Thursday, 17 December 2020

Kate's Friday Photo hunt - December 2020

Well here we are - the last Friday before Christmas.  In spite of this being such a strange, tragic year it seems to have flown by.  Maybe subconsciously we have been trying to get to the end of it in the hope that 2021 will be better.  

I have entered more than one tree - bit of a cheat really but I have connections to both of them.  The first is the tree in All Saints Church at Earby where you may recognise quite a few of my paper angels.   The second is our own little table top tree.  We decided to down size our tree and passed our large 6ft one on to Youngest to use in his digs at Uni.  We now have a neat little one, much easier to decorate and store.  It is all silver this year which has made it hard to photograph, so forgive the rather fuzzy picture.  

We have also made a large star to hang in our window this year.  It shows well from the road so we are pleased with it.  Only problem is the lights show up in triplicate in our double glazed window.  

Couldn't resist taking this picture with the lovely sky behind the star.


This year Christmas will be very different.  Instead of all the family coming here for Christmas Dinner we are having dinner for just the two of us whilst Kate and her family will be at  home and our son and his wife will be in Scotland and we will hopefully all be connected by Zoom.  Should be interesting!!   

So here is wishing you all a very Merry and safe (and if like us a Zoomy) Christmas and best wishes for a better 2021. XX


Thursday, 10 December 2020

Kate's Christmas Friday Photo Hunt.


This the second Friday and in each case I have left it so late.  I have been so busy with one thing or another - mainly computer stuff that I have not done any baking this week.  I must admit too that I seldom do any baking - as it is only B and I and we try and avoid  yummy treats.   So I have had a quick look back at some of my previous entries and pinched this from a few years ago.  Sorry, cheating I 'm sure.  

I  have my friend Threads through my life to thank for even remembering to do this entry.  She checks up on me and reminds me all the time.  

With so many recipes to chose from I have selected a traditional South African pudding or teatime treat - Melk Tert, which translates as Milk Tart.  It is quite different to the English custard tart and much easier to make as it does not have to set in the oven, you make it like custard, in a saucepan.  You can be good and make a short pastry pre baked case but I cheat and buy them ready made from the supermarket.  

MELK  TERT   (Makes 2 x 8"  tarts)

4 rounded tablespoons flour                          l cup sugar
4 level tablespoons cornflour                        3 eggs
l litre milk                                                       3 tablespoons butter
Cinnamon sticks (Optional)                           Pinch salt.  
Ground cinnamon                                          2 Baked pastry shells

Sift and mix together dry ingredients. Add eggs, beating well. Add a little milk and mix till smooth. Boil together remaining milk, salt, cinnamon sticks (or pinch of cinnamon) and butter. Add hot milk to flour mixture and return to saucepan and cook slowly till thick. Pour into baked pastry shell and sprinkle with cinnamon. 

Thursday, 3 December 2020

December Weekly picture hunt. 2020


Kate's idea of a single topic each Friday up till Christmas is a good one - something different for this very different Christmas. 


The first is of a group of decorations wired together.  The two white bells are from 1960 but the yellow bell is very much older. It is of brittle plastic and is from 1949. We had more and they were considered very modern -plastic, not glass!!  The three have a tiny bit of tinsel wrapped around, it has tarnished and shrivelled with age but still very special to me

I could not choose which to select so have cheated and entered two. My second is of one of my favourite Christmas tree ornaments.  My parents bought it in 1959, the year we moved to what was Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, from Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia, (now Zambia) and we were amazed to see such lovely things in the shops.  Lusaka only had one main street with shops on one side only except for the library and a record shop was newly built on the other side. In this picture our glass snowman is a bit the worse for wear but I have since blackened his hat.  He gets wrapped up very carefully and packed away each year.

 Now to see what everyone else has found for this topic.  See you next week with our pictures of baking.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

November 2020 Photo Hunt.

 Another month, another interesting set of words set by Kate.  I found it hard this month as I still have not been able to retrieve my lost photographs.


