Did you miss me dear reader? I’m back from my sojourn in South Africa with so much to blog about. Let me start off by saying that I’m very glad to be back in New Zealand. I didn’t really enjoy my time away. It wasn’t really meant to be a holiday as hubs was having laser eye surgery. We knew this basically meant he’d be out of action for awhile. No driving around. No sightseeing. In fact, for the first few days he could hardly see a thing and was experiencing a lot of discomfort. He didn’t have Lasik eye surgery. He had the original form of laser eye surgery known as photo refractive keratectomy or PRK.

I went into the consultations with hubs and could hardly understand a word the Afrikaans surgeon was saying. Hubs can still speak Afrikaans but the surgeon was speaking in English. I didn’t realise this until well into the conversation as he had such a heavy accent! But all seems well and hubs is now feeling much better and just waiting for crystal clear vision. Apparently, the PRK alternative has a much longer vision recovery than Lasik.

So most of our time was spent at the doctor’s surgery; at the pharmacy; or remaining quiet whilst hubs was recuperating. We stayed at my sister-in-law’s in Johannesburg and basically couldn’t do much due to hubs. Mind you, with all the electric and barbed wire fences; guard dogs; alarms; remote control gates and garage doors that most houses in J’Burg require for security reasons, it takes quite an effort just to get out of the house. Even then, you can’t really just stroll the streets as it’s not the safest city in the world.

On the plane home, I was seated next to a wonderful old South African woman who was on her way to Brisbane to visit her son. She was full of stories about the South Africa that she grew up in and how that compares to the country it is now. The 11 hour flight whizzed by as she told me about mutie or African traditional medicine. I must remember to tell you some tidbits she told me.

Then on the Air New Zealand flight from Sydney to Christchurch, I was sitting next to a woman who struck me as being very anxious. I figured she might be a little nervous about flying and this brilliant observation was totally confirmed when she clung onto me like a rat going up a drain pipe. The flight hit some turbulence – par for the course really when you fly over the Southern Alps as you wing towards Christchurch. Unfortunately, we had a few bumps half way across the Tasman too and she was pretty well petrified. I offered up some pearls of wisdom about how safe flying really is when compared to driving cars. Nothing seemed to alleviate her anxiety. So short of knocking her over the head with a blunt instrument, I popped my earphones back in and listened to one of my all-time favourite songs – Crazy by Seal. Actually, the entertainment system on Air New Zealand is really good.

We reached home about 1.00am and I zonked out. Hubs stayed up most of the night and is suffering for that today. Meanwhile, I caught up with my horses. Saffy, the world’s sweetest foal, has grown. She came up to me immediately and revelled in all the pats and hugs I bestowed on her. Rosie was a bit miffed at this because she believes she’s the world’s No.1 horse and should receive all the attention. Karma, Saffy’s mum, tried to bump her foal out of the way so she could get some attention too. Muff, Saffy’s dad, did his usual thing – stood to one side until all the girls had received their kisses and hugs, then demanded he be adored.

My good Kiwi mate and her hubs dropped in during the day and we are planning to halter train Saffy next week and trim her hooves for the very first time. I’ve been slowly learning from her how to trim hooves and am hoping that maybe sometime this year, I’ll be able to start doing my own horse’s feet.

Saffy: look how much she's grown in the short three weeks I've been away.

Saffy and her dad, Muff, obviously are feeling very comfortable together now.

Rosie, Karma and Muff. Well, Rosie and Karma's rear-ends!