The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

se7en header image 1

Se7en Visits Gold Restaurant Again…

July 26th, 2017 · 6 Comments

It has been a while since we visited Gold Restaurant and I am afraid a visit just cannot go past without a blog post. We recently spent a week in the centre of Cape Town, and were spoilt by being invited to start our week with a dinner out at one of Cape Town’s most prestigious restaurants. Honestly, if you are a local or an out of town visitor, this is would be on our list of top places to visit in Cape Town, just to fill your senses with the tastes, the sights and sounds, the aromas and sensation of Africa. Our kids have been visiting since they were tiny… and the gracious staff make it not just a place for tourists to visit but a venue for local families to experience something far bigger than their everyday, in a warm and welcoming environment.


Gold is a renowned Cape Town restaurant that shares the taste and feel of Africa with such style and aplomb. It’s not about the feast, though that is fantastic, it is about the whole experience, an unforgettable night out on the town. It is a complete experience, served up with such love and attention to detail that you can’t help being on top of the world afterwards. And weeks and months and even years later my children will still say, “Remember when we were at Gold…”

The Drumming Class

Upon arrival there is a drumming class… and for those of you who have never done drumming before, this is the way to begin… together in a class, out loud, in time… so much fun!!!


The Feast

There is a splendid spread, of flavours and tastes from all over Africa… familiar flavours and new tastes to try. There is a set menu that honestly goes on and on, and my only warning is not to get ahead of yourself in the early stages because there will be so many delicious things to try further along in the evening…


The Marvellous Menu

Let’s talk about the menu… it is a set menu, and array of fourteen courses. All you have to do is choose your beverage and enjoy the food that is brought to your table, while the show goes on around you.


Snoek paté and roosterkoek to start with. Snoek paté is a traditional Cape fish dish and fresh from the oven roosterkoek, literally means toasted bread, usually served fresh from the fire.


Rich and Spicy Zanzibar Soup… with ground chilli and ginger, this has to be our favourite in fact it inspired us to try and make our own a couple of years back.


This is followed by Zambian Kandolo Balls, which my family absolutely loved, spicy sweet potato balls rolled in sesame seeds; Kenyan Mihindi Patties Patties with maize and spinach; Ethiopian Iab, a dip from cottage cheese, yogurt and fresh herbs; as well as spicy lamb and ostrich samoosas.


And then they have Chicken Satays served on a stick with delicious sauce. So very delicious… and moving on!!!


Egyptian lentils, packed with spices and a spoonful of yogurt; Mango and Lime Chicken from East Africa; and a slowly cooked stew from Botswana… as well as a Moroccan dish of roast vegetables and couscous.


The meal is rounded off with a Morrocon Orange and Walnut Cake… which the father person loved. The rest of us settled for cookies…


And the fruit platter from heaven…


I love how they all went the extra mile, coping with allergies and feeding teenage boys just a little bit extra (!!!) and a little bit more just to make sure they were filled up. Really this doesn’t feel like eating in a restaurant at all, it has the feeling of being welcomed home, where full tummies ensure full hearts. All served with grace and beauty…


The Celebrity Chef


They remembered this lad with a passion for cooking, and welcomed him straight back into the kitchen… just like old times!!!


And of course a very happy dance to celebrate…


The Spectacular Show


Throughout the evening, between courses you are entertained by amazing performances…


Incredible puppets, that used to send my little ones under the table (!), but not anymore!!! Stories told in dance and drumming…


And there are certain people that can’t help themselves and must of course just join in!!!



The Show


The magic of course lies in the sprinkling of gold dust…


And the graceful puppets…



Making Memories


And sweet memories made…





Stepping Back in Time

This is a restaurant that feels like home… the love and the welcoming atmosphere…

Our very first visit to Gold…

Trying out the Winter Menu…

Just the Best Night Out at Gold…

Thank you to the whole team at Gold Restaurant for gifting us with this wonderful evening… you are a magical crew and we love you.


We were gifted with a dinner for our family, and were in no way expected to provide a review, we chose to write this post and all opinions expressed are as usual our own.

