Category Archives: family

Mother Nature’s spoils

I take a different look at nature, not how to paint it but rather how to appreciate Mother Nature’s spoils.

I have taken the liberty of using information from CC Africa RANGERS so as to be sure my info to you is correct.

I don’t really think you will ever need this trivia, except in a quiz, but it’s fun to know and just one of the ways our rangers are able to enhance your South African Painting Holiday with masses of African titbit’s and Ranger stories. So here goes:

Five useful remedies that can be found in the bush:

  • Russet Bushwillow – makes a great herbal tea.
  • Sodom Apple – the juice is used to treat fresh wounds.
  • Acacia – the cambium is chewed and the juice swallowed to treat stomach disorders.
  • Aloe Secundiflora – the inner plant can be applied on skin as protection from the sun.
  • Lippia Javonica – crushing and inhaling the leaves will help to relieve colds and flu.
  • Lions-paw – an extract from the plant mixed with pumpkin seeds is used to treat tapeworm.
  • Now wasn’t that really interesting? Next time you are painting a Lippia Javonica you’ll be reminded of this article and be able to act all knowledgeable. However, I’ve lived in Africa for years and have never met anyone using any of these cures, (well maybe the aloe even I use aloes) but then again I live in the suburbs of the third largest city in South Africa, with every amenity available to me, so maybe that’s why!

    A Thought 4 U

    “Don’t copy anyone else. You are the best one of you there is. Be yourself, and exaggerate yourself slightly.”
    Paul Daniels, Magician
    par exellence


Here’s how to do the diski dance

Forget the macarena. Forget the moonwalk, or the new move reportedly planned for Michael Jackson’s comeback. South Africa’s own diski dance is set to get the world jiving to an African rhythm when the football World Cup arrives on the continent for the first time.

The diski, comprising a series of choreographed soccer moves, features in the latest television advert from South African Tourism, aimed at generating excitement at home and abroad ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

The advert will air on global channels including CNN, BBC, Eurosport and Skysport between now and the World Cup kickoff on 11 June 2010, giving soccer fans a chance to learn the moves and “feel the rhythm of African football”.

Click here to play video.

Posted on on 20 May 2009.

Combine football with a wonderful painting holiday tour of KwaZulu Natal to have the best of all worlds in one glorious package.

Star Gazing

Now is a good time to book your painting holiday in November to incorporate a spot of Star Gazing and painting, as in the southern hemisphere, November is a great month to lie back on a mountain slope, or on a sand dune still warm from the days sun and do a spot of star gazing. Here you can watch the antics of wonderfully named comets such as Encke and Tempel-Tuttle whose orbits pop through our earth’s orbit making it possible for us to see fantastic meteor showers producing spectacular shooting stars.

Every year around November 17, plus or minus a week the displays from these comets are truly spectacular with thousands of ‘shooting stars’ flashing across the sky every hour. They are said to be linked to the formation of Stonehenge and the Star of Bethlehem.

When you join our South African Painting Holidays at one of our Berg, Bush or Beach lodges far away from the light pollution of the cities, you will see the night skies in all their glory, like nothing you will have experienced in Europe or much of the USA… so treat yourself to a luxury painting holiday you will never forget and enjoy natures own firework display in Africa this year.

Still on a light note (pun intended ;))
Here is my favourite BUMPER STICKER for artists..
“2b or not 2b”
From the artist network forum

My Canopy Tour of Note

Well what a wonderful way to spend Goodwill Day in South Africa!
As a gift for Christmas me, my husband, Fred and my sister Pene, were given tickets to zip through the forest canopy at Karkloof.
Yup we flew, Literally. We were strapped into a harness driven up a slippery bumpy mountainside, walked into a forest and hooked onto a skinny steel wire 30 metres above the ground. Then told -“Go!”

All very well but it was a bit misty on our particular day so all we could see was the first 10 metres of the zip line, so we had no idea where we were heading. All a bit eerie but definitely exhilarating.
I got told off for going too slowly on the first zip, which I thought was mean of them but it did mean I had to be hauled in by a rope which was a bit infra dig!

The next zip-line I whizzed down and thought I’d never stop as I really couldn’t feel any braking when I tried to brake, however I got there just fine. Then it was the time for the longest and steepest and I really wanted to see what was down below so I cruised down peering below at the trees somewhere down there. So intent was I on my mission, the next thing I know is I’m being yelled at to speed up to get up to the finish step. Oops I missed again, but this time by so far I had to turn round and haul myself in hand over hand up the line. M mm, I didn’t make that mistake again. When they said don’t break I listened and did not break and I did make it to the end in a fast whizzle stop – but what fun.

It was over all too soon. All 8 zip-lines done and dusted just when we were getting the hang of it all. Anyway the walk out of the forest was lovely with a little stream, some pretty flowers and a couple of bird sightings. The perfect end to an astonishingly fabulous trip in the trees.
I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who can take one.
Check out my video

Hippos at St Lucia

Look what these lucky people saw on their hippo tour up the iSimangaliso Wetland Park estuary a world heritage site situated on the North Coast of Kwa Zulu Natal. (Formerly St Lucia).

If you come and join us on a Painting Holiday you could be the one sitting this close to the hippos while you sketch away or take photos for a later painting.
How cool is that?

Last time I was there taking a stroll down the road to have some supper and there wandering along also looking for supper was this young hippo. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

This stopover is day 2 on my Painting tour

What a day!

Wow what a day Friday was. I woke up to a truly stunningly beautiful day, blue skies, sunshine a warmth and a crystal clear atmosphere. Absolutely lovely and just the day to celebrate my daughters birthday. So off I went to a nearby restaurant where we had agreed to all meet. My one big happy family. Steph looked radiant and happy and we all had a delightful time together. Shortly after we had split up to go our separate ways I got a call from hubby Fred to say “its hailing outside so hang on a bit longer before setting off.”

Thought nothing more about it and finally wended our way home only to hit a huge traffic jam which had resulted because the road was inundated with water necesitating careful driving! Wow we thought they must have had some rain here. Then we realised just what we had missed…
As we drove up the final hill home the whole valley was just devastated. The trees looked like some angry giant had just twisted and ripped off all the tops. Not just one or two but the whole hillside.
As we looked around more we saw trees had fallen down and tiles had been ripped off roofs. We now feared for our own houses.

Well what a mess! But then I was one of the lucky ones, my house was fine nothing broken and the roof in tact but there were 5 broken trees in the garden; one huge avocado tree reduced to a splintered stump!

I went off to get a chainsaw and noticed loads more damage with people slowly trying to get access to roads through the littered trees and wires hanging precariously. They were out of saws but I met up with a delightful man named John who said he would come and sort me out. Well what a hero he was, working away in the rain clearing the trees from off electricity wires and fences making all safe for us. And then guess what? He only wanted a donation! Obviously I paid him fairly but I could have ripped him off badly cause he never even looked at how much I gave him.

But that was not the end of the day. We found out that this tornado or whatever it was had annihilated a low income area down the road where our staff stay. Dreadful. 4000 people had absolutely no house or possessions any more and 7 children died. Awful! It is inconceivable to understand such loss and can only thank our lucky stars for our own good fortune and try our best to help those who didn’t have our luck that Friday. John went on to work till 9pm cutting up trees and clearing roads so people could get to their houses. A true knight in shining armor.

But that is still not the end. Actually as they say every cloud has a silver lining. Our silver lining came in the form of a telephone call from my daughter saying “Mum, Brandon asked me to marry him!!!”

So we are now proud ‘in-laws to be‘  and very happily welcome Steph’s Brandon to our family.

What a lovely way to end the day.