Staying & Creating Positive

Going from partial lock-down to level 5 only became a reality when the novelty of Pyjama days and Face Time parties wore off. Where is our freedom?

Not allowed to exercise? Not allowed to enjoy a glass of wine when I feel I deserve one because I ran out two weeks ago and I am not allowed to buy any, anywhere? Most of all not allowed to take my child to the beach?

For me the real pain was the loneliness. Not being able to see my friends and family, face to face not face to screen. To talk about our fears and share our feelings. I didn’t know if I was the only one feeling guilty for feeling angry about not having freedom.

Why guilty? Well, locking down people in their homes meant different things for different people.

While we were baking luxury goods, other people hardly had food to eat.

But then I went from guilt to rebellion. Why should I feel guilty about a life that we worked really hard to live. Why should we not have a choice to be exposed to whatever danger is lurking out there? I understand, it is not the same thing as being exposed to the probability of getting hit by a bus, but still, being threatened with a criminal record for going to the beach, wide open beach, fresh air?

Hiding behind our masks. Controversial to say the least, which I am not prepared to discuss. But, I do know the effect it has on my child. Not being able to see people’s faces when we go out for groceries, or more recently to go for a walk on the beach (after the levels were lifted). Facial expressions are extremely important to read a person’s intentions and feelings. Mishka relies so much on what she sees to process what she feels, and I can just see how I now have to consider the words child and depression in one sentence.


A depressed rebellious little girl, not a good combination! So mommy had to get very creative, more than ever! Before I share a few favourite moments, let me rant a bit about women and lock down. Am I the only one that thinks we got hit the worst by this?

Wife, mom, nanny, cleaner, care taker and most recently teacher! I only have one child, I am not coping! There is a very good reason why I did not choose this as a vocation!

We were certainly tested during the highest levels of lock-down, tested for our patience,  kindness and our ability to not only see positive but to create positive.

More than her school work, I made my mission to lift my child’s spirit. Yes she has to stay up to date with her work, but if she feels down very little will persuade her to pick up a book.


I now have many tricks up my sleeve to keep a bored child busy and entertained. Playing dress up is one!

A few of our favourite moments:


A garden like no other

Part of the enchantment of The High Acre Forest Cottage is their beautiful garden. DP & Hannes grow their own food and flowers.

As florists they understand that fresh is always best, and what better way to ensure that a bride’s bouquet is indeed perfect, than to grow your own cut flowers and fillers.


We were spoiled rotten by getting the opportunity to not only admire their handy work but to spend precious time in the garden with baskets to pick and choose as we want.


I can’t think of a better way to spend a morning than to collect your stock to make a beautiful wreath.


Mishka was mesmerised by the colours, textures and shapes of the many different herbs, flowers and fillers. She spent hours getting just the right combination for her wreath.

IMG_8693 It reminded me of our own garden back home and what we do to make it a wonder world for spending hours of fun or retreat in.

My own love for gardening was inspired by my mom who loved fine gardening, particularly English gardening. She pampered every little plant, tried anything, regardless of our less optimal geographical region. Every winter everything would die of black frost, every Spring she would start over and create a paradise. I absolutely loved every nook and corner of her garden, I learnt so much about patience and waiting for the cream of the crop.


However, my gardening style developed with my own journey, and I will always have lavenders, pansies and geraniums in my garden, but going through one of the worst droughts the Western Cape has ever seen, I discovered that the Aloes I brought with me from Gauteng were much better suited for this part of the world. We lovingly transplanted every bit of the Aloes we could when we first settled in: they are such survivors. This year we are enjoying the beautiful oranges of their flowers all over the garden. We are not the only ones! Daily visits from the sugar birds make our hearts sing as much as theirs.


The biggest gardening event for us this year was when we planted Mishka’s English Oak tree. She wanted a tree she could climb and one that could hold her tree house one day.

The friendly people at Themba Trees in the Elgin valley took time and effort to make sure she selects the perfect one. We went home with a three meter tall tree and Sam helped us plant it. This is the beginning of big things, well a big thing! Time will be captured in this beautiful majestic tree’s rings, our time and our love will be locked into this tree.


We will also remember where this tree came from. Caroline from Themba Trees encompass all the values we aspire to. She started this small business from her knowledge and qualifications and mixed it with passion for the environment and social responsibility. The result: gorgeous mature trees! Knowing that it was grown with integrity and a love for people and nature makes this Oak tree so much more special to us.


Low maintenance gardens are so important to get started, if you think you don’t have it in you to grow something, keep in mind that succulents don’t need much to flourish.

My gardening tips:

  • Start small, get a few containers and ask a friend for some succulent cuttings.
  • If you are more adventurous, get one container close to your kitchen with three of your favourite herbs (this should inspire you to look after it and get it harvest ready)
  • Make an effort to keep your shrubs in a good condition – prune and feed. This is a good backdrop for the rest of your gardening aspirations. Just have something going that is not too much of an effort to look after.
  • If you have a shady garden, go for Aggies (Agapanthus) and Clivias. They can be split and divided to make many more plants. Fill those gaps!
  • Plant a tree, if not for yourself for your children.