Me, Rachel Swailes. My blog about stuff I get up to in and around the Western Cape, Cape Town, George, Wilderness, Hermanus and other cool places :)

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Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

For the bank holiday weekend we canoed from Glasbury to Hereford with Debbie and Graham.


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Monday, July 25th, 2011

A summery day in Hyde Park – good for lunch breaks!


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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Spent Christmas in Scotland in the snow with the family.


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Monday, December 6th, 2010

And it was a beautiful day in Wilderness BEFORE this all happened!


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Sunday, April 25th, 2010

Sunny walk along Noordhoek beach with Richard.


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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Some creepy crawlies at home in Wilderness.


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Monday, April 12th, 2010

We went out for drinks with Gary, Michael and Dan at Big Bay. Didn’t get any good photos of the group but I like this one of the kitesurfer out on the sea at sunset.


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Monday, April 12th, 2010

An afternoon’s walk with Ruth at Silvermine Nature Reserve.


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Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Visiting Jenna and Andrew with their new son Connor.


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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Lunch at the farm with the whole family and the new puppy.


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Friday, March 12th, 2010

Named as such because they are so very rich.


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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Perfectly evil chocolate chocolatey cookies. Very very chocolatey!


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Thursday, December 31st, 2009

We spent Christmas with my Grandmother in Melrose and Yetholm in Scotland.


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Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Wandsworth Park on an Autumn Sunday afternoon.


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Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The last leg of our Italy holiday – the beautiful Golfo Aranci in northern Sardinia.


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Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The second stop on our Italy holiday. We stayed in Santa Margerita in sourthern Sardinia.


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Thursday, September 10th, 2009

The first stop on our trip to Italy was the city of Venice.


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Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Richard suprised me by organising a weekend away for my birthday. Usually I do all the organising so it was such a treat to just be able to pack and go!


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Saturday, May 30th, 2009

On our final day we woke up to more apropriate weather for the highlands – ie, rain and wind and got ready for the drive back to the borders.

We drove through Glencoe which is considered to be the entrace to the highlands. It certainly felt like the grandest part of the drive with the large hills and the vast expanse of bog.


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Saturday, May 30th, 2009

After the collosal rain the night before, we woke up to a day that looked to actually be quite good weather. So we got straight to it and got on the ferry heading west over Loch Linnhe.


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Saturday, May 30th, 2009

We left from Melrose early in the morning and entered the Highlands from the bottom of Loch Lomond. The route took us past Inveraray and Oban and up to Ballachulish which we used as our base for the trip.

There are plenty of castles everywhere and the countryside is just so green!


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Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Took the train up to spend some time with the family in Scotland.

Mom and I decided to take a trip through the Scottish Highlands to see castles and scenery and drink lots of tea!


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Monday, April 20th, 2009

Spent the afternoon messing around with my camera.


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Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Spring at last! St James’s Park is covered in daffodils. It’s nice to have some color after the gray winter.


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Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Woke up to a snow day in London. Pretty much everything was at a standstill but without internet at home we needed to make the trip in to work.


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Friday, February 6th, 2009

Made the move to a new flat on the weekend – exhausting work!


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Saturday, January 10th, 2009

Sunshine and beautiful beaches! Always makes for a good holiday :)


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Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

To chill out after the wedding we headed to Camps Bay with Jenna and Andrew. We had to introduce them to the awesomeness that is Sinnfull Icecream!


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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

During our trip home to South Africa, we visited Cape Town to attend Richard’s sister’s wedding.


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Monday, November 17th, 2008

To celebrate the end of another long year of studying, Richard and I went to Cambridge for the weekend.


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Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Autumn is just as pretty as Spring is here.

There isn’t much of a transition in Cape Town, but here the leaves on the trees turn various shades of yellow, orange and red before falling.


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Friday, October 17th, 2008

It’s been 4 months now since baby swan entered the scene in St James Park. Getting pretty big now!


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Monday, September 29th, 2008

Every now and then, the pelicans come and enjoy the sunshine close to the walkway in St James Park.

