Nesting Time

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With only six weeks to go until we welcome our precious baby girl into this world, there are unmistakable signs of nesting at Vastrap. Furniture is being moved, cupboards unpacked and repacked and the baby’s room repainted. Living far away from the city one has to be organised so I tick things off my list every chance I get. I’ve been massively spoiled by friends and family in Joburg and Ladybrand with two beautiful baby showers. In their own ways they were both very special with the most spectacular and creative decor and food. I was so incredibly touched by the effort made and the thoughtfulness of the gifts we received.

The first celebration was at my mom’s house in Joburg organised by my very dear friend Julia and my sister Hannia. There were armloads of beautiful flowers, truckloads of pink, blue and green helium balloons and a heavily laden table of home made cakes, including the most gorgeous glittering pink macaroons made by my cousin’s Parisian fiancé Alix. My nieces and nephews crowded round to help me unwrap presents while my friends Briggie and Fiona’s babies were passed around from lap to lap. The celebration would not have been complete without oupa Koos and ouma Hannatjie who have never looked better at age 89. Everyone was asked to include a photo of themselves as a baby and a personalised wish book from Macaroon was passed around for people to write messages for baby de Bruyn. After that weekend Quentin and I returned to Vastrap with a cattle trailer full of furniture for the baby room and a boot full of the most gorgeous pink (and leopard) goodies!

2013-11-19_00092013-11-19_00082013-11-19_00102013-11-19_00112013-11-19_0012The second celebration was held at Living Life Station Café in Ladybrand, my favourite local foodie destination. My friends Heidi and Jenny hung white lanterns and washing lines full of baby clothes on the outside veranda and the tables had vases full of antique roses from my farming neighbour Vicky’s garden. As usual, the food was scrumptious and plentiful and my mother-in-law, Karine bought champagne and orange juice to kickstart the morning. Everyone was asked to bring something with a handmade touch and once again I was blown away by the effort and thoughtfulness that went into the gifts. Muslin clothes with crochet edging, knitted jerseys and hats, a play mat and cushion, a personalised shopper for the “Princess of Vastrap”, an olive tree to plant in her honour, and the prettiest “nappy cake” I have ever seen made by my talented friend Ziona who also knows a thing or two about real baking!

2013-11-19_00012013-11-19_00022013-11-19_00032013-11-19_00042013-11-19_00052013-11-19_00062013-11-19_0013With so much love already being shown for this little baby I simply can’t wait to meet her in the flesh. It’s almost time to pack my hospital bag, put my feet up and start the countdown to 2 January 2014! Hoping with all my heart that everything goes smoothly until then.

Hashing with the Harriers

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We took full advantage of the spring-like weather on Sunday and joined the Maseru branch of the Hash Harriers for a walk in Ladybrand. It was our first time on the Hash, but we thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and exploring the hills around town, a nice change from our usual farm walks. The 6.5km walk was followed by a delicious lunch at the ever-charming Living Life Station Cafe which opened especially for the occasion. The sky was blue and the sun shone brightly, but unfortunately the winter landscape in this part of the country is pretty drab. The lifeless overgrazed veld crunched underfoot and the views of town were scarred by fire damage. The route was carefully marked out with white dots of flour and maize meal and occasional resting points along the way were indicated by three white parallel lines on the ground. The sandstone cliffs around Ladybrand are actively quarried by locals and along the way we saw piles of bricks ready to be sold and a carving which looked like the start of a bird bath. There were also big herds of cattle grazing on communal land and some make-shift cattle kraals hidden in the hills. We walked through a very old community grave yard, which boasted some elaborate grave stones, but it was touching that most of the graves were simply marked with a stone. The home stretch was along the now disused railway line that serviced the town decades ago leading to the Station Cafe. One can see just how long ago it was used by the large trees growing between the tracks! We enjoyed a fabulous lunch in the sun with some very pleasant background music on steel drums beautifully performed by the organiser of the walk’s daughter. We are now thinking of hosting a Hash at Vastrap later in the year to show off some of the beautiful walks on our doorstep!

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