Monday, 26 August 2013

Camping in the Driveway!

There are some sounds that are 'recogniseable' (is it possible to recognise something that you cannot see?) without difficulty, hah-de-dahs taking off at the crack of dawn, the hum of bees in a bruin salie, a rooster crowing in the middle of the night, owls hooting at dusk..........and metal tent poles falling on a hard surface!

Yesterday, because the caravan is standing in the driveway and there is lots of room, we decided to do a 'dry run'  and put up the tent! We wanted to make sure that the tent was complete and that we were able to erect it without a struggle! There is nothing worse than arriving at a campsite and having an audience of veteran campers sitting with their braai fires set up and smouldering, a glass of wine or a beer in hand, sniggering and shaking heads as the newcomers heave and perspire and try not to shout at each other too much. After all, these are the neighbours for the next few days!

Rob found instructions on the internet, complete with a diagram, for erecting the framework of the of the tent, showing that each pole is colour coded, so he printed it and I spent a happy few minutes with my koki pens going over each line with black, orange, green, red and yellow, corresponding with the diagram. (A minor problem, the 'G' actually stood for 'gold' and not 'green'!) Off we set and hauled out the bag of poles and the tent. So far, so good. But the coloured dots had worn off the poles and had been replaced with odd bits of masking tape with numbers 1 or 2 and bits of words like 'mid' which we presumed was 'middle'.  We managed to lie them out on the drive in their correct positions, placed the first three into the correct holders on the side of the caravan and then proceeded to fit the rest into the very nifty 'spiders' that held either four or two poles, depending where they all fitted! A bit like a metal Lego set! Sounds easy doesn't it?

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Caravan Chaos!

Last week was a very interesting one! We decided to put our beloved Gemsquash on Gumtree, the site where you can literally buy and sell anything that is buyable or sellable! There was nothing wrong with her at all, but we decided to upgrade to a slightly roomier one, and as she was thirty two years old, we thought that we could find a more modern one. We also decided that we were in no hurry and if she didn't sell, well, we would simply keep her. Well, we could have sold her fifteen times! We had several calls from Cape Town and one chap from MagGregor sounded so desperate to buy her that he was ready to do an EFT and literally walk here to collect her! The first person who came to view her handed over the money, hooked her up and drove off! We stood in the drive and waved goodbye to our old friend and we both had tears in our eyes!

So, that meant we had to find another caravan! Rob found a beauty on Gumtree (where else?) and phoned the owner. I was at the Hospice shop by then, so was on tenterhooks to find out whether it had been sold or not! And as it turned out, it was waiting for us to go and see it!

Friday morning we bundled Alfie into the car and snuck out so that Basil didn't see us go and set off to Worcester in cloudy, cold, very windy and occasionally wet conditions! The shorter route was closed due to flooding on the road, so we had to go the long way round via the tunnel in Paarl! The mountains had lots of waterfalls cascading down them and every farm dam and small stream was full to overflowing.

Snow and clouds!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Tannie Kruiwa!

When we first arrived in Jacobsbaai we rented a little house while ours was being built. I think I have written about my frustrations in wanting to start a garden and hitting on the brilliant plan of using old wheelbarrows! A kind of mobile garden. I bartered for the first two from the builders next door with bottles of Coca Cola and packets of chips (crisps) and then they kind of bred. Unchecked. I now have eighteen! I became known as Tannie Kruiwa, or Aunty Wheelbarrow! Sounds better in Afrikaans somehow!

Every now and then a builder friend will stop outside and tell me that they have a ‘delivery’ for me, and will off-load a couple of rusty, dented, cement encrusted old warriors! I have begged old ones from building plots and pushed one with a wheel that screamed, halfway round the village! Our house is easy to find as it has three outside the perimeter wall, so we simply tell people to look for the kruiwas. And on Sunday we had a load of wood delivered by a very nice chap who said that he had one for me and would bring it the next time that he was in the area!! All gratefully received!

Pink lachanalias and a terracotta gnome!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Cooking for Gold!

They say that you are never too old to learn and that is so true! (The trouble is remembering it all!) Last week while we were watching 'Masterchef South Africa', I learned that we have an Olympic Culinary Team. Not only that, we have both a Junior and a Senior team and last year (2012), our Seniors did us proud. They competed internationally in the oldest and most prestigious culinary competition in the world, the “Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung” termed the IKA Culinary Olympics, hosted in Erfurt, Germany from the 6 October to the 17 October.

The Senior Team (Pic thanks to