Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Meiringspoort Heart

I know * The Meiringspoort Heart * is a mouthful for this little Heart. But, in its defence, there is special significance attached to the inspiration for using a Heart shape here. In fact, I did square it up then decided against this. Clearly, I LOVE heart shapes ( who doesn’t?! ).



Since I was a young child I noticed how often Nature mimics a Heart shape. This is not so unusual. Yet for me, they pop up unusually frequently in unlikely places, like the foam in my cappuccino! 💗When I was a little girl, living with my Grandmother after my Mothers death, I’d ask my Ouma about this and her reply was always “ God is reminding you to love”. Well, since those innocent childhood days my faith has been deeply eroded, yet my Ouma’s words ring loudly in my ears still whenever a Heart shape appears in an unlikely place.



The second reason I chose to crochet a heart, is, of course, the sequel to our short adventure into the wilderness...well, The Karoo. Which I love! 💞 I shared a bit about our eventful get-a-way in my previous post about De Rust. Meiringspoort is a spectacular pass, a gorge really, linking De Rust to Prince Albert ( another delightful Karoo village ). I mentioned then that my husband has a fear of driving on high passes. I have the opposite phobia, the fear of looming mountainous overhangs! We decided to have lunch in Prince Albert on our second day in De Rust. You know, a quick uneventful dash through a gorge, as one does.



As we entered this historic pass, Meiringspoort, I rolled down the car window to distract myself from the looming overhead boulders, like giants leaning over a tasty morsel ( me! ) by videoing the gorge as we passed through. A river wound its way like a shed snake skin through the sunbaked pebbles below, bone dry no thanks to the ongoing drought.



Also, seeing as the summer holidays were drawing to an end, it was busy! Cars, trucks, caravans all whizzing through, appearing oblivious to the awe-inspiring beauty. We took it slowly, admiring the earthy colours, a desert palette of beiges, browns, russet and ochre. Small bouquets of wild flowers, miraculously defying the drought, sprouted between rocks, adding bursts of colour to this picture of stark loveliness.



We arrived in Prince Albert, deciding on a short walk around this Victorian village before lunch. It was blazingly hot. The heat from the pavements burned through the soles of my flip flops! Over lunch, we chatted with the café owners and played with their little dog, Buksie. An adorable rescued Terrier- mix who was now comfortably retired in the lap of luxury. In the meantime, the horizon darkened ominously. As we ate, the wind suddenly whipped up, seeming to drag the impending storm ever closer.



Nervously eyeing the darkening sky, we hurriedly paid up and decided to head back immediately to De Rust, confident we’d beat the storm. I insisted we stop at the entrance to the pass. Those billowing black clouds marching over The Swartberg ( The Black Mountains ) was too good a scene not to capture. On a lofty ridge, three mountain goats, silhouetted sentinels heralding in the storm. No sooner had we got back into the car when the clouds opened their sluice gates! It felt as if a ginormous bucket of water filled with ice-cubes was upended over the parched Earth. Marble-sized hails stones pelted our windows with such ferocious force I was sure the glass would shatter!










We turned on our hazard lights and crept ahead. Some cars had managed to pull into tiny spaces to the side of the road, sheltering from the hail under precarious looking rock overhangs! Waterfalls began to appear, some seemed to be shooting horizontally from the peaks such was the force of the water! We stopped, as did the vehicles behind us, the wind flinging the rain and hail around our car like a large grey coat. It was impossible to see any further.



It was pointless trying to capture the waterfalls at this point! I was also TERRIFIED! But if you look closely you'll see a few cascading down the rock face.





