In total Flat Susan will visit and stay with 36 people before she returns home. Yes, thirty six! That's a lot of travelling for such a tiny person. If you are new to this blog perhaps you should scroll to the very first post so you know more about who she is and what is happening with her. You are welcome to take the button on the right to display on your own blog and we hope you will visit the blogs of the people she has been staying with and leave a kind comment after your reading.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Flat Susan Leaves South Africa

Was a sad goodbye indeed, funny how a little flat doll can get in your heart!  She was such fun to take places and entertain, sadly just over a week flew by and I have had to pass her on so she can continue on her world travels.  This was mailed off last week Wednesday (that was the intention, but it was really Thursday as life happened!) so she should be almost home by now...

I made my tag for her next hostess and here she is sitting next to it.  I took inspiration from Tim's July tag but made it South African in nature.

Below you can see how she travels in style with all her kit and very clear instructions.

When I went to the post office, I asked for pretty stamps cos the lady inside would appreciate it...this is what they gave me...I think they are fabulous.  The flying pig is a G45 stamp which they thought was hilarious, but added their airmail sticker, just in case the message was not clear enough!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Bella is Busy Making Flat Susan a House

I could not let Flat Susan go without making her a house...cos every doll should have one!  I recently purchased this die that makes a 3D bird house and thought it was just the right size for Susan!  She even got a matching chandelier for her chair and so she thinks she is really in vogue!

I have all the post cards of where she has been ready to go in her envelope and will be sending all her collected paraphernalia with her (chair and house) me a girl who does not go back home without over-weight baggage after a long trip to another country.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Flat Susan Gets Ready to Leave South Africa

Tried to make this photo more to scale...
I have been hosting Flat Susan for the past week and what a pleasant guest she has been!  I have tried to show her the more interesting parts of my city in my previous posts and thought I would leave you with a map of Africa so you could picture where she has been.
Cape Town is right at the southern most tip of Africa at the join between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.  So depending on the weather, you can quite literally go to one side of our city or the other for warmer or cooler sea to swim in and believe me, there is quite a temperature difference!

Bang in the middle (well not quite, but it does divide the CBD from the rest) of our city is a great big rock known as Table Mountain, because from its front side it looks completely flat.  This I can tell you is an optical illusion as I have climbed this mountain and walked along its is by no means flat!  Here is a view of the city taken from above of Robben Island where
Madiba (Mr Mandela who is currently not well and about to celebrate his 95th Birthday on Thursday) was incarcerated for many years!
Below is a photo of Cape Point.  I have been here in a helicopter and it is truly magnificent, but my photo was not as clear as this one.
On the left is the Atlantic (cold) Ocean and the right the Indian (warm) Ocean and this is Cape Point.   Not quite the most Southern tip of Africa, that is Cape Agulhas a 2 hour drive from here where they claim the sea changes, but my toes tell me a different story!   If you look at the top right hand mountain in the far distance, that is the "back" of Table Mountain and where Flat Susan has been residing.

She is getting ready to wing her way back to Neet who will send her on to her next hostess.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Flat Susan Goes to Table View with Bella

Here we have FS on her throne...a somewhat doctored photo as she would not stay in focus to get the shot I wanted of the famous Table Mountain in the background!  This is a 30 minute drive from the other side of this mountain where I live in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.

Yes, this is WINTER, well not all the time!  They are predicting rain for the next 3 days so I was glad to get out and about to let my little guest stretch her legs.  My son who is 8, thinks I have quite lost the plot,taking a little plastic doll on a jaunt around my city, stopping to take photos at will, having conversations with her about sitting still and staying in focus etc, etc and then carrying on to our destination as though nothing unusual has happened...This is such fun!

I even did a panoramic shot to give you the perspective of how little FS must feel! 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Flat Susan goes to Kirstenbosch with Bella

Here is Flat Susan's first outing with Bella

Today I took Flat Susan (a small lady on a tour of the world in a suitcase the size of a matchbox in an read more on her her name)  on an outing to Kirstenbosch, one of our National Botanical Gardens.  The kids love it here no matter what the season, so while I was entertaining Flat Susan and showing her our beautiful flowers and the giant statues that adorn the place, the boys went off to catch tadpoles in the mountain water streams.
Yes, this is Winter in Cape Town!  Chilly, but beautiful!

