Thursday, 27 December 2007

Christmas Day

Dereck, Grant, Lauren and I with our Christmas gifts!

The Ramsay family came round and spent quite a bit of time in the pool. It was Lesley, Alex, Nicholas, Papi (Dereck's mom), Joanne, Brendon, Kerin, Ryan and Mrs Daye. In the pictures above, Kerin and Ryan are holding up the crackers to show Leanne that they were Winnie the Pooh crackers!

Lunch consisted of cold gammon, roast lamb, potatoe bake, noodle salad, green salad and garlic bread, followed by pudding being trifle, ginger pudding with custard, banana fridge tart, mince pies and fruit squares.

Thereafter we did a secret Santa present swap - we had each drawn a name out of a hat and we had to buy a present for that person. I got a lovely fold up beach chair. We all retired to the lounge where we played a few games of "Buzz". This was a lot of fun.

I couldn't resist putting in this picture of Ryan in the goggles. He put these on, then climbed into the pool on the first step and put his head under the water to look what was there - he was so cute!

Christmas'd out singning off ...

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, the whole Engler family gathered at my brother Warren and Debbie's house. These pictures were taken while the cousins and Lauren were playing around on the trampoline, and I told them I wanted pictures for Leanne to see, so they were much more accomodating for me taking their picture!!

Debbie had set up the tablse across her diningroom and had decorated them very nicely. We had a sausage dish with rice, a noodle dish, home made bread and a green salad. Pudding was trifle and ice-cream with mince pie miced into it - all very yummy. It is always fun when my family get together, but this year, we were missing Leanne who was often the centre of jokes and antics!!

Waiting in anticipation signing off ...
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New Ultrasonic Lense

I must have been really good this year, as this is one of the things I received for Christmas - a Canon Ultrasonic 75 - 300mm lense. There is a story to this ... My best friend, Gigs who lives in London, was coming out to SA in December, so Dereck got hold of her and made arrangements to purchase this via Amazon and got it delivered to her work and when she came out he then went to visit her and collected it. I had no idea whatsoever. When I opened it, I was hugely surprised and really excited and my comment was that due to this being so heavy, I would need to get myself a monopod. My next present given to me, take a guess - yip, a monopod. I also received a UV filter fo this new lense as well as a lense hood.

I also received two t/shirt tops, a beach chair, some yummy chocolates, some scrapping embelishments and a fun present consisting of 4 packs of clothes pegs!.

Spoilt rotten signing off ...
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Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone. Hope your day is filled with love, lots of presents and great food.

Lots of love

Michelle, Dereck, Grant, Lauren (Grant's girlfriend), Jemma (the brown sausage dog) & Izzy (the black sausage dog) and Leanne (who is in London at present).

Christmas family signing off ....

Sunday, 23 December 2007

"Chef Ramsay" at work

This is a recipe I got sent by Sheila Corfe (aka Springbok Mom). You just have to try it - they are yummy! and as Sheila said - "I take no responsibility if you eat them all at once".

Fruit Squares

2 cups self raising flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup oats
1 cup coconut
2 cups mixed fruit (I used 1 box of the Sugarbird mix) (dates, cherries work too)
2 eggs
1 tsp almond essence
250g melted butter

Mix all the ingredients together and press into a greased baking dish (I used my oven pan) and bake at 180C until golden brown (+2 25 - 35 minutes).

Cut while still warm.

When serving, put on a plate and sprinkle some icing sugar over them.

Tooty Fruity signing off ....
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Scrapping up a Storm

Here are some layouts that I completed this week-end. The last one (Christmas 1991) was done a while ago, but I thought that seeing as I am taking photos, I would include it.

Scrappy signing off ...
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Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The Tala Experience with work!

On Tuesday, 11 December 2007 my colleagues (Naeem & Msizi - Bronwyn was booked off sick)and I went up to Tala Game Reserve for our office year end function. While eating, the buck (Nyala I think they are called) came walking past the restaurant - amazing! We had a scrumptious lunch starting with chicken liver pate, followed by the best tomato soup I have ever tasted, then a gammon salad, followed by a mixed berry sorbet. The main course was stuffed chicken breasts with couscos, pumpkin cubes in a filo pastry basket and mediterranean vegetables with a tai sauce and perfectly finished off with cheesecake with fresh fruit. Wow, we needed the game drive to get the digestive system working!! At 2pm we met our drive - Jaco - who took us on a game drive. We saw the animals above and a couple of others - hippo, ostrich and some other buck. We were the only group that day that spotted the Rhino and this one in the picture is known as "Big Boy" - aptly named as he is huge. We managed to get pretty close to him. There was also a mother and her baby, but there were a bit far and there was no other road to get closer. At this time of the year it is breeding season, so most of the animals were either pregnant or had babies with them. The cutest for me were the Warthogs. As we were leaving Tala to come home we spotted the mommy with her two babies. They were just like little puppies as they ran around chasing each other and just jumping and darting around. Then they would see me and just stop and stare. They ended up latching onto their mom, and she eventually lay day so that they could feed. Quite an awesome sight! We had a wonderful day with perfect weather (after all the rain we have had we were a bit worried!)

Game watcher signing off ....
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Sunday, 09 December 2007

Scrapping Creations!

