Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Parenting, Plettenberg Bay

Dear Monkey Land

Dear Monkey Land

Just a heads up…. The troop of baboons that hangs around the entrance to your sanctuary is not very good for business.

Yours sincerely

Mrs OL

We spent the weekend in Plett.

Plett Lagoon at sunrise
Plett Lagoon at sunrise

On the way home we thought we might pop into Monkey Land so Little OL could see the monkeys.  You know how it goes, trying to distract her while in the shops… “Do you want to see the monkeys, should we go see the monkeys, that’s a good idea isn’t it?  If you are a good girl we will go to the monkeys.”  Yay, excitement all round, until about 400m from the entrance where they have a huge sign board with the prices.  Holy moly R240 per adult and well, I did not even read the kids prices….. (or the board properly it turns out)

Mr OL and I looked at each other; I asked if we really wanted to pay that much just to see some monkeys?  We drove on slowly for another 50m or so trying to decide what to do, I mean we had promised to show her some monkeys and could not really back out of it.  Then lo and behold a large troop of baboons!  Big ones, small ones, some sitting on the posts next to the road, the babies playing and chasing each other. Some in the trees and, some even crossing the road right in front of the car.  Ah… Monkey Land came to us… She will never know the difference, right?

“Look Little OL MONKEYS!  See, we told you we’d take you to see the monkeys……”

We sat and watched them play for a while and then we went and fed some goats.  Happiness all round.

Feeding goats
Feeding goats

The actual highlight of the weekend for Little OL – the Bunny Rabbits which provided lots of entertainment





PS:  Just a side note to add, I have actually been to Monkey Land before, yes, paid and gone inside.  It is fantastic.  I actually have a HUGE phobia of monkeys and even I managed to walk through the whole sanctuary (quickly), I do believe it is worth it, however don’t think that Little OL would have appreciated it at this age.  I do see however on their webiste that there are other cheaper options.  I think the R240 must be a price for all 3 sanctuaries together.

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Swimming

More photos…

Here are two more pictures from the weekend.

The first one is of me throwing Little OL as far as I can in the pool. She loves it!  If you look carefully at the photo you will see that, at that point, only her feet are in the water.  She goes right under and comes up laughing.  I love the fact that she loves swimming.

Throwing Little OL around in the pool
Throwing Little OL around in the pool

The second photo I just like.

Relaxing at the Beacon Isle pool.
Relaxing at the Beacon Isle pool.
Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude, Cycling, Family, Ocean Racing Series, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth, Swimming, Training, Triathlon, Wetsuit

A long fantastic weekend.

I am happy!  I am not sure if it is because I am training lots, if it is because I hired a life coach and I am seeing the results, if it is because of the 30 Days of Gratitude, if it is because it is summer or most probably a combination of all of these but whatever it is long may it continue!

This weekend definitely added to my “happiness” feelings.  A while back I decided to take Friday off.  I could not get my regular hair appointment; the only one available was during working hours, I booked it anyway.  After I booked it I was wondering how to go about getting the time off and then decided to take the whole day and do a total pamper spoil day, something I have never done before so I booked myself a pedicure and massage as well.  Ahhhh – the joys.  My biggest problem was ensuring I kept my toenails (running and toenails are not good friends).  The day was awesome – not that I will have much leave left after January, but this is something I will do again.

Then on Saturday the OL family took a trip to Plett for breakfast.  A really good friend and her family was visiting from the UK so we met them at the Beacon Isle Hotel.  It was stunning – we ate breakfast and then headed to the pool for the rest of the morning.  I could have stayed there for quite a while longer.  We used to go to Plett often growing up and it is one of my favourite places – definitely a “happy place”.  The last time I was there was when I was pregnant and we went to see the same friend.  Between us we now have an extra kid each.  But it was still like we saw each other not so long ago – I miss her.  You can see photos from the last time we where there over HERE.

