Friday, 12 October 2018

A beautiful home in Africa

While in South Africa, we spent time with my cousins in the beautiful home In Johannesburg where  they graciously welcomed all the cousins & second cousins to a huge get together;  they fed & watered us all, unfazed by so many of us - gracious hosts epitomised.


It is very special to meet up with so many cousins & family members on this trip


This is how it should be - all smiling, happy catch up times, so lovely that the cousins made their lovely home available to us ..


I asked if I could share some of the details on my blog (always ask hosts before sharing pics I think). They collect lovely art & it is all very restrained but beautiful.


An enclosed, private garden always feels indulgent ...



The beauty of their home is in how welcoming it is & how genuinely warm they are. They have this enclosed patio with a bbq built in; the counter & shutters afford total privacy here. The space is absolutely comfortable & beautiful - hugged by the house & a sociable place you just want to relax in.  As more of us arrived, the generous space allowed for another table to be added  - a really sociable space.

I naturally approve of lovely table settings - another of my passions ...


The lovely details & dappled light add atmosphere to the patio. They bought several screens with patterns they liked & used some of the screens on this patio & others on the upstairs landing where there is a library / reading corner. This is an entertaining space with a fridge in the cupboards & everything at hand ...



A patio garden in the ‘u’ shape of the house next to the entertaining space - clean lines with greenery & water ...


The living room next to the patio has classic decor; blue & white china & a rabbit head - quirky & beautiful; you all know how I have a soft spot for rabbits & blue & white wares . It is important that continuity exists around the home & here the animal heads, ikat pattern & colours continue .... 


Be still my heart - the jewel like colour of the velvet sofa is the mark of someone very certain in their choices. I too am a fan of orchids & the ikat patterns of the cushions  which are repeated about the house, the same calm & lovely atmosphere flows peacefully in this lovely home. Blue & white is a classic choice  ...


We share a deep love of Africa that is bred from our pioneering ancestors. I too have a great fondness for deer heads; this faux one is so sculptural against the pale walls ... 


Another touch of antlers which speaks of a love of Africa - the use of traditional materials can be modern & pared back. I love that their love of Africa is evident as well as embracing a global trend.


Everything is beautiful, carefully curated & deliberate to reflect their interest & style.


A snug with touches of Africa - inviting, beautiful, welcoming ... 


The painting is of the Voortrekker Monument is offset by the modern glass bowl on a sculptural stand


Our family were Trekkers, those celebrated in the Voortrekker Monument in the print so it is lovely to see our history reflected in their home. We visited the Voortrekker Monument the next day with cousin Gavin - collective history celebrated.



Collective history at the Voortrekker Monument,  next to the Trek leader we followed 



I do rather have a love for gilt mirrors as well - who could not stop & adjust their look when passing this. Wood & mirrored gilt are always elegant  ...


 The combination of solid wood, glossy tiles, hints of red  & touches of Africa are so welcoming in the entrance to their home.  This is Africa with a modern touch. I love how the sunlight floods this entrance ...


Perfectly beautiful & arranged with such a great eye, they love collecting art that speaks to them & that they enjoy;  this is reflected around their home in lovely original works, all framed in black frames which bind the images.

Can you see the arrangement of protea flowers I shared in a previous blog post?   ...


An upstairs landing offers comfortable chairs alongside a bookcase of inviting books. I love the bold contrasts of the plush upholstery & the sharp horns - it all speaks of a great love of our heritage.  The colours are repeated from the landing below so the home flows so well. 


I could have whiled away hours on this landing, the dappled light coming through the shutters, again repeated from those downstairs on the patio so it is familiar & homely - a cosy, comfortable space; welcoming like our hosts!


The enclosed patio (where the set table featured for our get together) is the perfect space for enjoying the glorious African sunshine. We had our breakfasts out there with the birds flitting in & out of the trees, the dappled sunshine & a relaxed - gesellig - way of living. 


The lovely pool close to the patio is perfect for the long summers that they enjoy out there.


Drinks anyone? How can you refuse a drink from this lovely table? Their renovations are recently completed & they are working at stocking that sizeable wine wall ...


The open shelves in the kitchen show off items that are used daily, yet they are beautiful too.

It reminded me of the Charles Rennie Macintosh saying:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

I love china from my time as a university student when I worked in an upmarket department store. One of the jobs was matching up china patterns & ordering replacements from all around the world. That love of china & glass has stayed with me since then ...


Ikat like patterns flowing through the house,  repetition that  is important in any home; colours, themes, patterns that flow through like a ribbon  ...


No home is complete without fur babies - these are such cuties


Another patio of the other side of the home - perfect for looking out over the veld & hillside on a long summer evening ...


I hope you have been inspired after looking at this beautiful home.