Today I was lucky enough to have my camera on me and even luckier to still to find someone to take a photo for me.


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Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Last night we met up with the happy couple and some friends for their engagement party.


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Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Mom and Ruth came to visit on their way up to Scotland. It was so great to see them!

I think I pretty much shopped Ruth out though… (Mom you can NEVER outshop!)


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Saturday, August 30th, 2008

We went to see Barry Hilton doing a show at the Cape Bar in Bank before the rugby.


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Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Decided to hop on a train and have some time away from everything in Bath.


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Thursday, July 31st, 2008

The park at the moment is full of baby things. Duckings, signets, geese, you name it! I have great fun sitting on the benches watching the mom’s brood over their young now. I’ve also taken to feeding them the crusts from the bread we eat during the week. It’s very theraputic to be the center [...]


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Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

The outcome of a rugby game – shoes ALWAYS beats no shoes!


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Sunday, July 6th, 2008

The Natural History Museum is another one of the museums we wanted to knock off our list of things to see, so we went to spend the day there with Karen. We started on the Earth side (the part with volcanos and rocks) and didn’t manage to get to the Animal / Creature side because, [...]


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Monday, June 30th, 2008

Karen (Richard’s sister) came to visit for two weeks. It was great spending some time doing the touristy London things and best of all was going to see some theatre shows at last!We saw Spamalot which was seriously funny, and Wicked which was just spectacular.The photo at the top was taken in St James park [...]


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Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

On one of the clearer days (apart from the minor shower) we headed out to Yetholm Mains for a walk in the hills. We did part of St Cuthbert’s Way and a little of the Penine Way but mostly just explored the hills in the sunshine. I landed up going to Scotland to get a [...]


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Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Well, the photos I landed up look pretty summery, but most were taken while wearing a raincoat! We were quite lucky with the weather for most of the visit, but it still made coming back to London feel like returning to the tropics. The picture above was taken at the main ceremony of the Melrose [...]


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Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I took a week off work to join my folks with the family up in Scotland. It was a great idea to go by train – so much less stressful than flying and such beautiful scenery…This is Boris looking out at Newcastle, and below is the view of the sea close to Berwick-on-Tweed.


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Saturday, June 14th, 2008

My folks arrived on Saturday for a weekend in London before heading up to Scotland. I had this brilliant plan of taking them to see my lunch spot at St James’s Park, but didn’t think about the HORDES of people that would be around for Trooping the Colours. From wikipedia “Trooping the Colour is an [...]


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Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Richard’s uncle managed to get us in to the taping of the TV show called “QI“. For normal people, you can go to the studios and queue for hours and then see the taping… or for people who know Dave’s friend, you can go to a pub and have a drink before skipping the queue [...]


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Sunday, June 8th, 2008

This is the first time I am actually thankful for bulk messages. If it had not been for the mail from Ticketmaster saying that more Foo’s tickets had been released on Friday, we would not have made it! We sat quite high up in the stands but it was still good to see and hear [...]


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Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Jean has been staying with us this week while she prepared for her European Tour. (Since it’s almost a month of touring it definitely deserves the capital T) So on Wednesday night, Jean, Andrew (who is here for his sister’s wedding), Sean + Mariette (who have just moved over from SA), Richard and myself had [...]


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Saturday, May 24th, 2008

On saturday morning, Richard and I headed off to visit the Tate Modern museum. We passed through one of those markets you see when you watch Jamie Oliver cooking shows – where there is fresh fruit, fresh fish, sky-high piles of chocolate brownies and other yummy things, all just off the main street somewhere in [...]


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Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Finally at last the sun has remembered how to work in London. This week has been just beautiful and sunny and warm and quite a welcome change from the grey damp coldness since we arrived. We met up with Debs and Graham and some of their mates in Bushey Park for a picnic. There are [...]


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Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

After Cardiff, we travelled with Martin to meet up with Mark (a rather hungover Mark) in Torquay. It’s known as the English Riviera and I can imagine that it must be a beautiful holiday town in the summer. On the Sunday we were quite lucky with the weather and got to have a great lunch [...]


