Sunday, 29 March 2015

Gardening Forever, Housework Never!

Every now and then I get the urge to work in the garden and do a re-vamp somewhere. I never get the same urges for cooking and housework however, funny that!!

Anyway, when we moved into our new house here in 2007, I was into the garden before the paint had dried on the walls, digging and planting, and Rob and I carried and spread a few tons of 'klippies' (small stones) onto the paths around the actual planting areas. These areas changed daily however, as I tried to get a fork into the soil and either managed and planted, or hit a rock and moved on! The garden kind of grew where it could, and it was a thing of wonder!

And now, eight years later, some of the shrubs have come to the end of their lifespan. Sadly, the lavenders and 'salies' have a shorter lifespan than a lot of other shrubs, so I have patches of dead bits in between live bits! Plus, the 'pavement' area outside that looked stunning a few years ago, looked sad and unkempt with aloes and gazanias all tangled and the odd bit of dog poo balanced on top. Goodness knows what dog it is that enjoys hovering above a sharp bit of aloe, but it got to the stage that it all had to GO!!

And 'go' it did!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A Guinea in the Hand is worth Twenty in the Bush!!

What is it about the Helmeted Guinea Fowl, (Numida meleagris) that is so appealing? Paintings (I have one), carvings (I have one), knitted toys, table mats, table cloths (I have one), they lend themselves so beautifully to art and craft.
Such characters!

When we first moved here to Jacobsbaai, we could hear them calling from a distance, well, you would have to be deaf not to hear their raucous shouting, but we rarely saw them in the village.
Basil with his retinue.

That has recently all changed. For the last several months, drinking our coffee in bed every morning while we decide how to while away the day, Rob and I watch them scratching and shouting and chasing on the vacant land over the road from us. Basil has a fascination with them, and sits close by watching them while they chase and squabble and kick the dirt around looking for things to eat. They seem to find him equally fascinating and often go quite close to him. I guess they work on the 'safety-in-numbers' idea, as there are sometimes twenty odd birds. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

On the Road Again............and Again.............and Again!

We have just returned from a week's adventure in Hyacinth. It wasn't planned as an adventure, we had booked to spend the week in one park, but we ended up going to three!

There must be something strange about caravanners. Here we have a lovely three bedroomed house with private bathrooms and showers, all the mod cons, and we choose to live in a 'room' smaller than a single garage! Plus, to share bathrooms and loos with total strangers, cook over open fires, sit under a canvas sheet that gets hot in the sun and cold in the wind, spend ages unpacking and repacking, and praying that it doesn't rain or the tent will be too wet to fold and put back into the bag and place under the bed again! And we just love it!

So, our week went something like this:

Monday morning we loaded up, dodged Basil and headed off towards Cape Town. We had made a booking at a Caravan Park overlooking a golf course, that we had found in the Caravan Magazine. It had a good write up, so Rob phoned. To be fair, they did tell us that they didn't usually allow dogs as they had two large ones that roamed the park as security, but that we could take Alfie, so we headed off. Well, the minute we drove in we could see that it was not for us. No view of the golf course, but a lovely view of a huge pylon and right on the approach path for Cape Town Airport. I love to watch the planes but not every few minutes and so low!! To add the final touch, a lady staying there had parked her car in the only bit of shade in our 'row' and then told us that the dogs were vicious and would rip Alfie to pieces! So, we did the right thing..................we left! They refunded our money with no problem and we headed towards Stellenbosch and 'Mountain Breeze', one of our all time favourites. Yes, they had room, so in we trekked and set up camp. Alfie spent a happy time watching squirrels and we sat back and decided that this was perfect! We should have gone there in the first place.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Fire! Fire!

When my son Andrew was in Grade 1, he set a new record for the 60 metres sprint at the school's annual Sports Day. Very excited he said to me 'I broke the record' and then in a somewhat more subdued voice he said 'What's a record?' That record stood for many years I am proud to say!
Well, on Tuesday 3 March 2015 a new record was set.

Not for running, but for HEAT!

At noon at Cape Town Airport, the temperature hit an all time high at 42 degrees C. That is the highest since records were started a hundred years ago in 1915.

And here in our little village we suffered the same searing heat and an all time high. When we woke up at just after 07.00, it was already 24 degrees C.
At 10.48 it was 34
At 11.35 it was 41
Then at 12.44 the wind swung round completely, we had a few minutes 'whiff' from Seal Island, and the temperature dropped in minutes to 30 degrees. At 13.28 it was 28 degrees. By the time we took Alfie (and Basil) for a walk at 18.00 it was actually quite chilly at 19 degrees! And during the night we had fog and a splattering of rain!

Wednesday it was 21 maximum!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

And The Cat Comes Too!

I know that I have written about 'World Sauntering Day'  (June 2012, wow, how time flies!). And the fact that you have to have a dog with floppy ears. What they failed to mention was that a Ginger Cat is becoming obligatory. And a challenge.

We walk every afternoon after watching 'Eastenders'. As soon as Alfie hears the closing theme music, he becomes animated, (AKA hysterical). And, this is now the signal for Basil to arrive from wherever he was and whatever he was doing, and join the party!

Most times we walk with friends who have a Standard Poodle and if this is the case, Basil sits under a bush in the road and howls. He is not scared of Cocoa, far from it, but she likes to 'mouth' him on the back of the neck, among other places, and leaves him literally soaking wet! So, he tends to avoid that as much as possible! And their little dog who is only just bigger than Basil, likes to chase him, so that also puts him off!

Me and my friend!