Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Family Christmas

IMG_2062So... what is a wife of only 7 weeks to do?







Why, open her presents in her wedding dress, of course.


A great few days with my family, with gorgeous food (not going to be getting back into that frock for a little while yet) and incredibly beautiful presents (this link in particular, still to be hung but very gladly received by The Husband). I did incredibly well, with the Husband secretly catching me eyeing up Abigail's gorgeousness and putting an order in for the gold and black beads of joy. Aren't I a lucky girl indeed?

December 2008

IMG_2089Back to our home via Lechlade (oh the antiques!) just in time for scones and a bracing walk in the cold. (note the new kettle and toaster from the wedding list to the right there!) xx

Monday, December 22, 2008

Countryside Wedding Hits the 21st Century

For goodness sake let me know if this doesn't work, but as a final farewell before I run off for the jolly holidays, here's a montage that the Boy made of the day.

Wowsers... that looks promising!

Enjoy, happy holidays and thanks for all your support, messages and comments in 2008! Here's to my first Merry Christmas as a wife!


Honeymooning Day 9 Monday

An early start for a car-hire team who didn't arrive. Breakfast in the original 1940s wing of the guesthouse - period flagstone floors and fittings. Collected at 11am for the transfer to Shamwari. Crossed forests and rivers into bushland to arrive in pure and unadulterated luxury at lunchtime. Welcome drink of homemade iced tea on arrival in glorious sunshine. Tour of the small and perfectly formed Bayethe (pronounced Bay-Yet-Tee) Lodge. Lunch of a three-course menu of salad, fishcakes and gateau overlooking a waterhole to watch warthogs and various bushbucks drinking in the heat.


Chatted with two couples at lunchtime - one on their 25th wedding anniversary from the same area of Southern Ireland that my father hails from (coincidences!) and one a lovely pair on honeymoon from Dublin who would be sharing our safari truck later.


Our sitting room in our tent, complete with complimentary wine and welcome message... 

An hour of shower, plunge pool and reading then tea and cake to line our tummies for safari.

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One happy honeymooner - I could no longer feel my teeth from grinning at 30mph along dirt tracks in an open sided jeep!

Closest of close encounters with a 'unit' of elephants: six actually sniffing the Land Cruiser. Incredible. Then on to see Black Backed Jackals, zebras, various bucks and birds.


Sundowners of wine and nibbles (or any cocktail that took your fancy!) overlooking a staggering vista of valleys and hills.

Posed for dinner at 8pm now. Talk of a day-long drive tomorrow and picnic away on our travels to be prepared by the kitchen. Would be wonderful... We returned to our room after the safari to find a personal message on the bed, flower, leaves, chocolates and our bed turned down. I could get used to five star living.

Our guide Jamie is incredibly knowledgeable and has a great sense of humour. He is just perfect and so much fun to be around as well as satisfying my innate 'teacher's pet' gene that has me answering questions in excited tones!

Now... what will dinner hold for us??


SCRUMPTIOUS! Dinner of Impala for the Boy and fish for me, with springbok spring rolls to start. Chocolate brownie for pudding and stayed up til gone 1am chatting to lovely Dubliners. So looking forward to our day in the bush tomorrow.

Now, about that turned down bed...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Honeymooning Day 8 Sunday

IMG_1602Left Knysna early this morning to drive to Port Elizabeth before the evening. A quick detour via Plettenburg Bay to say hello to the beautiful view before a stop in Monkeyland, a walk in the forest over a 23m high rope bridge then tea on the terrace, protecting our sunglasses from marauding lemurs.





Birds of Eden to follow, then a walk along Tsitsikama Reserve Beach front to the breathtaking Storms River Mouth. Officially my new-found 'happy place'. Sadly, the renowned bridge was closed off due to recent fires and rock falls, but an alternative walk to cove rocks proved well worth the detour.


The sound of the breaking sea-waves, the river meeting the tide and the slow erosion of ebb and flow while settled with the Hubbie will be ingrained on my mind.

 IMG_1682After that, a long two hours driving to PE to a sweet B&B in Happy Valley and an easy dinner in a local caff.

Sleep ready for the morning... lions beckon!!

PS Check out the completely intentional and rather terrifying 'his n hers' khaki... Very fetching... non??