Lessons for me:

They do not do clutter at all
Curate your items
Africa can really be chic
Enjoy history through art & antlers but keep it simple
Live with things that you truly love

Global decor really works & we should really live with things that makes our heart sing.

Thank you for stopping by, for supporting my blog & being kind enough to leave a comment
Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Proteas in many guises

Proteas are one of the flowers that are found mainly in the Cape in South Africa & they are hardy & very elegant. There are many species & remain very popular because they last long.

While back in South Africa, I really enjoyed seeing them widely because they really bring back happy memories.

I love the authenticity of Proteas, they are woody, honest, stunning. Their beauty is in their simplicity



My cousins have a fresh arrangement delivered regularly - this is elegant with the various blooms


How can you not love the sculptural quality of the blooms ...


Faux proteas are widely found too, many are so good that it is hard to tell the difference ...





The province (county) of Kwa Zulu Natal is known for its beadwork. I have seen these beaded proteas in magazines & online & could barely contain my excitement when I saw them. I just knew some would be going home with me. 


It is labour intensive work to make these & they are heavy but quite stunning ...


I visited this very same site some years back when my Mother was still with us & so this was a happy visit because she loved both proteas & bead work - I knew she would have approved of me buying some to take with as a reminder of Africa ....


The beaded displays are just an absolute joy to behold - so much talent & beauty ...


Authentically Zulu - 3 different ones have winged their way back with me.


 A final stop in a homeware shop I am very fond of, & these were there - how stunning are they. I did not buy any because of space; I had a large collection of my grandmothers photos to bring back & they were more important.


However, the most important proteas were for the family graves in the cemetery - to honour them, along with special stones I had selected on the beach for them, following the Yiddish traditions of stones last longer than flowers. The purple & pink flowers for my great aunt were because she coloured her hair with a blue rinse & applied red rouge to her cheeks - the two colours met at her temple - a lovely maiden aunt I loved dearly.


I hope you have enjoyed the beauty of these Proteas as much as I enjoyed finding & sharing them.

Thank you for stopping by, for supporting my blog & being kind enough to leave a comment
Dee ~💕~

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Roadtripping in South Africa with Dad ...

Hi everyone,

Our Summer is my longest holidays & this year, we were able to have both daughters join us to take my Dad road tripping in South Africa to visit his family & friends dotted all about the vast country. Being such a large country & having family spread far & wide, the relatives do not meet up frequently & Dad is now the oldest surviving sibling of the remaining 5 out of 12 children.

Daughters took it upon themselves to be our project / route planners & once they knew where we needed to be, they set about planning all the accommodation along the way.


With so many styles & variations, we were mindful that our 3 rooms needed to be close with a balcony for Dad to have his coffee & a smoke on (a lifelong habit he will not give up so we had to make sure he could). We left it entirely up to them to plan & find the stops, & once they confirmed the budget, they set about finding many contrasting & interesting stops. We are glad that they did not consider the standard hotels which are the same world-wide, but looked for places that are special to South Africa.

We always stay at this lovely place when we pick up our hire car & once again, it didn’t disappoint. It is a small gem with good food, excellent hospitality & after our long haul & a domestic flight, it offers us a chance to catch our breath once we pick up our car. The town has a lovely church that I always walk to because the Cape Dutch architecture of my ancestors just makes my heart sing ...


We headed north on Dad’s birthday & overnighted in these comfortable thatched spaces with a lovely veranda to sit out on. The food was excellent there & the generous dining room was the perfect place to linger over a long supper, to enjoy each others company & to relax. The next morning we had a fabulous breakfast selection too which set us up before we headed to the hustle & bustle of the city of Johannesburg & to catch up with the first of our family there ...


After a lovely family meal at an Aunt, we travelled to our golf course hotel in Johannesburg, close to people with enough space to catch up with an old friend & another Aunt & cousins who came by. Pity it was mid winter or the girls would have been in the pool right away ...


A night there & then it was onwards to the fabulous home of our cousins in a gated community with lovely views;  they had all the family over for a Sunday bbq & catch up.It was a large group of us - first & second cousins, nephews, sister in law, friends all just spending the day in the sunshine with the soul purpose of enjoying each others company.  I will post some glimpses of their absolutely gorgeous home in another blog post  ...

Onwards to the warmer northern region after a few days to an Aunt & cousins in Polokwane to some lovely stone & thatch farm style rooms which is also on a lovely wedding venue. The rooms were decorated as old farmhouse but they did a fabulous breakfast & had a very well stocked tea & coffee box with complimentary rusks & biscuits. It afforded us a lovely space with the freedom to walk across the veld & enjoy odd glimpses of game & birds. It was also not far from our family who did an amazing family braai (bbq)  where we all caught up on my lost years ...


