2 Girls, 15 Guns, some Rabbits and a Pig

It is that time of year where office parties reign!  I was invited as a guest to a end of year function yesterday by my brothers company.  It was a function for suppliers and clients.

My brother decided to do something out of the box this year and arranged for a day at the Clay Target shooting range at the Waterhaven Country Estate.  I run an IT company so I offered to sponsor a few gifts.

I have never shot a gun before so decided to take up the challenge and take part.  It was a typically male orientated day so I was one of 2 women.

I left home early that morning to drop kids off at school in a short little summer dress.  The weather did not look fantastic but there was blue sky and I thought the day would improve. By the time I had done the school run, the clouds had come over and rain looked imminent.  So I went back home to change into something more suitable – jeans and a t-shirt!

I arrived with my fellow compatriot as we agreed that us girls would stick together.  We had to travel along a dirt road for quite some time to get there and it had been raining heavily over the last few days so I was rather grateful I drive a 4×4.  Needless to say we took the wrong road and ended up going a little further out than we anticipated and ended up doing some real 4×4’ing.  (So glad I went on that 4×4 course – read blog post here) We eventually figured out we had gone too far and doubled back.

Eventually we arrived at the Waterhaven Estate.  Everyone was there already and socialising.  It was beautiful out there.  There was a “lapa” area and we were welcomed with coffee and muffins.  The bar would be open after lunch.

As pictures tell a thousand words I’m going to go through the day pictorially where possible.

View from the Lapa

One of the shooting ranges

Coffee and Muffins

The Bar

Our minders for the day

I was introduced to our minders and our hosts.  Our hosts were David Tweddell and Cathrene Walton.

We would be broken up into 4 groups, each with a minder.  I had an interesting conversation with David about clay target shooting and he explained quite a few things to me.  Things like it was important to know which eye was dominant.  It so happens I am left eye dominant – meaning it was recommended that I need to close my left eye while aiming (although this doesn’t work for everyone and you do what is best for you).  He also explained the gauges to me and the grams of the shells.  We would be using 12 gauge shotguns and 21 gram shells (hope I got that right).  Apparently 34 grams is typical but the recoil is a lot worse and as I was new at this, we would be using 21 grams.

He then went on to show me how to stand.  Feet apart with the left leg slightly in front – facing forward and leaning forward, giving your body space to move back.  Legs straight.  It was important to have the shotgun tucked into your shoulder and your cheek resting on the shotgun, otherwise the recoil would result in the shotgun hitting you in the face.

So us ladies were allocated 4 clipboards and we had to assemble 4 teams.  Once all done, we started heading out – each team to a different range.

My team (of 3) ended up at the most difficult range first – called “the Wobble”.  The target doesn’t shoot out in the same direction all the time and randomly shoots out wherever. Rather challenging for my first time.

The wobble
The Wobble machine

Our minder (Mark) showing us how it’s done

Yeah – we had some comical moments too

Me taking instructions

Needless to say, I didn’t manage to shoot anything here – it’s my first time anyway so I decided not to count these points (I’m allowed to cheat).

So we then moved onto the “Rabbit”.  This is where the clay target comes out from the side and rolls on the ground.

Actually managed to shoot something here – got 4 out of 5 – Whohoo!

My fellow compatriot taking instruction from Mark too

Then it was off to the next range……

Yeah, I’m starting to get the hang of this!

Totally at ease!

Then we went on to some more ranges ….

Us girls rule!

Fellow team member having a go

I’m beginning to like this….

We eventually finished and it was time for lunch, and we headed back to the main building.  Us ladies were not left without some form of reminder for the next few days:

This was going to leave a nice blue mark!

Then we had lunch – a typical South African meal – a braai with salads and pap and sauce and then the bar was declared open.  We even brewed our own beer for the day (shhh, don’t tell anyone) .

Freshly home brewed

Look what I found roaming around:

Isn’t he cute!