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Honeymooning Journal Day 7 Saturday

A morning of toast, jam and boat trip to the Heads of Knysna.




IMG_1555Champers on board and then a hastily grabbed pizza for lunch from the Italian cafe on the boardwalk.

Drive to Buffels Bay and walked along the deserted beach for an hour, writing our names in the sand.






Married one week. Delirious.


Cocktails and sunset while we watch the rugby game: South Africa v Wales on telly in the harbour cafe then dinner at the FABULOUS 34 degrees South. Calamari, Prawns, Steak, Cheesecake and wine.

Happy weekiversary indeed.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Interim images from the wedding...

Thanks for the requests for more pics of the wedding! The reason for the delay has been to wait for the professional ones to come through to give you the good stuff.

If however, you're happy for the amateur offerings to suffice in the meantime... here goes...

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n503136615_1079768_2147[1]Fingers crossed the professional pictures will be coming by the end of this month so I'll be able to give you much clearer detail shots...


The bridesmaids dresses were Vogue 8416 in navy blue silk from Hong Kong.

Cake was two layers of fruit, two layers of carrot cake with cake topper of a dressmaker's dummy and a grand piano made from oven-hardening clay.

Venue florals were by a good friend and featured roses, hydrangea, vibernum berry, various foliage and a bow made by my Mum!

Bouquets were ranuncula, roses, vibernum berry hand-tied with antique navy velvet ribbon given by a family friend.

My shoes were from Italian leather from Sniff, adult bridesmaids were navy patent from Faith and little patents were from an online boutique, Panache.

Hair flowers were antique silk from VV Rouleaux and Mum's fascinator was made using one of those flowers along with feathers and beads taken from her dress fabric.

Any other details I've forgotten? Will share other pictures with you as soon as I have them: trust me, as excited as you are, I fear I may be more so!

Thanks to various friends and especially my sister for the above pictures.

Honeymooning Journal Day 6 Friday

A big bulk of driving today. Woke up in Hermanus to glorious sunshine so a quick bout of whale spotting on the beachfront boardwalk before hitting the road. IMG_1455

Ostriches and blue cranes on the road from Hermanus to Stanford - absolutely huge wingspan, flapping at one another in the field by the road.

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Picnic by the N2 and a brief stop for milkshakes at Mossel Bay before following the shoreline further east.

Arrived in Knysna (pronounced Nice-Na - took us ages to get that one right!) in glorious sunshine to find a small and perfectly-formed harbour front self-catering apartment with a well-timed washing machine in situ. Very cute layout with balcony view over the quays.


Luxe deli (34 Degrees South) in the harbour provided wine and nibbles then home for fish & chips and a film on telly which was funnily enough the film we saw when in San Francisco 2 years ago. Long day but beautiful views and stunning weather.



We could get used to this...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Honeymooning Journal Day 5 Thursday



Early start from CT to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens then on the road to Hermanus along the coast, via baboons and penguins.



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Beautiful plants at the gardens and a picnic on the way followed by torrential thunderstorms in Hermanus, but not before a beachfront stroll and a spot of whale watching.


Caption of the pic to the left here: The Boy: Helen, Helen, I'm going to climb rocks and then you can take a picture of me.

Me: Yes dear...

Dinner in the oldest building in the village now the smallest pub in South Africa. Amazing food underscored by a symphony of pelting rain on the corrugated iron lean-to roof that made conversation almost impossible!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honeymooning Journal Day 3 & 4 Tuesday/Wednesday

A busy and SUNNY couple of days touring Cape Town. Yesterday we did the obligatory red tour bus around the city, climbed Table Mountain (remarkably free of cloud), had a late lunch at the V&A docks and then finished the day at Rick's Morrocan bar (styled en Casablanca) down the road from our scrumptious B&B.


Tintagel Guesthouse has four rooms dating from the 1890s and is just up our street. Central in the Garden district, it's handy and incredibly friendly as well as being surrounded by a series of fab eateries within spitting distance.

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Tomorrow, we're off to the Botanical Gardens and then driving on to guesthouse number two at Hermanus for whale watching.


Our luggage arrived last night. My husband and I are smiley, happy and entirely at peace. We can single-handedly solve the world's problems and have none of our own. I love him totally and completely and it's humbling to feel so utterly ... *fill in word to complete this sentence-I'm struggling*