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When dream visions become real

Updated on February 11, 2016
Nadine May profile image

Nadine’s research for her visionary fiction novel series about the awakening of consciousness has led her to insights that she shares here.

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Futuristic dreaming – is that possible?

During those years that I had dreams about the two mountains ending up in the sea, I lived in the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. There are no mountains anywhere so I disregarded these recurring dreams.

In 2001 when I moved to Cape Town to join Robin in his publishing company, I had forgotten about those dreams. His home was in the center of the city near table mountain. It was only a few years later, when we went on a sightseeing tour around the peninsula, that I remembered my dreams. From then on we would take trips over weekends to look for property with the views I had seen in my dreams.

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December 2005

It was our estate agent that knew of a property that had the views I described to her one day, after she had taken us around properties. I had never heard of Clovelly, but when we saw the house and looked out of one of the windows I experienced a strong Déja Vu. We made an offer and sold the house in the city for the right price to buy the house with the views of my dream. For us it seemed like a bargain at the time.

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Have you ever purchased a home purely for its views or position?

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We bought the house purely for its views

Our new home needed major renovations, because it was not in a good shape. It had been a rented property for years and therefore was much neglected. The road was broken up due to new electricity cables that were being installed. The price we paid for a sea view property was still a bargain, but we needed to renovate it so we would be able to run our business from home. The house had great potential, but we started inside with an office for our publishing company, the reception room would come later.

Before we moved in I started to play with the photos I took from every spot inside and outside, and manipulated them in Photoshop. We moved in December 2005 just before Christmas

In the New Year we consulted with several draftsmen showing them what we had in mind, and if it was feasible. (Architects were far too expensive).

Giving an artist's impression of our ideas was helpful. Our garage with an extra room extension would become our reception room with its own entrance. Our new garage would support the deck all along the front of the property. My intent was to make a roof garden on the top, but I kept that to myself at this time.

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Renovation plans for the rest of the property

Since we worked from home and our income was not always reliable, creating an income producing home was also one of our requirements. The property had a single room at the back higher up the mountain, used as the maid’s quarters. That building was a true bonus if we could change it to a renting possibility that would cover our mortgage repayments each month.

The original house was built in 1947, and in those days domestic workers lived on the property. That is no longer happening except in very large estates.

We took out a mortgage on the property to pay for the renovations. Again Photoshop came in handy and I gave the draftsman a printout of a double storey cottage. We knew that the views would even be more stunning if it became double storey. Clovelly is a five minute walk from the beach, therefore the cottage needed to be worth renting out to holiday makers during the high season.

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Waiting for plans to be passed

Our first hurdle came when we needed to ask our neighbors on both sides and also the people who lived above us to sign our plans, before we could hand them into the municipality for their approval. We never thought that would be a problem, but one neighbor was very worried about her privacy. What we didn’t know at the time was that she was a very difficult individual, who had major territorial issues. She had already taken her other neighbor to court because she clearly wanted to be in control of what other people did on their property. She did everything in her power to stop our renovations.

Whatever we suggested she was not happy. She even engaged the building inspector, who seemed to be influenced by her frequent complaints. By this time we knew what our rights were, and that she was being totally unreasonable.

During that time, over a period of several months, while waiting for the plans to be passed, we started plot clearing in the back garden while running our publishing company Kima Global Publishers.

Plot clearing

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A new hobby – Landscaping

This was a whole new adventure for us both. We employed Richard a young man from a nearby township to help me with the really heavy work, while Robin kept the business going. Plot clearing was hard work. When we pulled all the ivy away natural rock boulders appeared and that was a lovely surprise. I have a great love for rocks, and the biggest boulder at the back of our home totally inspired me to make use of them in a way that would enhance the layout of the garden slope.

Our landscaping ideas were slowly growing on us. By this time we both became interested in living off the grid one day, so we did a lot of research as to what that would entail.

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Here are the underground tanks buried. One is for the collection of rainwater from the roof and one is for the grey water from our bathrooms. Both have submersible pumps that automatically pump the water up to the very top of our property, 15 meters higher.

Rain and grey water tanks

Our twenty meter long slope against the mountain that was all covered in ivy became like a Pandora’s box.

It does not rain in the summer in Cape Town, so watering a garden during the hottest months can be a major problem if you want to have a nice garden. When we purchased this home it was because of the view, and the boulders on the property, but having a vision of one day being off the grid, we needed to plan ahead. We needed to make sure that our landscaping design included tanks that could store rainwater during the rainy season in wintertime and our layout also had to include a grey water system.

