Thank you @ilainie for tweeting this quote, this is something that resonates at a deep level.
“Learn how to see. Realise that everything connects to everything else.” Leonardo de Vinci
The Drakensburg mountain range is stunning. Our lodge, generously offered at a reduced rate by friends living in the UK, opened onto this view. Directly in front of us was the Champagne Sports Resort golf course, nestled in the Champagne Valley, set in the area referred to as the central Drakensburg. Take a close look at the mountain range in the distance and you should be able to see how the mountain got its name of ‘Dragon Mountain’. A clue is found in the section shaped like a car, this is the head of the dragon, with its ridged back going off to the right of the head. Every evening we sat on our lodge patio and watched this sunset.
JJ alongside her built in holiday friend raided the fridge for cucumber, avocado and eggs. It didn’t take much imagination to work out what they were up to. Poking my head around their bedroom door I beheld two would be adults reclining on their bed, draped top to toe in towels, with goo on their face and cucumbers resting on their eyes. JJ and D have been talking of visiting a spa for over a year. H and I decided to treat them for their first commercial facial. I consoled myself that this was supporting their role play of a beauty salon, providing them with a real spa experience. I just hope I haven’t started an expensive pastime.
We spent a delightful afternoon being entertained by the Drakensburg Boys Choir, a truly world class performance. These boys, ranging in age from 8 to 15 years old board at the 50 year old school. In principle I do not agree with this way of raising children. However these children were obviously having a ball, at their regular term time performance held every Wednesday afternoon. You can catch their livestream here.
We squeezed in a visit to learn about bees and grab a cappuccino at Scrumpy Jacks. The guide taking us on the tour was recently attacked and stung by 800 African bees, all over his face and neck. He was lucky to be alive and to tell us his tale. The quantity of bee venom in his system will never go away, he is living on a concoction of medicines inorder to stay alive. We saw a working hive, purchased some honeycomb, some honey and some delicious peanut brittle made with honey. I now feel suitably educated in purchasing honey. Honey should solidify overtime, this means that it has not been over processed and is filled with all the goodness honey offers. The container can be suspended in warm water to return the honey to the more usable liquid form. One way to check the viability of runny honey is to turn the bottle upside down; if one air bubble runs up the centre of the container then by all accounts the honey being tested is the healthy honey.
We don’t have TV at home so when we stay away and TV is on tap we get to see what’s going on in the virtual world. Shows enjoyed were the US celebrity apprentice, South African Masterchef and the new Hawaii Five O. The adverts seemed to take up more time than the scheduled programs and I was tempted to pull out a stopwatch and time this to prove it to myself. The male children were glued to the TV and I felt the need to escape one night to the room to get away from the forced laughter emitting from the Disney channel – it was going straight through me. I do enjoy a good night in, snuggled up with a blanket in my favourite chair, watching a series, movie or documentary. Over the last four TVless years I’ve got used to watching programs which I select. Unused anymore to the mindlessly clicking through channels watching whatever is on offer by the TV program produces, being sold to in my living room or even being forced to laugh when the TV thinks it is time for me to chuckle.
Socialisation, an issue for my home educated children, is such a myth. Here we are with great friends enjoying time away, playing tennis, golf and going on day trips. It amazes me that socialising even comes up in conversations as a potential issue for home educated children. The school play ground can be one of the most anti-social places for our young people – having to mould their personalities to act in a certain way, dress in a particular fashion, even talk in a distinct way in order to fit in with the ‘in’ crowd. The young people who don’t fit into the pre-described mould are looked down upon, ridiculed, bullied and many live in terror of the break bell. My friend H and I didn’t see much our four children when at the resort. The boys were off playing golf and tennis, stopping in to enjoy a Milo milkshake once in a while. The girl’s played putt-putt, on the jungle gym and ambled off to the sweetshop for sherbet, or spent innumerable uninterrupted hour’s role playing with their dolls.
I fell into my usual holiday habit of reading and completing a few novels, well into the early hours of the morning. Finding Before I go to Sleep by S.J. Watson particularly moreish. I began reading Eat the Rich by P.J. O’Rourke. Little bits of economics facts floated up from somewhere deep in my memory banks, having spent a brief two years studying it for ‘A’ level in the UK, many eons ago. P.J. O’Rourke is a Libertarian so I am interest in what he has to say on the subject of world economics. It is still early days for me digesting the messages this book has to offer, so far it is an illuminating read addressing the author’s view of good Capitalism, the USA, bad Capitalism, Albania, good socialism, Sweden and bad socialism, Cuba. A chapters dedicated for each country.
We took a planned detour home through the mountain range, passing the Drakensburg natural Amphitheatre hidden within a cloud, onto The Golden Gate stopping for lunch in Clarens. I felt at home the minute we reached the Golden Gate. Something resonates deeply for me in this dramatic scenery. The town of Clarens surrounded by mountains is beautiful. Being full of coffee shops, art galleries and restaurants keeping me entertained for hours. I actually spent money on me, a rare treat. I purchased a picture of the mountains from a talented local artist painting, on the town square, of a farm in the Clarens area. My dream abode. In addition I returned home with a million year old fossilised mussel. Neither of the children were impressed with my find as it stood alongside ammonites and trilobites of 250 to 500+ million years old. But my simple mind enjoys the fact that I could find an exact replica on any beach I visited today – it also didn’t break the bank.
I particularly loved this picture and door and as I couldn’t bring them home I took the next best thing some pictures.
When we arrived at the lodge my friend ran to me and said “JJ!” and she gave me a big hug. She had come two days earlier with her family and my brother. We stayed behind to spend more time with my grandparents. It was very exciting staying there. We straight away went to the gift shop, it was cool. The next day we started to play dolls with her new doll and my new doll it was fun he he. Then we went out to play putt putt it was really fun I won he he.
We went to a nice bakery near Winterton and had a yummy lunch, there was a play ground it was nice and fun.
I played on the playground and swung on a swing, I swung so high that I touched a pole on the other side of the play ground, it was fun. Then after that we went and played putt putt again it was fun my friend won. He he.
We visited a weaving factory it was cool we saw the adults weaving and making big balls of wool it was very interesting and cool. Then after we were finished looking at the weavers we went to the waffle hut, it was awesome, me and my friend ordered a hot chocolate with cream on top and on top of that there was a flake, my mom got jealous and ordered a flake on its own he he. She is such a kid he he.
We went and saw the Drakensburg boys choir it was cool at first I thought that it would be boring but it wasn’t. At first they sang old and choir type of songs but then they sang a modern song called We are Young it is a nice song I liked that then they did loads of African songs, that were fun, it was nice he he Here it there website.
We went to a bee place that taught you all about bees it was nice. The guy that gave us the talk had, had 800 African killer bees sting him at the same time, shame! Anyway he taught us cool stuff and I heard the bees in their bee hive it was awesome he he.
We watching Master Chef South Africa it was cool I have been thinking for a while now that I want to join when I get older.
We did a spa at home and it was fun, we used egg white to make a paste to put on our faces and we put cucumbers on our eyes it was awesome he he. Then the next day we went t o an actual spa it was awesome we went one at a time and had our faces made all soft it was sooooooo cool and relaxing. I liked the music they played and almost fell asleep.
We played tennis but we got bored after 5 minutes he he. We played dolls it was awesome.
When we were on our way back from holiday mom bought me a dolls dress it was for a Barbie so it doesn’t fit my monster high dolls, but I still loved he he.