After what seemed an eternity the storm eased up to a manageable level and we all cautiously started our motors. The scene was like nothing I’d experienced before. Waterfalls, large and small, were gushing down every crevice gouged into those ancient rocks. Only a few hours before the wind had happily whipped up dust dragons in this very same place! Cars began to move slowly forward. No sooner had we got back on the road when we were forced to stop again. The road now completely blocked with debris, rocks, and sand, washed down the rock face, was impassable. I thanked our lucky stars we were not in the path of this when it happened. “The Men” got out of their cars and trucks ( by now the traffic was looking like a car conga line! ) and began moving rocks and branches away, eventually creating a narrow space for vehicles to nervously move through. Finally, it’s our turn. My husband is soaked, his boots and pants drenched! Some Men had stripped down to their shorts only! A bit of comic relief! The sound of water rushing madly between and over the bleached pebbles of the river bed was almost deafening.





Sadly, at this point my camera gave up the ghost!

A precarious path cleared, everyone was confident the rest of the journey would be trouble free. For a minute it was, for around the next bend a scene far more dramatic dashed our hopes. Here, an ample river, dotted with massive boulders, heaved furiously OVER a small bridge, meeting the rest of the deluge rumbling beneath it. And there we remained for the next few hours, waiting for the Over-The -Bridge waters to subside. Finally, to cut this long story short, we arrived back safely, albeit damp and filthy ( did I mention the soot-blackened waters, created from wildfires a week before? ) only to be met by our excited Hosts, with a “ you won’t believe what just happened!?” 

Apparently, the river running through the bottom of their property was now in full flash flood. Mmmm….we know where THAT came from! 😊  Our bathwater ran black, so a bath was out of the question. I managed to clean up as best as I could, got into bed without dinner and slept for 10 hours! In all, it was a perfect getaway! 😃



HERE IS THE LINK TO THE FREE PATTERN!

Love,
Jen xxx


13 comments:

  1. Wow! I was right there with you. Love your writing style...I'm new to your blog, have you written any books? If not, you should.

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    1. Hi Yvonne,welcome!Thank you! :) Writing is possibly my very first love,although like with most things I do I tend to shy away from pressure to do it. I journaled as a troubled teen, writing poems and daily dramas (as the tears spilled!).This grew into one of my better habits and journaling has helped me process some difficult experiences, and capture the good times too! I'm not sure I have the attention span to write an entire book! :D

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  2. Hi Jen! I've been there too! Your story brought back many memories growing up on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. If it rained up on the Divide, the rivers rise, flash flooding, etc. Bridges have high water markers. Many bridges are 1-car bridges with sharp curves on each side so you can't tell if anyone is coming! Life was always an adventure!!! You made me so homesick for the mountains and spring-fed rivers I could cry. I remember descending off Edwards Plateau coming back from a Quarter Horse show hauling 6 very expensive horses and my brakes decided to go out right as we got to the descent which had sharp curves and it was extremely steep! I've never been so terrified in my life!

    We have a saying in Texas, "If you want to hear God laugh ... tell Him your plans!!!"

    Your crochet is absolutely gorgeous!! I found this site tonight. You have a new follower that wears boots, jeans and a Western hat. Love your stories too!!!! Thank you! Summer

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  3. Hi Jen! I've been there too! Your story brought back many memories growing up on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country. If it rained up on the Divide, the rivers rise, flash flooding, etc. Bridges have high water markers. Many bridges are 1-car bridges with sharp curves on each side so you can't tell if anyone is coming! Life was always an adventure!!! You made me so homesick for the mountains and spring-fed rivers I could cry. I remember descending off Edwards Plateau coming back from a Quarter Horse show hauling 6 very expensive horses and my brakes decided to go out right as we got to the descent which had sharp curves and it was extremely steep! I've never been so terrified in my life!

    We have a saying in Texas, "If you want to hear God laugh ... tell Him your plans!!!"

    Your crochet is absolutely gorgeous!! I found this site tonight. You have a new follower that wears boots, jeans and a Western hat. Love your stories too!!!! Thank you! Summer

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    1. Hi Summer! Thank you so much for the compliments, also, for sharing your story!Oh, my word,I was right there with you! How did you manage to get down that descent?I'm a country gal, I raised my kids on a farm, as you well know I'm sure, the country-life isn't at all like city raised folk think it is.:) I relate to your longing seeing, as I live in suburbia now.:(

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    2. City folks don't have a clue! Ha! Ha! When my grandchildren have all graduated high school (oldest has 2 years left and youngest has 7 years left😥 ... I'm going back to Utopia. Yes, that's my hometown's real name!) The youngest says he is going with me, no ands, ifs, or buts, but he is only 10 right now. He will probably change his mind. He is truly my son as I have raised him since he was one year old.

