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Friendships form us, for better or worse. As a writer, I’ll include in the backstory of a character every friend they had and the changes they wrought.

Though I prefer my own company and that of my characters and Rottweilers, I do go out from time-to-time. Usually with my Red Hat friends. Yes, I’m part of the Red Hat Society and get to dress up every once in a while.

Every year a group of us go to the race tracks all dressed up. Who doesn’t like horses and good food?

Let’s start with September, shall we? We went to the Nan Hua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit.

We had a guided tour of the temple and had a vegetarian lunch. (Everyone complained about the lack of meat, except this vegetarian.)

We found out which animal we are according to our birth year.

I’m a dragon.

As for personality…

Among Chinese zodiac animals, the Dragon is the sole imaginary animal. The Dragon is the most vital and powerful beast in the Chinese zodiac, although with an infamous reputation for being a hothead and possessing a sharp tongue. In ancient times, people thought that Dragons could control everything in the world with their character traits of dominance and ambition.

Gifted with innate courage, tenacity and intelligence, dragons are enthusiastic and confident. They are not afraid of challenges, and willing to take risks.

However, the dragon is sometimes regarded as aggressive, and angry dragons are not open to criticism. They don’t consider themselves irritating and arrogant. Instead of following tradition, they strive for a smooth future.


Awesome, right?

This, of course, was a great way to get to know more about a different culture and religion. I did have an idea (or two) for stories, but I’d rather not use a living religion in my writing – I don’t want to offend those who practice it. Even if the story was something between Disney’s Mulan and Night at the Museum

In November we had an awesome lunch at Ora Bella in their spectacular cellar.

I felt like I was in my own version of Beauty and the Beast with the gleaming candelabras.

It was our yearend function and had to be a little over-the-top – we’re the Red Hat Society, after all.

We had a fashion show to see who would win the prize for the best dressed.

Totally overdressed and loving it.

We had a murder mystery (written by moi) to see who had done in Becky Sweets, Red Hat Sleuth. We had several sumptuous courses – I took photos and posted them on our WhatsApp group to show to those who’d declined my invitation for lunch and a murder mystery.

January was the Queen’s Tea.

We had breakfast and crowned our new queen.

We also got commemorative glasses for the occasion.

It was good to get out of my own head for a change. Hanging out with friends took my mind off my loss.

Dressing up is always a bonus, of course.

Check out the lavender.

And in March (just yesterday BTW), we went for a stroll in the Pretoria Botanical Gardens.

Do you like my Minions hat?

And we had lunch next to a waterfall. (Well, it was almost next to it…)

I even saw a unicorn…

This might even be the year of fitness for this Pink Hatter.

“Chains do not hold a [friendship] together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.” – Simone Signoret

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my life. I even wrote a story about Red Hat friends going on a tripWhat are your friendships like? Do you like to dress up? As a writer, how do you use friendships for your characters?

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