Friday, September 9, 2011

Impromptu outings are often the best kind!

"I'm very spur-of-the-moment! I'm always trying to think of fun things to do to create a memory."  ~ Josh Hartnett ~

Are you a spur-of-the-moment kind of person, or do you like to plan all the intricate details ahead of time? Are you, perhaps, a good blend of both? Maybe, you're someone who is mostly inclined one way, yet, on occasional, you'd be happy to step out of your comfort zone and experience a little of the other way?

To continue reading this post, please click the Read more button below...

This old bridge only accommodates one car at a time. I guess you'd call it a single lane bridge! As you can see, the roadway is wet and it was drizzling steadily at the time we stopped to take this photograph of a road stretching ahead to endless possibilities.

Do you prefer to plan your destination, even down to the precise time of arrival, or are you happy to be led by impulse, arriving at 'wherever' on a whim? If you should have an unexpected 'day off' tomorrow, would you find yourself agonising over various options, unable to decide at such short notice, or would you hop into your car, spontaneously hit upon an idea and then see where the road leads?

Yesterday, we drove past kilometre after kilometre of beautiful countryside, some fields lying fallow, others under heavy cultivation. In between, here and there, we spotted a thriving wetland/marshy patch, with hundreds of weavers, red, yellow and even orange bishops nesting in the reeds, with an assortment of birds of prey lazily soaring overhead. The sounds and smells were magnificent. The stuff my soul feeds off eagerly!

My husband had to do a short site visit at a (very) large dairy farm, yesterday. In addition, he'd ordered two new-fangled rat traps, which had to be collected at a warehouse in Cape Town. Since Linda was at home with us, for a couple of days, and (YAY!) therefore able to keep an eye on the dogs during our absence, my husband suggested I might like to join him for the drive...those of you who have begun to know me through my blog will know exactly what my response was!!!

Heavy heads (spikes, ears) of wheat beginning to ripen. A farm labourer's cottage is flanked by huge gum trees to the left and a field of grazing sheep to the right.

Yes, of course, I naturally jumped (leapt!) at the opportunity to enjoy some time alone with him, out in the countryside and off the beaten track, always a favourite 'escape option' of ours when we need to recharge our batteries. No, silly, not the car's...OURS!!! When we left home, no plans had been made beyond fulfilling the initial objectives, but we had decided to...definitely have lunch, somewhere nice, afterwards!

Our first port of call was the industrial area to fetch the traps (I will share the reason for these rat traps in a later requires a post of its own!). Once that uninteresting task had been swiftly accomplished, we headed out of the city and into the Durbanville embark on the FUN part!

A farm along the way...not the farm we visited, which was a huge, commercial operation.

It was one of those wet, misty days when outdoor colours seem so much richer and brighter and I hoped we'd find some interesting photographic subjects. We drove past rolling fields of beautiful green pasture land and acre upon acre of lush lucerne, wheat and canola (rapeseed), interspersed with vineyards. I kept 'Oohing and Aahing' about how beautiful everything looked and, when I spotted a signpost to Philadelphia, a tiny little village I'd recently read about, but had never visited, I suggested we might make our way there after we'd completed the business side of our day. My husband obligingly agreed it sounded like a great idea and so that's where we ended up for lunch.

BUT...since it has been sweetly pointed out to me, on more than one occasion, that I tend to ramble on and on with my posts, I've made a decision to split them into shorter segments from now on. So...rather than bombard you with everything we saw and did, yesterday, I shall cunningly keep you coming back for more! What follows, therefore, will be the first of a three part post, covering our trip to Philadelphia...for now, I'll be sharing some of the sights we stopped to photograph along the way!

Old farm walls are so characterful...

This one marked the long driveway leading to a lovely old farmhouse.

And, 'A River Runs Through It' all...the many little streams and rivers along the way were all flowing strongly after the rains. Most will dry up during the summer months.

Old farm out buildings always fascinate me. This one was sporting pretty red gateways, windowframes and gable trims.