I have a beautiful  Anthurium Andraenum  which I bought as a small pot plant from a car boot sale years ago.  It is now enormous even though I took out a large piece for a friend a few months ago.  It has not stopped flowering since I first got it and it usually has at least ten or more flowers at a time. Before I split it it had as many as twenty two.  I have just had to move it from its usual spot in front of the window as B has been complaining he can't see the TV around it!!   

My second choice is a miniature Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera) though mine never flowers at Christmas, I see this picture was taken in June. 


I'm sure this bicycle tyre would count as a 'ring'.  This picture is of Ben, B's display dog and a wonderful pet.  I have used a picture of him  jumping through a few rings of fire in an earlier post.


We have been to St Abbs many time and the tide is always out.  So all my photographs show the fishing boats down almost on the bottom. 


This last month we have had scaffolding up around the building while new gutters have been fitted to our building.  As it was right outside our windows, front and back, we have had to keep our curtains closed as the workmen were working right outside our windows.  Thankfully it is down at last.  

This is the view from our kitchen window.  You can see our bird feeder suctioned onto the window but we had to take it down.  We use it to feed the tits and the occasional dove who has worked out how to balance on the very narrow windowsill.  But now this same dove brought all his friends and relations to feed from the nut feeder as they could just stand on the scaffolding planks and take all the nuts. 


We have gorgeous views out of our window; clear skies, mist drifting through the trees, stormy skies, beautiful sunsets, so I was spoilt for choice - well I would have been if I could find my missing photographs.   

Sun setting over Weets hill.

But I prefer the moody cloudy skies. 

My Own Choice 

This month I have been helping make decorations for the church Christmas tree.  I thought I make something new for me and after searching the web I settled on these paper angels.  I made 16 in the end.  Kate helped out by donating some beautiful wooden decorations she had painted.  These pictures were of my trial ones, I forgot to take a picture of the finished angels.

Some of Kate's beautiful wooden painted stars and  hearts.  

That's it for this month.  I would like to wish all bloggers and those reading this post a very Happy, Safe and blessed Christmas and hopefully and much better 2021. 

Thursday, 29 October 2020

October Photo Hunt 2020

It's a grey miserable day, rain falling, trees bare and it's getting dark earlier but looking through my old photographs should have cheered me up.  The only trouble is I have lost two thirds of my photographs going back to 2005 when moving them on to my new computer.  Don't know why or how.  I had fortunately previously put them all on a photostick gadget which sucks out every picture from your computer - that sounds fantastic till you realise that they are taken out of their files and put in a completely different order.  So now all my photographs numbered 1,2,3 etc are in that order - all the 1's then all the 2's etc, then any labelled (not many unfortunately) are in alphabetical order and finally all those downloaded from my camera with the cameras numbers  are in numerical order.  So nothing makes sense. I spent the whole afternoon going through them pulling out those I could possibly use here.  I might add that there are thousands of pictures, 1751 of them are duplicates!!!   So that is what I must do this winter, as well as sort out all the actual photographs from albums - got far too many.  So forgive my random selection.  I have not been out this month to take any pictures either. 

Sweet Treat

This is a cake and scones I made for Kate's birthday a couple of summers ago.  It was a lovely summer day and we sat out in the garden.   All that cream and the strawberries must surely qualify as a 'Sweet Treat'.

Starts with a 'W'

I was spoilt for choice here but eventually settled for this lovely one of dear Roxy, who is no longer with us, wearing my daughter-in-law's Wellies.


I just have to have one of my favourite wild animals - the comical Wart Hog. They are so ugly with their tusks and warts but somehow they always make me smile.  The family will run in single file following the male or female with their tails straight up in the air.  Like domestic pigs they love rolling in mud and root for their food whilst kneeling on their front legs. 

Reading now

My daily bible reading guide, together with an Alexander McCall Smith book.  I had the complete set - well thought I did, I then found this one I had not read.   The turquoise book underneath is being deliberately concealed as it is a present for daughter-in-law and  it has not  been put away with other Christmas presents as I keep dipping into it. 

