Scintillating strawberries, sunshine and shade at the Redberry farm

Picking glistening red strawberries among eager looking greenery while stealing glimpses at the Outeniqua Mountain range in the distance and the pathway of icy white cotton ball clouds in cobalt blue skies. That was how we spent our 3rd morning of 2022.

With a head filled with concerns about the future and heart awash with the singular longing that emerges only when you realise you are about to loose something precious, you never fully knew you had, I decided to live in and for the moment. I heard the sound of my little boy as he cheerfully assessed each strawberry’s worthiness for his basket. I heard my mom chatting with my son and I saw my husband gently and methodically picking the berries in the row next to mine.

This moment in my life was set on the Redberry farm, just outside of George and not far away from the George airport. The main attraction is picking strawberries, bit this popular holiday-maker attraction has enough activities to keep you, your young ones and your not so young ones busy for at least half a day.

Among its attractions is the Southern hemisphere’s biggest permanent maize. If you do not keep your wits about you, you could just clock in an extra 10 kilometers on your smartwatch.

Entrance to the maize
Goal posts inside the maize
Overlooking the maize from the platform in the centre.

The Redberry Express is another part of the adventure. The little train departs from a quant station, with the highlight (according to my 4-year old) being the “long and dark” tunnel.

Waiting for a ride at the station
Returning to the station

We had to bribe with ice cream to be able to move on from the rabbit hutch where the guinea pigs seemed more eager for our grass offerings than the rabbits. One can also buy carrots to feed the rabbits, from tbe farm stall.

There is a varied, stimulating and very neat play area for the kids. The spiderweb was the novel favourite in our case.

Adults can indulge in a bit of shopping at the Berry Boutique or the well-stocked farm stall.

Ah! And then there is the food. Apart from the ice cream and waffle stall, there are 4 restaurants/cafes. We chose Bounty Eatery (on the way back from berry picking) and thoroughly enjoyed our coffees and rooster koek meals.

We will hopefully return another day to experience the pony rides, pedal go-carts, bubble balls and bumper boats.


A trifle lost and confused

It is the end of the school year in South Africa. I finally have time to collect my thoughts. Behind me is a 12 year teaching career, a 4-year old boy, 5 years of marriage… and roughly 45 years.

Somehow I still feel the decades old feeling of disappointment in myself. Only now it is tainted with the knowledge that hope might become too optimistic a feeling. Hope that I can still achieve something amazing. Hope that my family and I can live comfortably without the constant concern about the future. Hope that I can still settle into a respectable, comfortable, yet inspirational life!

When you are tired, go out!

There are moments where I have an overwhelming need to sleep or just relax during the day.

It is at these times when my single toddler’s need for company threatens to trigger the old fight or flight impulses, I hover between panic that I’m a bad mom for not having managed to make my almost-4-year old more independent, frustration because I just want to relax and despair because I am not able to be a satisfactory replacement for another 4-year old mind and body. My son’s single child status will most likely be my Achilles heal in raising him.

In times like these I find that time and again it works to just overcome the need to relax, take his little hand and go on an adventure with him.

And no, it is not me giving into his whims. It is me relishing in the joy of the little human in my life that I chose to give life. It is an act of appreciation for the life that he is unwittingly forcing me to embrace. In moments like those I am outside, feeling the wind, the sun, the soft raindrops, rather than languishing under a duvet in a room. In times like those I hear life; people, birds, the sea, rather than my own blood rushing through my veins. I live, I discover, I act, I explore, rather than sitting on the coach watching others live, discover, act and explore.

Reminder to self:

Leave room for spontaneity with your toddler!

We are ready to start our carefully planned day with our toddler. Plans A, B and C have all been discussed, mulled over and polished.

Then he discovered the tennis-ball! A ‘new’ game was born. Toddler and dad chased each other around the holiday flat, trying to either ‘burn’ the other with the ball or avoid being burned.

I checked myself just in time. I was about to announce that we needed to leave, but I realised that the spontaneous play and connection between father and son was worth so much more than our carefully manicured plans for the day. Besides, we had other days for some of the plans.

The laughter and happy sounds continued for another 45 minutes leading in a joyous day with and an impromptu plan D.