It was finally time for prizegiving!  Yay

3rd Prize of an iPod Touch (lowest score)

2nd prize of an iPod Touch (Second highest score)

1st Prize of an iPod Classic (Highest Score)

In case you were all wondering, I got 12 out of 25 20 (I refuse to count the first 5 points lost for the wobble)

Then it was time for some fun in recognition of MOVEMBER!

Even us girls had fun 

I had an amazing day.  The Waterhaven estate is an amazing experience and I’m so glad I went along.  I had loads of fun and my next challenge is shooting a hand gun and I’d like to try archery as well.

I uploaded some video’s to YouTube  – shot with the new iPhone 5S using the slow motion function – it is an amazing function and I am really impressed with it.

(I shot the first target, the second was a dud so I didn’t shoot it and I shot the next one as well – 2 out of 2! – bear in mind that it is in slow motion)

Lanthie Ransom


Thought I would make you all jealous this week and tell you about my trip to Mozambique – Ponta Malongane to be exact which is near Ponta Do Ouro.  Regular readers of my blog will remember that I did a trip to Mozambique back in March as well.

My brother is building a holiday home there and he invited me along for a quick trip to have a look at how the building work is coming along.  It was a quick trip – we left on Monday morning at 6.30am.  It is a long drive of about 8 to 9 hours depending on traffic.

The trip there was fairly pleasant.  We stopped off for brunch at a town called Piet Retief.  Piet Retief is probably around 350km from Johannesburg – about 4 hours taking traffic into consideration.  Im  not going to say too much about this little town and will perhaps leave this for another time.

After Piet Retief we drove around the bottom part of Swaziland and then headed up towards Mozambique.  We pass through 2 towns called Pongola and Jozini and I will do a separate post about them.  The roads are not too bad for the most part.  There are quite a lot of road works happening and one has to be careful of cows and goats crossing the road.

We got to the Kozi Bay border post at about 2.30pm so we made really good time.  Getting through the border post is quick and easy.  The border post also sees the end of tarred roads so you need to have a 4×4 to get to Ponta Malongane after that.  My brother is building in Tartaruga which you can see on the map below.  It is only about 13km’s from the border post but takes about 40 minutes as it is off road through soft sand.

We got to Ponta Malongane at about 3.15pm .  We stayed at the same house as my last trip.  The moment I got out of the car and walked inside, the rest of the world just melted away.   It was like nothing else on this planet exists.

View from the pool deck

View from the door leading out from the lounge

View from my bedroom

After relaxing and unpacking cooler boxes, we did a quick trip to the building site to meet the builder.  There is nothing in this part of the world – there are no shopping centres or grocery stores so you need to come fully prepared.  You can buy the very basics at the Barracas (huts) if you are lucky.

Then my brother and I went for Sundowner drinks at the Sunset Shack.  The favorite drink in this part of the world is called 2M.

Sunset Shack
Looking out over the lake

After drinks, we went for dinner to a quaint little place.  There is limited selection of food on the menu in this part of the world – generally chicken or prawns are served.  There is very little else.

We met with the owner of the restaurant who was recouping after an operation.  Her little son took a licking to me and before long he was fast asleep on my lap.

At about 9 and a few drinks, I was ready for bed.  We went back to the house and I was asleep in no time.

I woke early the next morning – lifted the blinds so I could look out to the sea.  I just could resist putting on my bikini and going for an early morning walk on the beach.

My brother eventually got up and we had to meet with the builder, the carpenter and we had to go looking for paint.

The Plascon paint shop was in the centre of Ponto D’Ouro.  Behind a cafe called The Love Cafe.  And of course we couldn’t resist have a few more 2M’s.

After this we landed up at Fernando’s.  Fernando’s is famous for his R&R’s – Rhum and Rhasberry.

Then we to a restaurant just up the road and had a late lunch.  Didn’t take pics here I’m afraid – think my brain was swimming at this point.

