How Many Days till the Holidays?

We've had a busy few weeks. Since our return from our 'round-the-country-trek' we've celebrated a number of birthdays. In our family we have March, June/July and October celebrations. Yes, we are an eclectic group and I love the diversity, although I sometimes find myself jumping from stepping stone to stepping stone as I juggle my various hats.

We all had a special birthday and the best treat was a 5 day trip to the Kruger Park and staying at Shingwedzi for 4 nights with David. We love the camp even though it is far north, but the elephant and other game viewing is spectacular. While this isn't the Masai Mara, nor the Kgalagadi it is THE Kruger and it always adds some surprise or other. We love the solitude, the beauty of nature, the time spent together and drives which deliver everything from beautiful trees to leopard.

I managed to finally conquer my 'personal sock challenge' challenge and now happily sit and chat to David while knitting sock after sock (it really is quite soporific) while we meander around on our journeys. I search for new patterns (there must be a million 'easy sock patterns') and try different techniques - figure of eight cast on, four needle cast on, circular needles, toe-up, cuff down and Kitchener stitch endings to name a few...

What I love about Penfriends Studio is that so much creativity evolves in it. Mondays is outreach and creative knitting. We congregate to discuss various projects for year, create our own masterpieces and simply enjoy each others' company. Wednesday evening offers calligraphy for 'the working gals' who often join the class to be quiet (or not so quiet) creative and have time to interact with like-minded people. The Trusty Thursday group, some of whom have been coming to the studio for over 20 years, is a warm and friendly group of ladies who care for calligraphy and creativity almost as much as they do for each other - a safe space indeed. I have the privilege of being involved in all of the above and love every moment of the gentle teasing, interesting conversations and creative inspiration. The Thursday group is about to complete their 'coffee table' books ready for the 'exam' at the end of the year which always causes much moaning and laughter. The Wednesday group won't have an exam but will certainly be asked to create a card or two. All in all though, we are fast approaching the end of the year which means some creative time for me as I prepare projects and ideas for 2019 in the two months of 'time out'.

In between all this, we have a 50th reunion of David's Onderstepoort class who qualified in 1968. It's been a remarkable journey. One filled with many good memories, moments and friendships. This special weekend happens at the beginning of November almost to the day that their results were announced. We have friends arriving from the US and look forward to a heartwarming time.

In the meantime, my beloved daughter has 'hustled' me into training with her - no I'm not doing weights but I do climb kopjes, crawl up long paths and negotiate seemingly vertical downward paths. The challenge is only redeemed by the fact that we spend two hours together each week. She is relentless in her encouragement and big on her compliments. Of course coffee is always the reward - so that could also be an enticement. Don't think that I don't try to 'bunk' from time to time, but we do have fun and spend much time laughing especially when friends don't call me during exercise time as they feel that they would interrupt my marching (read staggering) exercise time with E. This is all in preparation for David and my 50th wedding celebrations in February. So I shall either be fit enough to climb Everest or flat on my back in exhaustion.

As I write it is 65 days to Christmas... I have some great ideas for gifts, but more about that another time. Remember holidays are about experiences and people. Something to anticipate. Take care till next time.