→ 6 CommentsTags: Cape Town · Outings · Restaurants

Fabulous Fun Post #351

July 23rd, 2017 · 2 Comments

‘Tis the season for endless glorious sunrises… and I am totally up for them!!!


Lovely Links from This Week

  1. My goal for Plastic Free July was to stop using cling wrap forever, I have a few days to go. So far we have stopped a lot of the last of our lingering single use plastic this month and all plastic shopping bags have gone forever. And to help me with our actual goal: I need to look out for some beeswax food wraps and sandwich pockets… it is time.7 Plastic Free Alternatives to Food Wrap on Treading my Own Path.
  2. Outdoor Families Online has a heap of fun activities to do… I am all for getting outdoors, so good stuff!!!
  3. I have thought for years that I need a library card catalogue (spotted on Book Riot), now I know it!!!
  4. How darling is this Fairy House Kit on Babyccino, I am sure my kids would love to create little houses!!!
  5. On Family Style Schooling: 9 Excellent Resources for Drawing the World… We have the kindle version of Learning to draw Africa and we are using it in Family School this year… a country a day… and slowly but surely we are getting there.
  6. Handmade Charlotte is everything to love and so is her Rag Doll’s Around the World Series.
  7. I know my youngest is going to love this: The Case of Adventure has a new podcast: Countries for Kids, and free downloadable activity pages… first country on the journey is Madagascar.

A Blast From the Past:


A Jumblies Week That Was…

Since we celebrated nine years of blogging last week, I thought it would be fun to pop some “Week that Was” posts up this week!!!

And a Quick Catch Up on what We Are Reading

This Week’s Bedtime Story

The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem: This is an annual read, tradition really. We borrow it from my mom and pour over each season… so many details in the beautiful countryside illustrations. We love theses stories, so perfect, so lovely and so much to love. If you are looking for Brambley Hedge check out the Wildlife Trust.

The Kids on Audible

We have just been on winter break and tomorrow we are getting back into school… more tor less… and we are starting of with the Little House in the Bog Woods on Audible. I have been dying to listen to this forever… and I have a feeling we will all enjoy it.

On my Kindle

Reset by blogger David Murray: This book is aimed at men who are living on the edge. It is the sort of book that you gift your husband for father’s day and then it gets forgotten what breakfast in bed and back to work on Monday, until “Oh I wish I had read that book on burnout already.” Well… that didn’t happen in our house. I have read and reviewed David Murray’s books before (Jesus on Every Page and The Happy Christian) and I wanted to read this book as soon as I saw it launch. And since I have read it, I have passed it on to the Father Person to read… because it is an excellent read (for anyone really). The book is aimed at men involved in ministry, not just pastors… but those men who are stretched between a nine to five job that is actually a 24 hour job, they have Bible study or church meetings a couple of times a week, they want to be the best husband, best father and of course the best son to ageing parents as well. This book doesn’t say, quit everything and collapse… but it is a very good note to “get real, there is only so much you can do.” If your priorities are right then you have got this. In true David Murray style it is a very practical approach based on biblical principles. And since this is my year for learning about sleep, the book really caught my attention when after establishing a reality check on where you are and what you are at… he dives into the how and why we need more sleep than any of us are getting. Right there… this book has enormous value and this is a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. He goes on to address other issues facing folk trying to survive in an ever increasingly fast paced world. The book is empowering, not just because it points out where we need to make changes in our daily lives but the “WHY” we need to make these changes. This is definitely a book to gift your husband… if he isn’t a big reader then gift hime with the audible. This book could literally be life changing for your family.

On Audible

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James Loewen: I try to alternate books I am dying to read and books I think I should read on my audible list… this was definitely on the should read list. It was a tricky listen, the chapters are long and the listening intense. This book kept showing up as something to be read and now that I have listened my way through it I know why… If your kids study American History, actually any history, in school then you should listen/read this book. Certainly, my highschoolers would gain a lot from reading this book. The narrative that we get from textbook reading leads you to believe that America is the land of hope and glory… I have no problem with that, but it is not realistic… we all fall short of expectations and so do national heroes and nations. As parents we know that the child that is telling the tale is somewhat biased to their own advantage… just as history is naturally biased towards the narrator. This book will encourage you to think about the other side of every story… this book will encourage to consider the cost of battles won, at home and away. Thought provoking from the first chapter to the last… from Columbus to the Modern Era. How did American society become so stratified, how did textbooks become packed with blind optimism? Certainly in our country as history textbooks have been rewritten in the last twenty years, they are telling a very different story to the textbooks that I may have read in school… just as biased, but in a different direction. I think there is a lot to learn and a certain awakening, when we are called to question from which angle the story is being written, especially when the facts and the narrative do not align themselves. Great book, though I found it quite intense… so listen to a chapter and take a break and then another chapter and so on…

That’s us… hope you have a fabulous week!!!


