Winter Warmers (from hot choc to blankets)

We really do have the most wonderful weather in Johannesburg - winter being no exception. The mornings are crisp and turn into warm moments as long as you sit in the sun. Of course that means lots of hot cappuccinos and hot (decadent) chocolate.

I often meet friends for a coffee but I confess my favourite coffee companion is my grandson Dov. I fetch him from school a few times a week and by mutual agreement we pop up to the local nursery where we share a chat, a play and a baby cino - otherwise known as frothed milk. He loves the slide and Girly who supervises his safety leaving nana to enjoy the time out.

This past Saturday I met up with Tessa, the daughter of a friend of mine and we enjoyed a much needed catch up and the most decadent hot chocolate from Motherland Coffee. It was hot, and so sweet it shot us through the ceiling. Tessa and I added a shot of espresso into the mugs and we were safely let down to normality. But we do plan to meet for their next 'special' - probably in time for spring.

The Friends with Threads group is working away using up balls of yarn to make fabulous colourful squares which we will make into small blankets for the great 50 handover in 2019. We share good moments (and sad) but are always there for each other. The Monday afternoons we meet are some of the nicest times of my month.

The Thursday Penfriends group is still working towards filling their 'quota' of creative projects to fill their coffee table books before the end of November. So far the 'tea bag' art project has been the most successful. Although Asemic art works are a close second. There are only about 17 more opportunities (4 months-David and I are away for nearly the whole of August) to create lovely pages. So hard work and a bit of fun can be expected in class.

I will be holding 2 new workshops from September to end of October. The one will be a 4 morning once a week course 'Improve your Handwriting'. So many people think that calligraphy can improve handwriting. Well, calligraphy can improve your creativity in making cards, posters and so on, but doing traditional hands will not improve handwriting. This course will be filled with plans, tips and exercises to help people 'improve their handwriting.

I will also present an 8 week course 'The Elegance of Italic'. Apart from Gothic, which is how nearly every lay person describes calligraphy, Italic is the hand which many people hope to master. Of course an 8 week course will simply give students a taste of the flow, but I feel that will be a great way to end the year to ready ready us for the crazy holiday season.

In case you are still thinking of that scrumptious hot chocolate I described earlier, here is a delicious HC recipe:

Whisk together 1-2 teaspoons cocoa, sugar, salt and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot enough. Stir in the vanilla and serve.

Of course if all else fails here is my all time favourite HC recipe: 1 or 2 blocks of dark Belgium chocolate popped into a mug. Heat milk to simmer. Slowly add to chocolate. Stir and enjoy while reading your favourite book in a warm corner.

Till next time. Keep warm.