Friday, 24 February 2012

One good Tern deserves another!

Those of you who follow my blog fairly regularly will have noticed that Rob and I are avid bird watchers! Something that always puzzles and amazes us is this; no matter how many birds we see flying in flocks or formations, wheeling and swirling, ducking and diving, we have never seen a mid-air collision! Once or twice we have seen a quick backpedalling motion and some ruffled feathers, especially when the leader of a V formation of Sacred Ibis slows down and the chaps in the slipstream suddenly catch up….fast, but never anything to cause a crash or emergency landing! Our village follows five bays along the coastline which means that at any time of the day, we see sea birds. One of the bays, called Moeriese Baai, is home to an uncountable number of Swift Terns. They set off every morning on their forage for food, or whatever they do, and every evening they return. In their hundreds! They spend a lot of time following fishing boats for the jettisoned by-catch and as we live close to the 'Sea Harvest' factory, there are a lot of boats for them to follow!

Terns on the rocks at MoerieseBaai.

Klondyke Cherry Farm

(I posted this story last week, but gremlins got into the blog and I had to delete and start again!! So, I lost the lovely comments that had been sent to me............and that's the worst part!!)
A couple of weeks ago we had the wheel bearings on Gemsquash (our caravan) replaced, so, of course, we had to try them out! We have just returned from a wonderful few days at Klondyke Cherry Farm. Just north of Ceres, the fruit capital of W.C., the farm is tucked under the Matroosberg range and enjoys cooler summers and colder winters (often with snow up to the front door!) than much of the surrounding countryside. The actual Matroosberg peak is the highest in the Western Cape. It doesn't look it though, but when you add the height of the peak to the 1200 metres (3720 feet) above sea level of the area, well, it is so! Table Mountain is about 1100 metres all by itself and it has it's toes nearly in the sea!

The Beautiful, stark Matroosberg range.
Moonrise behind the pine trees.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Oh to Plough the Fields and Scatter!

We are enjoying lovely hot summer weather, but luckily here on the coast we usually have our 'air conditioning' blowing to keep us cool. The temperature between here and our nearest town, only 12 kms away, varies between 4 and 6 degrees! For instance, on Tuesday I went into town to do my one-afternoon-a-week volunteering in the local Hospice shop. When I left here it was actually quite chilly, 23 degrees with the wind coming off the sea. In town it was 29, with no breeze at all and I was so hot that I had to buy a cooler top to wear! And a couple more just in case! But, I am veering off the topic as usual!
I have always wanted to grow my own vegetables. My dad had an allotment before we left England, and he kept us going with veges almost the whole year round. I dabbled in vege growing over the years when the children were growing up, I sprouted mung beans, had saucers with watercress, and the odd struggling pot with parsley and basil on the kitchen window-sill. I planted old potatoes that had been in the cupboard too long and were enthusiastically sprouting, and like the poem, I dreamed about 'nine bean rows and a hive for the honey bee'. So, when we moved here and I was faced with a garden to plant from scratch, I planned to have a thriving market garden like you see in the shiny magazines!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Our Fully Qualified Camping Dog!

Our boy is famous.......again!! Towards the end of last year Rob took out a subscription to a magazine called 'Caravan and outdoor life' and we read it from cover to cover every month. We have actually used a couple of their ideas in Gemsquash too, Rob sawed off the end of the table which gives us more room inside (I told you it was compact!) and yesterday he fixed a wooden roller towel holder on the cupboard. We just have to remember to make sure that the towel is firmly held closed with an elastic band, as it has a way of unrolling itself with movement and I have visions of opening the caravan door and fighting my way through half a kilometre of roller towel ready to escape! Anyway, I decided to write to the editor of the magazine with a little story about our last camping trip to Clanwilliam, and how Alfie was a Fully Qualified Camping Dog!

Our hot dog looking like Road Kill!