We loved the quirkiness of the unlevelled gate and the bright green contrasted with the red. Definitely a photographic opportunity!

Same gate, but taken from a different angle to add interest.

From the size of the weed growing on this doorway's threshold, I'd guess the bottom half of this stable door hadn't been opened in a while.

I was completely mesmerised by this say I fell in love with it would not be an exaggeration! I was certain it was someone's arty homestead. My husband disagreed.

This was the side on view of the same building seen above. My husband determined that its function is that of milking shed! He saw drains coming out from beneath the doors, stainless steel milking pipes exiting the building at the back, for the milk collecting trucks to hook up to, and factory extractor fans on the roof! As you can see, these photographs carefully exclude any of those in order to remain in keeping with my far more romantic view of this characterful building.

A closer look at the sealed up windows on the side section. This wall had so much beauty, it looks like a painting to me. It was real. I did touch it just to confirm!

The building ahead, with its delightful blue door and blue trim, was behind and off to the side of the building I'd fallen in love with, below...

Here it is...looking down its length...from the aloe bed against the fence. What is your guess? A home, or a milking shed?

If you're a farmer, you need a tractor! Right? So, who wants a ride?
OK, that's it for today! Please do come back later to continue this excursion with me. Part 2 will cover where we had our lunch in was a treat! Part 3 will be of scenes spotted around the delightful village. So, you see, I still have plenty to share with you!



  1. I love your posts, because I get to travel with you each time!
    Thank you for the incredibly thoughtful comment you just left me on my post. You are so special!

  2. Loved this post! Me! I match the tractor perfectly. I want a ride!!
    It's kinda how I feel at times. LOL
    Hugs and thanks for stopping by.
    I still haven't gotten any Fall decor out...
    I still am trying to wrap my mind around it being Winter where you are. This IS right isn't it?

  3. These are beautiful. And to answer your question yes i would just hop in my car and go. lol I'm doing that tomorrow afternoon. we have no idea where we are headed but it's going to be a blast..
    As for your comment on my red door post Thank you. You made me cry. I've only shared that with 3 people since I wrote it 7 years ago. I was pretty scared about that post. As for today's. Lady you are definitely not a kitten. haha Phil is 4 years younger than I am. Weird huh?

  4. I'm new here, Desiree, and I am still astonished by the quality of your blog - the pictures and the words. I wouldn't know how to act if I had scenery like that near me. Every picture is like a postcard or a painting, and if you were the photographer then you have genuine talent for composition. I love exploring rustic settings and examining old, weathered buildings like these. I did so on many occasions in my youth when my family vacationed in the mountains of northern Pennsylvania. Of course, being a cactus collector, those columnar specimens immediately caught my eye along with the aloe. Splendid post, dear friend Desiree!

  5. Such great photos I love them I am someone who likes to plan things but at the same time I can say that some of the best holidays we have had were the ones where we have just jumped in the car and went with no planning at all.

  6. I agree the interesting building you fell in love with looks good enough to be a someone's home, but I don't think that tractor is going anywhere soon, Desiree, but it's beautiful...rust and all!

  7. I like my days off to be spontaneous and my holidays to be planned. I'm always up for a drive, a hike or whatever's on offer.
    I love all the buildings you showed - the colourful doors and gates are such a surprise.

  8. I had no idea South Africa was so beautiful. I love your photos. I think it's a milking shed but a very romantic, artistic one. For some obscure reason I also love old tractors.

  9. Such beautiful saturated colors in your landscapes. I enjoy traveling with you.

  10. Desiree, I always appreciate you thoughtful comments. Thank you so much.

    I just love reading your posts and seeing the fantastic photos. I like the way you describe and comment on each one. You've given me a whole new world to experience!

  11. The scenic beauty of the the place is amazing to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

  12. I always love the posts you do about the trips you take with your husband. You captured some wonderful images here, such colorful and interesting doors, gates and windows. I think I am a happy medium, sometimes organized and sometimes impromptu. Looking forward to the next segment on your trip to Philadelphia.

