"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Thursday, 29 November 2012

i'm still here....

I had this saved many moons ago when I had my old day job and was able to check Facebook and do a bit of pinning on Pinterest during the day.  I found it this morning and had to smile.

How suddenly things can change.  Sorry about the neglect, things have been really busy but I am feeling as though I am getting on top of things.  It is good though, our second email and price list went out yesterday and there has been a great response.  I am meeting great people, using tanks of petrol because I need to make the effort to meet all my new customers and thank them personally for their first orders.

A drive over the mountain to Camps Bay on the most perfect day on Monday was a highlight as were a couple of really nice big wine orders that have just rolled in.  Wines are being delivered every second day and the warehouse is nearly overflowing (lucky there is a little galley kitchen area for me to work from because there is certainly no space for a desk).  Any guilt about not going to gym has disappeared as I now help the drivers to pack and stack hundreds of cases of wine.  Luckily they are going out nearly as fast as they are being packed in

My lounge at home looks like a packaging plant with rafia and different boxes, wine and food products all over the dining room table.  Luckily the weather has been good so we are able to eat outdoors.  Our Christmas hampers are going to be a winner.  There is a premium one and a value hamper and a couple of excellent 2 bottle packs for gifts (just saying).

Look out for me in a month or two after the Christmas rush.  I will be the one sitting on a wine farm tasting perfectly chilled wine for our new wine list,  while making tasting notes on my laptop (and checking pictures on Pinterest in between).  Success indeed.

Time to run... I'll be back

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

weekend shenanigans

A busy week and an even busier weekend.  Friday night we gathered in Kathy's courtyard for Kris's (her gorgeous, now nearly middle aged son) birthday.  So great to have time to sit and chat for a change.  The weekends have all been so busy lately that friendships have been neglected.

On Saturday we had a family wedding.  Robert Rosslee to Vicky Gwillian at a stunning venue in Melkbosstrand.  A relaxed lunchtime wedding ceremony on the beach - a gazebo and a spit braai lunch on the lawns looking at the sea and an intimate amount of people where you could spend time chatting to most of the people attending.
The Patriach - Bob (Samuel Robert Ogilive Rosslee)
(a legend)
(Picture Sally Bottger)
 The beach setting
Two Skabangers 
 Three Muskateers
 The newlyweds
 Awesome musicians who played background stuff all afternoon

Pretty flowergirls playing on the beach
(Picture Sally Bottger)

A very special day, special for me to spend catch up time with the Rosslee side of the family and have some quality time with my boys.  I was the driver and a little after the lunch I had all three of them checking that I was not drinking anymore wine while they drank cold beers like milkshakes.  We only left the wedding at about 11 and we had a long drive back belting out songs while Matthew was abused from the back because he was the DJ and kept putting the volume down.  They were very impressed with my knowledge of all "their" music on the CD shuttle system in the car.  This should be no surprise because we have had the car for nearly 6 years - Matthew put the 6 CD's in the shuttle the day the car entered the garage and they have not been changed since.  I don't know how to change them.  So I live with and now love Ryan Adams, Ben Harper, Jesse Malin and about another 3 CD's where I have no clue who is singing, but I know the words.

So the weekend is now tucked away in the memory bank.  It is back to work this week to get all my orders in order for delivery on Thursday.  This is such fun!

What a nice surprise I had late on Sunday night.  A mention on Gareth's blog.  It must have been my singing that impressed him!!  

Friday, 16 November 2012

have a glass of wine with this song...

We are Augustines....

Gareth shared a song with me the other day.  I did mention it last week but did not go into much detail.  I am not sure why I have been so teary lately (maybe just overtired) but I have had this song on repeat and it does not fail to get the tears rolling and goose flesh bumping.

Gareth had filled me in on the background of the song - a mother who committed suicide after suffering with mental illness and a brother who hung himself in prison - he was schizophrenic.  I have since become a stalker and found some amazing interviews that they have done.  Such humble, unpretentious musicians. Billy also looks like a cross between Brad Pitt, Gareth Rosslee and Andrew Deacon (which adds to his appeal for me).

Gareth being the media man that he is, shared this story on his blog today.  Imagine if they did come to SA and stayed with him?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

what makes a great day?

It was about 2 weeks ago that I walked around the garden and felt a tad disappointed that my plants and lawn were looking sickly and had obviously not enjoyed our rather cold and long winter.  Everything looked a bit droopy and sad, there were lots of "holes" and to be honest, I felt disheartened and exhausted just thinking of all the work involved in getting it back to life.

I should not have been afraid (or disheartened) -  it must have been a combination of the sun, some prolonged watering and good old "bounce back" because yesterday morning everything had done a complete turnaround.  I had a lovely watering session, sipped my tea and while I watered (and sang and thought) I started planning a garden party in my head.

Michael's worst the Silky Oak - now in full bloom
How can we cut down 2 such pretty trees, aliens or not?

