Celebrating with Granny Karine


We’ve had a very busy time over the past week, hence my blogging silence! Last Thursday I had a very important mission to drive some very special family to the farm for the weekend celebration of my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday. Quentin’s sister Deidre flew out from Australia for the occasion and I drove her back to the farm. Ashley and my grandparents, Koos and Hannatjie squeezed into the car with us.

My special passengers on our pit stop in Kroonstad.

On Friday, the whole family headed off to The Rose House near Fouriesburg to start the celebration. This lovingly restored sandstone manor house is situated in one of the most beautiful parts of the Free State overlooking Lesotho’s Maluti Mountains. Sheer sandstone cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop and there are even some vineyards to add to the character!

View from our cottages towards the Maluti Mountains.

The Rose House

Sheer sandstone cliffs.

Vineyards in the Free State!

Old farm sheds converted into self-catering cottages.

The morning before we left, Coco looked a little off colour and she had a high fever – typical symptoms of tick-bite fever or biliary, which she had only a month earlier. I rushed her to the vet who confirmed the prognosis and because it can be life-threatening our little patient was packed into the car with us for the weekend. She has never really been off our farm so I had no idea how she would behave, but she was an absolute dream and managed to charm everyone! She also perked up considerably after the treatment at the vet.

Coco with beautiful Princess Ashley.

Coco getting comfortable with the guests!

Kiss and a cuddle.

On Saturday we were treated to a gorgeous lunch on the veranda of Rose House. It is the perfect farm veranda – generous proportions with a spectacular view. The kind of veranda that makes one green with envy! The whole house has been beautifully restored by the owners Trish and John. It was completely derelict when they started, but they managed to salvage many of the original finishes. Trish is an excellent cook and makes the most delicious preserves and syrups using local ingredients.

Veranda with mountain view.

Original “kos-kas” or food storage cabinet turned into a feature on the veranda.

As expected, it was a very special weekend shared with family and a small group of Karine’s closest friends. It was wonderful to have my grandparents there too. I have written about them before (see City Highlights) and how stylish and vibrant they still are at the age of 89. It makes me so proud and happy to be able to share these kinds of intimate family moments with them. It also never ceases to amaze me how they are able to instantly make friends with people wherever they go.

Oupa Koos in his dashing bow tie.

Ouma Hannatjie with Karine.

Of course, the very special lady of the day was Karine, my mother-in-law. It was so lovely to see how happy she was to have her family around her and how much she appreciated having her friends there to celebrate. She is a very kind and loving woman and I am extremely lucky to have her in my life. Many years ago she was also a new farm wife who moved from Cape Town to marry Bill. Of course she made a huge success out of the move and never looked back! She is a super-star granny to Ashley and is always available to play and have fun. Happy, happy birthday granny Karine! We hope you know how loved you are.

Lady of the day, Karine.

With her daughters, Lesley, Deidre and Kathryn.

With Quentin.

With grandpa Bill.

Sharing a trade-mark belly laugh with Deidre.

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