Let us start off in the right direction and enjoy some reddish bougainvillea along our way:

We stop in to see some beautiful flowers in remembrance of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice:

Just around the corner from my home are these Erythrina lysistemon:

Some food is required, so visit a fish market along the coast:

As tea is welcome at any time of the day, I regard this as one of the most perfect Advent calendars I have ever seen:

Finally, a stained glass window to remind us of one of the many layers of this festive season:

Wishing all of my readers happiness, cheerful company, good food and a pleasant festive season.



At home I mostly alternate between tea and coffee during the day. Holidays are excuses for branching out a little and so I enjoyed this refreshing frozen mango and lemonade drink:

This is one of several tasty cappuccino drinks I enjoyed during our recent journey to the Western Cape and back:

However, there is little to beat a home-made mug of tea enjoyed in a sunny spot along with a good book to read:

Some readers may recognise the arum lilies that featured in the recent family celebration. They lasted for a long time.


It is some time since I was able to add a new tea to my collection. What a treat it was then to receive this box of English Breakfast Tea under the label of Ahmad Tea of London.

English Breakfast tea has always been a favourite of mine for it is strong and robust – perfect for breakfast and any other time I feel in need of a ‘pick-me-up’. This tea is no exception for it has a rich taste and a beautiful dark colour which, I grant you, I spoil somewhat by adding a dash of milk! The foil-wrapped tea bags may be excessive in terms of packaging, yet they ensure the freshness of the tea – and I rather enjoy the duplication of the illustration on the box.

Black tea is my preferred drink and I particularly enjoy this blend of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas – all are delicious in their own right – that provides a smooth and satisfying drink. I note from the box that this tea is produced by Ahmad Tea FZ – LLC in the United Arab Emirates for Ahmad Tea Ltd. In London.


South Africa is to remain under the Lock-down Level Three restrictions for the foreseeable future. This is a situation we have become used to and which fortunately allows us some freedom of movement. Many, including me, still err on the side of caution and so I have – for many months now – mostly had birds for company when I have tea at home. This is Meneer sampling the scones I had just brought to the outside table – clearly they are not all meant for me!

My socialising has begun by taking little steps, such as visiting a friend – whom I know has been as careful as I have been – for tea. As we have both been vaccinated we are feeling a little bolder. What a pleasure it was to sit in her home with a different view from my own that I have got to know so well since the start of the pandemic!

Later, when we both were feeling even bolder, we lunched together at a local restaurant to celebrate my birthday – months late. Our respective children warned us to be careful … we were the only diners there! Good for us, yet sad for the establishment.

What does one do when ‘stuck at home’ for so long? I finally got round to sorting through books and other items in my study. Boxes that had been filled remained stubbornly in the way, thus spoiling the positive aspect of my occasional bursts of energy. It was time to do something about them … my friend and I felt so virtuous after dropping off our respective boxes at a local charity shop that we decided to have coffee in the garden of a café on our way home – it is incidental that a carrot cake muffin accompanied each of our drinks.

All this socialising has gradually taken place over the past few months. By now we are both feeling much braver – though are still very careful – and so recently took the plunge to visit a mutual friend, who has also been vaccinated. What a glorious afternoon it was too, catching up with each other and setting the world right.

I will not be painting the town red anytime soon, but each of these tentative steps has brought with it a semblance of normality to the strange circumstances we find ourselves in.


I haven’t travelled very far since the COVID-19 pandemic restricted our movements, and then not to places where a variety of tea is sold. My collection of interesting teas is dwindling alarmingly as a result! Every time I purchase groceries I scan the tea shelves in the vain hope that a ‘different from usual’ tea has nestled among the normal offerings. I see that rooibos tea now appears in a wide variety of added flavours … black-based teas remain my favourite brew though and so I was delighted to find the Pick ‘n Pay brand of English Breakfast Tea standing out in its bright red box.

As its name implies, English Breakfast is a full-bodied brew that is just right to pair with breakfast – or in my case, mid-morning tea. It is traditionally a blend of black tea leaves sourced from estates such as those in Kenya, Ceylon or Assam. It is common practice to overlook house brands as being ‘inferior’. Certainly, my eye automatically looks out for labels such as Twinings, Liptons and even Five Roses. I yearned for the robust flavour of English Breakfast tea, however, and wondered if I would be disappointed. Fear not, this house brand of English Breakfast Tea is everything one might wish for.

The strong, more robust flavour of English Breakfast tea goes very well with a light fruit cake – which I happened to bake this week.

In the absence of a variety of teas and brands to choose from, I recommend Pick ‘n Pay’s English Breakfast tea for drinking at any time of the day.