The top photo is FS (for short) with me at the entrance with one of the Dylan Lewis sculptures with the gardens behind me and the photo below shows the famous "Castle Rock"  through another one of Dylan Lewises sculptures.
 FS was finding the flowers just the right size for her to really enjoy.  Here she is on one of our early spring daisies that come up like carpets in September and make the landscape look like it is covered in snow!

Above FS poses on the shoulder of one of the Mambo Sculptures which is a permanent but ever changing exhibition of African sculptures 
Above: This is locally known as the Bird of Paradise flower or Stralitzia. 
This is a "bath" (though no one can use it) up in the Dell which is the start of a pure, clear, clean, drinkable natural spring and flows down the hill into a pond.  The technical explanation is in the photo below.
 Below is a beautiful Yellow Wood tree with the most amazing trunk.  FS is in the hollow about half way up, to the left of the name tag... hard to spot, but she is there...
 Below is a display showing all the flowers in bloom currently in the garden, though being winter these are few and far between...I did not see many of these on our travels from stream to stream to hunt for taddies...
So that was FS's first outing with me, on Friday she goes to Table View to get a look at our famous Table Mountain across the sea, and maybe even Robben Island where Mandela was incarcerated.  All of this is weather depending of course!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Flat Susan Arrives in Cape Town, South Africa

Flat Susan has arrived on the next leg of her journey to stay with Bella.
Flat Susan arrived this morning on my desk in Cape Town, South
Africa, in her perfectly crafted suitcase, together with passport and first aid kit (for emergencies you know...)
As you can see she was exhausted from her journey from Scotland and was resting in her "bed".  I have however made her a chair for my desk, which I have placed on a "pedestal" with her name on so she is easy to spot for Wednesdays post of WOYWW and so she has a good view of the goings on on my desk which has a serious case of "shove out the way" clean up status below!

As a good host, I will be taking her out and about in my city to show her around some of the most beautiful vistas in the world (that's my opinion any way)  I leave you to be the judge of that later!

Please join me over the next week to see what Flat Susan gets up to...

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Last Days of Flat Susan's Scottish Sojourn with Elizabeth

This should have been posted already but life and the fantastic weather got in the way, but I'm here now to right the wrong. What follows is a mainly photographic record of Flat Susan's last few days on her jollies in the Highlands of Scotland.
These photos were taken on an afternoon when we went dolphin spotting on the Black Isle at the very popular Chanonry Point. The lighthouse you can see there is now a private home but it is possible to walk in a complete circle around it. We did spot dolphins leaping about in the firth but I wasn't quick enough to snap them in action, however Flat Susan was delighted to catch a glimpse of them.
The following day we all went on a wee road trip across the mountains, from the east coast to the west, to Ullapool passing grand scenery on the way. There are three dams on this road but the Glascarnoch Dam, near the Aultguish Inn, is the most striking. It was June but we could still see pockets of snow on the mountains as we drove through.
One of the most striking sights was the inaptly named Corrieshalloch Gorge, Ugly Hollow in English ... far from being ugly it is quite stunning. Corrieshalloch is a box-canyon, cut some  2.6 million years ago by Ice Age glacial meltwater. The River Droma runs through the gorge, dropping 100 metres in just 1.25 km, in a series of waterfalls, including the thunderous 45 m high Falls of Measach - very dramatic. For the bravehearts among us there is a suspension bridge near the falls which was built by John Fowler (1817-98), joint designer of the Forth Railway Bridge - so it should be safe!
Ullapool is a picturesque village located on the edge of Lochbroom and is surrounded by beautiful mountains. We were, unfortunately, too late to take a boat trip from the little harbour out to the romantically named Summer Isles where it is possible to spot seals and porpoises in the sea around. We did, however, discover a pub near the harbour serving the best fish and chips ever and a well stocked bookshop directly opposite ... Ullapool hosts a book festival annually. I can't think of a more romantic or prettier setting for the event. Sadly we were not there long enough to do much more exploring but hope to return on day ... maybe for next year's book festival :)
The final day of Flat Susan's visit found us on a serious mission to find the Loch Ness Monster. First we stopped of at the Loch Ness Monster Exhibition & Centre at Drumnadrochit, where, much to Flat Susan's amusement, we came upon what must be the original yellow submarine :) Inside we were taken through a series of entertaining shows featuring lasers, digital projections, and special effects. There was plenty of monsters on sale in the shop but we still hadn't spotted the real Nessie.
From Drumnadrochit we drove north along the shores of Loch Ness to visit Abriachan Gardens and enjoyed an hour or so strolling through, and climbing, this hillside garden. Flat Susan loves flowers. Here's just a tiny selection of what we found in bloom in June.

