Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A lovely Lombard day

A lovely Lombard day
3 September 2012

So what do us Lombards do on any given Sunday?  We celebrate life, birthdays, togetherness and family – in no particular order. 

Just recently we had two health scares in the family and it spooked all of us big time.  Quite an eye opener to realise that life can truly change in the blink of an eye, when you least expect it.  Firstly, my mom nearly croaked, thanx to an insanely high blood pressure.  Which in turn nearly made me croak.  Luckily they caught it in the nick of time, by pure coincidence, and after 2 nights in hospital, being poked and prodded by medical personnel (whenever they came to draw blood again, my mom called them the vampires), scans, test and yet more tests, she was sent home with a trolley load of tablets and we’re all keeping our beady eyes on her.  Don’t do that to me again, Mommy!  I will hurt you and you’ll just end up back in hospital again.

And then my idiot uncle whom I love very much, fell of a roof.  Ridiculous!!!  Personally, I think it is a ludicrous attempt at gaining attention.  Jeez, Willem, if you’d been feeling a bit left out and low on the family totem pole of late, you could have just said so, and we would have bumped you up the priority list.  By the way, if you every try pulling a stunt like that again, I’ll push you off a roof myself.  And in fact the same goes for my mom.  This attention seeking behaviour is inappropriate and shows a great lack in maturity.  Disappointing, I tell you.  Both of you!  Tut-tut-tut.

So we were all feeling a bit needy of some family time and got together at the family home, my grandparents’ pozzie – Cloetenberg.  Such a marvellous, joyful, special day.  Uber relaxing.  We all just mooched around – chatting, eating and laughing.  The weather was glorious.  The kids spent absolutely hours on the swing and played hockey in the garden.  And us grown-ups just enjoyed each other.  More than half of the clan were otherwise occupied.  Some had pathetic excuses for not joining us.  There was a whole contingent of faders from England that didn’t pitch on Sunday.  Apparently crossing the Atlantic (or whichever ocean or land matter for that matter) for a get-together was a bit pricey or some such excuse.  Then there were the Joburg no-shows - a whole bunch of them.  Lack of dedication I tell you.  They’ve all got cars!  They could have driven down for Sunday lunch.  My brother was busy gigging in Durban.  Feeble excuse!  A few more had other commitments, like exams, etc.  All I can say is studying shmudying.  But for those of us that were there, the day was pure, solid gold. 

A long standing tradition at a Lombard get-together is to celebrate everyone’s birthday since the last time we got together.  As a legitimate excuse to have puddings, desserts, cakes and tarts, it is fantastic and in fact justified.  And on Sunday we celebrated eleven birthdays – shame, slow day, hey?  We had to have the fire department on standby, because of the amount of birthday candles that we had to light.  A fire hazard was imminent.  And in fact, even though we had many pyromaniacs helping to light the birthday candles, by the time they were all lit and we had sung “Happy Birthday” to all, most of the treats were covered in wax and the candles were burnt right down to the bottom.

The teenagers all huddled together, the kids played on the lawn, climbing trees and swinging, dogs under everyone’s feet, the big boys watching a bit of Grand Prix and Cricket, the woman nattering, social gatherings in the kitchen by the gals, whilst washing dishes (much chattering the whole time), people sitting under trees and on the stoep, lingering over the pudding treats having loads of helpings, mingling with all and sundry, beautiful toasts and well wishes, regrets, thoughts and kind words spoken about those who could not celebrate with us, much admiring of the glorious sunny day and magnificent weather, lots of guitar strumming, ambling in the gorgeous garden…

Such a treat as always.  And how truly lucky we all are.  I don’t think that many families enjoy each other as much as we do.  Or spend so much time together.  A real close knit bunch.  Bound together by blood ties, family ties and lots of love.  Always, the love.

Roxy and Katarina enjoying a bit of sun, whilst strumming away
The beautiful sun dial in the rose garden
The dove cote
I'm normally the photographer, so this is quite a rare pic of me 

The little stone fountain, and Cloetenberg peeping through the greenery
My Colekie Molekie - predictably not far away from a stick and a ball

My breath takingly beautiful Berry

Cool hand Luke

Preparing for the feast

Between the kitchen and the pantry

Let the eating commence

Getting ready for the fire works

Just look at Cole's face - he simply can't wait

Eldest birthday boy - 83 year old Oupa Willem

The glorious garden

The back garden and stoep

Daya with his coiffed hair - me-thinks Katarina got hold of him


Me and me marmie

Some of the gals

Horsing about

Hockey in the garden

What a beautiful day

Some stoep sitters

Most beautiful home

One of my dad's gargoyle's

 End of a fabulous day


  1. It was a fantastic day Helene.
    The photos of Cloetenberg always take my breathe away - such a magnificent home, and Ouma so very generous with it.
    You have captured it beautifully.
    Still proudly a Lombard!

  2. Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this! Keep it up!

  3. How far up the attention ladder am I now?

  4. Hello, Willem! I'm assuming that you're the one asking about how far up the attention ladder you are now? Well, rest assured. You're currently in a solid 13th place. Behind: Helene (the blogger), Albert (the rockstar), Maggie (everyone's favourite), Katrine (because she's in England and no one sees her often so she's very special), Ouma Helene (she's a bit fragile at the moment with all of her friends passing), Oupa Willem (well he is 83 after all), Bessie (Oupa's new doggie - sooo cute!), Attie (want hy's so goed in sy hokkie), Jac (because he's just moved his business), Gareth (because it's his birthday), Dan (because of Malgas this weekend), Bettie (because of her new job). So hang in there cupcake, you're still special to us. And no jumping off roofs now, you hear?

  5. Wonderful to hear about all your doings and sort of stay updated! xxxx

  6. I have Loved each and every visit I have made to Cloetenberg x It's Divine