Bhutan. The last Shangri-la.

Scribble this onto your bucket list quickly before it disappears.

Zonged out in Bhutan has to be the best experience ever!! From the hair- raising landing at the airport, the most exquisite scenery, the purest water, the naughty frescos, the most organic lifestyle measured with a Gross National Happiness Index, chewing beetle juice and finally the climb to the Tiger’s Nest.

Not to be missed!! EVER!!!

Perched high up on the Pakamisa Mountain Range in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is the exclusive lodge of the Pakamisa Private Game Reserve. Nestled below, in the low lands, are the Pakamisa stables, home to a collection of magnificent Arabian Horses all superbly trained by the owner, Isabella Stepski. There can be fewer greater thrills than exploring the wild African Bush on horseback.

It was here that artist Graham Kearney developed his unbridled love for Arabian horses. Graham is one of South Africa’s up and coming wildlife artists, and thanks to Isabella’s passion for horses, her enthusiasm rubbed off on to Graham, launching him into a new dimension where he has managed to capture the true spirit of the horse into his art.


Pakamisa Private Game Reserve:

Graham Kearney:

Or find them on facebook:


Karen Mathews, who signs her work as “sian”, was born in Tanzania. Apart from 7 years spent in Italy, studying Interior Design (among other things) she has lived all her life in Africa.

Her studio overlooks the southern boundary of The Nairobi National Park. The beautiful natural environment surrounding her provides inspiration for her art.

With a dash of Indian blood, Karen (sian) loves to include an element of bling in all her work!

contact is: and her art is for sale

This Golden Orb spider is my new secret weapon. I confess that I do delight in feeding her grasshoppers - the little sh*ts that are eating my veggies in our converted swimming pool/ veggie patch.

She has quadrupled  in size since she settled in, a little worrying as she is right across the entrance! Some say webs can stretch to 6m high and 2m wide!!

This big mama is the matriach and her unassuming hubby is insignificantly in the background. He is so small that he steals her food, unnoticed, and often inseminates her without her realising it!

So far we are getting along famously, but these golden webs are known to be so strong they can trap a bird. This chick here is keeping an eye on this web!

Welcome to my web…..said the spider to the fly!

It’s hot! It’s dry. Thanks to the kindness of many - Christiane Firnges DietrichNicola Wicks - we delivered food and stationery today. We took some surplus stationery to Maphambeni - not generally on our list. We were met with wails and sobs. Many of the kids never having seen a white person before!! 
Colette Tracy please note your beautiful tree. Thanks Carol GalliHoughting for your suggestion of stationery boxes. They loved them!
David Clark - thanks for all your auditing! Diane Neethling - pls pass our thanks to Pierre!

Darren Aiken from Durban, South Africa, has BIG ideas that he transforms into the most delightful miniature scenarios. “Location, Location, Location” is Darren’s latest obsession. Miniature townships, detailing day to day life (plus associated brands), come alive on canvas.

He is well known for his themed chess sets. The most notorious is the “Old vs New South African Political” where Winnie and Nelson Mandela (as king and queen) take on FW de Klerk and Evita Bezuidenhout - such a stunning idea, and now a collector’s item. Even more quirky, appealing to my sense of humour, is the Addams Family where Morticia and Gomez take on – empty spaces – because they are all ghosts. His chess sets expanded to Legends of Music, People of the 20th Century and World Cup Soccer.



From the pen of conservationist, Brian Connell, comes the story of two men from different worlds united by the spirit of Africa.
In what can best be described as a non-fiction novel, Connell documents the construction of his dream, Nokuthula, Place of Peace. Through many delightful anecdotes, he demonstrates the majestic yet fragile reality which is Africa. 
Documenting his observations and often humorous interactions with his Zulu cohorts, Connell transports the reader to the timelessness of the tawny land he is so passionate about. Set in a time and a place of racial tension, the characters are united by a common goal and respect for each other.
Having embarked on the road less travelled, Connell eloquently and enthusiastically describes his adventures in breath taking detail. His tales of the animal kingdom are wonderfully entertaining and informative. 
A must read for Africans and non-Africans alike, Msomi and Me will delight, amuse and inform from the beginning of the dream to the poignant ending.