      I was looking for a pattern for an afghan and other things and came back to your website. I LOVE your pictures and your stories!!! I would love to hear more!!!!!!! The beauty of your country is astounding! I worked with a cousin, by marriage, many years ago, (27), and on days that were slow all the guys told "war stories" (this was a special government funded law enforcement agency) spent 6 years there but he left out ... everything it seems! Can't remember where he was stationed as he was in the Army at that time. His stories were fascinating either way. If I wasn't so terrified of flying over the ocean that far, I think I would have found a job that took me everywhere. I was a born adventurer! Your photos and your stories will have to tide me over until I come back for another life, if that happens and I believe it does. I'm not religious. I'm deeply spiritual. Hopefully, next time the good Lord will have taken away my fear and I can travel the world, and work with exotic animals or whatever He has in store for me. There HAS to be another life as I'm nowhere near perfect nor through learning what He wants me to learn.

      I wish He had given me the talent to design, like you. That's okay as I love every one of your designs! Thank you for sharing them with everyone worldwide ... not everyone is as generous as you are! You were blessed with a multitude of talents, kindness and generosity. Thank you for everything! Look forward to seeing what you come up with next. I will send you pics of what I manage to do with your beautiful patterns. My mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother did manage to tie me to a chair at age 4 and start teaching me needlework, sewing, and crochet (know how to do basic knitting but it never appealed for some strange reason) and whenever there was a crisis or trauma in my life ... that was my therapy. On crocheting I never could learn to read patterns of any kind until four years ago. I never knew I had Attention Deficit Disorder since there wasn't such a thing when I was growing up. I made A's in school but the ADD for some reason became 100x's worse when I inherited 3 very young grandchildren to raise in my late 40's! With medication I got the urge to pick up my hooks and suddenly I understood the instructions!!! A miracle! O haven't stopped since, seriously!

      Now that I have talked your ear off, I will be quiet and patiently await to see what design you present next.

      Thanks for sharing your gift and letting me bend your ear for a while. I feel a kindred connection for some reason. Maybe it's your stories and pictures? Many thanks!

      Always your friend,
      Summer


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    3. Hello, Summer! :D Thank you so much for your delightful comment, and also your kind words! I don't mind at all if you bend my ear...I'm a good listener, and also...I am very interested in everyone else's stories!So don't hold back! :D Stay in touch and keep your hook warm, there's a new design on the way. XXX

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  4. Hi Jen
    I've also just discovered your blog. Love your writing, as well as your designs - right up my alley.

    I don't see anywhere that I can subscribe to your blog - am I missing it somewhere? Could I do that? (subscribe, I mean ;-P)

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    1. H1 Anita! Thank you so much! :-) I do have a "follow by email" thingy , in the left sidebar? You can subscribe there if you like? :D xx

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  5. Hi Jen...I've just found you and your gorgeous patterns...it's so generous of you to give them away!! Needless to say...I love them and the stories that go with them all are so entertaining..You are a very talented in so many ways and I'm so happy that I now have access to your patterns and wonderful stories..I will be waiting for the next one...Thank you so much for sharing with crocheters of the world. by the way..I live in Vancouver, Washington state in the USA, Very sincerely Judy Draper

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    1. Hi Judy! I have only seen your comment now! My apologies! Thank you so much. If you feel like it, why not join me on the Facebook page! I'm there every day and share quite a lot of crochet and colour related goodies. Hope to see you there. xxx

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  6. May I share this link on pinterest ?

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    1. Hi, Barbara! :-) Yes, please go ahead! :D Thank you! xx

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