→ 2 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun

Se7en Meets Up with Renowned Author, Lesley Pearse…

July 20th, 2017 · 5 Comments

I confess, we had a holiday and we had no internet… and I have been reading up a storm. Instead of piles of books waiting to be read, we have piles of books waiting to be reviewed… it’s nice place to be in!!! I thought I would begin with an author interview…


An Evening with Lesley Pearse…

Lesley Pearse was in Cape Town recently and I was lucky enough to attend an interview with her at Exclusive Books Cavendish Square, thanks to Penguin Random House South Africa. What can I say, there is nothing like meeting an author in real life and there is so much more to an author than their website… and I have to say Lesley Pearse has a great website… full of background regarding her childhood and she had a rather extraordinary one. If you are a fan of her books then rush over to her website and read her story. Local author, Gail Gilbride Bohle interviewed her for us, and I have a selection of her questions and answers for you. Each question was answered with a quirky anecdote, you can see why Lesley Pearse is an author, she is a natural storyteller.


  1. How do you create your characters? I have twisted thing inside of me that I have to put my heroine through. In Dead to Me, Archie is terrifyingly real… out of my imagination. I know no one like him. My library is full of mass murderers. I didn’t intend for him to be that bad.
  2. Is there a message in your books? Friendship is my family and I really believe that love makes the world go round.
  3. Tell us about your recurring themes: Love, friendship and betrayal. I could never forgive my best friend who had a relationship with my husband. I stopped by to visit one day and punched her in the nose, the satisfaction of the blood and her shattered nose…
  4. How much research do you do? For the Crimea and Alaska themed books I did a lot of long winded research. I don’t have the energy for a new country, and the moral threads that make up South Africa are just too complicated. So I don’t think there will be a South African book.
  5. You love the British landscape? I love the English country side it is very cosy and comfy. I am English through and through and could never live anywhere else. England has such spectacular flowers and I love gardening.
  6. se7en-17-May-17-IMG_5503-6.jpg

  7. Is it therapeutic to write? Yes, initially I wrote very close to my heart. It’s a good idea to write about things. It does you good.
  8. What inspired your writing? The Thorn Birds made me want to write a bestseller. I sat up all night reading without even noticing my own discomfort. And then she wrote and wrote. She told her children, “You will go to bed at 6:30 because mummy must write.” Otherwise, Charles Dickens inspired her, she was born in Rochester and we went to visit his house and all the Dickensian stuff. Her step-mother was an absolute dragon but we saw the same things in the books. She made me read and read… and that laid a foundation that was tucked away. Enid Blyton was the best… I read her under the covers.
  9. Any top tips?: Persistence. Don’t let anyone stop you. I call myself Persistent Pearse, it took 7 years to publish my first. I wanted to write, I didn’t write for the money. Don’t give it to friends, send it to agents and persist to the end!!!
  10. When did you start writing? When I was about 35 and now I am 72
  11. Is your writing from real life, have you done it all? I have a good imagination, I have never done quite a few things that I have written about. But I have a done a lot of them. For instance, I was once at a party and while I was in the bathroom the police raided the venue, and I ended up escaping along a garden wall with a friend. It was mid-February, it was Kensington and it was freezing… Shaking with laughter remembering it!!! Of course, my sister believes every thing I write about is part of my life.

