Friday, December 2, 2016


Hello my darling,

Every time I see you seem to have grown up a little bit more.  We didn't get to your Christmas concert this year but Mom sent me this photograph of you looking a grown-up model with lipstick!  Gorgeous girlie!

We don't get to see much of you anymore.  From the time you were a baby until you started school we saw you nearly every day.  I used to push you around the garden in your pram and the rocking motion would put you to sleep.  When you started sitting and taking notice of things around you I would show you all the flowers and Strelitzia was almost your first word, followed by bougainvillea and Petrea!  You still love to play with the little 'helicopter' flowers, twirling them till they spin and float.

In 2010 you started attending play-school across the road from our house a couple of days a week and we saw you regularly during the week.  Once you started pre-school, then Junior Primary with afternoons at swimming, physio, OT, Speech, Remedial and so on, we only see you over weekends.

This year we started collecting newspapers for your school and also those little plastic ties you find on bread packets.  Your school makes money from the paper and the plastic ties go to charity.

When I went to your school one Saturday morning to watch your group dancing, you also showed me the big cheque that your school got for collecting so many newspapers.

When we got to the school you all lined up on the field - cricket and rugby players on one side and dancers on the other. 

Then we went to the hall and the parents and children sat on the stage to watch you dance.  It was wonderful Em!! 
I never imagined that I would be watching you hopping, skipping, leaping, twirling, running and dancing!  You are a miracle child.

You went to Hluhluwe with Mom and Dad last weekend nd we baby-sat Muffy.  She sat looking at the front door most of the time waiting for you all to get back! 

It's great that you enjoy the game reserves at a young age.  You saw cheetah, and you saw lions in a tree!  That is quite an unusual sight.

Only one month to Christmas and holidays.  We will have Christmas at our house again this year and we are looking forward to having all the family and friends with us to celebrate.  I'm sure Santa knows that you have been a wonderful girl this year and will bring you a special gift.

Love you lots like Jelly-Tots!!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Hello darling Emily,
It is your birthday month - 8 years old!  Wow! 
On the 7th October you went for your treatment.  You are so brave when they put in the port and you don't cry or complain.  Tam and Gail stayed with you and you were allowed to have a chocolate ice cream during the infusion.

Your Mom and Dad bought a big new King size bed.  For a few months you have been going through to their room at night and getting into bed with them.  There wasn't enough space in the double bed and Mark said you were kicking him in the 'you-know-what' and his head!  This bed is huge and you can all fit in it.  Tammy usually puts up a side protector but this time it wasn't up.
On Friday you were given a Happy Birthday rosette to wear at school all day.
Sunday was your actual birthday!
You had two parties!  One for the children at your home with bean bags and dress up; and one at the SPUR on Sunday for the oldies and a few parents.


On Wednesday after your party, Tammy had to have an operation on her wrist.  I fetched you from school and took you home.  Mark brought Tammy home and once she was settled, Mark, you and I went to the Wimpy in Kensington for lunch.

You seemed to know everyone on Kensington!  The staff at Wimpy and at Walton's next door knew you and spent time between eating, visiting friends next door and playing on the jungle-gym play ground.   When three bigger boys arrived and started chasing each other on the jungle-gym we asked you to join us at the table for a while.  One of the boys had Down Syndrome and we explained to you that he was born with a genetic condition which meant that he might not be able to understand that he couldn't play rough games with you because you had a different genetic condition called osteogenesis imperfect (brittle bones).  You accepted that and waited for them to leave before you went back to playing on the gym.

Having a birthday so late in the year (you are the 2nd youngest in your class - and the smallest) has shown that you might need to repeat Grade 2 next year.  Your IQ is exceptional and you have scored above average for things like vocabulary, memory and maths etc but your ability to concentrate and progress shows that you are immature for your grade. 

We have told you that many brilliant people had to repeat grades (including Albert Einstein) so it won't be a huge setback for you.  You already have friends in First Grade who you will socialize with next year and your Grade 2 friends will still be at the school next year.  Mark said that they have mentioned this to you but, understandably, you are not happy about repeating so they won't confirm it until about 2 weeks before the end of the term.

When you are in University one day you won't remember how it was in Grade 2!

Love you more than jelly-tots my darling!   (And you will say - "love you more than Smarties!)

Friday, September 30, 2016


Hello my darling Em,

Whenever you come to our house we try to go for a walk around the block before playing all sorts of indoor games.  Sometimes we play camping and we have sleeping bags and make a tent using the chairs.  Other times we play dress up games.  You like to put on a sparkly top and a long scarf, an Egyptian green box hat with a chiffon scarf.  I follow you around as your sister or servant!
When you came a couple of weeks ago you wanted to paint my face so we did face-painting before going for our walk.

September 16 was the Sunflower bandana day.  You looked gorgeous in your purple bandana which you were allowed to wear to school.  The Sunflower Fund raises money and awareness for a bone marrow registry for people suffering from illness like leukemia (a type of blood cancer) so you did your part to help the fund.