 2 new Iceberg roses bought in Elgin
 From our front door -  I need to sell the idea to Michael of a "room in a roof"
What a waste of such a view!!
Maybe I should agree to have the Silky Oaks removed in exchange for a "room with a view"
or a deck
or a tree house in the Silky Oaks 
 Early morning sun
A busy day and a surprise posy of fresh flowers from Janetta's lovely garden

An evening tasting wines at the Kelvin Wine Tasting, some delicious sushi with Fay, coupled with the first orders for Wine Time arriving in my Inbox, it was an awesome day.

Roll on Summer!!

Monday, 12 November 2012

you do not have to be good....

A tad tired this evening, so into my "draft archives" I go.  Maybe time to share one of my favourite poems - Wild Geese - with you.  I should read more poetry - It is good for the soul.

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things

Mary Oliver

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 
Mary Oliver 

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. 
I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable and beautiful 
and afraid of nothing as though I had wings.
Mary Oliver

He is exactly the poem I wanted to write. 
Mary Oliver

Saturday, 10 November 2012

quite deep for a sunny saturday morning...

I have been up since 5.30 this morning and have been working at top speed.  I have watered the garden (good thinking time), I have been putting the finishing touches to the first Wine Time newsletter (taking a bit longer than I hoped but quite a lot of technical stuff involved, which takes time), I have swept the courtyard, chilled the wine bottles and made the outside look pretty because it is a perfect day to take some wine pictures for the new website.

I am now back at my computer listening to music, checking emails and enjoying a cup of tea.  Next to me is a book I have just started reading and I am so, so tempted to head into the garden and read - maybe later.

Gareth sent me an amazing link to a song that came with a story.  It is one of the most haunting songs I have ever heard and it has slowed me down and put me in a more retrospective and mellow mood.  (Janet, I now have the perfect post for your Music Monday).  I have also been organising my computer and adding stuff from my desk at office to the home computer.  All very time consuming but very necessary.

Now while filing away stuff and looking through all the files I have labelled "ideas for blog posts", I came across these questions. From Marc and Angel Hack Life - there are 50 questions, but I have chosen only a couple that got me thinking:-

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

29 - I always think that 29 is the right age for me.  I don't think I have changed that much since then (physically but not mentally) and I think I could cope with always being a 29 year old.

If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I don't think I would change a thing but travel more - sell up everything and take off travelling with family and friends along the way.

Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?

No question - Joyful will win every time - A joyful, simple life - who could ask for more?

Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?

Not sure here - Probably new memories and living in the moment is far better than dwelling on the past but imagine never being able to remember your grandparents, your father, your best friend?

Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?

I often tell myself this.  Will this matter next month or next year?

Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?


If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?

What an awful thought.  Maybe empty the drug cabinet and be the first to go?

Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?


This has been a great week, that has flown past too quickly, there has been lots to do and lots to think about.  A bunch of birthdays, Tom and Rykie and Hayley and Kelly who share a birthday (Kelly turned 13 on Tuesday)

kind and wise 
unique and special
hectically energetic and incredibly talkative
that's our 13 year old
Happy Birthday Kelly 
 i hope there are always enough trees for you to climb

Thursday, 8 November 2012

and so it is......

Let me begin by setting the scene.  The year was 2005.  I had just had the most amazing 10 days touring the UK with my mother, sister, brother and 2 of my sons.  My mom, Dalene and I had flown over to join my brother David for his 30th birthday and he had arranged a trip to Wales and down south of England for us.  Gareth was working in London and Matthew was on a gap year in Bristol.  Dalene flew home to her girls, my mother went touring and my great friend Nicky  (aka Louise or Thelma) flew over to join me for the last two weeks of my holiday...time with Matthew in Bristol, a week long tour through Ireland, back to Gareth in London and then home.  A wonderful month of awesome memories.

Nicky and I did a Paddywagon Tour for five days in Ireland and it was all we thought it would be...and a bit more.  

We had a crazy tour guide who managed to upset most of the older people on the bus with his music.  Not Nicky and I.  We loved his music and kept asking him which artist was playing and I made a list in my little black book.  The Blower's Daughter was obviously his favourite and we ended up knowing all the words because he played it so often.  

It has one of the best opening lines ever...."and so it is..............".  

Anyway what is the point of this story?  Before we left Ireland I had to go and buy this Damien Rice CD for "the boys".   I always have this sense of excitement when I think I may be introducing them to something new that they do not know and may perhaps enjoy.  

Not to be with "and so it is".  

I got back to Bristol to play Matthew the new CD.  He knew it ("not so new Mum") but did not really like it much. I pulled it out again in London to play for Gareth and he politely asked me to "put it in the box".  Back in Cape Town, Nic who was left "home alone" was probably the least impressed when I tried to "sell" it to him.  So "their" CD became my CD and it is still No. 4 CD in my car on the CD shuttle, 7 years later. 

Whenever this song comes on, I turn the volume up and sing along (if there is no one else in the car) and my mind and heart goes back to that wonderful week in Ireland, laughing and being crazy with Nicky, and the tattooed Irish tour guide on the bus who drove everyone else on the bus crazy with his music.