I have been doing quite a bit of scrapping lately, and this is what I completed over the last 2 weeks. These are pages for Grant's album for his 21st in January 2009.

Proud scrapper signing off ....

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Red Indian Prizegiving

On the 17 November 2007, Run/Walk for Life, Westville Branch had their annual prizegiving. The theme - Red Indian. Dereck and I hired our outfits from Imaginations (031-2029999 for anyone needing an outfit) and ended up winning the "best dressed couple". Our prize - a full day of spa pampering at the Sibaya health spa for both of us. We are so looking forward to using this. I also managed to win the prize for the "fertility dance" (ha ha), and was awarded the "Athlete of the Year" trophy.

Above are some of the other prize winners of the evening, namely George, Sarah, Sally, Dave, Faith, Googs, Jeanette, Ros, Reg, Jean and Saras. Well done to everyone.

Proud Fertile Indian signing off (ha ha ha) ....

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Wednesday, 05 December 2007

I got flowers!

I arranged our Annual Past Presidents' Luncheon at the Durban Country Club yesterday, and when the 2006 Past President, Nazrien Kader arrived, she presented me with this beautiful bouquet of flowers. This, as she said in the card, was late, but they were to thank me for my work and support whilst she was President and her role she plays within SAICA - thanks Nazrien, they are beautiful and a lovely surprise.

Flower fairy signing off ....
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Tuesday, 04 December 2007

Peacocks, up close and personal

Here are some of the Peacock pictures a bit bigger - enjoy.
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Saturday, 01 December 2007

Holiday in Mpumalanga

Yes, I know that this is really a late entry, but I have just been so busy and I recently got hold of a programme to assist with blogging photos {thanks Sophia}. So here goes about our holiday ...

We left Pinetown at about 08h30 and got on our way after being stuck in a major traffic jam for about an hour. We went the route which took us through Harrismith, Warden, Vrede, Standerton, Ermelo, Carolina and then to the Sudwala Caves. We eventually arrived there at about 5pm. We unpacked and then just wondered around to get the feel of the place. We decided that we would go to the local restaurant for supper and I had chicken liver pasta while Dereck had chicken schnitzel - both very yummy.

There were quite a few peacocks and peahens around and every morning they would wander around the chalets looking for food. When they saw our chalet open, they just wondered in and pecked crumbs off the floor. The one evening I broke up a roll into my hand and they even came and ate from my hand - very funny and quite amazing. Only in Africa!!

The one day while walking around the area, this peacock just flared out his tail and started flapping it at me. I could not resist taking some photos. We left him and a while later on our wanderings, he was flapping at a couple of females. It was quite spectacular and we were up quite close to him.

On the Monday (10-10-07) we went to the Sudwala Caves. We had quite a humorous tour guide and the tour took about an hour. We had seen a documentary on these caves on Carte Blanche a few weeks before, and what they said then was very true. The caves were quite dry compared to other caves I have seen and there is loads of plantations around the area a lot which had been burnt in the recent fires. Here are a few pictures from inside the caves ...

After the caves we went to the Dinasour Park which was just next door to them. I think Leanne and Grant would have enjoyed this as they had learnt all about these creatures while at school and both had quite a fascination for them.
Tuesday, 16-10-07 was the day we had decided to go to the Kruger National Park. After a few days of rain and hail and no electricity in the evenings, this was a welcome sight. We set off at 08h30 and arrived at the Malelane Gate at 10h00. We managed to see the following animals - elephants, rhine, giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala, klipspringer, waterbuck, bushbuck, nyala, tree quirrel, dwarf mongoose and also the following birds - glossy starling, yellow-billed hornbill, laughing dove and a helmeted guineafowl. It was an amazing experience to be so close to these animals. We saw two elephants having a bit of a tussle and got a bit nervous when they started coming down the road - they eventually wondered off into the bush - which was a relief!! While we were driving I spotted something small moving in the road and after Dereck had reversed it was a dung beetle rolling his dung ball. Dereck managed to get a few pictures of it as well and that for me was rather funny seeing this tiny beetle rolling this huge dung ball!On Wednesday, we had to move to a different chalet as the geyser in our one was leaking and they needed to fix it. After we had moved all our things we left to go and see the views from God's Window - very impressive.

Then we went to Bourkes Luck Potholes. The water was very dirty, but it was just as I had remembered it from when I went there with my family when I was a little girl.Thereafter we went to the view sight of the Blyde River Canyon - again as I remembered it - awesome!!

View of the three rondawels:We then went on to Pilgrims Rest, were we had lunch. I had a cheese burger and a chocolate milkshake and Dereck had a pepper burger and a milkshake. These were the best burgers ever! This is a very quaint little town that has been left to look like the old days. It was also as I remembered it from my trip there as a little girl.

On the Thursday, Dereck had decided that we would just laze around, but I had seen a brochure about the Chimpanzee Eden and convinced him that we should go there. What fun and what an interesting place. They rehabilitate rescued chimpanzees and are doing a great job. We saw 10 of the 70 odd that they currently have there.

The chimp that is standing often puffed himself up and then came running and threw stones at us - quite scarey!!

On the Friday, we left to come home. We really had a lovely break and got to see some beautiful places.

Well relaxed signing off ....