Honeydew’s 2016 Amazing Maize Maze will have you Buzzing with Excitement

Update on Honeydew Mazes:  I sent a link to the little post I wrote about Honeydew Mazes to  the Honeydew team.  I received this lovely reply AND a sneak preview of next year’s maize maze. It’s important to support local business, so with the sender’s kind permission I’m sharing the contents of her email (and the new maze design).

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36 Hours IN Cape Town

Visit Cape Town: We saw scary squirrels, survived a zombie apocalypse and experienced credit card fraud. Seriously though, there is so much to see and do in the Mother City, you’ll be spoilt for choice…


Cape Town nestles at the foot of Table Mountain.

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Caption Competition: Frog on Loo Brush

frog on loobrush

Small frog has brush with death.

In South Africa the wildlife is abundant.  Evicting wildlife from our home is one of the many duties that falls under my broad ‘Expat Wife’ remit.
Most weeks I find at least one new bug or creature hanging out in our house.   Continue reading

When did economy air travel become a form of social and spatial torture?


Have you travelled Cattle Class?

Once upon a time air travel was glamorous and even now, at the front or top of the plane you have private cubicles resembling bijou studio flats in London. There you will be offered a wine list, linen napkins, flat screen TVs, a bar, perhaps a massage and maybe even a dry-cleaning service.

However, at the back of the plane, affectionately known as Cattle Class, travel becomes more and more like the game of sardines.  You have the pleasure of being uncomfortably squished in a tin can for hours, with total strangers and all their bodily habits.  You will have every opportunity to get acquainted with Knee Bashers, Chair Kickers, Arm rest Hogs and Aisle Loiterers.

I know that airlines are businesses and they need to manage costs, turn profits and part of that involves cramming as many of us into the smallest space possible, but have you seen the latest hideous new patent pending for a more intimate and space saving seating arrangement?

You can see it HERE.

Just in case you can’t see it properly I’ve added my own version of this delightful proposal below using Lego Duplo people. Buzz Lightyear might look like he’s smiling on the outside. On the inside he’s crying because he’s lost his jet pack and instead of holding hands with cowgirl Jessie he’s stuck playing involuntary footsie with a stern policeman and a burly fireman.

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If this seating plan were to go ahead, future economy travel would treat you (i.e. force you) to rub shoulders, shins and hey, why not even hold hands, with complete strangers. And just think, if you are one of the lucky rear facing passengers take off and landing will feel even more like a roller coaster.  Pass the sick-bag.

An alternative ‘genius’ suggestion I came across while writing this little piece, involves adjustable seating. More leg room for taller passengers and less room for shorter ones. I can only imagine that when the passenger in front of the shorter passenger decides to recline their seat that the shorter passenger will end up with their nose pressed against their tv screen and their meal tucked under their chin.

Getting to the bathroom could be interesting with either of the above proposals.

I’m wondering how long it is until someone suggests standing room only as a serious option. That way, airlines could fit double the passengers in Economy and add en-suite showers for their premium customers.

I realise that cargo is more profitable and less demanding than live passenger cargo – “Could I get an extra pillow?” “My headset’s not working.” “I think my child is going to be sick.”  I’m curious though, are there any human rights directives that apply to a minimal personal space quota on an airplane?

…and if there are, how minimal is that space?

I quite easily found information about transporting livestock (live cows, pig, chickens etc), and their welfare in transit, but couldn’t find any similar enlightenment regarding human airline passengers.

I’m sure there must be a rule or law somewhere, feel free to point me in the right direction.

In the meantime in the ongoing battle for personal inflight space, anti-seat-reclining devices known as knee defenders have been causing controversy (and an actual plane diversion) up in the skies.

Do you have any ‘Invasion of Personal Space on a Plane’ stories you’d like to share?

Honeydew Mazes

Honeydew Mazes is one of Johannesburg’s lesser known attractions.  It’s not well signposted and doesn’t feature heavily in guidebooks.  We joined forces with another family and went to see what it was all about.

From roughly February until June there is a Maize Maze. It’s October, so at the moment the Maize Maze looks like this.


For the rest of the year there is the more permanent ‘Elemental Maze’. Grab a clipboard and pick a team name, (we were the Chocolate Loving Minions), and you’re ready to go and explore.  There are 5 secret gardens to find and in each one there were creatures to spot, quiz questions and riddles to answer and things to identify by scent, sound and touch.


Some of the questions were a little….unexpected.


We found the woodland fairy in one of the gardens. She was pretty creepy.  Dirty faced, she was nailed to the branch through her belly button.

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Apart from the gremlin fairy and the question about gun law, the outing kept two mums sane on an otherwise long and frustrating husband-free never-ending Sunday and five kids (aged 5-12) engaged and occupied.

At the end of the challenge staff check your quiz answers at the snack shack. Regardless of the quality of your answers, the staff will dish out ice-lollies as a reward.

Once you’ve completed the big maze, there is a large open area with picnic tables.  Packing  your own delicious picnic is recommended, as the range as food options at the snack shack are limited. It’s not far to the carpark, so leave your coolbag in your car and fetch it when you’ve completed the maze.

In addition to picnic tables, there are a selection of smaller mazes for children to explore on their own.  There are maths mazes, a rope maze, a circular maze, a hedge maze. It all made a refreshing change from the usual swing-slide-climbing frame combo and kept the kids enthralled for hours.


IMG_1667We had to drag them away at the end of the afternoon.

It’s rustic setting, rather than a slick and Disneyfied one and probably the only niggle is that there are only two loos, one marked with the creepy fairy’s creepy Barbie cousin (for girls) and the other creepy Barbie’s freaky boyfriend Ken (for the boys).   More toilets please Honeydew, or are there some that we didn’t find?

Aside from the lack of loos and trio of creepy dolls the entire day was a huge hit. We’ll absolutely be heading back for another dose of fun when the new Maize Maze has regrown early next year .


For further information, including how to get to Honeydew Amazing Mazes, click HERE. (I’ve added a link to the Facebook page rather than the website, because I’ve had a few problems accessing it.  Perhaps a temporary glitch?)

For an update on Honeydew’s 2016 Maize Maze, click HERE.

Cappadocia, Land of the Beautiful Horses

I’m rewinding the clock today.  Back in 2012 we took a trip to Cappadocia in central Turkey.  It was a no-brainer trip while we were living there.  Secret passages, hidden caves and vats of wine.  There was a lot to like.

Fairy chimneys

Fairy chimneys.

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Sterling Work

South Africa is famous for its gold and platinum mines, for diamonds from Kimberly and Cullinan and also has limited silver mining.  So it’s a great place, to learn more about gems, metals and jewellery.

In previous post, Hot Metal, I wrote about how I took up a shiny new hobby to help fill my time as an expat wife. I started Jewellery School.Geometric chain 1

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Scotland vs South Africa Rugby – Supermarket Special

South Africans are gearing up for their Rugby World Cup match against Scotland today.  Locals are already strutting their stuff in green and gold.  Our son, (who is technically a quarter Scottish and an eighth South African) is firmly routing for the Boks.


Pickle is ready to support ‘his’ team.

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