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Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Our bank holiday weekend started with a trip to Cardiff to visit Richard’s friend, Martin. We spent the morning walking around the Castle, and over lunch time took a scenic bus tour to get a brief look at the rest of the sights. This is the Norman Keep inside the grounds of the Castle. The [...]


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Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

I’m loving this extended spring time in the park. First there were tulips in the grass, then blossoms on the trees, then daffodils EVERYWHERE! And now this… At the Queen Anne’s Gate entrance there is a big flower bed in bloom. The one thing that the photos can’t capture is how fragrant it is to [...]


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Monday, April 28th, 2008

While sitting down to some supper this evening, the rain stopped to show off the most beautiful rainbow. I’ve also been looking for an excuse to show the difference in the park now that the trees are full of leaves. It really makes the park look quite pretty and I still so enjoy sitting at [...]


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Monday, April 14th, 2008

Along with my lunch time treks across London, I’m trying to walk in the morning too. It’s far more enjoyable to walk the last stretch on the way to work to get rid of that tube-sardine feeling. Some mornings there are sounds of a military band that float across the park, and this morning on [...]


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Sunday, April 13th, 2008

The Science Museum in South Kensington is absolutely huge. With it being seven floors in total (including ground and basement) don’t even try to get through the whole place in one day. Richard and I made it to half way through the third floor and we’re going to have to go back another day. I [...]


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Sunday, April 13th, 2008

The changing of the guards happens every second day at the palace. If I get to lunch early enough I get to catch the end of it and watch the guards parading down the street. On Friday the street was lined with the English flags for the London Marathon on Sunday and i thought it [...]


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Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

When we first moved in, I would wake up every morning waiting for it to snow. I figured that it was cold and winter and that it would totally snow one of these days. Now that it’s Spring I expected it less. But on Sunday we woke up to a little bit of snow and [...]


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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

At least once a week I make a point of going out and being a tourist. So far I’ve walked from the Royal Albert Hall to Leicester Square to Embankment and down to Pimlico. Now that the weather is improving I’ve started to take my camera along on these walks. This is some of the [...]


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Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

We took advantage of the long Easter weekend by taking a trip to see my family in Scotland. On Saturday afternoon we went to the farm in the Borders. In this photo, Richard is standing in Scotland, and over the river behind him is England. We also caught a glimpse of some deer in the [...]


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Sunday, March 16th, 2008

This week has been a week of storms in London. So I thought I would go back a week and post some pictures of Spring in St James’s Park. All throughout the park there are blossoms on the trees and flowers blooming in the grass. There are a few flower beds in the park, but [...]


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Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Walking on my usual outdoor lunch break through St James’s Park, I found this pelican having lunch with a family. It was very happily getting fed yoghurt and suprisingly not eating the girl’s hand.


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Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Having finally completed the move into our new house, we took a time out to do touristy things. It was a beautiful day so we took a walk through the parks in Central London. We started at St James’s Park and walked all the way through Hyde Park to Kensington Gardens. This statue is in [...]


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Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Phoning the hundreds of entries in the gumtree was starting to make us feel like we were never going to find a nice place. Eveything that looked half decent was always already gone by the time we called. So we caved in and decided to go with an estate agent to help us find a [...]


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Saturday, January 26th, 2008

So on the last morning of a wonderful holiday at home, I got up to watch the sun rise over the ocean. A few days later I took the shot at the bottom from Hampton Court Rail Station just outside of London.


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Friday, January 18th, 2008

For a few years, the idea has been to get to London. I’ve got some family up in Scotland and a few friends around the place and I thought it would be interesting to see what life would be like in a country where Green and Blacks and Haagen Daaz is plentiful. So after an [...]


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Sunday, December 9th, 2007

This evening we saw Love Jones from Durban at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert. The venue is really super for an open air concert and the music was great! It’s also awesome to see a chick rocking it up on stage. Their own stuff was pretty cool, but Highway To Hell stole the show :) [...]