Mark works for a company called Derivco.  He's been there for 10 years and on 20th September they had a wonderful 20 year anniversary celebration at Crusader's Sports Club.  You can watch a video here.  We saw you and your Mom and Dad briefly in the video.

In the September holidays you and your Mom and Dad went to Johannesburg to spend time with Jeff and Gail.  Here you are with Abby and come lovely cupcakes in Gail's kitchen.  It is Gail's birthday on 5th October so you had a little celebration for her in Johannesburg and we had a braai for her in Durban.

You and Craig at the restaurant near Gail's house

You love being out on the river on Jeff's barge.  You looked great in this pirate's hat

Mark left on Monday to fly home but you, Tammy and Gail flew back two days later.  Gumpy and I fetched you from the airport and took you home.  It was my turn to meet you with a 'Welcome Home Emily' poster with hearts and rainbows!  I also bought you and Gail a balloon - a pretty girl balloon for you and a Happy Birthday balloon for Gail.

It is your 8th birthday next month and this year your favourite is My Little Pony.  I'm looking forward to your birthday next month!


Saturday, September 17, 2016


Hello my darling Em.
When you came to our house the other day you had to practise your poem for a Speech day at school.  We took a video of you doing the poem and I must say that you did it wonderfully! 
At school, the adjudicator gave you this report with an A !!  Well done my darling!
It was my birthday on the 6th August.  We booked a table for lunch at the Chez Nous restaurant in the Westville Junction.  When we arrived we were taken to a table that was beautifully decorated with pink serviettes, sparkles, flowers and party masks.  You and your Mom had gone there earlier to decorate the birthday table!  Thank you so much - it made it a very special birthday lunch for me.

Tammy bought me a red velvet cake which we had as dessert. 
You helped me to blow out the candles.

You had a play-date with one of your oldest friends - Tayla.  You and Tayla have known each other since you were born and when Patty was living in Cowies Hill you had many play-dates together.


They held a cultural evening of music and poem at your school.  I was sad that we didn't go to it but Mom sent us these lovely photographs of you during the concert.

You and Muffy have fun!  Gail has a pram for her little Abby and you put Muffy in this pram and walk her around the house!

Oh dear Em!  You were playing with Mark on the bed when you fell off and caught your big toe, cracking it from underneath.  You had to wear a moon boot for a while and when you came to visit us we put you in Patty's old wheelchair s that you could move around the house. 
Muffy enjoyed the ride as well!

It didn't take you long to start walking on the moon-boot and then in takkies.  You were able to help me plant seedlings in the vegetable garden. You are such a brave girl Emily - an inspiration to us all.

We went to the bottom of the garden to visit Jenna and Carling.  You were very upset because the heavy rains had covered the stone over Carling's grave with sand. 
"I have to get the sand off, granny" you said, and started to dig away the sand with your hands.  I'm sure that, wherever they are, Jenna and Carling are watching over you!

 Mhwaaaa ... love you!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

JULY 2016

Hello my darling Emily-Ann,
I went hiking in Switzerland and Italy from 23rd June to 27 July.  While I was away, Tammy posted photographs of you with Gumpie at Botanic Gardens. It looks as though you three had a good time!

I started my hike in the Swiss Alps, crossed the Grand St Bernard Pass (where the famous St Bernard Dogs are) and  into the Aosta Valley in Italy.  Then we got a bus to a hilltop town in Tuscany called San Gimignano and hiked from there to Rome.  I loved the walk but I missed you very much.  Every time I saw a little girl with blond hair I wanted to give her a hug.  By the time I reached Rome I thought that maybe at 69 I was getting too old for this sort of long-distance hiking but there were other people five years older than me at 74 years.  So, I might have to carry on for a few years still!

After I got to Rome, Gumpie flew to meet me and we walked 110km together to Rome.  He did very well but I had a fall and broke a rib on the right side and pulled a tendon in my left knee.  We were both looking forward to getting back home and seeing our family again!  You and Tammy came to the airport to meet us and you brought us home.  We were very grateful!

The weekend after we got home, Jeff and Gail came to Nottingham Road for a wedding so we all met at Barbz CafĂ© for a Sunday brunch.  It was good to see Jeff because we haven't seen him since his operation almost 2 months ago.  It was so COLD in Nottingham road because there was snow on the Drakensberg.  I took this photograph when we flew from Johannesburg to Durban.  The wind comes down from the mountains and blows all the way to the sea, making us all shiver!

There has been a drought in South Africa, with no rain for many months.  Crops have been dying and cattle starving.  You can see how brown the countryside is after no rain.  Soon we will have water restrictions which means that we have to be extra careful not to waste water.


I bought you two dresses in Italy and when you came to visit us you worse the dress
with the blue stripes.  You looked lovely in it! 
The sun was out and you spent some time playing with Dax and Josie on the deck.