  13. Impromptu is good!! Always ends up being fun.
    I loved the photographic play you had with the red gates - the different angles worked too.
    Oh, I'm of the opinion that building is definitely someone's bohemian getaway... love all the succulents and terracotta pots out front ;D)
    Love the rusty old tractor - such an old workhorse!
    Great trip Des, loving it and will be thrilled to see more!

  14. What a wonderful walk Desiree, so relaxing ina grey foggy morning. Thank you so much, I always find a moment of peace on your blog!

  15. I'm glad you are now going to divide up some of your posts into a series. That way I'll get to read your blog more often and experience the beauty of your land in your words and your photography.

    And you can "bet the farm" that all your readers are eagerly awaiting Part 2 of this spontaneous jaunt.

    Both Sandi and Melynda thanked you for your thoughtful comments on their blog. I hope you know how much I appreciate your reflections on what I've written. Your comments often make me consider what I've said in a new light. Thank you.

    As to the building you feel in love with---to me it looks like one of the old Franciscan monasteries in California. Especially the view with the aloe.


  16. Hi there my friend. I see that Shady is now one of your band of loyal Followers! You want to watch him - he's a real sweetheart and always leaves such thoughtful comments. Just remember - I saw him first!!! Hee Hee!! All the photographs are, as always, stunning! Don't you just love that old tractor?! Don't think that one's done any work for quite a while. How lovely that you were able to get some time away like that, with Linda looking after all the dogs. Good idea to take advantage of that, I say! Looking forward to where you had lunch in your next post. Enjoy your weekend. Hugs.

  17. O my what a great picrures !!...that tractor !! is so wooooowwwwwwww...enjoy your weekend from

  18. this was fun to see so many beautiful places! loved the tractor!!! hope the rat traps are doing the trick!

  19. Love the river and the bridge--Can't wait to see Philadelphia!
    You had to go with your husband, no question in my mind!

  20. I definitely knew you said, "YES!" as you were running to the car. LOL

    You really should consider putting these adventures into book form. There's so much to see in your beautiful country and your writing is so poetic. Seriously, you should.

  21. Oh my goodness I enjoyed this trip with you. You live in such a beautiful area of the world.

    I used to want to plan things when I was younger.

    Now I want it to be spontaneous - but with my daughter and grandson living here it is hard.

    Hope you have a nice weekend.


  22. You are in love with the building and I on the other hand am in love with the sights of South Africa. Through your lens I have been fascinated and amazed at the raw beauty of your land and for that I thank you so very much. You and Linda have enriched my days and caused me to appreciate the beauty in what others might call ordinary. I spent time with Rachel today and delivered the large quantity of chili I cooked yesterday and a strawberry cake for dessert. She has this device on her leg that sends pulses that interrupt the nerve signals to her brain so that she feels less pain and requires less meds which is awesome. I love modern technology. Thanks again for allowing us to journey along with you and your hubby. It was wonderful.

  23. Good evening my friend, like you I can see the potential in that building certainly from the outside. As for impromptu trips versus planned ones I love both sorts! Thoroughly enjoyed today's unplanned one.

  24. My initial reaction to your first picture was 'That looks so much like England!' Actually, so did a couple of the later ones!

    I'm a bit of a planner, but I'm trying hard to be more spontaneous.

  25. I will ooh and aah at the photos too, since the scenery looks splendid. I love all the green and the rivers and old buildings. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself so much on the journey.
    I don't like surprises much (to the point of stubbornness), but I will agree that sometimes outings on a whim can be really pleasant.
    Ah, I also want to say a big thank you for buying my book ^^ I hope you like it.