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Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

This is my third set of exams through UNISA and it’s awesome to be at home again to write them. It’s less stressful than trying to get through the Cape Town traffic. Although I find the scenery a bit distracting at times…


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Monday, October 29th, 2007

Yes, it’s been quite a while indoors with the books. The weather is starting to clear up now and the end of exams are in sight! So we thought we’d go for a walk in the forest before I left to write an exam in George.


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Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Saturday was a perfect day in Cape Town after the long weeks of rain. Sunshine and absolutely no wind, even at Cape Point which is a rare occurance. Richard and I headed down to our spot looking out over the bay to enjoy the weather and a sushi picnic. Not long to go now until [...]


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Friday, August 3rd, 2007

One half of the recently engaged lovebirds managed to score tickets to the Johnny Walker Strider’s Club Dinner Dance at Pigalle in Greenpoint.It was great fun to get all dressed up for an evening of great food, live music, and of course, lots of whiskey.We went with Gary and Joelle, Dan and Tarryn, Michael and [...]


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Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Years ago we used to have family holidays every year. Most of the time we’d head to Wilderness (before we moved there) or to the Drakensburg or (and this is way back in the day) Umhlanga Rocks. Living in Wilderness is almost like living on holiday so that fell away a bit when we moved [...]


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Monday, July 16th, 2007

It was great to get away from Cape Town early on the Friday. I thought the traffic getting to George was going to be way worse. Jacques has sorted out some sweet accommodation at the Blue Whale in Pacaltsdorp (i know!) and I was quite thankful to not have to drive all the way to [...]


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Sunday, July 8th, 2007

I’ve started writing down information about the hikes and places that I’ve visited during my time in Cape Town. It’s still a work in progress but I’ve put up the link in the blue bar at the top in the meantime. By posting these details I hope to show you that organizing things to do [...]


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Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Be prepared for a lot of photos with this one, the views were too stunning to single out only a few… Yes, for those of you confused that my birthday is not listed in facebook, Monday was indeed my birthday :) So Ruth took the day off with me and we had a great day [...]


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Saturday, June 30th, 2007

On Saturday we got the troops together for a fonue. Karen, Ryan, Tracey and Ruth came to join us for the evening. For people who haven’t hosted a fondue forever(!), we seemed to do pretty well – and the addition of the 90% meringue-lemon pie was awesome!


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Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

We headed out to Silvermine early in the day while the weather was still decent. It was great to get outside after all the rain! We took a walk around the dam before heading up to the lookout point over Noordhoek. We started heading back just in time though as the cold front was starting [...]


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Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

We caught a beautiful end of summer day and thought a braai was a plan! There was braai-master Gary, Joelle, Michael, Ruth, Me and Richard enjoying the last of the summer sun.


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Friday, June 1st, 2007

Ruth and I decided to get some plants to liven up our places. I thought I’d grab a nice photo of them before they go off to the beautiful Plant Heaven In The Sky. Which is where most plants that we buy tend to go. I’m not sure how Ruth’s don’t make it, but mine [...]


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Monday, April 30th, 2007

Hooray for long weekends! We went through to Langebaan on Saturday morning to hang out with Jean, Cuz, Gareth and Clare at Jean’s Aunt’s place in Langebaan. Thankfully the weather had cleared up quite a bit and we were able to spend the day walking on the beach. It was great to get away to [...]


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Friday, April 27th, 2007

Nena and Rob came to visit on the long weekend. On the Friday afternoon we took a lovely stroll on Camps Bay Beach only to be chased back to the car by the *massive* rainstorm that had been brewing behind us.


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Sunday, April 15th, 2007

On Saturday Night we went to Shaun and Mariette’s for a DIY Sushi evening. They had all the ingredients set out and we had a great time learning how to roll our own. Ater setting out the nori (roasted seaweed) on the bamboo mats, you spread as much rice as you need to make a [...]


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Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Hooray for holiday again! I took full advantage of the long weekend and booked off an extra two days to make the trip even longer. So I arrived in Wilderness on the Thursday morning to start the chilled weekend. On Easter Sunday we always head up to the hill to watch the sun rise with [...]