Beacon Isle Hotel
Beacon Isle Hotel
The 2 "new kids"
The 2 “new kids”


Enough photos mom!
Enough photos mom!

On Sunday morning I met a friend at Hobie Beach for a quick ride before we took part in the Ocean Race Series swim.  It was my first Ocean Race Series swim of this season and I was reasonably happy with the results.  It was supposed to be 1 km, but according to my Garmin it was about 1.53km (some of this extra was probably down to my zig-zagging but not all) and I did it in 29 minutes.  If I swim that pace in East London at the 70.3 I will be fine.

All this beach, sea, sand, pools and sun has got me feeling like it is summer holidays.  One more week of work.  I cannot wait!!!

Posted in Baby OL, Children, Crafts, Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

Random photos

Little OL trying to distract  us from the fact that it was bed time by being super cute.
Little OL trying to distract us from the fact that it was bed time by being super cute.
The pony tail lasted a whole 30 mins.  Which is about 29.5 mins longer than ever before.
The pony tail lasted a whole 30 mins. Which is about 29.5 mins longer than ever before.
We spent a morning hanging out here!  Plett - one of my favourite places
We spent a morning hanging out here! Plett – one of my favourite places
Ready for some early morning swim training....
Ready for some early morning swim training….
my silhouette cameo arrived. Can't wait to use it!
my silhouette cameo arrived. Can’t wait to use it!


Posted in Baby OL, Camping, Children, Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay

Not quite as planned!

Hmmm, so that did not go quite as planned….

I love camping!  Mr OL quite likes camping and Baby OL?…. Not so much!

Going back to the campsite we used to go to as kids was awesome.  It was just as good as I remember, if not better.  We pretty much had the place to ourselves and it was so peaceful. We braai’d both nights on the beach and sat and had coffee in the mornings staring over the Keurbooms Lagoon.  I LOVED it! 

However it would have been a whole lot better with a child that was not running a fever, up all night and crying all day.  Not so much fun.  I am not sure what is wrong but she is going to the doc today.

Not that this is going to put me off.  She will like camping, I am brain washing her.  Every time I say “we are going camping” I have taught her to clap…. 

Here is the link to the caravan park we stayed in – the Keurbooms Lagoon Caravan Park in Plettenberg Bay.  I love this place!  One of the other guys we went with also camped there as a kid.  In fact his parents still go every December.  It was quite cool reminiscing with him and my sister about the good old camping days.  Our memories are all very different.  I was a teenager most of the time.  We stopped going when I was 21.  My sister was a little kid as there are 10 years difference between us.  Our friend fits right in, in the middle.  I think his parents are going to have quite a few gate crashers on their site this December.

Posted in Baby OL, Family, Food, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Running, South Africa, Training, Training

Awesome, awesome, awesome weekend

WARNING – this is a looooong post!

I had an awesome weekend!

It started at about 12 on Friday afternoon when I met up with Shayne and Lynette, two amazing fellow bloggers for lunch.  I had met Lynette once before but it was the first time I was meeting Shayne.  All I can say is that it was such pity that I had to rush off after only an hour and a half.  I could have stayed and chatted for ages.  Thanks so much ladies, I could not have asked for a better start to the weekend.

But the Garden Route was calling…  Woo hoo!  To say I was excited would not really cover it.  I was excited and nervous.  I mean, seriously I had not run more than once a month for the past 4 months and here I was thinking I could run a half marathon.  Madness!!!!  But well, I am not known to over train and it was ONLY a half marathon….  Nothing right! cough, splutter choke…. 

I dropped Mr OL and baby in Plett at Goose Valley where we were staying and carried on to Knysna to register.  It was packed, but who should I bump into at registration – my mom.  She was doing the sensible thing and giving away her registration.  Me, not so much.  After registering I drove back to Plett, had dinner and went to bed.  At midnight Mr OL woke up violently ill.  At that stage I did not think I would be running after all.  I mean there was NO way he could watch Baby OL in that state. Thankfully whatever was in his system was now out and by morning he was much better.

