19 June 2006

MIDLANDS MAGIC - 16 to 18 June 2006 What a relaxed, mellow Meandering weekend we had. We booked ourselves in at Thatchings (http://www.thatchings.co.za/main.htm), situated in the heart of the Midlands Meander, for Friday and Saturday night – making full use of the looooong weekend.

We left home base round about 11:00 on Friday after having watched the first ten gold medal finishers of the Comrades Marathon flying through the finish completing the uprun from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. It was quite uplifting to witness 7 of the top 10 finishers being South Africans. We crawled along the N3 towards Pietermaritzburg while dodging various support vehicles parking off along the freeway trying to spot their Comrades runner/plodder making their way along the Comrades route on the Old Main Road between Durban and PMB. The athletes could not have asked for more perfect weather. We reached Thatchings round about lunch time and sat down for a hamburger lunch on the chilly patio overlooking several trout dams. The winter weather up in the Midlands definitely asked for ‘long johns’ which of course was not at hand. The rest of the afternoon was spent scrapbooking (getting a fix) and hubby working/playing on his laptop. All this was going on whilst we had stunning 180 degree views of the trout dams and some wildlife (impala, zebras and wild hares) frequenting the dams and garden. After sunset everyone moved into the lounge area sipping sundowners and curling up in front of a warm and snug log fire, waiting for dinner to be served. Dinner was excellent. Hearty butternut soup, stuffed chicken breasts, lamb chops and various veggies accompanied by a good bottle of wine and rounded off with hot malva poeding and custard. Before dinner we switched on all three heaters in our bedroom, the electric blanket as well as the heater in the bathroom and we still got cold! On Saturday morning, after a pleasant stroll through the surrounding areas of the trout dams and capturing some ‘Winter in the Midlands’ photos we enjoyed breakfast and set off for our first day of serious Meandering. We were quite disappointed with a number of the shops and venues which appeared to be a bit unkept.

At Marakesh and Swissland Cheese we purchased some very tasty hard cheeses and cream cheeses. The cheese pantry at home is now well stocked! Savoury and Sweet Pancakes at Mulberry Hill was a definite lunch time stop after which we meandered back to Thatchings just in time for the rugby match between Scotland and SA – which we won for a change. I did not watch it though. I scrapped away while listening to score updates on the radio. Dinner once again was outstanding! We left Thatchings on Sunday morning (Father’s Day) after breakfast meandering our way back home stopping at numerous leather shops, Ground Cover being one of them where Conroy purchased a pair of ‘SIZE 13’ cow leather shoes. Jim Green/Jeep’s shop was also a worthwhile stop and we ended up purchasing some nice long sleeved Jeep T-shirts with zipper necks for me (got spoilt by hubby once again) and a shirt for Conroy, whilst listening to a tame Falcon bird perching on a tree stump, screeching away! I was just very glad that I did not work in this freezing all stone building whilst listening to a screeching falcon. Must say, this made me very appreciative of my job! All in all it was a weekend during which we could unwind and come back with recharged batteries ready for whatever life throws at us. - Meandering Magic signing off

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