Felt a little more normal after lunch and we headed towards a bar referred to as Jenni’s.  It is run by a little old lady.  The deck overlooks the sea and the view is breathtaking.

Then it was back to see the builder late afternoon as we would be leaving first thing in the morning.  After we chatted to the builder, we headed back up the road to have a few more drinks at Lourenco’s Bar (Yeah, you are getting a gist of the lifestyle here)

View from the bar

The wind picked up while we were there and we found it quite unpleasant so we headed back to the house after this.  We relaxed for a little while and then we headed to the Sunset shack for some more chicken for dinner.

After dinner I headed straight for bed – it had been a long day.

The following morning I woke early and packed the cooler box and the few things I had with.  We did a quick trip into Ponto D’Ouro to see the carpenter and then we headed back to the border to come back home.

It is so hard to leave a place like this and it makes you think about life and your expectations.  What could be better than getting back to basics and living in this paradise.

Lanthie Ransom

I can buy my own drinks

A friend sent me the following e-card this morning and it got my mind going.

Life Cherries

As an almost middle aged woman, brought up with old school values, I have had to stand up and take notice of younger woman who have taken life by the balls and run with it.  For instance – the reason I started my blog is because I attended a social networking workshop and felt rather threatened that all the younger women sitting next to me all had their own blogs – I didn’t even know what a blog was until that day.  I walked out that evening knowing that I had to change my way of thinking.  If I was to survive in a modern world, I needed to start doing things for myself.

Now let’s not get confused by what I am talking about.  I have always done things myself and I have become a jack of all trades in being able to do things.   I am a hero in being able to do things myself and my life motto is  “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

But this is not what I’m talking about.  What I am talking about is doing things FOR yourself.  Forgetting what hubby thinks or you boss thinks or what you kids or friends think.  You need to look after yourself first, do the things you want to do and then look after everyone else.  I have come the learn that if you are happy, everyone around you is happy.

If there was ever a time for a woman to make a difference in the world, that time is now.

I thought I would come up with a list of things to encourage women to start doing things for themselves.

What rule book?

Throw out the rule book.  Make your own set of rules.  Rules were made to be broken anyway. Don’t listen to how others say thing should be done.  Figure it out for yourself.  Yes, get advise along the way but in the end do things your way.  And trust your gut!

Do things that make you happy

Ask yourself what things count in your life or make a difference to your life.  Ask yourself who you are doing things for.  Make sure you do things that make you happy.

Surround yourself with positive people

You know that friend who is always moaning about her husband an her kids and how stressed she is at work – yeah HER.  Unfriend her.  You do not need to surround yourself by negativity.  Create a supportive environment.  As much as us ladies think we can do things alone, we cannot.  We need a support structure and make sure that structure is one filled with positivity and encourages you to be you and a happy you. A good gut check is: “Do I feel more happier and more energized or less after being with my friends?”

Have a goal

Think about what you want out of life and go for it.  It is difficult striving for something if you don’t know what that is.  It doesn’t mean you have to decide now the exact path or what the end game should be.  But acknowledge that you need to have some direction.  And if that direction is not working for you – change it.  Nothing in life is cast in stone.

Don’t forget to smell the roses

Yes it is good to go after that goal.  Start your own business.  Make money.  But don’t forget that you need to enjoy life along the way.  It is pointless doing it all and having it all if you have forgotten to smell the roses along the way.

Lanthie Ransom

Tis the Season

Tis the season for awards once again.  As Thanksgiving and Christmas approaches, everyone gets into a giving mood.

This week I was given an award by a fellow blogger. I am always in two minds about blogger awards.  That’s not to say I don’t appreciate them in any way though.  It is always nice to be recognized by your fellow peers as someone they appreciate  reading and also as a blogger they feel worthy of recommending to others.

