My vreugdes en frustrasies


I am a 70-something retired bank official and grandmother of one. I grew up in the arid, barren region of Namaqualand, (Northern Cape, South Africa) which is well-known for its springtime flowers after a “good” rainy winter season. My adult life, I spent living and working in large cities.

In January 2015, we (my husband, daughter and myself) moved to the beautiful South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The South Coast is a popular holiday destination and during the holidays, life becomes quite hectic. However, out of season, we live a very quiet life.

We love the laid-back lifestyle, the long stretches of isolated beaches and the wonderful, warm water of the Indian Ocean. We love hiking along the beaches, lingering on the banks of the beautiful rivers and visiting the numerous nature reserves. Whenever possible, we drag along our cameras to capture the beauty of this region.

Some of these photos find their way to this blog Dis Ekke (This Is Me), written in Afrikaans and English. The blog posts represent the rantings and ravings, the joys and blessings of a defiant retiree – Me.

Follow Dis Ekke

Please find information about the coronavirus here SA Coronavirus South African Resource Portal


  1. God help you! Could you maybe get some foster-children? Welcome!

  2. blondieaka

    Love it! HaHa and sounds like my life at times…A great read keep blogging.

  3. Pekebun

    Hi Hester,
    Hoe gaat het met U? Afrikaans is indeed so close to Dutch. Do you live close to Pretoria? I would love to learn more about S.A. as my oma was van Indonesia & she has spoken of cousins in Den Haag en Pretoria. I will visit your blog tomorrow but I just was so intrigued reading some Africaans & understanging some words. 🙂

  4. Comment by post author

    Hi Pekebun, dit gaan baie goed, dankie. Yes Afrikaans is indeed derived from Dutch. The Dutch were the first European trading power to set up a permanent settlement in South Africa (in 1652). It has developed into a beautiful language. You will find quite a number of Afrikaans bloggers on WordPress and I am following their blogs as you will note from my blogroll. I live ±110 kilometers from Pretoria – today 😀 – tomorrow I am moving to KwaZulu Natal, which is on the Soutcoast of South Africa. I love your blog site and will visit often.

  5. Hester,
    Your blog is fascinating. Ik wil probeert jou blog volgen, mischien ik kan mijn Hollands verbeteren 😀

    • Comment by post author


      Baie dankie.

      Goeie idee. Op skool (baie lank gelede) het ons nog Hollandse boeke gelees, maar ek het alles al weer vergeet. Gelukkig kan ons Google Translate gebruik 😀 – Goed idee. Op school (heel lang geleden) hebben we nog Hollandse boeken gelezen, maar ik heb alles al weer vergeten.

  6. Your stress is well-founded, and I don’t know anyone who can’t relate to what you are going through. Thanks so much for following our blog, Oh, the Places We See. Here’s hoping each day can bring you some comfort but also a lot to write about. After all, we all like knowing that we’re not the only ones facing life’s challenges!

  7. Lekker skryf!! Ek verlang na Namakwaland en die Kalahari!! En die Karoo… en baie ander plakke! 😉

  8. Vele dank vir die “volg”… ek hoop daar wag ‘n glimlag of fyf wanneer jy ‘n draai gooi hie by my blog. Ek geniet jou manier van skryf… jy koggel en laat my lag! Dankie.
    NS – My ma se naam was Hester…

  9. Anuscka

    Wat een zwaar leven heb je! En wat schrijf je daar heerlijk over! En die taal… prachtig! Je hebt er een fan bij! 🙂

  10. Thank you so much for following Oh, the Places We See. I’m the one who usually writes the posts, and I, too, and a grandmother of one. I know I’ve spoiled that grandchild, but what else do you do when she’s so cute and the only one! Best wishes for continuing to write and take lovely pictures. I’ll enjoy seeing what you put out.

  11. It has been good to read about you .

  12. Beautiful pictures. I like Genis, cute one. hi-fi fellow banker 🙂 hehe You have a demanding life style, I wonder if I will be able to be as active at 65. Keep it up dear.. by the way what does your name mean?

    • Comment by post author

      Hester is my given name and I believe it is a throwback to the Latin Esther.In true Afrikaans tradition where the eldest daughter is named for her mother, this is just a family name (one that I can trace back seven generations). Ley is my maiden name and Nel my husband’s last name. I love yours by the way – body parts made of gold!

      • hahaha thanks dear.. My name is used to make fun by everyone. Some even want to sell me metaphorically speaking. 😉 In Indian tradition we do not name kids after their paternal/maternal ancestors but it does sound nice way to preserve some culture and be connected to your lineage. Wow, I certainly need to think about this. Thanks for the wonderful explanation dear.

  13. Dear Hester,
    we have an honour to invite to participate in first ETERNAMENTA AWARDS ‘Most Talented Reader’.
    Best Regards,
    More detailed information is here:

    • Comment by post author

      Thank you for the nomination, but mine is an awards free blog and for various reasons I do not deviate from this policy. I am always honored when bloggers express their appreciation fior my writing (or reading, in this case 😀 ) but my real joy comes from receiving comments and likes, and discussing mutual interests.Keep up the good work.

  14. Ein schönes Stück Land auf dieser Erde

  15. Hello. Today I noticed that Your blog is Award-free. Great. I got some awards and told later that no more awards, please.

    Happy Sunday from rainy Helsinki. Matti

  16. Hey Hester,
    Jij hebt zo’n mooie blog en je hebt me reeds zo vaak prachtige commentaren gegeven op verschillende berichten, dat ik jouw blog op een originele en toch eenvoudige manier wereldwijd wil bekend maken.
    Geef gewoon ook eens een reactie op de welkomstpagina van mijn site via deze link
    Meld er een link bij naar Uw blog en allen die op mijn welkomstpagina terechtkomen ( en dat zijn er velen, je zult wel zien) kunnen meteen ook terecht op uw prachtige blog
    Vriendelijke groet en een 💐 als dank

  17. Hey Hester,
    Hoe zit het daar in Zuid-Afrika?
    Wordt er daar nog veel paard gereden?
    Ik heb hier in België mijn liefde voor paarden teruggevonden

  18. Indian Ocean… anders sal mense dink jy bly in die VSA, nie SA nie!! 😉

  19. HI! I found your blog through Colin’s blog and i am glad I did. How nice to live by the ocean, taking walks on the beach, sounds perfect to me! 🙂 The beach is my happy place! Interested to read more of your posts. Have a great day!

    • Comment by post author


      Hi Joy, thank you for dropping by, I am very pleased you did – cyberspace is a wonderful meeting ground. Yes, living by the ocean has been a life long dream and I am still in awe of this beaitiful countryside and the laidback lifestyle. I’ll stop by your blog soonest and look forward to reading your thoughts.

      • HI Hester! Yes, blogging is one wonderful thing about cyberspace. I have loved getting to know people from all over on here.
        Its great that you could fulfill your dream by living by the ocean. My husband and I talk about doing it once he retires. We will see if it happens. 🙂
        Will be great to see you on my blog. I will tell you in advance its a variety! I enjoy writing and the best part is interacting with my readers!

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