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It’s that time of year again. Hellooooo Knysna!

In this Parenting Life, “July” means several things. School holidays. Flat panic. Winter = entertaining kids indoors. Extra expenses for nannies, camps, holiday care fees, additional extra murals, activities and all-round moaning from children nationwide. It also means a break from packing lunches and lifts (if kids aren’t in holiday school) but for most of us, it doesn’t. Because my office is at home, and I’m mostly away teaching workshops or in meetings and training; child entertainment is KEY. Every year I try find cool things for the boys to do, hire ALL the movies, organize play dates and try get them out the house when I can. Schools close this Friday for us, and I’m pretty darn afraid to be honest.

For the past two years, I’ve been writing about the Knysna Oyster Festival (3 – 12 July). The first year was with one of my (now) besties Keri, and we did we adventure side of things. Think zip lining, township tours, elephant sanctuaries, boat rides in the RAIN and bungee jumping. And also many wine and oyster hangovers which you could pool with ‘adventure’ if you really think about it. Survival skills? It was FUN and crazy. Many an evening wobbling back to our hotel and snuggling at the fireplace with Charlie, Knysna Hollow’s resident cat. I remember the night before our bungee jump, we’d got back to the hotel pretty late from events. We sat on the porch and shared a bottle of wine while calling our dads for pep talks on the big ‘jump’. Sitting in the dark, in the quiet and giggling loudly ’til the late hours with Keri is one of my favourite memories. It really was an epic week!

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The following year I joined the oyster festival as a runner! Total contrast as it meant much less wine, earlier nights and a lot of pressure leading up to race day. Graeme came along for support and I ran my very first half marathon. Honestly, one of my proudest achievements to date. I had never been fitter, healthier or felt stronger. So last year I was there for the sporting side, which was absolutely incredible. The Knysna Hollow Pasta Party is such a vibe! All the athletes go there the night before the race with their families and heap plates of delicious pastas. There’s live music and the bar is crammed with holiday makers and nervous runners! I really enjoyed experiencing the festival from the sporting angle. After I completed the 21km Graeme fed me coke, energade, rehydrate and valoids (so. much. nausea) I had the longest afternoon nap of my life, and had never felt so proud of myself. Ever.

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I have great memories from the Oyster Festival and Knysna Hollow, so this year Graeme and I decided to go again and take the kids! I won’t be writing about the festival this year, so it’s strictly leisure. The festival grounds are flooded with kids and kids activities. Obstacle courses, bouncy castles, cooking, tents, baking, events, shows and not to mention all the family hikes, forest walks, cycle events and dozens of child friendly restaurants along the waterfront. Graeme promised that he’s gonna bungee jump this year too! And we’re taking the boys paragliding. We’re crazy excited.



So this year, we’re doing the July holidays RIGHT. Graeme has taken a few days leave from work, I’ve cleared my schedule and we’re off to the Oyster Festival and Knysna Hollow again! I can’t wait to go back, because every year that I do, I feel so changed. Like re-entering the same lobby as a different person each time. And anyway, their rates are great and Graeme agreed to do the drive, so I am ready to pack and get going. Just two more weeks of school trips, lunch boxes and deadlines to get through. Knysna (home) Hollow, we’ll see you again soon!