Where was I last weekend? Down in Bloemfontein (trans. Spring of Flowers), capital city of the Free State Province, visiting Joelle and Jaelene. Tucked at the bottom of my suit case ("Your 'kootcase' ", says Jaelene) were the girls' quilts. Labelled: Lovingly made by Granny, 2009.
What bliss! On Friday morning I had a free time to meander the colourful streets of Bloem and popped into the Twee-toring kerk (trans. Church of the Twin Towers). Here the verger's wife, Daisy, showed me around the 160-year old building with obvious love and enthusiasm.
Afterwards I strolled up the road to my favourite antique shop, Die Waenhuis (The coachhouse) which, as you can see, is well-stocked with treasures. It's always a pleasure to chat to the well-informed co-owner, Bobby, and ask her for her 'best price, please!' Hmm! Now what treasure has my name on it? Silver teaspoons and book on Queen Victoria for Catherine. Bone handled dessert knives and porcelein budgies on a china branch for me. And the girls? I tossed aside the idea of yet more Barbie dolls...
...because standing on the pavement outside the front door was just the buy. A double 1940's school desk, dented, scratched, with spaces for inkwells, slots for pencils, a shelf for books and little seats that flap up when you respectfully stand to greet Sir or Mam. Much nicer than toys made of expensive shocking pink plastic!
Fortunately, the girls are made of the same sentimental stuff as their gran. They were delighted when their strange new 'toy' was delivered that afternoon. ("What is our present, Gran!" It's something unusual - just wait and see!") Both settled into the desk parked in the family room and began to draw. When best friends, Esme and Emile, arrived, the game was extended and the desk was the centre of attention! "We're not playing school, Gran. It's Office, Office!"
On Sunday, we dressed in our best for church. And that meant princess dresses worn at last year's ballet concert. Jaelene donned her ballet shoes; Joelle prefers the grass under her feet!
The days were hot and sultry. Just right for showing Gran the progress that has been made with the skill of swimming.
Sunday lunch was enjoyed on the lawns at Olievenhuis (trans. The House of Wild Olives), this little city's own art gallery. The lovely grounds are filled the avantgarde sculptures of the local art students, nestling under thorn trees. Here little girls can choose a surrealistic beast to ride on the The Carousel.
" I am going to miss you, Gran!"
" Going to miss you too!"