Showing posts with label 1860; Old house; Free State; Accommodation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1860; Old house; Free State; Accommodation. Show all posts

Friday, 16 February 2018

Travel out of your little corner

Travel is fatal to prejudice, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. 
Wholesome, charitable views of men & things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.


 one in this world is pure and perfect. If you avoid people for their mistakes, you will be alone in this world. So judge less and love more

Till next time 
Hennie & Sandra 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

My Antique Fairy

This post was written by Lieschen Fincham. 
Lieschen is a young and independent woman who loves adventure and art but see herself as stubborn.  
She grew up in Bloemfontein which is the Legislative capital of  South Africa and situated in the Free State. 
Matriculated at Eunice High 
Currently studies at Un iversity of the Free State B.Com (Acc) 

When you grow up in a modern world, the sentiment of antiques sometimes boggles the mind. 
Why would anyone want to keep a broken chair or their great grandmother’s bathing suit? My aunt, the antique lady, made me see the beauty in all of it like she was some kind of fairy. 
To her every piece was unique and had its own story. No longer was the broken chair, just a chair and no longer was the bathing suit just that. It became fairy tales of ancestors I wished I had met, in whom I found some resemblance and some longing too. It became stories of road trips and laughter that you don’t see anymore, in this fast-paced life we live in.
The antiques came alive. They each danced to their own beat and told their own story. No wonder my antique fairy didn’t just place the pieces in some box that took up storage space in an old abandoned room. She took her time to carefully display each piece, like one would a photograph of a happy memory. Just like the photograph, each piece represents a unique person, even if long forgotten by many, the fairy places them where their magic won’t fade and disappear.
If the antiques get a little worn down and tired, she transforms them. Almost like Cinderella was transformed, only this fairy permanently transforms them. She gives them a new purpose and makes them feel brand new, like they have another chance at creating new stories. De Oude Huize is full of both new and old antiques that are eager to tell you their story.
Its easy to write about a place and what it offers, but its quite often forgotten that sometimes it’s the people that make the place so great. The people too often hidden behind the scenes making it great, are the true heart of a place.
I guess in some way my antique fairy could be seen as an antique herself, she’s not old, but she is rare and beautifully crafted. She tells a beautiful story and has a heart of gold to match. De Oude Huize is lucky to have her as its antique fairy, but so am I, to have her as my aunt.

Lots of love to 
De Oude Huize.

Monday, 8 February 2016

The Moods of Platberg

Platberg, is known as the Free State’s own “Table Mountain” and it overlooks
the town, Harrismith.
It literally means the flat-mountain; the 2394m high mountain is a landmark & forms an imposing backdrop to the town.
The surface area covers approximately 3000ha and the slopes are steep with numerous vegetated gullies and boulder green slopes below vertical cliffs that are 20m to 45m high. It is an extension of the eastern foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains.

A photo showing the town situated at the foot of Platberg
Thanks to Hennie for sharing this photo 
Thank you to Biebie de Vos for sharing this photo of Harrismith
at the foot of Platberg 
 Every day Platberg offers us a different view and these photo's were all taken from De Oude Huize Yard 
Miracles happen everyday,
change your perception of what a miracle is
and you'll see them all around you.
- Jon Bon Jovi
The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.
A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being
that places harmony in one's life.
Take time to laugh.
It is the music of the soul.

Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose.
Anything less is a form of slavery.
- Wayne Dyer 
A time for everything: a time to relax and a time to be busy,
a time to frolic and a time to lay up food for the winter,
a time to receive and a time to give,
a time to begin and a time to finish.
A time for work, a time for play -
balance in all things.
- Jonathan Lockwood 
We gather today in gratitude for the bounty of the land,
the joyful company around this table,
and all the other blessings of this life.
Look around for a place to sow a few seeds.
- Henry Van Dyke
Sometimes our light goes out but
is blown into flame by another human being.
Each of us owes deepest thanks
to those who have rekindled this light.
- Albert Schweitzer
We will only understand the miracle of life fully
when we allow the unexpected to happen.
- Paulo Coelho
If you love something, set it free;
if it comes backs it's yours,
if it doesn't, it never was.
- Richard Bach
Life is no brief candle to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch
which I have got a hold of for the moment,
and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.
- George Bernard Shaw
Thank you for taking time to slow down and remember to 

Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever,
even if your whole world seems upset.
- Saint Francis de Sales

Till next time Sandra 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A winter stroll in a public garden

The Deborah Retief Garden is located opposite the Harrismith’s Town Hall.
You can read more about the Town Hall here 

As shared by the hosts of De Oude Huize Yard

The park is named in honour of Afrikaner leader Piet Retief’s daughter, who spent time encamped near Harrismith with other Voortrekkers while her father negotiated with the Zulu king Dingane for land in neighbouring KwaZulu-Natal.
The gazebo in front of the Town Hall 
The garden during a previous decade 

When it use to be in full bloom during Spring and filled with poppies 
You can see the Wisteria in bloom and covering the gazebo 
Details of hardscapes in the garden 

