a new address

Due to space limitations I would like you to go to the next address please……. will put in later today.  New address is:  https://toujoursanita2.wordpress.com/banking-holiday-may-2018/ it was banking holiday yesterday and we had a ball….now it is getting the job done…busy with 2nd painting and have to finish it end of the week to start the 3rd for the gallery in Macclesfield…. work work work work……. Love it!


Header photo:  View from the edge …… Alderley edge

What inspires us to be better? Better versions of ourselves…. our friends, families, things that happens around us, what inspires you?  Various things happens to various people which inspires them…. sickness, love, kids, etc.  I sometimes wonder what is the inspiration I draw from when I paint, when I do things…whatever it might be….

I do think that ordinary things inspire me…. the interaction of parent and children, the wonderful interaction with a pet be it a cat or a dog…the companionship with a friend …. and my amazing friends who each in their own way is so very inspiring…. be it the amazing selflessness they show or the new ideas or rising from the ashes of whatever happened to them…. and nature….. be it the landscape with animals or the amazing landscape and people/animal relationship.

In this respect I have found a wonderful treasure chest of inpiration here in England…. Angleterre the French call England…. As many of you know I am such a FRANCOPHILE… I would obviously have loved to be in France for a few years, but you know, this is not so bad…this is an adventure with my husband where I learn to know new people, and opening the chest of treasures and finding new friendships, new places and new customs, appreciating old friendships…. this is what it is about…. and I am taking the opportunity with both hands and using it and making the most of it….

From the milk delivered to my door 3x a week, to the strangeness of some accents, this is what it is about…. it is with open eyes and open heart that I take on this adventure….. I DO miss my people, family and friends and the amazing country I come from…but for now this is my world …. and I love (my) life!

I am now going to sort through the amazing amount of photo’s I took on a ROADTRIP TO WALES we did yesterday and the walk we had this morning in Alderley Edge…. at “the edge”….. we go early before 8 and walk for 90 minutes…. we do sit down now and again and just appreciate the amazing view…. rumour has it that “Merlin” of King Arthur and Avalon fame lived in that woods…. I am sure it is a tall tale, but there is an amazing amount of calmness, beauty and serenity in the woods…. we love it there…. a special place.

* JUST A NOTE:  If you view the photo’s and you “mouse-over” the image there will be a small explanation of the photo popping up….. never thought to explain this…. perhaps it helps




A wonderful weekend…..

Some times the weeks and weekends flow into each other and before you realize another week has passed…. I have realized that if we don’t concentrate on doing special things and living life our stay here might just be all over before we know it.

Therefore, I hope I can stick to it, but I am going to try and get up earlier, paint more each day than I got to do before, and do special memorable things during the weekends…. well, at least this weekend we succeeded.

It was brilliant weather for a few days last week and a bit of this weekend and on Friday evening we had a “snack” on our lawn outside in our backyard….complete with tablecloth and all….. very quickly my husband saw the potential in the faded sunchairs and glasstopped table which were here when we came and he made them all operational again……

Saturday morning early we went to Leek, with a collegue and friend of my husband and my friend (his wife).  I had the opportunity to meet with a brown pigmy owl….. I kid you not you will see the images…. about 12cm high and 9 years old…. what an amazing little creature.  Volunteers care for the birds and give their own spare time to promote awareness of these amazing animals….

We visited the “vintage market” and had tea and scones….well, this was the best we have found here, thus far….. it was still a little frozen in the middle but we got the idea of how it can be…. 🙂

Then we went to a SOUTH AFRICAN SHOP in Stoke, where we bought some “droewors and biltong and smarties and boerewors” we came home from the outing and had a “braai” on a 2 pound tinfoil and charcoal contraption…. well it worked for 4 toasted samies and a piece of boerewors, but then it was done….no more.

This morning we went early (because we saw rain is coming” and walked at “Alderley Edge” where legend has it that Merlin stayed in a cave…. (unknown location ….still to be found by us) and we had a wonderful 5.6 km walk in the forest…. up and down hilly and wonderful….. really enjoyed it – the Inn was not open yet and we came home and had a blackberry frangipane tart each which I bought as part of a 10 pound deal….. pudding, side, steak and a lovely bottle of Syrah (from South Africa) — and then went to Macclesfield town… had to pick up my new specs for reading….. so we did an hour in town and came home…. now it is time for catching up on blogging, my husband on his SARS work, etc.

I realize now how important the blogging became to me…. I am seeing what passed and I am keeping track of all the amazing things I have experienced here…..

OOOOO and before I forget, I bought some more Rosemary brushes and cannot wait to use them…. each month I try and take a small amount and spend it on my equipment….


Doing the “normal” things….. I should actually give you some images of our “move in” and the results, but haven’t had time to take nice pics after some of the stuff is where I think it should be…. most are just packed out of the boxes, but the kitchen is DONE.

It is Sunday the 15th of April and we have been here for about 3 months just a little more….. this morning the sun was shining and then rain …..it is now cloudy and cool….we sometimes have all 4 seasons in one day…. but I don’t mind.