And so it is
Just like you said it would be
Life goes easy on me
Most of the time
And so it is
The shorter story
No love, no glory
No hero in her skies

I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

And so it is
Just like you said it should be
We'll both forget the breeze
Most of the time
And so it is
The colder water
The blower's daughter
The pupil in denial

I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes off you
I can't take my eyes...

Did I say that I loathe you?
Did I say that I want to
Leave it all behind?

I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off you...
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind off you
I can't take my mind...
My mind...my mind...
'Til I find somebody new

"And so it is.............."

Monday, 5 November 2012

it's wine time...

It has been an interesting start to my new career.  Thank you all so much for the words of encouragement, emails and phone calls.  Last week I had a couple of visits to the bank manager (what do they need all the paperwork for?) and eventual success.  We have a bank account and hopefully orders (and money) will soon start pouring in.

This morning involved driving a Bantam Bakkie filled with cases of wine, a stock take, a huge wine delivery and a lesson from Kobus in how to stack wine boxes correctly.  I have an office (but still need a desk and chair), plenty of wine to sell and fortunately a partner who knows his oats in the wine industry and is on hand to guide me.

I have had fun playing with logos, price lists and order forms and things are coming together.  Matthew has helped me lots (one advantage of having a housebound son with an injured knee) with the technical stuff and together we have put together a new Facebook page.  All lots of fun but very time consuming and what I really need to be doing now is getting my teeth into the selling of the wine.

The delivery we had today was from Zevenwacht.  Two great white wines.  The Zevenwacht Sauvignon Blanc and Zevenwacht 7even Blanc.  Priced at R35 and R25 respectively.

Our data base is being combined and together Steve and I have quite an awesome list of potential customers.  Please email me on winetimesa@gmail.com if you would like to receive the  newsletter with all the wines available and prices.  I will also keep you updated on Facebook and would really appreciated it if you would "Like" or even better still "Share" the page.

I hope you are not saying "Oh dear Jenny Just Stuff is now a salesperson and going commercial".  This is, for the moment, the one way that I can share my enthusiasm and get things rolling.  This blog is not going to change at all, I intend to start another one for Wine Time, but I am inclined to get ahead of myself.

I am hardly sleeping, my head is spinning with ideas and excitement, Michael, my boys, my family and friends have been so supportive and I am as happy as I can be.  

It is a good place to be.

Friday, 2 November 2012

what doodles do you do?

While clearing out and tidying my desk the other day, I tore off the October sheet of my desk calendar. I had to copy a couple of telephone numbers, there were names of people I had spoken to with telephone numbers who I cannot remember why I had to speak to them, but more than the odd telephone numbers on my pad, the thing that hit me most were the doodles on the page (in fact on every page).  Arrows, mostly arrows.  Arrows shooting in every direction.  Straight ones, squiggly ones, shaded ones - you name it, they were there.  So I googled "doodling arrows" to find out what strange personality traits I have and may need to be treated for.

"Arrows show that you know which way you want to go and you have the drive to do it. The direction they point is also important. Straight up means you want to go straight to the top with loads of success and arrows pointing all over the place means you’ve got so many options that you’re spoilt for choice."

Most of my arrows did point upwards but there were also a couple of flowers, plenty of boxes and circles.  No houses, hearts or stars.  So no saying which group I fall into.

There was a young man who drew oodles
of creatures from platypi to poodles.
When friends asked him what
helped him keep his mouth shut,
He replied "I don't talk if I doodles"

I have a very talented friend who is an artist, and a photographer, a writer and nature lover (basically, a seriously creative and very wise friend).  Over a cup of tea last week, I reminded her that the first time I visited her home she was painting the most beautiful tablecloth I had ever seen.  I have dabbled in some arty stuff myself but it does not come easily to me.  I did a fun workshop in plate painting (when that was all the rage), I went to calligraphy classes (and loved it) and I also loved the time I spent doing mosaics.  I think I overdid the last one.  I still have heaps of glass and glue and mirrors, cutters to cut the mirror, boxes and boxes of broken crockery and grouting to finish off the job. I am now not a fan of mosaics at all, but really enjoyed it while I did it.

Well my friend, maybe we should call her Annie (for ease of reference), has just started a new blog about drawing and getting started in finding the artist in yourself.  It is very interesting and very informative but I am trying to persuade her to give me some basic drawing lessons to teach me a bit more about art and drawing other doodling endless arrows, squiggles and boxes. I have visions of myself painting a vibrant tablecloth for my courtyard table or sitting in a field painting an amazing watercolour landscape.

This would be my sister, she has "fit-flops"

Would you like to learn to draw?  I have a feeling that if I could get a group together we could persuade Annie to give some "Drawing for Dummies" lessons in the new year.  Let's do it.

No pressure Annie!!

Surely with the right canvas, I can paint something better than this?