Alet Gardner

Alet Gardner

Hi there! I am an South African expat, living in the lovely Kent countryside in the UK.
I love everything meaningful and beautiful - so I try my hand at photography, painting, embroidery, needlework, cooking and writing.

My inspiration for all of this: the people that I love,
and the love that God has for me.

Friday, 27 April 2018 10:21

Flavoursome relationships

During the Easter holiday our family of foodies had a most enjoyable time baking, cooking, and enjoying the results around the dinner table. Whilst my son-in-law tried his hand at baking bread, we chatted away about the wonder of a teaspoonful of yeast cells that would multiply under the right circumstances in order to cause the bread to rise, releasing a wonderful aroma while baking.


On finding that some of the spices in the holiday home had gone a bit stale, I was reminded of Jesus’s warning that we shouldn’t be like salt that has lost its saltiness. Today’s wide variety of table/cooking salt with the different colours and flavours ánd creative names, is a true inspiration to enhance the flavour of the dishes that I prepare. And with the delicate balance of salt, sour, sweet, bitter and the lesser-known umami (pleasant savoury taste) cooking is pure joy and eating an unforgettable experience.


Likewise, I can add flavour to my environment. The good in others can be enhanced merely by my presence – actually by Christ in me, by his peace and caring love.  I simply have to be like a freshly picked bouquet garni, like a jar of the very best spices – giving flavour to my relationships, positively influencing any conversation that I am part of.


Sometimes the simplest meal can turn even an unhappy situation into an unforgettable occasion. Like the packed lunch of bread and fish of a little boy, Jesus can bless and multiply my everyday walk with Him and use it to feed others. I might not even be aware of this happening, only to find a few years down the line that my gracious words towards an erring friend or family member had been the dash of salt or the spoonful of yeast that God had used to bring about dramatic change in this person’s life.  


May the example of God’s saints be blessed among those among whom they live; and may his grace flow from heart to heart, until the little one becomes a thousand.

-       Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 13:39

Red toenails - a perspective

Living abroad, we are from time to time kept in the loop about a friend or family member’s terminal illness via WhatsApp messages. One of the precious messages I received was a picture of the beautiful red toenails of a dear friend in her hospital bed. The nails were done especially for her last Christmas with her family.


Monday, 05 June 2017 10:45

Crisis management - a new way

Like many a South African male, my husband dreamt about having a farm: to be near nature, to be busy with farm animals. What joy when he and a friend were able to buy a piece of farm land, wíth cattle! What glorious activity to herd the cattle into a crush for their necessary inoculations and their regular dip to ward off ticks. Of course, when a cow got into this narrow passage, there was no way she could turn around – there was only one way to go and that was forward, no matter how uncomfortable the experience.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:31


Cecile kom kuier al die pad van Australië af, pragtig, professioneel, pas getroud. En sy moet 'n inspirerende voorskoot kry wat vertel van lekker kos met liefde maak en kosbare uurtjies by kerslig saam met 'n net so kosbare manlief.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:15


Lovely Hèléne Kytides Kabutz had to get a flamboyantly colourful apron symbolizing her passionately loving heart - love for her children, her husband and God ánd for the people around her.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:55

Kittyhawk in the sights

Our hero was raised on a farm and had little training as a soldier seeing that he was an army cook. Thus, within the first few days of being on the battlefront, he noticed a German plane in hot pursuit of an Allied Kittyhawk and grabbed his gun.

Needless to say, his officers were not impressed by his shooting at an enemy plane independently and he was very nearly court martialled. Read BATTLEFRONT COOK IN EGYPT AND ITALY (available as e-book) to see what happened to his gun.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 12:41

Setting up camp in the desert

An important part of warfare in the desert: setting up camp, or rather digging in.

Monday, 06 February 2017 18:06

About designer shoes and Oscars

While on holiday in the lovely Cape, my dear friend Esthie decided to buy me a pair of shoes, to symbolise the beautiful feet …

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 16:30

Battlefront Cook in Egypt and Italy

Like a veritable Indiana Jones, Danie had to be enormously practical and resourceful – as a cook in North African desert field kitchens, in the POW camp kitchens of Benghazi, Sardinia and Italy, as a foraging escapee in the hills of Tuscany, and as a volunteer fighter in the Italian Resistance. He had entered the war with the naive ideal of saving the world from injustice, remained cool and compassionate despite the horrors of war, and finally found that his marriage and family were his most precious possessions, especially being able to enjoy these in times of hard-won peace. Then, more than fifty years later, he had the ultimate experience of being guest of honour at the Castello di Montalto in Tuscany, where he had had to steal or beg for food during the war.

Saturday, 15 October 2016 09:01

Day 3 - Cutie called Trisha

Day 3 and we are visiting our children in sunny South Africa. What other subject to paint than this delightful little girl who came to work with her mother - espcially to meet ugogo (grandmother)