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse: I have to say that I haven’t read a Lesley Pearse in ages, so I was pleased to get a copy of Dead to Me, as she writes great holiday reads. In Dead to Me, two gals meet by chance on Hampstead Heath one morning in 1937. The one, Verity, appears to have it all and is looking for a bit of adventure in her otherwise dull life. And Ruby, definitely hasn’t got it all, she is desperately trying to survive, to the point of stealing for food, while not homeless, her home life is so truly awful that when she does find herself on the wrong side of the law and is sent to Devon to a loving foster home, you almost breathe a sigh of relief for her.

The girls very quickly become best of friends each wanting a little of what the other has. It is only when Ruby is sent away that Verity realises how fortunate she is, but you are only a short way into the book at this stage and the tide quickly turns. Time will only reveal what horrific conditions Verity is living under. While Ruby’s mother was totally neglectful, Verity’s dysfunctional family has you wanting to cry out for help. Verity’s mother is incapacitated by her abusive husband… and all is not what it seems when you look beneath the classy exterior. The girl’s lives rise and fall on waves of good fortune and bad… and as the one’s life changes for the better, so the other falters. When Verity rushes to Ruby’s aid in a crisis that results in a harrowing night at her bedside, she is forced to tell Ruby’s foster mother the truth. Ruby declares this unforgivable and the friends part ways.

Meanwhile, Verity’s father keeps turning up at the worst of times, and there is always a “convincing reason” why he need not be reported to the police. He is a hardened criminal with a trail of grief strung out behind him and nobody strong enough to stand up to him, could he possibly stop the friends from ever getting back together again? And so you keep reading, you have to know that these two young gals turn out okay, if they find the love that they have always been looking for, if they even survive the war and all that is thrown at them in their journey through life.

Her new book, The Woman in the Wood has just been released, and to be sure it is on my reading pile.

A copy of Dead to Me and The Woman in the Wood were given to us for review purposes by Penguin Random House South Africa. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely our own.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books

The Many Weeks That Were Post…

July 19th, 2017 · 13 Comments

We unexpectedly went away, and even more unexpectedly didn’t have internet… I know, horrors, but after the initial shock, it was lovely. Meanwhile, we didn’t go far, just a mini break. We did a house swap with friends in the city and absolutely loved it. We had such fun exploring our city… we literally walked it flat… but before I dive in and blog a series of posts about how great the City of Cape Town is I thought I would do a little bit of a catch up… with where we are and what we are at.


For those of you that are new to our blog we used to publish a weekly post called “The Week That Was… ” and do a little catch up… times change and weeks can become months… but the weather tree remains the same… a leaf for every day of the year. Green leaves represent sunny days and blue leaves represent days with rain. You have to know that we are in the heart of a drought and some of those 19 blue leaves represent days with less than one mm of rain… just the heady excitement of the slightest precipitation means that a leaf gets coloured in blue.


While we were away I realised that our blogaversary had quietly passed us by, nine years of blogging and no pomp and ceremony to celebrate it all… it just sneaked past! And talking of blogaversarys… last year for our deeply significant “se7en+1″th celebration I actually took a photograph but never got round to posting it… you know one of those clever re-enactment photographs.


Can I hear a collective… my how they have grown, sigh!!! Because they have grown… we all have. In fact Hood #8 wasn’t even in the first photograph that we ever posted on our blog, it was before his time.

Otherwise, this was my year of getting things done… and I got off to such good start, a project a week and we were rolling along… until I started gym… I knew it was the “Year of Getting Things Done…” I was just thinking you know a massive house sort and you know, maintenance projects of one kind or another… little did I know that I would be getting a whole lot done… and I was the maintenance project. So not blogging so much, and even less is happening around the house… because well, I am a homeschool mom with eight kids, when on earth would I find the time to blog. And then I added getting up and out the door at 5:30 for gym everyday, into the mix and suddenly … I couldn’t blog all night as I had done before… So it is the year of big changes around here, as I find my feet… literally (in the gym) and well time wise… as I rearrange our days to try and fit blogging into it.

Clearly my love of all things to do with blogging hasn’t waned at all… but neither has my love of spending time with my kids. I have to say I absolutely love getting to gym, because it helps me to do more of the things that I love doing… like hiking in the great outdoors and going on adventures, so much better than I ever could before. I am not going to even say how life changing it has been to get that rascal, SLEEP, under some sort of control. I am a whole new person, not because I stopped coffee (mostly), or because I work out 6 days a week, or because I lost some kilos… but because I sleep. All night, every night. May I suggest that you try it… it is life changing.