My friend Phil from The Regular Guy NYC – and yes I have called him a friend even though I have never met him.  The reason for considering him a friend is that he has always been a faithful follower and commentator on my blog.  I remember the first time I commented on his blog and looking back on it now he must have thought I was one weird chick.  Anyway – he has stuck by me through most of my blogging life – even when words escaped me and I’ve had nothing to say.  He has always been one of the reasons I keep blogging.  And let’s not forget that besides the subtle sexy messages he leaves on my comments, he always leaves me salivating when I read his blog.

Anyway ….. as I was saying before I digressed – My friend Phil regularly promotes my blog – via his blog or more commonly via Twitter for which I am truly grateful – so I wanted to take this opportunity to say a big Thank You Phil for making me feel special.

Then just when I thought sharing the love couldn’t get any better than this, on Monday I received the following tweet:

And of course it was followed by his post “I’m just a freaking Ray of Sunshine award aren’t I?

It made my week a little more special and motivated me to keep blogging.  For those of you who are not bloggers – it is seriously hard work and very time consuming.  Once you start blogging, you start seeing the world through a different set of eyes – you no longer do things because they are fun, you do things as they provide you with blogging material.  Something my family now jokes about on a regular basis with me.  Whenever I am reluctant to do anything, my sons are quick to blurt out “Just think of what you are going to blog about it” .  On the down side, my sons have also been on the receiving side and been the brunt of many of my posts – so they tend to watch what they say or do in front of me nowadays.

So just like any other blogger awards, I have to fulful certain things as part of my acceptance as follows:

Thank the person who gave you the award

So THANK YOU Phil – here’s a little something I thought you would like in return (Wasn’t sure f you were a boobs or a bum type of guy so went with bum – I kept it tasteful as well)

Include the badge of the award in your post: (Beautiful isn’t it)

I have to tell you 7 things about me – this is a little more complicated than it sounds as I am a complicated person so here goes with a few uncomplicated things:

  1. I love meeting new people and adding to my social circles
  2. I love a challenge – please don’t ever say – “So here’s a challenge for you …”  as I will be tempted to take you up on it.
  3. I have some secret fetishes – yeah, not gonna list them here
  4. I am generally a quiet person – I like to observe people rather than being the center of attraction.
  5. I love travelling – something I don’t get to do much of nowadays
  6. I can very very sarcastic – and I can be very subtle about it
  7. My favorite way to relax is in a nice warm bath with a glass of wine

Then I have to select 10 of my favorite bloggers, or someone I really want to piss off and link their blogs to my post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award! And as Phil says – “The love you receive back will be tremendous, or the deafening silence will tell you how pissed off they are at you.” So here’s my list (hope I can come up with a list of 10)

The first one has to go to Dale over at Diary of an Internet Nobody. Dale also guest posts for me on occasion and I enjoy his writing.

Joeh over at Cranky Old Man – And boy am I going to get in the neck for giving him this award – I know he hates these things.  (Sorry Mrs Cranks if I put him in a bad mood).  I have had him on my blog roll for a long time and love his sense of humor.  He has also written a few books, none of which I have read I’m ashamed to say. (Wish I had the time)

Marcia at Menopausal Mother – My dearest friend.  She has been my savior though thick and thin in my life.  Love you Marcia!


Holli over at Holli’s Hoots and Hollers – we share a passion for Harley’s.  She also recently got married to her soul mate.

Beth from Writer B is Me.  She is a new blogger I am following.

Jules from A Beautiful Day – Also a new blogger friend and we have had some interesting conversations via email and FB – It’s been great getting to know you Jules!

There are others I would have liked to include here but have also received this award from Phil as well – these include:

Kitt over the The Inner Wildcat  – She too writes on the risque side of things and I love her blog and her take on life.

And of course my fellow partner in crime who I write for as well – Matt over at Ramblings of a Semi-Mad Man.  Who knew I’d enjoy writing for a Man Cave type blog.

That’s all the love I am sharing today.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend xxxx

Lanthie Ransom