Friday, March 16, 2018

Silence is more appealing

6:45 am with all my family - I was so excited to have everyone swim with me! This view is... bliss! 

I decided to take my brother the "sage" ( the wise one) advise and only ask Anthony the water temperature after I have swum! I really want to focus on the joy of swimming and the beauty of the sunrise.  ( 15.9 degrees) Yay ... warmer than yesterday :-))

Soaking in the first rays of the sun...

In such a high pressure lifestyle that we all lead, you may think you thrive on stress and speed. However, when you pull back, you will come to appreciate silence and solitude. 

You will lose the guilt about sitting still and discover that it is possible and rewarding to do less and be more. 

This is happiness ... all together in my very happy place! 

What are you doing everyday, to stop and just  be ....still? 

Happy Friday 

Shirley xx 

Thursday, March 15, 2018


" Consistency beats intensity. Consistency beats volume. Consistency beats passion. Consistency dictates results. Consistency is what defines character." Rich Roll  

I just love this quote!  I listen to Rich Roll Podcast podcast every week. He is a athlete, author  and motivational speaker who now has a very successful podcast. He interviews a wide range of people on a variety of topics. I find the topics relevant to my life right now and sometimes challenging but always very interesting. You should check him out.

So today it looked and felt like winter in Cape Town. The tide was again at its lowest and the water temperature was a low of 15.2 degrees!  ( Anthony has a digital  temperature gauge and he updates us every morning when I arrive at the pool) 

They have cleaned and scrubbed all the slippery algae off the sides and big rocks and then limewashed it. No more slipping and sliding! 

I have been swimming in this beautiful pool for 3 months now! This is the coldest water I have ever swum in!! My springsuit might need to be upgraded to a full wetsuit in winter. :-))

So for the first time in my life I'm realising the importance of a daily morning routine. I have started to cultivate this morning routine everyday and it really has been life changing for me!

I have always enjoyed exercise. Fanataticism is unsustainable. In other words it is not about the epic workout. Instead its about what you do daily. It's those small actions undertaken regularly that dictate not just what you can achieve, but who you are as a human.

I would never have guessed that for me it would be swimming - every morning at sunrise with my girls and the new friends I have made!

I am truly grateful...

Do you have a morning routine? Has it changed or shaped your life?

Happy Thursday!

Shirley xx

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Dolphin show!

This morning as I arrived at Dalebrook there were little  swiss rolls, cupcakes and an array of sugary cakes. It was one of the ladies birthdays so she brought treats for everyone to share! Cakes and a swim - now that's the way to start the day!!

7:01 am sunrise and Anthony ( he takes the temperature of the water every morning) told us it was a warm 17 degrees! :-)) 

A we were swimming we looked out into the ocean we saw hundreds of dolphins swimming, jumping and leaping out the water! We  stopped and watched the amazing - DOLPHIN SHOW!! So beautiful!  

Every 2 weeks the men arrive to clean and scrub all the algae ( which becomes very slippery and dangerous to walk on ) off the side walls and steps going down into the pool. 

This pool is more than a place I come to swim - it is my therapy. I have always known the sea and the beach is "my very happy place". It is the place that brings me the most joy and happiness. 
I am not the greatest swimmer, actually I have never been able to swim very well. But I love being in the water! It is the most wonderful exercise to start my day.... what can you do today to have some fun? 

" Nobody looks stupid when they are having fun." Amy Poehler 

Happy Wednesday! 

Shirley xx 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Be in your body with joy!

Last nights sunset was so magical! Kommetjie beach is a 5 minute drive from our house and it is a beautiful beach to have a long walk at the end of the day. 

It was one of those days in Cape Town yesterday with not a breath of wind and the colours in the sky as the sun set was breathtaking...

 This morning, the sunrise  at Dalebrook pool at 6:45 a.m

.  The air was warm and you can see and feel the change in seasons. Its still low tide and the water is so clear. 

In 3 months of swimming here everyday I have met so many lovely friendly "early bird" swimmers. We all chat and laugh and swim together and although I don't swim many laps ( some of the grannies and grandpas do MANY laps  - amazing) I have found for me at this time in my life I just need to swim with JOY! To "Be in your body with joy! " my favourite quote from my friend Miranda. 

