2019 is already quarter of the way through, and our feet have yet to touch the ground, as we enter an exciting new era in our lives. WE HAVE MOVED!
After many decades in Port Elizabeth, we have finally fulfilled a long held dream of relocating to the Karoo, once Max retired. During our fairly extensive travels around the country, looking at so many places as potential retreats from the increasing madness of city life, one place has consistently stood out since the first time we saw it in 2005. We entered Prince Albert on our way to visit the flowers of Namaqualnd for the first time, on a freezing cold August evening, and the very first building we saw, opposite the historic old Mill, was a restaurant. We asked the young man on the veranda if he knew of somewhere we could stay for the night, and he directed us to Miller’s House, where we spent a wonderful cosy night. Next day we headed off to continue our floral quest, but from that night on, the adorable hamlet of Prince Albert has been embedded in our hearts, and we never missed an excuse, in the intervening years, to add it to any trip remotely in the right direction. In fact, the town was a rich source of windmill photos for The Climax Collection books.
We knew, however, that it was probably out of our league, financially, to ever buy a home there, as prices were seriously higher than those in Port Elizabeth. Roll on 2018, and two marvelous opportunities to exhibit Sue’s art at the Prince Albert Open Studios, hosted by the delightful Casa Milorca, a guesthouse owned by friends of ours. We were also offered accomodation in between these events, and finally had time to properly explore the town, get to know locals, and dream of living the longed-for country life.
Then, in one of those turns of fate that happens so swiftly and seamlessly that you just know it is meant to be, we spotted a For Sale sign on that very first building we ever saw, the old Millers Restaurant.
It had been standing abandoned for several years, and was in a sad state. There had been a fire, and one of the rooms was burned out. For most normal people, this would be a red flag, but for us it shrieked of golden opportunity. Just MAYBE, we could put in a cheeky enough offer to afford the place, and the renovation/conversion into a home.
The rest is history…. our offer was accepted, and the very first people who viewed our Port Elizabeth home put in an offer the same day, at the full asking price… we were good to go! So 2019 has opened with a flurry of packing, moving and renovating on a shoe-string budget, requiring loads of work and creative flexibility. Unfortunately, that means we have had less time to spend on our publishing business, but it is a temporary situation, and we will be back in full force shortly, with a delightful new HQ!
The other big change that has happened recently is that the famous Koos, Max’s 4×4 who has taken us on so many adventures to so many awesome places in the last few years, (see Travels/troubles with Koos under Print Books) has been sold, and moved on to a new home. We needed to consolidate our retirement finances, and running a thirsty and expensive old vehicle was not part of the plans… enter Nellie, our cute new Nissan bakkie, who will hopefully be a participant in many new explorations.
So 2019 has got off to a cracking start, and we hope to share many more of our photos, writings and adventures with you over the coming years!