50 years a family

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We had such a lovely time at Vastrap over Easter. The whole de Bruyn clan gathered to celebrate Bill and Karine’s 50th wedding anniversary, with Quentin’s sister Deidre and her family travelling all the way from Australia to be with us. Her two boys had not spent time on the farm in years so it was a real treat to have them here and for all the cousins to spend time together. With Quentin’s other two sisters Lesley and Kathryn we were nine adults and five children in total. Livia especially loved all the action and attention and our new puppy, Duma, was also a hit with everyone!

The de Bruyn family are a notoriously sporty bunch and high achievers on so many levels. Vastrap was a bit like a country club in the days when Bill and Karine lived here, with tennis on Sundays and a squash court that hosted Eastern Free State league matches back in the day. Ever since I have lived here the squash court has been used as a giant store room, much to my father-in-law’s horror! But I vowed to have it in working order in time for Easter. It took quite an effort to clear away all the junk accumulated over many decades, but with Tseliso’s help we did it. Well, it was such a hit and so worth the effort. The boys played squash 24/7 from early in the morning till late at night, a useful way to burn off their jet lag. At one point you could just hear balls being hit all over the place with tennis matches being played on the one side of the house and squash on the other!

We drank champagne under the stars and watched a slide show of all the old family photos, eliciting much hilarity from the kids. On Easter Sunday we went for a lovely walk on the mountain to the place where Quentin’s grandfather, Tok’s ashes were scattered. It was a beautiful clear day and we could see for miles once we got on top of the sandstone cliff. It was Duma’s first real farm walk and he stumbled and fumbled his way over the rocky path trying to keep up with Patch.

In our busy lives it is a real treat to be able to stop for a minute, count our blessings and celebrate the wonderful people and family in our lives, recognising the part they have played in making us who we are. For the little ones, nothing beats special times spent with their grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. This is the stuff of great memories!

Karine & Bill17. Mum and dad and kids baobab

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Lapping up the autumn sun

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I can’t believe my last blog was two months ago! Where has the time gone?? It certainly has been a hectic year so far and I find myself less and less able to indulge in time spent documenting happenings around the farm. I’ve also been spending a lot more time updating and writing for our official Vastrap Boran website and blog, which has left my personal blog lonely and neglected.

It’s pointless to even try to catch up on everything that’s been going on, but the main news I have to share is that we are expecting a baby boy at the end of September! I am just over 4 months pregnant and feeling great, but the first trimester was very draining and quite stressful waiting to see if we would get past the first three months. On top of that Livia was sick for quite a few weeks and teething badly which left us very sleep deprived, something that we’ll have to get used to!

Ashley is here this week for her holidays and Livia is absolutely loving having her big sister around. We had some fun in the garden this afternoon in our new outdoor seating area. The building was completed just in time for Easter when the whole de Bruyn family gathered at Vastrap to celebrate Bill and Karine’s 50th wedding anniversary. I got lots of ideas from Pinterest on how we could build something like this using the natural sandstone from the area. After showing all the photos to Quentin he made it happen using blocks that were carved decades ago by a stone mason who used to work on the mountain behind our house. I am so thrilled with the result, especially since it looks like it’s always been there. In summer it will be covered in shade from our beautiful tree and in winter it will be a lovely place to lap up the morning sun. The girls certainly approve!

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