Driving through to the start in the morning I realised I must be mad, here I was planning on standing out in the cold waiting for a taxi to the start and then waiting in the forest in running shorts, vest and a blanket over my shoulders – it was 5˚C for a race I had not even trained for! Crazy.  To make matters much worse the race start was delayed by 55minutes!  But, I thought I was looking pretty good, all the girls in our running club decided to wear bunny ears, a pink tutu skirt and pink long socks.  This bunny was looking fine – or so I thought until this COW said “you must be Heather’s mom!”   MOM – for %$@#$^T#$ sake!  I know I am her slightly older sister and I had no make-up on and it was 6 am but MOM!  Jeez, my sister is 30! All I kept thinking to myself afterwards was “this bunny and that cow will never be friends!”

Oh well, at least the actual race went better.  I went slowly right from the start and I was amazed.  I besides the hectic downhill at Simola I did not walk much at all, in fact I walked less this time than in any of the other 3 I have done.  I just ran very, very slowly.  But it went well, I had planned on taking just under 3 hours (cut off) and with 4Km to go it looked like I might even get under 2h30.  I realised then that I am actually just a little bit competitive because the thought did cross my mind to try and do it.  But then sanity prevailed.  I looked around and realise that the lagoon was beautiful, it is one of my favourite places, I had a long time till the finish and the weather was stunning, so I stopped a walked.  I walked almost the entire cobbled area along the lagoon, just because I could.  And I am glad I did.  I enjoyed this race more than any of the other Knysna races I have done.  I feel the best afterward and I still did it in 2h42.42.  With NO training.  Shows what starting slowly can actually do.

After the race I headed back to Plett and my family.   It appears as if they had plenty of fun without me. Baby OL discovered the Guinea Fowl are not that intelligent but are more fun to chase than a tortoise.  Goose Valley is a fantastic place to stay with kids.

Enjoying Plett

On Sunday we took a leisurely drive back, we stopped for breakfast at Old Nick Village, went to the farm stall Thyme and again  where we bought a delicous apple tart (which we had for dinner) at Keurbooms and then drove through to Patensie again and went back to Tolbos which we loved the first time we visited.

Enjoying breakfast at Old Nick's

All in all it was a fantastic weekend!  Hope yours were all just as good.

 Also well done to Claerwen on her first half marathon.  I am very impressed, well done.

Posted in Family, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Pregnancy, South Africa

More photos

I seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment.

Here are a couple more photos taken when we went to Plett last weekend.   Just how spectacular is that setting!

Like we last saw each other yesterday, not 11 years ago!
Mr and Mrs OL - proud parents to be.

These were taken at 37 weeks.

Posted in Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa


So the weekend was just as good as I thought it was going to be.  It was GREAT to see my friend that I have not seen and it was as if we had seen each other last week.  Except of course that she now has a 8 month old – who is GORGEOUS!  The day absolutely flew by. We met at the Beacon Isle hotel for breakfast and ended up spending about 5 hours just sitting on the veranda and grass area chatting. Breakfast let to tea, which led to cake. 

At one stage Mr OL and I thought about booking in for the night – and probably would have done if we did not have the animals at home to worry about.  It was so relaxing and peaceful there. Not to mention beautiful.  Even the weather played along and was fantastic. 

Do I really need to go back to the UK???

Unfortunately they have headed back to the UK today.  Brrrr!!

Posted in hiking, Hiking Trails, Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Robberg Hike, South Africa

Awesome weekend planned!

I am very excited for this weekend. 

I have made plans to meet up with a friend that I have not seen since 1999.  

We first met in 1993 whilst working at the same place in Cape Town.  In 1994 we briefly shared a flat until I decided to go travelling and moved to London.  In 1997 she also decided to move to London and we once again briefly shared a flat.  I left (notice a trend) later that same year to go travelling.  

She still lives in the UK and besides a brief visit to Scotland in 1999 when we met up I have not seen her since. 

