Saturday, 19 August 2017

A Trundle And A Train!

Today we went on a trundle!
The flowers are just beginning to open, in fact we had a wonderful show of rain daisies this week, a day after our 5 mm rain. Talking of rain, this month we have had 16 mm compared to the average August total of 71 mm..... so we have a loooong way to go and time is running out. The farmers (them what knows weather), keep insisting that the big rain is coming, but we are getting tired of hearing it, just as we are getting tired of  'plans are in place to bore holes, start desalination and recyle grey water' given out daily by the City of Cape Town. Our dams are now at 31% full compared to last year's 53%, 89% in 2015 and 105% in 2014 in August. And still our precious water is being abused.
Some rain daisies... our fields are a mass of white now.

Anyway, back to today.
Rob and I just love steam trains! In fact we love trains, period, but here in SA our lines stand overgrown and our rolling stock is rusting away in various places around the country. The beautiful old Railway Stations have been vandalised and destroyed, except for a few that have been rescued privately and turned into restaurants.
So when Rob heard about a steam train coming from Cape Town, up the West Coast and passing through places close to us on the way, we started planning a trundle to find it and take some photos and just stare! And wave at the driver! The special train bringing flower-spotters on a flower-spotting tour, would begin it's journey in Cape Town, wind it's way to Malmesbury, then on to Moorreesburg, then Piketberg for an hour stop, then on to Graafwater where it would overnight before doing a quick trip tomorrow, back to Graafwater and home again on Sunday.
The original sign. 107 miles to Cape Town.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Cat-Trap Update!

I thought that I would follow-up on my last rambling writings as I left you kind of in the lurch. I had the trap, my daughter was due to arrive and hopefully I could report some positive news!

Read on!
As Tuesday 8 August was the International Day of the Cat, this report back about cats seemed to tie in very nicely. The International Day of the Cat was started in 2002, and August 8 is the Day! In this house, every day is the day of the cat, so Tuesday slid by without being noticed!! At that stage we were making sure that the abscess on Morris' head was clean and that we were managing to shove the antibiotic down him morning and evening. (I bless the pill-popper every time I use it!)

Anyway....digression time there as usual!
Catherine has trapped many cats in her time in Dubai, so she took charge. We decided to trap in the early morning so that we could get the patient to the vet early and have her awake by the time we picked her up later in the day. Also, we didn't want an awake and agitated feral spending more time in the trap than was necessary. So, 6.30 on Thursday morning last week (gulp, still dark), we grabbed torch, dish with tuna, trap, blanket and a cable tie to close the 'front' door once we had placed the dish with tuna inside and crept past the still sleeping houses and into the garden where I always put the food. Catherine set the trap while I stood watching and holding the torch for her, she covered it with a blanket, and home we came for coffee and breakfast (thanks to Rob!)

After breakfast Catherine went back to see if we had caught anything.... yes! There was a tabby in the trap, quietly crouching and warily watching!

We loaded the trap into the car and set off to the vet! I was elated that it had been so easy, Catherine popped my bubble by calling it 'beginners luck'!

The vet was in darkness!!! No operation. They didn't know what the problem was, but until it was fixed they couldn't help us..... come back tomorrow!
We left and trekked off in thick mist to find the other vet!

They were open, had power and yes they could (and did) help, so we dropped our little terrified tabby and headed for the Hospice Shop as Thursday is my volunteering morning! When we returned to the vet later in the afternoon, (after a delicious lunch of fish and chips and salad at the nursery in St Helena Bay), our little soul was still very drowsy, so we decided to leave her in the trap overnight in the garage, covered with a blanket with food and water available.

By now I was ready to catch another one!

So, Friday at 6.30 (eish) we carried our still occupied trap, plus the torch, food, etc back to the feeding station and let her out! Off she went, none the worse for wear and we re-set the trap and went home!
When we returned an hour later...success! There was another catch!

Except this time, instead of a feral that we wanted, we had caught the cat who lives next door! And he was furious! I have never seen such an angry cat. He spat and growled, his tail was puffed like a bottlebrush, and if looks could kill both Catherine and I would have dropped on the spot!
He shot off home to tell everyone about his adventures!

So we went home empty-trapped.

Catherine went home later on Friday, and I have tried this week alone. With no luck. I was going to try again yesterday but there was rain in the forecast (yay yay yay) so I am leaving it till next week.
Juniper (the patient) is fine, I have seen her a few times when I feed, so hopefully I shall catch Jasmine and Jennifer next week. Why all the J names? After Jacobsbaai of course! (My sister said I should have called them January, June and July. Guess Jan, June and Julia would have worked!)

Fortunately Michelle does not need the trap at the moment, so hopefully I have time to catch before they are 'in trouble'.

Now I am planning to make a little house for them from a wheelie bin. I shall cut a hole in the lid, lie the bin on its side with the lid closed and have blankets inside. I think it will make a super house.

Next step..... steal a bin!!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Cat-Trap Boogie!

I know that I have mentioned before (several times I bet), the fact that we have several pre-owned cats living loose and fancy free in the village. I know for a fact that many of them were simply left behind when the owners moved, and others have been especially brought into the village and dumped.
Disgusting behaviour? Yes. But sadly that is what I expect these days from the so called humans who live here.

And of course, these cats roam around until they find somewhere to settle, usually in someone's garden...... we have Blackjack who has lived here for a couple of years and who comes regularly every evening for his plate of Friskies! He is neutered and therefore cannot chase the ladies and leave offspring scattered around! And our three ex-pre-loved cats have accepted him, although he has still not accepted Rob and me. He still hisses and scuttles backwards out of our reach when we put his food down! One day maybe......

Blackjack having supper!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Pajamas and Jam!

You could be forgiven if you think that this post is all about me having breakfast in bed...
But it's not!

There are some things in life that just go together, a book shop with a coffee shop attached where you can read while you eat cake. Or a laundromat with a pub attached (we saw those in Ireland.. so sensible) where you can have a glass or two while the washing does its thing in the back room!
But, until last week, I would never have put the following together... a restaurant and a ....scrapyard!
I went to Stellenbosch to 'baby-sit' my daughter's cats for a few days while they were away game driving (and making everyone jealous) in Kruger Park. I spent a happy time knitting and reading and having the odd glass of wine until she returned on Sunday. And then I 'kuiered' ('visited' is about the closest English word) for a couple of days catching up on some eating time!

And one of the places we went to was exactly what I said.. A restaurant called 'Pajamas and Jam' (I am still not 100% convinced that that is the correct spelling of Pyjamas) with a Scrapyard attached.... or if you prefer, a scrapyard with a restaurant attached!

See the helicopter on top?

On the top of the building was this US Navy helicopter, I had to send the photo to Rob who is fascinated by anything that flies. He wants to put the photo on the Avcom forum to see if anyone knows anything about the history of this 'bird'. How did she end up on top of a building in Somerset West, just outside Cape Town?