I love receiving bookmail – especially the unexpected kind. Jessie Kwak, an independent author that I read and review for, launched the two final books of her science fiction series during the pandemic. The borders between the US and Canada were closed so I knew she would be unable to send me review copies.
This week I received a brown package that made me grin from ear to ear – the two final books in the Bulari series. Jessie’s kind gesture means that this month I will be able to binge read the rest of the story and find out what happens to the characters that I have grown to love.
And aren’t the covers gorgeous? I adore the artwork on the covers of this series.
What was the last book that you received in the mail?
Yesterday I came home from work feeling exhausted and wanted to put up my feet. I made myself a cup of coffee, grabbed my latest read, and took two rusks from the box I had bought over the weekend at the South African store. It has been a while since I have eaten this treat from my homeland and I have been enjoying its crunchy taste since Sunday.
I eat the rusks in the true South African way – by dunking them into my hot coffee. Delicious! The treat and the silent time revived me and I felt the energy needed to go and cut the vegetables for dinner. Eating the rusks brought back the tastes of home and certainly made me smile. I look forward to enjoying the rest of them in the upcoming week.
What do you do to relax when you get home from work?
On Friday last week I discovered the Lindt store while on one of my walks. I love the creamy texture of this chocolate and decided to step into the space to browse. I could not resist buying a bag of chocolate balls for my family and I to enjoy.
This week I am savouring the different tastes of the chocolate after dinner. There are so many that I haven’t tasted before: citrus and mango, sea salt, and even cappuccino. They are all delicious – and they definitely make me smile!
While driving with our nephew on Saturday, we passed a store that sells South African goods. Of course we had to stop and investigate – especially as we all wanted to indulge in a snack we don’t often get to eat since we have moved here: biltong.
While browsing in the store, my daughter saw the packets of Nik Naks, a crispy snack that she loved to eat when we were last in South Africa. She admitted that she could not remember the taste but recalls that she enjoyed it. I bought a packet which we shared amongst the five of us. The salty, tangy taste took us back to the past and the flavours of home. Definitely a smile for our family.
Today is a civic holiday in our province and, because of this, my husband and I invited our nephew to come over and eat dinner with us yesterday evening. He brought with him a bottle of red wine made in South Africa to enjoy while eating.
The wines from the Nederburg estate are among my favourite red and white wines. Unfortunately, these wines are not readily available where I now live and I was so happy to see that my nephew had managed to procure a bottle. Our dinner was delicious, the conversation scintillating, and the glass of red smooth and rich.
It had been a long while since I had visited my cousin due to the COVID-19 isolation period. As part of my social ‘bubble’, I was able to visit him this past weekend for tea and a chat.
I brought with me some of the biscuits I had baked – a remnant of our childhood as our mothers used to bake these often. As we bit into the shortbread, our taste buds took us back to a time in the past.
We drank Cinnamon Chai Rooibos – another tea that we grew up on. This tea is one of my favourites and I enjoyed sipping the cooling liquid while we chatted about the past and the now.
As we were chatting, the air conditioning unit cooled us a bit. We are currently experiencing a heat wave so we were not keen to sit outside on the balcony.
We did not stop talking for two hours until I had to leave to go home! Seeing a person face-to-face is a much better connection than talking to one another on the phone.
I enjoyed my visit and I am sure we will get together again before the summer is over and I have to get back to my work schedule. The visit buoyed me a bit and I look forward to connecting with others in the upcoming weeks.
Yesterday I was unable to walk in the morning as it was raining when I woke up. I missed being outside but I knew, according to the weather forecast, that I would be able to walk today. I took my usual route which allows me to achieve my goal of 10 000 steps.
I passed by a house that has not showcased any flowers up until now and I could not help but admire the beauty of the flowers that had recently opened up. The colour stands out to me as it is my favourite, and the flower is always impressive.
I look forward to seeing these flowers again on my next walk. I hope their beauty is on display for a couple of weeks.
One of the habits that I have adopted since the isolation period due to COVID-19 has been walking most days for an hour in my neighbourhood. My reasons for walking are two-fold: for exercise and for my mental health. I have found that going outside for a walk has helped me with the cabin-fever I was experiencing, as well as my feelings of sadness.
What I currently enjoy on my walks are the beautiful flowers that are blossoming everywhere – on the trees and in gardens everywhere. Their pollen does affect my hay fever but seeing their beauty encourages me to brush aside my discomfort.
Despite some windy days that we have had, many of the small blossoms are still tightly packed between green leaves. I am pleased with that because seeing the small flowers do add plenty of joy to my walk.
Seeing these blossoms this morning made me smile once again – so much so that I had to share their beauty with you. 🙂
Last weekend families in many parts of the world celebrated Mother’s Day. To be honest, the day was similar to what I have experienced since we were asked to stay at home. This year we could not go out, and my family could not go shopping for flowers and treats. My daughters, however, did not let the day go by without giving me the gifts that they had made for me.
My youngest drew a picture of me reading on the sofa – a sight that is frequently seen in my home. In addition, she animated it (I am unable to post the animated version here). Her digital portrait of me still makes me smile. I love it so much that it is my new profile picture for my Instagram account. 🙂