  26. Such wonderful pictures -- I'm in awe of your beautiful country. And you have a gifted eye for composition!

  27. I so wish I could visit the places captured in those stunning photographs. WOW!

  28. I have been out of action for a while, and reading your post reminded me what I have been missing. I will be back for more! I love your words and your photos! We once escaped for a mid morning drive when I had first arrived here into a houseful of people. Looking at the map I said "oh in just another couple of hours we could be in Cooktown". What a wonderful weekend we had! We had hoped to be able to purchase a change of clothes, toothbrushes and deodorant, so now we always travel with a packed bag in the car, just in case I get another urge :)

  29. Another great trip, courtesy of Desiree.......

    And, kiddo, I love to read your comments. You are so kind that it makes me feel wonderful just to hear from you......thank you.......kt

  30. I loved this picturesque journey. I love both types of travel,impromptu and planned because sometimes plans are necessary to get to a location because of reservations for trains or flights. The joy of seeing new or even familiar places gives me a boost.

  31. You certainly know how to "milk a shed".

    Look forward to more pictures and the solution to the puzzle.

  32. Hi Desiree. I'm commenting again here in response to your comment on my blog about environmental issues relating to Alzheimer's. As I had mentioned, Mum and four of her siblings and a number of her cousins all have Alzheimers, in spite of the fact that their parents lived into their 90s without diminished mental faculties. In talking with the unaffected sibling and their cousins, we learned that in the, 1930s, 1940s and 50s the kids used to play in and around the working gold mine that employed the men in the small village, even swimming and playing in the tailing pond. They would have been exposed to large amounts of heavy metal and chemicals at that time which may have been a factor in so many of them developing Alzheimer's in their 70s and older. That's our theory anyway though it hasn't been proved or even studied that I know of. I'd be interested to hear your husband's take on it. Is the environment getting back at us for being so careless with it for so many years? Could be.

  33. Desiree...such beauty you have shared with us in your photographic journey! I used to lean toward spontaneity but life circumstances have made that a bit tricky these days...still, there are weekend mornings when my husband will take me for a ride in the country on roads we know well and others new to us...leaving the kids at home and stopping to take photos of the abundant beauty that is always there for those who open their eyes to it. Thank you for all of your compassionate comments. I am sorry I have not been very good about visiting...I have more time now so will try to do better:-)

  34. I always enjoy seeing what it looks like where you live. The farms and scenery is all so pretty. Whenever I see old houses I always wonder about who lives there and what their story is.

  35. You do show beautiful pictures of your area – it’s a delight to look at them. Your third picture of fields is so green – it reminds me of Newfoundland in Canada – lots of green, very few people.

  36. Desiree, your colorful photography deserves to be made into prints and framed. I'd love to have a few of these around my home! So interesting and beautiful. I love the romantic lens you put on to show us your part of the world. I look forward to reading the next few posts!

  37. Wow. Love the pictures. And the feel o this post. So rustic. I feel a little sorry for the tractor though. Must have seen better days. But I would definitely want a ride. :-)

  38. Hi again Desiree, I'm back to say that I figured out how to see and publish my comments today...thank you so much for your wonderful sweet words. I also have an idea. I am going to attempt to do several watercolor paintings of the beautiful photos you posted this week. When I have them finished, I would love to send one to you. Would you mind passing on your email to me? I'm at P.S. It might be several months before I finish.

  39. I have no idea what the building could be but it is certainly an interesting one. I love impromptu trips but I also love planned ones too. Last Sunday we went to Sydney for a surprise birthday lunch. We flew down in the morning and back in the evening. That wasn't planned we just did it. It was fun.

  40. My husband likes everything to be well planed out. He hates getting lost. I am just the opposite. I don't mind getting lost and love adventure. When things get to routine, I find it depressing.
    I always enjoy the photographs from your travels. There was lots of interesting architecture in this post. I love the shots of the red doors and the shot of the road heading into the horizon especially.

  41. ...spur of the moment is good!! when u do it like that, you're more open to surprises!! although we also do 'planned' stuff too...impromptu day trips are more exciting because you just don't know where you might end up!

    i LOVE the old buildings...the stone/stucco/brick/...the textures and shapes...and then especially with the bright red door! art just sitting and waiting to be photographed! thanks for the tip desiree! more more more...

  42. Hello - I am a fine artist and would love to paint from the photo of the old farm building with the red gate. Please let me know how I can get your permission to use this fine photo as inspiration. Thanks so much.


I would love to hear from you!