The Best Aged Whiskey

Day 2 of Lockdown… Yesterday.

We started yesterday morning planting some new seedlings.  I’m not used to bending this much and I definitely felt my age this morning getting out of bed.  Everything ached and creaked.

We only hobby farm nowadays but thought with the Apocalypse upon us, we should probably make some effort to get a few veg in the ground.  If not for us, then certainly to assist the local market in case imports are affected with border closures.

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Shortly after planting, and taking a well deserved break, we noticed that Horsey (aka Whiskey) was not herself.  She was staying in her stable and not roaming around as usual.  Occasionally she wondered out and just lay on the grass, but not making any effort to eat.  She was also sweating up a storm.

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Now Whiskey is an old lady of 30 years.  So she has had a pretty good life so far and she now roams around the farm freely, doing as she wishes.  So when we noticed she wasn’t feeling herself, we thought this may sadly be the end.

The farm is a small community of close friends so we rallied the troops to get some advice from all.  We have a number of horses on the farm so everyone is familiar with horses and their ailments.

After lubed up arms bring shoved down her read end and a few other pokes and prods, she was given some meds and all we could do was give her lots of love and hope she pulls though.

We sat with her on the grass for most of the day, giving her lots of scratches and tickles and making her feel loved.

We got up early this morning to find Whiskey laying on our front porch, still alive and well.  She is roaming around this morning.  Still not herself, still not eating, but is drinking water voluntarily.  All good signs and can only hope that she is on the mend.  She is definitely staying close to us and not venturing far off.

Not sure what the day will bring yet.  Getting quite a but done on the farm and in the house over the last few days.  But as it’s Sunday, perhaps we deserve a rest.

Touching base with family and friends is important so will make it my mission today to reach out to a few.  See how they are, and have a virtual coffee catch-up.  Hope you will all do the same.

Happy Sunday all.

Ciao

 

 

 

So Is It the End of the World … or The Beginning

Once upon a time, in the beginning… People had the time to make things from scratch rather than just buying them from the store and it’s so nice to have the time on our hands to do just that –  go back to basics and do things the old fashioned way where we can.

KegSo we decided to make Waragi, a Banana Brandy.  My other half has been dying to try and make some ever since a friend made Morula Beer a few weeks back.

He managed to find a keg and of course the challenge was on to see what he could do with it and spent a few hours taking it apart and making a new contraption for the top part of it.

So he’s finished the first part of a making a stil to get the fermenting process going.

 

We spent hours peeling, cutting and boiling up bananas.

And adding the necessary ingredients (Sugar).

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And it has then gone into our converted keg for the fermenting process.

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And now we wait a few days before starting the actual distilling process…

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And in the meantime… a second bucket has appeared.  We’re making Lemonchello with all the lemons and limes falling off the trees on the farm.

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And I’m making banana bread from all the left over bananas.

Who knew I could be this domesticated.

Hope I can come up with something equally exciting to do tomorrow.

Ciao

 

It’s The End Of The World As We Know It

Good Morning Good Morning

Woke up to a whole new world today – Day 1 of total LOCKDOWN due to COVID-19.

I haven’t blogged for quite some time due to time pressures but suddenly find I have all this spare time on my hands, so thought what better way than to touch base with my old blogging friends (Knock Knock – Hope you are all still out there) and start blogging again.

I will be endeavoring to write a new post everyday for the next 21 days of Lockdown.

The Lockdown is not anything any of us could foresee and it will be the end of most of our businesses and possibly my own.  We have had to put 125 people off work this week as we cannot afford to pay them if we are unable to work.  So feeling a little sad that it has all come to this.  But I am not going to harp on about this dreadful disease, there is enough hype about it all without me adding to it.

So in amongst all this madness, I find myself home on our farm – my little piece of paradise.  Feeling less stressed.  Woke up with a smile after a good night sleep.  Reached out for our JBL Xtreme 2 Bluetooth speaker and what better way to start the day than with some music.

Opening song –

Got out of bed, got dressed and decided to wash dishes and found myself dancing to:

So yes, life is good!

Will be looking for things to blog about everyday.  Definitely going to take advantage of the time on my hands and find something new and interesting to do each day.

The first is going to be about us making some Banana Brandy (Ugandan Waragi).

So leaving you with an alternative version to It’s the end of the world as we know it – Enjoy!

 

Ciao

Groundhog Day Ramblings

So here we are at the end of the first month of 2018 already and the Silly Season is well behind us.

I was lucky enough these past weeks to spend a lot of time back home in Swaziland after not having been there for quite a few months before that.  And gosh how I missed it.

We all lead such stressful lives at the moment and each day is just a re-run of the last.  It is Groundhog Day over and over again.

For those of us who are employed, it is the stress of trying to survive on the same salary cheque when the cost of living increases on a month to month basis and the 13th cheque being a thing of the past.

And for those of us who own our own companies, it is the stress of clients not paying and trying to maintain a good relationship with them while trying to apply pressure from the side.  I bet the legal profession is smiling – although I must admit I’m sure it’s a catch 22 scenario and their clients aren’t paying them either.

