Oh, how nice it is to be young again. Even it is just for a day or so!
Walking up the road towards the castle is always something you dream about. You see pictures of it, and can imagine what it must be like, but to actually walk up to it was amazing.
Just to think that you could bump into Mickey or Donald or Goofy or Pluto made me feel like a little kid again. I couldn't wait to see one of them and didn't know where to look first.
We were in Disneyland, Paris.
Tony, Catherine, Jesse and Caitlyn invited us to come along and spend the weekend with them there.
Now, it has always been a secret desire of mine to one day meet up with Goofy.
As far as I can remember (and now I go back many moons) I always felt drawn to Goofy more so than to Donald and Minnie. You know how it is as a little boy or girl to fantasize and live yourself totally into the stories that you read or those that get read to you.
Even just looking at the pictures used to be a treat.
I don't even know what the kids of today do but I guess it is not like in our days where you just had
to have your Donald Duck comic book every week.
We used to swop them with friends and guarded them like gold.
I guess today it is Spiderman and such or, perhaps the Playstations have taken over from the wonders of the fairytales and innocent comics.
What became immediately apparent as we walked around was the generation gap.
Where June and I were looking for Donald and Minnie and Goofy and Pluto, the kids were running around admiring exhibits such as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and going on real flight simulators (Jesse and Tony's forte).
But when we watched the Grand Parade there were very few ohs' and ahs' when Pinocchio and Geppetto and Lucky Luke and Dumbo, the flying elephant came walking/dancing about.
The Lion King and Cinderella were among the better known ones by the kids.
The Castle is of course one of the main attractions. The centre piece of the whole place!
When I saw the Castle I could only but admire Walt Disney for his incredible insight in using Neuschwanstein
, in the South of Germany (the castle he modeled his on), as a model for his
It really looks like it (click on the pic).
Neuschwanstein is the ultimate Fairytale Castle, although no royalty ever lived there. It is in southwest Bavaria, in Germany, somewhere near the Austrian border and it literally means "New Swan Rock" in German.
It was started by King Ludwig II and was still under construction when he drowned himself in a lake in 1886. Just weeks later, on August 1, 1886 the castle was opened to the public.
But, I digress.
They say that Disneyland is for anyone from 9 to 90 years and that is so true. It brought back many memories and even a tear to the eye to see everything that you, as a child, always admired and felt very close to, now in "real life".
The floats, the dresses and the way they made people look like the real thing was absolutely amazing. There they were, walking and dancing right in front of you all along the roads and the squares. And then to think that Disneyland in Florida is five times as big and opulent.
We could not possibly see everything in Paris in the short time we were there so how long would one need in Florida?
But what we did manage to see was amazing.
The most special moments were when I saw the look on little Caitlyn's face wherever we went but especially in the haunted house. Have a look at her here.
Doesn't she look gorgeous?
That makes me want to be little again. Can't someone please turn back the clock for me … pretty please?
If you ever have the chance to go to Disneyland, don't even think twice but just go.
When we left June, Jesse and I went for a quick look at the Disney film studio section.
We did not have much time left because the park was closing for the evening.
And, lo and behold, there was Goofy in all his glory!
And he even put his arm around me and that made my
And so it is autumn again.
The whole world is changing and the days are getting shorter and shorter. It is beautiful outside with the sun shining on the ever changing colours of the leaves falling down from the trees.
The reds and the yellows, the browns and the purples.
Walking around in the forest it is as if you were treading on a delicately knotted Persian carpet. You are almost too scared to disturb the incredibly delicate pattern of colours.
It is like going outside after a heavy overnight snowfall. You just don't want to disturb the absolute beauty of what lies in front of you.
Driving along the roads is breathtaking and you have to take care not to take your eyes of the road. I can't help stopping every now and then and just take it all in. We rush around so much in our loives that most of the time we don't even take the time to stand still for a moment and enjoy these little moments.
Out in the front garden whole families of toadstools are jumping up overnight in the most amazing of colours. Out at the back the squirrels are gathering their nuts for the winter. We keep them well supplied.
I often say that the only thing we miss about South Africa is the weather.
But then, when I see the beauty of the different seasons all around me over here I am glad, and very happy that I am able to experience this, year in and year out.
Coming home and having a nice drink in front of a roaring open fire while watching nature playing its games outside will always be one of my
It has been quite a while since our last newsletter and there are no excuses apart from the fact that things have been hectic, to say the least.
Apart from running the web site and the on-line store for Biltongmakers.Com we have been very busy with the actual manufacture and sales of our boerewors, biltong and droëwors.
Strangely enough the South Africans in Belgium are by far the smallest part of our market. It is the South African clubs and expats in the rest of Europe and especially in Germany, France (the South!) and the UK where most of our products are going.
Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece are also very popular destinations.
It is hard work though and I sometimes wish I had the staff I had back in South Africa to help with all the donkey work.
But, we are here and one has to adapt.
We are now nearing the quieter time of the year for the fresh products so we can take a breather and concentrate a bit more on Biltongmakers and the newsletter perhaps!!
So, here we are with a brandnew newsletter. I must thank all of those who have contributed. It makes it so much easier and such a lot of fun to put it all together.
Until the next time,