For the Poppy lovers among us.

And for the Columbine/Aquilegia lovers
And more Hostas showing no signs of slug damage
 ... apparently the bird population provide more than adequate slug control!
The Rowan Tree, aka the Mountain Ash, is associated with witches here in Scotland. Folklore has it that if you plant a tree near your house it will protect you from witchcraft and enchantment. Flat Susan was totally enchanted with the sign beside this old tree :)

That evening, Flat Susan took her final stroll through the grounds surrounding the holiday cottage ...

... down to the bluebell glade ..

... then down the road to the bridge over the River Beauly to see the Kilmorack Damonce more and for a last sight of the 'lupin island' ...
... as usual there was one lone angler out in the river, no doubt hoping to catch a salmon.
The following day it was time to for us to be on our way home, whilst Flat Susan went on her way to South Africa to continue her amazing trip. I'm sure you are all wondering if she ever did catch sight of Nessie out there on the very placid waters of Loch Ness. Well, no, Nessie was never spotted in the waters of the loch but up in the hills, sheltering from all the Nessie spotters ...

 Bon Voyage, Flat Susan, safe journey and have a wonderful time wherever your trip takes you.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Flat Susan Travels Up Country to Strathpeffer

Hello Everyone
One of the highlights of Flat Susan's adventures in Scottish Highlands was this trip toStrathpeffer, a village and spa town in the Ross and Cromarty region.
Although there is no longer a rail service to Strathpeffer (the branch closed in 1946), the charming old station is still well used as it contains a number of shops, for crafts and second-hand books, and an excellent coffee shop that serves delicious soups, light meals and home bakes.

The Victorian architecture is stunning and what was the line has now been planted up with roses and hostas. Impressively, there is no evidence of slug damage at all to those hostas, but then the many busy birds that inhabit the nearby trees probably provide all the pest control needed. They also take advantage of the fall out of crumbs from coffee shop customers seated at the tables on the platform. Here's a cheeky wee robin using the sign as a lookout point :)

A project is under way by the Strathpeffer Spa Railway Association to restore some of the track, buy an engine and run a short heritage line. Whilst this would undoubtedly be good for the village, encouraging even more visitors, I can't help thinking it would be such a shame to pull up those fabulous hostas.

Flat Susan got very excited on discovering that the Highland Museum of Childhood is also located at the station. Being a bit of a doll herself, she was delighted to be able to see the Angela Kellie Doll Collection - over 300 of them in fact. The big kid in me enjoyed being reminded of the toys and dolls I played with too many years ago to number!

Just outside the museum was this Rowan Tree in full bloom. There was a heavy sweet perfume coming from it ... the local bumble bee population clearly thought it was heavenly because the tree seemed to hum with their pleasure as they buzzed from flower to flower. Hope you can spot the bee in the lower photograph.

Strathpeffer has a pretty little village square with a few shops, some sheltered by a very pretty Victorian canopy. Nearby is this bicycle shop, the name of which seems to be a contradiction in terms! Alan was fair taken with the penny-farthing ... he would have taken it home if it had been for sale :)

Although the main Pump Room was demolished in the 1950s, the Upper Pump Room still exists and now houses displays showing the history behind the development of the Spa and visitors can, if they want, sample the healing waters. This representation of a lady being lowered into a mud bath is the display that most amused Alan ... he suspects I was the model!?!?

On the approach to Strathpeffer we spotted this stunning display of oriental poppies ... we just had to stop the car and take these shots ... they make a fabulous welcome to the village.

We had a wonderful day at Strathpeffer and would happily return there in the future, perhaps making it our base for another holiday. Flat Susan certainly enjoyed her day there.