Illuminated- Ailsa’s Travel Theme


On the table at my young colleague’s wedding November


Taken for a Christmas Carrol Service about 18 years ago…


Jellyfish at uShaka Marine World, December 2013


Fiery… (maybe not so relevant, but I like it… in Stellenbosch June 2013)


Illuminated sky… my daughter’s photo in 2010 on a hiking trail of 2 of her brothers…


Community Festival to kick of the year

Years ago our region was known for it’s grape farming. We were the first to have fresh table grapes on the market in the new growing season. And then other regions started doing the same, and some of them gets grapes much earlier to the markets, so the prices fell a lot when our farmers finally pitched with their produce. So nearly nobody produces grapes around here anymore.

But that does not distract our community from having an annual Grape Festival. It is still the first remarkable community festival on the yearly calender, and a nice way to end off the Christmas holidays, before the kids have to go to a new academic year next week…

It is the Annual Grape Festival this weekend.  It is extremely hot at the moment- the last thermometer I saw indicated another 37 degrees day.

In this heat, my eldest son and I took part in the festival procession, on my BMW motorbike, so that we can go for free  into the festival terrain.

I was just there for 2 hours, then it became too hot for me. But this is some of the sigbts so far:

We have a Classic Tractor Society in our district, here are some of their tractors:


I have never heard of these before…



What would the world be without John Deere?


Was the Farmall engineers drunk when they designed this?

But there are not just tractors at the Grape Festival- we also have… Bengal Tigers! Small ones… my one friend is helping with the marketing of Mystic Monkeys, a very nice tourist destination just north of Pretoria. And there you can have your picture taken with these guys, while they are small…


Adorable as kittens, i would not like to play with their momma!

And while it is 37 degrees, I ended my quick trip at the beer garden. I bought a fantastic kebab roll (beef kebabs, with mushroom sauce and onion relish on a freshly baked bun… delicious!) A nice cold Draught in the Festival Mug… I had a lot of those over the years, but my kids…


After this I came home to have a nap. I have to rest- tomorrow morning I am going to try the 50 km cycle race with a few friends. The furthest I have trained since last year’s Argus Cycle race is 35 km… It is a flat, fast route tomorrow. I am going to struggle, but I will compete…

I won’t be returning to the Festival terrain tonight, but over today and tomorrow some of South Africa’s best artists are performing live in the Main Tent.   But I have another barbeque evening with friends lined up- the 3rd night in a row… life is really hard in the Bushveld…

Enjoy your weekend!

Bridges- Sunday Stills

When thinking on the theme of bridges, I decided to post a few bridges I crossed on the Camino de Santiago in Spain… Bridges are quite useful to help you continue your journey and reach your destination…

The world famous bridge at Hospital de Orbigo, where knights used to joust in the Middle Ages- I would not like to fall off a horse here…

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High above Ruitelan…


Just before o’ Cebreiro




Into Melide

You see- we’ll just cross that bridge when we come to it…

Vegetable garden firsts…

I started my vegetable garden, to feel like a successful caveman.  I wanted to lay the bounty before my lady’s feet, and provide…

This morning is a very special morning. I harvested my very first cucumber ever. Not very big. But very tasty! Not to be confused with the zucchini/courgette in front…

I also harvested my very first butternuts, and somewhere a squash also popped up… the green beans and the aubergines also continue to provide fresh goodness to my family.

When I harvest, I am so grateful for all the time I took to read about it, weeding, digging, fertilizing, weeding, watering…

No poisons was used in the production of these veggies, and it tastes great!

This is something some people in my country still don’t get: First you work, then you reap the benefits.

I actually learn a lot in my vegetable garden, that I also try to utilize in my work…

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My earthworm farm is growing along nicely, with all the scraps from the kitchen (except meat and dairy, citrus, pineapple and onions) going into my bins. The earthworm tea provides very good nutrition for my vegetables, and I look forward to the worms making love, laying eggs, growing to a huge population, making lots of compost and tea…  This gardening game gives me a lot of joy!


PS- I passed the 500 km mark in my cycling training program for this years Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycle Tour this morning…


Cars, Trucks and Motorcycles in B & W

What a nice challenge! But where am I going to get motorbike photos?

The CAR:  A Mercedes Benz that competed in the 1908 Grand Prix season, as seen on the Champs Elysee in 1996…

1908 Grand Prix Mercedes

The Truck:  An old Bedford workhorse still going on a farm near us… 


And then: The Bike… what to do?? What to do???

First: A legendary Rat Bike in South Africa. Observe the front wheel was some time ago a back wheel…  Custom built to be ugly, the owner’s pride and joy. Not a Chick Magnet…


But we don’t just have ugly bikes in South Africa! To bring a bit of balance: Another Suzuki Hyabusa Custom- also see yesterday’s beauty!


And there you have it: some beautiful Rides in Black & White!

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White- Sunday Stills

In 2013, I did not get to go to one single Motorbike Rally. The previous 3 years I managed the Poison Rally, because it is in the first weekend of December, when I can easily get a whole weekend off.

So keeping in touch with my RIder theme, I share a beautiful white Custom Suzuki Hayabusa from 2012’s Poison Rally Concourse…  “The King… ”

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