Something Purple 

Again I was spoilt for choice.  Looking through my zillions of pictures I was surprised how many purple flowers I had photographed over the years and then I found this picture............. I couldn't not use it!!   He is one of those still life models that you can have your photograph taken with for a donation into his tin.   He did not move in all the time we watched him, just his eyes with an occasional blink.  This was taken in 'The Shambles' near the York Minster. 

This beautiful purple Streptocarpus was given to me by Eldest grandson years ago and each year gets better and better.  

My Own Choice

Some of you may remember Herbert the Hippo that lay in the water at Kwa Maritani Game Lodge.  I photographed him with terrapins on his back in the sun and Egyptian Geese sleeping on his back for safety at night.  Well this entry could well  be called -

An Eulogy to Herbert, the patient Hippo

Every night we would watch out for Herbert as he lay quietly in the water till about ten at night when he would lumber out of the water to go and graze.  (For all their being responsible for the most deaths by a animal of  people in Africa they are only grazers).   Then later he would be there again with his two geese standing in their place on his back.  By day the terrapins would scramble onto his back to sun themselves in safety.  He was a long time resident of that particular pan and just spent his days  quietly in retirement.

Then one morning recently I noticed a lot of comments on what had taken place overnight at Kwa and seemingly another male hippo had come into his territory and there had been a bitter fight to the end and the elderly Herbert was killed.   As the rangers always leave nature to get on naturally they just moved his carcass away from next to the lodges as they knew its remains would be eaten by scavengers and rot in the heat.   We miss seeing him each night just lying quietly in the water. 

Turning pink in the sun.  Hippos excrete a pink waxy substance to protect their skin in the heat. 

Lying in the cool water with his terrapin passengers!

Egyptian Geese keeping safe overnight away from the edge where predators may catch them. .

Now a more cheerful note on which to end up this month. 

This was taken in 2008 outside Abbots Harbour restaurant in East Martin Lancashire where we had stopped for tea with our son and daughter-in-law and their two dogs, Roxy and Jess.  We  had chosen an outside table when a couple came walking along with their dog and tied him up outside whilst they went in to order.  His earnest but resigned little face made us smile at the time but now it is most relevant........wearing a regulatory mask at a restaurant!!   Little did we know then!! 

That's all for this month.  Now off to see what everyone else has done.  Keep safe and well. xx

Thursday, 24 September 2020

September 2020 Photo Hunt

I can't believe how time is flying.  Autumn is here, leaves are turning and even falling already.  Hope winter flies past as quickly and we can look forward to spring............

Words for this month are Seasonal, Favourite seat/place to sit, Comforting/cosy, Micro/mini//teeny/tiny/, Delightful/delighted and then My Own Choice.   Here is my selection.


Rain drops on the cotoneaster outside our kitchen window.

Favourite seat

We bought this bench about 18 years ago from a second hand shop.  The  rotten wood needed replacing so we changed it from a 3ft seat to a 6ft one.  The centre 'seat' was commandeered by our black cat Jak. As soon as we sat down on it he would jump between us.  We then started taking a few 'munchies' out with us if we were having a brew.  It soon became the teatime ritual.  Tea for B, coffee for me and munchies for Jak.   It is not a pretty bench in a shady part of the garden but to us it is special.  We still call it Jak's bench even though  he has sadly been long gone.


I knitted a tea cosy for us then decided to make a larger one for the Community Centre large tea pot.  It was completely accidental that it was in Burnley Football Club colours. I never noticed it till someone pointed it out - Burnley is our nearest football team too!! 

I give up......each time I try to insert and centre the second tea cosy into the blog it disappears!  So take my word for it......It was huge!! 


Look hard and you will see there are three elephants in this picture. Perhaps I should name them Mini, Teeny and Tiny.  The largest one is only a youngster  herself - sort of big sister looking after the next two of her mother's offspring.  The water is very low in the waterholes and dozens and dozens of elephants are heading to either Tau or Tembe  at Africam  in their hoards.  I have never seen such large herds.  The trouble is the big elephants trample the water's edge to soft mud.  Now instead of bathing in the water they are rolling in the mud.  It does help keep off the biting flies.