It is a lovely peaceful day with myself in front of the canvas and my husband busy with this and that…he even went for a quick jog around the neighbourhood….

We will Skype with our youngest daughter a bit later…. and the slowcooker is busy preparing butter chicken with potatoes and carrots – so what could be missing…. well, I have realised that friends and family are missed….the comfort of knowing somebody for years and years…. but new friends are made and friendships enjoyed.

I add a few of the “unloading day” images and a few other….. enjoy – will supply you with a photo of my most recent painting as soon as its done….. this week should be it….and I am also starting with another this week…. it should go much quicker.

Easter weekend

Amazing to have a few days to ourselves….just doing what we want to – Friday Dries had to complete some work people were waiting for and Saturday and Sunday we went to a South African artist friend and her husband and stayed for two days…. walked and talked, played games and had a braai…. they really made us feel at home, and welcome and I was sad to say good-bye to them and their dog Gracie… a German Shepherd Sheep dog cross…. amazingly clever and a very obedient dog and lovely companion.

I will let the images speak for themselves….. will get more images from the other photographers but for now here goes…. rested and feeling well, tomorrow our things from South Africa arrives….another chapter begins.

Sunday of surprises…

We wanted to get out this morning it was sunny – yes 9-12 degrees and we wanted to take a walk on the edge at Alderley edge but no parking the English were out en force and only plan left was after 1h drive around the countryside to go to Macclesfield forest for a short walk …. it was supposed to be 400 meters…. hahaha I think we got wires crossed but eventually had a wonderful exiliarating walk steep down (which meant all the way up again) in a forest on the outskirts of town on the way to the Peak district… (mountanous for the English countryside but more like the Overberg with snow to us).

We had a wonderful walk – not sure how far – but after lots of huffing and puffing from me and pretending to have to take photo’s we made it back to the car…. Dries of course had a Sunday stroll he is naturally fit…. on the other hand I was quite tired…but proud that we did it…. and it was so very beautiful in nature.  Here and there were still pieces of snow lying around…. it was cold, but not freezing…. 12 degrees outside.

I am preparing supper now…. low and behold, steak and veggies…. it’s such a treat to have red meat here, but sometimes you find deals with a main, side and sweet dish…and then it is so affordable… hope it is not the shoemaker’s soles…. but, looking forward to a lovely supper.

I add some images for you at the bottom…. enjoy!



Riverside Walk Macclesfield

Early to rise ….. and it was early.  Went for a 6km walk along the River Bollin this morning…. Loved to be outside and although it was extremely muddy and wet we had a wonderful walk.

Lots of water, birds, green and trees….. and MUD! However we walked and enjoyed…. saw a few trains pass us by and lots of English dogs and owners walking along….

Hopefully in summer the bare trees will have green green leaves and perhaps a painting or two will come from my walks….


There is an add here on TV – yes I watch a free channel now and again…. for the Australian Masterchef program… I think it’s an old one, but so amazing to see what ordinary people can do with a little adrenalin and lots of ingredients 🙂  Anyway, sometimes there is this TV add which says that it is time which is the most precious commodity of all….. and that one day when it is one’s end of time it won’t be the stuff you did (hopefully) you are sorry for, but the stuff you did not do…… truth of truths!

I wish I can pack more into each day….. but, this morning woke earlier than the hot water boiler or the alarm and was eager to begin the day – thinking of my painting I have started, the after work walk and sometimes shooting some hoops with Dries, the daily contact with my loved ones….and I felt privileged that I could be here…. here in England, but also at this stage of my life…. with new old friends, new new acquintances, new surroundings, the familiar and comforting interaction with my husband and the familiar faces on facebook, (yes I do facebook to see how everybody does in South Africa) and the familiar feel of a brush in my hands…. what joy!

So today I show a few photo’s I took at the short walk we did yesterday at Brereton Heath a small nature reserve near where my husband works….. we were joined by two ladies one from UK and one from Argentinia with little ones….the one lady has twin daughters…. and we talked, and walked and had coffee and lunch together….. it took almost the whole day for which I was a bit put out, wanted to paint a little yesterday, but in the end I think it was amazing because today the paint has dried on the strangely smooth canvas and I can continue my process ….. O life is indeed beautiful and unfamiliarly strange and good at the same time….. La vie est belle! Vraiment.

Sunday ….. snow

It was our intention to go to the Leek foodmarket this weekend, Saturday but it was snowing and after my husband went to find some anti-allergy homeopathic medicine, it was really snowing…. and the wind was gusting.  So, we stayed in…. and this morning we tried again but the small winding lanes did not promise safe driving so we eventually turned around and went to Bollington, as well as drove through a few smaller places along the way….

Bolling town seems old, but in the snow it was just beautiful and we enjoyed the drive.  The English landscape which looks like it has been sifted with icing sugar was beautiful but make no mistake it was really very very cold.

-1 at least at times, but felt colder…. also where the snow melts it can be icy and there it is super slippery and I am always a bit cautious…. if I fall and hurt myself, it will really complicate things having two flights of stairs in the house…..well, always something to consider isn’t it?