Before and after

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The first pond

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beforestep 2step 3 with Richardstep 4 with Corneliusstep5step 6 taking shapeFinal product
before
before | Source
step 2
step 2 | Source
step 3 with Richard
step 3 with Richard | Source
step 4 with Cornelius
step 4 with Cornelius | Source
step5
step5 | Source
step 6 taking shape
step 6 taking shape | Source
Final product
Final product | Source

Creating water ponds

After doing some major plot clearing we divided the property into levels. I always loved having ponds in my garden, so In order to collect as much rainwater from the roof of the main house and from the cottage roof higher on the mountain during the rainy season; we needed tanks and an ongoing harvesting system for the overflow. That is why we created many smallish collecting ponds that fitted into the garden landscape.

With the help of two amazing workers, Cornelius and Savious they followed my idea. The old crumbling walls had to be replaced with a new wall from the rocks found on the property. Our first pond was built on the second level of the property.
With the help of two amazing workers, Cornelius and Savious they followed my idea. The old crumbling walls had to be replaced with a new wall from the rocks found on the property. Our first pond was built on the second level of the property. | Source
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Building a stone pathway

We discovered many big and small rocks during the clearing of our sloping plot. We used them to build walls and the pathways on the property were landscaped with many of the flatter rocks. We built the steps on the sloping plot to look like the bottom of a river. During a heavy downpour these path would transform the natural stones and pebbles into a glossy colorful fairytale landscape

Before and after

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Building of 2nd pond

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clearing plot firstup to the second pondWith JorisBuilding a new wallTaking shapewith Richardalmost done
clearing plot first
clearing plot first | Source
up to the second pond
up to the second pond | Source
With Joris
With Joris | Source
Building a new wall
Building a new wall | Source
Taking shape
Taking shape | Source
with Richard
with Richard | Source
almost done
almost done | Source
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Creating a waterfall feature

The existing wall on the third level was about to collapse after we had cleared the plot of all the ivy.

The hole in the wall between us and the difficult neighbor had to be closed, but she kept giving us trouble. Whatever we did on our own land, she wanted to inspect. At the beginning I thought she might come around when she saw what our plans were, but it only made things worse. She insisted on a higher boundary wall, which we did to keep her happy, but for the hole in the wall Instead of just building a brick wall I decided that it would make a great backdrop for our second pond.

I wanted to imitate the natural rocks, so it would blend in with the new wall built from natural rock. Doing it this way gave me an opportunity to create a waterfall feature in the second pond. I’ve done rock sculpturing with cement before in the previous house we had sold, so my two helpers learned how old wire, glass bottles and other metal or plastic rubbish that was left on the property came to good use.

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Three months had passed but still no building plans were passed. During that time we also needed to keep the publishing company going, so in my next hub I will share the rest of our landscaping project; Our Rain and Grey Water harvesting project

A lot of our back garden is seen on the blog of our cottage and this video, after the renovations were finished.

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    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 3 years ago from United States

      What a Paradise you have there! And what a lot of work you have put into it. I enjoyed the video and give you kudos for your endurance for such a big project.

      Voted up, beautiful and awesome.

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      The cottage is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for taking us through the steps of your very interesting project!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Just amazing. Clearly there is a lot of work between the dream and the reality. My wife only dreams of the possible and so far she is batting one thousand on achievement. Maybe on God's time but in time.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Nadine, your property is exquisite! I'm amazed at the beautiful gardens you've created with natural stone found on the property. And you did it yourself! Wow!

      The cottage looks so warm and cozy. I'd be in heaven staying there, taking in the view and feeling the breeze. What a getaway! I can't wait for the next installment. You're amazing!

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Rachael thanks for your comment and I'm glad you liked the video.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      I'm glad to know that your dreams have come true.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for reading my hub Eric. To make something come true we sometimes do have to take action.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Shauna thanks for your comment and thanks for the encouragement to post the next installment.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Yes they have V. So sometimes we do dream 'out of time'. In my case about 15 years into the future. But what is time anyway.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      All that hard work of pure love really pays off. You have a gorgeous place and a gorgeous view as well. I do believe that dreams do come true. 90 percent of my dreams come true...good and bad. I have premonatory dreams most of the times.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you for your comments Lady G. It took me years to accept that some of my dreams are premonition dreams.

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      Liana 3 years ago

      Wow it is amazing. That is maybe why they say never give up on your dreams.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for your comment Liana, you are so right. NEVER give up.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 3 years ago from australia

      A lovely story of following your dream and dreams coming true. I find that fascinating. I can relate though. Such a gorgeous property, must be fulfilling to look around and see all that hard work come to fruition.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi there Travmaj from Australia. Thanks for reading my hub. I'm glad that I took all these photos, so I can look back at our work from eight years ago and write about it in Hub pages.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      All of your hard work certainly paid off with a stunning home. Your photos are tangible proof that reams really do come true if we put them into reality. Wonderful hub. :-)

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you Genna . Yes action does manifest.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A truly amazing outcome the before and after are both great it shows how you appreciate your wonderful lay out and so spectacular place Cape Town is gorgeous. Well-achieved.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you for stopping by and reading my post on landscaping. Yes we are very blessed living were we do.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I am so impressed with all the creative design and work on this project. It is going to make a statement for the home.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you so much for your comment. All the comments have made me realize how glad I am today that I took all the photos when I did.