Otherwise, we have a new about page… it was high time… and if you want to scroll down through the years of cuteness… then here is the link. I am also working on a new media page, in fact a whole new look… but everything takes so much longer to put together than I thought it would. I am learning patience… you know when you want everything done now and then it all takes time… meanwhile since the last Week That Was Post we have been…


Arting as usual…


Exploring as usual…


Feasting as usual…


Wondering at nature…


We stood united…


Playing, as one does…


Pets… on cold wintry mornings…


School has been happening…


And book reports…


In fact the weather has been so fine that for weeks school was outside under an African sky…


Haven’t seen any whales this whale season yet… we are watching away…


Some wild storms…


Whatever the weather… birthdays rolled around and ice cream continues to be the answer to all celebrations…

Otherwise… Lego and laundry as usual…

Se7en’s Book of the Week

Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barmen: This book we discovered while we were wandering through the library… and it is absolutely stunning, any fact lover anywhere will absolutely love it!!! It is the best animal almanac ever. Illustrated throughout with brilliant and funny captions. this is a thought provoking book that will be loved by everyone who is young at heart. It is not a scientific book about animals, but rather a thought provoking and funny look at the world of animals. Sometimes grouping unusual animals together, sometimes sharing the funniest facts… this book demands a slightly wacky sense of humour, we have all enjoyed it thoroughly!!!

Se7en’s Artwork of the Week


We painted a school for Madiba Day… it was such a fun project and it will have to get a post of its own.

Se7en’s Game of the Week

We picked this game up on holiday and it has instantly become a family favourite… we all totally love it and play it continuously!!! This is a game, that firstly looks beautiful and secondly has easy enough rules for anyone to understand. The game requires you to stack the wooden marbles and last person to stack the top marble the a winner. Really anyone can play it, it is a came of logic and just a little cunning, often the youngest players have these skills!!!

The Gallery








→ 13 CommentsTags: The Week that Was

Se7en Visits The Fantastic Grifizzi Brother’s Circus….

July 11th, 2017 · No Comments

So we haven’t been on holiday for the longest time, in fact I can’t think when last… when friends who live in the city centre asked us if we wanted to do a house swap we were all for it!!! What could be better, apart from the alarmingly slow internet… we are having a fabulous time and I have lots of lovely blog posts to post when we get back home.


The Fantastic Grifizzi Brother’s Circus is in Town

There is one post that needs to go up immediately and that is the post about our visit to The Fantastic Grifizzi Brother’s Circus last weekend. If you have an ounce of circus blood in you then you have to go… find a way. Not to mention, they may have been right there in our town, but they will be touring South Africa and you need to watch their site for updates on where they are… this post has to go up timeously because they will only be in our town for the month of July, before they move on… you have to check their website for performance times.

The Circus Atmosphere

You do need to get there a little earlier than the start time, to absorb the circus atmosphere… not to mention grab some candy floss before the the event. There are also lots of delicious eateries available… food trucks filled with delights abound.




The Story

This circus has a story, which pulls all the parts of the performance together, as the players in the circus try to help a forlorn little moon back to its happy place in the sky… its sweet and turns the collection of individual performances into a cohesive story…


The Circus Animals

This circus prides itself in having no animals to mention… this is a great perk for us and why our kids have never been to a circus before… they do however have two delightful animals… one fun of tricks and the other full of skills.

The trickster kickster Zebra

And the flexible frog

The Clown…

Would you look at that face!!!


And the Strongman…




The Drama…


The Trapeze…



The Wonder…


The All-Join In After Party…



Honestly we loved it, in a word… “Delightful.” If your kids haven’t been to the circus before then this could be the one… the circus is small, the storyline sweet, the performances fantastic and best of all there are absolutely no animals in the cast.


