I was one of the sneaky ones who worked out that if you took three days off last week you ended up with ten consecutive days of holiday – best planning ever. Tom has been keen to explore Paternoster, so we got some advice from Guy and Claire and ended up booking at their favourite spot – a gorgeous, beach-facing apartment called La Mer.As soon as we arrived, I knew we were in for a treat. The apartment is beautifully decorated and cosy, with the most incredible balcony I’ve ever seen. It overlooks the sea with the view above, and can be open or closed depending on the weather as it has a big glass sliding door. We spent most of the weekend simply sitting in that spot, watching the holidaymakers patter passed, while reading and nibbling bits and pieces in between. Tom bought his camera so spent ages snapping the myriad sunbirds congregating at the bird feeder tucked into the shrubs, while I devoured my book and spied passing dolphins. We tried to get into Gaaitjie and the Noisy Oyster but both were choc-a-block (word of warning – book well in advance!) so we ended up going for fish and chips at Voorstrandt, which specialises in seafood and makes a very tasty fried hake. We also popped into Blikkies for a pizza, and visited the Trading Post where we purchased gorgeous cinnamon-infused honey. The town itself is very cute – it’s small and there’s not much to do, which makes it the ideal place to relax. My favourite shop was Jam and Pantoffels, because ‘pantoffels’ is the sweetest word in the Afrikaans dictionary. From Paternoster, we drove across to Tulbagh to meet Guy and Claire at their family’s holiday house in a private nature reserve. We had a wonderful weekend drinking too much wine, playing board games, braaing and exploring the surrounding areas. We crossed into Wellington for a spot of wine tasting at Val de Charon and had a picnic at Baine’s Kloof pass en route, and we also visited Saronsberg to admire the statues and drink rose in the sunshine after Damian and Thomas joined us. The nature reserve we stayed at is quite small – so small, in fact, that it only supports three animals – a zebra, a buck and a donkey. These three unlikely companions have become a kind of makeshift herd and can be seen everywhere together, walking in their customary line. They came to visit us one afternoon, and I got some lovely close-ups of them, including the perfectly shaped heart on the zebra’s chest.We drove home on Easter Sunday, and I spent the evening with my family, watching Downton’s finale for the fourth time (my mother is obsessed) and eating too many chocolate eggs. It was the most amazing ten days – it ended too all too soon, but I think it did me a world of good to rest for a while.