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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Winter Ramblings.

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Winter Ramblings.

Winter in South Africa is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, it can get ‘vrek koud’ (said whilst shivering despite wearing layers of clothing). Although It doesn’t snow in the city of Port Elizabeth (where I reside) or usually in any of the other cities in South Africa, temperatures can become rather icy. Snow is often found higher up on some of the mountain ranges such as the Drakensberg Mountains in Natal (that’s where I first played in snow as a young child). Even the Winterberg Mountains closer to Port Elizabeth occasionally get a light dusting of snowflakes during some of the more colder winters. Okay, thats enough geography and climatography for now…suffice to say that I prefer the cooler weather as I rather enjoy snuggling up next to a fireplace; an occasional glass of red wine in one hand and a good book in the other. Hibernation?… Mmhmm…stocking up on cupcakes and coffee?… tempting!!!

The beautiful Winter colours and sunsets are my favourite. God sure is a master Artist! Even the starkness of a deciduous tree has a rare beauty of its own.

I recently had the pleasure of attending a leisurely afternoon cheese and wine with some of my female colleagues (we are high school teachers and it’s our Winter holiday). We giggled and shared stories about our lives and our families. I so enjoyed my afternoon in this warm and inviting environment. I was struck by the fact that a lot of the furniture within this home was either classic or antique and the sort of priceless stuff that one doesn’t find in any of today’s retail furniture stores. Upon enquiring, our host informed me that a lot of the furniture pieces were passed down from generations before. Something of value had weathered the seasons of time! I loved this! Yes, not every one has the luxury of heirlooms but every purchase one makes can be a well thought through one. Some of the furniture and items I’ve bought can barely make it beyond the one year mark let alone twenty years. There is the typical Afrikaans saying, ‘goedkoop is duurkoop’and I am discovering this to be true.

I’m now endeavouring to buy quality and long lasting furniture and clothing as opposed to main stream mass produced items. This means choosing well, supporting local artisan businesses and sometimes spending more. With that in mind, there are a few key items that I hope to obtain. One of which was a briefcase. After much SAVING up, research and deliberation, I bought a beautiful leather briefcase from Silkroutetrader. See their website here. http://www.silkroutetrader.org

It arrived just in time to be teamed up with with the neutral tones that I’m so enjoying this winter.

I hope you have a lovely weekend snuggling up.

All my love
Cayly

Ps. I’m off to enjoy a steaming hot mug of Masterton’s Alaskan Snowgoose Blend. As Mastertons aptly said…’it’s a stronger blend for the colder months of Winter’

My new leather briefcase
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Winter sunrises & sunsets

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Enjoying a cappuccino and bite size lemon meringue in the streaks of sunshine found on Vovo Telo’s verandah

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A delicious cappuccino from Urban Espress

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A trip to the annual ‘Wildfees’, in Kirkwood, proved fruitful. I bought local honey, wine and a hand knitted scarf from a local knitting project, Nomvula’s Knitters

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The best way to keep ones hands warm

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*All photos in this post are taken by and belong to Cayly of caylysdandeliondays. You may not use them without prior written permission. *

The Road To Recovery

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The road to recovery is paved with many experiences, some smooth and some rough!

One of these experiences took place on the 9th of July 2013, a year ago today. I remember it as a particularly difficult but victorious date. It was the day of sentencing in my hijack/rape trial. My family had already spent the whole morning at the High Court. I wasn’t going to go to court that day despite the Public Prosecutor’s strong encouragement to me to do so for the sake of closure. As far as I was concerned, I had already testified a year prior to that, with my attackers a few meters away from me, and had absolutely no intention of ever setting my diminutive feet anywhere near, let alone in, court again!

My family often comment on my ‘to hell with it’ approach to difficult things. This approach is something I’ve chosen to develop in order to cope with the severity of the situations I’ve had to face. I’ve found that instead of shying away from something that could potentially trigger or derail me… I say ‘to hell with it’ and bravely step forward.

One such example involved a broken hearted me on a valentines day several years ago. I lay in bed in tears after receiving a barrage of hurtful words from an ex-boyfriend . Shortly thereafter a friend invited me to join her and a group of fellow singletons for the evening. Every part of me wanted to stay in bed and have a big pity party with just one in attendance (me). Instead, I donned the ‘THWIT’ approach. I got out of bed, joined the group, had an amazing evening and drove myself home at 2:30 am. (Yet another victory post the trauma!)