She is in South Africa visiting family in the Garden Route at the moment and we have decided to try and meet half way – PLETTENBERG BAY.  I can’t wait.  We are just going to go through for the day tomorrow but it should be awesome.  

Not only am I going to meet up with her but I also get to see one of my favourite places on earth!  I love the Garden Route and she and I used to spend a lot of time there.  It will be like old times – except that we are both 16 years older, married, she has a 6month old baby and I am 9 months pregnant. As I said – just like old times.

Reasons why I love PLETT! (photos taken when we did the Robberg Hike in Novemeber 2008)

Robberg in Plett November 2008
Robberg - Plettenberg Bay.
Posted in Ordinarylife, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth, Pregnancy

A LONG meme!

What’s the last thing you put in your mouth?
Water – I have a bottle on my desk and am trying to drink from it regularly.

Have you ever kissed anyone named Matthew?
Not that I can remember.  But that is not saying much.  Misspent and often best not remember youth…..

Who was the last person you rode in a car with under the age of 20?
I can’t remember.  It would have been a few years ago.  I used to give a little boy a lift every now and then when his mom could not pick him up.

Can you play guitar hero?
What is that?

Last time you walked further than a block?
Most days I walk further than a block.

How late did you stay up last night and why?
It was a “late” night for me.  I went to bed at about 10.  I was watching TV.

If you could move somewhere else, would you?
Not easily, but if I could find a way to earn an income and live somewhere in the country I would.

Do you believe ex’s can be friends?

Do you like calling or texting better?
Texting during the week and calling on weekends (free minutes)

When was the last time you cried really hard?
I can’t remember.  I shed a tear pretty easily but cry really hard – I have not done that for a while.

Where are you at right now?
At work

What bed did you sleep in last night?
The one I sleep in most nights. 

What was the last thing someone bought for you?
Mr OL bought me a chocolate on the weekend.  But it was coffee flavoured, which I don’t like so I gave it back to him in his lunch box yesterday.

Who took your profile picture?
A friend of mine Genny – It was New Years Eve 2 years ago.

Who was the last person you took a picture of?
One of the girls I work with.  I made her stand next to something I wanted to take a picture of so I could get a better perspective of the height of it.

Was yesterday better than today?
They were pretty much the same.

Can you live a day without TV?
Absolutely!!! When are they coming to take it away.

When was the last time you were extremely disappointed?
I am not sure about extremely disappointed.  I can recall mildly disappointed and that was on Friday.

Are you a bad influence?
Not any more……

Night out or night in?
Night in – I had far to many nights out in my 20’s and early 30’s and now give anything for a quiet night in.  Which is just as well because Mr OL does not like going out much either.  Unless, the night out is to a good restaurant with friends – then out!

Are you more of an individual or an outgoing person?
I would say more individual.

What items could you not go without during the day?
My car, if I am in town. 

Would you share a drink with a stranger?

Do you think it’s right for straight guys to get their tongue pierced?
Why would anybody do that – straight or gay?  But each to their own and if that is what they wanted to do then so be it.  Just don’t suck on it, chew it or play with it near me.

Have you ever thrown shoes on a telephone wire?

What does the last message in your inbox say?
“Eve’s side of the story”  A joke from my Sister in Law.  I thought it very funny.

How do you feel about your life right now?
I am pretty content.  Some things could be better, but all in all I am very happy with the way things are going. 

How many times have you been pulled over by the police?
Once, where they just pulled me over.  But a couple of times in road blocks. 

Do you hate anyone?
No, there are a few people that I dislike but I would not say that I hate anybody.

Do you talk dirty to people?

If we were to look in your inbox, what would we find?
Lots of mail that I intend on deleting or filing but have still to get to.

Did you have a valentine this year?
Well I suppose Mr OL would qualify as a Valentine if he believed in it.  I bought him a card, but it is a pretty much a one way street.

