October is always a month of celebrations, contemplations and memories.

This is the month where grandchildren, a sister, friends and I share the birthday month. The nicest thing is that all the people I know who celebrate during this time are like-minded. In one way or another we have something in common - not only the birthday month but perhaps a love of life and creativity. While Librans are meant to have 'traits' my sister and I couldn't have been more different and yet, with that said, we did have a common love of the bush, beautiful things and family that connected us in more ways than one. Our two oldest granddaughters both celebrated special birthdays: 19 and 16 respectively and with their grandmother having a HUGE number to overcome we felt we had a lot of similarities with a love or 'pretty things', laughter and silly jokes. Our eldest granddaughter passed her driver's test which sent me into a spin when I remembered that my mother sent me to the local cafe to buy milk to give me confidence. I even taught my sister how to drive on the farm. With our golden Labrador Major sitting on the back seat making sure we didn't crash into a gate post or go into the furrow we shared some hair-raising moments.

This was probably one of my most special birthdays with a new granddaughter Liba (Love) being born on the morning of my birthday. I couldn't have asked for anything more exciting as a gift. However, Dalene and Edzi of The Teddy Bear Foundation together with Chase Bosch of the Joburg Ballet put together a wonderful treat. Chase offered me tickets for Friends with Threads, my family and friends to attend the final dress rehearsal of The Nutcracker which happened to fall on the afternoon of my birthday. Edzi, Dalene and Chase ensured that all had a magical time with refreshments, dancers and explanations of the ballet and theatre and as we handed over blankets and teddies the day was more than I could have asked for. Treat after treat after treat.

After the show David took the family out for dinner and the next day we went to Dinokeng with family and friends and enjoyed a couple of days of relaxation in the bush. What better way to enjoy a milestone birthday than with family and friends? A most sincere thank you to all who participated to make the occasion the success it was.

Friends with Threads continues to work for outreach projects and I am fortunate that they together with friends continue to work for well-deserving outreach projects. I'm still in love with teddy bears and with the Festive season fast approaching our group continues to make teddies and other soft toys for those in need. Should you wish to participate look for the Friends with Threads Facebook page where you will see various teddies and links to the patterns. We are focussing on bunnies for April which will be fun and joyful.

Between all of that excitement, Zoom calligraphy classes still continue until the end of 2021. I truly believe that all participants have benefitted from the online sessions where work can continue after the classes have ended. Students have produced some creative and colourful work which will hopefully be on show at the end of November in a Zoom presentation. My own creativity seems to have blossomed with the isolation forcing my creative mind to be more active and stretched. I am so grateful that I am able to continue to marvel and experiment with this ever changing craft.

With the Festive Season snapping at our heels I wish you some stillness and joy as you contemplate this exceptional year before we whirl again into the spirit of the Season.