Regardless of the stress, we need to make sure we don’t lose perspective over what is important in life.  And going home to Swaziland these last few weeks has reminded me of that.

I am guilty of not taking the time to de-stress.  I was just saying to my boyfriend earlier that although we were home for so much time, I didn’t have a single good nights sleep where my mind wasn’t processing work related challenges.

I was thinking how I would know when I am de-stressed – I would be able to read a book!   I can’t remember the last time I read a book.  I have this ever growing pile of books next to my bed for one day when …

I do a fair amount of reading but it is all either work research or social media related so my mind never switches off and allows my imagination to kick in.

There are so many weekends where we have declined invitations to go to the dam, or camping, or outings with friends due to work related challenges.

Smell-coffee

So I have promised to start getting some perspective back in my life.  Remembering that tomorrow is another day and learning to switch off from work after 5pm and most weekends.

Finding the time to “Smell the Coffee” and taking time to enjoy little distractions that life brings.

And I hope you will all be there to share it with me.

Keeping the lights on

 

Man Up FFS

I have many opinions, usually kept to myself.  But there are certain things I feel quite strongly about and I find myself wanting to voice my opinion occasionally.

I am the survivor of Throat (Oropharynx) Cancer so I feel I sort of have the right to voice my opinion about smoking.  Now it is debatable as to whether my cancer was caused by second hand smoke or the HPV virus but I watched my father die a very slow death from Emphysema when I was in my early twenties and my mother followed on many years later so I think it narrows the odds quite a bit.

I have never ever tried smoking and I think it is a filthy habit.  (I’m sorry if I am offending close friends here)  You can always tell who is a smoker as soon as they walk into the room and women shouldn’t be caught dead with a cigarette – EVER!

I’m happy to go through the pro’s and con’s of smoking but I think we all agree smoking is bad for you and causes cancer so I will move on.

So here we are in the modern age where smoking is banned in public spaces (Yay!), but as usual there are always ways and means around new laws.

It is also the “In Thing” to try to be healthier now and of course a healthier cigarette was sought, one which doesn’t cause cancer (or not as badly) yet still feeds ones addiction.

So “Vaping” was born and is the new “in thing”.  As far as I am concerned it is like ordering a Big Mac, upsize of course, and accompanying it with a diet coke.

One of my sons has tested the waters with me a few times and hinted that he would like to Vape.  Well he is old enough to make his own decisions now but it is not something I would encourage him to do or be proud of him doing either.  And here’s why…

(I was going to post a few links of the dangers of vaping here but I’m pretty sure we are all pro’s at using google by now.)

But if you are going to / want to smoke, then smoke.  Don’t try to legitimize it by pretending to be opting for the healthier / cleaner version.  I just look at you and say seriously – Just Man the F up.

The reality is when I look at a man vaping, I kind of have this little giggle escaping from the back of my throat. There is NOTHING cool or manly about it.Vaping

I come from a culture where men are men and the moment I find myself in the presence of a man vaping, he has lost my respect and I cannot take him seriously, even if he is “trying to stop smoking”.

If you want to stop, then stop.  There is no inbetween.  But in the meantime, be a man.

As for woman – I refer to my earlier comment.  It is the most unattractive thing any woman can do.

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Keeping the lights on

 

A Christmas Festival

Here we are halfway through the Festive Season once again.  Blink and it’s over.

Last year this time I was still in hospital struggling with my cancer treatment, knowing I would in all likelyhood get through it but nevertheless felt as though my life was at an end and I would never realise my dreams and get to that Bucket list.

I spent a lot of time thinking about life and what my priorities were.  Thinking about those who are important to me and regretting petty squabbles with those I hold dear to my heart.

I still haven’t realised any of my dreams or tackled that Bucket list but that is another topic for discussion.

I no longer hold grudges as life is too short.  It is not worth carrying hurt with you.

I ended my marriage quite a few years ago and I remember the first Christmas after.  Sad I was not with my Children, but I had made a decision which I have no regrets about.  I didn’t want to put my Children in a position where they would have to chose one parent over the other or them feeling guilty about not being with the other parent.  It was not a choice I wanted them to make.  So I stepped back and gladly let their Dad have Christmas.

The reality is that we do not need “Christmas” in order to have a good time with our children.  I still do Christmas with my Children but just not on the 25th December and we usually try to celebrate “MY” Christmas on the 5th December which is when the Dutch celebrate theirs.  My boyfriend is Dutch and it was one way of bringing our two families and traditions together in my new life too.

There are many broken families out there where only one parent shares in the joy of this festive season.  And many single parents are left at home alone, heart broken.

I am blessed to have very dear friends who I now spend Christmas with and consider them all part of my extended family.  We celebrate with many different family traditions, great food, great wine and great conversation.

Each year I get to have my own Christmas Festival starting with Christmas with my Children in early December and culminating with Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner with very close friends whose friendship I value most.

From someone who is truly blessed, I wish you all a Blessed Christmas too and hope all your dreams and wishes are realised in the coming year.

Merry Christmas all!

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