 Our next stop was the lovely Kaapsehoop (hope of the Cape)  set amongst mountains where mists are a common sight. It was part of a mining village in olden days so was reputed to be haunted, but in spite of our evening walk, we did not encounter any ghosts.  We could sit on the benches on our long veranda, chatting, sipping coffee & catching up. We met up several times with my sister & her lovely family & several cousins who travelled to see us too. I also caught up with a maternal Aunt I have not seen in some years & she gifted me my late grandmothers large collection of photos & documents - another blog post you will have to catch up on so do stop by again ...


The next leg of our trip, saw a long trip south east to the Natal region with its rolling hills that give way to vast mountains. Another wedding venue with beautiful views across the valley. It was close to family friends of my Dad so he could catch up with friends too. The hotel was styled in the lovely colonial decor with a homely feel, generous rooms & gracious staff.  A few local vervet monkeys darted about the roof tops, reminding us to keep our doors & windows closed because they are curious & destructive in equal measures.


I had to give you a peek in the lovely indoors of the hotel, old colonial that was so comfy & inviting, a truly lovely place where we spent the evening playing games in front of the fire after our supper.


After supper, they lit a fire for us in the lounge & we sat playing games, drinking coffee & chatting - this is how one catches up properly & makes memories.

The bar area is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of an old soldier but we lingered there too without him appearing but it made an interesting tale.


After meeting with more cousins & nieces, we headed further south to stay at these fabulous log cabins on a lake. What a fabulous time, watching sunrise & sunsets from the balconies, birds spending the evening under the thatch & once again, the perfect space for family to join us for catchups. There is something quite special about watching the sunrise over the water & hear the birds calling through the morning mists. My cousin came by for the day with his wife & granddaughter & brought with him our grandfathers Bible with new family information - so interesting to see his handwriting & to be able to fill in gaps in the family tree through first hand knowledge ...


The girls do not get to Africa enough to enjoy the wildlife & lifestyle that we knew so we had a few days stop over in a game reserve with its iconic thatch, stuffed animal heads & a large fire at night to keep the winter chills at bay.

In the evening on the long balcony facing the cliffs opposite, the baboons, leopards, geese, hawks cries all echoes around as evening set in & we could sit outside taking in the atmosphere until the evening chill sent us in to the generous fire in the large hall. We had lovely long walks in the sunshine, through the long singing grass, keeping quiet so that the buck would not be disturbed & we could get up close. We opted for a as fabulous game drive as well, over the rugged bush down to the river ...


This one was really very different, right on the surfer beach & it was pod type rooms for 4 of us with Dad up on the mezzanine level above us. The 4 pods were beautifully done - each with a screen that could be drawn across, each having a window with blinds, plug points & a light - an adult version of tents we made as children.

Our large wooded patio afforded us a prime view of the seaside just yards away & the on site restaurant brought our pizzas up to our own table to eat while listening to the live artist just close by. We had breakfast at the little on site restaurant, at a counter facing the sea & the morning sunshine that twinkled on the water - absolutely heaven.


Then to the Cape wine region to see an Aunt & a cousin & his wife who had travelled up to see us & overnight together. We all stayed at the Cape Dutch Port Wine guest house. This region is known for its port. It was really olde worlde decor style with a really good breakfast. I have Cape Dutch ancestors & just love that style of architecture - the white washed buildings, the gabled sides, the grape vines, the lovely touches which are unique to this region - it makes my heart sing!


The lovely breakfast room with its Cape Dutch features; the white arum lillies were from their own garden, home made muesli & a fabulous cooked breakfast ...

With our journey coming to an end, we stopped in the Karoo at what is becoming a favourite stop & had a browse of the vintage shops, picked up a few gifts & enjoyed a really decadent cuppa with cakes.

Back in the iconic Karoo to drop Dad & then start our journey north to Johannesburg & onwards to England. We had a fabulous 17 days on the road with Dad, he loved catching up with everyone who shared their family photos & information for me to add to our family tree (my passion of 20 years for our complicated tree).  Best of all, with the long distances, we were all together for hours on end to just enjoy each others company, catch up & just enjoy being together - a very rare pleasure indeed & the girls got to spend quality time with their Grandfather which is very precious.


This is living indeed, but reality beaconed & we had to reluctantly take leave of Dad, always glad of precious time we get together, because we are acutely aware that he is getting older all the time. 


We were so privileged to have both grown up girls with us, to catch up with 65 various family members - aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, sister & brother - truly thankful to everyone who opened their homes, hearts & family Bibles with information to us. Documenting my complicated family tree is important to me because each passing generation takes with it our valuable family history so I have made a point of recording & documenting as much as possible for us all to be part of.

Thank you for your patience at my lack of posts & thank you for the messages asking after me due to lack of posts ...


Thank you for stopping by, for supporting my blog & being kind enough to leave a comment
Dee ~💕~