Nina’s cute smile persuaded the airline official from checking in her several pieces of hand luggage – she packed for every and any season and situation from Heidi to heels to Frozen DVD, cupcake wrappers and a whisk, for our little beach break. The heels and princess outfit were not very beach friendly, but she surely arrived in style on the beach with tiara and towel. We stayed at the best hotel in Durban called Granny Janine’s (my mom’s house).The weather was beautiful and the three of us had a whale of a time. Oupa was away on his annual fishing trip. When we were not on the beach eating ice cream, we were hanging with Teneal, Nina’s sweet cousin. I had the best ever Indian food and we ate on an actual “pirate ship”. The silly but clever monkeys had a party in our room when we forgot to close the sliding door, they stole our tub of roasted nuts! I thought it would be really cute to get a picture of Nina holding our lunch-fish on the beach. I bought a kilogram of sweets and an ice cream as part of the shoot negotiation, packed a cooler box with ice and off we went. I got the strangest looks from our neighbouring beach family as I pulled out the fish and directed Nina, who was already eating the sweets. “Oh mommy, I just can’t hold it, the eye is looking at me and it is stinky.” She was not having it and the other family was fascinated by us and my pleadings, I got a “How dare you?” look from the mom who clearly did not realise that it was about art. After further negotiations and me having to go wash the “stinky” off in the sea, she agreed to hold it in her net. I can already see her memoirs one day, entitled : ” The things my mom asked me to do for a photo.” I think I shot 3 frames and our lunch went back into the ice cooler. We visited mini-town which Nina really enjoyed, my mom took me there when I was Nina’s age. The beach however remained the highlight of our stay, with Nina’s favourite game -Follow the leader and her sound effects, over the rocks, into the sea, round and round. Thanks Granny for the coffee in bed and the many doughnuts and for having cash when I only had a credit card, but most of all for your welcoming, gracious and loving heart. When we were on the plane heading back, Nina said- I miss Granny! X I do too, it sure is nice to have a granny by the sea.