All posts by Mary

Being Schooled… By My Kids!

By | Musings | No Comments

When your husband has an above average intelligence, there are certain things you learn to expect as a mother. Yes, mother, because when the bulging IQ is passed down to the children, and they combine that with their own love of various subjects, that is when your general knowledge begins to fall far short. You have to learn to stomach correction from people who can’t tie their own shoelaces and who don’t brush their teeth unless they’re told to. Me:      “These are lovely leaves, I wonder what kind of plant it is.” Lola:    “It’s a bamboo.” Me:     …

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Being a Competitive Mother to a Non-Competitive Daughter

By | Cape Town, Events, Hikes, Musings | 2 Comments

This struggle is real. There, I’ve said it. I’ve said what mothers aren’t supposed to say about their kids, or about parenting. But I am owning this difficulty. I don’t see being competitive or non-competitive as a failing, I just see them as being un-harmonious exercise partners, and I have reason for my sudden outburst too. We’ve just done a Parkrun with the kids. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a 5km timed, free event, done around the world every Saturday morning. We decided to go and do the one in Stellenbosch where you wind through the vineyards,…

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Waterval Bowen – Where the Lowveld Meets the Sky

By | Our Travels | No Comments

With a South African winter akin to that of an English summer, I hardly feel entitled to complain, but leaving Cape Town’s balmy temperatures and heading to Johannesburg’s more frigid conditions felt like we’d boarded a vessel to Antarctica. The cold seems to cut through your clothes no matter how many layers you wear, and although everyone moans about the wind in Cape Town, it doesn’t feel like it has swept over the planes of Siberia before reaching you. Icy wind and cutting temperatures aside, we had 2 weeks of happy faces to see, so we got our pansy asses…

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Sometimes You Just Need a Cave

By | Cape Town, Hikes, Musings | No Comments

In many ways, it has been a gloomy start to 2016. After the most wonderful family holiday, we rolled into Jan with a dash of apprehension, but mostly, loads of gusto. We had served ourselves a plate of work piled so high, we knew it was going to be soul crushing to get through it. But there it was. We needed all the momentum we could muster to speed roller our way through it. So we hit the year running, determined not to let it get the better of us. Lola and Lincoln were both punching into big school now…

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Egg-sploring Plettenberg Bay

By | Beaches, Hikes, Our Travels, Parks | One Comment

If your idea of a holiday is finding some peace and solitude while sipping Mai-Tai’s on the beach, Plett over Easter weekend is not for you. Come to think of it, having children is not for you either. Both are filled with more bubble and bustle than you’ll know what to do with. Should you have chosen to embrace the amusement and vivacity that children bring, you have probably also, at some point, chosen to embrace the seaside village of Plett. The Garden Route, where Plett is delightfully nestled, is filled with quaint little towns, beautiful seaside villages and white…

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S-U-G-A-R – How Getting it ‘Right’ turned out to be Wrong

By | Musings | One Comment

Emotional outbursts and grumpy children are not my thing. Really, if I could avoid them entirely I would. Through arduous documentation and testing, I have established that sugar highs and their rivalling lows, cause far more of these than I would like. This has caused certain rules to be put in place in our house: Rule # 1 – No sugary breakfast cereals! There is an exception to this rule however… Sundays. The day the rulebook is tossed out the window and the children can eat what their hearts desire most. Thankfully their hearts generally desire Frosties and not frosted…

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Hiking in Cape Town

By | Cape Town, Hikes | One Comment

Looking for good spots to hike in Cape Town? A number of people have asked me recently and this is one of those times where you are positively spoilt for choice. There is so much on offer it can leave you with decision fatigue. So for those of you who live here, or those visiting on holiday, here is a list of our favourite hikes, both with and without children. So, in no particular order: Lions Head This is one of Cape Town’s most popular hikes (and night hikes on or around full moon). Lions Head is right next to…

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Biting Off More Than You Can Chew?

By | Musings | No Comments

The beginning of a new year, time to restructure, reorganise, streamline our lives. All the best intentions, coupled with ‘achievable’ goals and healthy eating plans. We know it’s gone wrong in the past but this time it’s different; we know what to change. And then the year begins. One month in and I’m starting to see the cracks in the outer shell. We’ve made it to Feb, but I’m meaning we’ve screamed in, kicking and shouting, limbs flailing about, troops all ragged. The calm and organisation I had planned for the year seems to have been replaced with a Burundi…

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Beaverlac – South Africa’s very own Garden of Eden

By | Hikes, Our Travels | No Comments

An absolute delight! This is the gathering place of the Gods, the point where water, rock and mountain meet to play. If you are a nature lover, this is pure indulgence. For years we have been hearing about Beaverlac. “The most incredible rock pools”… “such a great getaway” … “an escape from everything, no phones, no music, just crackling campfires at night”. Honestly, I thought everyone was making much a do about nothing. Until we got there. The campsite is nothing particularly special, especially if you are allergic to Plane trees, as is my predicament. The majority of it is…

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A Life Less Ordinary

By | Hikes, Our Travels | No Comments

Last week called for a change in habitat. After our great experiences on Airbnb, Shaun and I decided we would rent out our home to families looking for a more “homely” experience when visiting Cape Town. If people want to stay in our house and the timeframe suits us, we pack our bags and out we go. So last week we found ourselves residing in the Cederberg. It hardly felt like we’d been booted out our home. The location couldn’t have been more perfect, the views more beautiful and the sounds more peaceful. It was a little piece of heaven….

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