This day a year ago I exercised that approach again. I decided to go to court and face my rapists once more. Words cannot explain how difficult this was. Seeing them would be distressing let alone the fact that I would be sitting in a clinical and hostile environment, not knowing what the outcome of the trial would be.

The verdict…. Guilty of hijack, armed robbery, sexual assault, rape…Sentence to life plus an effective 15 years. Although I derive no satisfaction at the knowledge of someone having to spend their life in prison, I am hugely relieved that they will never be able to inflict that pain on anyone else ever again. The court interpreter called my parents aside after the trial and said that they need to thank God that I’m alive. One of the accused was a well known but previously unconvicted criminal who had allegedly raped and murdered before.

I’m extremely grateful to be a year down the line after having had the case successfully concluded and sentences passed (a miracle in itself)… So I continue on this road of healing.

I want to make special mention of my family for being so amazing! How far we have come since then.

The Herald wrote an article on this in January this year.

http://www.heraldlive.co.za/rape-survivor-shares-pain/

Thanks to you too for sharing in these victory steps with me on my road to recovery.

Much love

Cayly

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Be Like A Flamingo

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I’ve always loved flamingos. Their brightness has always appealed to me. To me, flamingos connote beauty, grace and balance. (I’m talking about the flamingo birds that wade in water, not the plastic ones that one finds in stereotypical American front yards).

Whether they know it or not, flamingos are what they eat. Literally.

Imagine if we turned the colour of our food…. I would probably be a bright red and have a cream cheese frosting hair colour thanks to the vast amounts of red velvet cake that I consume?! Anyway, this isn’t a health blog post about food and how it affects your skin….(maybe another day on that one)

I’d like to encourage you to be YOU. The maker of the Milky Way made and fashioned you. So why try and be something you are not?! Embrace the freckles, the out of control curly hair, the straight hair that will never curl, the stretch marks, the short legs, the long legs and all the pieces that make you uniquely you. There is nothing more beautiful than a person who is authentic.

In a world that is inundated with conformity, rigidity, trends, patterns, marketing stereotypes, norms and traditions (and good old peer pressure) … Stand out! Just like a flamingo doesn’t crouch around because it is taller than most other birds, it walks tall. So should you!

I have a flamingo top that I occasionally wear to remind myself to be a flamingo in a world of pigeons. I also have a set of flamingo coasters, one of which I have purposefully positioned on my bedside table on which to rest my morning cup of coffee. Every morning as I catch a glimpse of the pink bird, I am reminded to be true to myself and not be camouflaged by conformity.

Flamingos have long legs that enable them to wade in deep waters. This reminds me of how when I stand on my identity in God I’m able to stand tall and go through deep things and not be swayed or affected as easily as apposed to relying on just my own strength and ability.

I was recently one of the bridesmaids at a close friend’s wedding. The photographer took photos of the beautiful day and when it was my turn to pose… I went full on flamingo… and squished my nose against the glass door and did a little leg pop (well that was actually because I had a fractured foot at the time and was wincing with pain) I didn’t let a hugely blue and swollen foot stop me from being a beautiful bridesmaid or from enjoying this special occasion (I even danced). … So I do practice what I ‘preach’.

A group of pigeons is called a flock. A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance. I’m not sure about you but I’d rather be part of a flamboyance than a flock.

One is still able to be part of a community and yet be unique.

Wishing you a lovely day and do remember to stand flamboyantly ‘tall’ my flamboyance of friends.

Much love
Cayly

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Thought For The Day- Pretty Pinterest

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Hello lovely people.

I’m officially on holiday… Which is just delightful. I do however have plenty of work and planning to do. It’s a chilly weekend in PE so I have spent some time today wrapped up in a blanket and on Pinterest (and not working!) I find Pinterest rather therapeutic. It’s great for my creativity and is a lot less messy than actually cutting out pictures and scrapbooking them.

You are welcome to have a peek at my boards on Pinterest.

Here are some inspirational things I found today whilst pinning and thought I shall share them with you.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Cayly

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