Huge thank you to The Fantastic Grifizzi Brothers for the circus tickets for our kids in exchange for an honest review. opinions expressed are as usual our own.
And we will see you on the other side of our holiday…

→ No CommentsTags: Cape Town · Outings

Se7en Heads to the Museum Night at the V & A Waterfront…

July 8th, 2017 · No Comments

Last week we headed out in the middle of the week to Museum Night V & A Waterfront, it was such fun and we loved it… I thought I would blog about it and tell you to look out for the next event… on the 25 October…


Museum Night Details

Museum Night is an occasional night where the Waterfront museums stay open late and museum entry is mostly free. Who knew there were so many museums there. Also on display, are cultural, activities and artist performances throughout the Waterfront. Museums are open from 5 till 10pm. Though I should say that the Food Market closed at their usual time, 8pm, which was something that we didn’t plan for, but sure will next time. Top Tip: Grab a map, for the evening from any number of open venues… look out for folk carrying large maps around with them… then you can plot and plan your route for the evening. We chose three venues and spent about hour and a half in each of them.


In between venues, it is fun to walk around the Waterfront at night, a safe outing for families… busy and bustling in the best kind of way… expect to take a while to get in and out of the parking… stay for the duration… it really is a fun night out. My younger kids loved the adventure… and my teens loved it all. Well what’s not to love about the Waterfront. Just a great night out for everyone.


Fifteen Museums and Performance spots…

  1. Cape Medical Museum – History of Medicine at the Cape…
  2. Two Oceans Aquarium
  3. The Watershed
  4. Nobel Square
  5. Portswood Tunnel
  6. Springbok Experience Rugby Museum
  7. The Cape Wheel
  8. Iziko Maritime Weekend
  9. Robben Island Jetty 1
  10. The Alfred Mall
  11. WALL Gallery
  12. The Clock Tower
  13. Chavonnes Battery Museum
  14. Arup Ocean Office
  15. Zeitz MOCAA


Chavonnes Battery Museum

The Chavoness Battery Museum has been on our list to visit for ages, and a lot of our friends haven’t even heard of it… it is a really interesting museum to visit, a fascinating step back in time. The Battery is an old fort, built to protect the Cape, and later a fish factory was built on top of it. Only to be rediscovered and unearthed much later when it was rediscovered during the upgrade of the Waterfront.


We weren’t disappointed, it was totally worth waiting for the free night when we were treated to the Philharmonic String Quartet in the museum… that was lovely and discovering the layout and the history of the Battery brilliant. This museum is a filled with miniature displays of the real thing… lots of explanations on exactly how every thing works… you can feel the walls of the original battery and see exactly where the guns were positioned and how they protected the Cape in olden times.


Maritime Museum


The Maritime Museum has also been on our list of places to visit for a long time and so we were thrilled that it was on list of free museums for the night… this is the sort of place that you can linger for hours… Miniature ships and their stories, miniature worlds and their epics… and so many interesting artefacts.









Sea glass…


And a life raft that I would rather I never had to get into…

Two Oceans Aquarium

Our favourite spot in the Waterfront… the Two Oceans Aquarium had half price tickets on Museum Night. It was buzzing with activity and people, lots happening and lots of fun…


Thrilled to meet some of the new sharks…


And their smaller friends…








And then new fossil exhibit…

That’s it… Look out for Museum Night, its a great event…


Museum Night at the Waterfront

→ No CommentsTags: Cape Town · Outings

And Hood 6 Turns Eleven…

July 5th, 2017 · 5 Comments

Another day and another birthday, and Hood #6 turned eleven last week…


Amidst all the craziness that is life… a grand celebration was had in her honour!!!



Discovered reading, reading, reading…


Never a dull moment…


Always ready for an adventure… and some ocean time!!!



Not to mention almost always up a tree…


It’s all about the trees!!!



And the beach…


And always dressing up!!!


Our resident artist…

se7en-24-Mar-17-IMG_2085 (1)-3.jpg

Our creator of incredible things…


Always making and creating…


And inventing…



Best sister…


Best middle sister ever!!!


The dreamer of dreams… And maker of wishes…


And always full of fun…
se7en - 200614 - 0523.jpg



Previous Brilliant Birthdays:

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 10 in 2016

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 9 in 2015

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 8 in 2014

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 7 in 2013

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 6 in 2012

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 5 in 2011

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 4 in 2010

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 3 in 2009

Related Posts with Thumbnails

→ 5 CommentsTags: Our Events