    • profile image

      MARGREET HOLLAND 3 years ago

      JE HEBT NU JE DROOMUITZICHT!!

      Ongelooflijk dat je droom is uitgekomen!

      Je ben ook nog heel erg creatief en hebt er een hele leuke aparte plek van gemaakt Je kunt wel zien dat het heel veel werk is geweest Maar met plezier en inzet bereik je bijna alles........

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Heel erg bedankt voor jou commentaar Margreet. Leuk dat jij langs ben geweest om mijn artiekel the lezen.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Wow! Talk about imagination! This dream house of yours is wonderful and I hope the plans are passed soon for you. I love what you did with the landscaping and rain ponds. And all this from a dream of a view. That is remarkable. I have premonition dreams also and then experience deja vu. It is unsettling sometimes, but sometimes it is wonderful. I wish you the best in your quest to remodel your house and too bad there are neighbors that want to be so controlling. How sad for them.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Many thanks for your comments Suzette. I will soon share the main house renovations. The neighbor ( a woman) years later took us to the small claims court, but her objections were thrown out! She did the same to her other neighbor. She is bipolar ( we learned years later)

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Beautiful! You have vision and the will to complete your projects! I am in awe!

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Audrey thank you for your kind words. I find joy in many things, large or small!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      Very pretty so glad your dream has come true. The ponds are great. Voted up on your hub. Thanks for sharing your beautiful projects.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thank you for your visit, your comment and your voted up action Moonlake. Most appreciated.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Hi Nadine, it sounds like it was meant to be!

      I have read up on dreams coming true with deja vu (I'm a poet too!) and it seems this is a pre-pubescent and pubescent occurrence that only happens to adults who have a nutured child within. It's hard to get these visions come true as adults, so if it happens, it is rare and to be treasured. I have experienced this phenomenon a number times as a kid where I'd dream something and then it would come true. But it goes away as you grow away from your true inner child. I hope the house brings happiness to you and I know that when you feel it is meant to be, it really seems to work out all of the time!!! Scheduled for post on What The Hub Facebook and voted interesting.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      The view is really beautiful and the cottage is quite charming. Reading about your process of getting this house built is very interesting. I never knew you needed neighbors' signatures to get your building permit. The garden changes sound very interesting. Looking forward to reading more about the progress you are making with this house you are building.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Suzanne many thanks for your lovely comment on my renovation hub. I must get my photos together and follow up on the following stages about our renovation saga.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi there grand old lady. Yes all the neighbors on both sides and in our case 2 owners above us and in-front of the property need to sigh a building permit. They all did except for one, which created lots of drama. You have indeed encouraged me to get going on a hub on the following renovation steps.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Dream it before you do it. Cool.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for stopping by. Like your comment Cool!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You are really a hard worker! Moving stones is not easy but you have created a paradise of sorts and can be very proud of your accomplishments.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Peggy thanks for stopping by at me home renovation post. We are now in winter and everything is standing still in the garden, so I should wrote more on what the garden looks like today.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I have never had either the time or the money to be involved in this type of planning for a purchase. After reading these experiences, I'm kind of happy about my place in life! ;-)

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Then I'm glad that I wrote this hub, if just for the readers to realize that they are kind of happy about their place in life . Sometimes reading what others do to create a place they love to call home can be an awakening. Thanks for you comment Homeplace

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 2 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Yes, I believe you Ms. Nadine. I've been dreaming of sailing away and my job before was a radio announcer. And it became possible in my late 20s.

      What a beautiful place you have there. It can really refresh your mind and write inspiring stories.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Many thanks for visiting my page Ireno. I keep reminding myself that what we can imagine we can make real.

    • Oscarlites profile image

      Oscar Jones 2 years ago from Alabama

      ok, already! well, before I left Alaska, I tried my hand at a stone pathway for a widow, who wanted a natural look.. I gave it to her by collecting flat and nature sculpted rocks off the mountains. On my own house I remodeled and sold upon leaving, I had managed to get some special stones while working on a road crew nearby to Denali. I laid them around the foundation of the house bedded in sand, with a natural gravel walkway adjacent. with a setting near a creek, or "slough" , it was very scenic from that side of the property. One must always study the view, the noise factor, neighbor factor, and collect other information such as spring melt and water runoff, water tables, drainage direction, and in our case, I even had to have underground aqua-flow statistics that effected the septic distance and waivers to allow for adequate occupancy. very well written hub. I should get inspired again, after reading and viewing .. moj

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Thanks for sharing your creative landscaping job with me and I'm glad you feel inspired after reading my post.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 23 months ago from Frozen Tundra

      A lot of work but so beautiful with your dreams and landscaping.

    • Nadine May profile image
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      Nadine May 22 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Many thanks Sandy for reading this post.

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