Virtual Blog Tour

Iris from Wandering Iris invited me recently to be part of a Virtual Blog Tour. If you don’t know her, you should really check out her work.  

Iris is a wandering day tripper. She loves road trips and finding off the beaten path places and unusual things to photograph.  She decided to start a blog to share the places she go.  Her blogs are daily postings of one or more photographs with a small amount of text explaining why she thought the location or object was interesting and worth driving to see.

Daily Photo 19 July


The Virtual Blog Tour is a relatively new project for bloggers.  The rules are fairly simple:

  • Compose a one-time post which is posted on Monday (date will be given to you from whoever passes on the tour)
    1. What am I working on? 
    2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    3. Why do I write/create what I do? 
    4. How does your writing/creating process work?  
  • Answer four questions about our creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires us to do what we do.
  • Then pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers. Get their permission first and give them rules and specific Monday they are to post.

                                                                                                               Here are my responses to the four questions.

    What am I working on?

  • I’m always working on various projects. (That keeps life interesting!) My blog reflects the many interests I have.
  • My latest crotchet project:        IMG_3255
  •  How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • It differs from most  blogs because it is not only about travel, but also about my crafts and recipes that I would like to share.  The one thing that I did not expect to be doing when I started my blog is my participation in some of the many Challenges that are hosted by other bloggers.                              DSC06456
  • Why do I write/create what I do? 
  • I have always loved taking photo’s.  I love to use my creativity where ever I can, being in scrapbooking, cardmaking, painting or photography. I love telling people about interesting places that I have seen. IMG_1926
  • How does your writing/creating process work?  
  • That is a difficult question.  It just happens….. I don’t write very much.  Most of what I post are photos.

 I have chosen to pass on the Virtual Blog Tour to:


She was born in the Netherlands and migrated with her parents to South Africa. She lived in South Africa for 57 years and is now living in New Zealand. She studied to become a teacher and have  more than 36 years teaching experience.

She will post her virtual  tour on August 4th.  Make sure you mark your calendars and go see what she is up to.

Containers at Neethlingshof

This week, we have to share our own vision of a container you find interesting. You can take the challenge as literally as you want — a box of chocolates, a broken bottle, your town’s water tank, an empty shell on the beach.

Wine barrels, especially those made of oak, have long been used as containers in which wine is aged.

Neethlingshof Wine Estate is steeped in history dating back to 1705 and continues to balance nature and wine growing in the Western Cape’s glorious Stellenbosch Winelands.IMG_2916

The Neethlingshof farm was initially called De Wolvendans (The Dance of Wolves) before it was acquired in 1788 by Charles Marais and his eighteen-year old wife, Maria, who immediately began extending the vineyards and building a cellar to make their own wine. When her daughter married Johannes Henoch Neethling in 1828, he became joint owner of the farm and the name was changed to Neethlingshof.

IMG_2912Always dressed to the nines, Johannes loved the good life and immersed himself in the community activities of Stellenbosch, earning himself the nickname, “Lord Neethling“.IMG_2913IMG_2914

It was Maria, a woman of amazing drive and vision for her time, who put the finishing touches to the decorations on the manor’s gable. The homestead where she lived is a beautifully preserved example of Cape Dutch architecture and today houses theLord Neethling restaurant. Maria also extended the vineyards to 80 000 vines and took on the wine making responsibility to become one of the first female winemakers of the young colony. IMG_2902

With her new found wealth she added a neighbouring 200 ha to the 197 ha she owned, running the whole farming operation with only the help of her two teenage sons and a daughter. Even after selling the property to her son and son-in-law, Johannes Henoch (“Lord”) Neethling, Maria stayed actively involved in the farming operations until her death in 1839 at the age of 68, deeply loved by her children for whom she had sacrificed everything. IMG_2908

Wine barrels, especially those made of oak, have long been used as containers in which wine is aged. Aging in oak typically imparts desirable vanilla, butter and spice flavors to wine. The size of the barrel plays a large role in determining the effects of oak on the wine by dictating the ratio of surface area to volume of wine with smaller containers having a larger impact.


Combining the enduring beauty of the past with a modern and highly functional lay-out, the Neethlingshof Wine Estate is a space in which to relax and allow yourself the time to savour some of their wines.


Floral Friday : Strelitzia

Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. It belongs to the plant family StrelitziaceaeIMG_3590

The genus is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Streliz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom.  A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower, because of a supposed resemblance of its flowers to the bird of paradise. IMG_3614

In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower and is featured on the reverse of the 50 cent coin.

IMG_3589The leaves are large, 30–200 cm long and 10–80 cm broad, similar to a banana leaf in appearance but with a longer petiole, and arranged strictly in two ranks to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The flowers are produced in a horizontal infloreescence emerging from a stout spathe. IMG_3729They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers. The weight of the bird when standing on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird’s feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.Copy this image and its link to place on your blog