family = me, henk & our 4 kids (teenagers → young adults)

i like doing 'family-things', gardening, baking, reading and...
i like the fact that yóú are reading the blog! ♥

it's about everyday living

24 September 2010

dress your table

let's stroll through a few tables
to get some ideas
Use your garden on you table... make tree trunk placemats(1), use moss(2), bark(3), succulent roses (Sempervivum)(4),  cover Styrofoam balls with leaves(5)... and buy Anthuriums(6)!

~ dramatic flair ~ 
For a dramatic effect...
you can't go wrong with candlelight and red...

~ funky alfresco ~
(one of my favourites!)
Thought that you could only EAT pasta?  Maybe in Italy...

A Gerbera (or Barberton Daisy) is a lovely flower to decorate the back of a chair!  [Barberton is a historic mining town in South Africa - it's famous for its gold and…. the Barberton Daisy!]

"Smiling for people, is like sunshine for flowers"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

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17 September 2010

blue hour

 'blue hour' - the magical time of photography
just after sunset or before sunrise.
(for me only sunset 'cause i can't get up in the morning!)

for about 15 minutes the sky looks black,
but it's actually blue!!

*The Brandwag (Sentinel) rock formation near the entrance to Glen Reenen rest camp, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Free State, South Africa

i took the picture below
15 minutes before the one above*.

the two big spotlights is already shining,
but with the sun at my back,
it looks ineffective 
as 'blue hour' didn't arrive yet...

The landscape of Golden Gate is characterized by massive, colourful sandstone formations.

10 minutes later,
(after the first picture*),
and the sky had turned black

These photos were taken when me & Jo  went on  a photography course.  After photo nr. 3 - which was taken in total darkness - we stumbled over stones and grasshumps to get back to our car.  And no... we didn't have a torch or headlight with us... see #6 below...  :-(    but it was a lot of fun and laughter! 
(Jo - from - is currently living in and posting from Khartoum.)

blue hour is all about timing! 
if you're not interested in photography,
skip the next part
and go to comments


  have your camera ready!
 the key to flawless blue hour shots, is long exposure.
(a slow shutter speed)
a sturdy tripod is your most vital accessory.

no tripod?:  look out for some other form of support
- the car's bonnet - your shoe - the top of a rubbish bin - etc.

the photo at the end of the post was taken
with my camera on a table
and a t-shirt under my camera
to tilt the lens to the correct hight…

(tip: a bean bag works better!)

keep your ISO at 100 or 200
(to minimize the digital noise in the picture)

use a remote control to activate
the camera's shutter without touching it.
a remote prevents blurring due to camera shake.
i always use the camera's self-timer function

never use your camera's flash for 'blue hour' photography

some people goes manual with their cameras
and read the photo's histogram

i choose to go straight
to the aperture-priority(A) mode,
and select a aperture varying from f9 to f14

thát will ensure that the far-off elements
within your photoscene,
remains in focus.

everything has been set up...
you're just waiting for one more minute...
check your settings one last time...

it's too dark to SÉÉ the settings!
always take a torch or headlight with you! :-)


please feel free to ask any question
via comments or e-mail.
the most important thing
is to experiment and
have fun shooting!

Stunning view of the Indian Ocean!!!
Blue hour from our bedroom!! at Le Cononnier Hotel, Mauritius.

10 September 2010

the taste of spring

with mornings still and fresh
like crispy apples
with days warmer and longer
my garden is budding and blossoming with new life

the beautiful arum lilies below
is called 'varkore' in the Afrikaans-language
it literally means 'pig's ears'!

never skip your brain food
eat breakfast!!

occasionally a B-I-G breakfast is fine
~ some men can really eat a huge meal each morning ~
and my sons will enjoy it too!! 
coffee, farmers sausages, eggs, tomato, toast and mealie meal pap(porridge)

henk and i prefer something lighter
like muesli and yogurt

you can easily make your own granola

the granola recipe below
is from food-fundi suné niemand
treat your family or friends
 & serve this with yogurt panacotta
do you want the recipe of the yogurt panacotta too?



1 kg Oats
300 g Macadamia Nuts
300 g Almonds
300 g Cashew Nuts
200 g Sunflower Seeds
100 g Poppy Seeds
100 g Pumpkin Seeds
100 g Linseeds
250 ml Coconut
300 ml Olive Oil
250 ml Orange Juice
100ml Molasses
1Bottle Honey

100g Cranberries


1. Mix all the dry ingredients except for the cranberries in a bowl with the oil.
2. Reduce the orange juice, molasses and honey until it reach syrup consistency.
3. Pour the syrup over the raw granola and mix it through.
4. Transfer the granola onto sprayed baking trays and dry it out in the oven.
5. When the granola is dry, add the cranberries.

do you know the difference between granola and muesli?
- granola is usually coated
with some type of sugary substance or honey
- muesli is generally untoasted and often unsweetened

fresh strawberries
 will add colour
to your breakfast table  
spun sugar is my culinary challenge for next year
 - this was made by suné -
add a bowl of fruit salad
and enjoy
our taste of spring!

03 September 2010

wild babies

 the name means 'come to bring happiness to everybody'
for me...
a perfect name for this guy!
Photo Credit: Nina le Grange

mum and dad
(who's the boss? LOL!)

daddy's got great big canine teeth 
a lovely mane
and a rough tong 
A lions tongue is used for eating and acts like a comb for grooming.
The rough spine (called papillae) on the lions tongue, is enough to take the skin off your hand if it licked you.

lion cubs are born
with brown rosettes (spots) on their bodies
rather like those of a leopard
the first thing the cubs did to casper and nina
 was to smell them out
before making any other move

last saturday we enjoyed the afternoon out
on a farm
just outside our town 

the farmer, Dewald,
is running a lion conservation breeding program
unneeded adults
are sold to larger game reserves

he and his lovely wife Anine
knows every lion by name
 and plays daily with the younger ones!

~ hope you've enjoyed our visit to the farm ~
~ which wild animal do you like most? ~
~ why? ~