seeing her on Tuesday night after work. I guess she'll say whether she deems it necessary to have a  little hernia op (and draining of excess fluid in abdomen), or just leave it be. This is the first complication post surgery a year ago, so I am not complaining.

It's been great being back with the kids. They keep my busy and say the funniest things. Little Will (age 2) tells his mum she needs to buy 'Jen Jen' socks every time they go shopping... hehe... I do wear brightly coloured, fun socks most days, these kids miss nothing! All healthy except for usual little winter sniffles (lovely break from the hand, foot and mouth, and chickenpox I had to deal with just before the holiday!). 

Lance has battled getting into work mode this week, his back is really sore, he needs to get back into his good gym regime again (I cannot go back to gym till my rash is gone). He is being very good with his meds after his diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis, but with this, coupled with scheuermann's disease, the lad is taking strain. But hardly complains. Went to work with two back heat pads today. I wish he could stay home so I can look after him. Taking it day to day.

Apparently it might snow this weekend, and we have a friend staying with us (a Capetonian who is moving to Sri Lanka after 14 years in London) Friday night, and then off to Lance's sister in Kent till Sunday. Hope we don't get snowed in hehe.

Mum, having lunch in Beaconsfield with Gruncle on 11 Dec, will see him again when you're here in Feb. Christmas lunch with Aunty Trish and fam in London on 17th. 
Brothers, much love to wifeys and my lovely nieces and nephews (and Becky's tum!).