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Sunday, April 1st, 2007

We went down to Llundudno on Sunday evening for a walk on the beach. By going in the evening we hoped to avoid the boiling heatwave weather but landed up walking in the wind. Richard seems to be a complete dog magnet. We walked all around the boulders and the beach with the big husky [...]


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Sunday, March 25th, 2007

Click here for directions and permit information. On a very rainy Saturday morning we headed off to hike the Steenbras River Trail (aka Crystal Pools) in Gordon’s Bay. Thankfully we drove out of the downpour and into the most beautiful hiking weather… As usual, stunning views throughout the walk. Below are Richard and Karen at [...]


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Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Yay for public holidays in the middle of the week! Richard and I took a walk in the afternoon up to the Silvermine reserve. It was great to get outdoors and get some exercise going but the wind was something else. The clouds were also quite beautiful, but I think we’ll save the Extensive Silvermine [...]


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Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

My folks came to visit for the holiday. They brought down a car for Ruth to use since Molly got taken from outside her work in Tamboerskloof and they also brought Gran along to show her where I’ve been living these past few years.


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Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Skiing in Vermont Richard and I took the Friday off work and headed to Hermanus on the Thursday evening. His friends were going to be there from the Friday afternoon, so we thought we’d make the most of it and turn it into a long weekend. We found a great campsite right on the water [...]


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Saturday, February 24th, 2007

On Saturday we went to Boulders Beach in Simons Town to check out the penguins. We chose a really beautiful morning to go and managed to get there before the crowds had hit and before the penguins headed for shelter from the hot sun. At the one side of the protected area is the penguin [...]


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Monday, February 12th, 2007

On Friday the 9th we headed off in rush hour traffic to the Bideou Jeugkamp in the Cederburg. A friend of Richard’s had organized the weekend and we went up with Dan, Michael and Tracy with Gary and Joelle. The campsite itself was pretty awesome. There were a few dorms with a big hall and [...]


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Monday, January 22nd, 2007

We headed off to the Cape Point Nature Reserve in the afternoon with Richard’s sister, Karen, and her friend Ryan. On arriving we had no idea that the park was so huge. In fact, we could have easily spent the whole day there looking at the historic sights and checking out the beaches. First off, [...]


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Saturday, January 20th, 2007

On Friday night we hiked up to the paragliders launch pad on Lion’s Head to see Comet McNaught. We went up super early and watched the sunset and waited for the comet to show but it was at least half an hour after sunset before we started to see it. Quite a beautiful thing to [...]


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Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007

This evening we headed down to Clifton 4th Beach for some volleyball with some of Richard’s friends from work. It was a lovely warm evening and the beach was pretty full. And as usual, a full beach and an empty sea. Compared to Wilderness sea, this was completely freezing! As the sun started to go [...]


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Saturday, December 30th, 2006

Christmas at home was pretty awesome this year. The weather wasn’t as good as we normally get it but there was still lots of hiking and chilling on the beach to be done.Richard was also in George spending Christmas with his family so we managed to spend a lot of time together. On Christmas day [...]


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Friday, December 29th, 2006

During the holiday we spent a few days on the beach at Herold’s Bay. Richard’s friend, Martin, was staying in a house there with the family’s new border collie puppy.I want a puppy!!


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Thursday, December 28th, 2006

We drove back from the Cango Wildlife Park in Oudtshoorn on what must have been the hottest day of December. But thanks to the heat, the pass was beautifully clear and we got some photos as we came back through to George. I was glad we got to travel it on such a clear day. [...]


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Thursday, December 28th, 2006

On what must have been the hottest day this holiday, we went to the Cango Wildlife Park in Oudtshoorn. Joining us were Richard’s family from Australia, Karen and Ryan and Tracy and Michael. We started with a guided walk through the crocodile section of the park. They were all just chilling out in the heat [...]


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Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

Last night we went down to Vic Bay to watch the film festival sponsored by Wavescape. We went with Kyle, Karen and some of Richard’s family from Australia. The whole vibe is pretty kief. They set up a massive blow up screen on the grass there and everyone brings blankets and picnics and it’s a [...]


