Tag Archives: Paarl

Going home…

I love going home. I love the familiarity of the breath-taking surroundings…and believe me, it is truly beautiful!

My mother must be the most excited of all about us coming home. She eagerly anticipates it, weeks before. She will send me weekly messages to announce her excitement.  Then, as the weeks go by…it becomes daily.  I love getting these messages.

We usually drive…it is a 14-hour trip.  Then, when we finally reach the Boland Mountain Complex, we already feel at home. We slowly meander through the pass and as we emerge from the Huguenot tunnel, the longest road tunnel in the country, we reach our beloved Paarl.  We breathe relief and a sense of peace as we make our way home.

Huguenot tunnel

We pass rows of colourful blocks of flats of a nearby suburb called Amstelhof. This suburb in turn houses smaller districts with strikingly foreign names like: New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, etc. Maybe named so as a reminder of the locals and their dreams of travelling and a better life.  As we drive we marvel at how much we missed our beloved mountains and valley.


The girls literally start jumping up and down in the backseat and you can touch the surge of hullabaloo in the air. We enter the street where my parents live and see familiar faces; some people are working in the garden and others sitting on the stoep (porch). We notice some neighbours have painted their houses and some neglected them. We try and make a subtle noise by hooting as to not disturb the late sleepers. In a flash my Mom appears and rushes to meet us by the car. The sheer expression of joy on her face is priceless. She squeals with delight that all her chicks are back in her nest. This must be one of the most beautiful and emotional encounters of my life. We exchange hugs and kisses and shed some tears of joy. It feels great to be home.

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Some nostalgia for my kitchen wall…

!!!!Hello 2013!  

This is my first post for the new year after an absence of a few months.  *Uhm…I feel really guilty for not regularly posting…but there was just no time with looming deadlines of projects.

I know I might have done some damage with readers losing interest because of a stagnant blog, but I’m ready to start building on regaining your interest right now!

@ in true LillyLoompa fashion, I’m kicking off the New Year with a project to evoke a little nostalgia…a wall arrangement with artworks that have a lot of sentimental value to me.

We had the privilege to go home for the holidays and spent some time with our precious family.  No trip home is complete without bringing some goodies from our storeroom.  Yes…we still have some stuff back in Paarl and every time I go home, I rummage for some forgotten treasure.

So I wanted to incorporate these treasures into my home and the kitchen wall was begging for some attention:


Bare kitchen wall

Arrange your artworks on the floor until you feel happy with the order.


Descriptions of artworks

Once your happy, go ahead and nail it to the wall!




Completed wall


Whole kitchen and dining room

* Oops!  Forgot to do the dishes when I took the pic! #blushingface

Till next time!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

Blue ~ {Of the colour intermediate between green and violet; having a colour similar to that of a clear unclouded sky}

One of my absolute favourites things to photograph is the sky, specifically clouds:

Blue sky – Paarl, Western Cape

Kleinmond, Overberg, Western Cape

Rockhaven Farm, Grootwinterhoek, Porterville, Western Cape

Melkbosstrand, Western Cape

Driving home, Jozi

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Family

Ducks in a row

Kirsten enjoying the ducks!

There is nothing quite like family. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours!  These pics were taken at my sister-in-law, Michele’s home, in Paarl earlier this year.  She, together with her husband, two sons and my mom-in-law live in a residential estate which means the ducks have free reign to walk wherever they please.  The kids really enjoyed them!  Just see how they stick together!!

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58 days to go…

…till our beloved South African summer.  Although the feeling that summer brings must be universal, there is something special about summertime in Mzansi.

Braai’s are the norm…especially on Saturdays.  Saturdays are synonymous with a rugby game.  As you drive through the suburbs the whiff of smoky fires tickle your nostrils and the excitement of the weekend gets to you.  It is great.


If I think back to my childhood, I remember long, hot days in the street playing tennis, skipping rope and “kennetjie”.  Those were good days.  Many days we would spend at the public swimming pool which was literally in our backyard.  My mother has a natural fear of water so we were not allowed to go for swimming lessons.  (Very embarrassing as I still cannot swim). So we would just hang out and watch the boys…

At one stage my father owned a VW camper kombi.  It came complete with a daybed and cupboard space ready for camping anytime, anyplace.  As the mood swung, we would jump in and take a drive to the beach.

My father's kombi looked almost like this one

My father is a great music lover and in those days, the cars on the road still only had cassette players.  The volume would be up as the kombi’s engine made a lot of noise.  We would be singing along to Bob Marley’s “Jamming” or UB40’s “Red red wine”.  Gordon’s Bay is very windy and about 45 km from Paarl.  Nonetheless, if we could have 30 minutes of wind-free swimming, the trip would be worthwhile.

Then Christmas time would come.  Family would come visit from far and we would make one big “christmas bed” in the living room.  All the cousins would sleep there and make fun right through the night.  Mamma, my granny, would lead us with carols by the Christmas tree every night before bedtime.

How times have changed.  We are all grown up.  I now live in Johannesburg, away from sand, surf and sea.  Our summers are rainy and stormy.  People don’t drive out that much here.  In Paarl we have mountains and braai facilities almost everywhere. We have rivers and beaches. However, I have to make the best of it…after all I have kids.  Here is a lot to do in Jozi.  Like spending time at the lakes.

Braaiing at Florida lake

What is your favourite pastime during summer?  Do you have any special memories of summer while growing up?

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Me go home

Tata Madiba

Today is our beloved Madiba’s 93rd birthday.  Many congratulations on this great milestone Tata!  I am reminded of how unselfish you were in your lifetime.  From now on I will be motivated by your mantra: “Lead by example”. Apparently he is spending his special day with his family in his hometown, Qunu in the Eastern Cape.

This makes me miss my hometown and family.  I live adjacent to the N1 in Johannesburg.  So everyday I see thousands of cars pass on their way.  Some enter the city after hours of driving from wherever.  Some go south.  My home lay south.  My hometown, Paarl.

N1 South

The last time we drove down was on 8 March 2011 as read here.  The road to Paarl is 1332 km’s far.  It is long and fairly boring.  It takes approximately 14 hours if you keep to the travel plan.

Since we have kids we would typically leave after dusk to get them to sleep through most of the journey.  I would have them bathed and in their pajamas.  I would be prepared with ready-made bottles for Kirsten.  I would pack enough drinking water, juice, snacks and ‘padkos’ (food for the road).  I am reminded of the padkos we had when I was younger.  Typically the food will be packed in a ‘koekblik’ which is a cake tin.  My mom or my granny would pack cream crackers with cheese and boiled eggs.  Usually they will pack it the night before resulting in saggy crackers and blue eggs by the time you eat them!  Good times!


When we are driving from Joburg to Cape Town our first stop would be Bloemfontein to fill up the tank.  We would stretch, change nappies and have a toilet break for about 20 minutes.   Our next big stops would be Colesburg (which is more or less in the middle of the journey) and Beaufort-West.

We try to keep awake by talking, playing lots of music and resting at the scheduled stops.  By morning light we would be so tired and excited to get home we would just push all the way through to Paarl.

Morning light

Open road

Then at last we would see our beloved blue mountains…

Worcester valley

Paarl Valley

My beloved valley lies ahead!  If all goes well, we will be going to the wedding of our dear friend, Edwellan at the end of October.  He is getting married to Ashley’s cousin, Yvette.  We cannot wait to see them and all our family!

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