My Own Choice

My own choice this month is again from Africam web page.   Some of you may remember the hippo that would lie in the water with terrapins on his back.  Well they have been evicted by the new tenants - a pair of Egyptian Geese.  They are there nearly all night only getting off when the hippo goes out of the water to graze.  

Now off to see other's interpretation of Kate's choice of words.  Take care everyone and keep safe during these trying times.   

Friday, 28 August 2020

August 2020 Photo Hunt

August, where has this strange year gone?  We've been out a bit more this month but still very cautiously.  Only go where we feel we are safe or within our family bubbles.

List for this month had me searching through the archives again.  Well,  here goes....


With B being in government service we were transferred round Rhodesia - then in South Africa when he was in hospital management we were moved around the country as we did not have school children to take into account.  So whenever there were problems with striking nursing staff off we went again as B was very good at sorting out Union problems.   But in all those moves, 30+ , we never took photographs.  Maybe because in those days films had to be developed, no free digital pictures like today and we did not have such convenient camera phones.  So I literally had two photographs which fortunately fitted the bill.  But as both had Kate and G in them, I asked and was given permission to use them.

Here we are on the move from Hemel Hempsted to Lancashire prior to returning to South Africa in l990.  I only took the pictures because of the name of the removal firm!!


and lots of them...................

Beginning with D .............

D stands for delicious.

B and I decided to take advantage of the "Eat out to help our" scheme.  For those non British bloggers the UK government wanted to encourage people to go out to eat to help get the restaurants back on their feet again after lockdown.  Each person got a 50% discount on food or non-alcoholic drinks to eat or drink in participating establishments to a maximum of £10 discount per person. So you only paid for anything over £10. What a bargain.  So we went to a lovely pub on the nearby canal and had a steak.   Looks good, doesn't it?


Lions sleeping off their breakfast after an overnight kill.  Look at the size of the male's feet and head, let alone his enormous belly!!


I must be honest, I have done no craft, knitting or crochet since lockdown started.  I have to resist baking as it is only B and I to eat it and that is not a good idea!! So I was wondering what on earth I could use for this prompt.  Than as I was cooking supper I had a brainwave - photograph what I was 'making'.  

So here is our supper, Salad Nicoise using Yellow Fin Tuna steaks.  Not used them before. They were delicious.  I had marinated them in honey and soy sauce as I know tuna can be a bit dry. We did enjoy our meal.


You may remember the view of this dam from the picture of  white  rhinos having a drink at Kwa Maritane  in my  June blog.     A few nights ago we were checking all the  channels LINK and to our horror saw this picture of an enormous fire coming down the hills behind the dam.

Next morning when I checked the site you could see it was still burning.

But by evening it had not only flared up again but moved round towards the lodges.

You can see the lights of the lodges.

Getting closer. All the small fires are fallen trees still burning. 

Thankfully by morning it was under control but the burnt grass in the field in front of the lodges show how close it had been the night before. 

For new readers of Kate's monthly photo hunt, my husband and I keep an eye on the site most evenings while watching TV and when the computer is not being used during the day.   I take photographs of the screen with my smart phone of all the different animals to be seen at any of the eight cameras set up at different game reserves around South Africa.  Nearly as good as being there and a reminder of the many happy days we actually were able to do that. 

Now off to see how the other bloggers have interpreted the prompts.  

Friday, 31 July 2020

July 2020 Photo Treasure Hunt

Well, here we are, still living under partial lock down.  We thankfully have been able to get out to early morning shopping for the over 70's at a well know supermarket for a few things.  It relieved Kate of some of our shopping and then the last two weeks we have been to our local German supermarket to do our bulk shopping for ourselves. Thought we might as well get out before the next lockdown!! What strange times we live in.  