Last person you talked to on the phone?
One of the girls I work with. She did not want to walk all the way to my office (next to hers) so she called me.

Can you easily tell if someone is fake?

How’s your heart?
Strong and happy.

Say you were given a drug test right now, Would you pass?

Has anyone ever called you perfect before?
Does a “perfect pain in the butt” count?

What song is stuck in your head?
None at the moment, but I am sure that as soon as I post this one will be.

Someone knocks on your window at 2 am, who do you want it to be?
My sister surprising me from London.

What do you have to do this week?

Can you whistle?
NO, not at all. 

Do you sleep on your side, stomach, or back?
Back and Side. Usually start off on my back and roll over.

What gets in your way of your sleeping?
At the moment the fact that I am usually thirsty and as soon as I drink anything I need to go and pee (the joys of pregnancy)!!

Are your eyes the same colour as your mom’s or dad’s?
Closer to my dads, but mine are greener than his.

Has anyone ever told you you have pretty eyes?

Do you think too much or too little?

Depends on the situation.

Do you smile a lot?

Why was the last missed call on your phone?
I don’t answer calls from “private number”.  They are always from people trying to sell me stuff.

Are you happy with your life?
Yes, I think it has turned out just the way it was intended to.  I was thinking about it the other day and I could not have written a better script if I had tried.  I have travelled around the world, climbed the highest mountain in Africa, done some extreme sports and now am happily married and expecting our first child, and all so far has gone exceedingly well with this pregnancy.  I could not be happier!!!

Can you handle the truth?
I don’t handle critism well, but would much rather have the truth than lies.  I might react strongly initially but I usually with think it over and then come up with a better solution.

Do you get 8 hours of sleep everyday?
Usually – at the moment it is more like 10.

What was the last book you read?
“Exercising through your pregnancy” by James Clapp.  I am re-reading “World without End” by Ken Follet.  I read it last month and loved it so am reading it again.  It is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth which I first read about 14 years ago and is my all time favourite book.

Is there something you always wear?
My wedding ring

What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
This is a flippen long meme – I was probably anwering about the 10th question!!!

Honestly, who was the last person to tell that they love you?
My husband before he went to work.

Are you an emotional person?
Depends on the situation – I am pregnant so at the moment YES!

What’s something that can always make you feel better?
A run or an open water swim!

Was this weekend a good one?
It was another lazy one, but all in all it was pretty good.

What do you want right now?
SUSHI!! But that is pretty much out of the question for at least the next 6 months!

Look behind you, what do you see?
A promotional photo of my sister and I in our Ironman t-shirts with the children from the EP Child and Youth Care Centre.

Have you ever worked in a food place?
Yes!!!  Far too many and I still get nightmares.  I worked as a waitress full time for over 2 years.  And part time for another 2.  My very first job was a holiday job in Plettenberg Bay at a pizza place when I was 16 – I lasted 2 days before I walked out crying.  Not to be outdone I applied at another pizza place the next day and worked there for the rest of the holiday.  I worked there the following December as well.  When I was at Varsity I started working at a Spur in Port Elizabeth HORRIBLE!!!  I then changed Spur’s and worked at Silver Cloud Spur for nearly 2 years.  I had a great time and made some awesome friends!  I then moved to Cape Town and worked at a Spur there too HORRIBLE – so I changed Spur’s again and worked at the Santa Ana Spur in the Waterfront.  I loved working there and stayed for about a year.  I moved back to PE and back to the Silver Cloud Spur.  I stayed there for about 4 months before going to London and vowing NEVER EVER to waitress again.  That lasted about 2 weeks until I started running out of money.  I worked at a hotel in the restaurant for about 2 weeks until the girl I went to London with got us both a job at a pub.  That lasted less than a week.  I then said enough is enough and have not worked in food again.  That was in 1994!  Unless of course you count that I run a guest house for a couple of years and we did breakfasts…..


WOW – That was LONG!  Thanks Mel for posting it.  It is just what I felt like doing today.