For the past week or so, the kids and I have been holed away comfortably in Plettenberg Bay.  

Nick is still in Klaarstroom, working on Faan se Trein.  We’re going to join him again in a few days, but for now – we’re getting a bit of beach time!

The three of us are staying in a lovely apartment belonging to Nick’s cousins.  We’re a 3 minute drive from the beach, the lagoon, the estuary, the shops (and internet cafes), kids’ play areas… and a whole lot more!

Here’s what we’ve been up to in Plett…

The kids have built and populated “Crab Land” with hermit crabs in Plett’s lagoon.

There's a little hermit crab in his hand...

There’s a little hermit crab in his hand…

Now he's holding it up (you can see Morgan digging around in the background)...

Now he’s holding it up (you can see Morgan digging around in the background)…

The kids have enjoyed chocolate waffles at the wonderful Harkerville Farmers Market

Yum!

Yum!

We’ve enjoyed some down-time at The Heath… they have an interesting and unique playground (which always goes down well with kids)…

bear

And, of course, we’ve enjoyed beach-time… and lagoon time… (and bubbles!)…

bubbles and lagoon

beach

We’ve also….

  • Connected with old friends!  I bumped into one of  my oldest friends, Sonja (we were best friends when I was Morgan’s age).  It’s funny that we connected in Plett – when she lives in Cape Town and we live in Joburg!  It was lovely seeing her again – and the kids got along fabulously with her little boy, Jack.
  • Frazzled in the heat at the Earth Cafe… where the kids dug in ponds and Morgan got stung by a bee (again).
  • We paddled and swam (and Joah has done a lot of seagull chasing).
  • And we’ve been home-bodies… nestled comfortably in a lovely family apartment with all the comforts of home.  I’ve got some work done… the kids have played Lego and Skylanders – and I’ve watched a lot of DVD’s…

Today, we had a really interesting little expedition when we visited Old Nick Village.

We started with a breakfast of coffee (for me) and two fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven chelsea buns for the three of us to share.  I love bakeries… and especially those that serve up generous trays of freshly-baked yummies every day… like this:

The Apple Danish....

The Apple Danish….

The Almond Croissant...

The Almond Croissant…

The Chelsea Bun

The Chelsea Bun

What was left of the Chelsea Bun... after the 3 of us (and a small bird) were through with it...

What was left of the Chelsea Bun… after the 3 of us (and a small bird) were through with it…

The Portuguese restaurant and bakery at Old Nick has lovely, idyllic gardens with big trees and green lawns…. it’s a treat just to sit at one of their little tables, eat their baked goods and do nothing.

After the yummy food, we strolled over to the Weaving Museum… which is a working museum housing 19th century power looms which produce speciality fabrics for Mungo Design.

The 3 of us learned a LOT about weaving today – and it was fascinating to watch the wooden shuttle, high-speeding through the warp and the weft threads… hypnotising, in fact!

Here’s a photo of the loom (I also have a video of it)…

A 19th century loom in action...

A 19th century loom in action…

These threaded bobbins go in to the wooden shuttle...

These threaded bobbins go in to the wooden shuttle

Happy boy... he had his fingers in his ears shortly before this photo - it was LOUD in there with both looms on the go...

Happy boy… he had his fingers in his ears shortly before this photo – it was LOUD in there with both looms on the go…

After a full inspection of the looms – and much chat about where cotton and wool come from, the kids discovered this huge tree behind the Weavers Museum… and can you believe that it’s not actually a tree – but a herb!!

It’s called a Phytolacca dioica, commondly known as ombu and is a massive evergreen herb native to the Pampa of South America!  Who knew!?

Of course, the kids had to climb it…

Not a tree... a herb!

Not a tree… a herb!

After herb-climbing… we moved on to Martie’s studio.  Martie hand-spins sheep’s wool the old-school way… with one of those small, foot-operated wooden spinning wheels that make me think of Rumplestiltskin.  She was very sweet and explained the whole process of spinning… allowing both kids a turn on her lap to operate the spinning wheel…

joah spinning wheel

morgan and spinning wheel

Afterwards – the kids learned the old-school ways of weaving by hand as Martie and an assistant showed the kids how to hand weave their own little placemats (this time, out of mohair – wool from Angora goats – instead of sheep’s wool)…

First they chose their wool…

choosing the wool

Then they wove their mats…

hand weaving

And voila!…

placemats

After the weaving, we went off to inspect (and sniff) home-made soap.  They were beautifully displayed… and I thought they looked so pretty and smelled pretty too… until Morgan loudly announced:  “These smell like toothpaste!”.

I smiled politely at the shop assistant who smiled politely back.  Then we went to look at shells (“Mommy!  Where did they get all these shells?”)… and then, it was another trip to the beach… and then back “home”.

Another lovely day… and I am grateful, grateful, grateful… (more on the gratefulness later)….