The Old Horse hooks that were in use in the early days of the town 

Details of the cast iron lamp posts in the garden 
Lampposts built using Sandstone 
Details of the water fountain 
The coach and horse tracks in the wet cement 
Then there is the Burger monument erected to commemorate those that perish during the three year Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902 
Burger Monument 


The history of the Burger and the monument
The photo on the page shows the burger that was used as the "model" for the sculptor  

Sunset in Harrismith 

Lots of blessings to you from Harrismith, Free State, South Africa  

Thank you for all the wonderful friends who are sharing this story!!!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

An old fashioned love story

Harrismith is a lovely, pleasant, peaceful town on the Drakensberg escarpment which is the boundary between the Free State and Kwazulu Natal. 

As shared by the hosts of De Oude Huize Yard

It has a fairy tale connection with the Iberian Peninsula, in particular with Spain.

During the Napoleonic Wars Lord Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington was the commander of the British army in Spain and Portugal. His tormenting of and creating unrest in order to wear down the French resistance resulted in numerous bands, both patriotic and essentially lawless, which made life very uncertain for almost all the inhabitants.
A twenty four year old officer in his army was Henry George Wakelyn Smith, better known as Harry or to his troops as Wakalong Smite.
Harry's birthplace 
He attended school at St Mary's
He was the son of a surgeon at a time when British society was rigidly divided in a class system where only those born into the higher classes were considered as "public" and the rest even professional people like surgeons were on a par with tradesmen. Harry was the son of a surgeon and his abilities can be judged by the fact that he was knighted and later became a baronet - a member of the upper echelons of society.
When Harry was seventeen years old he caught the eye of William Stewart who assisted him to join a rifle regiment where he was a second lieutenant  
In January 1807 he was sent to Spain where he learnt Spanish. During battle there the British were victorious but the troops broke into  wine cellars and became a drunken rampaging mob for two days.

It is at this stage that the little fairy of this fairy story enters the picture.
Juanita the little Spanish fairy 
Juanita Maria de los de Lores de Leon was born on the 27th March 1798 into an old Spanish noble family.At the age of fourteen years she was orphaned and her only close family then was a sister. Their home had been ransacked by the pillaging troops at the battle of Badajoz. She and her sister sought sanctuary with the British officers where a brother officer of Harry saw her and became very lyrical about her beauty.Harry, however, captured her heart. She was fourteen years old and he was twenty four years old. Kincaid the officer who was so smitten with her that he said: "being an angel more transcendentally lovely than I have ever seen........her face though not rigidly beautiful was nevertheless so remarkably handsome and so irresistibly attractive look at her was to love her, but I never told my love , and in the meantime another and more impudent fellow stepped in and won her." 

She and Harry were married a few days later, William Stewart, Harry's benefactor gave her away. 
William Stewart
Her family disowned her because she had married out of their faith She abandoned home, country, family and Faith to be with Harry.
She was literally at Harry's side and went with on the campaigns, leading the life of hardship of the army. The troops idolised her. On occasion she slept on a bed of green wheat which had been cut for her and some of the horses would eat her bed.
During battle she was told that Harry had been killed. She ran onto the battlefield looking for him and was then told that he had been wounded but not killed.
Harry and Juana. On the photo Juana was a young women aged 18 
Harry was posted to South Africa on two occasions. 
In 1829 he was Deputy Quartermaster-General at the Cape of Good Hope. 
There they had a peaceful, happy and entertaining life until 1834 when he was transferred.
Rondebosch cottage, ‘Charlie’s Hope’ where they lived in Cape Town 
They returned to the Cape in 1847 where he was the Governor and High Commissioner. This was a troubled time in the Cape Colony and in a battle against the Boers he was wounded. He was relieved in 1852 and they returned to  Britain. He was greeted with much acclaim and he was showered with honours.
Juanita, our little fairy was granted a pension of £500 per annum

Harry had several other posting later.
In spite if his rather extraordinary rise they were not wealthy and struggled to make ends meet.

Harry died on the 12th October 1860 and Juanita his little angel died twelve years later, to the day,
They are buried together at Whittlesey.
They were married for forty years - a marriage which is truly a fairy story marriage

Harrismith is named after Harry Smith and Juana Square after this little fairy tale angel.

Juana Square Harrismith 

Harry Smith 
Lots of blessings to you from Harrismith, Free State, South Africa  

Thank you for all the wonderful friends who are sharing this story!!!

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Treasures in an old country hotel that is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Our town, Harrismith, is filled with history and interesting stories.
This story as told by the hosts of De Oude Huize Yard 
Part 2
Please read Part 1 here

Today we would like take you on a nostalgic trip and pay a visit the the almost part of history
that is almost something of the past.

Mr Annandale had a love for antiques and the beautiful old sideboards was part of his collection.

The first sideboard was originally made in Germany and was brought to South Africa by the Von During Family in the latter part of the 19th century.

Lots of blessing from South Africa