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Published: December 21st 2014
Well Christmas is nearly here and for us it is a very strange time. We have normally been doing chrimbly shopping for weeks, organising gatherings and having lots of nights out with friends and family. This year the sun is shining we have no tree to decorate and no dinners or party nights to go to. We have bought ourselves a Christmas hat each as you will see from the pictures and we are making efforts to wear them and get a picture taken each time we go out. This week we have been to a carols by candlelight evening, it was in aid of the local hospice and is an event which takes place every year in the centre of Knysna. We had reserved our places the week before and our little table for two was placed in between two large tables of people. On one side we got chatting to a family who moved here six years ago from Sheffield and on the other we got chatting to an elderly chap who was the local minister's father And made us feel very welcome. A very diverse cross section of people but the whole evening was a lovely relaxed affair.
We sang our socks off singing loads of Christmas carols and a couple of hymns and although the majority were in English there was the odd verse in Africans which we gave a go. "Silent Night, Holy Night" goes something like "Stille nog, Heilige nag". There was a tree of remembrance and as it was a year since Baz lost his brother Kim we lit a candle in memory of him and later raised a glass. It was emotional but a lovely way in which to reflect on loved ones that are no longer with us. As we havent had any presents to buy this year we bought a toy and had it wrapped for an African child who has nothing so in a little way we felt as though we gave a little back that night.
Been on a boat trip this week down the Kerbooms river, it's a narrow river with small beaches every now and again and the lushest greenest forest on each side. The skipper was very well informed and knew all about the plantlife and echo systems of the river and made it very interesting. Just before setting off we spotted an Osprey catching
a fish in the river which was pretty cool. We were wanting to spot the fish eagles but only managed a Kingerfisher which was quite special. When the boat mored up Baz went for a swim which was a bit like swimming in a cup of warm weak tea. The river has a lot of tannin in it and it makes your skin look orange while you are in it! Tangoed!
We have been so used to having the town to ourselves that this week has been a real eye opener. We now have to make reservations in the restaurants and the traffic is mad. Can't believe where all these people have come from, it's like the town has been invaded. The schools finished on Friday here and we have met a lot of people from Johannesberg this week, it seems to be that they take their holidays on the coast around here as well as all the extra foreigners that are flooding into the country.
Today (saturday) we have been to the waterfront for "quack attack", it's a fund raiser organised by the Rotary club. So yesterday we went along and bought our ducks and were given
what was described as our "winning numbers" and today they were thrown into the water and the first ones across the finish lines won money prizes, needless to say we came back as losers but hey what else have we travelled thousands of miles across continents to do! I have to say that they managed to sell over a 1000 ducks and I think most people who bought a duck turned up to watch and participate which is all good for the community. We so live on the edge! More fundraising today we have been to watch the charity dragon boat races, lots of teams and plenty to cheer them all on. We followed it with a couple of cheeky beers and watched live music. Now we are home, footy is on and the BBQ will be alight soonish. Bliss!
Whilst I am writing this the noisiest bird on the planet has landed on the roof. It's the Egyptian Ibis and there are hundreds of them round here. Bit different looking out at a couple of these rather than the sparrows in the garden. The only problem is they dont seem to sleep and can fly past squawking to
each other at all times of the night, it's a hoot!
Anyway this will be the last blog before Christmas so we both wish you all a very happy Christmas and hope that 2015 will bring you all that you hope for and may it be filled with lots of happiness and good health. Please know that we miss everyone and will be having a glass or two of something fizzy to toast family and friends.
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