List for this month was not easy for me.  I have just transferred everything from my old computer to a mini stack but in doing so I have completely muddled up, copied twice, lost then found my vast collection of photographs going back to 2004.  There are so many duplicates to delete.  But in doing so I have mislaid/lost/deleted my selected pictures for this month.  So today I spent the morning searching for them again.  I am so used to having our son living close by and he would always do any technical stuff for me but he now lives in Scotland.  This time he tried to help using Skype to share screens but found it frustrating as it was slow - him telling me what to do.  Then I remembered a friend in South Africa telling me about Teamviewer where you get a month's free use of their programme.  It enabled David to take over my computer completely. I just watched as the cursor darted around.  Brilliant.

So here are a my selection for this month.  Something purple, Shades of green, Starts with F, Still life, Snapped at this moment..  Just noticed - all prompts start with an 'S'.  A coincidence maybe??

Something Purple

All from our garden a few years ago.  This year we have had too much wind and the garden is not very happy.  (nor am I)

Shades of Green

I could't decide which so you get three. The first is the Black Devon River in Alloa where our son and daughter-in-law walk their yellow labrador Jess.    A few weeks ago a man stopped his car to ask them if they knew that the sewerage works higher up had burst its pipe a couple of weeks back. and everything was flowing into the Black Devon.  Jess was hurriedly taken home and bathed, and bathed and now they walk elsewhere!!  In spite of this  being a proper marked path the council had not put up notices here. 

This was taken years ago on a walk  with the family. I love the sunlight shining through the trees.

I  took this picture of the water wheel at Rutter Falls in the Eden Valley near Appleby. I love all the different shades of green.   The white building housed a lovely tea room but today it seems to be a holiday cottage  like the wheel house building. Its a shame, the scones were to die for!!! 

Still Life   ..............without  onions!!! 


All my teenage years (a very long time ago) my parents had a picture on the dining room wall, opposite where I sat.  It was a print of  Paul Cezanne's  'Still Life with Onions'.  Since then I only have to hear the words 'Still life' and in my mind I continue....with Onions!!! 
But not having any lovely onions, or antique wine bottle I will have to use something else for this prompt.

So here is my still life............with scones!!      We  had tea at the beautiful Rutter Falls tea room and were served the most de-lish-ous scones.  The lady told me she uses cream not milk and when rubbing in the butter she lifts the mixture very high to make the scones extra light. 

Starts with an 'F'

Again, I could not decide so you get two pictures beginning with 'F'.

Footsteps .......there and back again.  Taken on Holy Island, Lindesfarne in Northumberland a few years back.  I wonder who made them.  Not us. 

The picture of these fossils was taken not far from Lindesfarne at a beach near Berwick-on-Tweed.  Scremeston beach is well known for its fossils in the rocks at low tide and found in the rocks further back among the rocks.  (Compare the size with a £1 coin.)  We love going there, usually just a few dog walkers and a large empty beach.

Snapped at this moment.....

I'd been working at my desk and stopped for lunch and as usual put Africam on screen, this time Rosie's Pan.  As I opened up there was this herd of  female elephants with their babies.  So out came the camera ......

My Own Choice

In my big computer move I came across all sorts of photographs, this being one.  It is of my mother standing in front of a giant Baobab tree in Northern Transvaal, or Limpopo Province as it is now known, in South Africa in about 1995.   The baobab has huge seed pods which the local children sell to passing tourists.  They were the original source of Cream of Tartar. Large trees can contain up to 120,00 litres of water in their fibrous hollow trunks which is why elephants and warthogs in particular chew on the bark in times of drought.  

The Baobab is also called the upside-down-tree because when bare of leaves the Baobab looks like roots sticking up in the air as if planted upside down.  Legend holds that god Thora took a dislike to the Baobab growing his garden, so he threw it out over the wall of Paradise on to Earth below and although the tree landed upside down it continued to grow. Try this link for some beautiful photographs and  Baobab facts 

That's all for this month. Off to see what others have done.  Take care and keep safe all of you.