There is "yoga " man who does his stretches as the sunrises then jumps in for a swim. Then there is "shark" man or as he likes to be called the  "shark whisperer " ! :-)) He has been finding the shyshark who has been in the pool for a few days for us and tracking its movements.... 

There is a lovely couple who  have been coming to the pool to swim for 7 years and swim all year round! They take the temperature of the water everyday ... 17.6 degrees today! Warmer ... as last week it was down to 16 and 15.8 degrees! It was soo cold last week. 

They swim all the way through the Cape Town winters! ( I'm going to wear a wetsuit!!)  

Exercise and being out in nature are the most wonderful gifts we can give ourselves! 

I hope you find the time today to "Be in your body with joy!" Find time to move your body - mindlessly. Now try this - everyday - and you will see your life change,,, 

Happy Tuesday 

Shirley xx 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dalebrook Pool... my very happy place!

This is "my" pool and my very happy place. 

I have been waking up very early ...before the sunrise! This is so unlike me. I have been as Gretchen Rubin the author of Better Than Before explains... I have always been an "Owl" My favorite time of day has always been the evenings. 

However since mid January my daughters encouraged me to get up early and take them to this pool for a dip before the school run. I never swim in Cape Town water...its just tooo cold for me!( Im a Durban girl)  But the one morning it was just so incredibly beautiful - that I decided I' m going to swim with them. 

Well 3 months later I am still swimming - every morning! I am totally addicted to my "new" morning routine and life! 

This morning we arrived at 6:40 am to a calm, beautiful sunrise. The tide was at its lowest (6:35am) and the water is absolutely clear and calm. 

This morning one of our friends who also swims every morning spotted a small Puffadder  shyshark. We could  all  clearly see it at the bottom of the pool. 

This little shark is also known as happy Eddie and is a species of catshark. This is a common shark and typically reaches 60cm in length. When threatened, the puffadder shyshark curls into a circle with its tail covering its eyes, giving rise to the local names "shyshark" and "doughnut". 
Thankfully it is harmless to humans. 

There are lots of other little fish in the pool and a beautiful big Cormorant was swimming and then sunning/ drying off his wings on the rocks close by. 

Quote to Ponder: 

Lifestyle change requires focus and effort; it can only work if its constant and intensive and results in habit formation. 

Have a happy Monday! 

Shirley xx 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Swimming and my Blooming Business!

Wow! SO much has happened since I last posted.

This is the exciting story so far...

I made a jug during the school holidays and because my passion is birds and flowers I put a little Gorgeous Bushrike on the top (in sculptural form) and in detail on the front.

After the final glaze firing, I posted a picture on Instagram and my personal Facebook page. From that one vintage jug - I got so many orders that it has turned into a little business!

I am so excited to share my journey on my blog!

I have added many more pieces to my range and created a website. You can go take a look at my work at

I have posted all over South Africa and to Australia and France! So exciting! I have just got an order from a friend in Spain.

I want to blog my progress to share my love and passion for birds and flowers and also the slow but wonderful craft of clay and handmade and handpainted.

My pictures and thoughts will also be of my daily life as I swim everyday in a beautiful Tidal Pool just 15 minutes from my house.

I am also  a full time Mom to two teenage girls which is wonderful but it can be very overwhelming and stressful at times.

I hope you enjoy coming on this journey with me as I share my thoughts and pictures of life as a Mom and potter.

Please comment and share your thoughts about motherhood, creativity for the soul or even just to say "Hi"

This is Dalebrook pool - where I go every morning to swim! It ismy "happy place" and absolute  bliss!! 

My work and some of my orders ready to "fly " to their new homes! 

These are my little bowls with pressed ferns and local fynbos from Cape Town, South Africa 

I use the Roberts bird book to get accurate detail and colours when painting the birds. 

The Gorgeous Bushrike and King Protea Butter Dish 

One of my favourite orders for a customer is this Kingfisher jug. 
It is the beautiful blue Malachite Kingfisher and the stunning Pied Kingfisher 

Have a wonderful day! 

Shirley xx 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

New Website

I'm so excited to announce that I have taken the leap and now have my very own website!

This means that you can now view all my work on one place and order from the site too.

I have been blown away by the response and love for my work and I am now so busy with lots of orders!

Thank you to all my lovely customers and family and friends who have invested in ordering my work.

I would love you to take a look and you can place an order from my website by emailing me

Shirley xx