Happy Madiba Day!

This is the first year Nelson Mandela is no longer with us to celebrate his birthday, the 18th July.  However his sense of purpose lives on, especially today, as people around the world are encouraged to donate 67 minutes of their time doing something positive for their communities.

Yesterday I was feeling a little low, perhaps a touch of the winter blues.  In an attempt to pick myself up from the hole I had fallen into I stepped into the kitchen and started baking.  I always find immersing myself in the heart of the home does wonders to lift my spirits.  The process of cooking requires attention and focus, this immediately re-routes my mind away from my troubles and on to the task in hand.  This in turn results in the positive feelings of being productive, the satisfaction of making something and then the warm delight at being able to indulge in the baked recipe!

It was indeed a successful kitchen session and my inner glow came back as I melted into the sofa with a cup of tea to accompany my freshly made and still warm, apple, almond and blueberry muffin!

This morning my husband left the house for work happy Friday had at last arrived and grinning as he was loaded up with his share of muffins.   Then off I went armed with the remaining muffins to give out to those in need.  My favourite responses were from the man camping underneath a dustbin tarp who I wave to on my morning dog walk, he was so grateful for his he did a dance.  And secondly the lady selling “The Big Issue” who whooped with joy amidst the speeding cars at the intersection as we quickly exchanged money, a copy of the Big Issue and her muffin in 0.2 seconds through my car window before the lights changed!

My winter blues were beginning to lift and today was turning out to be a much better day than yesterday but what really reminded me to keep the faith and smile at the wonderfully random curiousness of life was my trip this afternoon to help out with the Chaeli Campaign.  A charity that helps children with disabilities.

I arrived to sign up and donate my 67 minutes of time to make HOPE bracelets and upon doing so it was announced I was the 67th person to sign up and therefore earned myself a Jack Stone’s “Walk On” CD from the local radio station. To be honest I have never heard of Jack Stone (apologies Jack!) but I shall thoroughly appreciate listening to my new CD and discovering a South African artist.  I was then photographed and given a live shout out on the radio for my contribution to the charity.  It all came as rather a surprise as I had gone to help the charity not with any expectations for myself but in doing so they truly helped lift my spirits tenfold.

Chaeli Campaign.

HOPE!

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.

― John O’Donohue.   Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

The Karoo…

The Karoo is made up of the most extraordinary landscape owed to the subjection of time, lava, erosion, sills and sediment.  The scenery is striking and impressive, yet can also appear rather baron until you look closely and realise, with the increasing time you spend there, that it is a hive of very interesting activity.

From the animals roaming the land to the wide variety of bird life flourishing in the rather bleak conditions and the fascinating array of curious plants also surviving the challenges of this semi-desert.  Poisonous flora and fauna can be found right next to those with healing properties but good luck deciding which is which and beware you don’t walk into a spiky bush!

One animal that gets it right for their diet, and it would seem to the satisfaction of us humans, are the sheep who munch on the grasses, herbs and shrubbery.  The fragrant bossies impart the well know and famous herbiness which has given Karoo lamb its famous signature flavour!

This trip has definitely highlighted the fact I need a more superior camera lense to do the vast scenery justice and as for getting close up shots of the animals I had no chance without a mega zoom.   So I am afraid there is a lack of images in this regard.

I have decided I am not bound for Kruger Park until I am better equipped with the necessary photographic paraphernalia, binoculars and of course the appropriate khaki wardrobe I shall need to pack.  My usual dark walking gear is not cutting it for these hot terrains nor wanted to blend in against the back drop.

So summer chic safari outfit shopping here I come!!

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…And on to Tankwa Karoo!

A wide and open expanse of land situated between the Cederberg Mountain Range and the Roggeveld Mountains.  The landscape is vast and fascinating, desolate and yet at the same time peaceful.

The highlight for me was watching the incredible colours of the sunset before star-gazing for hours on end at one of the most clear and spectacular night skies I have seen.  Revealing all the stars and milky way the darkness has to offer without city lights or smog filled air to ruin the show.

Here I found space, solitude and tranquility.  Oh with the exception of Afrikaburn and the rising of Tanka Town for one week…but that is a different story!

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