Friday, 28 October 2011

Shipwrecks and near misses!

We have had our fair share of shipwrecks in the 5 years that we have been here. We have huge underwater rocks and large rocky islands close to our shore, one is home to a large number of seals and is called 'Seal Island', not very original, but, hey, it works! So, we expect the odd mishap every now and then. The first wreck happened to a little boat called 'Volante' that bobbed happily in the bay and was our mascot, so to speak. Visitors (and locals) took photos of her and she is in many paintings, keyrings and fridge magnets! Sadly one weekend a few years ago, we had a huge storm, she dragged her anchor onto rocks and ended up in several pieces scattered over the shore. A large bit of her hull remains on the beach, people still take photos of her and children climb in her, but it was a sad end to a noble little craft!

'Volante' in the bay.

Then we had a fishing boat that ended up on Seal Island in the middle of the night! I woke up to see a strange orange light in the room, and being me, I just went back to sleep! The next morning we saw the NSRI boat heading towards the island, and a helicopter hovering overhead. The orange lights that I saw were distress flares! Looking through the binoculars we saw a wreck on the rocks and men in orange suits waiting to be rescued. (A friend of ours looked through his binoculars and commented on how many men were wearing brown suits on the island. They turned out to be seals of course! I often wonder what they thought of the invasion!) Happily everybody was rescued safely. The boat had the unfortunate name of 'Silver Reaper' and quickly became known as the 'Grim Reaper'! Now, a few years on, there is nothing left of the fishing boat, the sea has claimed it all.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Eating out Weskus style!

There are three words that can bring me to the brink of despair and those are 'What's for lunch?' If I was very, very, rich I would have a full time cook and never have to worry about food again! So, yesterday lunchtime when Rob asked me if I fancied some fish and chips at Paternoster, it was a race between Alfie and me as to who got to the garage door first! Before he changed his mind! Fish and chips! The very thought of it brings moisture to my mouth and we have found a few places that rate very high on our re-visit list! One of these is 'On the Rocks' at Paternoster. A short stone's throw from the beach, it is a small whitewashed building built next to a paved and strip-roofed area that was originally intended for the fishermen to clean and sell their fish. There are picnic tables where you can eat, or you can take your paper-wrapped parcel to the beach, and eat while the gulls mill around waiting for scraps.

Pity you cannot smell the mouth watering aroma!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Run Rhino Run!

I thought that I had better show you what a White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium sinum) looks like before the poachers have slaughtered every last one of them for their horns. Rob took these photographs a few years ago and there is a very good (?) chance that they are no longer alive. Look carefully, you may see the tears in the corners of their eyes.

Look, show your grandchildren, they may never see a rhino.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Nine minus Three!

They say that a cat has nine lives. We have three cats, all ex-feral who have given up a life of hardship and uncertain meal times, for the luxury of having servants to cater to their every need. The first two to arrive I named Daffy and Dilly and the last one in I called Dopey. I should have called them Austin, Morris and Bentley, names that at least sound a little different from each other, as I end up saying 'Mind Daf, uh Dop uh Dil' just before I trip over one of them. Anyway, Dill is usually called Dilbert, we call Daffy, Daphne (don't ask), and Dopey, well, his name actually suits him. And, he is gradually working through his nine lives. And once those are used up, I imagine that he will move onto the other eighteen that belong to his pals!

Dopey, bird watching!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Living with a celebrity!

Rob's photo of Alfie in 'home' magazine

For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, the name 'Alfie' conjours up a picture of a small, almost white dog with scribbly hair and a long tail! Well, fame at last, as our 'pavement special' who is well known in our little village, became a celebrity almost overnight! We have a wonderful magazine in South Africa called 'home' that is produced monthly, and I buy it and read it from cover to cover each month. They have a 'Pets Page' that answers pet related questions and prints a selection of photographs that readers send to them. Rob must have over three hundred photographs of Alfie, (he is very photogenic!) and decided to send one to them a few months ago. They mailed back to say that they loved it, and so, this month, on page 80, our boy can be seen sitting on the garden wall, his ears delicately swept sideways by the prevailing wind!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Spring has Sprung!

We seem to be well into spring now, the South Easter is winding up and each day it seems to blow a little stronger! Sadly, that also means that our rain is a thing of the past, not that we had much this season, and I am pretty sure that we shall have strict water rationing once summer arrives in force. Soon after we moved into this house, Rob had the sense to buy two tanks that catch the rainwater off the roof, one holds 2 500 litres and the other holds 5 000. So, we have 'free' water to use on the garden and to fill the bird baths. Talking of birds, they seem to bath as much during cold, wet days than they do during the hot, dry days! And some birds use a lot more when they bath than others! The weavers tend to fling themselves around and splash furiously, whilst the tiny white eyes take a long time to build up courage to get into the water (like me into a pool!), and then do a quick dip and go! The starlings arrive by the family, plus grandma, and simply take over the space! We have counted up to eight at a time shouting and shoving and splashing!

Starlings at Bath!