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Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

We went hiking with Nena and pretty much the whole Louw Cousin Brigade to the waterfall behind island lake. At first we tried to get to the waterfall at Ebb n Flow, but the path has been closed due to flood damage. The scenery was really pretty but suffering from the lack of rain. You [...]


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Thursday, November 30th, 2006

A few weeks ago I got a call from my good friend Nena in Joburg. Mark, a friend of hers, had organised an Otter Trail trip and there were some places open. So Richard and I jumped at the idea and this week we got back from five awesome days outside. We got to George [...]


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Saturday, November 11th, 2006

At work, every other day I try to go for a walk around the Company Gardens. They are just a few roads over from work and it’s a great stress relief to go wonder around the greenery. The Gardens are surrounded by all of the museums, and standing on the grass in the center of [...]


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Sunday, November 5th, 2006

Sunday was a beautiful day so we decided to get up Table Mountain again. This time via Skeleton Gorge through Kirstenbosch Gardens. The climb is basically uphill with no level bits along the way. But as you get out of the forest you get this awesome view stretching out behind you. Once at the top [...]


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Sunday, October 29th, 2006

On the 28th of October we went to Shaun and Mariette’s wedding. The ceremony was held in the NG Kerk in Pinelands and the reception was at a beautiful wine farm in Stellenbosch. Mariette’s dress was just amazing! And Shaun didn’t look too bad himself :) This is Jean, Clare and me outside the church [...]


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Monday, October 23rd, 2006

During October I got a chance to spend a week at home while writing exams. It’s really the most beautiful time of year!


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Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Some smart alec (me) suggested we should climb up Table Mountain on our day off. Crazy I tell you! Here we look all smily but really we’re just happy to be sitting down. It was a beautiful day though. Great views, lots of sunshine and plenty of singing.


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Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

We travelled up to Namibia for the Fish River Canyon hike at the beginning of July. There are quite a few pictures for this one, so I’ve split it up into a page per day. You can click on the photos here to get to the individual days and you’ll also find links on each [...]


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Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Myself, Gareth, Craig, Janet and Almost Baby went to watch My Castle at Gareth’s house.


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Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Jean, Cuz and I went out to Plett for the day to meet up with Craig and Janet. Heading to Plett in the Cuz-Convertable made the drive completely different! The wind in our hair – the sun on our faces :) We spent the day on the river and then headed out into the ocean [...]


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Wednesday, April 5th, 2006

Click here for directions and permit information. With permits at last, we set out on Saturday morning to hike the Steenbras River Trail out at Gordon’s Bay. It was great to see Allan and Joanne again and meet their church group. We left quite early in the day and it was still pretty shady when [...]


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Tuesday, February 14th, 2006

Went up to joburg in January for Megan’s wedding. It was fabulous and she really set the bar high! This is me with Nena, Jenna, Debbie and Sarah. Claire was insanely busy doing bridesmade things but managed to snap her with Nena. And of course, the beautiful bride and groom. Congratulations guys!


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Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

It’s ben so dry in Cape Town recently. Most of the mountains have been engulfed with flames…


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Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Feel the positive energy from the sea. This is the view from my office window. Pretty sweet. This is where the blog title “Looking out the window” and the tag line “It’s a crime to be indoors on a day like this” came from. Sitting at the pc looking out over the bay on days [...]


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Sunday, January 29th, 2006

One evening this month I got a call from Cuz and Jean. Apparently in the summer months, the cable car up Table Mountain operates at half price after 7pm. So we grabbed some Kauai and headed up the mountain the lazy way. This is Andrew and I at the top. The view at the top [...]


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Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

More photos still to come… As always, it’s great to be home for the holidays. While this one isn’t home exactly it’s the shot I always think of. We used to spend loads of time in that place when James used to look after it. This one is the view from the upstairs balcony. During [...]


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Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Since I spend so much time trying to get photos onto the net, I thought I would set this up.


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